There was a caterpillar making it’s way across the path on my walk this morning, one of those fuzzy orange and black woolly bears. Heading who knows where. I do hope it made it since there is a lot of foot and bike traffic on the path and some are not so observant, or care to worry about bug life.
This got me thinking though, about the process of metamorphosis that changes one little caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, or moth. Moths can be cute and beautiful, too! I’ve seen many people reminding others that the caterpillar must dissolve itself to then be reconstituted into the butterfly. It isn’t just pop into a cocoon one day and become butterfly the next. Or even many days later, depending on the species.
The stage I’m in right now kinda feels like a lot of knowns are dissolving around me. A lot of things I thought I knew about myself are in flux and life (and my emotions) are feeling very chaotic, close to the surface, and raw. And I know it is important to let the old, un-useful things go, dissolve out of sight and mind. But it feels scary when the path forward is full of uncertainty. Which, at times, has been my sworn enemy, the thing that kept me running back to the safety of my comfort zone.
Not this day, though. I’m facing it because I need to, I want to. Learning how to be me, to set boundaries that keep me safe, whole, and happy requires that I face uncertainty. Allow for the big inexplicable feels I find within myself to exist and be in my body while being held as I cry or sob. To be witnessed in safety as I readjust to a life that is a lot more full of melancholy and sadness than I’d have liked. Which, I’m learning is important to help balance the actual joy I’ve found in chaos and existence as well.
But I am still really in flux in many ways. More so than, I feel, at other times in my life. Information that I’d previously known has come to have new meaning for me. It is giving me a lot to consider and a lot to readjust in my personal engagement with self. It is giving new fuel for my neurodivergent journey and validating that I am on the right path. And this readjustment, it isn’t just involving my current self, it is encompassing all parts of myself, in every stage of my life. It feels big, and it feels right. As much as it feels scary and like it is pushing me out into the great unknown.
And that is more exciting than I’d imagined it’d be. I’m embracing the unknowable, teasing the uncertainty as if we’ve become friends. And it is wild.
Because there are more moments, glimmers of joy and embrace of chaos.
In my art it is looking like allowing for the ebb and flow of the creative muse. Being messy and purposefully thoughtless of the details as they will come as the piece comes into reality. Right now I may not have a lot of bandwidth for much outside of Inktober prompts but it has been so fun to do, a lot less decision paralysis, a lot more embrace of whatever ideas come up.
In life in general it is the moments where I’m allowing myself to be without judgement, to do silly little things that previously I would have talked myself out of a hundred times over. Something as ridiculous and hilarious as choosing a “spy” name that nobody suspected of me in one of the various iterations of Who’s the Spy (not the technical name, I don’t think). I am still chuckling about that moment, I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. I cracked myself up being my weird self.
That, my friends, is living life, truly.
So, remember that life is full of changes, some bigger than others. It is ok to be sad, to be scared, to be resistant. Take life at your own pace, that is the only way to live for yourself in a world that, likely, wasn’t built with you in mind.
Changes, especially big ones, require courage, it is an act of bravery to show up and make changes for yourself. Let alone be witnessed as changed by others. It isn’t always a safe thing, as necessary as it can be at times to change. And the messy, dissolving of the old part is fraught with a lot of big things and feels.
Here’s to changing at our own pace, and not apologizing for being ourselves.
All the love,
P.S. Here is that wooly bear caterpillar, and, following, a gallery of my Inktober drawings so far. I like taking it to the basics. Sketching my idea, getting it settled and then inking it using a sharpie.