This post originally appeared on Roots of She. But I am sharing it here as a love to myself. And maybe you need it to.
I got my period during Spanish class my freshman year of high school. Too embarrassed to see the nurse or ask to make a call, I went about my day as if everything was normal, even though blood was visible on my jeans and staining the jacket placed ever so strategically around my waist. Had my skin been a fairer shade I am sure my cheeks would have been bright red.
Do you remember those years? How your body ached from bone growth? How you tried to surreptitiously cover pimples? How you doubled-over from abdominal pain? And how confused you were about yourself and how you fit in the world?
I do. And I feel like it’s happening all over again.
Except this time, the metamorphosis is metaphysical.
Tonight my soul’s womb is doubled-over in pain, my soul-limbs are achy, and my soul-face is frantically trying to hide its imperfections. What is and what wants to be are vastly different. My soul-voice is changing; words form in my mouth but are quickly swallowed out of fear of how they will sound. And what I am afraid of is not that others will not be able to handle the change, but that I am the one who will not be able to handle it. Yet I cannot go through my days disconnected from body, disconnected from self. I understand that this change must occur.
Is this how the butterfly feels?
There must be days when the chrysalis feels less cozy and more constricting, when bursting through feels more like stress than salvation. But oh! when she does breaks through, how glorious it must feel to fly instead of creep through life inch by inch. Now, that. . . .that is living: To be able to fly.
All change is painful. It is painful for the butterfly who must break through its shell. It is painful for the young girl whose body is metamorphosing into a woman capable of carrying life.
And it is painful for me—and you—as we sit on the edge of becoming who we want to be, who we are meant to be.
We are now too big for the chrysalis.
It is time for us to fly.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou