Tag Archives: change

Becoming a Butterfly

31 Mar

Spring is a time of change. The snow melts. The days start to get longer. The trees bloom and the flowers awaken. And in no time at all, there will be butterflies.

I’ve always been fascinated with butterflies, not because of their colors or their grace, but because of the amount of change they endure in such a short lifetime. Within the span of a-couple-months, a Monarch butterfly will hatch from an egg, spend its days consuming leaves as a larvae (caterpillar), attach itself to the stem of a plant or branch as the pupa (while it undergoes 10 days of change in the chrysalis), until it finally emerges as an adult butterfly with mere weeks left to lay an egg to ensure the survival of the species before passing away.

Change does not come easy to me – it never has, and it doesn’t matter how big or small a change may be, it causes me to over think, over analyze and over worry. I would be a terrible butterfly. I’ve hatched from an egg all alone in the world. Is this plant I’m on safe to eat? What if my chrysalis detaches during a storm? Will I be strong enough to break out of this thing when it’s time? How will my wings know how to fly without being taught? What if I fall? Now I have to produce the next generation – that’s a lot of pressure!

It’s a really good thing I’m not a butterfly – I may have never made it out of the egg!

Just like the butterfly, I find myself in a season of change. I am taking steps to return to school to further my education, a goal I set for myself when I watched my mom graduate with her Master’s degree, the first in her family and the best role model I could have ever asked for.

Scott and I are also apartment hunting. Together we’ve looked at two apartment layouts at one complex, he looked at a different complex today before work, and I’ll look it over on Saturday. I’m ready to have our own place, but I find myself on a rollercoaster of emotions from excitement  to totally terrified.

More often than not these days, I wake with knots in my stomach and a pounding headache after nights of stressful dreams. I know I’m worried about finances and finding an apartment that is clean and in a safe neighborhood. But I’m also worried about me. Living in Florida for a year while on the Disney College Program was one thing, I knew when it ended I would be returning home, to my room, to my safe haven. Now, that’s not an option.

I don’t know who I am outside of these blue bedroom walls – they have been my sanctuary since I was 10 years old (but I should mention that when we built this house I was all about the pink frilly life, so the walls were baby doll pink). This room has seen me change from pre-teen to an adult woman. I have slammed the door after arguments with my parents, shared my deepest, darkest secrets with friends, and cried my heart out in here when a boy carelessly broke my heart. This room has seen many late nights finishing homework or finishing a book that I just couldn’t put down. I do my best thinking and writing from this spot on my bed, staring out the window at the post office and the great void beyond.

My room has changed with me, always adapting to my needs. From pink to blue, from Barbie dolls to mountains of mystery and romance books, and my embarrassing love of Billy Gilman to my new love of running races.

But as I look around, I notice how the room doesn’t feel as big as it once did. Maybe that’s because I share it now. Most of Scott’s belongings aren’t even in here, they are sitting in our front room downstairs waiting for a place to call home. Or maybe it’s because, like the butterfly who knows when 10 days have past and it’s time to emerge, I know the time has come to move on.

I doubt the butterfly ever thinks about what happens to the chrysalis it left behind. I, on the other hand, think about a time when this room will no longer be “my room.” One of my sisters will move in here. They have always shared a room and have been chomping at the bit for me to pick up and leave already. I can’t blame them, it is nice having a space all your own in the house. Whomever moves in will change the walls, redecorate and add her own personal touch to the space. I will be erased. Just a memory of yesterday. My safe haven claimed by someone new.

It may be silly to feel so attached to a room, but we are each unique and have our own quirks. Maybe you are attached to a specific coffee mug, car or jacket. Called it an adult version of a security blanket, it’s that one thing you can count on being there to pick you up and warm your heart. And soon, I will be walking away from mine. I think I will feel lost for a while, unsure of my footing in my new room. But I hope with time I will feel comfortable there.

Change is never easy, but in order to progress through life it is a necessary evil. And so it is at these late hours of the night I find myself praying that my wings will know how to fly because whether I want to or not, I’m changing into a butterfly.

Do you live for change or does every cell in your body fight for things to remain as they always have like me? Tell me your best tips and advice for surviving a season of change! I don’t know how many more rough nights and anxiety starting mornings I can take.

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Little steps, good vibes

5 Jan

I will be the first to admit that I have a tendency to turn molehills into mountains. I know I worry about things other people wouldn’t bat an eye at and I know I lock up my troubles and fears until I’m at a breaking point.

This year I want to change that. I want to be more relaxed, to go with the flow, to let go of the little things. I read somewhere a quote about additude, it was about constantly choosing happiness, positivity and to be a positive force of good in the world, so that’s what I’m trying to do.

I figured the best way to change my outlook on the world was to first start with the outlook I have on myself. Good things in, good things out, right?!

Every morning I start my day with a big glass of water with breakfast. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not worth it to drink my calories and they say that a glass of water first thing in the morning helps to wake you up and jump start your metabolism. Sometimes for fun, I’ll add one drop (you really don’t need a lot!) of peppermint essential oil for a refreshing taste.

My drive to work used to stress me out also; it’s a new drive with more time spent on the expressway. And once at work, it’s trying to learn new processes and procedures, learning the ins and outs of a new work and team environment and trying to find where I fit on the already established team. I had no idea how draining that would leave me feeling at the end of the day. So to counterbalance both of those, I found a local christian raido station. The music fills my soul and recharges my batteries. I feel empowered to take on the world, or at least my little piece of the world that is.

Finally, my sleep schedule has been suffering lately and I realized it’s because I stopped exercising during the busy holiday season. But no more  excuses of being too tired after work, my waistline can’t keep expanding! One of my favorite workouts is the at home walking workouts by Leslie Sansone. I was so excited to find this 5K walk with a power boost on YouTube. I’ve used this workout twice now and it really gets your heart pumping, which for me allows for a more restful night’s sleep, allowing me to wake up in a better mood and more likely to make better choices through the day.

I’m hoping that as the days and weeks progress, these little things will become part of my natural routine and that I’ll be able to add more positive habits into my daily life.

What steps do you take to have a better day, life and outlook on the world? I’m still early on my journey and would love to know what’s worked for you!

Bitter-sweet Friday

14 Aug

Today is Friday, a bitter-sweet Friday. This morning I unlocked the doors to my office at the hospital for the last time. I clocked in for my last shift as a hospital employee in my office that is empty of all personal artifacts and signs that I was ever here. Today I will set out instructions and information for my replacement. At 3:00 PM today, I will close one chapter and begin to open a new and exciting one. These past three years have taught me so much about myself and brought to light dreams, goals, ambitions I didn’t know I had. I was privileged to work with some amazing people – together we laughed, cried and celebrated with each other; they are my work family and I will miss them the most. A hospital setting was never where I saw myself long term, but I am thankful for all of the experiences and lessons I’ve had. Life is about transitions and growing and stepping outside of our comfort zones, and I am eager to see where life’s journey takes me next! For those curious to know where I will be transitioning, I will reveal all soon, but for now, I’m not telling.

Hair Anxiety Attack

5 Sep

“A woman’s hair is her crown.” – Shon Stoker

I love my hair. Other than my eyes, I honestly think its my best feature.

I have been platinum blonde:

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A redhead:

red hotA warm brown:

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And golden blonde:

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Just to name a few… it’s been long, short and layered, even bangs now and again. Growing up, my mom use to tell us that she didn’t care what we did to our hair because it would grow back eventually, and if that’s the worst we ever did then we were set.

I am very attached to my hair. I know the style I like and the colors that look good with my coloring. And I’ve been changing the color of my hair for so long now that I couldn’t tell you what my natural color is. I have learned over the years that short hair looks TERRIBLE on me due to the structure of my face, long layers are the way to go. The problem is when I find a style and color I like, I tend to stick with it for a LONG time. Change, especially when it comes to my hair, makes me uneasy.

Recently I have been freaking out about turning 25 (only 9 more days, still not looking forward to it). I don’t know why exactly, but it has me on edge. Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling like my life is at a stand still and I’m trying to figure out what my great purpose in life is. Whatever the reason, I’m on pins and needles.

And I have been obsessing with my hair, nit-picking everything that is wrong with it. It’s too thin, too stringy, the color is ugly, there are tons of split ends, it doesn’t look professional, it falls out easily, the list goes on and on. And then I was reminded that my license needed renewed before my birthday and I wanted to burst into tears because I was going to have an awful photo with terrible hair for the next four years, it was just too much. This called for an emergency hair appointment, STAT.

I am very picky about who touches my hair. In my lifetime, there have only been three stylists who have seriously cut my hair. (Okay, so my grandmother use to cut my bangs, but didn’t all grandma’s in the ’90 do that with scotch tape and scissors? There were some tears shed in her kitchen over the years. Love you grandma!) Thank goodness one of my hair stylists had an open appointment yesterday afternoon.

I went in with a photo of style I liked and no idea for the color. I knew I wanted it darker as we head into fall and I needed it to be professional for work, other than that, I left the decision in the stylist’s capable and knowledgeable hands. i figured she was better at determining what shades and colors would look best with my skin tone and eye color. But I’ll be honest, I was nervous to see the results.

Saw this taped to the mirror at the hair salon. "Blessed are the hairstylists - for they bring out the beauty in others."

Saw this taped to the mirror at the hair salon. “Blessed are the hair stylists – for they bring out the beauty in others.”

For me, it is a very relaxing experience to go and have my hair done. I love hearing all the gossip, catching up on family news and just laughing and enjoying my time. It’s a wonderful feeling to have someone else tend to your hair. It’s almost like you are getting a head message during the shampoo and conditioning phase. And there really are no words to describe how relaxing it is to have another person comb and brush out your hair. If I ever won the lottery (I guess I would have to start playing first, though…), I would hire my own personal hair stylist to wash, brush and style my hair everyday for the rest of my life.

I was proud of myself, I didn’t panic during the coloring, but when the scissors came out, part of me contemplated fleeing the building. I knew a few inches of my lovely long hair would need to be cut to get rid of the split-ends and to even everything back up to make it pretty. I wasn’t expecting to see THIS much hair falling though:

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I put on my big girl pants and soldiered through it. Thankfully there were no tears. And once she started to dry my hair and style it, my anxiety started to fade. I could see it, the new me. Where there was this wanna-be adult when I walked in, a fierce and somewhat attractive woman had mysteriously taken her place. I was shocked. No words, that doesn’t happen to me often. It’s very different. It’s dark and short and I have these funky swoopy bangs. A stranger greeted me in the bathroom mirror this morning, but she has stylish hair so she can stay.

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The transformation: Before and After

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And because this story NEEDS an extra happy ending, I went to get my new license photo today and it’s the PERFECT picture! It looks like a model head shot! I don’t always think I look pretty, and certainly never beautiful, but today I felt just a little bit more comfortable in my skin, maybe all I needed was a mini makeover to remind myself I’m someone special. And now to embrace life as a dark brunette and discover what adventures lie ahead!