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  • Dedicated to Michelle

My Friend the Butterfly


Upon sending out the announcement of my new blog to everyone I know, love, have ever met, worked with or shared a moment in time, as every good, self-promoting writer should, one of my friends wrote back with a topic that was on her mind. “When do we turn back into the caterpillar?” she wrote.

She’s been working out lately. An effort to support her young adult daughter, prompted her to sign up for the gym and make healthier diet choices. Soon things began to change, as she became stronger, felt more vital, and her body morphed into a slimmer version of herself, she couldn’t resist admiring her own image in the mirror. She felt more energized, alive and wanted her exterior to represent what was happening within.

But a survey of her closet revealed a puzzling transformation that happened so subtly and gradually that she had been unaware of the shift until the new twinkle in her eye needed an accessory to match.

Her closet had turned black. She counted; 9 of these, 12 of those, assorted sizes, styles and eras, all black. “What had happened? And when?” she puzzled. When had she turned back into a caterpillar?

It’s common. Insidious and almost unavoidable for women to begin to drape themselves in what essentially, for some of us, represents the urge to become invisible. It’s the result of gaining weight, the passing of time, for some, it represents the darkness that lurks inside. Whatever the cause, how it manifests dims our light and tells the world we no longer wish to be acknowledged. It’s no coincidence we’ve chosen the color of mourning for this stage of our life. So many of us spend several years, at certain benchmarks as we age, morning the loss of what once was and a certain amount of that may be appropriate. But we can’t allow ourselves to drown in it. We can’t wear the death frock forever.

Like my friend, we must find our inner self, our strong, powerful, vital, and yes, vibrant, beautiful self and coax her from the dark shell to spread her wings and show the world her beauty.


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