I’m going to be honest, I was never that fond of butterflies, but over the past few years they’ve played a significant role in my life.

Let me take you back to my youth for a moment: While my sisters were dressing up as princesses and catching butterflies, I was on the hunt for tadpoles and frogs from the pond down the street. I didn’t like girly things. I was the tomboy and I was proud to be one (my obsession with frogs in fact was probably a bit overboard). Flash forward 20 years later, and here I am making friends with the winged creature I never thought I’d like.

During my recent adventure through Florida, I had the chance to explore Butterfly World in Fort Lauderdale which is the largest butterfly park in the world.

Did you know that the average life of a butterfly is only about a week? It seems like such a tragedy for a such a beautiful creature doesn’t it? I learned a lot about these enchanting species, and easily spent a few hours there.

But my recent butterfly fascination didn’t start here. In 2011, I vividly remember waking up early one morning in India to watch the sunrise from the rooftop of my hotel when suddenly a butterfly landed on me. It fascinated me how comfortable this creature was sitting on my hand. I thought to myself… Only in India would a butterfly land on me like this. I almost didn’t know what to do (but obviously captured the moment on my phone). But I wondered if this was a sign of some sorts, and as it turns out… it was.

I found this quote which expresses my sentiments quite well:

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

I’m at this interesting crossroad in my life where I finally feel like I’m transforming and ‘spreading my wings’ much like the way a new butterfly breaks out of it’s cacoon and soars into a new world. But I’ve learned that a butterfly has to fight, and fight hard to break out. I find this metaphor so meaningful after working hard over the past couple of years both on a professional level and a personal one. I’ve learned to let go of things in my life that aren’t serving me, helping me grow, or teaching me something new.

I look back at this picture from India with so much more of an understanding now that happiness finds you when you least suspect it. I’ve never felt more comfortable in my own skin, and I’ve never been happier in my life. As my next birthday approaches, I feel content with how I’m living and can’t wait to embark on another journey and celebrate another amazing year of life.

“Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re real quite lucky.” 
― Dr. Seuss