If you want to be a butterfly…

butterfly…you have to spread your wings.

A kind friend told me this years ago when I was going through a very difficult time. I hated my job, I hated my abusive husband, I hated the way I looked. In other words, I hated myself and my life. But it was safe. I knew what to expect from the job, from the loneliness, and from my husband. There were no challenges to face, nothing to rock my world and bring me back to my senses. I was safe in my cocoon, and I was miserable. My safe place was my prison.  safe place

I wanted to spread my wings, I wanted to get an education, and do something with my life. I wanted to break out of the cocoon I had woven for myself, spread my wings, and fly as high as they could take me. So, after being out of school for nearly 15 years, I enrolled in a junior college and did very well. But, my ex-husband was very threatened by this and made going to school each week very difficult. One time he even took the distributor cap and wires out of my car’s engine so that it wouldn’t start. (Don’t worry folks, cars these days don’t have such archaic devices). And, little by little, that cocoon began to crack and that butterfly began to emerge.   cocoon

It didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t happen without work, but it did happen. And, that’s the point of this blog. I know there are lots of motivational blogs out there, and I don’t think I can compete with their cleverness and their quick way with words. But, I wanted to say that “You can do it.” I was a 15 year-old, unwed, pregnant teen back in the days before birth control pills and abortion was still illegal in America, and it was only done in dark back offices where nobody knew your name  and nobody cared if you survived the ordeal. It was a time when people thought that “good girls don’t do things like that,” and as one of my ex BFF said, “I never thought one of my friends would do something like that.” Yeah, and then I was sent away to a home for unwed mothers where 99% of the girls gave their babies up for adoption. But, I refused, and then I refused again, and again, and again. And then I was a 16 year old child with a child of my own and a husband whose sole goal in life was to get high and stay that way,

I started building  a cocoon where my children – there were 4 more over the years – were my safe place, my whole life, and then they started having lives of their own. My cocoon became very empty and lonely, and I wanted out. I wanted to see what I could do. I wanted to fly. So, I started going to Al-Anon meetings and I went back to school. I began to learn that it is not okay to be abused, and that there was a big world outside my cocoon waiting to explored. That cocoon started to crack, that butterfly started to emerge, and now many years later I have 2 master’s degrees, several published books, and I work as a college professor.

My point is that if I can overcome all of that, so can you. Going to school is easier than ever. You can do it all online with a laptop or even – for some schools – with an app on a smartphone or tablet. You can study before everyone gets up, or after they go to sleep. You can study while they are at school or on your lunch breaks at work. The point is: YOU CAN DO IT!

You don’t have to stay trapped in the safe, but lonely and painful cocoon that you have surrounded yourself with.  Break out, live free, and fly as high as you want.

flying butterflies

And remember always:

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
― Mother Teresa

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