I logged off Friday night from both Facebook and Instagram with all the intention of staying off until Sunday night. There were some notifications, which took about ten seconds to decide if I wanted to click on any of them. I had some private messages, an invitation to a night out, a friend who was in town for the weekend and another couple that I had to follow up on. Didn’t even bother mind-numbingly scrolling through my newsfeed (it’s 4am by the way).
What have I learned in being offline in my little experiment - I didn’t miss that much.
March has felt like I’m having a growth spurt (because let’s be honest, at five feet tall, I didn’t have one of those as a teenager), and because my energy has fluctuated, I’ve been really protective of my vibe. I feel like the butterfly in the pupa stage - here I am in my cocoon, sleeping, letting nature take its course.
Also, does the pupa know if it’s all going to be OK? I mean, do they get an instruction sheet about how much they need to eat to have enough energy to get through this phase? Pupae have become butterflies way before Google existed - where do they download their instruction manual to do their job? Even if your purpose as a pupa is to become a butterfly, it’s still a massive leap of faith to follow through, not knowing what’s on the other side. Do they get a choice to stay a pupa, or like, if halfway through building that cocoon, can they just say “Actually, I love eating leaves plus these curves and my duotone complexion, like it’s really becoming me, you know? I’m out peeps, I’m out.” Probably not.
I had a friend in high school who became a nun, but not before she had completed her medical training. The way she explained to me her calling stuck with me all these years. She had a knowing (even as early as her high school years) that her calling in life is to become a nun. Like many of us, she decided to follow a different path, yet that knowing stayed with her, being patient. I couldn’t say she chose to ignore it, more like asking that feeling to be patient until she felt ready to take up that calling. I guess that feeling became too strong in her late twenties.
The last time we saw each other was at her farewell at a local pub - she was surrounded by workmates - laughing and sharing memories. At the end of the night I gave her a hug and I haven’t seen her since. She moved to the USA to join the sisterhood, although my Mum says that she has been back a few times, but since I don’t go to church anymore, we always miss each other. I’m glad she is able to keep in touch with her family.
Which brings me back to my butterfly story - do they have memories of being a pupa?
The reason I ask is that I’m in that cocoon right now (I know, I seem to get myself in these situations, jumping into cocoons without weighing up the options and risks....noted) - will the lessons I’ve learned stay with me? Will I know what those mistakes look like, feel like, if I make them again? That situation? You know, before I spread my wings and fly?
When people ask me why South America, and why now? Now, I understand and feel that calling. No, I’m not going to become a nun, but these are my gap years, and I’ve done so much to get here that I can’t turn back. My cocoon is about to burst. Will I have the answers I need after South America? I don’t know, probably not, when one is answered, another usually just take its place.
We begin journeys with an idea of where we’re going, what we want from them, but often the biggest growth happens on the side roads. It feels like I’ve taken the long way round to where I need to be, and that’s OK, I know I’ll get there in the end. That just means I just have even more adventures to write about!
A Leap Of Faith To The Other Side is an extract from my second book to be released circa 2019, and the sequel to STUCK - Friends, Lovers & The Obscurity of In Between (May 2017).