I'm going to be straight up going into this I have no idea how to form proper sentences to describe this experience lol. AND for those who don't know.. our lil bad bitch dresser up there is one that I pulled from the dumpster behind my building and sanded, painted, and loved on. The fact that she was the host for all of the butter baby growth was TRULY SYMBOLIC AND EXCITING. LIKE I DID THAT SHIT. Look at her basking in her glory.
Anyways, yes I have lost my mind.
But honestly who else is emotional? I knew this was going to be a spiritual and emotional journey but I could have never predicted this.
I ordered them at the beginning of June and was under the impression they were going to come in June but I misunderstood. They ended up coming 3 days before Grow Your Wings started which gave me a few days to source some milkweed, make their homes, and get them settled. What I didn't expect was that the day I went to get milkweed a little surprise monarch butter baby would be waiting for me. So I brought his ass home to join the others even though he's like 2 weeks behind.
Okay, for all my mothers I'm going to preface this next reflection with the understanding that in no way does me nurturing caterpillars for a few weeks even touch what motherhood is, but as someone who will not be giving birth in this lifetime I need you to let me have a moment.
I take care of Capo like he's my biological son, he is spoiled and loved and nurtured- but he's super low maintenance. Past the puppy stage, it's kind of a breeze and has become second nature. When I got these butter babies I felt that feeling again, the calling, the purpose, the "mother" instincts. Ugh, I'm starting to get emotional writing this because my womb is bleeding and emotions are high but it's all sentimental and nostalgic. I've loved making their little homes with sticks and leaves. I loved changing their cages and watching them grow. I woke up every morning excited about what I was going to see, I had anxiety every single day about doing a good job and being enough. And then the day I saw them crawl to the top of the bin and form their chrysalis I had a serious breakdown. I lit candles and incense, put on music, drew the curtains and I just sat in the presence of their transformation and was overflowing with emotion. I was a part of this. I did a good job. I can take care of things and not fuck everything up. One of the core beliefs that turned my womb to stone.
Watching these little delicate lives that I had hovered over for hours and hours a day go through the most painful process and being helpless to stop that pain got to me. Because we all know they're little butter babies and they're going to be insanely beautiful butterflies- but in those moments it doesn't matter. Watching them crawl out of their skin and thrash around as this version of them literally dies was overwhelming. You just wish you could communicate that you know something they don't know and they just need to sink into it- but it's not your job. Your job is to nurture, support, provide, and love them with detachment and trust.
Am I going this deep about butter babies? Yes, I am. Because for me, someone without children of my own, my relationship to everything orbits around those feelings. I feel motherly in my friendships, I feel motherly in areas of my relationship, I feel motherly in the ways I engage with animals (a relationship that is transforming so get off my dick vegans, I hear you). I have this deep urge to nurture and love and build community and connect people and help everyone become who they were born to be. And because of that, I have had to stop imagining what my child would have been like if I had them. A little Zee and Laura. Probably a fucking badass. I have to stop the social conditioning that tells me I am a waste of a woman if I don't give birth. I have to breathe deeply each month as I bleed and release potential eggs and get closer to bare ovaries. Because it's my gut that is telling me that mothering and community is allowed to look different to me. It's my intuition and spirit that reminds me that I am allowed to fill my maternal cup in the ways I engage with the universe.
But this wasn't just about those motherly triggers or urge to nurture, it was about the mirroring of my own journey. We know since kindergarten that caterpillars turn into butterflies but seldom do we actually see the pupating, seldom do we see the thrashing and the pain and the hardening of the chrysalis before the beautiful butterfly. And that's literally where the magic is happening.
In our painful moments. In our moments of absolute destruction, betrayal, loss, grievance, desperation, and sacrifice. Those moments when we absolutely do not think we will make it through to the other side because we are exhausted and confused. We all have these periods and watching these little fragile creatures be a million times more resilient than I thought they were, have reminded me of us. You and I.
Remember how freaked out we all were because the one butter baby kept getting interrupted during his pupating stage? We thought for sure it was going to mess him up and I was getting really fucking irritated at the other butter babies. But not only did he hold his ground he actually built a stronger tent of silk around him each time and now he's one of the largest chrysalides. How many times have we given up on a transition we didn't even know was happening because someone brushed up against us and made us doubt taking up space?
Fuck that. Take up ALL THE SPACE and when people brush up against your boundaries you enforce consequences and you continue to set your boundaries because it's not about punishing them it's about protecting you. Making space for YOU to thrive.
I had to sit and unpack my irritation, too. Why the fuck was I so frustrated that these butter babies are just doing their thing?! They don't even have eyes for fucks sake they can barely see anything and it's why they have the long hair and spikes- to sense others. What I failed to see in my protection of the pupating butter baby is that the others were just trying to do their thing, too. Just because they're late doesn't mean they don't deserve the same love and care from me, just because they're last doesn't mean they don't deserve to take up space and make room for their process, too.
I also noticed that there were two kinds of butter babies. There were 6 who were always together, crawling on each other, eating together, being curious. The other 4 very much stayed to themselves, ate their little meals alone, and liked to be hidden. They were the ones who crawled to the left side of the bin and found little hidden corners to pupate and didn't worry about what others were doing. They didn't stop their transformation and look around to see if they were the only ones- they followed their purpose and trusted themselves. The first one to pupate didn't stop because they felt stupid, "Okay, what the fuck is happening and why do I wanna hang from my asshole from a tree when everyone else seems like they're just chillin' eatin' butter blocks" Imagine how stupid you'd feel if you were the only one out of 10 others who had this nagging gut feeling and calling and it was SO FUCKING BIZARRE compared to what others were up to?! Would you follow it? Would you trust your gut? Would you know you're the authority on your life and purpose and go for it?
Or would you stop yourself? Would you stunt your growth by focusing on what everyone else is doing and how they're doing it? Would you feel stupid because you were bolder, louder, and took up more space?!
Maybe that gut feeling you're feeling is going to make you the most obnoxious, colourful, and bold butterfly in the world, are you willing to give that up because you're scared of not fitting in with people who aren't even at the same stage as you?
Let 2020 be the year of the chrysalis. Let it be the year that we slowed down, surrendered, drowned out the noise and tapped into our intuition. Let 2020 be the year that we don't give a fuck where everyone else is at in their journey because our own is echoing throughout our bones and screaming at us to take action.
Let yourself break down.
Draw the curtains, set your boundaries, and sink into your purpose.
You may not feel it right now but I promise your beautiful ass that your wings are on the other side.
*cues tears and opening a new bag of chips*
What are your thoughts? What have you been feeling? I've seen your messages and DMs but you guys haven't seen each others, SO SPILL ITTTTT BOO!! <3