When I found the butterfly

When I found the butterfly…

I had a horrible day at work. It was my birthday and I had scheduled 1/2 day off. I was not allowed to take this time as there was an “emergency” at work and I was forced to stay. Even though I pretty much sat on my hands the whole time doing nothing.

It upset me so much, that I  came close to just quitting this job. I had gotten into a verbal yelling match with my supervisor and it escalated to the point where he told me if I left, I would be fired.

I truly considered it. I had been unhappy with this job for awhile and knew that I would be leaving it sooner or later. I didn’t do that. It would have been incredibly foolish to quit without having another job lined up. But I really really wanted to. I wanted to tell my supervisor to fuck off and stomp out of there. But I didn’t.

Finally, I was allowed to leave. I was drained and exhausted. My mind was filled with thoughts about leaving this stupid job. But it was a horrible economy(this was 2009, the start of the “great recession”) and I was nervous and uncertain. I felt like it would be foolish and a waste of time to try. Why bother? Everyone knew there were no jobs, and almost all companies were laying off. I felt trapped.

I unlocked my car and got in. I sat there, stewing about my situation. Something to the right of me caught my eye. I looked down and to the right and on my passenger side floor mat was a butterfly.

It was a beautiful monarch butterfly with wings of blue and gold. I blinked, it didn’t move. I leaned closer to look at it, it still didn’t move. I touched it. It didn’t move. It was dead. It was beautiful though.

I wondered how it got in my car. My doors were locked and my windows rolled up. I checked my passenger door. Sure enough, it was locked. I was pretty certain my driver side door was locked too as I recalled having to unlock it with my remote. I have no idea how the butterfly got there, or why it was sitting frozen on my passenger floor mat.

I am a rational person. I don’t believe in gods or ghosts, or spirits. However, I have noticed in life that we are sometimes given signs and portents. We must look hard for them, and usually they are subtle and ambiguous. I believe the butterfly was meant for me.

A butterfly is a symbol of change, of growth and transformation. It starts out as a green squirmy caterpillar. It cocoons itself in a chrysalis and emerges transformed into a beautiful, delicate, ephemeral butterfly. They are lovely creatures.

I believe the butterfly came to me that day as a sign. It was telling me to grow, to change, to cocoon myself and emerge transformed. To spread my wings and fly. The butterfly’s wings were blue and gold. My eyes are blue, flecked with gold. It’s a curious coincidence.

I searched and found another job. It took several months, but there was nothing sweeter than putting in my resignation. I left that job with no regrets and found something better. I am not going to say that my life or job is perfect now, but leaving that place was good for both my career, and more importantly, my psyche. I am thankful that the butterfly came to me that day.

I still have the butterfly. My wife was kind enough to mount it for me in a shadowbox. I have it on my desk. Sometimes I look at it, and allow it to remind me that I should spread my wings and fly, to take chances, to change and transform into the amazing creature I know I can be.

Thanks for reading…


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