As an adult it goes through the caterpillar stage once again. The young adult must find his or her way through careers and life, learning and relearning as situations change. If it's successful it will emerge as a successful adult (butterfly) and fly away in a beautiful flight of life.
Many times through life this child will become simiiar to a caterpillar in a cocoon again. Changing, growing, becoming a new and different butterfly.
We go through the same process after the age of 50. As our children leave home, we retire, and as we begin our next chapter in life, we once again cocoon ourselves to learn and grow into a new type of butterfly.
I went through this myself. One day I found myself childless and jobless and wanting something else. Through these changes I became a caterpillar. The process of changing and growing began and I hibernated in my little cocoon until I was ready to emerge. The problem was, I almost couldn't break free of my cocoon. Fear prevented me from making some of the moves that I needed to make, to do the things I wanted to do, once I retired.
This is not unusual. Many adults, especially women, have put so much into their producing years (producing families, income, education, etc.) that when retirement comes they are lost. It's hard to see the clear path to where they want to go. The cocooning takes a little longer in order to grow into their new role.
There is nothing wrong with taking your time to adjust and change to your new life as a retiree and empty nester. For once in your life, you have no deadline, your have no boss, and you have no rules. You can do what you want when you want. This can be overwhelming. Especially when most of our lives we have had spouses, children, jobs, and responsibilities dictating our schedules, our finances, our whole life.
To be suddenly without rules and having complete freedom takes time to adjust to. We must reconnect with our younger selves when we were first starting out. We have to be willing to take that first baby step just as we did as a toddler.
It took some time, a lot of prayer, and a lot of internal searching to find that soft spot in my cocoon to allow myself to break out. Finally, I did.
I found my way to what I wanted and I have been working at it since then. Some of my friends and family didn't understand the changes, but I knew I had to make them. I also knew that everyone goes through this to some degree at various times of their life.
To become that beautiful, free, and flying butterfly, we must break out of the cacoon. We must take that first flight. Trust me, it's worth the effort.
-Sheryl, August 2016 -
My whole world did change. I launched my blog, lost weight, joined a gym and I work out every other day at a minimum, produced some art, and I have done some traveling. I have also returned to my young way of thinking. I am not afraid to try new things, go places alone that I have never been before, or let fear prevent me from being who I want to be or do what I what I want to do.
"I feel like a caterpillar in a cocoon
that can't find the weak spot
so she can punch her way out and become the butterfly.
Be ready, when that butterfly emerges,
my whole world will change."
- Sheryl - August 2016 -
Go for your next flight as a fresh new butterfly. Continue to change and grow....cocoon when necessary and then bust out and fly!
When you have had a major life event how did you respond? Have you ever cocooned for a while to recharge and change? Do you have any tips or suggestions for others who may be going through a life change?