Chasing Butterflies 2.0

Within the past year, I have adopted and coined the phrase ““Chase the butterflies, because that is when you feel truly alive”.   Anyone who actively follows my writing has read multiple pieces about chasing the feeling regardless if it comes to love, changes in life, or something as mundane as sharing your soul through your work.  This has been a constant motto when I decide to actively pursue a new adventure in life.

Every human naturally has the instincts to alert them of danger and unknown territory.  We are naturally programmed to distance ourselves from things that are not natural to our-self. When things are not familiar we begin to feel afraid, our hearts starts to race, we become nervous, we avoid the unfamiliar, and ultimately we stay within our comfort zone.  We are simply creatures of habit.  Our brain is also programmed to tell us “you cannot get this done”, “this is crazy”, and any other phrase that stops us from pursuing something head on.

Due to my natural inclination to remain within comfort, I have made it my personal goal to chase the butterflies, to push past all my fears.  To become truly alive.  Fear is such a huge limitation even when we do not even recognize fear. Personally my anxiety and the expectations that I see within society limits the things that I pursue.  The truth is I limit myself in so many ways in life, as do so many other individuals.  We constantly tell ourselves that we are not good enough or allow society to tell us what is acceptable and what is not.  Chasing the butterflies has become a constant reminder that at the point when the fear of the unknown comes within my life that  I will constantly pursue that unknown.  That moment when you fear jumping the most is when you need to take the leap because growth is not developed within comfort zones.

As I coined “chasing the butterflies”, I have never stopped to think of the symbolism and importance of butterflies within the world view.  Butterflies have a vast amount of meanings depending on the person and the culture.  Within the christian religion butterflies signify resurrection, other people around the world see it as symbols representing endurance, change, hope, and life. There are so many heartfelt stories and meaning to each person that you come across.

Today as I hastily began to get ready for my last Sunday within my current position, I look up on my mirror and see a green butterfly. My first thought was that I was going to remind my niece to stop placing stickers on things throughout my house, and something told me to blow on the sticker, as i began to blow the wings of the butterfly fluttered and than moved to another position.  This was in fact a butterfly in my bathroom at 7 am in the morning was pretty peculiar and it was my favorite color.

I am not a person that believes in coincidence or mistakes.  That butterfly was my symbol.   It was a symbol for my life and the current life circumstances that I am at right now.  I am making a huge career move, and I have been questioning if my abilities will be suited well with the new responsibility. I have been struggling with my confidence to drive steadily into the future without looking back.  I have had butterflies and have felt the fear lingering within the dark corners of my being. Not only with my career but also within many aspects of my personal life.  The color green is a symbol of growth, ambition, harmony, renewal, and energy.  It is time for my new path. I am going to chase my green butterfly and start to feel more alive than ever before.

You will always catch me chasing the butterflies.

 

What Are You?

This poem/ open word piece is dedicated to anyone who has been wrongfully identified as a different race or ethnicity. It is also a testament of how I feel when people judge or make an assumption based on my physical features.

Your almond shaped eyes are so deer like, Are you middle eastern.

Your skin has a golden brown hue, Are you Puerto-rican.

You eye brows are dark, thick, and well defined, are you Italian.

You are hips are larger in proportion to your tiny waste, Are you African American?

Your nose is round and lacks a defined ridge, Are you Mexican?

Your hair creates the most perfect spiral curl, Are you Dominican?

Your lips are so full, are you Latin?

You speak Spanish, You must be a Latina.

You speak English with a lack of ethnic accent, you enunciate your words, you know the difference between to, too, and two. What are you?

I speak multiple languages, fluent in two and can understand four because I have a desire to communicate to every person that crosses my path. I do not expect everyone to know English. I speak Spanish because I yearn to travel the world.

My full lips allow me to speak up when everyone falls silent. It helps me to spread a positive message to the world, and call people to action. My lips are full of action.

My curls decide to twist, wrap, and take a different course everyday. Just like life my curls take their own direction. Sometimes I see them as a mess where others see their beauty. My curls are there to show a perfect representation of my life. Its crazy and a mess but outsiders only see the beauty of it.

My round nose that lacks definition. It does it’s job. It smells the small things like flowers budding, chicken frying, and my dirty dishes. It may not have a defined look, but its purpose is to allow me to appreciate the little things and warn me against hazard.

My large hips protects me when I fall. They allow me to bounce back. The also bare all the negative comments about women and how their bodies should look. They hold me upright when I should be falling apart.

My eyebrows are dark, thick, and well defined. They protect my eyes from dirt and anything that should not be within my precious eyes. They are well defined like my perception on things that do not belong in my life. They are thick because they had to shield my eyes from the world.

My golden hue skin. This was created from love. Two people who did not see color but love. I golden hue is unique like no other because it is never the same hue. It changes with time. The more light in my life the darker I become. The more I see darkness the lighter my skin becomes It reflects my life and mental health. It is an indicator of where I have been through.

Lastly my eyes. The beautiful almond shapes sees the world as it truly is. It sees that brown people are not viewed the same as the white man. My eyes see that the color of my skin is a predetermination of guilt. It sees that when I speak Spanish because of a language barrier others look at me like I do not belong. I see the the media wants to cast people of middle eastern decent as terrorists. I see that not all men are treated equal even if we are created equal. I see the injustice. I see the pain that is caused by injustice. Most importantly I see you judging me for who you think I may be from only my physical features.

What am I?

I am human like you.

Changing the Way We think

I will not deny, I am a sucker for proposal stories and videos. I love to watch giant displays of love that end with the “happily ever after” moment.  I cry and become a stereotypical girl. I cannot help myself.  Something deep inside makes me love the emotion and the whole production of it.

Recently, I stumbled across what seemed to a public proposal video, but ended up being a social experiment where the female would decline the offer in front of a large crowd. At the start of the video the mall goers were excited and pumped for the proposal, and after the reality of her answer, the crowd of people started laughing, live tweeting the occasion, and celebrating the misfortune as if it was a comedy show.

Than out of no where a man that had a language barrier approached the guy proposing. He helped him to his feet, and tried to console him.  What struck me as odd and also as familiar is the way we celebrate others misfortunes.

All too often we seem to compare our lives to others in our immediate circle, age bracket, graduation class, or any other groups we decide to align with. Some of us see others accomplishments and compare our short falls to their fortunate. We never truly celebrate someone else without comparing ourselves to them.

As a culture we seem to celebrate the misfortune of others as well as the positive nature. We make a joke out of hurt feelings. We laugh at others for their short comings. We treat one another so harshly.

Now I am not going to say I am a saint that has never said anything mean or laugh at another’s expense, but everyday I learn a little bit about myself and also learn to embrace and change my flaws.  This video was a wake up call, although I would never have done what those spectators have done, it has helped me to realize how many times I have done or said something that is truly hurtful to another.

The reality is that we are all human, and we will never completely stop the negative behaviors that has been well ingrained within us, but being aware of our actions is the first step towards becoming the person we want to become.  Lets try to stop judging people on their downfalls, and joking about others misfortune.  Let’s give people the respect that we wish people gave us.

In case you would like to view the video for yourself.

Podcasting Dreams

Day in and day out as humans we have limitations. Things that stop us from reaching our full potential.  We struggle to comprehend why we never hit our full potential.  Personally I used to fall victim to the idea and notions that there were forces that limit my goals and ambition.  This is why I am starting a new journey that will explore the questions and concerns that all of us naturally hide within, and never freely discuss. Within the next few months I will be adding a new form of discussion added onto my blog and media sites. I will begin to explore pod-casting with a co-host to create an open discussion on the topic covering what stops us? What limitations are placed on us? The society we live in. The culture that we create and end up falling victim to. Its time for us to wake up and truly start to understand the world around us, and the limitations that may not even exist. Join the discussion. Shall we say all the things people fear to face?

 

Everything Happens For A Reason

I often use the phrase that there is a place for everything and everyone in our life. Through work, I was fortunate enough to meet the sweetest lady. This lady was the definition of resilience and hope. She was diagnosed with end stage breast cancer, and told she had 1-3 weeks left to live.

Like most people I am found of a good tear jerking story about the life and struggles of the terminally ill, but reading and watching these stories are nothing in comparison to living through the experience. This lady was in her mid nineties, married for seventy years to the same man that helped her to bed every night, and had a happy life. It is the same story told repeatedly time after time.

Well this lady did not live only 1-3 weeks, but stayed with all of us for 6 months, and I learned more about life and death within these six moths than a young millennial will ever need to learn.  Everyday I watched this woman die a little more, suffer a little more, hold on to every form of life she could.

Everyday she would tell me how she lived a good life, and God gave her an amazing life therefore she will never question why she was terminally ill. She told me that life is too short to be mad at people, to misunderstand people, too hold onto feelings and emotions. She told me every night to chase my dreams because no one will ever do it for me. Each time I talked to her, I knew she was placed into my life for a reason. She was there to save me from myself. To be the constant reminder that I do not only make a difference in her life, but I also touch so many people directly and indirectly daily without ever realizing. That a kind word or a gentle hand squeeze makes a world of a difference to people.

One day about four months before her death, I sat on her floor holding her hands. She asked about the expectation leading up to death. I carefully explained the process, and gave her my input. She cried. I cried. We both held each other knowing that we would be parting soon. That night I promised her that I would be there through the process. I would hug her and kiss her cheek. Hold her hand. I would tell her each night regardless of her state of mind to “sleep like a baby” like I have done every night up to this point. Sadly I was only able to give her six months of wishing her to sleep like a baby.

About a week ago this wonderful lady decided that she was ready. She was tired of pretending that every day was a normal day. She was done defying time and her illness.  She was done living only to keep her husband’s heart from breaking. She was tired of living through pain and discomfort and only enjoying life minimally. She stopped eating and drinking on her own accord, and requested comfort medications to remain pain free.  Than came the night she was barely responsive. As I administered her comfort medications, her daughter informed me that she has not spoken or responded to much for the past six hours. I bent over her kissed her forehead, squeezed her hand, and whispered in her ear “sleep like a baby”. She gently pressed her fingers against mine, and weakly replied “I’m going to miss you telling me that every night. I love you”.

Her spirit and soul left earth the following afternoon.

I learned  the inevitability of life is death, but why fear death when there is a life to live. If you worry too much about what’s ahead, you will never be able to enjoy what is in front of you right now. Life does not need to be perfect to be a good life, you only have to enjoy it. I cannot thank this wonderful woman for everything she taught me. I may stray away from my purpose in life at times, but I never will take life for granted anymore. She has taught so many things that would take at least six months to explain, but the most important lesson was that people and things are placed in our lives for a reason.  This lady and I was placed together for so many reasons. She told me everyday that I taught her so much about empathy and compassion that has no limits, about the normalcy of death, and that sometimes placing a fake smile is easier than explaining every bad moment. She taught me about life, sharing it with people, to never question fate, to stop and smell the roses, eat the chocolate, and to love without condition. I taught her about death and masking emotions, she taught me about life and being content with the cards dealt.  I will carry her story and a little piece of her with me no matter where life takes me. My life is forever changed.

 

Being a Slave to Time.

Every day I wish there were more time within a day.  It seems as if I have so much to do and never enough time to accomplish it.  Between work, school, writing, free time, spending time with my loved one, sleep, and the plethora of other things that I wish to do within a twenty-four hour time frame there is never enough minutes or hours.  I have gotten to the point in which I fixate on the amount of time it takes me to perform each task within the day or limit certain activities to a specific amount of time just to accomplish more within a given amount of time.

Like most Americans, I have a busy schedule that never ends.  I stress about the laundry list of items that I need to have done by the end of the week.  I have deadlines and a small amount of time to accomplish each task.  I am guilty of scheduling every second of my date including only leaving a specified amount of time to spend with the truly wonderful people within my life. Simply I have become a slave to time.

To make matters worse, I have become a slave to an idea rather than something tangible.  The reality is time does not exist, clocks exist. Time is just an agreed upon construct.  We have taken the distance of one rotation of the earth and one orbit of the sun and divided it into segments, and given each segment a label.  We have programmed our lives to live by this construct as if it is real.  Simply we have confused our shared construct with something tangible.

Thinking about the fact that time does not truly exist is mind-boggling.  It is like that moment sitting in Calc class when you find out that you can never truly go from one to two because there are in infinite amount of numbers between them (This actually did blow my mind and still does).   Realizing that time is just an agreed upon concept by humans makes me detest all the clichés about spending your time wisely and making the most of the time that you have.  This small realization has made me want to live by the popular cliché live each day like it is your last or the cliché Carpe Diem.  On second thought both of those include the existence of time.  I want to live a life that will make me proud within my old age and cherish the wonderful moments (which is technically measured a minute and a half) that will soon become memories.  Sometimes we all need to simply remember that there is more to life than having each moment of your day scheduled.  Take a break and live life because you are never guaranteed tomorrow.  Hope you have a great and inspirational day.

With Love

Bella Kat