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The Butterfly Effect, the Me I See

People often say life is too short. And in a sense, they are right. Life is much too short, especially in comparison to the lifespan of the giant redwood trees. Life is cruel, too, and harsh like a bitter winter. And often in unforgiving times, we find an escape when we doze off into our clandestine thoughts and even when we sleep the night away in our arbitrary dreams. And yet, even if dreams and daydreams serve as a sort of paradise, I find myself in another conflict. It is a small and foolish inner quarrel, but I find myself plagued with the thought numerous of times. Some may say I’ve gone mad, throwing a fit just because of some childish nonsense, but I have to disagree with them. It is no mere coincidence, I believe, when my dreams are if not centered around then at least show a butterfly. And so the question is spurred: Am I but a human who dreams of a butterfly or am I a butterfly who dreams of being human?

Perhaps I am the only one who sees it this way. Or perhaps not. The only way I would know would be to go up to every person I see and ask them whether or not if they have ever thought the way I thought before. It would be beyond the point of being silly, and so I am haunted by the thoughts that I have truly gone mad. But when I think of the situation even more, I come to the realization that butterflies are not so different from myself. I’ve come to embrace the fact, no matter how ridiculous it seems, and the absurdity of the situation seems to just disappear.
Butterflies do not count months. Their existence barely reaches over a month, and even if it does then the most a butterfly would have would be only nine months. If they were to count by months, their life would go by in just a snap of our fingers. Butterflies do not count by months but by moments. And so do I. Life always seem longer when a person lives in the present, and therefore it is a shared attribute these creatures and I have.

And while we are on the subject of life, the segmentation of a human’s life and a butterfly’s is not so different either. How is a butterfly’s life divided? It goes from egg to larva to pupa and then to adult. And what parts are a human’s life separated into? We start out as a baby to a child and then to a teenager who soon becomes a grown-up. Like a butterfly egg, not just I but all humans started out as fragile beings that had only just entered this world without anything but the knowledge that we are alive. Like a writhing larva, we started to lose our innocence piece by piece as we journey through the stage of learning that the world is very much bigger than we are. Like the chrysalis stage that is a pupa, our teenaged years are beginning to shape and show who we really are and the naïveté of our childhood is long over. And once we’re at the final stage, we are colored with everything that has made us who we are but, under those colors, we can hide our returning faults and pretend that we are invincible until time eventually wears us out.
But until our timely demise, we--humans and butterflies alike--utilize three very common features: polymorphism, mimicry, and aposematism. They’re big scientific words, yes, but they’re used almost every day if not every minute of our daily lives. Polymorphism may be the most important, being the occurrence of something in different forms. A species of butterfly may contain a butterfly with the same characteristics but may be different colors in order to adapt better with their environment. It’s a way butterflies have and use in order to cling onto life. Humans are not any better. As the countries we stay in change their ethnicities, we find the languages that we speak changing also. Though the alternation of language is not used per se in survival, it does give us an advantage over those who do not change with the flow. Mimicry is another quality that is highly favorable. Butterflies use it to hide and to fool their predators. We use it also to hide, but we hide much more than a tasty meal for those that “hunt” us. We hide our true selves, becoming one with society and a perfect citizen when, in reality, we really could be the next new serial killer or the one who could bring a whole country down to its knees. But even if we don’t hide such a lethal persona, many people do tend to hide a skeleton in their closets, hoping that no one would ever find out their darkest secrets. And lastly but not least, there’s aposematism or better known as coloration of warning. Poisonous species of butterflies use it to tell their seekers that they’re toxic and that they better not be messed with. Humans use the same system but not just with what they wear. Humans use a warning when they choose the people they surround themselves with. Even if the girl that is part of the deadliest gang in the country is the quietest girl in school, everyone else knows not to play around with her just because of who she has to back her up. Humans and butterflies are not so different, after all.

But enough about other humans, let’s talk about me, shall we?
Someone once said that a butterfly is a self-propelled flower, a splendor that makes its own path. I may not be a great beauty, but I am ready to step out of the stereotypes that envelop me and the image given to me by my peers. Why is it that I seem so intent on this subject? Perhaps maybe I really am crazy, but a butterfly represents me so much better than any other creature or symbol. A butterfly is--living, breathing, moving--alive. And so am I. A butterfly can be as gentle as the breeze or sting like a bee. And so can I. A butterfly can move along with its crowd, not caring any bit about being unoriginal, and going to the nearest sweetest smelling flower it can find and just be there looking pretty. And so do I. A butterfly is a butterfly, and I am me, but I can see pass my nose on the subject. A butterfly represents me? I think not. A butterfly is my kindred spirit, the guardian angel that watches over me, and the domain which my star falls under. I am a free butterfly.




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