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Butterflies

By , Downers grove, IL

As you're soaring down a rollercoaster, and you close your eyes so tight as to shut out everything but the fact that you're dropping down a wooden track at what seems like a million miles per hour, and throw your hands up in the air, what do you feel? Does it come from your heart? Your brain? Do you feel it grinding up your stomach, like little tiny butterflies have decided to move into your gut? Maybe, you feel like you need to let those butterflies out, and other times, you keep them bottled up inside you and tell them to be quiet. You shut out this emotion, for the sake of acting normal. A few years ago, I used to bottle up my butterflies. I would shut them out, and tell myself to be quiet. For some reason, I ignored this emotion; this exhilaration. But, it's funny, how quickly an event can impact you, how quickly it can completely change your perspective, like a bull that rams into you with its horns. When you are asked what your personality traits are, you usually can answer quickly, yet have you ever wondered how you developed those traits? Obviously the answer is genetics, though not everything comes from your mom and dad. The way that I developed being adventure-driven and a risk taker was not from either of my parents.
                 

In second grade, all I wanted to do was go to a Selena Gomez concert. One day, my mom asked me, "What would you say if I told you that I bought tickets to see her?" Of course, I freaked out when she told she got tickets for herselfl her, my sister, my friend, and I to go for my birthday. To our nine year old minds, this was the equivalent of flying to Mars. It was the perfect night for a concert. The stars seemed to wink at me, and the clouds cleared away like a curtain being drawn, as if the sky had known that I was coming. Strangely, the sound of car tires screeching on city streets calmed me, like the waves lapping against warm sand. The bright glow of headlights were thousands of little red fairies dancing on the road. Traffic overcame our senses, filled every inch of our eyesight, and it become overwhelming. Car wheels screeched, like the ones we heard on the highway. When I looked out the window, a blur of grass and concrete flashed across my vision. We had cut across a large grass road divider to skip the traffic. Being the way I was, afraid to break a minor rule, I panicked, my face distorted with emotions and sensitivities. Why did something so simple and exciting affect me so negatively?
                    

At the concert, the worries from before were quickly abandoned. Tune after tune of raspy singing and thumping bass playing in my ears, like a hurricane on replay. When I closed my eyes, I was transformed, becoming merely a neon light myself, bouncing around the room and landing wherever where I pleased. Leaving was the worst part. Almost like tearing off a band-aid, only the band-aid is fastened with super glue. The soft pit pat of the rain on gravel was a comforting song. This song got louder and louder, until it was a storm. Lightning shot across the sky and hid again beneath a large black blanket that held the stars. My mom shoved me, my friend, and my sister into a ticket booth to stay dry while she searched for the car. What if we get in trouble? Or if we get arrested for invading private property? And what if a murderer comes? These voices flooded my mind. I sunk to a puddle on the floor, and hid.
                      

The fear of getting in trouble was nipping at my neck. I tried to brush it off, but the teeth were too sharp. While my sister and friends emotions were polar ice caps, I was a flame, flickering and roaring with fear of being snuffed out. So I did the most reasonable thing that came to mind, which was to hide behind the garbage can. Somehow, being curled in a ball on the sticky floor calmed me. Once I felt safer and calmed down, my sister, my friend, and I actually made a lot of inside jokes. These moments after my heart rate slowed down were when the best memories were made. Unexpectedly, I found myself laughing hysterically because my friend had to pee and my sister said, "You should go do it in the other ticket booth!" We still laugh about it today. In that moment, that very second when we were laughing and I was squatting down by the garbage can, something changed. I embraced my butterflies. They fluttered out of me and danced with the stars. A swirl of happiness lifted up inside of me, and there was no way I was letting go.
                           

Crash! Lightning came knocking at our door. Only, the lightning was human and our door was a ticket booth. The man who came was wrapped in a neon yellow traffic vest. When my mind finally registered that he was a guard, I surprised myself, by not hiding or cowling like usual. I was confident and assertive, and felt truly exhilarated. He brought us to my mom, and faded away in the rain. During the drive home, I stared out the window, but not sadly. I felt content, like I had been changed. Silently I whispered a promise to myself, that I would never break, to live in the moment, to be a risk taker, and have memorable adventures. Because out of one thing that I thought was going to be traumatic, I manifested excitement.
                             

Here I am, not not nine anymore, and this promise is still in play. Never again did I cry after getting my card changed on the behavior chart, or passed over an exciting opportunity out of fear. I accept the possible dangers, and strike them out with the idea of making memories. My moral is; if you want to do something but you're not sure if you should do it, just go for it because life is short and we should all just make the most of it. So if you feel like taking a risk, or getting a dramatic haircut, then just do it, and stop worrying what will happen if you do. Embrace the butterflies.






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