The Horrors of the Beautiful

May 17, 2017
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The music was blasting in my car, the bass thumping boom, boom, boom. The windows were rolled down, my hair whipping back and forth across my face. The sun glared down on the street and the sky was an opal blue. As I was progressing along the windy road, I saw something yellow fluttering about in my peripheral vision. The next thing I know I hear a SPLAT, and I see  bright yellow crushed wings across my windshield. I cheered and did an overjoyed victory dance. I believe in killing butterflies.


It all started when I was four. My mother decided to take me to the Butterfly Farm in Scottsdale, Arizona with my playgroup friends. I was ecstatic and elated. I had always admired butterflies from afar, their wings always so full of color and unique patterns. I was looking forward to finally seeing the magnificent butterflies up close. As we arrived at the farm, I couldn’t contain my excitement. My mother paid for our entrance and I bolted straight into the middle of the habitat. I was amazed. They were floating so graciously through the air, flitting their award worthy wings. Everything was like a dream, until one landed on my nose. Then they kept coming. Next thing I knew, I had at least five butterflies on each arm. Have you ever seen a butterfly up close? It’s enough to give you nightmares. Their faces were hairy and huge, their eyes reflected my darkest secrets, and their legs felt like thousands of spiders crawling up and down my body. I was completely and utterly terrified. My fear of butterflies has stuck with me ever since.


When I was ten, my family and I took a trip to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. My sister has always had an infatuation with butterflies. She would spend her days catching them and building them homes surrounded by different, sweet fruits in the backyard. As we entered the museum, she was immediately drawn to the butterfly exhibit. The only way we could get in for free was for the family to all go together, so I was dragged toward the dooming doors that awaited one of my greatest fears. As I cautiously entered the daunting greenhouse, my whole body was aware of the butterflies surrounding me. I had goose bumps trailing up and down my arms, and my knees were shaking. Not two steps in the door, a butterfly landed on my hand. Immediately I started crying and I sprinted through the exhibit and blasted through the exit doors. I sat crying and afraid for an hour as I waited for my family to join me. My entire life, I’ve been afraid of butterflies. They deceive people with their distracting external patterns and colors from afar, but up close they portray all that is ugly about them inside and out.


Now I’m seventeen, and I can drive. The other day, I was driving home from school. The music was blasting in my car, the bass thumping boom, boom, boom. The windows were rolled down, my hair whipping back and forth across my face. The sun glared down on the street and the sky was an opal blue. As I was progressing along the windy road, I saw something yellow fluttering about in my peripheral vision. The next thing I know I hear a SPLAT, and I see bright yellow crushed wings across my windshield. I cheered and did an overjoyed victory dance. I realized that I am greater than my fears, that I can kill the butterflies in everything I do. When I study rigorously for exams and get A’s, I have killed more butterflies. When I work hard in my summer internship and receive the promotion I applied for, I have killed another butterfly. When I struggle through challenges at home, I am killing another butterfly. I believe in killing butterflies.






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