Towards the end of every year, after spending bundles of money we don’t have on bundles of things we don’t need, while cramming various types of glazed, pumpkin-spice whatevers into our mouths for holidays that are based on questionable historical events, we recollect ourselves and refocus our energies.
We all collectively search for something to make us feel better about how completely financially irresponsible and gluttonous we’ve been over the past few months… so we turn to New Year’s Resolutions! New year, New us! This is our time to shine and we are really going to get serious about doing __ this year!
The problem is: 80% of us will fail our resolutions by February.
I’m not trying to take the wind out of your sails, but to remind you of the grim reality so that you can be more prepared. In fact, here’s a little short story that encapsulates our New Year’s Resolution Dilemma titled:
The Caterpillar Chronicles: The Tale of the 80%
Most of us are caterpillars. Overburdened, unassuming, comfortable caterpillars, eating our way through life somewhat aimlessly until one day we fall into a food coma, go through an existential crisis, and realize we can and should be more.
We decide we don’t want to be overburdened oblong things that crawl around eating everything in sight. We’re done with that. Instead we want to be non-burdened, sky-bound, winged things that beautifully flutter around from flower to flower, drinking nectar from our built-in straw mouths and just being the effortlessly flawless Beyonce’s and Jay Z’s of the insect world that we were meant to be.
Yet, like the well-fed, Veruca Salt caterpillars we currently are, we want it all and we want it now!
And as we glance around looking for answers to fulfill our desires in the easiest way possible, we see roughly 20% of our fellow caterpillars starting to spin themselves into cocoons to start the transformation process.
But that seems like a pretty big commitment… that seems like some serious dedication…That requires an entire process with consistent energy and effort put forth on our parts. That requires us to change our very comfortable, gluttonous caterpillar lifestyles.
You mean we have to cocoon to be a butterfly?What? No! That’s going to take so long! That has so many steps! That’s asking us to change our entire lifestyles! No. Eff that.
So we decide we are just going to skip the entire Metamorphosis process. Other caterpillar’s might have time to cocoon up to be butterflies, but not us! We are the 80%. We think we know a way to game the system- to shorten the process.
We think we know of a couple short-cuts that no one has thought of before to get us from crawling caterpillar to floating papillon in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the expended energy. Cut out the middleman. What’s a cocoon anyways? Seems like a ponzi scheme if you ask us!
So we set out to test our anti-metamorphosis theory on January 1st. Yes. On the start of the new year, it’ll be a new us! Symbolism, we love it!
So while those silly little pupas just hide away in their cocoons for 5-21 days, planning and transforming little by little, we are taking glorified leaps! We don’t want to wait, doing virtually the same thing day after day. No! That’s boring and won’t feel substantial enough. So we aren’t going to!
And we don’t.
On January 1st, we all take off, full steam ahead… running. We don’t really know where we are running, how long it’s going to take to get there, or if running is even going to help us to butterfly-hood… come to think of it, we don’t even know what type of a butterfly we want to be… but it’s probably irrelevant, so we pupa that thought away! And, at some point, after running for awhile, in various different directions – because we don’t really have an effective plan in place, we decide we should probably just try to fly.
So we run with all of our might and leap off of the semi-rigid plant cell wall (used to be a leaf but we plowed through it a few moments before take off so now it’s just a flimsy plant skeleton thing) and… we’ll be damned, we are air bound! Yahoo! We’re flying Jack!
We frantically begin to flap all 6 of our tiny little legs (in addition to those weird stumpy prolegs that emerge from our abdomen that everyone thinks are legs, but aren’t) and really start to feel like we are doing it!
Yes! We are doing it! Bye losers! While you’re busy being pupas, we are out here flying!
And almost immediately as we start to search our mental database of all of the haters and naysayers that we are currently mad flexing on…
Things start to slow down. We lose momentum….
What gives?!. Gravity starts to knock the wind out of our stumpy prolegged dream…. We start descending…
omg noooo. And then…
…. Don’t tell us…
….Back to where we started?!
Actually, we are technically a little to the left of where we started because there’s that stupid little plant skeleton above and to the right, but yeah. Back to square one.
Back to the drawing board. Sigh. Oh well, we probably just didn’t run fast enough before we jumped. Or wait no, it was probably the plant skeleton launch pad itself! Yeah that’s what it was! Didn’t have enough turgor pressure… it was that damn California drought! And people say there is no such thing as global warming. Psh.
And just like that we restart the cycle of eating ourselves into existential crisis mode and pondering ways to cheat around metamorphosis. And as we fall back into our comfortable and inhibiting cycles, things start to change around us.
Subtle almost undetectable movement starts to occur within the cocoons. They start gently wiggling around on the plants from which they hang. And in brief moment of magnificence, the cocoons crack open and out pop newly formed butterflies. One by one, they all slowly emerge from the cocoons, stretch out their wings, and rest before taking off in flight…
And here is where we find ourselves, at any given time with two options: We can either stubbornly fight tooth and nail against the process. Or we can relaxingly give in to it. We can continue to do the same things, have the same thoughts, and dig our heels in. Or we can try new things, gain a new perspective, and trust the process. We can stay in the comfort zone of the “known”, or we can take a leap of faith into the unknown.
The choice is yours.