Similar to a caterpillar changing into a butterfly, humans have a psychological metamorphosis when life goes through major changes.
Sometimes these changes are planned and we know they are coming and other times they hit us out of nowhere. For me the most impactful one in my life so far was transitioning from being a student, to not being a student.
At the end of college many are single, ambitious, optimistic, and ready for the challenge; however, we are still telling ourselves “I am the same person, nothing about me will change.”
When everything in our daily world changes we are bound to change as well.
It can be scary to embrace more change because initially it feels as if we losing our identity; left like a blob of formless matter similar to the 1st phase a caterpillar enters on its journey to becoming a butterfly. This phase is filled with the most unknown, and for me the phase I resisted the most. What I learned is I needed to protect myself and my core values; remain close to family, friends, and God.
Let those relationships hold me together, similar to a cocoon. After letting go of the ‘student me’ the second phase began. This is when the changing in me happened to the outside world, it when I started to develop plans, create a new world, plan trips, and explore my options. During this time period writing down thoughts and ideas was partially helpful and inspiring. After creating ideas and going on some small adventures was when the 3rd phase came, for me it was when I started my 1st job after college.
I had to re-shape my life to fit an entirely different schedule. During this time, I held close to my core values and made sure they were my constant amongst a lot of change. I remained in the phase for a period of time, changing jobs and schedules until I found a place that felt right. During this final phase I think it’s important to continue to challenge myself, and to enjoy life.
Although a butterfly never goes back into a cocoon I believe that one of the only constants in life is change.
Whitney Miller, LPC, MA
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