The Metamorphosis of Ayo
Metamorphosis? I guess you are wondering why I would put up such a word that is usually related to insects. I have been interested in butterflies from time memorial. The bright colors and hues have always attracted me and I thought when I do finally get into gardening, I would make sure I have a butterfly garden- yeah I can see the sceptical expression:it’s a garden of plants and flowers that attracts butterflies. Even when asked which animal or bird I would like to be, I would always say the butterfly ,even if it’s not an animal or bird. Hahaha!
So why a butterfly? Well,it’s the complex stages it has to go through from an egg to become the beautiful specimen we see gracefully flying around. That process is called metamorphosis which means ‘great change’ and I believe we all go through such a process as humans. I ,for sure, went through it or to be more accurate,I am still going through it so I may finally emerge the Ayo I wish to be and have actually always been.
FIRST STAGE: BEGINNING
Here,eggs are laid on plants by the adult female butterfly.These plants will then become the food for the hatching caterpillars. This is the first stage that I went through when I was birthed thirty seven years ago. I began to grow in my identity, gain an understanding of who I am in relation to my beliefs and culture and of course, my family with experiences simply unique to me. Some of these experiences were good and some,well some were bad but they were mine. I can’t share them here for now but stay tuned……
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” Joseph Campbell
SECOND STAGE: MISCONSTRUED IDENTITY
The next stage is the larva stage. It’s also called a caterpillar,that’s if the insect is a butterfly or moth. This caterpillar eats constantly. I know you are wondering why? It is so that the food is stored for the future and as the caterpillar grows,it will split its skin and shed it about four or five times. Can you imagine such?
Ooohhh this stage!! I feel like I lived here for years. Just not quite knowing who I am. Accepting and shedding off each and every definition of myself. I was defined or to be honest since we are being honest here,I defined myself through the eyes of my peers,media and family. What they said went!
I had no concept of myself at all. I did not know where I was going or what I truly wanted to do or be. Sure,I said that I did but at the core,it really had nothing to do with me. Being accepted and liked took precedence and evidently, I was the proverbial people pleaser.
THIRD STAGE: LETTING GO
Also known as the transition stage,some species have a pupal stage which lasts for about two years. It may look like nothing is going on but big changes are happening inside. Special cells present in the larva are now growing rapidly. They will become the legs,wings,eyes and other parts of the adult butterfly. Many of the original larva cells will provide energy for these growing adult cells.
Right now,I am in this stage of transition. You could say that I had an epiphany. The eureka moment that spurs action. It is said good or bad things come in threes. And that’s exactly what happened. Though it was the later. My three eureka moments was a heartbreak, health issues and the death of my dad. They mixed in a ‘katogo’ where digestion was required come ‘mbaya mbaya’. I guess you could say, it pushed me into thinking about myself in a different light.
I knew I could no longer continue on the path I was on. Finding myself was of most importance,however long and painful it would be.I had lost my identity in the scramble to connect with everything else. I had lost Ayo somewhere in the journey of life. The search has begun. All hands are on deck. I am rising up from the ashes. To be who I am meant to be. I am letting go of the extra baggage that is not me.
“Let it go, The cold never bothered me anyway Let it go, let it go, And I’ll rise like the break of dawn Let it go, let go, That perfect girl is gone Here I stand in the light of day, let the storm rage on” Let it go ~ Frozen ~ Indina Mendel
FOURTH STAGE: BECOMING
The storm is raging on and I am cold however there is an understanding- it is a process.I may not be there as yet but step by step, I am getting closer. It’s all about learning to let go of the illusion of ‘perfection’. I am not perfect! What made me think that I needed to be so? No, no no……Perfect is now overrated in my books. I am embracing Wabi-sabi- the Japanese philosophy for a perfectly imperfect life. Yes! This is what I am embracing and becoming. Because it’s who I am. Perfectly Imperfect. This is me!
It is fitting that today is my birthday. Just the right day to launch the new me. A day of new beginnings. A new season. I am writing new chapters in my life whilst embracing my stories of my past. My past is mine-the good,the bad and the ugly. I can’t run away from it but what I can do is see it through a new perspective. No longer holding everything within for fear of judgement but letting it go,letting it out so I may grow and hopefully,someone out there in the midst of their story,a crisis in the narrative will know that the next chapter is blank and it can be written in any way.I hope that you will join me on my journey,the journey of becoming.
Though I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t ask- WHO ARE YOU? This is not a question that can be answered ‘fffffwwwaaaa’. Hahaha! But yes, it is not for the faint hearted nor one prone to impulse. However, in this season of partial or full lockdown, this very season of drastic global change, maybe, just maybe we are in the right season for you to find out. And You never know……….. you could soar like a butterfly! You are transforming! Because that’s who you are. This is Me!