Just Frances

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Hopeful butterflies

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2016 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: widowhood, stubborn, pretty things, inspirations, goals, fear, faith, crazy, confession

I want to fly. I want to soar into the sky and touch the Heavens. I want to reach all of my goals; I want to succeed! I know I have it in me, but I often allow myself to let my fears and insecurities take over, preventing me from spreading my wings; preventing me from realising success.

I am so afraid of failure that, at times, I find myself unable to attempt success. I know that my fear is a silly thing. I know the Whatifs that whisper to me are simply distractions from my desire to prioritise myself. I know these things… but sometimes I am just too afraid to do what I have to do.

Sure, I’ve been quite brave in some of my life’s choices. I mean, in the face of great personal tragedy, I made the decision to give up my well-paid job to return to Scotland. I’ve made the decision to risk it all for a PhD… not knowing what the academic job market will be when I’m done. I’ve made so many decisions—big and small—that others find inspiring or courageous.

But I am still afraid. I am afraid to leave the comfort of my cocoon. And do you know why? It’s because my husband died.

It’s not because I am deep in the throes of mourning and grief. It’s not because I miss Paul (though I do). It’s not even because I’m afraid to move forward.

Instead, it’s because I’m afraid to lose everything again. It’s because I am so afraid that the moment I succeed—or the moment I feel that I am beginning to succeed—my entire world will collapse again. I am afraid that as soon as my life is “perfect and wonderful” again (as it was before widowhood), something bad will happen. I am afraid of losing “it all” again.

Yes, I know how silly all of that sounds. And that’s why I am continually fighting against it; I am constantly fighting against breaking points. That is why I work to re-set my routines from time-to-time. That is why I try to be a bit more adventuresome.

I want to fly. I want to soar into the sky and touch the Heavens. I want to reach all of my goals; I want to succeed!

To do that, I have to leave this cocoon. I have to become a butterfly. I have to have the courage to stop being a caterpillar.

And I do have the courage… I just forget that I do.

And so, I have spread a few butterfly wings around my home and my office to remind me to fly. To remind me that I must leave my cocoon if I ever want to be a full-fledged butterfly.

And I am hopeful that the butterflies will serve as a reminder to me that it’s OK to fly; it’s OK to succeed. Even if I lose it all again…

“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked.
“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
(Hope for the Flowers)


Apparently there are two ways to go; either build yourself a snug little chrysalis and wait in hope for a metamorphosis , or take a leap of faith and build your wings on the way down.

by Ephemera at 2:27pm (GMT) on January 11th, 2016

I think I’m half-way in between those two ways ... but I’m going to have to make a call soon! I want to take the leap of faith .... I think I just need to find a bit more faith first! :)

by Just Frances at 7:33pm (GMT) on January 11th, 2016

Sad news about David Bowie had me listening to some old albums this morning, and found an old favourite which speaks a little about your quandary..maybe…


And then of course there’s the old Scots saying “Whit’s Fur Ye’ll No Go By Ye”!

by Ephemera at 2:50pm (GMT) on January 12th, 2016

Thanks for that! It’s certainly a good and relevant one! (On many levels.)

Just back from a conference in England where I won best paper, best presentation, and the pub quiz, so I’m feeling a bit more flight-ready. Hopefully the confidence boost will stick around for a while ... the fear is just in my head! :)

by Just Frances at 12:09pm (GMT) on January 15th, 2016

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