"Chrysalis," he said plainly.
My friend and I were out for dinner, and halfway through my first beer I'd mentioned how I felt like I wasn't feeling quite right lately. I'd mentioned how I felt these weird jumble of emotions all the time. How sometimes I saw things perfectly as they are and how I was comfortable with how I fit into them. And how other times everything was a jumble and I was totally confused and worried. How I felt I've lost my funny.
"I used to be funny, right? I used to be --"
"Mean." He said back, cutting me off. "You used to be really, really mean."
My mouth curled up in my half-sneer and I grabbed for my beer.
"So now what?" I asked. "What do I do?"
"Chrysalis," he said.
"What? What's chrysalis?" I asked, clearly having forgotten my junior high biology class.
"It's like... it's like a cocoon. You know, butterflies? Look, the caterpillar? He knows what's up. He knows what he's all about. The butterfly? He does too. They ain't about the same thing. They're different. The caterpillar is all about eating and hanging out. The butterfly is all about being sweet. But between the two, there's the chrysalis. It's the part where one becomes the other. That's you. That's where you're at right now. You ain't the caterpillar, but you're not yet the butterfly either."
He's right. I don't know exactly when I stopped being the caterpillar - maybe at twenty-five pounds down? Thirty? When I got under 300? When I mentally decided to move forward and rejoin life? Not sure. At some point I stopped seeing myself as that big, awful version of me that I was. But at the same time, I'm not where I want to be. I'm stuck in the middle. My self-esteem is bruised. My self-perception isn't wholly negative, but when I catch a glimpse of my reflection in office buildings or the bathroom mirror at work, I'm stunned at how bad I still look. I sort of mentally feel like I should look a bit better than I do. Not in a body dysmorphia sort of outlook. Just... I'm ready to be something else. I want desperately to be the butterfly right now.
But I'm not. I'm changing. Evolving. I'm in a chrysalis. But life keeps going on, not waiting for me to catch back up to it.