bugs or butterflies?

I read somewhere that the universe will keep teaching you lessons until you finally learn them

And even though I don’t necessarily believe that everything happens for a reason, I can’t help but feel like sometimes the people we meet and grow to care for, who repeatedly disappoint us but we remain hopeful about: We meet them because they’re meant to teach us the difference between regular old bugs and butterflies.

Because I don’t think that hearing from someone who once made your heart flutter is supposed to make you feel like your skin is crawling.

I don’t think that you’re supposed to feel like the earth is swallowing you whole, like you’re getting covered with an ant hill. Like soon you’ll disappear and be forgotten underneath but while your arms and toes are still peaking out of the pile they’ll come around and poke at you if they want. Like you’re some kind of stick in the mud waiting to be pulled out but no one wants to come get you.

I feel stuck and not free. That excitement I once felt is replaced with constant anxiety. The hope I felt once is replaced with constant dread and restlessness

And that’s how I know what I have is bugs and not butterflies.




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Aarti Bodas

Aarti Bodas


PhD Student in Cognitive Development at Boston University. I write about children’s science learning, public understanding of science, writing tips and more.