I love butterflies.
I know, I know, you're shocked. ;)
What you may NOT know is the why of my love for butterflies and I'm going to tell you because I feel that it's important to share personal things, even when they're hard to share.
I grew up an only child to two loving parents in a safe, happy home in Fairfax County, Virginia. My childhood was fairly normal except for one aspect: I was bullied. A LOT. I had a bad haircut with brushed out curls (big no no), acne and braces. (I promise that I looked for a picture. I couldn't find one.....or they've all been mysteriously "lost" over the years.) Anyway, I was also super sensitive, which wasn't the best trait to have at that time. I wasn't pushed and shoved (thankfully), but I was called a large number of nasty names and regularly ended my day crying. The adults in my life weren't sure how to handle it. Remember, this wasn't the anti-bullying world of today, this was 20+ years ago (man, I'm super old!).
To give you an example of the bullying that I went through, picture this: My entire class is in the library and it's my birthday. I had a vague hope that people would be nice to me because, well, it was my BIRTHDAY! So, my biggest tormentor came up to me and handed me a present wrapped and everything! In my innocent little head I thought that maybe, just maybe, he had had a change of heart! I was so excited! By now the whole class is paying attention, because they KNOW that this kid is never nice to me, so they're all curious. I open the present with a huge smile on my face to find....a flea collar. Devastation. I was crushed. Totally and completely crushed. I don't remember anything else that I got for that birthday, but I'll tell you that I remember that moment as clear as day 20+ years later.
So, that's how my elementary school years went. I was the girl who was picked on and learned what "frenemies" meant before it even had that name. I had kind of resigned myself to being an outcast.
One day, we were watching a video about how caterpillars are transformed into butterflies and that same bully stood up and said that it looked like me. Not the butterfly part, but when the chrysalis is brown and bumpy and kind of gross looking. My fourth grade teacher pulled me aside that day and said "You are making a mountain out of a molehill. The more you cry, the more they're going to be mean." How is a 9 year old supposed to regulate their emotions like that? I don't know, but that's what she expected me to do. At the time, I was so angry that she turned it around on me. THEY were the ones being cruel! I didn't do anything to deserve that kind of treatment!
BUT as time went on, I grew up. I thought often about how I was treated as a kid and would often remember that moment that my personal bully made me feel like I was completely unattractive and gross. I realized that that chrysalis, although it had a rough exterior, was growing something beautiful inside of it. That outer shell was protecting that fragility and wonder that was taking place beneath its surface. Thus began my love of butterflies. They go through so many changes to get to their beautiful end stage that they just make me happy. That's why my logo and my business name combine a butterfly and a shutter because it combines two things that I love dearly.
Now that you know a little more about some of my defining moments, what was a defining moment for you?