We are all Butterflies – Identity & Finding Yourself

Bruce Jenner

Butterflies: Beautiful but fragile, delicate but strong. What appears to be a short existence is full of strength and determination… and survival.

While having some downtime earlier this week, I took the opportunity to watch the Bruce Jenner interview with Dianne Sawyer. Today’s post is a response to the interview and the wider issue of identity and finding yourself. 

At the end of the day, you’ll have your own opinions on this and they are yours to own, but this resonates similarly with a Sunday Chat I did a couple of weeks ago about people who think they know better (here). The people I spoke about who comment on YouTube videos, who pick intimately at things that don’t concern them will be the ones talking now, they’ll disagree of course but talking about someone’s eyebrows is the same as talking about Bruce Jenner being a woman. The victims are their own identity; the problem is others not accepting of it and of them.

We all go through times where we question ourselves, our teenage years being key for that as we’re growing and changing and so publicly, albeit just in front of our friends and family. It’s a time of wanting privacy and of adjusting to our changing selves. Puberty is the phase of the caterpillar going into its chrysalis, while it hides away to morph into a creature with wings, teens do the same. Except, when puberty is over, you are not a butterfly as you don’t find your wings until you truly know yourself which doesn’t come until much later. Here though I am just talking about identifying with your gender and your body, your sexuality is different and as we know, is not defined by gender. Just because you are a woman with female parts, doesn’t mean you are a woman, you have to identify as a woman to be one.

I found the interview with Bruce Jenner really poignant and at times emotional and I really like how Dianne asked the questions allowing Bruce his own space and time to answer them. There was a real trust between them.

I really do feel for Bruce but I totally support and am in awe of his bravery to finally bring to life the person he has forever felt is inside of him. The media and (American) chat show presenters can make fun of Bruce all they like, but I can’t help but feel it’s because they don’t know how else to react; it’s just easier to laugh than try to understand.

No one, unless you are someone suffering, can possibly imagine what it is like to be stuck between genders. To look in the mirror and see someone else looking back, trying to get out.

Something I saw on LinkedIn: “don’t judge a situation you have never been in” and while we are all guilty of doing this in our lifetime, it couldn’t be truer. It’s like the saying to never judge a book by its cover.

On a final note; in light of the devastation that has claimed so many lives in Nepal this past week, I think it acts to serve as a reminder that life can suddenly come crashing or take a sudden new direction in an instant and without warning. Don’t waste time being the person you’re not, and judging people you don’t know.

We are all butterflies; all of us born as something different to what we will end up being and eventually dying.

Until next time x

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