Stream of Consciousness

The Write Mistakes, No Regrets, and My Chrysalis

No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

-Edmund Burke

When someone asks me where I’m at in my life, I’m afraid to answer. Afraid of what they’ll think of me, afraid of how they’ll judge me. Afraid that they’ll see me going nowhere, even if I know where I’m headed.

I’ve finally decided. I’m done fearing what others will decide about me. What others will judge, assume, or think of me based on what I’m NOT doing with my life.

Over the past couple of days I’ve come to a conclusion. I am in my Chrysalis. Metaphorically speaking of course, I don’t moonlight as a caterpillar. Or larva. Yick.

In a few years, when I’ve made it where I’m heading, I’ll know I made the right decisions and that the mistakes I made were ones I needed. Experiences I gathered were required.


But what about right now? Larva isn’t that pretty and neither is a caterpillar. A chrysalis is a hard layer of skin and some silk. Not all that appeasing to the eyes. My choices and decisions don’t look all that beautiful right now, not to most people anyway. They expect me to go to be in college, have a job.

Click to enlarge – no really, click it!
2012 Copyright Daphne Shadows










I’m twenty years old, turning twenty-one this year. I’m not in college. Honestly, I don’t have the money. Also in all honesty, I don’t see any reason in it right now. I don’t have the time. My mother – because yes, I’m living at home still – is going through a divorce. She doesn’t have a job. Not for lack of trying on her part, but she needs school. So guess what? She’s in school.

My sister and brother – they’re in 4th and 6th grade.

My family needs me. And I can bloody say that without feeling pompous any longer!

Me? I’m in a silky and thick skinned wrap of chrysalis-ness. Mind you – this thick skin doesn’t block out the negative that people have been throwing at me. It’s only metaphorical for me going through a metamorphosis. Not a shield.

No, I’m not a mutant, half bug, half human chick with superpowers. But I am changing. I’ve taken a lot of crap and told myself that I had to. I’ve let others make me feel worthless. I was a mouse in my own house, hiding because I couldn’t be me. Because standing up for who I was only got others yelled at. So the layers of me got shoved down further and further until when finally, things changed and we were on our own, I didn’t know how to be me.

I’m figuring that out right now. I’m finding me. So I guess, technically, yeah, I’m a gross caterpillar inside a chrysalis. Still beats being a larva if you ask me though. *bleh* (This reminds me of the one time I ate larva. I was eating tuna on crackers and something started wiggling around. In my mouth. Not a happy day.)

I’m working on my writing – and I don’t want to hear anyone giving me grief over it. I KNOW it’s not an easy career choice, not easy to break into. But I don’t have a single doubt that I’ll get published and succeed. I’m not ignorant – I know I’ll need another job. I’m working on that. But I need to find a job that I can do. One that won’t make me miserable.

Writing is my passion. I love it and it’s always been a part of me. I’ll find work, something I enjoy. And when my mom’s found her feet, I’ll have found my footing as well by then.

Have you ever seen “Failure to Launch”? That’s NOT me. Never going to BE me. I need my independence. I crave it. And I need to prove to myself that I can make it on my own before I get into a relationship. So don’t go thinking that I’m leaching off my mom.


I’m going to make mistakes, just as I’ve made mistakes with my writing. I had to write that first novel to know how ignorant I was. I had to stand up for myself before I could realize I should have been doing so the whole time. And I had to be okay with me, before I could expect anyone to hear truth in these words.

I’m going to make my OWN choices and they’re going to be the right ones for ME. How this is all going to work out, I’m not sure exactly – no one ever does with life.

Do you think that caterpillar knows it’s going to emerge a butterfly before it slides into its chrysalis?

Click this one too!
2012 Copyright Daphne Shadows

But – breaking the rules – I don’t want to emerge a butterfly.

Instead – I want to emerge a dragonfly.

There’s a specific reason behind this. So… you’re all in for more research. Once I’m done with my 4 Tricksters, I’m going to tell you why I’d rather emerge a dragonfly.


I’m the one that has to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life, the way I want to.

– Jimi Hendrix

I’m not naïve. I’ll find my way in life. And I will succeed. But I’m going to do it on MY terms, and in my own way. And I’m not going to ask for permission to be myself anymore.

27 thoughts on “The Write Mistakes, No Regrets, and My Chrysalis

  1. DS,
    Lucky you to be you. The road is wide open for you. It really is. What you have to be to reach Happiness is the best you can be. Darners are swift, elegant, beautiful, a little bit solitary and very purposeful. I’ve seen thousands of them in my field work. They are Wow! and like all exquisite creatures, they require skilled photo-journalists to capture them in spiffy detail. To be a stand-out darner, they have to be more than their peers. Lucky you….You’ve got all that it takes to be a Success.
    Jeffrey – Who is please that you’ve visited

  2. I love that you see yourself in the Chrysalis stage – I can so relate to that! I used the same metaphor for myself. I still feel like my wings are drying, but I can see them a little clearer now – It takes time.

    It’s an exciting and frustrating time – knowing we are on the cusp of who we are. That pretty much sums up ALL of my twenties 😉 … and my thirties…

    Hugs to you Daphne Shadows. I love the fight in your words! So healthy!

  3. I like how you’re standing up and being true to yourself!
    when you emerge you will be a full blown dragonfly…with wings to propel you places you have never been to before.

  4. oO yes ~*~ be a dragonfly ~*~

    i love that you dig the chrysalis. i just came outta it. it’s intense and messy and it is amazing because you will discover that all of it is you, that every part of this process is part of your path and that no matter what stage you are in, it is all Miss Shadows ..

    beware any negativity. no matter who it is from. people who say things that hurt are doing it for reasons that have nothing to do with you. best thing is to keep a wide berth and to practice letting go of the pain they inflict.

    also helpful is :: keep your business private and do not share it with anyone who will question your choices. when people ask what do you do, say “i’m an icon” with a really big smile. then change the subject.

    birth. death. rebirth. from destruction, creation.
    enjoy it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
    such is life, yea yeaa

  5. Wow…you’re only 20? I surely was NOT as articulate and wise as you when I was your age! Congratulations for reaching this important personal revelation…because life is just too short to live it by other people’s standards!

  6. You are wise beyond your twenty years, Daphne. Keep that heart of yours and the writing world, and all of your world, is your oyster. As a side note, choosing not to go to college after high school was one of my best decisions—just saying. 😉

  7. You will be a beautiful butterfly and don’t let anyone tell you differently. I’m 35 and feel like I am not doing enough and haven’t achieved enough. That is a never ending judgement we make on ourselves. Quietly go about your own business and what other people think of you is their business, not yours 🙂

    1. It takes someone else coming along and telling us they see a beauty where we see only a downfall sometimes. From what I can see of you, I’d say beauty is a good description. 🙂

      You know – I always saw that comment as being mean to yourself (what others think of you being their business). I think I finally get it now though. Thanks.

  8. Daphne – you’re going to emerge as something no one has ever seen before or will ever see again. You are unique and I can’t wait to see what happens when you unfurl those wings 🙂

  9. Good for you, Daphne. For sticking to your beliefs about YOUR life (something a lot of people don’t seem to grasp, it’s your life, not theirs) despite all the negativity. I think people just freak out when we don’t fit their mold. After all, no other way but theirs could work, right? *rolls eyes*

    Writing especially tends to be one of those career paths that have people jokingly ask, would you like fries with that? Or accusing you of not doing as much work, because writing doesn’t count to them. I definitely empathize there. It takes guts for you to be able to say “screw you, I’m doing my own thing no matter what you think,” so I admire you for that.

    It galls me that they still think they can judge you when you’re so needed by your family :/ Good luck to you and your family! And writing and taking care of your family does NOT equate some Failure to Launch type scenario. You’re working hard, not staying home for life on Easy Street!

    The chrysalis metaphor with the dragonfly instead of the butterfly was beautiful.

    Great post! 😀

    1. Yes, people don’t like it very much when you decide to do something other than what they want you to do. Or what they want you to want, for that matter.
      I know, I get the, “well are you going to get a real job, as well?” lol

      I actually looked into what dragonflies do in comparison to butterflies while I was writing this post up and was inspired by what I found. So, something on dragonflies in the future.

      Thank you! I was nervous to see what feedback I’d get, but you all have been very real. And supportive. You rock. 😀

  10. I’m smiling, Daphne. Yes, smiling. 🙂 This love of life and enthusiasm I see in you is a big part of what defines you (at least from my perspective). You do know we enter into chrysalis multiple times?! Each time we struggle against that hard shell and become re-born, and then we do it again. It’s those ripples in life that we see – up and down, neither negative or positive. It is just how life is. But each time we go through the chrysalis, we have learned ways to make the transition smoother. As a writer, you know that writing is by definition self-exploration. Sometimes you’ll know where you are and where you are going and at other times you won’t.
    My life has been similar in some ways. I spent a LOT of time in school and am now at home trying to define myself as more than a person who has M.S. Life is placing one foot in front of the other not knowing exactly what will happen, but knowing something will happen!

    Please keep writing and looking at life through your heart.

    1. This has been the only struggle where I’ve made my own decisions thus far, I think its why I’ve suddenly become so aware that I NEED to make my own decisions and I need to make them FOR myself, if not at least partially. I’ve realized that letting others decide who I am to be is not healthy and standing up for myself is, even if it hurts others a little. If they love me, they’ll understand its time I fight myself out on my own and for myself and not another’s purposes.

      You’re much more than you ms. You are inspirational. Hold onto that happiness that I feel in your words. 🙂

      I might steal those words – looking at life through the heart. I must say I like that very much.

  11. I also find the metaphor of the chrysalis to be very powerful – that liminal space of no longer being who one was but not yet who one will be. I admire your determination to be yourself and decide what is true for you. Best wishes on your journey!

  12. Daphne –
    Bravo for allowing yourself the time and energy needed to go through the Chrysalis phase! So many people let their parents, society, teachers, friends decide who and what they will be. You have to be true to yourself and your dreams or those unfulfilled dreams will eat you up. You are not alone out here! Remember that.

  13. Daphne:

    Don’t let anyone tell you what’s the right path for you. You must choose what direction your life will take – not anyone else. The people who do what they’re told, end up miserable. Continue to do what feels right and yes, be true to yourself. I can honestly say from experience, that is the ONLY way to be happy.

    Good luck and keep writing!

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