Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Awkward Phase

I've been thinking a lot lately about transformation. In nature, transformation is what turns a caterpillar into a butterfly.

In fitness programs, it's what turns frumpy housewives into gorgeous beach beauties.

On HGTV, it takes an old fixer upper and creates an envy inducing designer space.

We celebrate transformation in every form. We are obsessed with Before and After pictures, but do we really understand what lies in between the Before and the After? It's the Awkward phase.

At least that's how I've always looked at it. The In-between phase. Not quite here nor there. You know when you're trying to make an amazing cake, but halfway through the kitchen looks like a bomb exploded? Or when you're preparing for a huge presentation and your family is living on Macaroni and Cheese for 3 days? Or when you're adorable little girl turns 12 and she's not quite baby and not quite woman? Still clinging to baby dolls and needing acne cream at the same time?

This morning I was on a walk and I saw the most amazing thing....a tree in transition. Okay, its actually a bush, but isn't it beautiful?

When I saw this bush, I didn't think 

"Gee, you're a loser.  You aren't totally transformed." or 
"Get with the program, it's almost fall and you should already be RED" or 
"You should really hire some help so you can get this done more efficiently."

I just admired it's diversity and its beauty. Why can't we do that for ourselves and our families? Why do we have such a hard time embracing the in-between phase? 

My son taught me such a great lesson about this. A few days ago, his hair was quite long and really out of control. He begged me to take him to get a haircut. Since i'm always looking for the most efficient way to do things, I chose the haircut location closest to the other errands I needed to run. It just so happened to be a barber college. No big deal, right?  Its just a boy cut. Well, an hour later, he emerged form the chair with a style that looks almost exactly like this. He was not impressed.

"She cut it TO the AWKWARD phase" was his comment. 
I felt SO BADLY. (remember, it was my choice of location) 
"Lets go get it cut at the regular place," I suggested.  "I'm sure they can fix it." 
"No," he replied, "I can work with this. I just have to style it." 

And there it was. He fully recognized the imperfection of the haircut and he was totally willing to work with it. From the mouths of teenage boys.

I'm trying to embrace the beauty of the transition. The drastic change in a person, a room, or a butterfly doesn't happen in a moment. It takes time, effort, and usually a fair amount of chaos to get from A to B. Did you know that caterpillars completely liquefy inside that cocoon and are totally re-assembled into butterflies? If you were to open the cocoon a week early, all you would see was liquid. And that buffed woman? 2 weeks before that "after" picture she was yelling at her kids because all she really wanted was some chocolate, but she knew it would screw up her diet. That living room? 3 hours before the "after" shot, it still had piles of trash and painter's tape on the walls. So next time you feel impatient with where you are in your transition, try to remember the bush. Change is a process thats full of beauty if you will allow it.

No comments:

Post a Comment