I wish I could know I’m a caterpillar. I wish I knew that one day, I’ll look back on all this snot, tears, blubbering pain, on the destructive urges and suicidal impulses and be able to say: “Wow, that was hard! I was so limited then! But look at me now!”
I’d say: “See how I’ve spread my wings! See what a rich and varied life I live, now that I’m no longer so ill! Look at my shiny new career, my unscarred body! Measure my cortisol levels – see how unstressed I am? Evaluate me – see how I’m within the ‘normal’ range on every measure?”
Sadly, I don’t know I’m a caterpillar. I don’t have faith that all the hard work, tears and everything else will pay off in the end. I was being facetious when I spoke in my would-be butterfly voice above: I don’t expect that my life will ever be quite that perfect or easy, but it sure would be nice if I could believe in an improvement.
Right now I’m just staring down the barrel of day after day of hard slog, with no reward at the end of it.
I’m hardly even a caterpillar. At least that little fellow in the picture looks happy enough, munching away at his leaf. I’m just a … a slug: no shell to protect me, hiding in the dark, leaving a trail of mucous behind me, and with no prospect of turning into anything more beautiful.