A few weeks ago I was in the throes of an optometric gauntlet; a brutal week of 5 back to back finals over 5 days to cap off the summer semester of the second year of optometry school. The air was thick with the collective self-doubt of the class and tensions were running high. Each of us was hopeful for an easy way out … but the only way out, was through. In a particularly desperate attempt, I took a page from Garfield’s playbook abuse of his foil Nermal and attempted to mail myself to Abu Dhabi. It was a futile escape plan that only ate into my precious studying time. During the week, sleep was sparse, nutrition was selected solely by convenience and grooming habits had become a forgotten pastime. I am only 2 dramatic sentences away from depicting the difficulty of that week as the equivalent of Maleficent’s evilness.
Like all my other trademark melodrama, the fear and anticipation of the week were worse than the actual week itself. Before I knew it, all the tests were complete and I had survived to tell the tale. The end of summer semester meant that I had additional free time to tend to my neglected back yard. As I began to ponder how my worries often tend to be misplaced, I was attacked! Not by the usual suspects: a criminal, a rabid dog, a wasp, or a possessed ventriloquist dummy … I was attacked by a butterfly. Nature’s elegant and benign decorative insect. Butterflies are known for being pretty, quiet, agreeable, and never taking the last slice of pizza in a group setting. They are supposed to be harmless doormats … but when I say attacked – I mean hair ruffled, head bunting level of attacked. I naturally handled this situation with the grace and dignity of the professional that I aspire to be by screaming, flailing my arms and sprinting into my house, where I quietly sobbed for 4 minutes.
The moral of my attack is this: butterflies are hideous evil creatures that have lured us into a sense of false security to the point that we are effectively defenseless for the impending human/butterfly war. Well played our new overlords. No, not really. The moral is that things aren’t often nearly as bad as they seem and a lot of the time, we have more control in situations than we really believe. Things could always be a lot worse: you could be fighting for your life vs an enraged butterfly that wants nothing more than to see you destroyed. Good luck out there!