Thoughts on Butterflies, Metamorphosis, and Some Really Great Friday Links

Until a few years ago, I was utterly naive about butterflies.

I understood their life cycle. I understood the caterpillar, then cocoon, then butterfly trajectory. I did not, however, consider how all of this happened. I assumed that caterpillars hunker down in their cocoon for a nice hybernating-bear style snooze, squeeze out a few wings, then, revitalized, break free of their mini-caves. Easy-peasy.

That is not, at all, what happens.

Between caterpillar and butterfly, there is no hibernation, there is goo. The caterpillar holes up in its cocoon and dissolves into a liquid. It completely breaks down into an unrecognizable gunk. Then, from this pool of cells, it rebuilds itself into a colorful creature with the ability to fly.


I learned this from an episode of NPR’s podcast and radio show, Radiolab. (Listen to that episode, here!) It completely blew my mind then, and I have yet to recover.

Butterfly 1.jpg

Lately, I’ve felt like hiding. I’ve felt like staying at home. I’ve craved quiet and order. I haven’t wanted to go online. I haven’t wanted to have my picture taken. I’ve just wanted to be at home, plant flowers in our front yard (number 5 on my Summer Bucket List!) and read.

I’ve told myself that perhaps I just need cocoon-time.

Liz Gilbert said that before she wrote The Signature of All Things, she let herself have time to just garden, not knowing then that it would lead her to write a best-selling novel.

I don’t know if my quiet time will lead to a butterfly-style metamorphosis. I don’t know if it’ll lead to anything, at all. But, because of it, I’ve collected a hefty pile of articles about American, kickass, female rule-breakers, and it seems right to share the wealth.

Below are seven links. I hope they make your online-time shiny and hopeful!

Let’s Read

Do you love a good list of links as much as I do?

I send out my favorite links weekly as part of The Rule Breakers Review, the Costume Parade newsletter. Sign up below and I’ll send you more links like these every Monday morning!

I’ll be back on Sunday with a brand new How They Build It post.

Until then, come say hi on Instagram! I’m slowly but surely pulling myself out of this cocoon phase, and back into the world (or, at least, back onto social media).

Happy Friday, Rule Breakers!