• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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A world consumed with the consumption of
the lives of others
means that I open up any app
on my phone
and feel the stampede
of other people’s lives
crush me.

I squish out
through the gaps between
their vacations,
their romantic relationships,
their perfect skin,
their “ideal” bodies.

A global pandemic
drops out of the sky, and it
means so much extra screen time,
too much extra time to
stare at a life that’s not yours.

I try to imagine how I would explain
to my almost 92-year-old grandma
how I’ve had to “curate my feed”
so as to not hurt my own feelings
with a false reality,
both the one I’m viewing and
the one they’re posting.



I watch people’s lives carry on while
I’m still stuck in pandemic mode,
and I can’t quite comprehend how
they’ve been able to
come back out of their cocoons
so easily.

I wonder why
I can’t go back to traveling freely,
spreading my wings open
to let the world back in.

But then I remember
that I’ve learned to
appreciate a smaller life.
Not smaller in joy
nor gratitude
nor new experiences,
but smaller geographically.

My days are spent near my hometown, with
an endless supply of books I haven’t read yet,
filled with places I’ve yet to discover;
a new puppy to teach how to be a good dog and
an even better companion;
fresh coffee beans to grind, brew, and savor
as morning light seeps into my apartment;
a cat to curl up with at night in bed while I
drift off to sleep;



cupboards full of simple ingredients to
fill my heart and stomach as I bake;
colorful artwork and rugs, placed thoughtfully around my home, that
make my inner child sing with glee;
my best friend of 20 years but a few streets away
nursing her sweet twin girls;
thrifted clothing and home goods that allow me to
daydream about the people who owned them first;
and so much more.

Turns out I’m a butterfly, too, after all.