When you are young, you have to figure out basic things, such as your favourite colour, food and animal amongst others. Unlike my school mates, mine was the butterfly. The answer was not that popular.

I remember that during second or third grade there was this friendship book trend, where you have to write in someone’s book everything about yourself. Name, parents, eye colour, what you would like to become whatever and of course favourite colour, hobbies and animal. Normal stuffs, although it is quite questionable how normal it is to ask your friends to write down their personal information down into a book, but that is beside the point.

Out of courtesy, I had to write my answer as well when it was my turn and I had to say what my favourite animal is, which was the butterfly because I thought it was pretty and I thought they would mock me for that, which they did or at least they teased me. So, I never wrote butterfly as my answer.

Everyone else’s answer was something like rabbit or cat because they had one or a dog because it was loyal or whatever and I felt that in comparison, my answer was not as good.

You like it just because it’s pretty?

I was so scared of giving that answer. I was scared of what they would think of me, because I did not want them to think that I was shallow or superficial, and I always felt like, my answer was not enough and that my reasons were not good enough. So I was forced myself to say dolphin because it was smart or pandas because they were almost extinct and rare. I do like these animals, and even I admit that they are much cooler than the butterfly, but it was just that above all, I still loved the butterfly. Because essentially, it was who I am. I love beautiful things and I love watching them fly. I could have said that I found it amazing how they transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly but that would be an outright lie. The truth is that I just love it because it is beautiful. There is nothing more than that.

It was not until I was older that I thought that this was wrong and that it was okay for me to like what I like. This was how I felt and that these feelings are who I am. I should not have to justify what I feel or change who I am just to please someone else. I also realised that whatever I felt, it was real and I should not try to deny them or pretend that it was something else. Even if people thought it to be shallow, it is real and as feelings come from within the heart, there is hardly anything that is more sincere than that. Back then, I should have given the right answer, because it was a part of me and made me who I am.

Back then, I should have given the right answer, because it was a part of me and made me who I am. Instead, I was denying who I am. But now I would give that answer. Now, whenever people ask me, I will say that it is the butterfly. I have realised who I am, but most of all I have accepted it and that whoever and whatever, it is okay.

The irony is that by now the butterfly has become more than just a pretty animal because even thought I knew it enough now, it has become so much more. For me now, it is also a symbol of who I am and also how far I have come. I am not picking fights with myself anymore, there is no more conflicts but just acceptance. I feel more at ease now and instead of conflicts, I have found a balance.

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