02 03 The Rhineheart Roost: Change. 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Change.

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When I was a little girl, I had a favorite book. Perhaps you know it: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl. It’s a charming story about a caterpillar’s journey from one food to the next, constantly hungry and searching for the next thing to satisfy his seemingly insatiable hunger until at last, he is ready for the next stage: building a cocoon in order to someday become a butterfly.

Sounds all well and good, doesn’t it? Not to me. Whenever my parents would read me this book, I would make absolutely sure they did NOT get to the part where the caterpillar turned into a butterfly. I HATED that part and would protest so loudly they couldn’t finish even if they wanted to. I simply could not bear the thought of the caterpillar changing from the character I loved so much into a completely unrecognizable creature, no longer obsessed with eating as much food as possible. It just wasn’t right.

Looking back now, I can see that that was a silly thing to do. Of course the caterpillar has to become a butterfly! It wouldn’t be a worthwhile life if it stayed the same the whole time, unable to reach its full potential.

Well, for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t bear the thought of the caterpillar’s metamorphosis, but now I think I’ve got a pretty good idea.

I was afraid of change.

I was afraid that nothing would ever be the same again. I was afraid that the butterfly would completely abandon all it had in favor of its new life. I was afraid because the caterpillar wasn’t even the same THING anymore, but something completely different.

 I was afraid of the wings.

Now I’ve done some growing up, I am finally okay with reading that part of the story, and I know it was selfish to try to keep the caterpillar as a caterpillar, just because I didn’t like the end result. Change has to happen, and in this case, the caterpillar NEEDS to become a butterfly, or risk being soft and vulnerable for the rest of its life.

I wish I could say I’ve outgrown this, but the truth is, I haven’t. I’m still afraid of change- ask anyone who knows me really well, and they will tell you. Oh, sure, thinking about the future is fun, but when it comes down to it, I would rather stay where I’m comfortable instead of rocking the boat. I hate change so much that when we moved from our house where we’d lived for 9 years into a new one in a completely different part of town, I refused to even look at the house. Stupid? Yes. But I didn’t like the thought of moving somewhere new. I would have to start all over again, in a new house, a new neighborhood, and a new ward. No gracias.

As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, that move has done nothing but good for me. So many wonderful things have come out of that move that I never would have experienced had I stayed where I was. Change can be so, so good once you let it be.

Even through all these realizations, change is still hard for me.

The most recent change in my life though has also been the most difficult, in my opinion.

Yes, friends, it has finally happened. I, Haeley Whetten, have finally moved out of the house. After living within two zipcodes my entire life, I am now in a new city, a new zipcode, and a new county.

And you know what? It’s been just wonderful.

Before the move, I was in denial. If there is one thing I’m good at, ladies and gentlemen, it is denial. For the past month, I’ve even had a countdown to moving day, but I didn’t believe it would ever actually be here.
Until five days before the move and I started panicking.

Even through packing up my stuff it didn’t seem real. I would just put it all back at the end of the day, right? But into boxes and bags my things went; not to be unpacked until I reached my new destination.

Finally, the Sunday before I left, things started to sink in. I realized I was changing the dynamic of our family for the rest of the foreseeable future, and that came at a cost. I wasn’t going to see my best friends every day anymore. It’s one thing when your best friends aren’t your family, but it’s another when your best friends happen to be your sisters. So that Sunday evening, we gathered in my sister Geneal’s room and cried and cried and cried. While it was a painful, bittersweet evening, it was also comforting to know that my siblings seemed to care about me as much as I cared about them.

The rest of the week flew by, as I numbly tried to process what was happening.

At last, Saturday rolled around and I said my goodbyes to my family. The whole way there, I worried. What if I wasn’t supposed to be here? What if my roommates hated me? What if I hated them? How was I supposed to live with another person in my room, when I’d gotten so used to having it all to myself? All these questions and more swirled in my head up until we pulled into the parking lot of my new home.

This was it. The moment I had been waiting for (and trying to avoid). We met my landlord, got the keys, unlocked the door, and…

I was home.

The apartment was absolutely LOVELY! It wasn’t as small as I envisioned, and it wasn’t dingy or falling apart in the slightest. It was perfect.

That was a few days ago, and since then, I can honestly say I have fallen in love with the little town of Thatcher. As good as I am at denial, I’m just as good at adapting. This has been such a natural change, living on my own. Feeding myself has been easier than I thought- I can do more with less than I thought! I’m not going to starve. I don’t hate my roommates. My roommates don’t hate me. I’m not scared of it anymore. It’s what I’m supposed to be doing at this point in my life! I know I wouldn’t be happy if I stayed home in Mesa. I belong HERE, in my little apartment, with my wonderful roommates. Yes, I’m still getting used to sharing a room, but it’s been a nice change. These girls are so great! We’ve all adjusted well, I think. I am so excited for this new chapter of my life.

Being a butterfly ain’t half bad.



~Haeley

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