The Meaning Behind Goodbye Butterfly

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While you are wandering around Goodbye Butterfly, you are slowly getting to know Shelby Sides. I enjoy sharing pieces about me and my life on this platform, and I have briefly introduced how Goodbye Butterfly came to be four years ago. But what I have yet to introduce you butterflies to is the meaning behind the name and what this project means to me today.

So as a birthday present to you, sweet butterflies, here is the meaning behind the name.

Growing up my father took care of the crown flower tree in our little jungle on a daily basis. Little caterpillars would hatch and devour this young growth leaving it barely hanging on, so my father would squish them with his fingers in an attempt to save the tree. To the little girl me, it was gross and sad but part of the circle of life. In middle school, my dad passed, and we began to notice the vibrant Monarch butterflies that fluttered around our home.

And then we started to see them following us around through life.

These little flutters that might have just been there all along seemed like irony to my mom, little sister, and I. Every Monarch that crosses my path since that day has symbolized my father. While not in person, he has been there in all the moments I needed him through the orange and black wings that I have come to love.

My virtual journal came to be back in the summer of 2014 when I was searching for a unique way to express myself. You see, my little sister Annie soaked up most of the creative talent in the family (you should see what she can do with a paintbrush) but the drops that remained with me craved an outlet. Armed with a hard drive of photographs taken by my ever trusty Canon Rebel T2i, may she rest in peace, along with the words that previously called the pages of a composition home, I found growth.

To me, this was a form of therapy that I found comfort in and when pressed to put a name to my new creative project the words “Goodbye Butterfly” immediately entered my mind. As you can see, it stuck. In the beginning, I was saying goodbye to my butterfly - to the sadness that the symbolism brought me. In the now, I am going through a constant metamorphosis and this space is a representation of that.

Saying goodbye to the past me, enjoying the present me, and growing into the future me.

As I sit here today writing this to you, I honestly cannot help but feel grateful. It is a weird feeling sharing my thoughts, struggles, and wins so publicly but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. Over the last 5 months of 2018, I have experienced exponential growth on this platform, and I am welcoming all the opportunities that have come with it. I have fallen in love with writing, a form of creation that I never thought I would be so passionate about. But life is funny that way.

So thank you for those who have stuck by me these four years and hello to those just jumping in. I have so much planned for this little corner of the internet, and I am excited to share every bit of it with you. From being healthy inside and out to experiencing all the little wonders of the world, and all the growing pains in between - dream, dare, discover with me.

Until next time, tah.