The Butterfly Effect
I was thinking about The Butterfly Effect the other day (the phenomenon, not the dumb Ashton Kutcher movie).
I thought about it, thanks to a new bedspread I bought for my bed.
I’ve owned my house for 13 years and purchased quite a few bedspreads, so this wasn’t my first one.
But it’s the first one that has made me feel like a real adult.
I say that because when I lived with my parents, they always bought the bedding for our rooms.
If your parents are anything like my Indian parents, they always went with the convenient “bed in a bag” from places like JCPenney’s or Macy’s.
And, ten times out of 10, without fail, they were always some God-awful, tacky, or paisley-designed ensemble.
These airtight bags were crammed with a comforter, pillowcases, sheets, bed skirts, and pillow shams.
My parents would then reuse the bags as storage for all the other bedspreads, extra sheets, pillowcases, towels, etc.
(Their closets are still chock full of these damn bags).
I think I chose my own ONE time, and it was exactly what a teenager/college student would choose but it still aligned with the motif my parents wanted.
Unfortunately, that was so engrained in me — that these were the only types of bedding out there —
…that when I moved into my own home, I continued purchasing the “bed in a bag” with these weirdly decorated bedspreads.
It was all I knew.
And lately, it made me feel so immature and….well…like a FOB.
I’ve been trying to make the conscious decision to break free of some of these learned behaviors that don’t reflect me or who I am.
So, on a whim, I purchased a bedspread that was definitely not something my parents would approve of.
It’s one color and didn’t come in an airtight bag.
There was no bed skirt or pillow shams with fringe.
Just a simple bedspread.
And it’s weird how this one comforter makes me SO happy.
The night I put it on my bed, I sat and stared at it and immediately felt like something had switched in my head.
At one point, I thought, “Ohhh, so this is what a grownup feels like.”
Being a homeowner, having a career, paying bills, etc., none of that has made me feel as much of a grownup as purchasing this new bedding.
I know — it’s so odd.
Trust me, I’ve said that to myself many times this week while making my bed in the morning.
“Calm down, it’s just bedding.”
But it was like I suddenly wanted to start making more changes because this decision that went against what I thought was always “best” or “right” made me feel much lighter and happier.
And I just felt like, maybe it’s time to start letting those old ways go.
I am tired of doing things because that’s how I’ve always done them.
But it wasn’t just bedspreads that I wanted to change.
I want to start changing how I see myself and care for myself, the quality (and quantity) of the relationships in my life, my mental health, and my long-term personal and career goals.
I know many things can’t change overnight and need more time and effort,
…and that is why I thought of The Butterfly Effect.
The phenomenon is that a tiny action can create a much more significant change.
Edward Norton Lorenz was a meteorologist, and his theory is based on weather — the flap of a butterfly’s wings can cause a storm or something like that — but no offense to Ed, I’m applying his theory to my life.
My life has been full of moments like this — butterfly effects.
These small decisions and actions — many that seem insignificant to most people — that have entirely upended my life in the best ways.
I have been waiting for the BIG moments, decisions, and actions, but I ignore the small changes that can change the trajectory of my life.
What choices can I make now — insignificant or otherwise — that can improve my future?
So, I am making lists of small things I need to take care of and goals I want to reach, not just career-wise but for my overall well-being…
Small steps like:
discarding unnecessary clutter…
stepping away from people in my life that no longer serve a purpose…
letting go of old habits, behaviors, ways of thinking, coping, and existing...
Even something as simple as muting people on social media has helped me tremendously!
I have always dismissed the small choices and decisions because I didn’t think they were a big deal.
But, if something as insignificant as the flap of a butterfly’s wings can create a storm…
How much more can small actions change my life?