Me And My Fear Of Caterpillars

Hello my loves!

It’s been a month or two…or three since I’ve written a new blog.

My close friends and family know that when I’m unreachable or nowhere to be found; that I’m usually in a process of my on going evolution. I’m either breaking down or breaking through but both are very personal experiences.

I call this stage, “my cocoon”.

Here’s an Atiya lee fun fact!

I used to have a crippling fear of Caterpillars.

I stopped going to certain places and doing certain things that I once loved, all in order to avoid caterpillars. When I would see one I’d get hot, my body would feel weak and I needed all parts of my body to be covered. So on 90 degree days in the park, I’d have on leggings and long socks and a sweater because I didn’t want a got damn caterpillar to touch me.

Every year I seemed to end up having some kind of traumatic, jacked up experience with caterpillars. I’m an extremely open person so a lot of people knew about my fear.

Back in the day I believed people should and would protect me, so if they knew about my fear they’d tell me when I needed to avoid one, right?


I will never forget the time a girl (who I thought was a friend) chased me around camp with a striped white and black caterpillar. Usain bolt had nothing on me, I remember climbing over tables and jumping over people. I don’t know who was more scared, me or the caterpillar!

She never caught me.

But eventually I got tired of running, metaphorically and physically.

I started reflecting and I realized people fear the unknown. Caterpillars were like aliens to me. They didn’t make sense! So I decided to do some research and practice my own form of “therapy”.

The first fact that google taught me was that, in average a caterpillar has over 4,000 muscles. GREAT! Not only are they caterpillars, they’re little incredible hulks! I could surly learn how to love something with 4,000 muscles!

I gave up on the search for a little while and then, months later, decided to look up the metamorphosis process of a caterpillar.

It’s a common misconception that once a caterpillar is in it’s cocoon that it “rests”, it actually does the opposite!

I learned that there comes a time in it’s evolution when the caterpillar begins to liquefy. It literally destroys itself and all aspects of it’s pervious self that no longer fit it’s evolved being. The article called it “Caterpillar soup”.

And that was it. That’s when I got it!

I wasn’t scared of the caterpillar, even though the way it moved made my skin crawl.

I was envious, no, perplexed by it’s bravery to destroy it’s self and then continue to evolve.

I don’t know if caterpillars know that they’ll turn into butterflies later on in life. I didn’t google that.

Do humans know who they’ll be years from now?

Humans rarely venture into the unknown within themselves.

I realized that I had to be like the caterpillar and destroy myself, in order to morph into my newest me. WHICH IS FREAKING TERIFYING!

That meant I had to ALLOW myself to feel bad, to feel angry, to feel sad, to be affected.

In the past, I didn’t allow myself to feel these things because I was afraid of how other people would feel if I wasn’t happy and friendly all the time.

If I allowed myself to feel those emotions, I’d also feel like I was wasting time. Time that I could’ve spent being happy!

Which wasn’t the truth because I wasn’t 100% happy but I was great at ACTING happy.

Or maybe I WAS happy but I was also sad and hurting too….can you experience all three? I say, in my life, yes!

But everyone creates their own rules for their own lives so it may not apply to the next person. Shoot this may not even apply to ME in a few months.

This year I started working on learning how to be unapologetic when it came to my desire for solitude and growth.

I went weeks without speaking to my own close friends. I just needed time in my cocoon.

In my earlier blogs I touched on my experiences with depression and anxiety.

I would feel so empty some days during this metemorphasis, on other days I would be so full with negative emotions I couldn’t function!

I became so crippled that I started to realize the universe was NOT playing with me. I could either go through this metamorphosis in pain or I could let it happen and finally emerge.

I let it happen and this time, because I didn’t fight it (because this process has happened plenty of times before), I was finally able to be AWARE of my transformation, and gave myself permission to emerge in the cocoon, my depression lessoned exponentially! I was finally able to see ME.

I remember when I emerged and started getting connected with people again, I didn’t reach out to some of the people I once talked to frequently.

A lot of those relationships faded to black. Some still check in on me to see how things are, which I appreciate. It’s like they subconsciously understand that we’ll cross paths again but it isn’t meant for them to be in this stage of my growth!

Other people didn’t take it so well. After auditioning and getting booked for my very first commercial and after being offered to travel to DC for a PETA event. I received a phone call from a blocked number & got cursed out by a former friend. It didn’t stop there, she inboxed my mom and then DM’d me again, insuating that I faked having depression because I had been posting on instagram and not texting her.

I knew at that moment that my evolution was successful.

That was one of the universes divine tests to see if I’d remain unapologetic in my evolution.

Who created the rule that we have to be the same person we were last year?

Who deemed it unacceptable for people to change without their consent?

Why do we feel the need to apologize when OUR growth makes OTHER people uncomfortable or upset.

This month I learned that life is a very personal experience.

I decided to share and be vulnerable with YOU because I trust this process.

Expressing myself has always healed me.

The times when I find it difficult to express myself, are the times when I needed the most healing.

I’d like to end this blog by asking you to meditate, right where you are and ask yourself…

what is your version of the caterpillar and how much can you learn from something that scares you?

I learned an entire life lesson, from an insect that terrified me for years!

I may not go around picking caterpillars up and giving them piggy back rides but now, whenever a caterpillar and I cross paths, I send it so much love, because I know how hard it is working and the journey that it is about to experience.

I hope to be able to give the love I have for animals, to humans one day. I’m still working on that but if I can love a caterpillar, I can love anyone!


Love Atiya

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