What happens inside a chrysalis?

I have recently been thinking a lot about transition. I’m personally about to experience a major transition in my life. I sold all my worldly possessions this month, packed my life into a carry-on, transitioned out of my beloved sales manager role leaving my #squad in amazing hands, and soon I’ll be starting an around the world trip with NetSuite and Remote Year; a different country every month for a year as the #NetSuiteNomad.

Everyone goes through periods of transition from changing jobs, to graduation, to marriage, parenthood, retirement and so many steps in between. The focus of most transitions in my experience is the end result. Not the marriage but the wedding; the excitement of a new city not the move, having to make new friends, and starting your life over again. The butterfly is the focus of transition, but what happens inside the chrysalis?

I never really thought about this before. As a child we learn about this wondrous process of metamorphosis where a cute caterpillar eats a lot of leaves then spins itself a little silk cocoon and hangs upside down, then a while later emerges a beautiful butterfly. But this “wondrous process” is actually pretty horrifying if you look into it. It’s a complete molecular rearrangement. I’ll spare you all the details but basically the caterpillar eats itself turning into an enzyme soup. Some groups of cells survive the liquefaction like the eyes and some body segments, those remaining cells then cause the protein rich enzyme soup to produce and multiply new cells to form the butterfly wings and body parts we recognize.

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot more sympathy for butterflies now. And I wonder if the poor caterpillars know this is coming? Will another butterfly tell them how to prepare for this? Give them any warning? Would it even make a difference if they did? Or do they just naively look forward to the beautiful end result?

I could not be more excited about my new opportunity, but to get there I’ve got to do a little molecular rearrangement.

There are a lot of factors to consider in a big life change. While the pros usually outweigh the cons (that’s why you make the change in the first place) there is still likely going to be an awkward process to get there before you can become well adjusted in your new role.

I have found there are 3 keys to surviving your metamorphosis:

1) Give yourself time for introspection.

2) Build a good support system for yourself.

3) Just jump into it!

What transitions do you have coming up, and how are you preparing for them?


Kelli Lampkin

Kelli Lampkin is a writer, traveler, comedienne, and entrepreneur.

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