“Oh, please. He’s not dead,” Cordy replied, and then, butterfly-minded, poked our father with her heel and changed the subject.
– Eleanor Brown
I just finished reading The Weird Sisters for the second time in less than a year. Why? For the line above. For the adjective that is the namesake of my blog. In this quick, minor line, in one adjective, I found permission to be who I am. As I’ve written about ad nauseum, I’ve struggled for a long time with my identity. I tend to blow with the wind, immersing myself in interests, hobbies, subjects til I’ve learned as much as my attention span will permit, and then moving on to the next interest/hobby/subject. After making a couple of quilts, and recognizing I didn’t have the precision for quilting, or knitting a few hats and realizing I didn’t have the patience for knitting, or working in ecology labs and realizing I don’t have the analytical and mathematical mind for scientific research, or any number of other dabblings (soap-making, jewelry-making, photography, nutrition, organic living), I was feeling pretty bad about my inability to commit. I’d beat myself up that I couldn’t seem to stick with one thing long enough to become truly skilled, instead flitting from one new interest to another.
But when I read that line about Cordelia, my favorite of the three Shakespearian-named weird sisters – the bread-baking hippie wanderer, the loveable one, the one I wanted to hang out and laugh with, the one who flits – I think I may have actually gasped. Butterfly-minded! What an elegant descriptor! An adjective more sophisticated than “flighty,” more likable than “fickle,” more beautiful than “generalist.” An adjective calmer than “restless.” The perfect word to make someone who flits feel good and light and loveable for being so changeable.
This is excerpted from There’s Power in that Adjective, originally published November 15, 2012.
23 thoughts on “Why Butterfly Mind?”
Butterfly mind is a great alternative to flighty and fickle. I’m going to use it. I, too, loved The Weird Sisters.
Thank you for finding that description. I feel like I have company, now. I’m ready to own having a butterfly mind and not judge myself any longer.
Yeah! Thank you for identifying us so eloquently! The butterfly minded unite (at least for a little while LOL).
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Thank you for this post! You´ve done the same for me that Brown did for you. On good days, and there are many, I remember that the joy of following my gut makes it okay to blow with the wind, and I remember that everything will work out even if I don´t live like “everyone else.” But still, it´s nice to have others to refer to on doubtful days – “welp, Andrea never mastered knitting, and she´s still doing awesome. I´ll be alright.”
Ha! Yes you will 🙂
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Great title; great blog; love your creative style
Similar to you, my only real talent in the world is writing; it comes easy to me, is a bit sarcastic but not too offensive and people seem to enjoy whatever I write
Sadly, I wasted 30 years sitting in a cubicle at multiple jobs that I despised and only after being laid off last year did I discover blogging. My wife Diane and I are fortunate enough to be in a position where we’ve chosen early retirement. Planning on moving to Southeast Asia next year after we sell our house and all our stuff, I’ve finally been able to express myself to a broad audience.
Unsure what to write about, I chose an expat theme but decided to get it going before the move and populate it with mostly previous travel stories of research vacations we took in anticipation of early retirement (We were planning on working 5 to 7 more years at the time of my layoff). Possibly due to my theme, I’ve only been able to capture a limited audience and have averaged about 40 followers a month since starting 6 weeks ago but I do have over 5,000 page visits so I assume the visitors enjoy reading the posts .
Anyway, I try to look for other bloggers with similar interests when I get ambitious and I love your style. Perhaps some day I’ll be inspired enough to change from expat blogging to creative writing but for now I’ll just be envious of you !!
I hope you give us a look at http://www.experimentalexpats.com and feel free to comment and hopefully follow. I am going to spend the rest of today perusing your posts.
Rob and Diane
I also like the name butterfly mind. I chose a butterfly for my avatar because I really don’t have a theme for my blog. Just whatever and wherever…..
Absolutely love that. Finally my personality put into words!
I think I will have to read the weird sisters now. I’ve certainly struggled with my identity especially since having my children. I also relate to butterfly mind and during my 20’s could not sit for long in one place. It took me years to actually finish a degree course and finally at 38 I finished one! Working with young children suits my butterfly mind, as they are little butterflies too!
What a wonderful description of any mind. Mine tends to flit from topic to topic. That’s why I thought of writing a blog. I can write about any topic that is meaningful to me, without worrying about it being good enough to be published in a literary magazine.
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I love the adjective butterfly mind much better than monkey mind! I have both! Thanks for sharing. I’m just beginning my blog. Haven’t actually posted yet. Still getting it all set up.
Hello Andrea 🙂 I send you this post because I really like your blog!
If you want to accept this nomination, go to the site below for details.
Note: as a fairly new blogger I have understood that the nomination is only meant to be an encouragement and a nice way to make your favorite bloggers known via your blog site – and of course it’s okay not to participate, but I hope you will 🙂
that’s great and i choose to ready more about butterfly
Wow, this is great, Andrea! I’m enjoying your posts here at Butterfly Mind. I must be butterfly-minded, too, to an extent, as this really spoke to me. I especially enjoyed your post about trying a different color of paint for one of the rooms in your house. I’ve learned a lot from you, especially during the Branding class a while back. Thanks for helping me figure out more of the technical stuff in designing and tweaking my blogs; I can’t wait for you to see what’s been happening so far.
For a long time, I’ve struggled to find the right kind of voice for my second blog; I think I now understand why the second blog hasn’t gotten off to a good start, whereas my first blog has been doing better. I’m still on the fence between creating a portfolio blog featuring both my photography and writing and just doing a creative blog and seeing where it goes. And to top it all off, the voice on the second blog is not as clear or what it should be. But my first blog will stay as is with a little pivoting here and there, as I know I’m on to something good with that one. 🙂 Reading your posts here has helped me understand finally what having a voice is all about. I’ve made some goofy attempts at imitating and then creating a composite of everything I’m not, so now I’m thinking differently and doing my homework and research to get things together in the best way for me.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of what else you create and show at Butterfly Mind. Keep it up!
Hi Andrea! Just wanted to let you know that I LOVE your blog name. Wish I could steal it 😉 This sounds so much like me. And poor husband…I think I kind of drive him crazy. But butterflies have voices too, don’t they? At least, they speak volumes to me!!
I came upon your blog through The Daily Post, it was the first link I clicked because of your blog’s name, Butterfly Mind. I have always been intrigued by butterflies starting when I was a child. they have always been a symbol of mine…but I didn’t always know why. I suddenly came to the conclusion it was about change. Caterpillars have this miraculous rebirth into a beautiful creature that can fly! And I always thought that one day I might, too, change into something wonderful and fly in freedom and success when I found something to do with my life that made me feel like the ultimate me. But now that I’ve read your blog, so much more sense is brought to this butterfly idea…I have so many interests, hobbies and ideas…I have two degrees in which only some what relate to what I do for a living…I love to learn but move quickly from one subject to another…I wish to be an expert but always seem to be the generalist. It must be my butterfly mind.
A similar idea I’ve found is that I’m a multipotentialite; a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life. Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do.
There’s a great Tedtalk on this https://www.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnick_why_some_of_us_don_t_have_one_true_calling?language=en
I apologize for the long reply! I just became inspired! Blog on!
Yes!! Just yes!
A bing search leads me to your blog, and I feel much relieved that I find so many similar butterfly minds here. Following your story, I am going to read the book, “the Weird Sisters.”
BTW, I am thrilled to notice your relationship with Virginia Tech. I am studying the online natural resources master program offered by VT.
Sorry, I made a mistake in the name section.