I think butterflies are overrated. They are graceful, yes, but they are fleeting.
I sometimes like to think of comfort as represented by fireflies in the caverns of my chest. When comfortable, they give off a dim light. This creates a dull warmth, like snuggling into a blanket. When comfort develops into happiness, they shine with more vigor. When happiness grows into joy, some forgotten fireflies join the fray. We glow.
At Princeton, I glow. I am all smiles. I rejoice in inside jokes. I give more hugs than I’ve given in the past year. I touch and am touched. I laugh boldly and uninhibitedly. I feel completely at home. I think that every last firefly is lit. I am at whatever we call peace when it is on fire.
…And then, on the last night, I see him. It had been three days with no sign of him, so I didn’t think he was there. JB was mid-sentence when I held a finger up to her with a huge grin on my face. He smiled at me smiling at him, and I ran to him. We hugged, and as his arms were around me, I felt even more fireflies blinking awake, giving new meaning to the term ‘rise and shine.’ He told me I looked lovely, and I recognized that my joy had transformed itself into ecstasy.
In sitting on those feelings for years, I lost whatever chance I might have had with him. Not many interests push me past joy. But someone here sets my fireflies alight. I must find the courage to leap at the opportunity for ecstasy when it presents itself.