The girl I met on crutches

The butterfly effect is a small choice or decision made by an individual that leads to a vast and unpredictable change in their life. My butterfly was a girl on crutches whose effect altered every aspect of my life for the best. 

I was ten and infatuated with a pair of crutches; I had never used such a fascinating piece of equipment before. The girl who depended on the crutches to heave her down the halls was less alluring to me. Naturally though, to use this exciting medical instrument, I had to interact with their owner. 

Joining the group of girls huddled in a corner of our classroom, I asked the girl at the center of the circle if I could try crutching around. Speaking to her for the first time, I finally noticed her overwhelmingly contagious and inviting smile. 

My life was set to change. 

Her ecstatic spirit shines through aggressively. She has confidence but not arrogance. She is a fire: bold, bright, and brilliant, like a magnet drawing in individuals with the most charitable and astounding souls. I feel like a better person just for knowing her. 

With this fire blazing by my side, I triumphed through the most monumental moments of my life. With her placing the words into my mouth, I flirted with my first “boyfriend,” and with the warmth of her presence, I survived the coldness of my first heartbreak. I passed Algebra 1 with a grade earned by both of us equally, all thanks to her mostly failed attempts at explaining foreign content to me. I’m sure she cannot wait to haul me through Algebra 2 this year. 

With her fostering a home for me to be authentic and vulnerable and laughing dramatically at comments and jokes only funny to us, I became myself. When I am with her, I feel proud to be me. Having someone in your life who not only makes you feel so comfortable with who you are, but also helps you find a new standard of who you want to be is life-altering.

With the bright light of her laugh, I got through the darkest shades life had to throw at me. I recall fondly the days that should have been painstaking to get through but weren’t—simply because I went through them with her. When all else feels erratic, I can hold onto her consistency. 

Together we have found a few more of the most awe-inspiring individuals I know, all of them who have been by my side for the most outstanding moments in my life and have woken me from the depths of my worst nightmares. 

With her fostering a home for me to be authentic and vulnerable and laughing dramatically at comments and jokes only funny to us, I became myself.

Together we have made waves in the world. We function as John Lennon and Paul McCartney, independently capable of great things but powerful and world-shaking together.  

I would be a drastically different person right now if I had never asked that girl to use her pair of crutches. I can confidently say I would never have even gotten close to conversing with a boy, survived a class as soul-sucking as Algebra 1, or found myself if it was not for her guidance. Something feels incredibly correct about the place that I am today.

This is, of course, entirely thanks to my butterfly and her effect.