My Spirit Animal Done Me Wrong

My Spirit Animal Done Me Wrong

Today my cousin posted an article on Facebook titled, “If You See Dragonflies Often, This is What it Means.” The article states that dragonflies represent wisdom, transformation, and adaptability.

“When this spirit animal shows up in your life, it’s an indication that it’s time for a change. Just like the dragonfly changes colors as it matures, you may be called to live and experience yourself differently. Stay open to the enfoldment of your personal journey.”

Duuuuuude. YES. Totally! The dragonfly is my spirit animal!

See, all summer long, a lone dragonfly has hovered over my family’s swimming pool. Every afternoon, it flits over the salty, chlorinated, heated waters of our backyard oasis, completely unbothered by our presence.

I’ve been fascinated by it, its colorful body transported by delicate, paper-thin wings. I’d never seen one up close before (they're not exactly indigenous to the projects of South Boston, where I grew up), so to view one in my own backyard has been awe-inspiring.


I assumed its appearance on my property was entirely random. But now, here’s this article telling me what it means! This dragonfly chose me. It spent the past three months over my pool because we are connected.

Ordinarily, I don’t buy into this crap. Any other year, an insect would just be an insect. But this year is different. I want to dip my toes into woo-woo waters and get a little mystical. I want to think the universe is sending me a message. I want to feel like everything is going to be OK.


I’ve spent the past three months — really, from the start of summer until now — deciding to pursue freelance writing as a career. After two-and-a-half decades as an employee, I’m going it alone.

It’s exciting. (It’s terrifying.) I cannot wait to cinch my first assignment. (I’m dreading the entire pitching process.) I know this is my life’s calling. (I don’t know what the eff I’m doing.)

And this dragonfly, a flying jewel, has come into my life to tell me it’s all going to be OK! It’s telling me it’s time for me to get out there and conquer the world! To reach my full potential! To live the life I was meant to LIVE!

. . .

A few moments ago, I walked into the backyard. Head tilted back, eyes closed, I breathed in the last remnants of summer. School starts tomorrow. My son is entering first grade. My freelancing journey will soon begin. Change. Transformation. The dragonfly symbolized all of it, a harbinger of things to come.

As I turned to walk back inside, something caught my eye. There, flat on its back, was my dragonfly. Floating lifelessly in the pool, its carcass covered in tiny little bugs undoubtedly enjoying their early evening meal.

So, yeah. Not entirely sure what the universe is telling me with this one. Freelancing isn’t such a great idea, after all? I should stick with my day job? Maybe don’t rely on spirit animals to guide life choices?

Or, more than likely, stay out of that woo woo water. It just might kill you.

A version of this post first appeared in The Writing Cooperative

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