Lessons From a Dragonfly: It's Never Too Late
If you’ve ever wondered if you’re too old to reinvent your career, follow a dream, or learn how to surf, tap, fly, yodel, knit, or you-name-it, this story’s for you.
Once upon a time, (actually, last year), I was peacefully walking my dog, Lucky in the neighborhood.
But then, the voice of Edna, my Inner Critic, interrupted the calm with: “When are you going to give up that pipedream of yours? You’re not getting any younger, you know.”
Like I needed to be reminded. Here I am over fifty, starting my own business. After years of creating award-winning ad campaigns for some of the biggest brands in America, I’m creating my own brand of inspiration called Oh My Goddess.
When I was in an ad agency, there were departments full of people to help implement a creative vision. Now, it’s just Me, Myself and I. And all three of us are usually overwhelmed.
So, as I often do, I turned my fears over to a higher authority. And asked the “Universe” for a sign.
With that, I headed home to meet a copy deadline. But instead of focusing on the computer screen, I found myself staring out the window.
Right there, in my little garden, were not one, not two, but maybe a hundred of the most gorgeous red dragonflies you can imagine. I didn’t even know they came in red. Or that they traveled en masse.
What magical creatures. Chinese-red bodies. Rainbow prism wings. Whirling, twirling. Forwards, backwards. Leaping, spiraling. It was a dragonfly ballet.
I had never even seen one dragonfly in our backyard. It’s not like there’s a pond or creek here. In fact, Lucky’s water bowl is our only body of water.
I practically skipped outside to join the fetch. Bet you didn’t know that’s what a group of dragonflies is called, did you?
Soon, I found myself twirling and swirling right along with them. It was like a fetch of faeries. And quite a fetching fetch, I might add.
Just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating or anything, I called my next-door neighbor, Julie, to come over. And she was just as transfixed by the dragonfly display as I was.
Being far more logical, Julie wondered if there was a nest or something in the neighborhood. We asked around and discovered that everyone else was “fetch-free.”
Next, I googled “dragonflies.” I learned that they represent “change” in almost every culture. And are often linked with magic and mysticism.
I also discovered that dragonflies are born in the water. And they don’t develop their iridescent rainbow wings until much later in life.
Oh my goddess, that was it! On my walk, I had asked for a sign. And the dragonflies answered me.
Those magical messengers came to show me the beauty of finding your true colors later in life.
Evidently, it was a message they really wanted to hammer home since they kept coming for the next three days. The fetch arrived daily around 11AM and flew the coop by 2PM.
On the last day, I decided I really should write about this phenomenon. After that, they were off. Poof. Just like that.
I like to think they were continuing their mission, spreading light and love to someone else who needed it. Maybe that person is you?
So, if you’re thinking about spreading your wings (at any age), here are a few things I learned from the dragonflies that just might help:
Find your fetch. If you’re going to take off in a new direction, find some like-minded, supportive flying companions. Sharing ideas, resources, feelings and visions can help you soar. Avoid “bubble-bursters.” You know who I mean.
Celebrate the process. Dragonflies spend most of their lives as a lump of larvae at the bottom of a pond. They shed their skin several times before emerging in winged victory. Instead of bemoaning the past, they soar in the Now.
Leap with faith. Believe it or not, these aerial artists can maneuver forwards, backwards, up, down, left and right. Note to humans: progress doesn’t always happen in a straight line. Trust is required.
Magic happens. Dragonflies (and this story), remind us that there’s more to life than the “real world” would have us believe.
When we have the courage to show our true colors, the universe conspires to give our heart wings.
So, where will yours take you?
The dragonflies aren’t the only ones on a mission. Each month, I’ll be honoring a woman who’s changed her life or someone else’s on the Oh My Goddess Bloggess.
Email me to nominate your Goddess of Transformation.
For over 25 years, Wendi Knox has been an award-winning Execu-Woman creating advertising for brands like Honda and Acura. She’s now on a campaign to encourage women to unzip their unique gifts into the world. (Her motto: to divine self be true.) Wendi is joyfully unzipping her gifts as a writer, artist and transformational speaker through her own brand of inspiration called Oh My Goddess. To learn more about Wendi’s blog, book, videos, and creative speaking events, go to ohmygoddess.com.