Back in the day, jobs came as easy as a Sunday morning. I had a clean history of never having been fired. Ever. There was one instance though when my compadres and I felt like we had just been fired when our company notified us that they were closing our plant. Shortly after our last day, many of us packed our things and scattered to the winds like so many tumbleweeds in a dustbowl.
Fast forward to 2007 and ‘downsize’ numero dos. The first time took my breath away because I was devastated and newly divorced. The second time I was downsized, I was livid not because I was downsized, but because the owner text messaged me: “There’s no work today. Check your email.” Quote, unquote!
The funny thing is, I knew before I took the job that something was afoot. I had seen two wolves prior to the actual interview and hiring, but before the sign that I was getting a job related to “wolf or “wolves” (part of her name includes the word wolf), I saw a coyote on my way to see her before the hire date.
Some people know the Coyote as the Trickster, as in some Native American traditional cultural stories. I was on alert, especially since I was on my way to see this young lady with a wolf in her name for a job she was hiring for. I consciously frowned as I saw the Coyote because the idea to be on alert was brought forth to my mind. “Damn that old man Coote”, I thought, as I drove to my interview.
The interview went extremely well actually. We connected and she hired me. I accepted because I got a third confirmation when I saw the third wolf, and it also meant that it would bring me closer to my new husband. No more 200-mile commutes and weekend visits!
Being a creature who pays attention to the signs (especially when they come in threes), I tucked old man Coote (Coyote as the Trickster) in the back of my mind. As it turned out, the wolf did indeed have a tricky element up her sly sleeve, and I was ‘downsized’.
But what of old man Coote? What is really behind the tricks that Coyote the Trickster plays on us? Why trip us, just when we think we’ve learned how to walk the path we’re on?
According to Terri J. Andrews (click here to see the full article), “the Coyote was generally portrayed as a sly, keen trickster who used his bizarre and comic behavior to teach lessons and to add humor into the tribal life. Otherwise called a Heyoka, or clown, the Coyote is blamed in many stories for what is unexplainable.”
I find this part of the story the most relevant to life in general: “He represents challenges, lessons, healing through irrelevance and accepting contrary situations.” (Terri J. Andrews – click here to see the full article).
Because of that, I tried on a new hat because I knew I wasn’t really completely happy in doing the work I was doing. I do find it important to express myself in work where I am a helper of some sort. Doing office work is essentially a part of the engine that makes it possible for the engines to do what they are supposed to do. It was a form of service on a smaller scale, but less than what I discovered possible for my path and who I have become.
After trying on the entrepreneurial hat as an internet marketer of an obscenely-priced network marketing tool (some people make it, but the learning curve was too much while it ate up our very limited budget and savings), I really had to ask myself what the next step was going to be. I could continue to look for work in office administration (work IS a four letter word you know), which I did, but I also decided to return to school and eventually enrolled in a psychology course.
I was 6 credits short of half-way when more changes came about. I’m still trying to find ‘my’ path because it continues to evolve. Talk about a mid-life crisis!
I’m starting to hit the other side of mid-life, but as they say, “it ain’t over til it’s over”. And if it wasn’t for old Coote, who knows how stuck and potentially restless and unhappy I’d be in that old lifestyle?
So give the Trickster his due: from time to time, lay down an offering or whisper a word of thanks for the methods to his seeming madness. If nothing else, it makes this journey interesting.
(Original post 10 Dec 2010)