Are you known as the “nice one” in your friend group? If yes, I invite you to continue reading because you, my friend, are a deer.
When I was a senior in high school, I finally made it onto the varsity team for cross country. There were only seven spots, and my run times qualified me for the very last spot. I was over the moon to have made it this far, especially because I started off freshman year as one of the slowest on the team.
The day before our final race, my coach invited us all into her hotel room so she could give us a motivational speech to ease our nerves. She gave each of us a small plastic animal that she thought resembled who we were. My sister got a cheetah because she exemplifies fierceness and was the fastest. My other teammates got different strong and powerful animals such as a polar bear, bull and wolf — all amazing creatures that face few predators in the wild and are known for their dominance in the food chain. All animals that win the races they start. All animals that are independent and fearless.
And I was handed a deer. My first thought was, “Are you kidding me?” She told me I was graceful and sweet like a deer. But what on earth did that have to do with my character as an athlete or as someone who was going to help score points for the team the next day? I wanted to be an animal that was also strong, fierce, fast and competitive! I was so upset that I threw away the deer.
For years I struggled to understand why I was given a deer, but now, I’ve come to the realization that this was the best animal I could have ever received because its strengths are hidden. A deer is symbolic of intuition and can tackle problems with grace and vigilance. If you are a deer, you are happy, protective and selfless in the best way imaginable. So if you hear yourself being described as graceful and sweet, remember that a deer is a symbol of independence and regeneration. You are faithful to those around you and constantly teach others unconditional love.
Four years later, I no longer want to be a polar bear, cheetah or wolf. I want to forever and wholeheartedly be a deer. And if my story resonates with you, I encourage you to embrace all the wonderful elements of your personality that make you the deer that you are.