A long time ago, when my niece was just a tiny little baby, my mother began to work on a children's book. Her motivation, or I guess you could say, her inspiration, was what the new baby represented in our lives. A new opportunity, a world of possibilities, the reminder of innocence, and all that is still right with the world.
I really enjoyed reading it, but of course my bias is to be expected. Then again, the metaphors in it, the cute little animals that represent actual people in my mother's life, were not only picked carefully, but encompassed the personalities to perfection.
It was then, that normal day, that I found out I was a zebra. My older brother a Koala, and my youngest a colibri. Zebra? I remember thinking. They say that nobody knows you as much as your own mother, but for one reason or another, I did not think enough about it.
I'm not sure how much people know about Zebras on average, but I'm willing to bet that for most, a zebra is just an interesting looking horse. It's more of a donkey, than it is a horse, but that's not the relevant point about it.
You see, we've been able to domesticate horses of all types, and the donkey is still an iconic farm animal in plenty of developing countries. One would imagine that since we've been able to domesticate all these different Equidae, there is sure someone who is currently riding a Zebra, but this assumption is incorrect.
It seems that even though it's been done before, they don't adapt well, and thus can be unpredictable. In other words, they don't excel at having masters, owners or bosses to use more relevant synonyms.
It makes me wonder if that is why my mom illustrates me as a Zebra in her stories, and yes I've asked her about this, but it's somewhat of a leading question and hence the answer is tainted with my intent. I would love to know if somehow, somewhat, this is something that she's always known about me, but she was unaware of her knowledge. (unknown knowns) (sorry for the brain workout, but it's fun nonetheless)
At any rate, these days I'm in full acceptance of this spirit animal, if you will, and I say this for a number of reasons. I don't see myself as someone who can play well within the system anymore. The attempts to domesticate me, to follow the proven path, the whole, go to school, get a job, marry well, have kids and retire, have fallen flat to say the least.
I'll take my chances in the grazing fields, knowing full well lions are about. I've made it this far, so why the hell not?