Originally written December 27, 2012
Most of my essays are either introductory topics into therianthropy and identifying as otherkin or short peaks into my individual experiences (which are probably outdated now anyway). But this essay is about just being animal and the mentality that goes with it.
I tend to have trouble verbalizing my experiences simply because 1. I’ve been this way for as long as I’ve written about the topic so there is no human-me shifting to other-me mindset, I’m simply ME all the time and 2. I don’t think like normal humans do. Things like worrying about your to do list, or how to finish that college essay, or what you’re going to say the next time you see your family, etc. Future tense, and to a lesser extent past tense, simply don’t exist in my everyday mind. I have to consciously focus to do those things, and it does not come naturally to me.
And I realize this oftentimes makes me come across as stupid, although I am not. I just don’t function mentally the way other people in the general populous do. My mind tends to be focused on exactly what I’m doing at the time. True, that I do enjoy daydreaming, but I’ve found that if I do that while trying to do things in this physical world, I become detached from reality. And that is not a smart thing to do while, say, driving a car.
For example, as I write this, at 12:16pm EST, I am focused mentally on nothing but typing this down. My mind is focused on the words in my head and getting them out before I forget them. Which is another thing in how my mind is different, I have an abysmal short term memory. I can remember random facts about movies or how it felt to scuba dive for the first time, but ask me something you said to me 10 minutes ago and it’s simply not there. Only empty darkness when I try to recall it. It gets immensely frustrating. I wish I thought in pictures or beautiful metaphors, but if I concentrate, I find that I most often think in words or very general concepts. And there isn’t a lot of focus.
My animality, which is just another extension of me, is broadcast with how I personally think and feel about the world. I live in the here and the RIGHTNOW, like a wild animal does. There isn’t a plan for the future beyond: get food, sleep, tend the young/your mate, repeat (in my human life it’s more like go to work, come home, hang with friends/family, repeat). And in my everyday life, which isn’t exciting to begin with (and how I prefer it!) I am a creature of habit and repetition. So the beast behind my eyes isn’t concerned with the social hierarchy of my office with its subtle nuances, or the traffic I’m going to face driving home which is going to suck, or even seeing Les Misérables tonight which I’m excited for, it’s about whatever I’m physically doing at that exact moment.
My animal mentality often peaks through in moments of extreme emotion, which for me, isn’t often. I am a very animated, happy person, but wild animals don’t really have human comedy. But get me truly angry and I tend to growl, snarl and bare my teeth a lot. I’m sure I lay my phantom ears back as well and raise my fur ruff, but being in the here and now I don’t ever focus on those feelings, if they exist, when I’m pissed off. It’s all about the moment.
I realize my impressions may be romanticized variations of an animal’s mindset, but yet this is how I experience it: distant from societal norms of mental comprehension and expression.
I also notice that when I’m online at least, I tend to be easily distracted. There’s so much to read and learn! I also focus on exactly what I’m involved with in my everyday life. I don’t tend to set time aside to meditate or just think about things. So naturally, I tend to pay more attention to my animality whenever I’m truly bored: usually during a meeting at work. It’s during these times where I can simply sit quietly and focus on how it feels to sit like a human in a chair when I would prefer to lounge on the ground, or why I feel like I need to be under the salty waves to breathe.
Animality to me is the difference between focusing your mental thoughts on your human life and simply reacting as your inner self and just having instincts. I believe that most people, ‘kin and not, tend to do the former: it’s how we’re raised and just simply how the human mind was built to work. But it’s whenever an instinct takes over or you just react to something that I think true animality shows through. It’s not deep thoughts or planned initiatives, its action and reaction, wild instinct and animal mentality.