I am a giraffe.
The other day, my husband said he was talking to his lab-mates at lunch about their totem animals. According to them, a totem animal is the one you are most like. It doesn't have to be your favorite animal, just one you resemble. They decide that he is an owl. It makes sense; a quiet, watchful bird that notes everything and is very precise in all its movements.
Also, he can fly almost silently, so there's that too.
I thought for a while. Giraffes are my favorite animal, so I was deliberately steering clear of them in my head so I didn't bias myself. My husband suggested that I was some kind of sea creature.
A jellyfish? They have no brain, after all.
A cuttlefish? They're colorful and rather creative.
No, he said. A cuttlefish changes its appearance to camouflage itself. I don't do that; wherever I am, I am obviously me.
I thought some more. Well, then I'm a giraffe.
Giraffes are very chill animals. They hang out on the plains and eat leaves and don't bother any other animals. And if a lion or something tries to bother them, it is dispatched with a swift, powerful kick (I don't get into other people's business, and those who start drama are quickly ejected from my life). Giraffes don't make much noise (I am quiet). And a giraffe is a giraffe, always. It can't pretend to be anything else. It sticks out no matter where it is.
I think being one of those social chameleons would actually be very useful, and it's a little frustrating that I can't always make myself fit in.
But since I can't, I'd rather be a giraffe.