Territory

Territory

By Kusani

I am a lioness-woman. I love that fact and I love how saying that sounds; I love being who I am.

That said, being lioness and being human do not always overlap and mesh well. There are times when I have two completely different urges or instincts pulling at me. And there are times when part of me understands something and the other just … doesn’t get it.

And, being me-human and me-lioness, it’s not like the two species are pure, unadulterated representations of the archetypal creatures. I am one person, not two ideal spirits shoved into corporeal form. I’m me – mind, body, spirit, heart, lioness and woman all in one big mishmash.

This is a winding, roundabout way of saying that, even though I’m not just human, not just any one thing, and even though I do believe that people are microcosms of the entire potential of the Universe… despite all of that, there are still things that feel alien to every single bit of me.

Like wandering out of my territory fearlessly, and alone, to explore.

It’s no big deal to most people to take a walk down their street and look around, or to take the long route home from work and see if there’s anything cool on the side streets. When I was younger, I used to want to do that all the time.

Now, though, it’s a something. Not exactly scary, just unsettling (ruffling) and makes me second-think why I’m doing this. Why do I need to go here if I can just go home to Den? This isn’t my place, my land, my pridemates. I don’t need this place. I should just go home.

Lions are often regarded as the most bold and inquisitive of the big cats (and possibly of the smaller, too – not sure). A lioness, within her own territory and without cubs to watch over, will go off and investigate strange or interesting things rather fearlessly. Most other cats, who live alone and have to survive alone, do not have the luxury of doing that often. They’re primarily concerned with survival, because they don’t have the backup of pridemates that a lioness does. Not all cats stake out a firm territory that they will defend without question, as most lion prides do. A lioness on her own land, with her pride within hearing range, is confident.

Take a lioness off that land, away from that pride, and she is just as cautious and wary as the next lone cat.

Put me alone, in a new or unfamiliar place, and suddenly I am rethinking why I need to be there and can’t I just leave already? It’s ten times easier if I have even one person with me, because I have pridemates and I can rely on them to know what to do, if I don’t, or to be able to figure it out with me. Entirely too much energy goes into fretting about simply going new places and experiencing new things.

And, unfortunately, the me-human doesn’t counter this… at all. Humans are naturally curious too, right? Well, I guess my curiosity does not extend this far. Either that, or it’s drowned out by being out-of-territory and nervous. Not really afraid – just very wary, very quiet, hoping no one notices me and seeing how fast I can get my business done and get out of there.

It’s very strange. Also very annoying and a bit strangling, when I look over at my bicycle and think, “Well hey, I should go riding today, it’s gorgeous out!” and my brain immediately thinks of the crappy streets and the people and the lights I’d have to cross and this isn’t Den this isn’t territory why do I want to be out -there-?

And there’s those times, of course, where I get fed up with myself, or I am feeling unusually confident and vagabond-ish, and I wander off alone and check things out and usually enjoy it immensely, because all-of-me loves new experience and new things to learn and see and touch and feel. And that love is actually stronger than the nervousness of stepping outside my comfort zone, but the one comes before the other and usually wins.

I am working at forcing myself to go new places and do new things. It helps to go with people, like my mate or my best friend. It’s just really slow work.

I should go biking today. It’s gorgeous out. =3