Its a weird phenomenon being a vegan. I say phenomenon as I really do feel like an ‘oddity’ on occasion.
Not that I am unhappy about it, you understand. My favourite quote has always been, “You cannot explore new oceans until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” It sums up so many decisions in life; becoming vegetarian, leaving home to go to uni, moving to Australia, becoming a citizen here, changing careers last year, getting married to my wonderful husband and now, becoming a vegan.
What is known, isn’t necessarily the right ‘truth’ and sometimes taking a new path or forging ahead and trusting in the world can be the most empowering, energising, and enlightening source of energy and truth – and that’s where I find myself today.
Anyway, I digress. Back to being a phenomenon.
What do I mean?
I mean that we are small in numbers. Compared to say vegos and meat eaters (of course). This means that our thoughts, notions, belief systems etc are therefore lesser known, lesser accepted and met with confusion, curiousity and more. Which is why, I found myself on a number of occasions this last week, saying ‘no thanks’.
I’ve had a number of work meetings and, very generously, the people I’ve had meetings with have offered to purchase me a coffee (and ordered me dairy as they forgot the soy order), bought delightful looking danishes to a work meeting, bought banana bread to share and bought me a box of chocolates to say thanks. Lovely genuine gestures, all of them. However, it led me to a moment of dilemma. What did I do?
I drank the dairy coffee as I was mortified to have to tell the lovely lady the first time we met that she had wasted her money. I said thank you but no thanks to the danishes and to the banana bread and explained why (to a surprised audience). I accepted the chocolates and distributed them around. Which leads me to ask myself, why did I feel compelled to accept the dairy coffee? She only spent about $4.00. I simply just couldn’t bear the awkwardness and the appearance of un-gratitude (if thats even a word). Does that make me very awkwardly English? Perhaps! Also – its week one. I am not beating myself up about this. It just didn’t seem like the time to have that conversation. However, next time, emboldened, I definitely will. It was the first time it had happened to me, and it took me by surprise. I have improved as the week has gone on, but its made me realise this will likely be a norm of my life from now on, saying ‘thanks but no thanks.’
Out for dinner tonight – another first as a vegan. Bring it on!
Happy days – enjoy the weekend.