I’m struggling a bit with my life choices. I’ve been a ‘vegan’ for maybe two years now, and have slowly transitioned from an omnivore to pescetarian to vegetarian to vegan over the course of however long it’s been since I finished school; three and a half years or so.
I still eat honey. Sometimes I eat food that has dairy in it knowingly, whether it be because it was made for me or because I am drunk and eat some of my roommates food or bought something from the store that I forgot to check before I purchased. I’m not perfect. I wear leather shoes that I bought four years ago almost every single day, and sometimes when I see bugs inside I don’t put them outside.
I’m struggling. To the point of considering vegetarianism. Many people I admire follow a vegetarian lifestyle, and many eat meat. The thing is though, it hurts my soul. Because I’m not a vegan for health reasons, although it’s been a bonus discovering the beauty of the food the Earth can provide. I am a vegan because I love my beautiful dog and I cannot bear the thought of an animal in suffering because of my petty sensory wants, it’s the classic “because it tastes good” scenario which is a logically unsound argument.
I come with baggage. I have made peace with my past to some extent, but it still is a daily choice to embrace the health of my mind, body and soul. Lots of days I act in ways that are to my detriment, and a lot of days I still have thoughts of hate toward myself and my actions and toward my body. An eating disorder is an addiction that never really goes away. I can’t say much in terms of other addictions, bar my on and off abusive relationship with marijuana, but I feel that other addictions such as alcoholism… not to say that it isn’t the same in terms of the trauma and the hell that is that life, but humans need food to live, whereas alcohol is a choice.
So every day I make this choice… I make many choices. I choose what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, how much I will pay for my food, how much love and care I will put into preparation, how much coffee I will consume, whether I eat with mindfulness or shovel as much instant gratification in as I possibly can. Every day I make the choice to either embrace this world or to put a barrier between myself and everything that shines. Some days I succumb to the darkness and I feel a part of my soul vacate the building. I feel shame, I feel guilt, I feel distressed and I feel angry. I feel hurt and I feel forgotten and I feel not good enough. I feel at the end of my tether some days.
Other days I feel so free. It’s always outside that brings me back to myself. At home if I had a bad day, if I ate so much that my stomach expanded and filled the whole room, I’d toss and turn till it became too much and fly out the house with unwashed hair, unbrushed teeth, no bra or underwear, no shoes and I’d fly to the park where I could lay down and just breathe.
Being away from home, away from the support networks, the cafes, the markets, the parks, the grocery stores that I knew so well and was able to utilize… it’s hard. It sounds silly, but it took me so god damn long to be okay with letting people know I was a vegan. I felt almost guilty, I did, I felt guilty for ‘putting people out’, I didn’t want the attention because I didn’t view myself as a perfect advocate. After working at the same place of work for two and a half years I think I only talked about it the last few months. I always just let people go with the assumption that I was vegetarian because it seemed easier to not correct them.
I feel that a lot of things happened in the last few months before I came here. I came to be more accepting of who I was, and not in a false sense. For I feel that true acceptance isn’t at home in your bedroom whispering mantras to the night, wishful half-truths of acceptance, letting go and empowerment. They are important also, but important in their ability to create space and in their ability to initiate manifestation ‘out in the real world’. I stopped wearing long sleeves to work, after a whole two and a half years, after two Summers.
I am not ashamed of my scars. It took me maybe six months to feel comfortable with them after the time I went to hospital. I remember having a panic attack before heading to the gym with Dad because I couldn’t find my arm band which I slipped on my arm to cover them. I’m not sure really when it happened, but eventually I stopped wearing long sleeves around the house, I stopped wearing an arm band to the gym, I started wearing short sleeves when it was hot and I came to love my scars. One special person even called them beautiful one day spent down by the river. To me… they’re a reminder of staring into the abyss; the place of complete darkness and voiceless screams. They’re a reminder of bad days that have come to pass, and they’re a reminder that I am a bad ass fucking warrior. They’re a reminder of how I hit the lowest point of my life and opened up to my family. They’re a reminder of how after I went to hospital, I asked to see a different counselor; a psychologist not a psychiatrist. They are a reminder of how I began to listen to myself and find myself… how I stopped taking anti-depressants and quit therapy and found yoga. They’re a reminder of how I found out that the only person that could heal my wounds was me. They’re a reminder of how painful facing ones own wounds are. They’re a reminder that facing one’s wounds are necessary. They’re a reminder that whenever I’m feeling down, stressed out or overwhelmed… I have a choice in how I react.
That’s one thing I came to know within my heart before I left for Canada. Emotions are emotions, yes… and they are there to be felt, to be embraced with open arms. They are there to teach, to release, to reveal… but I have a say in how I respond to my emotions. I can simply observe… observe what these emotions do to my physical body; my breath, my heart rate, my blood pressure, the feeling in my stomach… I can observe what they do to my mind; if they cause my thoughts to race, to slow, to become of a negative or positive nature… I can retreat to inside and ask my soul what they mean…
So. I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed. I feel drained. I feel conflicted, cognitively dissonant. I feel like running a million miles, standing on the top of a mountain and screaming fuck you. Fuck the judgmental, fuck the guilt, and fuck the shame. I am here on this Earth to do my best and to be my best. If I want to investigate the possibility of eating local eggs and local honey, if I want to order a mother fucking cheese pizza, that’s all okay. It’s allowed. I allow myself to be fucking human. I am not a perfect robot and that’s okay. If I want to drink a whole bottle of rum on a Saturday night, so be it. If I want to be sober for a year, then let’s fucking do it. If I want to smoke weed or drink a whole bottle of wine on a Sunday then I allow myself to do it, so long as it is in alignment with my highest Truth… even, and especially, when acknowledging that highest Truth is painfully challenging.
Last night I left a party to head back to this guys house with a few others, and we had a sweet jam and sing along in the early hours of the morning. It was so nice to sing around others, to allow myself to be myself. I was offered weed, and peacefully declined, which (I think) lead to a discussion of respect for substances and personal history with the plant… Lead to talks of the plant teachers and plant medicine, and beautiful half-memories soaked in rum. I am happiest when I am me, and being me means respecting that weed and I don’t mix anymore. It means accepting the fact that I’m never going to be one of those girls who can easily fall into a one night stand. It means climbing trees whenever the hell I feel like it. It means walking barefoot into a shop and not feeling embarrassed. It means accepting the fact that I love myself, and feel myself, a whole lot more when I have hair under my arms and a smile on my face. It means accepting the fact that not everyone will like me or my choices, but that that is up to them and I don’t have to take their preferences on. It means accepting that I don’t have to change myself for anyone, the right person or people will come along when I am doing me. The world needs more people who have come alive, and I am so sick of being dead. Being me feels good. Wearing my septum ring out all the time, feels fucking fantastic after four years of hiding it from my family and co-workers because they didn’t accept it. Dying part of my hair green because I’ve wanted to for ages, feels fucking great. Not giving a shit about what other people think of my appearance, my preferences or my choices is the most liberating thing in the world.
I think I’m done. I’m going to sleep.
If you read all of that; good job you beautiful rockstar.
In deepest love,