full circle

. . .from an upward battle of struggles and emotions to a journey of healing, growth, and laughter. . .


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I think I can, I think I can…

For someone who watches a lot of TV and takes a lot of naps, I’ve been pretty lazy busy and unmotivated to write about my life. And May was even an exciting month, showcasing 31+ days of celebrating my 40th birthday. I threw another fantabulous birthday party and even wore a tiara for the occasion. tiara{I’ve always wanted a tiara, ha! and found one on sale at a new store near work just a couple of weeks before the party}. My big birthday trip this year was to Niagara Falls {why did everybody ask me if I was going to the American side? I live in Canada, duh!}. I’m still editing my photos…well, I edited one out of seven folders, so y’all just have to wait…probably a really long time…because I have three more trips this summer, and I don’t know when I’ll find the time…because I’m so lazy busy.

Last week, I removed two close friends from my Facebook. I was having a particularly bad day—irritated with everybody to the maximum, exhausted from life. I never did determine what caused that rush of short-tempered emotions. One friend posted an old photo that included me at my heaviest. I politely asked her to remove it because I didn’t want that photo of me on Facebook. I assumed she would understand, considering she’s always talking about being fat and needing to lose weight {by the way, she is so thin. Why do skinny people insist on talking about their weight to people who are overweight or obese? Such self-absorbed, inconsiderate biotches!}. Well, I saw that she had read my message but never replied… and didn’t remove the photo. I gave her the benefit of the doubt—maybe she posted that photo and then had to run to an appointment. An hour later, the photo was still there, and our mutual friends were seeing it. I sent her another message asking if she was going to remove the photo. No response. I went to a movie and returned two hours later. She had finally removed the photo. But the damage had been done. She completely ignored my messages—she didn’t feel it was important to acknowledge or respond. Off my friends list!

The other situation was that I posted a link to an article about the new websites at our corporate and regional sites (I’m at a regional site). There were three regional sites (mine was one of them) who were never consulted during development of the new websites. I was pissed off about the article talking about how they (website company) had to keep every regional sites’ goals in mind blah x 3. We were never, not even once, asked to participate. And now we’re having to fit into a template that doesn’t meet our needs. Anyways, I bitched about that briefly on FB, and that other friend emailed me at my work email saying I was violating policy and asking if I was aware that I had directed my negative comments to her. OMG. I did not. And if you criticize my posts, you’ll be promptly unfriended. (Everybody knows that!) And don’t freaking email me at WORK about my PERSONAL social media account. {insert big scream here}

I discovered the most magnificent, most indulgent, most expensive vegan cheese. It’s made in Oregon, and oh, it’s also the most divine and most delish. It was cashew cranberry brie. I can never go back to any other kind of vegan cheese.

cheese1          cheese2


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bittersweet

Today is my youngest nephew’s third birthday. Today is also the ninth “anniversary” of when T and I met. How cruel for the OBGYN to schedule a c-section on a day that I had been trying to put behind me and forget. {Ironically, we met on the same night his own nephew was born.}

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not pining away. But April 7 is always bittersweet. It’s the one day I can guarantee all the memories will flood back. The relationship was the best and the worst one ever in my life. And it’s the best part that makes me so sad that it ended.

I ran into him at my work conference last year. It was the first time I had seen him since The Break Up six years prior. It did not go well. I ran to the bathroom and cried. I came out and tried to avoid him, but he sought me out. We had a brief conversation catching up, but we were both working, so that ended quickly. Hopeful, I contacted him the next day to see if he wanted to catch up properly over coffee. It took a couple of attempts before he sent me two very hurtful letters: “No.” I cried all day at work… for so many reasons. Love really does suck.

For years, I had hoped one day when he was emotionally well, and I was emotionally well, we would run into each other and get back together. But you know what’s funny? Even if that did happen, I can never get back together with him because now I’m vegan. And that trumps love.


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#vegan for the animals, vegan for myself

One year ago today, I made one of the most important decisions I’ll ever make, to begin a lifetime journey of enlightenment.

After The Break Up, I found a new passion for animals that first started with cats. Being a cat guardian led me to volunteer with the cat rescue, which led me to tolerate dogs {lol}, which led me to love all animals. After burning out with the rescue group, I looked for different ways to be involved with my passion and love for animals. I went back to school and earned my animal welfare certificate. And then an animal welfare mini-conference opportunity presented itself, so I went.

In truth, the Animal Advocacy Camp turned out to be a big gathering of vegans and vegetarians. I felt so uncomfortable and guilty. I was afraid to tell anyone that I was a meat-eater. After the first day, after all I had heard, I knew I had to be vegetarian from that day forward. On the second day, Jo-Anne McArthur spoke. I cried. And cried. At 38, I felt so ignorant that I had no idea that dairy cows had their babies taken away from them the minute they were born. No idea. That was the moment I knew I had to be vegan.

The last 12 months has been a wonderful journey into a world I wish I had been part of my whole life. I am happier, healthier, discovering amazing new ingredients to explore with in my cooking, and relieved of the guilt of knowing the role I had previously played in the suffering of animals. Many colleagues and friends have told me it must be so hard and that they couldn’t do it. I told them if they believed in something as strongly as I believed in not killing animals, it would be easy for them to do. Their problem is that they are close-minded and ignorant, just like I was before. I had started reading Living Among Meat Eaters in which the author introduces an interesting concept. I don’t know whether it’s her own theory or if it has been tested {because I never ended up finishing the book}, but she asserts that everyone is a blocked vegetarian—for many reasons, they’re just not open to it yet.

So, the hard part wasn’t giving up meat or milk or cheese, etc. The hard part was dealing with the ignorance of others, especially friends. While it would be amazing if they all converted with me, I didn’t want to preach. I wanted to educate them, as I had been at the conference. {If you want a punch in the face, just say “Oh, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.”} If you’re going to eat meat and dairy, at least be informed about where your food comes from and what’s happening to the animals. It’s encouraged to be informed about GMO and labelling and advertising, but it’s not ok to tell people about the horrors of mama cows who are artificially forced to produce milk for 10 months out of the year, even after their baby calves no longer need to be fed {and who, as mentioned, were taken away at birth anyways}.

vegan2People—our culture, our society, our world—don’t value animals, not truly. Superficially, we care. There are animal abuse cases every day in the media {another part of my advocacy efforts}, and society cares and is appalled when the horrific acts are against companion animals. But when it comes to “food,” the horrible acts against animals are acceptable. Why? Because society places a lower value on those animals. But guess what? WE ARE ALL ANIMALS. There is NO reason why humans should be above animals. NONE. Watch Speciesism, and you’ll understand.

So many thoughts and emotions running around in my mind during this anniversary. But it all fits—for once—neatly into one little package: my love for cats, my desire to help animals, my passion to make a difference. I’m vegan for the animals. I’m vegan for myself.