To Thine Own Self Be True

 A few weeks ago my partner and I were invited to dinner at the home of a couple he knows. I didn't know these people at all so I was really stressing about the whole vegan thing and what I should do. Eventually it was decided that I would bring my own dinner, which if fine with me. I went to a local vegan restaurant and picked myself up a really great meal to take over there. I also found a recipe for what looked like fantastic vegan fudge and decided to make it. I figured that way there would be something sweet for me to eat after dinner and I could share it with everybody and sell them on the goodness of vegan food!

Recipe fail! The fudge tasted amazing, but it didn't set. At all. It was more goop than fudge, although I did enjoy eating spoonfuls of it all that afternoon! I told myself it didn't matter – I didn't need dessert anyway, I should eat less sugar, blah, blah, blah. I was disappointed though. I really, really wanted to impress some omnivores with my fudge making skills.

We went to the dinner, and it was lovely. Great people, lots of good conversation and laughs. I felt self conscious dishing up my own food, but I'm getting more used to it as time goes by. People don't know how, or are afraid to, or don't want to make something vegan and I like taking my own stuff anyway; then I know it's vegan for sure.

When dinner was over, our hostess brought out dessert (insert ominous music here). This lovely woman had baked, from scratch, an absolutely fantastic looking apple pie. I mean, it was perfect; beautiful golden crust, the smell of baked, sugary apples wafting off of it. It had eggs in it.  I knew it wasn't vegan - the baker of this pie told me so.  I was offered a piece and (gasp!) I accepted a very small piece. This is the most difficult part of being vegan – for me anyway. I really struggle with my fear of offending someone, and so I accepted the pie, and I ate the pie, and the pie was delicious. I mean, really good. I felt terrible. My gut hurt – whether that was physical or psychological I don't know, but it still hurt, and I was just really disappointed in myself. My partner has said to me repeatedly that I should do what I want to do and not worry about other people's reactions. Nailed it. If only my fudge had set.....

There's no point in my doing something that goes against what I strongly believe in, just so that I don't offend anyone. This is ridiculous. I could twist that around; I find it rather disgusting watching everyone dig into their meat based meal. That, however, is their decision; NOT having a dessert containing animal ingredients is MY decision, and I need to work on standing firm and declining when necessary. These were really lovely people; they would not have been offended; as my partner says “that's my stuff”.

Lesson learned. It's been a journey and a process, and I'm slowly starting to speak up more and make myself heard. I am learning that I don't need to apologize for who I am and what is important to me. I don't need to make excuses and try and justify what I believe and why I believe it. There's nothing more important than feeling true to myself on the inside. I'd rather go to bed at night with an empty stomach and a contented mind, than a belly full of apple pie and a mind in turmoil.



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