When I Was Younger

When I was younger, one time I went to my aunt’s house (probably for Christmas, as is the tradition), and my cousin’s boyfriend-at-the-time was there. He was a vegan and I’d never met a real-life vegan before. I didn’t understand veganism. Why on Earth would anyone choose tofu over bacon? I was definitely a lover of meat and a lover of cakes. I was your typical kid! Also, why was he not sitting on the perfectly-comfortable leather sofa?

Gradually, as the years went on, I realised that he wasn’t from an alien race. He just had different beliefs. I became a vegetarian one year, vegan the next, because of my beliefs. My brother and my dad eat meat and I’m okay with that, so when a friend apologises to me for eating meat in front of me, I’m used to it, and they shouldn’t be apologising. I want to get rid of the barrier that’s blocking meat-eaters and vegans. I want to hang with someone without having to explain why I’m not eating the same things as them. I want our beliefs to be separate and not to get mixed up, because that causes me tension. When people question my beliefs, I want to just shut my ears!

It. is. my. choice. 

Also, please don’t think negatively of all vegans because a few have pushed their beliefs strongly onto you and you’re sick of it. Living with meat-eaters, if I strangled them every time they ate meat, it’d be a daily habit! I don’t mind that they eat meat either. Obviously, I’d prefer it if I lived in a vegan household, for dinner conveniences, but them eating meat: that is their choice. I’m not going to blow up their choice and they shouldn’t blow up mine.

We make choices everyday. We have different beliefs. Yet, we continue as one society. Isn’t that something to be savoured, not destroyed? Terrorism is saying there is only one way to live, and that isn’t true. I believe we can all live in the way that makes us happiest. If that’s eating meat, or not, or eating cheese, or not, then just do it! I might believe one thing, you might believe another; I might cry when I think about how some animals suffer for this, you might not think about it at all — but we can live in harmony. We can live together, whatever.

I’m adopting a jaguar this year, for Christmas. Last year, it was a Snow Leopard for my birthday. I just want to make those creatures have a happy life, like us. That’s what makes me happy, so that is important. Whatever makes you happy is important too. 🙂

What makes you happy?

Why?

Why do we live in a time where you aren’t allowed to be proud, happy, supportive, of yourself? Why do we live in a time where we have to look for our flaws, even when they’re harder to find than the good parts? Why do we have to ignore our talents or our natural gifts? Why is modesty and low self-esteem the norm? Why can’t we just be accepting of ourselves?

It’s hard for me to say I’m good at anything, even when I get good grades. I’ve constantly been telling myself how bad I am that it just embeds itself in my mind and I can’t get rid of it, regardless of my grades. It’s because I’ve adjusted to this state of mind. We all have.

People who are proud of themselves are rarer in this world than those who are not, and I am not getting at arrogance here — that is another matter altogether. I am getting at those who have the right to be proud, and take it to the right level. I am in such awe of those people, at how they can manage to feel accomplishment for the same tasks that make me cry at how bad I feel I am at them.

I want to tell people how to be happy with themselves but I can’t because then I’d be lying; I don’t know how to be happy with myself so how can I tell others how to be? Compliments don’t change this; just add an edge of awkwardness and, perhaps, a momentary bit of self-appreciation. But that doesn’t last: it never lasts, and then you’re back where you were. Lost and confused about why you even exist; what qualities do you have to offer the world?

It’s so difficult living without being able to appreciate yourself: can’t that change? I wish it could, but there’s just no way of knowing how.