My dearest new vegan,
I’ve watched you from afar for some time now. It’s no coincidence that I chose today, the day of love, to share my feelings with you.
Do you remember the day it all began? That butterflies in the belly feeling that comes with following your heart. The jitters when you dared to say it out loud for the first time. The enormity of it. The finality of it. The knowing that your world would never be the same again.
My hope for you is that every day since this love affair began has been constant, unwavering. But I doubt it. We’re just not made that way. No matter how deeply we feel our truth, how certain we are of our hearts desire. We are all creatures of habit, however strongly we resist. Sometimes when we least expect it we falter. It can’t be predicted. Doubt comes when we least expect it, from those we least expect it of. An unanswered question, “Is it? Isn’t it?” Uncertainty that these new thoughts and feelings are valid or reciprocated. The look of disapproval in the eyes of our oldest friend.
We’ve all been there, in the shoes we shouldn’t be in anymore. Some days feel like a scar. A blemish to be fixed or simply waited out, until it heals over and everything is as before, on the surface at least. Yet underneath we are permanently changed. We resist the urge to scratch, afraid of what we’ll uncover if we dare to dig a little deeper. We feel the wound deeply yet we are mute to express it to those around us. Certain that we’re the only ones to ever feel this way. We’re not.
The tension bubbling away will only hold for so long. It will erupt, it has to, it must, or we will implode from the force of it. It flows forth, as anger and frustration. As mania or tears. We are scary and persuasive in equal measure. Our loved ones will bear the brunt. How can they not be moved? Why can they not see? How can we ever bridge the void? However will we go on? They will retaliate. Their self-preservation demands it of them. Questions give rise to debates. It is hard for them to accept you as changed, to set you apart. It’s not your job to prove yourself, though you’ll often be compelled to try.
At times you will shine. You’ll feel resolved, resolute, righteous even. It’s on these days I see the shift in you, the light in your eyes. The fire within that burns so wild and bright that it can no longer be contained. I hear it in your voice. Your energy lifts all those around you. Invincible, you are without doubt, vital and alive. People look at you differently. Some see a glimpse of the truth they deny to themselves, the good news is that not all will look away. When they ask, “Tell me more.” You’ll feel elated but also paralysed, by the weight of it. Be brave. Let your compassion shine. Speak your truth as though life itself depends on it, because somewhere, to someone it does.
A Secret Admirer