184 Days of Vegan.

I have thought about this day for a really long time and mulled over and over in my head so many times about what I would write today and how I would feel when I woke up…today is 6 official months since I went vegan.

You know when you wake up on your birthday and your friends/family ask you after blowing out the candles: “How does it feel to be 18?….21?…(insert age here)” and usually the answer is: “I feel the exact same”?

That’s how I felt today when I woke up today on my half-year marker. I went to bed last night giddy over how I might feel in the morning: inspired? Worldy? More mature? When I opened my eyes this morning, I felt like the same Danielle — stumbling out of bed with wonky hair, being an absolute disgrace trying to function without coffee and blasting my music while putting my breakfast in the oven. I guess that’s the beauty about something (in my case, veganism) coming so naturally to you — it doesn’t feel like a big to-do after you have practiced it so long. While I do identify as a vegan and it is a huge part of who I am, I sometimes forget now that I even am a vegan since it just feels so normal to me at this point.

So that’s what today is all about for me — not posting fun recipes (though I have been cooking up an absolute storm!) or what I have been up to since I last spoke, but rather a reflection on the last six months of my life since I shed 10 years of vegetarianism to try out veganism.

Let’s review:

I went vegan on Aug. 19 and my first vegan meal was an avocado and corn salad. I’ve tried some interesting recipes…

The first vegan meal I ever made was definitely an interesting one.

The first vegan meal I ever made was definitely an interesting one.

…become a pro at some other recipes (I’m looking at you, any variety of breakfast oatmeal)…

Breakfast time is the best time.

Breakfast time is the best time.

I’ve had the absolute pleasure to cook for some of my non-vegan friends…

Indian food is best when shared with friends.

Indian food is best when shared with friends.

…and I have been blessed with the support of family who helps me every step of the way.

No animal products were used on my Thanksgiving plate.

No animal products were used on my Thanksgiving plate.

I have had the chance to try vegan fare when I travel, which is always so much fun…

Petition for City Greens to open a store in Missouri. Or take me back to New Orleans....either will do.

Petition for City Greens to open a store in Missouri. Or take me back to New Orleans….either will do.

…and I have had more soy lattes than I wish to disclose….

Bonus points if you know what this coffee cup is a reference to.

Bonus points if you know what this coffee cup is a reference to.

The last six months of my life have been some of the best — not just with being a vegan and all of the amazing changes it has brought forth, but also the stage of life I am in. In my last year (and now few months!) of undergrad, I have tried to make the most of it because I know I’m probably going to miss it when I’m done. However, I’ll always be thankful that I went vegan when I did, because it has made my last experiences at this university so much more memorable. It always makes me laugh a bit when friends or classmates tell me: “I read your blog and it’s so you! I could never be vegan but you make it look so easy!” I laugh for a few reasons: the first being I am always supremely flattered and the second being when people think being a vegan is always soy lattes and whimsy and magic and fun. While I am certainly so glad I portray veganism positively (as that is my main goal, because it is such a positive force in my life), being a vegan also has its challenges, frustrations and awkward social situations. While being vegetarian for half of my life certainly made the transition an easier one, it has still had its difficulties. The number one takeaway from this, for me anyway, is the learning experience. I am always learning as a person and growing as a vegan — I’m a more informed, educated vegan than I was 6 months ago and I’m sure (at least I hope) I will be even six months from today.

At first, my main goal of this blog was to have a creative outlet for me to write about my daily experiences as a vegan so I could reflect on my personal growth and also to have a creative forum to write and also do some simple web design. What it has grown into is something far beyond what I could have dreamed of. I’m always touched by the advice, support and compliments from every single person who takes the time to read what I have to say and I hope some day, I can be a resource for anyone who has questions about veganism, just as other blogs were (and continually are) for me when I am looking for answers to any questions I have pertaining to vegan living.

I wish I had something really inspirational or lovely to say but really, I’m only going to say this:

Do more of what you love, try something new even if it scares you, be creative and forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Do something compassionate for the good of others and embrace change as it comes, even it if is in small steps.

To whomever is reading this right now, thanks and ever thanks for sharing this experience with me. It’s been a great run and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead to share. 

Talk very soon,

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2 thoughts on “184 Days of Vegan.

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