When it Began
May 25 marked the anniversary of when this all began for me. I decided to create an Instagram account while running on the treadmill at my gym. In February 2013 I had started woking out at the gym and I wanted a way to make myself accountable for my choices. I was already posting my food on my personal Instagram account. I was embarrassed because I kept hearing comments from people whom I thought were my friends… So, I created my own alternate universe. A place where I could be the person I actually was. This account is the sole reason I stumbled my way into a plant based lifestyle. Today, I am eternally grateful for those people who were judging and making annoying comments! If it wasn’t for this choice I made back in 2013, I may not have found my way to a whole plant-based, vegan cruelty-free lifestyle.
My very first post was heavily influenced by Fullyraw Kristina. When I was dipping my toes in veganism and was completely mesmerized by her lifestyle and her positive attitude. I would make HUGE raw’ish’ meals for myself, my husband (fiancé at the time) and his parents. Man were they ever patient with me!
The more I learnt throughout this journey, the more I wanted to share with everybody: my friends and family, but it seemed the more I would learn, the more the people I thought were closest to me started to distant themselves and I would have to choose to either eat consciously and be kind to the world and our environment or assimilate just to be “normal” to everyone around me. This made me hide from the people in my life.
But the beauty in all this was the world wide web would have accepted me and everything I was learning and sharing! They were responding with gratitude and enthusiasm. These last 4 years I lost a lot of friends. It seems living a life with true purpose and compassion is very troublesome to certain people. I used to not be ok with it! It would really affect me because I’ve always wanted to please everyone and make sure we were always ok and coexisting peacefully. But this past year I’ve come to realize living my true self means to be truly yourself and to please only ONE person- YOU.
For two years I actually didn’t tell any of my friends about lettuceliv. Every so often I’d hear comments like: look it was just a phase she stopped posting vegan food on her wall, she’s “back to normal” (cringe). So, when I finally showed my friends that I had a whole other world of people listening to me and sharing my stuff, they were sort of baffled but again I was still holding back and keeping myself and my life separated.
My Self Realization
Finally, my self realization came when I knew I was the only person holding myself back. (I know so obvious right!) From exactly what I wanted because again, I was scared of what everyone else was thinking and I never needed anyone else’s approval or validation… I then decided to un-private my personal Instagram account and share everything I was doing on lettuceliv with my personal account. I knew I was still hiding it from family and friends. So to me, by exposing myself completely, I was no longer hiding behind anything. I am who I am and if you don’t like seeing kick ass vegan food and awesome cruelty free brands because that makes you uncomfortable or if your jealous of my happiness you can find a way out of my tribe! (Ok… that was harsh sorry but not that sorry!)
To conclude don’t do as I did. I virtually ran away and hid from my family and friends because I was scared of judgement and criticism. Do not trade your true self or your authenticity just to fit in and get approval from others. I say Fuck it! If they don’t like it they can leave! I am going to continue and embrace the amazing community of compassionate bloggers and influencers. Because this tribe that keeps growing is the movement that’s needed to mend the world.
My whole life I was told I was a free spirit and a hippie! But at least I know my direction! I hope you know your path and are true to yourself no matter who is trying to beat you down. Embrace your successes and be proud of what you are achieving.
This post is obviously out of my comfort zone. It was sitting in my drafts for over two months. I even passed my Instagram anniversary… but with so much to look back on I was really able to see things clearly. With time we gain perspective. This time to me feels as though I have not reached an end but a new chapter, actually maybe a new volume?
Volume II of LettuceLiv is something I am excited to embark on. There are new collaborations, new ventures and the prospect of this little ol’blog becoming a full time thing! So subscribe and share my post with who you feel can relate to this!! I would love to hear your comments on a situation where you were forced to hold back your true self.