Vegan Shmegan

August 11, 2011 § 3 Comments

I live in a black and white world. Things are either good or bad, right or wrong. I’m either successful or not, skinny or fat, and the latest…vegan or not vegan. I’ve always struggled with the grey zone. But the reality is, the world we live in is very grey. Things are not always as they first appear and what you think is true one day can turn out to be false the next.

I spent the last few days in Seattle for work. Being a vegan on the road hasn’t been easy – but I’ve managed. This trip luring me in with seafood probably caught the same day was just too big a temptation and I was anxious about how I’d cope and what I’d decide. I know it seems petty that this made me nervous but I was almost to 40 days and really determined to keep going. In my eyes, if I caved, I failed – it was all black and white.

I missed lunch the first day so when dinner came, I was ravenous. I was with a friend and we went to a kinda French / Cajun place – his favorite restaurant in the city. I was a tad nervous all day – if I ate fish, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a vegan. We sat down in this gorgeous restaurant with beautiful decor and a stellar menu. I was instantly excited. Everything looked delicious – surely they could make me a fabulous vegan meal in this place. I wasn’t even tempted to get fish. Reminder: looks can be deceiving.

The waiter came and I explained I was vegan to which I got a nervous and somewhat perplexed look back. I asked if he would talk to the chef and see if they could make me a vegan meal to which he said something along the lines of, “the kitchen is really busy, the chef doesn’t really have time for that.” I was flabbergasted and embarrassed. I really wanted to stand up and leave. Was I the only vegan to ever step foot in this restaurant? Apparently so. I regretfully ordered a salad (again I had NO lunch) and some green beans and while they were good I was left with a sour taste in my mouth.

But just when you think things are down, they can turn around. Wednesday was my 40th day being vegan. And I made it! I lucked out and the catered lunch had plenty of salad, steamed asparagus, and rice. It got even better when we ended up at a wonderful Mexican place for dinner and I had the most delicious and outstanding vegetable fajitas. I went to bed satisfied and content.

Then Thursday I found myself at Pike’s Market, world famous for fish – oh and they had lots of tempting French bakeries. I got to meet up with my cousin for lunch and we stopped at a little oyster bar. I’m not into oysters anyways but the salmon caught my eye. Everyone says you have to have salmon in Seattle. I waited and rationalized to myself that I had made it 40 days, that I could be a vegan that has the occasional piece of fish (have I mentioned I’m hard on myself?!) The salmon finally arrived and while it was good – was a bit of a let down. All that stress, anxiety, and over-analyzing for a dry piece of salmon. Story of my life.

Moral of the story? Things can change in an instant and it isn’t always greener on the other side. In everything we do, we romanticize what life on the other side is like – in another city, another culture, a more exciting job, as a non-vegan :-)

But we often find ourselves looking back and saying, “you know what, that wasn’t half bad.” Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. And looking back – that fish had nothing on a great platter of sautéed veggies, but the next place might be better. Next time I see a great piece of fish, who knows, maybe I’ll eat it, maybe I won’t.

So vegan shmegan…I need to loosen up and find happiness in the grey zone. But lets be realistic, one minute and day at a time…

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