I'm here. I'm a hippy. Get Used To IT!
I had a friend ask me the other night if I could possibly do something not because it was different. He was mocking me, of course, for the helter skelter explanation I gave for chopping off my hair because my other sisters were growing theirs out. This was not the first time I had been asked this question before, and I know it won't be the last. Many people think I do things JUST to be different, but that's not the case. Always...
Last night I defended my dietary and lifestyle choice of veganism to my parents. Again. After seven years, my family is finally coming to accept this single act of rebellion from my teenage years as my life, not a phase. As I provided rough statistics, dietary study findings and other "health" reasons to justify my diet (I'm pretty sure that this is not a common conversation between mid-twenty-somethings and their parents, but it seems to be an ongoing topic for myself), we got on to the topic of debates. Somehow, it was brought up that information from both sides (pro- and anti- vegan, more often related to a compassionate lifestyle than not OR pro- and anti- mainstream, which currently suffers from a multitude of health problems that even mainstream advocates are relating back to nutrition) should be used in the discussion and decision of a healthy diet. My strongest comment on the discussion was that "when you're trying to shift a paradigm, sometimes you have to stand on your side of the fulcrum and use every scrap of an anomaly against the mainstream in order to shine light on the fact that it's not the only thing out there. Then, slowly, people will move closer to your side of the scale, so you don't have to shout as much."
Luckily, for my friends and family, I am different. I won't go with the crowd just because it's there. I'll watch the crowd, be fascinated by it, analyze it to bits and pieces (which used to cause massive anxiety problems), but have never really felt a part of it. Now that I've realized this, I'm using this "Gift" to create a world where I'm not different, but I'm a leader.
I have a huge heart. I care too much for others, and struggle to balance out my care for myself. I've used this before as a "weakness" in a job interview. I throw myself passionately into so much else, and have struggled to comprehend why other people can't. It is my "Gift." I feel like it's the reason that I'm here.
My sister told me once, in high school, that I was going to change the world. It took some time, but eventually I began to believe her, and I know that my great strength in compassion for those without voices, passion for causes without mainstream backing, and my ability to analyze rather than participate in the paradigm is how I'm going to do it.
As such.... It's beautifully sunny out here today, my bike needs a good tune-up. Searching for the available times at my local bike shop, I stumbled upon this lovely video while planning out my afternoon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have:
If I Ride