Hey there VBR readers! I’m so blessed & excited that Sunny gave me the opportunity to share my story with all of you! I’m going to keep it brief and to the point, but if you would like more background and detail, I will have a video up really soon!
I first went vegan in December of 2009, right after my 21st birthday. I didn’t really allow myself to transition into the lifestyle (big mistake, in my opinion); I just threw everything out & started living as a vegan.
I think most, if not all, vegans were guilty at some point or another of being an “apologetic vegan”. You know what I mean. “Oh I’m sorry, I can’t have anything with dairy. Yes, I’m really sorry. Well, I guess a little bit wouldn’t hurt …” Yup, that was me, but not just for a few weeks or months. That was me for four years. That’s right.
I wasn’t confident in my decision. That made moving for university even more difficult. When moving to a new city on your own is already difficult as it is, imagine how lonely I felt because the places my friends wanted to go out and eat were not veg-friendly at all! I desperately wanted to make friends and didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. I ignored the fact that I lost 25 lbs & my painful, cystic acne cleared up and that I even got a boyfriend!
Sadly, I fell off the vegan-diet-wagon & went to a vegetarian diet (I would never go back to meat!). I was so focused on making & keeping friends that I never focused on my own accomplishments. I never focused on the fact that I inspired my boyfriend, my roommate, & classmates to become vegetarian. I forgot about the fact that I was the sole reason our dining commons now had decent vegetarian options, an entire vegetarian station, & even implemented Meatless Mondays.
This past year had been the worst. I graduated with my degree and found myself involved with a number of successful people. They were warm, friendly, & kind people. However, their values involved luxury vehicles and designer bags, not a natural, compassionate lifestyle that I was secretly passionate about. I fell into that trap. I admit, I started buying leather goods & animal-tested products (feeling horribly guilty) just for the sake of fitting in.
A month ago, I was on YouTube and was watching Sunny’s videos with Tiffany. Suddenly, I felt as if someone had slapped me and I started crying. I realized that I had lived a fraud life; I didn’t live by my values. In fact, it was like I had sold them out. Not only had I gained all my weight back in this last year and started breaking out again, I wasn’t happy. You see, when we live our lives in line with our values, that’s when we are happiest and can be our authentic selves. I’m now back on track as a vegan hippie and the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I don’t care to keep friends who tease me (no, a vegetarian and a vegetable are not the same thing!) and aren’t willing to have an open mind. Out of the giant group of non-veg friends that I had, a few good ones stuck with me and those are the ones that really matter. My boyfriend is still here, 3 years later, and still vegetarian. I now have confidence and pride when I say I’m vegan, and I don’t say I’m sorry about it either. I have the confidence to reach out to other vegans and vegetarians, trying to build a network of like-minded individuals. I’m completely open about my lifestyle on social media and my blog and YouTube channel, hoping that I can inspire someone to live a more authentic lifestyle.
Looking back, I’m glad that things happened the way they did. Sometimes we need a slip-up to reaffirm our values. I hope my story helped anybody who is struggling in this lifestyle. Ladies (and gents), remember that the most beautiful glow doesn’t come from makeup or skincare, but from living a compassionate, healthy lifestyle.
Kirti is a blogger and Youtube content creator based in the East Bay Area in California. Through her blog NaturallySukirti, YouTube channel, and social media (Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr & Pinterest), she hopes to empower women through leadership and inspire everyone to live a more conscious and compassionate lifestyle.
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