Dear Vegan Food Bloggers
We need to talk. As much as I love your innovative recipes and dedication to creating vegan versions of our favourite non-vegan dishes, something has to change. And, no, I’m not talking about the long preamble to the recipes that no one reads. Although that could also do with changing.
I asked for a quiet room on the bus ride down hoping that they’d still have one available. I booked a four bed female dorm so when they emailed me back saying that they had a quiet room available but it was a mixed dorm I quickly responded that it was perfect.
One week into October and I’m already missing September. I miss the excuse of #ScrollFreeSeptember for not being on social media. I miss not knowing every single horrible thing that is happening in the world. And right now, there’s a helluva lot. And of course I have no one to blame except for myself. I’m back on social media because I want to be and to some extent because I feel like I have to be.
Today is the one year anniversary on my redundancy. This time last year I was being called into the back office and told that while this decision was very difficult I was being let go. I was given hugs and sent on my way. But not before a manager suggested I stay at home because my partner has a well paid job so I don’t need to work. Yep. That’s the kind of job environment I left behind.
Birthday are weird. Right? I think we can all agree. You have a mini existential crisis every 365 days. Who am I? What am I doing with my life? What is the meaning of it all? Like clockwork we try to tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter, it’s just another day. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number… We don’t have to have our entire life sorted out. Everything is fine. Really.
What do you do when things go wrong? Like, really wrong. If you're anything like me you probably binge a new series on Netflix or treat yourself to a delicious chocolately treat. Or if you're like Olga-past you'd go out and drink enough to forget. Maybe you buy yourself the latest mindfulness, wellbeing or self help book because this time you mean it, goddammit. Does this sound familiar?
I realised that I was indulging in all of these behaviours to fill some void, to distract myself, to feel comforted, to forget, to cope.
I unashamedly own my favourites. I am probably a bit too willing to tell someone why I love the things I do and why I don't feel guilty.
I love being an introvert. I love being an indoor kid. Nothing pleases me like settling into my couch with a book and a cup of tea. Or going to dinner with a friend and spending hours talking about my deepest desires. Most of the time I think the world isn't so bad for us introverts. But other times I get angry and frustrated with the way the world favours extrovert.
I've been on Instagram long enough to see the patterns. When I first started properly posting to my account I was frustrated with the quality of my photos. I'm not a professional photographer by any stretch but I wondered why mine were so bad compared to everyone else's.
I lean over the metal double sink
feeling the edge dig into my bare stomach.
There are dirty dishes in the sink and I'm leaning over trying
not to let the watermelon juice drip down my chin.
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It's like I'm embarrassed to exist, to put myself out there, to dare to try. While working on this website I often felt silly that I was creating a website for my work. Like who am I to have an entire website dedicated to my work?
How big do my headphones have to be?
How stiff do my arms need to be across my chest?
How straight do my lips need to be?
I hate that men
get to sit on a bench languidly smoking
at 10 pm on a Thursday
I don't know what it's like to have olive skin
in a country so pale
it never occurred to me it was different
so I tell myself, inhale
the glue that held us
until we could no longer stick
Today is a whimper rather than a bang. It’s the kind of day where the muggy, oppressive air has infiltrated my psyche slowing me down.