This summer, I have so many plans. I want to make money and get as many hours as I can at work, ace this summer class, keep up with this blog, get over my fear of driving (I know, I’m 20 years old and still haven’t driven on a highway, it’s embarrassing), go to the gym, diet, read, shop for my apartment, and try to see my friends as much as possible. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming, but I think that’s because I put too much pressure on myself. I have all these expectations, and when they fall short, I feel like a failure. I haven’t lost the weight I wanted to lose, have less money than I would like, and I haven’t seen my friends as much.Right now I’m putting all my priorities in work and my summer class, and I think it’s starting to have an effect on me.
But last Tuesday, one of my friends randomly planned a trip for three of us to go up to school to visit our fourth roommate, who is up there taking summer classes. Even though I had work that morning and the next morning, as well as my class I needed to work on, I jumped at the chance. We drove up right when I got off of work, and came back late that same night. It was such a wonderful time being back at campus with my friends, even if it was just for a day. It wasn’t later until I realized that it was exactly what I needed. I need to let myself have some fun and not worry so much about trying to constantly better myself.
I think that’s what a lot of people my age have a hard time with. We’re not children anymore , but we don’t exactly feel like adults either (cue Britney’s “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman). There’s this pressure to be successful and the perfect person, yet we’ve still got time to figure ourselves out. I don’t have a boyfriend, kids, a mortgage. This is my time to focus on me. I can have this pressure to work on myself, but at the same time, I also have time to enjoy life and experience these new things. As a 20-year-old college student, I do understand that choice I make now greatly affect the direction my life will take, but that is not every choice. If I chose to put off my school work for one day or call out of work to take a trip to the beach, then it won’t ruin my chances at life. At the same time, I also need to know when to chose my work over free time and to sacrifice those trips to do what I need to get done. At this point in life, balance is important. I can work on myself and my future, while taking some days just to myself to relieve the pressure. Your 20’s is an exciting, yet terrifying time, and taking it just one day at a time is working for me.
On a completely unrelated note, my brother is getting on my very last nerve, and it has to do with my veganism. Yes, I couldn’t make a post unless there was something that had to do with veganism. He takes every opportunity he can to make fun of me for being vegan, and every time I make something vegan, he refuses to eat it. He even makes these disgusted faces. Eating animal carcasses and breastmilk is totally okay, but eating plants is disgusting? At first, I would laugh it off, but now it’s getting too far. My beliefs aren’t a joke. I’m sorry that I don’t find the unnecessary exploitation, rape, and slaughter of sentient beings funny. I don’t give him a look of disgust when he eats chicken period or animal flesh, but I don’t get the same respect. And when I try to defend my beliefs, he gives the same argument that every meat eater has against veganism. “It’s the circle of life. Animals would overpopulate the earth if we didn’t eat them. We’re the dominant species. We’ve been eating animals since the beginning of time.” I’m giving him facts left and right on what his eating habits are doing to the planet, yet apparently I’m the weird one. It’s becoming very frustrating to live under the same roof as someone who thinks your beliefs are a joke.
To people who have been vegan for a while who live with meat eaters, how do you do it? I need some advice on how to separate the two and be able to keep the peace within my family. Much love!