WIAW [Vegans Are Family]

It’s no secret that I don’t really have a family. I’m not saying that to get sympathy, it’s just the way it is.

I’ve learned to function quite well on my own and quite honestly, if I listened to what my biological family told me, I would not be where I am. I love where I’m at right now and am glad the struggles I’ve faced have brought me here.

Sure, I can’t see myself doing what I’m doing for the rest of my life, but really, it’s fine for me right now. Having a job where I have responsibility, but not too much allows me to focus on running and provides me with income to live comfortably and happy. I’m not thinking of starting my own family, so my life supports me and that’s all I need.

I’ve lived this way for about five years now and believe that my traditional view of family has changed. I’ve essentially found my own family and it is the best I could have imagined. My family is not a crutch, like I see for so many twenty somethings. They move back home instead of starting out because it’s easy. Their parents let them rather than see them maybe struggle for a big until they figure it out.

I get it, it’s hard to work a minimum wage job, eat rice instead of Starbucks and Acai bowls and actually budget. However, that is invaluable life experience.

Where am I going with this? Well, not having a family and not having anyone to rely on besides myself made me strong, but also made me appreciate the vegan and running community I’ve found.

This past week I was asked to take the open spot of a friend on my String Hearts Vegan Power team. I’m not going to say I was hoping someone would drop out, but I was. Why? Because these are my people. Even though I’ve only spent two days with most of them, I feel like I know them and they know me. We talk everyday and I look forward to seeing what they’re up to. They were with me at Syracuse to brave the storm. Each time I pull on my jersey, I know my family is with me.

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I love them. I love that a movement such as veganism and protecting animals has brought us together.

They are the family that I would choose. I don’t need a crutch. I don’t need any other support network than a group of people who share my morals and values. Sure, we have our disagreements, but can come together because our movement is bigger than that.

That is my family and I could feel more blessed to be a part of that.

Now, time forΒ WIAW, thanks to Jenn for hosting!

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Protein-banana-cinnamon bowl w/ PB&apple

Black bean soup with veggies and hummus

Chocolate microwave banana bread w/PB, banana, bowl of greens

[Random unpictured scoops of PB :-)]

Who is youΒ not related family?

What is the best thing you ate today?

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19 comments

  1. This post really made me value my living situation a lot. That feeling of finding people you care about, who care about you is so wonderful. It’s often more fulfilling to know that the person you are and the struggles you’ve had are what has led you to your family rather than some chance of biology ordaining your kin. It’s also great to see you happy with where you are, truly, it is inspirational to hear about someone who lives a life they are happy with day to day and doesn’t seek to drastically change it. There is a lot to be said for being happy in the moment and what I get from this post is that you are firmly in that place.

    • Thanks Aubrey πŸ™‚ I was talking with one of the woman in my running group today and she was telling me not to worry, that I’ll find someone (like a significant other) soon. I told her that it was nice of her to say that, but I’m honestly not interested right now. I’m happy, I’m busy and another being would kind of mess up my flow. Does that make sense? I have my running family, my vegan family and my work family. My life seems too full for any special person. I’m happy. That’s what matters

  2. It’s true that money does not equal happiness and there is a huge value to being able to support yourself, great post. Community is huge and that’s awesome about the running team! I’m part of Team Veg vegan runners here in Sacramento, but the group has not been super active lately beyond representing in races. I’m also part of other local vegan groups that do regular meetups and potlucks which has been great. The best thing today so far is coffee! πŸ™‚

    • I get that about not having an immediate running circle of vegans. Ithaca has about 2, so it’s so great when we all are able to meet up and race together.
      Yum, coffee is great!

  3. Isn’t it awesome how God brings the right people into our life? My church family is one of the biggest gifts I could have ever been given, and I’m so grateful for every one of them. I love that you have such a big family as part of your Vegan Power team. ❀ I can't wait to hear more about your friendships growing and developing.

    • Thanks Emily. You seem to have such a wonderful relationship with the women at your church. Hopefully God will bless you with a husband as well πŸ™‚ (if you want one that is.)

  4. I’ve tried the vegan diet but got sick every time I did. My doctor eventually told me to stop trying, and that my blood type required seafood. Two doctors told me that actually, and I’m still not quite sure why that is.

    So now I’m pescetarian which works great for me. But kudos to you for going the extra mile.

  5. I totally have girls in my life that I consider my sisters. While I have great relationship with my blood family, there is something so special about the family we choose.

  6. I’m glad you have found yourself a family of like-minded, passionate people. My soccer team whom I played with all through middle school and high school was definitely like a bunch of sisters to me. We did everything together!

  7. Thanks for sharing. My family are my multiple running groups.
    I am 37 now ( I hope you are not alarmed by an “older” lady reading your posts! I feel like you are me in my 20’s so maybe you will be like me when you are 37 :)). When I first graduated from college, I was living with a guy and my parents could NOT handle it. My dad basically wouldn’t talk to me. When I broke up with the guy, I was living in a place where I knew no one and I found an apartment on my own. My parents never came to visit me. I lived somewhere for almost 2 years and they never even saw where I lived! It made me grow up very quickly and “buck up” and know that I had to depend on myself only. It was the BEST thing. I wouldn’t change anything. Great learning experience and I am so much stronger now because of it.
    You are doing awesome! Keep doing what you like and live how YOU want. All is good and will continue to be good.

    • Oh wow this is just like me! No boyfriend, but I moved out and essentially didn’t speak to them for 2 years. It was a needed break. Thanks for all this encouragement! It is so refreshing to hear

  8. This is pretty amazing Ellie. I am constantly inspired by your continual sense of happiness for where your life has taken you and your pride in where you are at. No doubt there have been struggles getting you there, but you know you are where you are meant to be right now and aren’t rushing to be any where else. I think very few people are able to have this mindset. Most of us are constantly waiting for “the day when…”
    It is so wonderful to hear you speak so graciously of your running family. I think the word family doesn’t have to mean biological at all. It means the people that make us feel like “us,” our best versions of ourselves and where we don’t have to be any one else. You inspire me πŸ™‚

    • ” the word family doesn’t have to mean biological at all. It means the people that make us feel like β€œus,” our best versions of ourselves” <—YES! You got it right Cora! It's taken me so long to be proud of who I am, and I still struggle, but not as much. I like being ok with just being me

  9. Having that connection of family, whether biological or not is such a blessing! I am so happy you have found people who help fill your heart and life with happiness and love, Ellie!

    Best thing I have ate recently? Chili + corn bread!

  10. I have a fabulous family, but my family is far beyond those related to me by blood. I go to bat for them just as much as my relatives, and they will be aunts and uncles to all my children!

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