I spent some time between the ages of 18 and…maybe 21…studying all sorts of Easter religion and spirituality. I settled in mostly on a lot of Buddhist concepts and principles but I really kinda hodgepodged a lot of things together, including some aspects of Hare Krishna, until I had my own personal spiritual code to live by. I found myself in this realm for several reasons, but mostly because all of my hippie friends were doing it. I mean, I really enjoyed a lot of the concepts and practices and still hold on to a lot of the same spirituality today, but mainly it was because of my hippie friends. The same reason I wore long skirts and talked in length about Grateful Dead bootlegs.
At that time I also became a vegetarian because my spiritual outlook on life made it very difficult for me to put the carcass of a previously sentient being into my body. I stressed out on many levels about the consciousness of another creature being absorbed into my body against that creatures will. I think I cried over people eating hamburgers. It was all very dramatic. I was one with the world, you see. I wanted peace and harmony and my Basic Ultra Lights because – like a good 20-year old hippie – I was still a smoker.
Contaminating my environment with carcinogens was just fine, but DAMN if I was going to eat anything that used to Moo.
I bring all of this up because – well – I’ve not been sleeping well lately. I’ve been having really restless nights with really whacked-out and disturbing dreams. This has been going on for awhile now, and seems to just be a new constant in my life. Then – this weekend I was listening to a podcast and someone just casually referenced being a vegan because they don’t like the idea of eating part of something that had a consciousness and had read up on veganism on a site like VeganClue which completely converted them.
I hadn’t thought about that tenet of eating meat in YEARS. I think I blocked a lot of that part of my life out of my memory because, while some of it was fun and interesting, I was also a giant tool and d-bag and did a lot of stuff I wish I could erase. I knew I had been a vegetarian, but I hadn’t thought about why in a long time, other than my standard answer: My hippie friends were doing it.
But, when he said it I started thinking about it again. And y’all? I know this sounds STUPID and CRAZY but at this point I will just try about anything to get my sleep back…I think I’m going Vegan.
I’m not going to say that eating cheese made from the milk of a cow that lived a tortured life on a big-business dairy farm is somehow injecting that cow’s emotional turmoil into my subconscious. No. I’m not going to say that. But 20-year old hippie Kim is saying that, and 38-year old EXHAUSTED Kim is willing to test out any theory at this point. If 20-year old Kim’s crazy metaphysical spiritual belief system can help 38-year old Kim get a peaceful night’s sleep? Then 38-year old Kim is on board.
Yesterday was DAY 01 of Kim Becomes A Vegan In An Attempt To Rid Her Subconscious Of All Of The Freaky Shit That Is Keeping Her Up At Night.
Holy Crap. I sound like a crazy person.
But, as crazy as it sounds, even my current spirituality involves a lot of faith in the balance of energies in the world. I get out what I put in. If I walk around like a negative Nancy dumping my shit into the world, the world is going to hand it back to me. But if I try to spread joy, I’ll get joy back. I have a lot of faith in that balance, so applying that same balance inwardly isn’t really that far of a stretch. I often treat the world around me better than I treat my own body. So, while saying it like “I don’t want to eat animals because their souls will mix with mine” makes me sound like a whack-job…saying it like, “I think my body reflects what I put into it so I’m going to try to not put the products of animals that maybe didn’t live that great of lives in it…” makes me sound a little less insane, right?
Truth is? I’m just tired. And at this point I’ll try anything.
Day 01 was hard. At some moments I was happy to find some of my foods fit into a vegan diet: Hummus sandwiches! Strawberry preserve oatmeal! But other times I was frustrated: No yogurt! Or cottage cheese! WAH!
But also? I went to book club last night and there was TONS of delicious looking desserts and I couldn’t have any of it because it’s not vegan so I ended up coming home NOT feeling like a beached whale like I usually do.
I slept beautifully last night, BUT, I was also exhausted and I’ve found that every 4-5 days or so I’ll have a good night’s sleep just because I’m too tired for any other option. I’m going to keep with this vegan diet for awhile and see if I can notice any difference overall. Am I going to examine the ingredients and quiz the server at every restaurant? No. Not yet, anyway. I’m just going to do my best to eliminate products of animals from my diet and see if that makes 20-year old Hippie Kim satisfied. I’ve tried this before, but never with this type of motivation. I AM REALLY TIRED, Y’ALL. And that stupid podcast got the balls rolling in my mind and somehow now I’m convinced this is the solution! So, until I’ve tested it thoroughly, I’ll never know. So, here goes nothing.
Now, if you see me donning a long flowing skirt and a jingly anklet and toe rings, slap me, okay?