So anyway, here I am; back again and today, I want to talk about feelings. I used to be afraid to think what I actually thought because the culture that I surrounded myself with made me believe that my feelings were stupid and infantile. This was probably due to the fact that as a teenager, my heroes tended to be middle-aged men as opposed to women – let alone teenage girls.
As I pushed all my genuine feelings, like crushing, liking pop music, fashion, make-up and Coronation Street to the back of my mind, I forced-fed myself a diet of thoughts and feelings less relevant to a life of living in Rotherham and eating Hula Hoops.
Instead, I fantasised about ‘finding myself’ during a road trip around America (Kerouac), being an alcoholic-writer-womaniser-post officer worker (Bukowski), balancing the act of either being an amazing artist or fooling people that I am one in order to get others to act out my fantasies (Von Trier) and taking the best heroin in all of the land, not giving a fuck but then finding myself to be the biggest rockstar that ever did live (Keith Richards).
So, while all this was going around in my head, I was actually missing out on the thoughts and feelings that were relevant to my life. And what I want to say here is that no feeling or thought is irrelevant. In fact, the feelings that you naturally have are the ones that you should be assessing and learning from.
Despite learning this lesson a few years ago, I still sometimes catch myself doing things that aren’t genuine. For example, earlier this year I became vegan. I ‘know’ that veganism is the right thing to do. The thing is though, no matter what I ‘know’ to be ‘right’, I still can’t follow through with it if my feelings don’t align strongly enough.
I read about people who became vegan and I envied their strength and sought to emulate them. One of my deepest ever fears has always been that I might be deemed by others as a hypocrite. It’s a trait that I despise in others and so…by virtue of that, any sense of me being hypocritical automatically makes me a hypocrite.
In my mind, all my reasons for being a vegetarian logically follow on to justify veganism. The problem is, a logical argument must align with an emotional feeling to ensure that you can follow through with action. All too often, my ‘knowing’ doesn’t align with my ‘feeling’ which results in a kind of internal battle where I always leave feeling defeated because for me, at least, my rational need to avoid hypocrisy always loses out to my emotional ‘self’.
This is a long way of saying that I tried to be vegan for about 3 months. I still think that vegans are right but that I am not ready to fully become one. Hopefully my realisation of this and the fact that I am acknowledging it here in writing will go some way to assuage my hypocrisy, ha! Maybe in order to avoid being a hypocrite, one needs to back up logic with experience. Once you have experience, you can change the way you feel emotionally about something.
I was going to put a vegan recipe on this post (there are many fantastic ones) but I think this deserves to be on its own for now.