The New Year is a standard if cliched time for reflection, and I found myself thinking yesterday about how much I’ve changed over the past few years. Some of the changes I’ve made have been unquestionably positive — I get more sleep, I drink considerably less, and I’m more discerning about who’s allowed in my life — and some are both generally positive and really annoying. Here are three from the latter list:
1. I love New Age-y bullshit.
A few minutes ago, I sent an inquiry to a renowned British healer’s assistant (I know) to find out the rates for her “mind cleanse” services. The most recent three audiobooks I’ve listened to are The Power of Now, Choose Yourself, and You Are a Badass, and I just cracked open Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth instead of rereading one of the same five domestic noir thrillers I’ve had in rotation for the past three years. I aspire to make The Miracle Morning a permanent part of my day, and I spent my holiday break KonMari-ing my apartment.
I do these things because they are gradually helping me reprogram my overactive brain so I can get out of my own way, but even a year ago I would have thought they were all total bullshit. I would probably still want to be a person who thinks they’re total bullshit, but it turns out they work. And let’s be real, a day of vinyasa flow class, crystal healing (NB: I have no idea what that is), and connecting with source energy sounds pretty good to me.
2. Some of my favorite foods are vegan.
When I was 28, I’m not sure you could have gotten me to eat something that didn’t list short ribs among its ingredients. But a few years ago, I worked with a successful vegan entrepreneur on the launch of her lifestyle brand. One of the perks of this project was that my boss would have the prepared-food company she’d previously founded provide lunch for our work sessions — along with extra juices, snacks, and breakfast items for everyone on the team to take home. Avocado chocolate mousse, kale salads that tasted better than any blue-cheese-laden wedge I’d ever had, and probiotic coconut yogurt (it’s good, I swear) made a believer out of me.
I went vegan for Lent last year to explore the world of plant-based cooking and eating a bit deeper. (I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence without a trace of irony.) I became addicted to the quinoa salad from Mark Bittman’s VB6 Cookbook. I made four different vegan mac and cheeses before figuring out the right combination of vegan butter, nutritional yeast, cashews, and vegetables to make it worth eating. I found a quick, delicious vegan smoothie recipe and proceeded to enjoy it almost every day for weeks. This 40-day experiment had a lasting effect on my diet. I make a lot of the recipes I learned during Lent frequently, and periodically, I’ll go vegan for a day or two to hit the rest button. And if Adam’s out of town, I’ll almost always order the Vegan Tony Clifton from Two Boots instead of a normal pizza.
3. I’m a runner. Even as I write this, I continue to debate whether it’s true. I ran a half marathon last month, but I feel the need to qualify that statement with “but it was really slowly” and “it was only a half.” At the beginning of 2016, however, I could barely run one mile, let alone 13.1, at any pace. And if any person a year ago had mentioned that they had run or were planning to run a half marathon, I would have considered them a runner. I consider other people who tell me about their half marathons now to be runners. Just not myself. But I’m planning to sign up for at least one more half in the first half of this year, and a full marathon in the second, so I guess I have no choice but to call myself a runner.
What these three things have in common is that five years ago, I would not have believed any of them could ever be true about me. One year ago, it would have been a stretch. I believe people can change because I have seen myself change. Which I guess is the point of this too-long, myopic blog post. Things you roll your eyes at today may be the things you need in your life one or five years from now.