This past Tuesday I attended Baltimore Vegan Drinks. It’s essentially a “happy hour” of sorts where a new location is chosen every month around the Baltimore area where the hosting location serves up vegan drinks and fare for the attending vegans, or even the veg-curious. This most recent Baltimore Vegan Drinks was hosted by Johnny Rad’s. And let me tell you, it WAS rad. I confess, I didn’t actually order a drink, ha ha. I’m not much of a drinker. I was more excited about the many vegan pizza options that are on the menu regularly AND about the vegan rice crispie treats that the bar made especially that night for the event. How awesome is that?! In addition to vegan pizza, Johnny Rad’s serves up a mean and mighty vegan chicken cheesesteak special and offers skiball inside the premises. Um….this must be why they put the word “rad” in the title.
My husband and I attended with another couple who had attended Bmore Vegan Drinks in the past. Together we decided to order the Trainwreck pizza with additional vegan meat added to it. Sorry to say we each grabbed a piece and started to chow before I realized I needed to stop stuffing my face for just enough time to snap a pic of our yummy food.
However, I did manage to restrain myself from my rice crispie treat in order to take a picture before I began tearing off mighty, sticky chunks to pop in my mouth 😉
Do you know why I chose to share this particular part of of my week with you? Because I almost didn’t go. I know! How could I have considered not going to a local, vegan-centric, vegan-pizza-and-rice-crispie-treat-serving event?! I’ll let you in on a little secret.
Yep, I’m a natural wallflower. This blog is great because I can share my adventures in vegan living without any pressure, give myself all the time in the world to plan what I’m going to say, and if I type something that I think is “silly”, I can take it down or rewrite it. Don’t get me wrong; I like being social and meeting people and talking about all things vegan. But meeting new people in new surroundings is a little stressful for me. I was teased in school for being the “nerdy” one of the family (not by my family, but by people who knew my sisters and I) and despite just celebrating my 33rd birthday, I still struggle with what others might think of me. I’m not particularly witty, nor a “head-turner”, and I don’t have any type of natural charisma. But once I open up and start conversing with others, they usually walk away thinking I’m “nice” and “sweet.” And well, those are fine qualities I can live with.
I bring this to your attention because if I hadn’t pushed through my natural tendency to be an introvert, I might not have had the pleasure of meeting the coordinators of Baltimore Vegan Drinks, Rissa and Nathaniel of Balance Photography who take beautiful, professional photographs with an approach to eco living. How awesome is that? If I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t have had a chance to check out the city of Baltimore a little more closely, which, despite it having a bad rep, has its own good offerings too.
My point is, if I don’t continue to put myself out there in unfamiliar surroundings, with new faces, I might miss out on some great moments, and at the very least, an opportunity to grow personally. And let’s face it, as a vegan, I am going to be in a lot of situations where I will have to defend my choices to people both familiar and foreign and resting on my wallflower laurels simply won’t do. (Side note: I learned from my favorite podcast, Our Hen House, that a good book for us introverts to read is called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.)
If “puttin’ yourself out there” is a challenge for you, I say go for it and grow with it! And for those of you that have no trouble getting out there and being social, you’re an inspiration! Together as vegans, let’s help eachother out and build eachother up and always keep an eye out for opportunities to support the vegan way of living. It may be easy for some of you, or more anxious for others, but in the end, we all support a common cause!