I thought 2017 was the worst year yet, reminiscing over the dreams I didn’t bring to realization, the immense heartache I endured, the pain I caused others, the deep depression I fell into, and the person I didn’t become. But it wasn’t until this morning, when I looked at my social media feeds, that I realized how awesome this year has really been – it was filled with so many highs that I overlooked. This post isn’t to get your kudos for what I achieved (although I do love hearing how amazing I am 😉 ), but rather to remind myself that I was happy, blessed, loved and successful this past year, to reinforce the fact that we should remember the good over the bad, and to inspire me to be excited for and accomplish even more in 2018!
I convinced Africa’s top-ranked university, the University of Cape Town, to implement vegan options in their residence dining hall menus (daily) and then I trained 29 of their chefs on plant-based cooking, before launching the program in October.
I also convinced the University of Witwatersrand to implement a plant-based menu in all their dining halls, making one dining hall completely plant-based on Green Mondays, and scheduled training with their chefs for this January.
I paid off my car!
I saved up half of what I need for a deposit on a little housy.
I started seeing a psychologist and embraced personal growth and good mental health. It was the best decision ever (thank you), I’ve never learnt so much about myself than I did this past year.
I met the most incredible people, some of whom have become my best friends.
I raised R2 580 for GreenPop’s reforestation project when I “ran for trees” during the Sanlam 10km Peace Run.
I worked at two outdoor festivals (Reforest Fest and Rocking the Daisies) to promote veganism to the masses (mostly millennials 😛 ).
I was part of an amazing team who organised and ran the Cape Town Vegan Challenge in October this year. We hosted over 20 events in 4 weeks and signed up 1150 participants to eat plant-based during this time!
I got offered a new position at work, this year I will be the communications manager for HSI, Africa – working on both wildlife and farm animal issues.
I was featured in the Wellness Magazine – and one of my recipes is featured again in the January 2018 issue (get your copy now).
I signed a deal for a VERY exciting project launching in 2018 – watch this space!
And finally, I cooked some really good vegan food!
I said goodbye to 2017 with a heavy heart, and I know a lot of healing still lies ahead. It is the first time in 7 years that I’m starting a year off alone, which is super scary for me. But even though it seems daunting, and even though I’m a bit anxious for what lies ahead, I feel strong, present and ready to embrace every opportunity and challenge that comes my way. May 2018 be the year I become still and mindful, at peace in my own company. May I be present, not dwelling on the past or stressing about the future. May 2018 be the year I find myself (so cheesy) and be authentic. May I have fun and may I fall. And may I look back in a year’s time and write a blog post twice this size 😉
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Happy New Year Veganista’s! I hope you all enjoyed an amazing holiday and festive season, and that you returned to your place of work well-rested and ready to take on the challenges of the New Year.
As some of you know, 2016 was a rollercoaster of a year for me – full of fabulous ups but not without its twists and turns. This year, instead of creating resolutions, I am reflecting on my purpose and working towards making small changes that will encourage big leaps towards it. I’ve come to notice that criticism is not something I accept easily, so that will be one of my first focal points to becoming the best possible version of me. We cannot grow if we are not able to receive guidance from others with an open and willing heart.
Criticism can either empower us – or break us down. The online vegan community tends to be fixated on calling out flaws, instead of offering support. It has never been more important for a movement to stand together and work towards our mutual goal – saving the world. If we want to see a change in ourselves and society, we need to be able to count on each other. So this year, let’s lift one another up, let’s contribute to each other’s causes and campaigns, let’s support start-ups even though they are pricey, let’s spread the amazing work that companies are doing instead of attacking their glitches, let’s give a little of our precious time to charities in need, and let’s accept criticism in a positive light.
As I make small changes to becoming more humane, I encourage you to do so too. Throughout this year, I will post about upcoming events, campaigns and activities that you can get involved with. I will also share the small changes I am making in case you want to try them too. Vegan or not, do the best you can and cause as little harm as possible. It is that simple.