Blogging has always been a fantastic outlet for me to share my self proclaimed creativity through adventures, food, coffee, and whatever else life throws my way. It’s been a huge part of my life for five years now (wow), but I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy lately.
I’ve been sharing my love for vegan food, coffee, and running for most of those five years, and all of these things have given me a solid chunk of personal identity. I’ve been struggling with health issues lately that have caused me to give up coffee, take a vegan vacation, and step back from running – aka 90% of what I blog about/talk about/dream about/live about.
To say I feel like my identity has been stripped would be an understatement.
I’m still running…sometimes, I still eat predominately plant based…most of the time, and I still tried to drink coffee…until finally accepting that I just can’t. I still don’t know the underlying cause behind my symptoms right now (an ongoing process that’s been going on for years) but I’m determined to figure it out.
I’m beginning to suspect that stress may be a large part of why I’ve been having issues lately. I’ve never thought much about it, but I do tend to let my mind take me down the rabbit hole if I’m not careful. I hereby declare that I will put my energy into things that calm me, and stop focusing on things that don’t.
I’m not writing this seeking sympathy, but to simply share that I’ve felt like a blogging zombie lately. Although I’ve still had great adventures to share, I feel like I’m in a limbo right now where I’m trying to fit a square block into a hole for a circle block. I’m also a sucker for transparency, and I don’t blog for a job – I blog for connections.
Plus I feel like getting this off my chest (as it’s been on my mind for a while) will help me feel more authentic with my blogging again.
I know this isn’t forever, and I’ll find my way back onto the wagon soon enough, but for now I’m going to use this as an opportunity to add new things to my list of identity characteristics. I’ll still be sharing any runs I go on, plant based foods I eat, but coffee and I are on a solid break until I start feeling better.
Thankfully my mountain adventures are still going strong.
I’m always talking about how life is fluid and changes whether we are ready or not, and while it feels like my adventure has had constant twists the last couple years, I still have complete control over how I will use these twists to build an epic life full of experience and multiple identities.
Not to be confused with multiple personalities.
Overall life is good, and I’m extremely blessed. I’m off to Portland tomorrow to run this race and I’m excited to get away for the weekend. I’m not stressing about the run despite the fact that I haven’t had my heart rate out of the resting zone much the last couple weeks. I’ve always said running is more mental anyway so I’ll let you know if my theory is true.
Wish me luck, and pray I don’t pass out on the side of the road.
Q: What are your plans for this weekend?
100 thoughts on “Discovering New Identities”
Stress often does have a huge impact on our health as we get older. I’ve been pretty stressed on the life front lately too because I STILL don’t know what I want to do with my life and I keep holding off on making decisions because I’m not ready to make them…but then it just adds to my stress because I’m still thinking about them. I hope your health issues get sorted out soon as you try to relax and de-stress. Best of luck in your race!!
I’ve somewhat calmed down about the “where do I want to go in life” stress, but it’s always slightly in the back of my mind! OH the perks of being in our 20’s.
As a newcomer to your blog, as of the last couple months, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them! Life is all about discovering pieces of who you are and we are ever-changing creatures. Enjoy your race this weekend!! My friends and I are going on our first camping trip of the year and I’m ecstatic! Even though it’s calling for rain, I’m just going to embrace it 😀
Oh how fun! I haven’t been camping in far too long! I must change this.
ahh, the struggles of figuring out health issues in relation to food, coffee, running/working out, etc — i can share sentiments along those paths and am thinking of you and sending good vibes your way, my love. you’re all sorts of wonderful and i adore your spirit and outlook on life, and love reading about your journey. your pictures are amazinggg as always! best of luck this weekend on the race and ENJOY YOURSELF! you deserve that.
Thank you my spirit twin!
Have fun on your run, and I’m sure you’ll find good vegan eats in Portland! I wish Seattle’s vegan scene was just as good as Portland. The city is going to get the 365 store opening there in the near future — you know, Whole Food’s 365 brand store? Plus, Veganz is opening up there as well — the popular all vegan store from Berlin.
This weekend will be warmer in Montreal. I think spring has finally arrived, so we’ll be exploring outside, catching sun rays. 🙂
Anyway, have a fantastic weekend and share some pictures on Instagram. 😉
I think I best check out where Portland is now.
One of my favorite cities!
Oh wow, I have a relative there in Oregon too. 🙂
Portland’s a cool city. It’s about a three-hour or so drive from Seattle.
A city, now that’s where I cannot live happy. A city would make me want to cry often, with the buildings that haven’t a turf roof or a climbing shrub, where nature is pushed into the corners and the many people…
Yup. Agreed, I wouldn’t want to live in the city, but I sure love to visit!
The great thing about the PNW, even living in the city, is that you’re constantly surrounded by trees and nature and hiking is never too far. The best of both worlds, IMO. Plus, Portland is a small city.
I had no idea WF brand had their own store! 😱 so awesome!
The first 3 locations are opening up this year, then they’re opening 10 in 2017. It is said that they’re opening in LA, Houston, Washington, SF, and Cincinnati. The very first store opening up is in LA Silver Lake area, and the plant based restaurant Chloe that started in New York is going to be inside that store as well.
I’ll never understand the whole “plant based” thing. People eat like rabbits and wonder why they feel horrible… Meanwhile they’re getting half the protein they need and hardly any of the iron. You do have the right idea about your melon messing you up though. Good luck in getting it sorted.
Actually I felt the best when I went plant based. I plan to resume eating that way once I get shit in check ha. But I agree it’s not for everyone. My melon is my downfall! 😝
It’s always the melon… You’re definitely not in that boat alone. Look at the bright side though, you beat out 64.2% of the population. You KNOW it’s your melon. Definitely could be worse. 😎
Touché good sir! Knowledge is power! 😝
I hope you figure out what the issue is, I struggled with stress before and didn’t even realise I was stressed its a strange thing!
Enjoy your race xo
Precisely my situation! I’ve always said “oh no I’m not stressed!” Then stopping to think about it I’m like actually maybe I am.
You have such good friends here in the blogging community, how blessed is that. Good wishes.
I really do, it’s a blessing! I adore this community. 😄
We love you no matter what. xo
Thank you pretty lady! ❤️
Rachael @ Catch Me If You Can
stress is my nemesis as well luckily it doesnt put my off my favorite food. i was wondering what was up lately i have missed seeing your posts! just remember the classic phrase “this too shall pass”. if you need a running buddy im here! i may pass out in the high altitude being a sea level girl but still 😉
I shall repeat the classic phrase over and over! Thank you friend. ❤️
Amy @ A Desert Girl
I’m excited to learn more about the new identities you are discovering within yourself. 🙂 Enjoy Portland!
This weekend will include car shopping and a one year old’s birthday party! Fun stuff for sure.
Time for me to enjoy the journey. 😄 Yay for a new car and birthday bonanzas!
I felt that same limbo feeling after I got injured this past summer and had to put all my physical activities on hold. It derailed my daily routine, hobbies, and identity. But looking back now I think it made me more self-aware and gave a new perspective.
I hope you solve the mystery issue soon, and in the meantime adventure on as many cool hikes as you can!
Thank you for sharing, and that’s a great way to look at it!
Heather Patton at Afternoon Glow
I’ve been feeling the same way about blogging lately. Mostly, I just feel like I force myself through it – hence the rant last week about trying to keep things more honest around here. Hang in there, and keep us update on what you’ve been doing – and how that “mind over matter” race goes!
Since you said you’re on a vegan-break, I would totally suggest reading the book Veganish: The Omnivore’s Guide to Plant-Based Cooking! The author had to forego a vegan diet after learning it was causing some of her daughter’s health problems (apparently it’s common for children on vegan diets to have major-league dental issues…you learn something new every day!). She did a lot of research on how to find the most ethically-sourced products you can, and which animal products are great to add into your diet to combat various health problems, from digestive issues, fatigue, hormone imbalances, vitamin deficiency, etc. It also has a lot of great recipes for people who are going from a vegan to non-vegan diet, or going in the other direction. Think of it as a good “middle ground” philosophy – vegan when you can, not vegan when you can’t. 🙂
Hope you have a great weekend! I’m excited to get outside – I hear we’re getting another couple of hot days!
Oh wow, thank you so much for that book recommendation! It’s supposed to be a great weekend.
Heather Patton at Afternoon Glow
No problem!! It was a great read, and it taught me a lot about using animal products more wisely in my own omnivore diet!
Good luck in Portland! I’m glad that you’re still adventuring because nature can be so therapeutic. The only way I can drink coffee is when it’s a super sweet latte. That’s why I quit working in a coffee shop, lol jk
I can’t do the sweet stuff, it’s gotta be black as night for me! But alas, I cannot handle it right now.
Good luck with your race…and hey, hang in there. Life does sometimes bring some intense curves, and that new normal, or temporary normal, can make for a rough adjustment. Take care of you. We’ll be here.
Thank you, thank helps! ❤️
First off, I am sorry that you’ve been dealing with stuff. I am glad that you aren’t letting it get you down and I hope everything gets better in the coming days (actually, I wish it were hours but a stupid nagging voice in my head says to be more patient).
As for everything else you wrote. Indeed I have really loved your posts on coffee (one of my vices), running (not one of my vices) and about eating a lot of plant based material, but I don’t want you to think that your identity is tied up in the things that you do. Your identity is you. It sounds simple and cliché (or corny) but the truth is that I read your blog not because of those things, but because you write about stuff with passion and humour and genuinely seem like a warm human being. I am not saying you could write about the phone book and make it sound good, but I am pretty sure that whatever you choose to write about, your character (and identity) will come through. It isn’t what you are sharing, but rather that you are sharing.
Good luck getting over these challenges–I have complete confidence that you will. Don’t feel pressure to write, but rest assured I will read what you decide to share with us.
Wow, I cannot begin to explain the feelings this comment gave me. Once again it nearly brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate your words and loyalty to my writing more than you know. Thank you!
I sort of unintentionally gave up coffee in January. I was like… why not try life without it? I had a couple of days of terrible headaches and I still realllly miss the taste, but I have FAR less anxiety. Good luck to you as you figure out the lifestyle that will make your mind and body the happiest. 🙂
I’ve had a similar experience. The struggle hasn’t been the need of energy, but more the ritual behind my warm morning cup. I also work at a coffee shop where I’ve developed a passion for the process of it all which made it difficult too. In the end the discomfort outweighs the ritual and once coffee started to no longer taste good (I drink it black) I knew it was finally time.
You said it yourself, “I blog for connections”, so you don’t have to blog for a niche. If you lose some readers along the way because they only came for the coffee, then so be it. The story of a former java junkie is just as worthwhile. Admitting to falling off the bandwagon is far more interesting than somebody who is stridently vegan and scolds those who aren’t. A while back, even Matt Frazier was saying he hadn’t done any running for a long time and he is quite clear on his blog that becoming plant-based was a journey for him, not an overnight conversion and that everyone has to find their own path. No Meat Athlete has a huge following, but it’s because he seems like a genuine guy who wasn’t born perfect and keeps on learning. As long as you write as yourself about things you love, you can’t go wrong. And those photos of mountains and lakes are pretty amazing, too!
I love Matt Fraizers approach to plant based living, and I’ve always said I’m not a “soapbox vegan.” I never try to force it upon others, but rather enjoy influencing others to try something they might not have otherwise. Thank you for this comment, this is why I love opening up about some of the more personal things in my life because it brings us all closer.
I hope you find some answers soon. My brother has been struggling lately and eliminating things to find his underlying issues. I know it is a source of great frustration.
Thank you! I hope he finds some answers too.
When you blog about hiking and taking adventures, I still think you’re being authentic. As I’ve found, people go through different stages and just because you’re not running or vegan right now doesn’t mean you wont come back to it. One of the runners on my vegan running team had a significant other who due to health concerns couldn’t be vegan for a period of time. Although it was hard for both of them, it was necessary in order for her to live (she had cancer and one of the only foods she could keep down were eggs).
No matter what you write, it’s fun and creative and I’ll always read 🙂
Thank you love, means a lot coming from a fellow vegan runner. You da best.
I am on a permanent running vacation thanks to a knee that decided to go POP. Running was once a huge part of who I was. But I had to stop. Funny thing is, 30 years later, running is still a huge part of my identity. 3:04:29 is etched in my brain. Without running, I would not have met my wife. Without her our two kids wouldn’t be here. Do I miss running? Sure. Am I grateful for the experience? Absolutely.
Hang in there. Have faith that god or the universe of the fates or love or whatever you call it will deliver you to another interesting phase of your life. Whether you like it or not, you’re going there anyway. Might as well enjoy the ride.
Beautifully said, and 3:04:29 is an amazing etch to be proud of! I admit running has brought me to an amazing place, even when I don’t have much of a desire for it.
I think we all have our “off” periods from time to time. I hate “being in a funk” because it seems like the only way to get rid of it is to get through it. It seems like those mountain hikes are a great escape though! Hopefully the coffee issue resolves itself soon cause I know how much you love it!! Have fun in Portland 😀
Thank you my love, getting through it makes us stronger every time. I anticipate I’ll be just like the hulk when I’m done with this phase. 😝
Sorry about your on-and-off relationship with coffee. It’s how I’ve learned to identify you! But there’s always multiple things that make up an identity, and you’re still Brittany, and hopefully the medical issues get sorted soon-ish (results and testing etc. always take a while). In the meantime, just keep exploring and being yourself! Have fun at the race Sunday.
Thank you, exploring will never stop. It just evolves as we go!
Kelsey Ann Yoki
Thinking of you as you figure out your health stuff! Just know that your biggest supporters will be here for you through it all, even as you try and navigate a new identity. The great thing about our lives is that we are able to fluidly move through identities as we grow, and they only continue to add to the people we are each and every day. ❤
Thank you friend! So true. I’m blessed with all of the people I’ve met through this community and finding new hobbies will only add more to my circle!
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
You could write about the price of peas in Peru and I’d still happily read your blog, although I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling with frustrating health issues lately. Stress definitely plays a huge role in how we feel, and I find that a -tonne- of my stomach issues act up when I’m feeling stressed out, only to disappear when I relax. That’s easier said than done, though. I get it. If you ever need anyone to chat to, I’d be happy to listen ❤
You are just the sweetest little spoon my friend, thank you! ❤️
An Unrefined Vegan
I love and enjoy reading your posts – – and I’m sorry to hear of the “issues” going on with food and (gasp!) coffee. I’m certain you will figure it all out and you’ll achieve the balance (be it with food/bevs, school, running, etc.) for which you are striving. I think you’re right to consider stress as a source. It has so much power. I myself am a teeth-gnasher…hello, mouthguard! Yoga helps, running helps – but truthfully, I haven’t figured out how to tame the (mostly self-induced) stress.
I’m going to start doing more yoga again, it always helps me find my center! Thank you for your love and support.
I know this mind sound cliche, but have you given meditation a try (even in the form of more mindfully oriented yoga)?
Not cliche at all. I have been wanting to get into meditation, but admit I struggle making it s habit. Yoga was a huge part of my mindfulness a few years ago so I do know it’s a powerful tool for me! Thank you for the suggestion.
People grow. People change. Thus is life. Don’t box yourself in with just a few activities that use to define your life. My blog, though I don’t write as often as I like, is a plethora of random crap. Dairy of things I want to remember (when I remember to write or have time to write). You are more than those things and it takes time to feel comfortable to write about it. I will always read what you write, no matter what. I might be late at reading, but I’ll always be a reader as long as you write. ❤
Thank you sweet friend, your comment is perfect.
I stopped coffee 2 months ago (apart from my once and a while “attempts” which I then learn was not a good idea). I otally relate to feeling like this – and more things – changing are throwing my “identity” out the window. Its a really strange feeling and can leave you feeling like your floating in the middle of an empty ocean. Or at least it does to me. It can be hard to accept that things are always changing – even you.
It’s not just you, I’m out there floating too! 😝
I always do appreciate your transparency. I am sorry you are struggling! I do believe all your experiences will work together for good and your suffering will not be “wasted.”
Thinking of you.
I know everything happens for a reason, and that’s what I hold onto! Plus, in the grand scheme of life I don’t have it so bad. 😄
We need to have a phone date. Or a FaceTime date. (Or — even better! — an in person date.) We’re living parallel lives, and from reading between the lines, it seems like we’re even more than two peas in a pod… We need to talk about what’s going on with our guts, asap! I’d love to share all of the doctor’s info that I’ve gathered and what’s worked vs. not. Let me know if you’d like to talk sometime, lovely lady! ❤️
Omg I’d love to FaceTime!!!! Yes yes yes!
Shoot me a text and we’ll make that happen!! ❤️ (Especially since I just had a few GI appointments that were really helpful! 😉 )
It is amazing the twists and turns our lives can take. All we are capable of is adjusting ourselves to whatever moment we are in now.
I pray the race went well and I look forward to hearing about it. I’m in the same boat as you as I have a marathon this Saturday but I’ve barely been running these past few weeks thanks to the bike crash.
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I ca adjust my sails to always reach my destination~Jimmy Dean
I know you’ll give the marathon your all! I’ll be sending good vibes your way. Thank you!
Oh my…having to give up coffee…I can’t even imagine, and I know how much you like it. Hoping your health issues remove themselves very soon. Out here in the blogging world we are behind you and welcome whatever posts you feel up to Brittany! What I’ve learned from my 57 years on this earth is…everything in moderation. However…it took many years of not being moderate to learn that!
Thank you friend, it’s so true. Moderation is key.
I hope you get better soon – living without coffee must be tough! Though as a coffee AND tea person I know you can sidestep coffee with variations of delicious tea.
Just wanted to say that I enjoy your hiking shenanigans immensely!
Try to have fun at your race tomorrow, that’s what it’s all about after all!!
I’ve been enjoying some tea lately instead! Much better for me.
Hope u feel better soon!!!
Thank you! ❤️
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
I can totally relate! I had to gain weight for health reasons and my whole blog is about healthy eating and losing weight, but causes a bit of blogging confusion, but you have to do what is right for you.
Yes! Our health is most important.
Josie @ Literature Mistress
I know you said you didn’t want sympathy, but let me say this: having to give up coffee sucks. Big time. On the upside though: it might just be a phase. I actually had a similar thing happen to me a couple of years ago: I used to thrive on coffee and all of a sudden I started feeling nauseous whenever I had it! I still don’t know what caused it, but the upside is: a couple of months later I could have it again – no problems!
I wish you good luck on your identity search & I hope to keep hearing about your mountain adventures!
Thank you! I get nasty all over if I drink it, but I think it’s a deeper gut problem right now! Hoping for coffee in the future 😝.
Rach @ This Italian Family
For a minute there I thought this blog post was going the direction of “I’m leaving blogging now…” so I’m so glad that’s not the case! I’m glad you are going to take us along for the ride as you figure out which other things you can identify with! *hugs*
Haha! I can’t quit blogging just yet, it’s too much in my blood!
Hope you had a fun race! I, too, thought this was a “last blog” kind of post! Super glad it’t not though 🙂 I think i struggle with the identity thing, too. I used to be all about running and eating and now I’ve got this mini creature in my life that takes up so much time, haha. Sorry to hear about the no coffee thing. You can just send me your coffee and appropriate tastings (ie cookies, your concoctions) and I’ll write that post for you 😉 I’ll pay shipping. Mkay?! I’m excited to read about your next adventure ❤
Haha! I would love to give you ALLLLTHECOFFEE!! I’ll have to get your address. 😄
If you’re stuck on the side of the road, I’m going to assume it’s because you are picking wild flowers, not dying from the race. I’m sure you did great. I’m also sorry to hear about coffee, although I can safely say I’m drinking enough for all of us right now, you included. Then again, I never really get to finish a cup so maybe not.
Might I recommend a visit to a doctor? Love you.
I’m going to see a GI doc to check my gut. 🙌🏼
I totally know how you feel, sometimes it’s easy to write and share and sometimes I’m not feeling it. I used to let it bother me too, like I was letting all these great creative storytelling opportunities pass, but the posts and whatever else will come when they come 🙂 Good luck in your past and future races haha and everything else too of course.
Thank you!! You’re right, they will come when they come.
Oh girl, there is so much more to your wonderfully intricate being than coffee, plant foods, and running. I don’t think folks necessarily hang around your blog because of your hobbies and diet… It’s because you’re just damn great.
You complete me. Thank you. ❤️❤️
I know what you mean about feeling like you’re in a blogging rut. I get like that sometimes. During those times, I am always very happy I don’t blog as my job!
So sorry you’ve had to take a break from coffee. I know how much you love it. Hopefully you can get back to it some time! Herbal tea is always a lovely caffeine free alternative 🙂
I’ve been loving herbal tea! 🙌🏼
Both my husband and grown son have “tender tummies” and it is such a mystery as to which foods sit well. My son has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the gut) so he has tried different approaches before starting medication. One thing that can irritate him is coffee made in a Keurig-style machine. He has gotten past that by using the capsule for the machine where you can control the type and amount of coffee used. Hubby and I use a standard coffee brewer and were happy till it seemed our favorite coffee blend was upsetting us both. We changed blends to BJ’s (club store) Morning blend did not have the acidity as our previous favorite. So far, so good.
Good luck with your journey. I hope you & coffee find a way to make up and if not, that you’ll be to leave it behind with fond memories.
Tender tummies are no fun! I’m not interested in medication so I’ve been on a journey to figure out the root. I’m finally seeing a GI next week, fingers crossed it goes well! I sure do miss my coffee, though I admit I don’t crave it anymore so that’s good. Thank you for your comment. 🙂