So the other day at Earth Fare as I was selecting my tofu, an older woman came up to me and started asking me questions about tofu. I was caught off guard by this stranger approaching me (remember this incident?!), and I fully admit that in situations like this it has crossed my mind on occasion to say “no hablo ingles” but that would just be plan rude and very mean. The truth is that I have developed a bit of social anxiety and sometimes the little things (like random chit chat with strangers or events with lots of people in attendance) are hard for me. Very hard.
But instead I put on my “big girl pants” as my doctor once told me to do. And no, this doctor is not a therapist, I don’t have one of those, although maybe I could use one sometimes! It was my eye doctor who told that to me when I was quite nervous to get my eyes dilated. I did the dilation and I’m okay!
But back to the story, I took a deep breath and told the lady I was shy but that I would do my best to answer her questions. After I got over my bit of being tongue-tied, we had a lovely conversation about tofu. It turns out her doctor has told her, among other things, to eliminate all meat/poultry from her diet for 30 days as a way to get her diabetes blood sugar back in check. I told her that I had a similar experience (minus the doctor prescribing a change in diet) and that after going vegan my blood sugar levels adjusted and, at the moment, I am no longer at risk to develop adult diabetes. I told her the tofu was not magical and that, for me, it was probably a combination of the vegan diet as a whole that helped me out. She asked for some easy recipe ideas using tofu so I told her I often make noodle bowls comprised of tofu, veggies and greens, a quick homemade Asian-type sauce, and serve it all over Eden organic soba noodles. She thanked me and we went out separate ways but managed to keep bumping into each other in the store.
Each time she had new questions to ask me and each time it was easier to answer them. I even was bold and gave her my e-mail address because I told her she could e-mail me to let me know how her own noodle bowl came out! Then she said that she believed the Lord sent me to her to have this conversation with her! Well that nearly brought tears to my eyes and I told her that I think that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Truly. So despite my anxiety, I’m truly glad I was able to pull it together internally and have this great conversation with this woman. I’m incredibly flattered and humbled by the compliment she paid me. I did my best to act normal and I actually made a meaningful connection with a temporary grocery store friend.