I’ve been feeling isolated lately, and driving to work the other day, I finally figured out why. It isn’t that I have less friends now than usual, or that I have less who are local to me, it is that I am no longer finding sanctuary in the online communities I’d depended on for so long.

Is this a bad thing? It was for a while, it was close to devastating. Now, though? I feel pretty good. I feel like I’m on an even-keel, more focused on my life that exists outside the computer (as I type this on the computer) and while I have not stopped procrastinating and I continue to waste time reading vampire novels, I am still getting more done. And reading the vampire novels is more refreshing, more of an escape than the forums were.  At least at the end.

Still, going offline has lead to feeling more isolated. I do have fewer local friends here, but mostly staying off the forums made me feel more alone in my veganism, even though almost everyone I spend time with in this area is vegan. It is odd to feel this now, 3.5 years after going vegan, when I had never felt it before.  Then again, since going vegan I had not gone without the support of an online forum until now.

Yet I am getting comfortable with the feeling. I’m more inclined to reach out to people, and to make more effort for my “old” friends. It isn’t that I am isolated, after all, or that veganism leads to or is a form of isolation. When you get down to it, I had simply forgotten that being vegan does make me different from 99% of the population. I’d been able to ignore that for a while. Now that I’ve adjusted, reality feels pretty good. I have a community of friends scattered over the globe. They’re not all vegan, but they care, and they give me sanctuary. That’s what friendship is about.

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