Tired of feeling always on the outskirts of mainstream society due to her vegan lifestyle and glowing sense of wellbeing, Lindsay Larkin of Nashville, Tennessee, made it a goal to become a little more conventional, by periodically feigning illness and toning down her general spark for life.
"I saw other people bonding over their allergies, their cholesterol, sometimes even their constipation," said Lindsay, "and it was hard not to feel left out. Just because I feel really good all the time and go to sleep with a clean conscience about not contributing to horrible animal suffering, doesn't mean I don't want to relate to other people."
For that reason, as an experiment, Lindsay decided to try feigning some sniffles and a slight cough one morning at work. She found that the ruse worked like a charm.
"My coworker Ken's face absolutely lit up, and he started gushing about allergy season and medications and how this was going to be the worst year yet for him and his congestion," said Lindsay. "Keep in mind, this guy had never even said two words to me. And now, just like that, we were having a genuine heart-to-heart discussion."
She added, "In fact, he even told me his allergies make his eyes tear up so bad, that it's like he's crying in his car on the way to work. I was so touched by that!"
This and other similar experiences of bonding over ostensible physical ailments and feigned life weariness have convinced Lindsay that, when it comes to connecting with other people, toning down her exuberant health and general zest for life is the way to go.
"I used to think that I was inspiring other people by my positive example," said Lindsay. "Now I realize I was just putting people off. Sometimes you need to hide your light under a bushel."
That being said, Lindsay greatly appreciates events like Nashville's annual VegFest, where her healthy glow doesn't make her so out of the ordinary. "It''s nice once in awhile to not have to hold back,," she said. "There I can just let it shine."