Compassion is Ageless

Posted on Updated on

We couldn’t be happier to bring you a guest post today—not because we’re lazy, but because today’s post is from JL! That’s JL of JL Goes Vegan and Stop Chasing Skinny. You can’t be in the same room as this woman without smiling, and I guess we just brought her into all your rooms, so smiles all around!

Last December, quite possibly the night after Christmas, I was lying on the couch with my laptop (oh stop it, you do it, too) and I saw someone tweet that Vida Vegan Con tickets were on sale. One pitiful look at my husband and I got the look back that said, “Go.” So I bought the ticket, reserved a hotel room and booked my airfare. Yep, all three, right in that moment. I tweeted out my excitement and I got a response from my good Twitter friend Megan asking if I needed a roommate. I called the hotel and changed my reservation to a double and then replied, “Yes!”

The next eight months were filled with anticipation and a little trepidation. I simply could not wait for the conference, but I was slightly anxious because as a 40+ (oh, hell, I’m closer to 50 now that I’ve turned 46) food and health blogger, I suspected I would be hanging out with mostly 20-somethings. Over the course of months, many VVC attendees became friends online through our blogs, Twitter, and the VVC group on Facebook. My anxieties were ebbing.

I arrived on Wednesday and the first person I met was Julia, who is my age. Aha! So not everyone would be in their twenties! The next day I was suddenly off to lunch with a group of women of varied ages and we were united in our love of vegan food and our deep desire for some vegan shopping. Friday I finally met my roommate, Megan, age 26. Wow. I actually could be her mother. We hit it off immediately!

Megan, JL & Kristen

We went to lunch together; we went to the opening reception together; we grabbed dinner together and, yep, we had a little “party” in our hotel room. Age did come up at the “party,” as Jason referred to me as “grandma,” which I may have deserved as I told them they all had to leave by 10:00. (Grandma needed to get to bed so she could get up early to run 4 miles before the conference kicked off.)

In just a few days I developed friendships that surpassed the limits of age and I know will last a lifetime. From my roomie Megan to 30-something Janessa

to Fran Costigan, grandmother of four

…who I now consider one of my dearest friends.

After spending four days with women and men who represent a range of ages, I learned a few lessons:

  • Don’t assume the age of bloggers. We span the generations.
  • Age is just a number. It’s not about how old you are; it’s about how you live.
  • Vida Vegan Con brought together nearly 300 people who were united in a vegan experience–Compassion is ageless.

8 thoughts on “Compassion is Ageless

    Kris @ spabettie said:
    October 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I love that aspect of online friendships and blogging – you truly connect with people because of interests and shared passions.

    I love Love LOVE this post, and you too, JL ! XO

    CraftyEarthMama said:
    October 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Wonderfull post! This is my 1st MoFo and it’s so awesome to be connecting with other vegan bloggers. I’ve “met” some really cool people so far 🙂

    Marti Miller Hall said:
    October 21, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Awesome!! I had some of the same reservations (and I remember the Twitter conversation some of us had prior about ages).
    I discovered I wasn’t the oldest person at VVC after all, but in the end, it really didn’t matter…

    Dreena Burton said:
    October 21, 2011 at 5:57 am

    I love this post. While I wasn’t at VVC, I probably would have thought the same thing, that the bloggers were 20-somethings, and I’m a mom of 3, now 41 – and wow, I’d be out of touch!! It’s wonderful you shared this reaction and then how your experience showed you differently. Lovely people are lovely people, regardless of age.

    Fran Costigan said:
    October 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Love this post and the photos! (I’m so happy to see one of us).
    I remember the twitter age conversation. GFran held back from that one. I’m surely not the only babe-a-vegan who knows young old people and young older people. It’s all about being with different people, like minded in some way. I will remain on a VVBC high for the rest of my life! Thank you all!!

    jess @ cupcakes and kale said:
    October 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    what a lovely post JL! and i echo what dreena said because it`s simply the honest truth: lovely people are lovely people. sigh, and i now i wish even more that i had been at the conference! looking forward to 2013 🙂

    […] wrote this piece, Compassion is Ageless, for Vida Vegan […]

    celyn said:
    October 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    This is a lovely post! I was thrilled to see all ages and sizes of vegans represented at VVC.

Comments are closed.