I cannot even lie when I say I cried a little bit inside thinking about me, Michelle, the girl who will try anything and everything once, actually becoming vegan and living this lifestyle for a year, if not longer. As I had a breakfast of carrot juice and an orange, I realized I had a lot more research to do because, lets be real, this chick likes to eat and that was NOT going to cut it. Lunch time, I went to a fabulous restaurant called So Green here in Nice and had a huge salad with cucumbers, avocados, artichokes, tomatoes, peppers, with a splash of balsamic vinaigrette dressing! I had almost devoured the whole thing before I managed to take a quick picture of my first vegan meal.
While checking out, they placed a lovely baguette on my tray which made me automatically questioning if i could attack this warm, read to eat french bread or not. Quickly pulling up google on my phone, I found out that there is bread vegans can eat, but bread containing eggs was a no no, so I donated my bread to someone else and just ate my salad. After my lunch incident, I thought it would behove of me to do some research and to my amazement, my girl Oprah came through with a great grocery list for vegans http://static.oprah.com/images/packages/vegan-starter-kit/vegan-shopping-list.pdf and so did other online sites. Once I saw the abounding list of yummy food that I could eat, all my fears were allayed knowing that I would not starve for a year, but that I could actually eat some good food while on this journey to clean within. I am sure once I go grocery shopping tomorrow, my meals will become more fulfilling and diverse. Dinner was delightful and quite filling couscous with avocado and tea.
I can also say that my day filled with good deeds was a great success. Although, I went on my excursion alone on my birthday, starting this journey by myself was the ideal way as I must become contempt with my own thoughts and feeling totally alive and happy without a single person by myself. As I started this excursion, I knew I had a list, but I wanted to see what things would just open up for me to do for others. The first thing I saw walking from my residence overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean was that the trash bag by our school gym had fell open. This a great opportunity for me to start my 21 deeds off by picking up a bag of trash. The before and after pictures say it all and I am assuming some french animal thought that this plastic or whatever was wrapped in it would become a good midnight snack.
After this quick check off my list of deeds, I commenced to the school bathroom where I proceeded to write “Vous êtes belle!” on the mirror. I think everyone should be reminded that they look beautiful no matter who they are. Along these lines, I had also cut out paper hearts and wrote “Vous êtes belle! Bonne Journée.” Leaving the bathroom, I headed to the campus library and dedicated two french books to receive the uplifting notes and leaving the library I also adorned 7 hand-picked cars with the words of encouragement. This would now count as 11 deeds down, 11 to go. I commissioned my mom to donate and send my prom dress to the Princess Project http://princessproject.org/. Disclaimer: If I can find a picture of my prom dress (which I found), I can show and explain how it was specifically made for my body and how much I loved everything about it, but this life is not about material things, so I thought it was a good idea to let it go.
Never got around to paying someones bus fare as it was too beautiful of a day to take public transportation, and instead I walked around enjoying the city that I would leave. While I was enjoying the beatiful Nice, France, I found an old man who was really struggling but still pushing through his jog and proceeded to give him a high-five. He completely stopped jogging, said “Bonjour!” with the biggest confused smile I have ever seen and contined jogging. :p Heading further down the promenade, I found a telephone booth and left some change there for the next time someone needed to make any type of phone call.
After walking for a bit, I saw the homeless man that seems perfectly capable but sits under a bridge begging every single day. Anywho, in my half-fluent French, I asked him if he wanted something to eat. I expected a huge and gracious ‘yes I would love something to eat’. That is not quite what happened because he seemed as thought this was a common question and proceeded to pull out remnants of all the wrappers of food that he wanted me to buy for him. I chuckled a bit inside, but I was not about to buy an entire grocery list of food for this homeless man, because I AM a college student. Nevertheless, he asked for some bread and I thought I could manage granting that wish for him. While in the grocery store I found out they were promoting a seeming worthy cause (http://ela-asso.com/)by selling flowers for a euro and so I bought three beautifully colored flowers. After checking out, I handing the warm french baguette to the homeless man and he seemed grateful enough. 🙂
Once that deed was done, I had another interesting experience walking on the promenade by the beach. I saw a woman who seemed deserving enough to receive one of my flowers. In french, I asked her if she would like a flower and she kind of passed not realizing I was talking to her. When I asked her again, she turned around with a shy smile saying in french, “For me? Is it free?” and I said “Yes ma’am, of course, have a great day.” With teary eyes she proceeded to cross the street. I tear up super easily when someone else is about to cry, so choked up and fighting a tear, I journeyed on towards the hospital to the pediatric ward.
Two flowers in hand, I met three young nurses who looked at me cautiously. I advanced to the counter and presented the flowers saying I wanted them to give a child suffering today a flower. Quite defensively, one of the nurses asked why I was doing this? I was not expecting that question so in my broken french I contested that it was my 21st birthday and I wanted to do something nice for someone else. The other nurses lighted up and wished me a very happy birthday and a good day and merrily expressed how nice I was. Hope some little one suffering feels a little better with a bright colored flower by their side.
Leaving a euro in the drink machine at my dorm, ridding myself of my bad habit of chewing pen caps, holding the door open for people when i left a store, sending a friendly smile and good vibes to bystanders, writing a letter to congress asking to reverse the Monsanto Protection Act, and forgiving myself of ALL, yes ALL my past mistakes, made for a complete and productive birthday doing 21 good deeds. I normally try and do good for others so I am sure this will continue but I wanted to actively bless some people and the world on my birthday and I think I succeeded in doing just that and to top it off, it was a glorious day in Nice!