For the last few years I have been lucky enough to play with kids older than me in hockey. And because of that age gap I always find myself struggling to make friends. Mostly the kids try to be open and invite me to their social group. But since there's that age gap it takes me a while to join in with them.
I feel that everyone should be accepted no matter what groups they belong to. Or at least everyone should be included. For the longest time whenever I join a team sport with kids I don’t know, I suffer for like half the year before I get to know the kids on my team well enough to I refer to them as friends. I would say I'm a social kid but only with kids younger than me or around my age.
I used to be really self conscious about being vegan. The hockey team I was on a while ago was giving out food like crazy that I couldn’t eat. And I always felt really scared that someone would force me to eat it or something. I'm not honestly sure why I thought that but I did. It probably didn’t help that I didn’t tell them I was vegan. Eventually the kids on my hockey team figured out that I was vegan.
I think it was probably when I was doing a tournament with my team either in Providence or Maine, we went to a pizza shop and my dad was an assistant coach on the team and he told the kids on my team that I was vegan when they asked why I wasn’t eating cheese and pepperoni pizza.
I didn’t think it was right for him to tell my friends about that part of my identity.
I wasn’t yet comfortable sharing that with them. Because for my whole life I have been vegan and so it is a super huge part of my identity.
I think the point I’m trying to get across with talking about hockey is that I value my friends but sometimes it takes me time to be able to open up to them. And I don’t like it when I tell people whether it’s my dad or my friends something really big about my identity, and they tell other people without asking me first.