This is a collection of all the photos that I took before I decided to start this blog and to learn more about Viet cuisine, food ingredients, cooking & photography. This was also at the time when I still had a social media account. It was one of the few places where I was able to share my everyday lives with family, friends and well strangers. The photo of my IG that you see here on the bottom left corner, was taken from Summer 18 before I left social media in December that same year. I decided to leave IG after realizing that it wasn’t something for me. I thought that maybe I would be better off without spending too much time scrolling and constantly comparing myself to others. And yes, I am! I’m healthier now, mentally, emotionally and physically. I don’t feel like missing out on a lot of things. I don’t feel like trying to fit in or belong to something that would drain my energy so much.
Everyone is different, and nobody is perfect. I don’t want to feel the pressure of following the crowd. I don’t want to keep up with all the standards that will potentially put my mental health at risk at the end. Well, the truth is that there are still many tough days to get through, but overall, I think I’m doing much better now! I have “a lot more” time to learn more about myself while building more meaningful relationships with people around me. In the end, I feel very grateful for having made this decision.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
First row, the second photo from the left was taken at my most favorite vegan restaurant in Montreal, where I used to live for almost four years before moving to Ottawa. It’s called La Panthère Verte or The Green Panther. If you plan to visit MTL, this is a place to go for organic vegan cuisine! Oh and please do try the vegan tiramisu there. It was one of the best! I had so many beautiful memories at this place. I think it was the first vegan restaurant that I dined in with my friend at the time when I barely knew anything about plant-based cooking.
I remember that last summer when I came here with Anna for so many times, we sat in the terrace, and ordered a Tempeh and a General Tao bowl with black beans noodles (it was AMAZING, but unfortunately I don’t think they serve this anymore). We then enjoyed those tasty dishes made from local ingredients while talking for hours in the melodious summer air. The stress of our daily lives just melt away in a split second. I remember her asking me to be her Man of Honor when she gets married one day. I remember saying yes. And that’s how I call this the memories of the good old days.
The layout that you see on this page is adapted from the one that I’ve designed for the restaurant where I’m working at the moment. You can find the original work here at Maht. Work created by Canva!