I would like to share that I am stepping down from management of the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. I am grateful for the experiences and connections made through my participation in planning the event for November 2013 and again for September 2014. I’ve had questions about 2015 and thought it best to share that I will not be involved next year.
It is through meeting so many of you that I have learned more about myself. It is through working to put the event on here in Las Vegas two years in a row that I have made connections that make this city feel more than ever like home.
I wrote in April about a movie my cousin made called Helsinki-Tehran and the words feel applicable here:
My sister in law once told me she values her drive home from work. If she was able to teach near her home she would miss it, the chance to unpack her thoughts from the day, to be silent after teaching elementary school children all day. To switch from her teacher self to her self-self (my words, not hers, I promise she is much more erudite).
Mom has a “hospital voice” and I think I have a “work voice” too. And a “court voice.” And the voice when no one is listening.
I think I like that last one best.
When you’re always at work, there is no coming home in the classic drive home sense but instead I have moments, glimmers, of coming home and they happen randomly. Sometimes it is late at night when I finally flick off the light in my home office/laundry room. Sometimes it is the sound of my husband’s key in the door signalling that I can come home too.
So I continue in my gratitude for my journey and the lessons. For being able to “come home” even though I never actually left.
What the conference stands for is the breaking of the mentality that we are competing against one another. We are collaborating and lifting one another up. It is bigger than any one person can lay claim to, though the credit can certainly be shared. Jenny Sprague‘s vision has been embraced so wholeheartedly by this community that I leave knowing that she has the support of many in continuing the tradition of bringing people together to share in the causes that find us.
Hearing Elisa Camahort Page speak at the 2014 conference was a watershed moment for me. The stories of our mothers and grandmothers need not be lost, nor our own stories. That is why when people ask if there is room for a new blogger I will always say, “yes.” If there wasn’t such space we wouldn’t have wonderful bloggers like Sharon at Nut Free Wok or Tiffany at Food Allergy Pharmacist to bring their fresh perspectives and stories to the table. I would have never had reason to discover the adventures of Karen at Sweeten the Trip, Jessica at Food Allergy Sleuth, or Annelies at The Food Poet (to name just a few).
Shortly after the conference I was honored by a local magazine as a “top” attorney in Southern Nevada for 2014. It came out of nowhere and I was incredibly humbled. It felt like a little bit of public validation for so many hours of work. So, please remember: Your words matter. Your heart matters. Your integrity matters. And keep fighting the good fight for awareness, inclusion, and an independent supportive community.