Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodby Friday Harbor Labs, Hello Vida Vegan Con!

I did not want to leave San Juan Island! No matter how much I complained about the cafeteria food, being around nature everyday, having close encounters with killer whales and learning a subject matter that I care so much about, felt incredibly right. I had envisioned myself being on the island doing work with the whales, and having just a taste, I know I will be back. I made many friends who I’d never guess I would connect so well with. I was shocked to find myself in a place of sadness when I got home. Of course it was great seeing my beloved kitties and rats. It was wonderful sleeping in my own bed. I am looking forward to cooking a real meal. But the experience was so profoundly amazing and exactly what I wanted to be doing, I mourned that it was over. There will be more of these experiences. The class at Friday Harbor Labs was just the beginning, but I am missing being there greatly.

Where I spend many hours looking for and watching Southern Resident Killer Whales

My transition to Portland started off with all those feelings, and I had the Vida Vegan Con blogger conference to attend the next day. I had been looking forward to the conference, but I never had a chance to really process my feelings of being back. I had a momentary breakdown when I first got there and started to talk with people. But I collected myself and went to a panel on positive blogging. Before the talk began, a woman saw my nametag and told me she had been looking for me. She had read my guest post on the conference website and complimented me on it. This random compliment from a stranger transformed me, and suddenly, being home wasn’t so bad after all. I enjoyed the positivity panel and looked forward to more talks. The next day, I gave a talk about activism and was again feeling great being back in Portland. Everyone was so incredibly nice and knowledgeable and welcoming. I talked with Jasmin Singer from Our Hen House and did an interview for a pod cast. I was impressed by her eloquent speaking ability and how nice she is. The whole experience was a wonderful reminder that there is community all over the place if you just open your heart to it. And my depressing transition back home suddenly became an empowering experience.

Thanks to all the organizers of the conference. Jess, Michelle and Janessa are all fabulous hard-working women who know how to create an amazing event. I was able to make up for the 5 weeks of bad food in the two days I was at the conference, eating a lot of flavorful meals and sweet desserts. It was also fantastic to see so many of my friends at once while being welcomed back home. And the swag bag from the conference is also something to talk about! Damn! I never received so many free things before. I am now the proud owner of a pepper grinder. I love pepper!


krissy said...

Oh, so glad you had a nice welcome for your first days back in Portland. A beautiful post. <3

JL goes Vegan said...

I heard you this morning on Our Hen House. You were wonderful!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

It was your welcome back party, duh!

Jessie said...

free pepper grinder!!! nice. i got my first one for christmas from my folks. i have been asking for kitchen utensils since i was 10. Ha!! xoxo