My husband had a work conference in San Diego that he attended annually for three years. San Diego in February- Count me in!
It was in year three that I realized that my body is so much happier if I eat gluten free. So when the pre conference registration came to us I happily filled in my dietary restrictions around gluten. Not something I usually do as I know it can be a hassle at times.
My thoughts were that it is in California-which I think of as the birthplace of Vegan almost 30 years ago. GF should be pretty normal, standard even.
Skip to the first night of the conference. Set up in the ballroom so that all the attendees would attend in style and comfort, a great Key Note speaker that spoke to the masses not their specific industry, fantastic wine selection and gorgeous looking, amazing tasting food..... Sounds like a great start to a fun weekend away right?
It would have been except I listed food restrictions on the pre conference form. Persons with food restrictions had an assigned spot at a "special" table. Only "special" people were at the "special table" we had a card with our name on it there. It was located in the back corner near the kitchen entrance and not visible to the masses. Its where a hassled waitstaff begrudgingly took note of our different food choices and eventually provided us with an afterthought of the cooks meal.
I left that banquet feeling like I was a nuisance, unsatisfied, discouraged, left out, lonely, unworthy and HANGRY..
____>.... how I felt.
The next morning at breakfast...... I NO showed the "special" table. I sat with my husband and his new couple friends that he met the night before. (No one else at the special table even glanced my way the night before). I ate real normal tasty food and skipped the toast. I had a wonderful time with the regular people and never went back to the corner table again.
There is a point in sharing this story with you. It's part of the background thoughts I had when I decided to open my studio. The background thoughts of how we don't really want to be special.
We want to be unique, embraced, loved, not judged, seen, heard and encouraged to be who we are without negative ramifications.
I didn't want to create a "special" place I wanted to create a place that is comfortable, authentic and welcoming to all. I have tried my best to make it so. Come check it out and let me know what you think! It's an open invitation to all :)