vida vegan con, let’s talk about it

I haven’t really slept in a week or so, so this should be good. I’m going to ignore my own advice of walking away and rereading before you post. Oh man, such a bad idea.

Tomorrow is the official open for Vida Vegan Con, the conference I’ve been working on for more than a year now, but today we went and scheduled some pre-conference events for the locals and early birds, so who am I kidding? The conference starts today. Holy hole. My to-do list is insane (and I’m sitting here typing away like a lady of leisure?), but I did do laundry yesterday so I at least have clean underwear for the next few days!

In spite of the fact that my motor function has been seriously altered—I feel as though I am controlling myself as a marionette, pulling the strings on my fingers to make them type rather than simply willing them through the motions—I’m so excited and grateful and hopeful for this event. A year and a half ago, I didn’t know Jess or Janessa, and now we have matching tattoos! We’ve been through multi-thousand-dollar scares together, we’ve been through the deadliest of deadlines together, and we have a lawyer and accountant together (I don’t even have those on my own).

Why are we pushing ourselves the way we are? There have been days when my body did completely shut down, when the migraine kicked in and said, “Where do you think you’re going, little miss?” And I was like, “Who you calling little miss?” And the migraine did not answer, because migraines don’t owe you shit. Wait, what? Anyway, we’re pushing ourselves because we want a blogger conference for us. It didn’t exist so we’re making it. It’s not run by crappy sponsors I don’t want to support. We have all-vegan catering. The faculty is made up of some of my favorite online voices. It’s our conference. That’s the big “our,” meaning yours too.

Will everything run perfectly? Probably not. Some speaker is going to forget some cord, and an exhibitor with no classroom access is going to sneak into a class, and somebody’s going to miss the streetcar and not make it to the off-site cooking demo and be mad at us for the demo being off-site. That stuff will happen. But someone will also come out of the photography workshop with the tips and tricks they need to show you just how gorgeous that pineapple upside-down cake is, and two lonely vegan bloggers will meet and realize they’re from the same town and they’ll go back and form a meet-up group and put on a Vegan Iron Chef together.

Above all, we can’t believe how many people took a chance on us. We had to switch up our venue search pretty fast. I remember standing outside a hotel with Jess, saying, “I think we might have more than 100 people.” And now we’re dealing with our max capacity of 250. People are traveling from all over the world. A moment, please, so I may say it again in my head and look off into the distance for dramatic effect. Done.

And now for the abrupt finish, Tom just told me the coffee’s done, so it’s time to start my real day. Thanks for letting me do this.

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