Branching Out

Getting out of my comfort zone can require a huge effort.  I knew when I signed up to volunteer with the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo that I was branching out into a new world.

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For one, volunteering for any event is a huge step for me because I can be quite shy and fearful around strangers.  For another, having the courage to attend this event while being of service opens doors for my self-discovery and/or potential career change.

This was the first year the GFAF Expo branched out to San Francisco.  Jen Cafferty and her staff do an excellent job on organizing this event.  I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to enjoy the experience.  If you missed it, you can check out the other locations throughout the United States in 2013:

Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; Secaucus, NJ and Dallas, Texas.

Turns out the GFAF Expo was the perfect place for me to begin my volunteer services.  I had the opportunity to branch out to other bloggers.  I was surrounded by people like me who struggle with auto-immune disorders, allergies, and other impurities.   I gained insight on a new direction for my career path.

Friday night, I had the opportunity to attend the Schars Blogger Event.  This was a special night for bloggers only.  We met the night before the event, ate gluten free snacks, and heard feedback from three great role models.   I arrived in time to hear The Celiac Diva speak on maximizing your partnerships.  It was the perfect motivation talk to open myself to the public, meet new people, and share similar experiences.

The angels are always looking out for me, and Friday night they directed me towards a new friend.  She’s known as Celiac Hashi Girl on Facebook, but she also blogs at  She introduced herself to me and right away shared some similar experiences she had with her blog that I have concerns with.   I admired the way she interacted with other people, making herself available to the vendors and other bloggers.

I talked to her before I left on Sunday and complimented her on her social availability.  She made a comment that sounded to me like she, too, was branching out of her comfort zone.

I guess I am not so special after-all. 

We all have to start somewhere.  If we settle for a common lifestyle, just so we don’t have to feel uncomfortable, we keep ourselves from acknowledging our potential.   It is only by facing our fear that we will really know how far we can go.

As one of my dearest friends used to say, “if you reach for the stars, you will never end up with a pile of dust”.  I think he quoted that one, but it’s one of my favorites 😉


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