I am a blogger – writing that is really strange, I don’t feel like a blogger I feel like someone who writes a blog – and there’s a difference right!? For 6 months now I have written this blog and it is by far the best thing (bar my family of course!) that I have ever entered into and for those 6 months I have thought of it every single day. On a whim that ordinary winters day and without any real technological, writing or photography experience I decided to jump into the unknown feet first and publish that first post. To start something that truthfully I had been thinking about doing for 5 years, and now, part of me is mad for not having the courage to start it sooner.
Writing this blog has brought me so many things, opened up a new world and I have started to feel like I have a new passion, it has ignited my love for photography once more and I have felt more creative than at any other time in my life. The people that do know about this blog have said some really lovely things and I have dared to think maybe this is something I am actually not too bad at. That confidence is creeping in.
You see confidence isn’t something I have in spades, I absolutely wish it was but in actual fact I would say I am quite self critical, self conscious, an over-thinker for sure, very shy and a little bit anxious. I am confident in my work and since having my babies I feel super confident with them, they have absolutely cemented what life is about and shown me the unconditional love that accepts them for them and me for me. It is the very best job I could ever ask for. It does mean however that when I don’t have my little security blankets with me I feel all the more exposed, I am not very good in social situations at being confident for me.
Two weeks ago I attended Britmums Live, a big blogging conference in London. I was so nervous but against my better judgment decided I really wanted to immerse myself in this world I had happened upon, talk all things blogging, learnt lots, meet fellow bloggers and come home feeling inspired and that that confidence cup is that little bit fuller.
I will say it now that my first Britmums experience wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and it wasn’t all that positive. Instead of the confidence I so hoped to gain, to feel like I was in a room full of like minded people whom to share this with, to feel inclusive and friendly; I spent the day feeling anxious, not knowing where I fit in and feeling like I was at school once again and I didn’t know the rules. I came away with an overwhelming feeling that I will be honest has stayed with me ever since, a feeling of doubt, doubt that I fit into this world, doubt that I could be knocked and get back up again, and doubt that maybe this just isn’t for me. I didn’t really talk blogging at all.
The day felt very rushed, I didn’t learnt all that much from the sessions and spent most of the day wandering. I thought that lunch would be a respite from this and that at times I could sit and chat to people over lunch or even a drink but although the food was very lovely it was sparse, and I felt even more self conscious eating standing up.
BUT it wasn’t all bad, as in most days, in parenting, in life, there is always good, always positive to seek out. Even if it is a kiss from a loved one in a day filled with loss, a laugh in the rain that makes you forget you’re wet at all, or the innocent question from a child that makes you laugh out loud in a day full of demands and tantrums. It helps to focus on that, it helps me. It may have taken some time to process it but these last few weeks I have relived that long day, remembered the snippets of good and also realised that in fact I was not alone in my feelings thanks to the power of twitter.
I did meet some lovely people, a friendly face helped me to walk into the Friday night “Fringe” when I hesitated at the door where I then talked to a lady whom unbeknownst to me actually sat next to us on the train and whom I got to chat to whilst having the longest diverted taxi ride to the event ever! Later I met the lovely Amelia and Natalie with their adorable babies, spent time with them at the Boots Soltan photo booth where I got my most favourite keepsake of the day and I bonded with the lovely Sophie at the back of the Pinterest session.
I enjoyed the time I spent with other bloggers putting faces to names and it was nice to hear some of the speakers, Cherry Healey and the Keynotes too. I won the pass the parcel prize at the beginning which is lovely. It is engraved on one side with #BLM16 and the other says “Love what you do”
So there were some nice people, there were nice parts of the day and I think that maybe it just isn’t for me, I certainly wouldn’t pay the price again, and I most definitely wouldn’t go alone. Everyone has their own agenda of course and I am most positive that the majority of people would not be intentionally cliquey or rude and I wish I was confident or that I really didn’t care. But that is just not me, and that is not anyone else’s fault at all, my fault, my insecurities and my choice. I have to admit to being hugely disappointed both in the event and in myself, for cementing what I thought would happen to push my comfort zone to breaking point and not come out the other side stronger and feeling silly for thinking I would be ok.
At the end of the day I left early, my husband came to meet me with Eva after their day out in London and as I stood there waiting for my bag I saw this little person peep around the corner, soaking wet with her hood wrapped around her beautiful little face and I felt a sudden surge of huge emotion, of love, so happy, so at home that I cried. Big fat tears of happiness escaped my eyes even as I willed them not to, the emotion that had been building up all day, tears of happiness, of relief, of the fact I could breathe again, be me again, be mum. She ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug as if I hadn’t just seen her that very morning, I stayed there crouched on the floor in the middle of the foyer and suddenly I couldn’t care who looked, what people thought and I knew where I was meant to be. We spent the journey home talking all about her exciting day, looking at photos and writing about it, reliving all the good parts of her day and mine, she reminds me that life is positive and that in an experience less than ideal that there is always good. There is good in everyone, in every situation and to think like a 5 year old is no bad thing.
For now though I think I will stick with hiding behind my computer screen for a while. I don’t want it to put me off blogging for the whole reason I do this, for me, for my family, for the memories, for my Little Ladies.
Thank you Eva for being my inspiration, you were the best part of that day, you are the best part of my day, every day.