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24.6.14

Ultimately

In the days following Britmums Live I think a lot of people spend time reflecting. Reflecting on what they've learnt, who they've met, the brands they visited and so on.
I am no different. And I think it's all part of the process, all part of the "comedown".

Last year was a massive deal. I would be meeting so many people for the first time. It was my first blogging conference and my first time being in a big room with a lot of people whose faces I recognised from a tiny Twitter avatar, and people who I knew so much about by reading their blogs.
This year I felt a little more relaxed as I kind of knew what to expect. My list of people to meet wasn't as long as last year and I was really looking forward to catching up and having a proper conversation with those who I met briefly last year and had since become a reader of their blog and talk to them occasionally on Twitter or Instagram.

I think we all feel a bit fragile at events like this. Well, maybe not all of us, but I would imagine a lot of people do. To all of a sudden not being protected by a computer screen. To all of a sudden have to be us, to show the real us and that can be hard. It's easy to be confident behind a screen, not so easy in real life.
I think I became super sensitive and incredibly fragile, maybe unnecessarily, maybe not, but scrolling through Twitter and seeing people tweeting each other saying "I need to meet you" and so on I felt jealous. Jealous that this year, that wasn't me. My goodness, I know that makes me sound like such a brat, but I promise it will make sense at the end.
I felt jealous and somewhat hurt I suppose that those I thought were more than online friends didn't seem to want to chat other than a quick hello. And I suppose the worst thing about that is that you then analyse yourself and think "Why don't they want to be friends outside of the internet? Maybe we are not as friendly as I thought. Maybe I really am just "a reader" and not a friend".

On the train home I felt a bit deflated, as I saw people excitedly tweeting each other and I felt a little out of it. I was already super emotional after leaving my friends. I felt really open and also really alone.

And so the last couple of days I have been in a full on reflection mode. Thinking about what I could have done different, wondering if maybe I am just unapproachable or simply not someone people want to meet. And that's fine.
And then I realised that actually, it doesn't matter how many people you meet. What matters is who you meet. Quality not quantity I suppose.

And for me, ulitmately, it was those people who I have followed for 3 years. Those who I have talked to on and off for 3 years, or simply people I am aware of but never really talk to as our paths don't cross. Those who I recognise as if I have known them and see them everyday.
Sonia {This Mummy Loves} was one of those people, and I remember seeing her and hugging her as if I had met her before. It wasn't until yesterday when I realised we didn't actually introduce ourselves. And that is nice. The fact that we assumed the other knew who we were.
I had a total FanGirl moment when meeting Alison Perry {Not Another Mummy Blog}, so much that I think I may have just kept looking at her during the 2 days and wanting to spend time talking but not knowing what to say.
Meeting Kate {Wit Wit Woo} was amazing. It's fair to say I didn't think I would ever be friends with Kate, she is waaaay out of my league but sitting and eating dinner with her on Friday and having a chat on Saturday made me realise that maybe I am good enough to be friends with someone like Kate. One thing I appreciate in life is people who make you feel good, just by being around them. Those people who let out this amazing energy and who you can look up to yet feel equal too at the same time.
Someone similar to Kate is Mari {Mari's World}. Again, someone who I look up to and I felt kind if honoured to be able to have a really lovely chat with her at the hotel on Friday. I would love to have the presence of Maris and really admire her.
And one of the highlights of the whole weekend was FINALLY meeting Helen {The Crazy Kitchen}. Oh my, she didn't disappoint. If I could have spent every minute of Britmums with Helen then I would have done. Seeing her face squished against the window at Wagamamas was more exciting than I ever thought it would be.

Meeting these 5 women made me realise that it's not a popularity contest. I never wanted to be one of those people who is looking for the next person to meet, to go home with a massive list of people I had short and quick conversations with. And looking at that list, and seeing that I met people who have been a big deal in my whole blogging "experience/life/journey" so far is perfect. And I feel quite fulfilled at that.

It doesn't matter whether or not people want to meet you, or even know who you are. It doesn't matter if people are saying bad things about you, it doesn't matter if you lose followers.
It doesn't matter if you meet 5 people or 55 people, or even 105 people.
What matters is being yourself, leaving and knowing that you didn't pretend to be someone you are not.
Looking back at who you met and being happy, and feeling in some kind of odd way that you have achieved something.
Feeling good about yourself that those you admire will talk to you, and do have time for you. And them living up to your expectations.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter that my Twitter feed didn't include any "I want to meet you" tweets, it doesn't matter that people looked at me and looked away, it doesn't matter that people didn't know I was there.
What mattered was that I have been able to leave feeling good about myself without all that.

Ultimately, I didn't go to Britmums to feel popular, or to be popular. I went to learn, and to come away with experience.

And of course to spend quality time with my best friends, which made that time even better.