I have always been the type of person who has struggled to fit in, always. I was so jealous to see all the groups of people at school because I longed to be part of my own group and find my people. I feel like some of you may understand what I mean by that. Even nowadays I am the worrier. The one who is wondering whether they actually like me or not. I don’t know what to say or do because I don’t want to make a fool of myself. Do you know what though? It’s okay to be socially awkward sometimes because us introverts need our own space however it is also important to push ourselves out of our comfort zone sometimes. It can be scary but it feels amazing afterwards!

If you have been an avid reader of mine for a while, you might remember when I went down to London two years ago and took a wander around the flagship store on Oxford Street. I thoroughly enjoyed my time looking around the store and seeing all the Lush exclusives, of course, I treated myself to a lot of products too. I wasn’t nervous entering the store on my own which nowadays I would really struggle with. I started speaking to a lovely sales assistant called Bella who gave me a guided tour around the whole store for nearly an hour. She explained all the products to me whilst suggesting her personal faves. In that situation, if anyone was nervous it would have probably been Bella to approach me rather than the other way round. So I don’t know when things really changed for me. Perhaps it is the case of as I have grown up, I am more nervous and anxious about these kind of situations when I really shouldn’t be.

Last week I took a massive step which I would usually make up an excuse for not going or just not organise whatsoever. I, little old me, messaged the lovely Chloe asking if it was okay to meet up with her to take some outfit photos and have a hot drink. Now we all know that Chloe has a huge following, in fact her blog was one of the first ones I started reading and now she has over 3,000 followers on Instagram. At first I felt so uncomfortable because I was well out of my comfort zone but after some time had passed I was fine. I started to feel comfortable not only in front of the camera but in front of someone completely new. Looking back on the situation, I don’t even know why I was so nervous for however I do know if someone came up to me at the start of the year and said this was going to happen I would have laughed in their face. I just need to remember that moment of feeling extremely proud of what I have achieved and run with it. I also need to remember that the other person is probably feeling the exact same because everyone feels nervous about something whether that is meeting new people, dealing with a spider in the bathroom or combating a fear of heights.

So here’s a question – why do we feel overwhelmed and anxious when meeting new people? We all work in the same community. As bloggers, we have all started with 0 followers and nearly everyone who I speak to online are supportive, kind and caring. They back you when things happen in your life that you don’t know how to cope with or deal with. It’s like one massive community and despite the amount of followers someone has on socials, we are all in the same boat. It will always be easier to speak to someone online rather than meeting them in person but that’s because you have time to think about a reply and gather your thoughts before typing a reply when you don’t have that advantage in person.

At the start of this year I attended the #CarnLIVal event with Alice and I felt like such a fan girl when I met Katy and Sam even though we had been talking online for ages. The event was in aid of Student Minds and St Rocco’s Hospice. We paid a small fee for the tickets to attend but that also ensured us a raffle ticket with some fantastic prizes. We were early for the event due to traveling down from Newcastle and as I stood outside the Hope Street Hotel, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed especially when lots of other people started turning up. Don’t get me wrong, I was super happy to have had Alice there to support me all the way because I knew I wouldn’t have been able to handle that situation on my own. When we finally settled into the event room which was filled with confetti balloons, a photo booth, a poetry competition table and an Easter Egg hunt, it was time to mingle. I was super nervous as you could imagine. I never met so many people at one time in my life before but at the event I made friends with: Emily, Hannah and Hannah who made both Alice and I feel so welcome.

I think I just need to remember that everyone is nervous when meeting someone new whether it is for a friendship because you have been speaking for years online or because you have met someone on a dating app. No matter the situation, I am still trying to figure out at what point do you start to feel comfortable around meeting new people. For now I am just going to continue pushing myself out my safe bubble because I will never know who I might meet if I don’t do that.

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