I cannot believe it’s now been a full year since I attended my first ever blogging conference, Blogfest 2014.
I remember feeling so anxious and scared that I really got my knickers in a bit of a twist about it all, and ended up being rather a retiring wallflower for the entire day, and then getting a a horrendous anxiety migraine where I had to leave early.
I cannot tell you how differently I feel having returned from this years Blogfest 2015.
I am so super pleased with myself that I have actually given myself a virtual pat on the back.
And as I bounded back into our house at around 9pm Saturday night after a very long day, I was full of smiles and an inner glow of confidence that I rarely feel or experience.
It made me feel happy.
Don’t get me wrong though. Much the same as the previous year, for some reason I felt just as anxious before I went along to Blogfest15, and with that, I think again I worked myself up throughout the week, resulting in anxiety headaches from Monday. But, even though I felt such apprehension, I was still so desperate to go. Perhaps this time because I really wanted to see my beautiful friends again.
So, having taken my Calms the night before, and with some at hand for the day itself (along with the obligatory migraine tablets), I got up as planned even before the crack of dawn to start the journey, with Aby of You Baby Me Mummy into London for the day.
En route, we met fellow bloggers from our home town and travelled up with them, with lots of giggles along the way, oh, and the sporadic groan from each of us at the appalling weather conditions.
Trust this day to be the first for a little snowfall!
As it turned out, the four of us were the first to arrive at the venue, and luckily, rather than queuing outside as I seem to remember happened last year, we went straight in to warm our hands up in the hand dryers in the loos!
It was actually really good for someone like me with such anxieties to arrive first I think. Rather than the daunting prospect of walking in to a packed out hall full of excitable women you don’t really know, this really eased me in, and because I was with bloggers who knew more people than I did, this was fabulous as I could introduce myself to anyone new who arrived as they came up to greet my travelling companions.
But obviously the hall grew busier, but with that my beautiful blogging besties arrived too.
It was so lovely to see them all face to face again and to give big hugs to one another, to congratulate each other on blogging and personal achievements, on new additions to the family and in sympathy for those who’ve experienced tragedy.
Together we are like a big family of sisters. All there for one another through thick and thin.
So, once all the hugs and kisses were over and done with, it was on to the rest of the day.
Last year, I stuck pretty much like glue to these girls, and rarely left their side, as I think I just felt way out of my comfort zone.
I’m a very happy and bubbly person if you know me, but on the inside, I’m actually rather shy.
But I can’t tell you what a diffence a year makes.
I didn’t feel that I had to follow the crowd just to be with someone I knew, and instead went to the sessions I wanted to go to. I was quite comfortable sitting on my own, in the front rows and even put my hand up to ask questions. I stayed behind after sessions to listen to further hints and tips from experts and speakers, instead of rushing back to the comfort of my girls.
I made an effort to talk to others, some who were on their own at their very first blog conference, and as I know from experience how daunting these things can be, I knew that with just a couple of warm friendly smiles or spontaneous chats, how at ease this can make people feel.
I even managed to make it right through until the end of day without any sign of a headache, with a few glasses of Prosecco and wine this time around too, which was something I was really looking forward to after having to cut this short the previous year.
And I even got the chance to meet my heroes of blogging. I was a very happy bunny indeed.
I really feel I truly got the most out of the day and I couldn’t be any more delighted.
And don’t get me started on the goodie bags…. AMAZING! Totally thrilled!
Thank you to Mumsnet, my beautiful friends, and to all the amazing, absolutely lovely and inspirational people I met on the day.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will be there with bells on again next year!