I remember the first blogging event that I ever went to. It was a Lush event for the launch of Mira Manga's book 'Cosmetics To Go' and I was absolutely petrified. I didn't know what to expect, what to bring, what to wear. I was awkward, scared to talk to anyone new through fear of feeling inferior and hung around the few bloggers that I did vaguely know like flies around...yeah. It was a great night and like most things that make me feel anxious, I look back on it with good memories and I don't regret going at all, it was a great night and probably kick started me being 'a blogger' rather than someone who just so happens to write a blog.
Since then, I have been to a ton of events for loads of amazing brands and companies and while I always have a good time, often the daunting prospect of entering a room of people alone puts me off. If I was immune to that feeling, I'd have definitely been to a lot more blogger events. I work with the general public, luxury fashion retail to be exact so while I'm great at making small talk with total strangers, I could go for hours, when it comes to people I sort of know (ie. follow on Twitter but have never actually met in real life) I freeze.
You see, while I don't suffer with 'anxiety' as such, as in the medical condition, 'anxiety' as a feeling rather than a diagnosis is certainly prominent in almost every aspect of my day to day life, particularly my life as a blogger. I'm a worrier, tiny things play on my mind for days or sometimes weeks and really eat away at me and I'm great at talking myself out of things if I feel uncomfortable or nervous about them. Better safe that sorry, right? Or usually in my case, better safe at home than sorry out in the big bad world.
Recently, I was invited to an amazing blogger event which I was flattering about and had every intention of attending right up until the day before it. Then, after finishing work, I was hit with a bout of anxiousness and dread. I couldn't quite put my finger on why (which isn't uncommon for me when it comes to anxiety) but I just feel nervous and drained.
Normally I'd have loved to go, but I was searching for any excuse in the book why I was unworthy. I was supposed to be working 11am-7pm on the day of the event and it started at 7pm. 'Nope, I simply couldn't go if I were going to be late,' I thought. Did I mention the location of the event is literally less than 5 minutes walk from my work? Then I had to go into work a hour early. So naturally that hour had made me so completely exhausted that the thought of doing anything after work was too much to bare. And of course my hair wasn't looking it's best. And didn't have my camera with me. The tiny little things all began to mount up and like clock work I'd talked myself out of it. I walked past the location that the event was being held in on the way home and gazed in the window from afar like a kid in a candy store. Any normal person would think 'Um...well, just go in then?' but I couldn't bring myself to. I still now don't know why and that's a really frustrating feeling.
I love my blog and as I said, am still incredibly grateful for all the opportunities which I get as a result of it, so it really tears me up when I feel like I just can't bring myself to take up these opportunities and worst of all, I don't even know why. As a beauty blogger, do I feel I should I be more attractive? Or as a writer, do I feel I should I be able to walk into any social gathering and come across as intelligent and well versed as I effortlessly engage in idle chit-chat with glamorous strangers? Is it maybe that because my friends and family don't know about my blog, I perhaps feel conscious about actually vocalising it, even amongst other bloggers? It could be a combination of those factors, or it could be none of them, I really don't know.
For the duration of my time as a blogger, anxiety has dictated what I post. In the past year or so, I've been more open on Twitter about certain aspects of my life, health etc. but still worry constantly about judgement from people in my life or from blogging friends.
This wasn't intended to provoke sympathy (I'm not sure it would anyway, as it's basically just been me complaining about the amazing opportunities which I get and coming across as super ungrateful) but I find it funny (albeit ironic) how something like blogging that gives me so much in some ways is so affected by anxiety in others...