Remember that feeling on the first day at a new school where you walk in not knowing any one there and just hoping that someone will smile at you (and not because you have made an absolute fool of yourself), that you will find someone nice to talk to and you survive the day and even look forward to returning the following day. Remember the anxiety leading up to such a day, when you feel the butterflies in your stomach morph into something much larger. I remember that feeling all too well, I went to 3 different high schools so I relived the experience over and over again without learning to enjoy the experience.
In fact I still feel the same way regularly even now. Sometimes it is due to changing roles or locations at work, other times it is as simple as turning up to a party or dinner with close friends after everyone else has arrived. Another example would be the first day back at school for my kids and I am concerned that I taking them there on the wrong day or wrong time, hell at least once a week I check the time more than a dozen times on the walk to school to ensure that I will get the kids there at the right time. Essentially I freak out in many social situations, especially new situations where I don’t want to make a fool of myself. It is strange that despite my social anxiety, I do love to meet knew people and throw myself out of my comfort zone occasionally.
A few weeks ago I found out about a Melbourne Bloggers meet-up that Nicole from Planning with Kids was organising. When it was in the planning stages I was so excited, I immediately signed up, not caring when the event was going to be held. It didn’t matter if the meet up was to be on a work day, it was a chance to meet bloggers that I have stalked read so I planned to take the day off work. Whilst it was still in the planning phase it was all exciting, as soon as the event was confirmed, the nerves started to set in. I would have to climb out of the shell I live in and actually meet people, real and amazing people. Needless to say, I began to freak out. What would I say? What if they don’t like me? What if I am a gibberish mess that makes absolutely no sense? I began reliving the memories of those first days at a new school and wanted to chicken out.
Actually if I am being totally honest, I didn’t want to chicken out, I merely wanted to fast forward until I had already met everyone and then wouldn’t feel the need to panic as much. I thought about those first days at a new school and thought about what things were reassuring and generally it was having something to hide behind or seeing a face that I recognised in amongst the masses. My kids were at school so I coudn’t hide behind them and their antics. Friendly faces or not, I didn’t imagine that I would actually know any of the other bloggers so I thought about who I could invite, someone that would understand my attraction/addiction to blogging yet wouldn’t be a totally worlds collide ugly moment. I came up with the perfect solution, I invited a friend to join me who is a former blogger so she ‘gets it’. Knowing that she could come along and be my security blanket I felt relieved and began to look forward to the meet up.
Finally the meet up day arrived. I had re-scheduled work so that I could attend and looked forward to a relaxing few minutes between school drop off and having to head over to Carlton to psyche myself up. Of course instead of relaxing I was stuck doing work instead. It was a distraction from the nerves that were beginning to creep back in but it still left me flustered and potentially running late. I hate being late but figured that if everyone was bringing kids, the chances of others being late was pretty good.
Luckily Carlton isn’t too far away and even cramming in extra work I managed to make it there in decent time. In fact I drove past the cafe at the appointed hour in my search for a car park that would give me more than an hour of talk time, just in case I was enjoying being there! Searching for a car park was a suitable distraction from the butterflies that were fluttering in my stomach.
During the walk around the block to the cafe, the butterflies were beginning to morph and the nerves were increasing but I had come this far there was no chickening out now. I am pretty sure that I held my breath for most of the walk hoping that I had written down the correct address and had the right date and time. I didn’t have time to check my emails or twitter for updates but I did see a famous face I recognised up ahead. Feeling brave, I wandered up to a spunky little blonde and re-introduced myself to Misc Mum and we ventured into the cafe together. I was feeling like a wimpy giant hiding behind Karen as we made our way into the cafe and found the rest of the bloggers.
Within minutes the conversation was flowing all around and I was busy meeting people and putting faces to blog names. All my fears about being the new girl quickly diminished and I realised that the women I was meeting today were as amazing in real life as they are in their blogs. It was great to meet so many intelligent, passionate, creative and amazing women and be surrounded by their gorgeous children.
The kids all played in the sandpit as we chatted away getting to know each other. My security blanket also arrived (thanks Anna) and fitted right into the conversation and we had a great morning together. In fact if it weren’t for the 2 hour parking restrictions I am sure we would have stayed in the cafe even longer. I felt as if I barely had a chance to meet these other amazing bloggers
- Planning With Kids – Nicole (me!!)
- Baby Sitter Directory Blog – Ann
- Picklebums – Kate
- Stuff With Thing – Marita
- HomeAge – Amanda
- Hey Bambini – Jolie
- A*muze*ing – Kylie
- Nellbe’s Scribblings – Nelle
- My Relish – Del
- The Miscellaneous Adventures of An Aussie Mum – Karen
- Australia: Family Style – Leanne
- Toddling Round Melbourne – Steff
I am really looking forward to another Blogger Meet Up, I feel as if I have made new friends today. Thanks for organising a great day Nicole and for getting Nuffnang to sponsor our outing.