emma copland
rainbow belt

I've never been the type of person who finds making friends easy. And especially when you get out of education, it can be hard to make new friends. When I started blogging, part of the reason why was to find people ~like me~ and I sort of have. But more so in the way of having people to chat to online (which, by the way, is a very strong basis of friendship that should never be underestimated). I haven't so much made new friends who live nearby who I now meet up with every other week. And yeah, I have friends anyway. But not friends who understand blogging and the pressures that come with it; not friends who want to take outfits photos or understand why you're photographing your pancakes; not friends who are 'online'.

A couple of months back, I saw a fellow blogger (Lucy) asking if anyone wanted to get involved in a blogger meet-up in Leeds. Usually, however much I want to say yes, I just scroll past these opportunities too scared to take the leap, put myself out there and meet new people. But for some reason I was feeling brave and sent a little DM asking if there was a space for me; and there was. 
Days later when Lucy then asked if I wanted to be added to a WhatsApp group with other local bloggers, I again leapt at the chance with a yes. Because I'm tired of holding myself back through fear. I'm tired of shutting myself away because I don't want pushing out of my comfort zone. I'm tired of not saying yes enough, when one of my goals for last year was to say yes more!

So on a Saturday back in October I met up with 7 other bloggers for brunch because, who doesn't like brunch? (Emma wrote a post all about it if you want a nosey.) And since then we've all been in regular contact in the aforementioned WhatsApp group (with a number of other girls who couldn't make that day). We might not have met up again, people being busy with Christmas and dates not coordinating for everyone, but that's not so important (we have secured a donut date at Temple in the next couple of weeks though which I am VERY much looking forward to). What I have found important is having a group of girls who I have such a big thing in common with, being only a message away. Whether it's been a question about instagram or extending an event invitation, asking for support on a post or help with understanding something, seeing everyone responding so positively to each other, supporting each other and not tearing each other down is a WONDERFUL thing.
leeds blogger
winter outfit
rainbow outfit
Wearing: Jumper, Next - Jeans, Topshop - Coat, Topshop - Trainers, Reebok Classics - Sunglasses, RayBan - Socks, ASOS - Belt, New Look - Bag, TheHippyRose via Etsy

Photos by LolaVisuals

Growing up, I had the best best friend, but I never had a girl gang. It was just the two of us. I never had a close group of girls who I could share everything with and I do often feel like I missed out. And these girls that I now talk to regularly might not ever be my best friends, some of them I may never meet or even speak to again (one girl did quietly leave the group chat last week, but I don't think she'd ever contributed tbh) but again, that's not important. What is important is feeling like there's people who understand something you're dealing with, people who have your back, people who you can vent to. Having someone who shares your annoyance with the instagram algorithm; someone who you could sit down and brainstorm blog post ideas with; someone who will happily take outfit photos for you if you simply return the favour; going out for brunch and everyone taking photos of their pancakes and not feeling like you're annoying anyone or making them wait!

So this year I want to spend more time with other bloggers. Whether that's the 7 I met for brunch or the numerous others in our group chat; bloggers I've met at events previously or those I speak to regularly online but haven't met up with before; I want to stop being afraid to meet new people and really push myself out of my comfort zone! 

'A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.'

crochet bag
lola visuals
topshop winter coat

And ok, I may of met up with other bloggers in the past and not had great experiences (I want to make friends not be used as a free photographer; and I don't enjoy being left standing in the cold because you couldn't be bothered to get out of bed [or send a simple text message], thank you very much). But one bad egg doesn't ruin the pack, or however the saying goes. If I let one bad experience put me off of things then I won't get anywhere, will I? You don't get a rejection after one job interview and just give up, resigned to a life on JSA, do you?

I've recently joined local blogger groups on Facebook too, and although people may not post in them all that often, it's still nice to feel somewhat of a community and get support and encouragement. Be able to talk about events you've been invited to and find out who else might be going!

Because as much as I love the friends that I have, none of them are really ~online~ and so don't understand the problems that I sometimes want to vent about. They're great for when I want to switch off and talk about things IRL though and that is equally (if not more) important!

rayban rounds
leeds town hall

Loves. Emma.