On Thursday Lottie and I took a train from Worcester all the way into Paddington, then got a cab to The Ivy, Chelsea, where we dined with Mint Velvet for their new girls-wear collection. Afterwards we made the same journey home to complete a rather lovely day. She was really well behaved, she said she had a super day with Mummy on her own (heart melt) plus I had a lovely day, as well as meeting some inspiring women that I’ve been following on Instagram.
There are two reasons I am telling you this. Firstly because this sounds all blasé but it wasn’t. And also because I haven’t done this kind of thing in years and it felt scary but exciting to push myself out of my comfort zone and be braver again.
When I worked in my previous job (a HR Business partner) I covered lots of different sites all over the UK. Each week I’d be driving up and down the motorway; suit jacket hanging in the back, Costa coffee in my cup holder, usually on a conference call. I racked up miles and miles on the clock of my Golf company car. Often these meetings were to help recruit new staff, make people redundant, or support line managers with employment disputes and disciplinary issues. Work was never dull.
My colleagues and I also stayed over in hotels sometimes and it would involve drinks, dinner and attending events. It was all part of the job and important for networking within the company and industry.
Did I think anything of all of this? Nope. I simply just got on with it. I was late 20’s-early 30’s and my confidence was sky high. I hardly ever sweated or lost sleep over anything to do within my career. Shit just happened and you just rolled with it.
After I gave birth to my twins I didn’t go back to work — I morphed into a SAHM and thus my life changed — a lot. Travel then involved going to the local Tesco once a week, popping to a playgroup 1 mile away and nipping to the park. As a result the confidence slowly ebbed away.
Today my blog and social media opportunities have grown that there’s now more of a need for me to get out and about. Of course a lot of the content I produce can be created out of my home office and being at my laptop, but equally those human connections and face-to-face meetings are becoming increasingly valuable (and much needed on both sides).
Invites ping into my inbox each month and for a whole number of reasons I can’t/don’t attend. But as the twins turn 6 in a few weeks (oh my god that sounds so old) and they go back to full-time school again, plus we have better access to childcare options now, I do once more have the ability to attend these kind of events.
So I want to be braver this year and put myself out there more. #goals
I want to meet new people, make new friends and for that to open new doors.
I want to go see and do more.
It’s so fucking easy to type that out rather than to do it though, I realise. And I know SO many freelancers (women) who are self-confessed introverts who feel psychically sick at the thought of attending something in the capital without knowing anyone. And I feel it too. But it’s like anything…the more you do this the more it feels normal and the more confident and less anxious you feel.
Plus it’s SUCH fun. It’s a buzz, like adrenaline (when you do something you were feeling a little anxious about and it went really well). When you feel proud of yourself for achieving that’s a really cool emotion.
Equally, I don’t think it’s of value to attend everything I get offered (I was invited to the launch of a new buggy last week — errrrrrrr I’ve not had to push babies about for 4 years now, so no thanks, lol). But the brands that fit perfectly with me and my life, like Mint Velvet, I will be saying yes more.
And added to that I’ll be networking more locally too in and around my home town. There’s so many people I’d like to meet and want to connect with. Like-minded men & women with whom we can swap skills/advice/learnings from. I have already started being braver and reached out to them, and am excited for those relationships to flourish and build. Not only for work purposes but for my own personal satisfaction and fulfilment too.
No more excuses hey?
Love, Jess x