Saturday showed me how a day surrounded by the most incredible people and the buzz they create when together in one space can carry you through. I was so excited about this year’s Blogtacular (who wouldn’t be given the chance to chat to so many inspiring people all in one day?) but after one of the most awful night’s sleep in a very long time on Friday I was left fearing I wouldn’t last or enjoy the day.
How very wrong I was. Who needs sleep when you can take a ride on the energy created by 300 brilliantly-creative bloggers all gathered together? And I honestly believe that there is no better place to give your self-confidence and belief a much-needed boost. I am queen of selling myself short. Too often (all the time) I compare myself unfavourably to others, feeling left behind, or somehow lacking – but when you put all those ‘others’ in a room, suddenly the competition falls away and the sense of community, support and inspiration takes over. Those people whose perfectly-curated Instagram feeds, stunning blog photography or endless creativity felt intimidating before, become real people full of warmth, quirks and smiles. It’s like bracing yourself to dive into a freezing cold pool, only to feel your muscles relax when you discover it’s actually wonderfully warm. Maybe it was the fog of tiredness but all my fear dropped away, and I found myself talking to anyone and everyone – from brand-spanking-new bloggers to those blogging superstars that you’ve followed and admired for years.
Most of all, I want to say thank you to the people who took time to seek me out and give me words of encouragement and praise. I cannot tell you how precious those words were to me. I went home with them glowing in my heart – a smile on my face and happy tears pricking at my eyes (that bit was almost definitely the sleep deprivation). I’ve wrapped those words up carefully, tied a beautiful bow around them and locked them away safe in my mind.
Above all the inspirational speakers, the flood of post-conference ideas, the laughs had and friendships made, those words were what really made Blogtacular for me this year. Their magic will help to carry me through to next year, when I hope I can share my own words of encouragement to lift someone else in the way that these have lifted me.
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