Even on that very first post, one sentence full of nervous words, it felt like giving a speech in assembly to the whole school or having to introduce myself to a group of people who were already the best of friends, even though I thought no one was going to read it. But some people did read it, and best of all? They left a little comment, they outstretched their hand to shake mine and say hello, welcomed me in, took my coat and offered me a cup of tea. I was thrilled, I had a huge smile on my face because I felt welcome, like this was the place I belonged.
'Oh you look like you've gained a few pounds, have you?'
'Oh, actually, well, that lipstick that makes you feel really pretty for the first time ever doesn't suit you as much as you think it does! Just thought I'd let you know!'
'haha your glasses are funny!!'Thankfully they came at a time where I felt pretty comfortable in my own skin, if they had happened at the start, I think it's pretty safe to say I would have been crushed and any confidence I had would have disappeared in an instant. I reached out to this community when I really needed a place to belong. I was so lonely, so so lonely, I felt like a real ugly duckling and I didn't know what on earth I was going to do with my life or which path to take. And that's why I think it's important to welcome everyone in, because they might really need the love and support just like I did. I hate to think of anyone feeling excluded because that's not what this should be about. It's for everyone who wants to be here.
I suppose I will always look back at that time with a little nostalgia. There were no 'rules' (I still don't think there are, please always write about whatever it is you want to!), advice was always there if you needed or wanted it, but if not there was always a friendly face there wishing you well and silently letting you know that everything was going to be okay.
It's important to remember that change isn't all bad. Change is inevitable and it's so important to embrace it. Those lovely people, like those who welcomed me in, are still here, they always will be. Sometimes you have to navigate your way through a little surface negativity before you find them, but they are there, I promise. You're not going to click with everyone, just like in any walk of life there will be people that you just don't really like and people that won't like you - just remember that that's okay! Take other opinions on board because you might learn to see something from an entirely different perspective, but do filter out the things that are just plain rude, that's much more a reflection on them than it is on you!
I think what I'm trying to get at here (I'm not even entirely sure if I'm honest, sometimes I just like to sit and write) is that it's so important to stay true to yourself, always, be it online or in everyday life. And to be kind, please be kind and try to see the good in everyone. In terms of the bloggersphere, it really doesn't matter if you don't have the fanciest layout, if you take pictures solely using your phone, if you sometimes make spelling mistakes or if your posts don't always fit into the same category. In the long run, none of that really matters. What matters is YOU, and if you want to do something, write about something or put yourself out there, then absolutely DO IT and there will always be someone along the way that would love to give you a helping hand if you need it. And if you love what you're doing, keep doing it because it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing. Honestly, it doesn't!
I have a few adverts on my page because it really helps me out. M and I bicker about silly things, our relationship isn't perfect and neither is anyone else's. Sometimes I want to pretend a little bit that everything is wonderful because it helps me to get through a rough patch by solely focusing on the positives. Sometimes I like to talk about the things that are bothering me because I'd like a little bit of advice or a shoulder to cry on and sometimes I like to keep things to myself. Sometimes I accept a few PR samples because I like trying new things and I enjoy writing reviews. Sometimes I want to write about make up every day for a week and sometimes I don't want to write about it at all. Your space is about you and how YOU want to use it. You don't have to justify it or explain it, ever.
Sometimes that little pang of jealousy unexpectedly smacks me across the forehead, sometimes for really silly reasons! If someone goes on a really beautiful holiday, if someone gets gifted something I would have loved to have been offered or if someone posts a picture of a really amazing ice cream they ate last week. Yep, that really happened on a day I was especially hungry & I'd just realised that ice cream was making my skin bad, ultimate sad face! Whenever that happens though I give myself a little talking to and get on with my day while wishing that person well for having that amazing experience. Supporting fellow bloggers is something I think is so important, not punishing them for being successful or finding a nicer ice cream van than me! They may be able to have that Mr Whippy with a flake, but I can still find a yummy ice lolly in there somewhere. Odd analogy there, but I hope it sort of make's sense!
Be kind, be supportive, be yourself, never take yourself too seriously and be positive. Good things are sure to come your way. If you ever need a helping hand, or just someone to talk to I'm always just an email away and I will try my very best to help as much as I possibly can!