On BritMums and Blogging…

I remember just after I started blogging everyone was talking about Britmum’s Live, I didn’t know what it was and although I speculated about going with a few other new bloggers, I didn’t think for a minute I would. I lived in Ireland and don’t like big social gatherings so it was incredibly unlikely I’d go all the way to London for one.

Then I moved.

I’m still not sure what possessed me to buy a ticket as for all the hype I still didn’t expect to like it for one minute, in fact I’d probably find an excuse not to go nearer the time. Generally at these things I wander around a little feeling out-of-place, find an excuse to leave early and get home wondering why I bothered. I’m not shy or introverted I just don’t fit in.

Since booking the ticket I’ve been to a few blogging events with the children and met a few other bloggers and always found them friendly and easy to talk to so maybe it’d be ok. I’d asked my parents to look after the children and hadn’t come up with an excuse not to go so I hopped on the tube. Being from London I expect to just instinctively know where I’m going but this was East London (across the border) and I hadn’t the foggiest.

I got off at Barbican disoriented and wandered in the direction that ‘felt right’. Needless to say it wasn’t but I was enjoying the walk and looking at the beautiful old buildings nestled behind huge modern ones and pretty courtyards like oasis’ in an urban jungle. My phone had 3G and I could only remember it was in ‘The Brewery’ and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop in the middle of London and ask for those directions – lord only knows where I could end up!

Luckily there are quite a few maps and signs in this area of London because once it got to 2.40 I was starting to panic a little at how late I was. It’s ok thought I, instead I could sit in one of these nice courtyards enjoy a coffee and well maybe it’s a little late to show up now and I should just not bother. Old doubts and fears, worries, niggles started to surface but somehow I got myself there and I’m pleased I did.

I arrived to a stream of people all heading for the official welcome so followed the crowd of people into a huge room feeling completely overwhelmed, out-of-place and again thinking I shouldn’t have bothered. Then I sat down and started to see a few familiar faces and in a very surreal way lots more familiar faces but strangers all the same. I became intrigued and curiosity kicked in so I relaxed and decided not to waste an opportunity to learn about this community I’d somehow become a part of.

I spent more time wandering The Hub and speaking to people I’ve been tweeting for months than listening to the seminars. In one seminar I did attend I wrote about three notes ‘It’s your blog’, ‘Individuality’ and ‘Writer’ but they sort of sum up a lot. I’m still not sure I fit but enjoy being as individual as every other person I met this weekend. Randomly; writing about my children has given me back a sense of self beyond being ‘just a mum’ and a huge dollop of confidence with it. I’m a mother and a writer just like the rest of the women in an amazing community that support one another as individuals because we don’t all need to ‘fit’ to be Britmums.