Your comfort zone has nothing to offer.

We all have a comfort zone, a safe place where we feel settled and at ease. For most bloggers, this place is precisely the virtual world. This blurred space where feelings and experiences are spilled out into the open, where every word we write is carefully (or not so much) crafted and where all it takes to go back in time is one ‘delete button’.

My comfort zone has pretty much always been writing. I can express myself better, I have the time to reflect on the point I am trying to make, I can afford to take a step back to consider a different point of view and explore it further.

Original photo by Jmiller291, CC BY2.0. Adapted by Writer’s Caravan

In social situations, I am by no means the quiet one, nor the loudest one. I don’t feel ill at ease and am good at spontaneous repartee. Over the last couple of years (working at an airport has certainly helped), I have learned to approach strangers and strike up a conversation with them. I can walk into a party where I don’t know anybody and with a little patience, find a way to fit in.

But there is always a but

I can do it all, but only after going through an inevitable stage where a wave of nervous anticipation washes over me, coupled with a million questions I can’t answer and a million scenarios I can’t explore.

A year ago, I had written a few articles for an online design publication. I had gone to a breakfast/press release for the launch of the Lina Bo Bardi bowl chair in Clerkenwell and there, I was invited to the cocktail party in the evening. I had accepted straight-away and spent an hour getting ready. The dress was on, the make-up was on, even the heels were on.

And then I chickened out.

bloggers bash

Annual Bloggers Bash at the British Library, London

A few months ago, the first Annual Bloggers Bash was held in London and I wasn’t going to let this happen again. And I’m proud to say I did not. I got to meet some amazing, like-minded people in the flesh and no amount of reading, commenting or tweeting could compare.

Truth is, your comfort zone has nothing to offer but disappointment you didn’t step out of it. 

And I would like to officially thank Sacha for organising this event (a second even has been scheduled on June 11!) and Geoff, Hugh and Ali (who came all the way from Ireland!!!) for co-hosting/co-organising it.

And so we met, we laughed and we talked. Maybe we were shy and maybe we were anxious but it is the things that scare you the most… We had lunch and some fully-deserved awards were given out to Suzie (‘Most Inspiring Blog’ and ‘Services to Bloggers’), Lucy (Funniest Blogger), Sarah (Informative Blogger), Concierge Librarian (Best Dressed) and last but not least Chris (Best Overall Blog).

Please do check them out. And come to the next one. (That’s a mild order)

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Thanks for reading.
Hop on my Facebook and Twitter caravans.

24 responses to “Your comfort zone has nothing to offer.

  1. I would probably chicken out of the cocktail party too. I might attend the blogger’s Bash, if I were anywhere near London, but I can’t say for sure. I do enjoy reading some of the blogs nominated and winning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know all about chickening out, although I’ve got better with age. Oddly, I never think of other people having the same social-anxiety as me! Thank you for proving that they do.

    “Your comfort zone has nothing to offer” is a neat encapsulation. I got shaken well and truly out of my aging one three years ago when my daughter had twins in Warsaw. Warsaw!!! New currency, new language, new weather, new categories, new anxieties. Went for three months, stayed for five and have been back four more times. Poland’s almost (except for language) become a new comfort zone.

    Meeting bloggers in the flesh is indeed interesting: I’ve met two whom I knew first through blogging, and the personality was so present in the blog they felt instantly familiar. One from England came to stay with me: my 15 yo granddaughter was horrified: “You met her on the internet, and she’s coming to your house? Nanny Meg!!”

    (Please tell me if I’m too wordy and all over the place in my comments – you open up so many things to think about, and maybe here is not the place to think!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course it is the place!!! I’m so glad my posts make you think further.
      :D Welcoming a blogger in my home without having met them? Yes, I like to think I would do it too if I’ve “known” them for a certain amount of time and built some kind of trust which I think I can say I have with some of my followers (you included).
      I know what you mean with Poland. I had to do the same twice. Once at the age of 7 when suddenly, everyone around me spoke French (and Arabic!!!) and then at 20 when admittedly, I spoke some kind of English but nowhere near enough to be comfortable.
      It is incredible to think what we are capable of in the end. :)

      Like

  3. Hi Eli it was so lovely to meet you at the Bloggers Bash, and I have to say that your anxiety did not come through at all, you seemed supremely confident and so easy to talk to, you put me at my ease straight away. Yes, I get anxious too in groups, I am much more comfortable in 1-1 situations. The difference here was that there were some blogs which I had been following quite a while, so they seemed like old friends, even though we had never met. Isnt that strange? You and I are just getting to know each other through our blogs, yet we have already met almost at the start. I’m sure by next years Bash we will be like old friends too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ali, so nice to read your comment and thank you. I have to admit I did feel at ease (almost all throughout) and it was mostly the moments before the meet up, the anticipation and the “what ifs”…
      I don’t regret a second of it and I’m already looking forward to the next (can’t we do it sooner than a year…? :D )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Living as an American in Germany, I would give anything to participate in Bloggers bashes and writers events. Unfortunately I haven’t found any here in English….It’s wonderful that you have the choice of attending these gatherings.

    Like

  5. Hi Ellie; it was a delight to meet you and that you came; Jules and I had a conversation at lunch about that urge to run away. We both suffer from it still. One of the frustrations is, of course that one doesn’t talk to enough people for long enough, which is why next year has to happen. Thank you for the kind comments too.

    Like

  6. A great post and well done to you all for venturing out of your comfort zones and meeting up.
    I’m going to reblog this on Write Dorne, as I found it very inspirational.
    Thanks and great to meet you. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Ellie! Just to say how very glad I am that you didn’t chicken out, as then I wouldn’t have got to meet you and talk to you, which I enjoyed so very much. I prefer one to one, enjoying social events and gatherings, but definltely loved getting the chance to talk to you and get to know you. Also so glad to have found your blog and to be able to keep in touch here :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The British Library – a refuge in London. | A Writer's Caravan·

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