Cardigan: Selected Femme | Top: H&M | Jeans: Weekday | Boots: Acne | Bag: Louis Vuitton
As an introvert and all round socially awkward human, I've always found the idea of making new friends rather daunting. For as long as I can remember, it's seemed like a bit of an impossible task for me, as I prefer to listen rather than talk (which can make me come across as a bitch, even though I like to believe I am most definitely not), and I totally shrink back when it comes to being in groups or around extroverts. I find loud people often quite intimidating and I envy their ability to do small talk (something I detest) and their genuine enthusiasm around new people. They relish, I totally flounder. On the inside, however, I am one of them. I'm a friendly (which I am, in my initial quiet way), chatty and actually quite outgoing person who is always keen to help others, and I do genuinely want to talk to people, I just stop myself doing it for fear of saying something stupid and it haunting my dreams ten years later.
I've been like this as long as I can remember, too. In school I had a solid group of friends, but there was only really 2 or 3 that I was genuinely close to. In uni, I met my current two best friends who I totally love, but it was only coincidence (and a mutual acquaintence) that put us together as, by myself, I would have probably never said hello and that 10+ year friendship may not have existed. I really struggled in Uni, too, as I went to somewhere completely different to my best friends, so had to start the cycle of talking to people all over again. I did meet some lovely girls, but none I've stayed friends with.
It's tough always thinking you're the outsider. You're the one in the group that people invite along because they feel like they have to. The one that's just 'there' rather than part of something. 'Do they even like me?' is a question I've asked myself a thousand times and, 9/10 they probably do, but good ol' paranoia kicks in and I question myself even more.
I also feel like making friends as you get older becomes harder and harder, especially when you work from home and, let's face it, spend more time with your cats than actual people...
This is why I'm kinda grateful for blogging, as it forces you into situations with people who have similar interests without having to ask the 'so, what do you do for a living?' awkward questions. It's just something we're familiar with and chat openly about. I'm so glad I get to meet lots of lovely gals on my trips to London and the PRs I chat with are such wonderful people. They may not be 'friends' but it's the start of something and I appreciate that they would be there for a chat and a coffee if I needed it.
If it wasn't for blogging, I wouldn't have met the likes of Chloe who is one of the good ones and I love that we can hang out and get work done for our blogs at the same time. I've also loved meeting the likes of Laura (who I will harass again very soon), Katy (although brief, must meet up soon!), Jess (who was so lovely to me when I was all by myself) and many other babes over the past year or so.
As I'm getting older, I feel like I definitely value my friends a lot more (instead of worrying so much about whether they actually like me or not) and appreciate the fact that they're there. There's so many people that take advantage of the friends they have, having one-sided conversations (please stop talking only about yourself) and assuming others are at fault, but I could never do that to the gals I know as I respect them too much.
It's good to have girls that you can bounce ideas off, ask if a top makes you look 10/10, or ones you can have a good bloody whinge to when everything has went to shit.
My circle may be small, but I get to call some absolutely smashing people my friends and, even though I live at the opposite end of the country to my best friends, when we catch up it's like we've never been apart.
So, this year, I'm going to make it my mission to spend more time with the girls I completely adore. I'm going to endeavour to meet more of those lovely bloggers that I chat to all of the time online, even if they're at the opposite end of the country.
I genuinely believe friends are so important and I would struggle without them, even if I don't see them all that often. Having strong, opinionated and kind humans around you can make such a difference to your outlook, I think, and can make your mood go from absolutely fuming to calm and collected after a few messages. That, to me, is invaluable and I think there's a lot to be said for having gals around you to support what you do and motivate you to try harder every day. I've been friends with very toxic and draining people in the past and, believe me, once you're more picky about the people you let into your life (and the ones that accept you for being an awkward turtle at all times) then it makes such a difference. People can be wonderful.
What do you think?