I woke up this morning and felt, what’s the phrase? Like a deer caught in headlights? Like a rabbit caught in headlights? One of those.
I felt stuck in a moment and I didn’t know how to move forward – heck, I didn’t really want to move forward. I just wanted to stay just sitting in bed, gazing at all the things most familiar to me, like my IKEA wardrobe and our beige bedroom curtains, just, well, indefinitely.
Eventually I got up and I showered and made avo on toast and slicked on a layer of fake tan and finished packing my case for my trip to Marbella, but the entire time I felt so anxious, so unsure.
I’ve been looking forward to this trip for weeks. It’s just Ellie and I on a short press trip to stay at the Amare Marbella Hotel, kind of running to our own itinerary – so although it technically counts as work, it’ll *fingers crossed* feel just like we’re on our own girls’ mini break.
And I am so, so eternally grateful that I get opportunities like this. Little breaks in every day life to do something out of the ordinary and make adventures and memories.
And although I’ve traveled for work countless times before and I’ve done various press trips to different places with different people, this one made me feel like a right anxious Anna. And the only time I’ve ever felt like that before a trip was with Trek America, where the anxiety had riled up so high inside me that I felt on the breaking point of tears for days beforehand.
But that was because it was a long trip with camping and hiking and unknown internet personalities way bigger than me. I felt like a 7-year-old off to Brownie camp with girls from a different school who all knew each other and were a bit older, y’know?
And then I realised that although I know Ellie and WhatsApp her every week and shoot outfit photos with her and sit with her at fancy dinners and gossip over afternoon teas and product launches, I don’t actually know her.
I don’t know what her favourite colour is or how many siblings she has. I don’t know where she was born or what subjects she liked at school. I don’t know how many boyfriends she’s had or who her best friend is. And suddenly I became aware that I was holidaying, technically, with a stranger.
When we met up, outside the Monarch check in desks, just before lunchtime today, it turned out I wasn’t alone in my random burst of nerves and anxiety – she’d felt the same too.
And we’ve spent the entire time since, discussing blogger friendships.
Blogger friends are kind of like your colleagues – you do the same work and you know the same people – but without seeing each other every single day.
You’re friends because you have the same interests and you bond easily because you all have the same woes and dilemmas and opportunities and automatically you just get each other.
You don’t have to worry about explaining that lol you’re filming a weekly vlog and do they mind being in the video and can they take a shot of you against this wall for your Instagram because they know the drill.
It’s a welcome break from having to constantly explain to people what you do and feeling embarrassed for standing up in front of your Nando’s because soz mate gotta get that dreamy flat lay situ.
I feel like a lot of my closest friends are bloggers – probably because, aside from Chris and the cats, they are the people I see most. And, if I’m honest, a lot of my friends I had before I switched over from journalism to dat happenin’ blogging life, don’t get it or don’t like it and it’s created a bit of a distance between us.
But the issue with blogging friends and with the community in general is knowing who to trust. Which people are really your kind of people and which people are well, playing a game.
I’m not throwing shade, everyone has their own business ideas, their own way of making being a blogger work for them – for me that’s frequent content and lots of words because bladdy hell I’m all about the words. And for other people, well, it’s more about being business savvy.
Which makes it so hard to tell whether the person you’re arranging to grab coffee with is all about producing engaging blog posts because they’re passionate about story-telling and taking sassy as hell imagery, or well, buying Instagram followers and trying to get invited to every blogger event going because omg let’s sell all the freebies in the goodie bag on eBay for extra cash.
It’s almost impossible to tell the two apart. Everyone puts on this charming, smiling persona and you can’t tell who’s using you and who just wants a friend to high-five and fare split Ubers with between press days.
Ellie’s one of the good eggs. We’re on the same page. And I cannot wait to get my ASOS swimming cossie-clad butt on the beach to drink cocktails with her and learn more about her as a person, rather than her as a blogger.
So yeah, peace out, boo things.
P.S. would LOVE to hear your thoughts on blogger friendships and the community in general, so let’s start some chatter in the comments. K, bye.