If you were to tell me five years ago that come 2018 I would be self employed and running my own virtual assistant business, be living in a new city two hours away from home and be hosting two events every month with the aim of meeting new people and bringing together like minded women I would probably have laughed in your face.
See, twenty year old Jessica feels like a completely different person to the one sitting here today and writing this post. I was much more self conscious, lacking confidence and not the biggest fan of stepping outside my comfort zone. Some people might just call this growing up and finding your feet but I think I have one main thing to thank for this development and that’s blogging.
The first couple of years after setting up Jess Who were quiet ones, I blogged from the comfort of my bedroom, I didn’t attend any events as I lived about 40 minutes away from Manchester so didn’t feel close enough to get involved in the community and I didn’t really throw myself into the whole making ‘online friends’ thing. It felt like more of a secret hobby that was just for me. I didn’t make the most of promoting my blog across social media as I was too bothered about what other people who knew me IRL would think which on reflection is pretty ridiculous. I let the opinions of others hold me back which is something I never want to do again.
I think the big change really came when I moved to Nottingham a year and a half ago. Only knowing a handful of people in a new city I decided to throw myself into the Nottingham blogging community and meet as many new people as possible. Turning up to my very first blogging event totally alone and not knowing one single soul was pretty terrifying but within fifteen minutes I was chatting away, sipping on some champagne and meeting some lovely girls who have since become some of my absolute besties. The year went by in a blur of fun events and networking all the while trying to say yes to any opportunities that cropped up even if they scared me.
Most recently I was approached by Bumble and asked to be their representative Queen Bee for the whole of the Nottingham area which is a role that is pretty much solely concentrated on bringing people together and making new connections. This is something that would have terrified me a couple of years ago and I probably would have ended up turning down purely due to a lack of confidence but not now! I couldn’t pass up such an amazing opportunity as I just knew I would have been filled with regret otherwise. So far it’s been an incredible experience, the sense of achievement from creating events from scratch is amazing, especially when it involves working with some of my favourite independent brands in Nottingham. I’ve seen friendships blossom and girls sharing stories about how lovely it is to meet likeminded women. The support I’ve had for my new little adventure has been overwhelming and it’s a lovely feeling to know that so many gals have got my back, will show up to my events and help to spread the word.
Meeting new people doesn’t phase me so much anymore, I can feel completely comfortable rocking up in London and heading to meet for coffee with someone I’ve only ever spoke to online without blinking an eyelid. And for that I say a massive thank you to blogging!