a little bit of Sisterhood

I’m not really one for group stuff. It’s not that I’m antisocial; with the right people I’m totally chat-happy, but it’s so difficult to locate those key people, and I get so anxious, and then I need a nap. Overall it’s juat easier to skip right to the end & stay home in bed. It’s better for everyone that way, really.

So when Lou invited me along to her Sisterhood camp a few months back, I was conflicted. It was very much outside of my comfort zone, both psychologically and physically – 296 miles out of it, to be specific; a five-and-a-half-hour drive away from my anchors, from my sweet baby girl and my all-in-one cheerleader, safety net & superhero, Rory. Just me, all alone, probably needing that aforementioned nap.
In fact, pretty much the only thing more anxiety-inducing than actually going was, fortunately, the opposite – missing out, on what looked set to be a sun-drenched, blissful opportunity of a lifetime. Dilemma. So of course, I sucked it up and went.

&, obviously, it was wonderful.
There were workshops & waterfall swims, picnics by the sea, walks amongst the wildflowers. We slept in eco-pods and stayed up late, having whispered conversations like teenagers at sleepovers, if teenagers talked about professional aspirations, photography and personal branding.

I suspect a lot of important conversations happened in that field over the weekend; brilliant, talented creative people all swirled together, cooking up plans and dreams and new adventures. In the same way that Instagram is a uniquely, almost weirdly supportive environment, Sisterhood was a nurturing circle of women who genuinely want each other to succeed, with no two perspectives entirely the same.

image

image

image( images of me by the brilliant Xanthe Berkeley )

Mostly, it was just wonderful to be with so many people who get it. Whenever anything happened – a meal served, a pair of buskers picking up a tune, a sprig of flowers in somebody’s hair – someone else was there next to me, framing their own shot. Nobody tutted or rolled their eyes at the careful steps people took to make things look right. Props and faffing and chair-standing was entirely normal in this circle.
In fact, I felt so sure that my fellow creatives were capturing everything so well, I even put my own camera down for a while. This never happens! I got to spend some time actually enjoying the moments, instead of flailing to catch them like flighty butterflies in an iPhone-photostream net.

 

& for my fellow anxietarians (we need a word, I’m going with this ), here’s the good news: it was worth it. It was worth the shaky hands and the sneaky lunchtime gin shot and even all the ‘oh god what did I say THAT for?’ thoughts that I carried back with my flower crown & TOAST goodie bag. In fact life persists in teaching me this: it’s always worth it. All the best adventures start on the boundary of our comfort zones, a dim, flickering torch in hand, and wind their way out in the darkness to sunny possibilities you can’t see from the start.
So let’s be adventurers, ok?

{ You can join the mailing list for updates on next year’s Sisterhood camp here. }

{Sisterhood was founded and planned by wonderful Lou, with the help of her right-hand-sister, Hannah. It was made possible by the lovely folks at Toast as well as by Two Birds Kitchen, Lights4U, Linen Me and Devon Woodcraft, and it was held at Loveland Farm. A big thank you also to Woof and Wilde, Golden Bear Belts, Church Park Flowers, Lionheart Magazine and Silverpebble. I stole this perfect paragraph from Laura.}