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.

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( 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.}

25 Comments

  • Nicole

  • June 06, 2015

Do I need to start copyrighting our conversations?! I think I would have been completely up for that part but I’m not sure I’m really a flower crown kinda gal?

I’m actually considering putting something out there for a rather more adventurous get together, hiking Snowdon is what I’m thinking. I stand by my mantra that the best place to find yourself (metaphorically and physically) is on a long walk up a mountain.

Up for it? x

  • Little Jam Pot Life

  • June 06, 2015

Absolutely loved this Sara. I would love to do something like this, feeling the energy from others who ‘get it’. It’s a hard thing being out of your comfort zone but then you feel tons better for overcoming the fear. I’m going to be like this next week at my first blog event. X

  • Rachael Smith

  • June 05, 2015

If only the people I met in real life had Instagram profiles 🙁 none of real friends get it!

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Adventurers forever! 🙂 x

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Yes! Wish I’d know that a lot earlier in life – I seriously spent so long just thinking it was me! Thanks love xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Yep, sounds very familiar. I’ve done that most of my life – it’s really only since meeting R that I’ve been more brave/confident about pushing myself. I’d have missed out on so many adventures this last year if I’d stayed hiding away – it’s definitely worth the risk! xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Oh thanks Alexis! It’s weird not to be the token photo-taker, isn’t it? I couldn’t believe how few I snapped! So good to meet you too – wish we’d had longer to chat! x

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Yes, you too! & you were totally on my list of people I really wanted to talk to. It went too fast! 🙁

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Funnily for me, I think it’s been easier to find them as I get older! Or perhaps it’s just that I’ve for better at recognising the wrong ones and not wasting my time trying to please/impress them. If everyone was just required to present their instagram feed on first meetings it would be so much easier to know who was worth getting to know! 😉 xxx

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Ah, enabler, excuser, I love you. So glad I’m not the only gin sneaker!
Yes yes yes the the tangible shame and dread. It gets easier to brush it away as I get older, but it’s still a killer! 🙁 x

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Yes! To adventure, and paris, and instagram crossover friendships! :F Needed you there for that convo for sure – I thinkmost of my thoughts on the subject sprang from our conversations over email actually. Perhaps you’ll come along next year? X

  • Sara Tasker

  • June 05, 2015

Thanks Jane x

  • Zoë Power

  • June 05, 2015

Love your writing style, so effortless and honest. I’m a fellow anxietarian too. I think the more you seize opportunities like these, the easier it gets. And you’re so right, it’s definitely worse to say no and miss out. The Sisterhood camp really does sound pretty special, my blog feed is happily full of posts about it today. I’ve put myself on the mailing list for the next one 🙂

  • Melanie

  • June 05, 2015

You are right, it is always worth pushing your boundaries, that’s how we grow and develop 🙂 Plus I think a lot of people get nervous and anxious too, more than we sometimes realises. Hooray for being with a bunch of women who want to stand on a chair to get that perfect shot – the best sort of company if you ask me. x

  • Elizabeth @ Awesome Wave

  • June 04, 2015

Sounds like a dream weekend. Marginally jealous 😉
I’d love to find a group of likeminded women to share something like that with. I tend to be a bit of a lone wolf myself (despite what people think reading my social media etc).

  • Muddling Along

  • June 04, 2015

Beautifully put – I also like the idea of adventurers

  • HannahB

  • June 04, 2015

Having followed you on instagram for ages, I am only just discovering your wonderful blog and loving it! I love your writing. You captured it so perfectly, being around people to understand the need to change the angle of a coffee cup handle or the direction someone is facing to capture it properly!

  • Jane Day

  • June 04, 2015

Wonderful x

  • Nicole

  • June 04, 2015

Sad to have missed the personal branding chat. I could have definitely chimed in on that one…

I read a quote once that said something like if you weren’t ever stepping out of your comfort zone then there’d never be any adventures, and it’s so true. Hence that I now do things like strike up conversations and friendships with fellow Instagrammers (despite being quite shy) and think about running off to Paris solo for a couple of days, just because… adventure.

  • Faye Larsen

  • June 04, 2015

A sneaky lunchtime gin shot…genius! That definitely confirmed you are my kind of person. Well what a wonderful gathering sisterhood sounds, truly life-affirming and so inspiring. Good for you on taking the big leap out of your comfort zone. I have had that “Oh God, why on earth did I say that?” and that accompanying feeling of shame/dread which tangibly washes over your body scenario happen to me more times than I feel comfortable admitting to xxx

  • Rachael Smith

  • June 04, 2015

Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I’m the same with group stuff, it’s so hard to find your people, harder as you get older I’ve found 🙁 but worth stepping out the comfort zones for the times you do make a connection xxx

  • katyatapartmentapothecary

  • June 04, 2015

Such a lovely post, Sara, and it was so lovely to meet you last weekend. Just sorry we didn’t get to chat more! Xx

  • Alexis Allan

  • June 04, 2015

You’ve captured the spirit of the weekend there …so true about being with people who get it, must be the reason I’ve come home with a lot less photos on my phone than normal – but some seriously happy memories to carry always. Loved it and was so good to meet you! Alexis x

  • Old Fashioned Susie

  • June 04, 2015

So pleased you had a grand time- I hate those moments of “WTF did I say that for” but you just need to roll with the punches and hope everyone is as nervous/ anxious- which they usually are xx

  • megan

  • June 04, 2015

Thank you so much for sharing this! I have huge anxiety issues when it comes to large crowds of people. I always turn down anything that means I have to actually be social with other humans, and I often wish I wasn’t turning these things down cause I know I would have so much fun.

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