I've never been a fan of New Year's resolutions; they are usually made from a negative standpoint and create too much pressure to change yourself right at the start of the year when we're still on a comedown from Christmas and the world feels gloomy and cold.
Instead, I have made goals for 2020; things that I will strive towards each day, each week, each month; my main goal is to HAVE MORE FUN! Last year I spent too much time not doing the things that I fancied doing because I had no one to go with and ended up feeling sad and isolated. This year I am not doing that to myself, I am stepping out of my comfort zone to do more things that light me up.
This January has been the best January of my life because I decided that I was going to do some fun things, so I found some fun events and booked myself in.
First up is Collage Club run by the lovely Frances Prendergast; I had a lovely Saturday morning in Cutlery Works making a selection of collages using a wide variety of materials and the prompts that Fran gave us.
The collage I made based on the prompt "joy"
My collage self portrait
Objects collage inspired by the storytelling collages by Jo Waterhouse
Now I need to scour the charity shops for three picture frames to put these beauties, I am so proud of them. And to think, I would usually just sleep in on a Saturday morning in January and instead I created some artwork and had a fabulous time.
After Collage Club, I wandered back in to the city centre over to Exchange Place Studios for the Steel City Style Exchange a really well run clothes swap. They have a credit system and a strict no Primark/supermarket clothing rule to keep the swaps high quality. You can pre-drop your swaps or bring them on the day. When I arrived, I was greeted with a glass of fizz, while they rated my swaps and told me how many credits I had to spend. If you don't spend all of them, they will roll over to the next event.
I thought that I would pop in for half an hour to an hour and then go home, but hunting for treasure in the rails is pretty addictive and all the people there were so nice that I ended up staying for the full four hours of the event! (Note to self: next time take snacks)
Treasure hunting with a glass of fizz is very enjoyable
I came out with a bag of beautiful items and a smile on my face after chatting with so many friendly people.
A few of the pieces I found at the swap, the skirt is handmade!
Last but not least, the weekend after my collaging and clothes swapping adventure I went Speedmate-ing! This is a unique event run by Girl Gang who run inclusive events across a few cities in the North. The clue is in the name, Speedmate-ing is like speed dating but for meeting new friends. I've been to a few and I always have so much fun.
This one was the most fun and I think that had a little to do with the fact that I'm feeling a lot more confident in myself after making my big business decision and taking myself out on dates. I was quite anxious on my way in to the event but as soon as I got inside I ran in to none other than Frances Prendergast, the lovely lady who runs Collage Club! It was so nice to chat to her one on one and I felt instantly at ease.
To break the ice at these events, they get the whole group to work out our similarities and differences by responding to simple questions like "cats or dogs" or "introverts or extroverts". Then we all pair up with someone and chat about a certain prompted topic for five minutes. Five minutes is usually all you really need to work out if you click with someone and I clicked with a few really amazing women.
At the end of the event, we all wanted to chat some more so a BIG group of us went to a local pub. It had been quite quiet when 20-30 of us, very animated people all came in and completely changed the atmosphere of the place! It's actually amazing how a group of total strangers can start to create the beginnings of friendship so fast! A small group of us have started a Whatsapp group so that we can continue to chat and start planning some nights out.
The ONLY photo I took at the Speedmate-ing event because it is a phone free zone to encourage us all to connect
All in all I have had a fabulous January and that is definitely the first time I have ever said that!
Have more fun!
Love Lorelai x