Sorry for going quiet on you. I didn’t forget you, you’ve still been in my thoughts. There just haven’t been enough hours in the day to do it all.
I didn’t want to press the pause button on Women Aloud but something had to give. I’m hopeful of getting back on track but I’m feeling some trepidation…and in the spirit of honesty, I thought I’d do a quick post to talk to you about it. First, though, let’s briefly go back to the beginning, to why I started Women Aloud…
A few years ago (7 to be precise) I was living in London and although I had friends, I felt like I was missing a sense of community. Nothing against men but I was looking for female camaraderie. So, I started Women Aloud London, a small group of women who would meet up monthly. Numbers grew and I met some great women. Then I did the ‘marriage, kids and London to Hertfordshire move’ thing. Being new to Hertfordshire and not wanting to totally lose the person I was before motherhood, I set up another Women Aloud group in my new hometown of St Albans. Four years on, the group continues to grow; we have a lovely community of women, we have monthly get-togethers and now we have this Women Aloud website too.
My underlying vision with Women Aloud has always been to bring women together through words – through the conversations we have, the things we write, the stories we share. I believe we all have something valuable to say. We all deserve to be heard. Through Women Aloud I want to encourage us to be ‘aloud’ – to share our experiences, the highs and lows of real life. To talk about the big and the small stuff. To use our words to build friendships, to make connections, to learn from each other. To inspire and support. I know it sounds cheesy but, in a world where we’re so busy and trying to do so much with our lives, it’s easy to lose sight of the value of community, connection and conversation.
So, what’s happened? What’s next?
Uh, that’s the tricky bit! In complete contradiction to what I thought I’d do, I haven’t returned to the London corporate world after having my daughters, who are now 1 and 4 years old. Instead I’m studying part-time; doing my best to keep the kids in one piece during our latest house renovation project…and trying to work out what the heck to do with my life! Alongside all this is Women Aloud and our lovely little community which has become so important to me. I’ve got plans for growing the website and for putting on new events. I’d love to share more of your stories and life experiences; to collaborate with experts who can offer advice in all areas of your life; to create a safe space to talk and listen (both online and in person).
The ideas are there but so are the worries…of not really knowing what I’m doing, of not doing it well enough, of promising something and not being able to deliver on it. As some of you know my youngest daughter is a bit of a sickly one so life is a little unpredictable. One day all is fine, the next we’re doing yet another stint in hospital…and all those best laid plans go flying out the window. So perhaps that’s the concern…it’s all well and good having the aspirations but will I have the time or head space to pursue them? Can I balance my other responsibilities with keeping my Women Aloud dreams alive? Am I selfish and deluded to even try? The truth is I don’t know!
Many of you are out there juggling more than me, dealing with bigger challenges, not fazed by what life is throwing at you. I salute you. I want to be more like you, but I’m still on a journey both with Women Aloud and with life. So, I guess what I’m doing here is just giving the heads up that I might go quiet from time to time, but I haven’t deserted you. It could take longer than I’d like to get to where I want to be, but I hope you’ll stick along for the ride with me.
Please know I’m grateful for all your support and I’ll be back with more soon. In the meantime, if you’ve got a story or expertise to share with our community, I’d love to hear from you.
Much love, Laura