|All photographs captured by the wonderful Alexandra Cameron|
A few weeks ago my friend (and photographer extraordinaire) Alex, invited me to the Peak District with a group of her friends (or to me, strangers).
My entire life I've sheltered myself, my tribe of people are small and I rarely reach out to find new members. It's become even more difficult since my anxiety kicked in, too. Not to mention that I say 'No' way more than I say 'Yes' to anything. So going away with Alex and her tribe was a pretty big deal for me. I was nervous and to be honest I wasn't really sure what I was doing. Why was I putting myself in a vulnerable position, with people I don't know?
Main point to take from above...I'd already said yes.
I sat there on the driveway waiting to be picked up and all I could think of was excuses about how I'd suddenly caught the worst flu of my life or my non-existent cat had died. I was excited to see Alex but what if her friends didn't like me? What if I stuck out like a sore thumb amongst a group of people who love each other dearly? What if?
Luckily, they're probably the nicest people I've ever met.
I spent a weekend climbing hills, playing card games, taking photographs, sleeping in bunk beds and breathing in the fresh air of reality: There is more to life.
There is more to life than settling for less. I've spent so long denying myself chances of happiness, because I'm scared I won't be good enough. Be-it meeting new people, applying for that dream job or even something seemingly trivial like how to write the perfect reply to an important email. But this weekend taught me that I am - I am good enough.
Life is about the chances that we take, the opportunities we grab, the demons we defeat. [tweet this].
And the people we choose to do all of the above with. There is no better medicine in life than surrounding yourself with positive people. Surround yourself with positive people, and the rest will come.
I spent a weekend with a bunch I didn't know and whilst I was there I realised, they were such wonderful humans. There really are people out there that are selfless and intelligent and driven and funny and they aren't pretentious or one bit scary. They're just living, being, existing. They made it seem easy. They brought out the best in each other, and in me. And I discovered that maybe I could do that too. Even if it did take a little while to master. I mean I got myself there and I enjoyed it, so that's one step closer - right?
And so, a whole new bunch of 'what if's' were born. What if I hadn't gone that weekend? What if I hadn't realised I was capable of so much more than I was giving myself credit for?
Because saying YES is so much more rewarding than saying NO.
And the Peak District is so desperately beautiful.