Friday, October 1, 2010
Friends in Good Places
Say what you will about social networking, social media, or wasting time online. Me? I freaking love it. I cannot get enough of it. Through Twitter and Facebook, I have reconnected with dear but long-lost friends. I have grown my business. I have become an avid runner with online encouragement. I have "met" some fine folks all around the world, and even in my own town. I love it. Is love too strong a word?
My brother says he doesn't have time for Facebook. I laugh in the face of his busy-ness. My sister never comments on my blog, so I in turn make mocking statements on her Facebook wall. It's what any good sibling would do. My parents will not go near that social network stuff. Of course, I have to give my mom an ipod syncing tutorial every time I see her. That poor woman only gets to sync her new music twice a year.
Recently, I needed some love from some good peeps. I wrote an email to five of my closest, bestest, most favorite women, explaining in gory detail all the ups and downs and important asides, asking for an extra measure of their goodness. They all replied, and each in her own way. One wrote me, a week later, a super long email with loads of questions, thoughts, potential problems with my reasoning. Very detailed and thorough. Just like her. Another wrote a quick concise email about how this was common among her friends and that she loved me. One wrote that I had included a ton of info and that she'd reply in detail soon. That was a few months ago. She will. Eventually. It's okay.
So I have these awesome women who care for me, but what I didn't expect was to get support from two Facebook friends I didn't have strong relationships with. They both reached out to me when they noticed some cues. And to be honest? I was really hoping for that.
I knew Beth in college. We went to different schools but ran in overlapping circles. We had one mutual friend who really tied us together. I think we were both in her wedding. A surface friendship. I never really knew her. Beth noticed that I'd been absent from Facebook and wrote me an email, tentative and very sweet. She wondered if I was okay. Would if it too forward to ask what was going on? She wondered how she could pray for me, and if I needed to talk. Beth has been the most faithful friend, including my five most faithful friends, to lend me emotional support. She prompts me, responds to me, and challenges me. Beth and I now text, and have a date for coffee next time I'm in her town. At Christmas. I'm too excited.
I have never met Aubrey. We had a few mutual friends who were busting our chops about being strong women (if you have to say you are a strong woman, are you a strong woman?) After speaking through other's Facebook walls for months, we finally friended each other, because we are both intelligent, thoughtful, gorgeous reading women. Her favorite book list is almost identical to mine. She is a runner. She works hard as a mom pursuing a professional life she is proud of and passionate about. Aubrey and I connected on one of those cosmic levels that makes you feel like you're not alone in the world. Aubrey listened to my ranting and replied with logic, reason and care. Because Aubrey doesn't really "know" me, she could have turned on her heels and walked away. She doesn't need my drama. Her life's got enough of its own.
I have come to realize that I like online socializing for the same reason I like "in real life" socializing. I am intrigued by people and I am energized by learning about others. We used to tease my sister about interviewing every one she met. Pot? This is the kettle calling. Making connections with people lights my fire. Finding cool new friends who really care? Bonus.