This Valentine's day, I'm writing a love letter to my blog world. It is long, and maybe sappy. But what do you expect on a day full of pink and candy and hearts and flowers?
Truthfully, this isn't the most cohesive post, and I'm afraid of meandering, but at some point I just gave in to it and so I ask your indulgence. Also, I'm afraid of having overlooked some people. This post got a little unwieldy.
So I'd like to say up front that this isn't an exhaustive list of everyone I read and like, but I think this is a pretty good walk through of those who I knew as real whole people before blogging, and those who I've gotten to know in person or virtually because of it, and with whom I exchange emails, hopes, wishes, dreams.
Also, I haven't been the greatest blog visitor lately, but not because I don't adore you all. I fell in love and fell off the planet a little.
To begin with the beginning, I started this journey in October 2006, with the encouragement of my friend Dave. He blogs about the law and not the minutiae of the day to day, but he was still my staunchest blogging supporter at the outset. Shortly thereafter I learned my friend Steve was a blogger. He's the one who told me the very basics of using Blogger. And I have to give him credit for virtually introducing me to Rich, who I also uh-dore.
I recently introduced Nick (AKA the feeeYONsayy) to my blog world. This caused me to spend some time talking about various bloggers, and what I like about the whole thing. It's funny, you know, telling someone you put your most personal thoughts and feelings up for anyone to see. And then explaining that actually, it's been so good for you in so many ways, and has been almost nothing but positive.
I've been thinking about what I wanted to write about my experiences with other bloggers ever since I met Megan last fall. She'd emailed to say she'd be in town, and suggested we meet. And she was 85 times lovelier, funnier, more delightful than I'd expected. And I'd expected a lot. I knew I'd like her - absolutely no question.
The reason I was confident I'd like in-person Megan was this. The very first "I like your blog" email I ever received was from DCup. We struck up an email friendship, and met up last spring when she came to DC for work. Although we were strangers, she didn't feel like a stranger, and we said hello with a big hug. We sat down, and we didn't start from the beginning - because with what you already know about each other, you start from the middle. And she was just as bright and funny and kind as I expected. (Random facts: Betty giggles every time she reads a comment with DCup attached. "Hee hee hee! DCup!" And I regularly beg her to send her youngest child to live with me if she ever gets sick of her.)
And then, because the world is a random and excellent place, people pop up in the blog world who were actual people in your life, just in a previous time.
Unexpectedly, I've reconnected with a childhood friend - Texpatriate - who I've literally known since I was born. Because of our blogs, we've gotten to know each other as adults. Our parents were in the Peace Corps together in Afghanistan. He is family. We go way, way back.
Another delight is getting reacquainted with high school friends, two of whom, Mark and Wendy, had blogs before we got back in touch. So I've happily been able to get to know them a bit as adults - in more detail than you would just exchanging emails.
Recently a third high school friend, my dear friend Lauren, started blogging. She's always had hilarious stories, and now they're out in cyberspace. Last year she introduced me to Almost Free, who I've only spent a couple crazy fun nights out with, but have gotten to know much better through the blog world and email, and really and truly consider a friend.
My friend Jane from grad school chronicles her son Avery's life. I love love love being able to drop in on him at any time, see what new word he's learned, his new favorite food (we both agree on the wonders of peanut butter), and just generally keep up on their lives. I'm going to see them this weekend, and I absolutely can't wait!
Though we are are far apart, the blogs provide much of the intimacy you lose with lack of proximity.
My friend Celtic Not, who I used to work with, turns out to have a blog as well. We didn't actually work together for that long, but you know how you meet someone, and you just connect in that way that means you will always, always like them and hope the world is kind to them? It's like that.
And then the random world of blogging has introduced me to some of the best people. Nearby, LMNt, who has since left the blog world, became an actual friend of mine, as has Dagny, who regularly says so many things that absolutely resonate with me. VVK and I have the India connection as a starting point, but it extends far beyond that. WiB will often send me notes that make me laugh out loud. Or think. Or both. And I've only met Justin once, and most of the time he is so very far away. But I always hope for the best for him. Same goes for FreckledK, who I recently wished goodbye in the blog world.
Near and far, there are people I feel like I know. Locally, Moosie is someone I want to hug, and not just to wish her strengh in her future work with tax lawyers. I've dated some of those people she'll be working with, and I do feel for her in advance. I also want to hug kate.d., who is on hiatus from blogging.
Far away, I feel like I know HKW, who lives in Texas, and is just incredibly kind, loving, and sweet. I want such good things for her And East Coast Teacher? She's a stronger woman than I. You couldn't drag me kicking and screaming into a classroom at this point. A.S. always has charming thoughts and facts on her blog. And who else do you know who has a monthly palindrome? Massive hugs for that alone.
Last, but so far from least, are Nicole and Slightly Disorganized. I've put them together because they're currently running around southern California with each other having unreasonable amounts of fun. If I were in my early 20s, they are exactly who I'd want to be causing chaos with. I just plain like them.
To everyone I wish love and sparkles and happiness and kindness. And enough chocolate that you actually feel a little ill, but not so ill you resist having just one more.
Big hugs and happy Valentine's day!