A few months ago, I learned a really valuable lesson the hard way. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve spent the last few years, since the birth of my children, as somewhat of a recluse.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not unfriendly, nor do I shrink away from social gatherings. I love hanging out with friends and family and talking, laughing, dancing and just enjoying life with good people. But, as all of you know, having a full social calendar when you have small kids is almost impossible.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to make friends when you are only half paying attention because you are spending a majority of your time wrangling children and running them to their various classes. At the end of the day, all you really want to do is take a hot shower and collapse into your bed and try to sneak in some sleep before one of your children wakes you up.
This kind of all kids all the time lifestyle, doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t leave much time for making or maintaining strong female friendships; especially when you are the new girl in town.
Somewhere along my Mommy way, I discovered blogging and then my online tribe who became my village. It started with responding to my bloggers comments. There was such a feeling of security and belonging in a community to completely get me on some level. Not every one can foul up as much as I do, but there was sympathy and understanding.
Soon, I looked forward to communicating with these ladies. Naptime came around and I ran for the computer to check comments. Then IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d head to check out these new acquaintances blogs. After all, I wanted to get to know these people, my people, better.
Then I discovered Twitter and all the waiting was eliminated. Now, I could engage in real time with the women who I was beginning to value as a part of my life. I know it sounds crazy to anyone who is not part of this social media village but these were women who got me; women who understood me; women who would give me advice, understanding and love. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right, love.
There were a few women who I have become exceptionally close with and we moved the friendship from the blog, to Facebook and Twitter and then, eventually, to texting and actual phone calls.
Everyone knows in a technologically advanced world that when a friendship starts getting serious, it gets less social media and more old school. We get back to human. It just means so much when an online friend calls to ask you how you are feeling or makes sure that you are okay, rather than tweet you and ask.
A couple months ago, I learned something profound about my village. They may live in my computer. That may very well be our stomping ground but when I encountered a tragedy in my life, when I really needed support, love and prayers to lift me up, my village banded together and lifted me.
It was more than empty asks of whether or not I was okay. It was women texting me, checking in on me in the middle of the night, emailing me, calling me and sending me handwritten get well cards. These women touched my heart. I will never forget what they did for me in my time of need. If it werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t for them, I am not sure that I would have made it out the other end in tact.
There are too many to thank but they know who they are and they know that I love all of them. In the end, the overtired new girl in town mommy now has a village of online acquaintances who have become some of the best in real life friends IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve ever had the honor of knowing.
How have your online friends affected your life?
Photo Source: Garry Knight