A year ago, I wrote a post about community. It was intended to be part of a series; however, I failed to write the subsequent posts. In that initial post I was discussing my lack of community in my present environment and speculating where my ideal community would be.
Today I would like to talk about the unexpected community I have found via blogging. When I started this blog five years, it was mainly on a lark. A couple of good friends had blogs. I really enjoyed reading them and it made me want to start my own. I really had no expectations for what this space would become. I didn’t expect that anyone outside of my two friends would find me and read me. I didn’t even know there was such a rich community out there to get involved in. Once I discovered how vast this particular corner of the internet is, I was hooked. So of course, my interaction of others would eventually bring them here.
I have developed some true blue friendships via this blog. I have been very remiss in discussing this as I have had the great privilege of meeting some of these blog friends offline in real life. Each time this happened, I had intended to post about it. Alas, those posts stayed stashed in a notebook of ideas never to see the light of day. So let’s rectify that today.
Rhinoa was one of my first commenters outside of my two friends. We hit it off instantly, sharing the same taste in books and a penchant for all things pagan. She had her 100 things to do in 1001 days list posted in her sidebar. One of the items was ‘get a penpal’. Well, I adore penpals and hadn't had one in ages. When I was a child I always had a penpal. I thrived on letter-writing. I emailed her offering to help her fulfill this task. Thus a friendship was born.
In October of 2010, Rhinoa came to visit me in AZ while on a US jaunt. (Did I forget to mention that she is from the UK?) It was awesome getting to meet a blogger friend in person. It felt like we had known each other for ages. There wasn’t any awkwardness at all. The conversation flowed continuously and we had a blast. During her two day stay, we did a Pink Jeep Tour of the Grand Canyon, which was thorough, beautiful, and quite informative. I also took her to the Mystery Castle. Last August, B and I visited Rhinoa in England. We had the absolute best time.
Not too long after I met Rhinoa, I had the privilege of meeting Shawna. I found her blog at the end of the summer in 2010. Shauna had just started her blog to document her Phd studies at ASU and life in cactusland, Shauna’s nickname for AZ. I instantly loved her writing voice and felt a kinship to this fellow transplant. I started reading her, she then began to read me. I reached out to her in email to see if she’d like to meet up some time. After finagling our schedules, we had a dinner date a Thai restaurant she frequents.
Meeting Shawna was sheer delight. I found her to be just as she is on her blog—witty, humorous, and full of smiles. I may have felt a tad nervous during this meeting as our correspondence was still fairly new, but we hit it off right away. We had a lovely meal with great conversation.
I found Lauren through A Practical Wedding. Her blog was fairly new. I connected to her writing so strongly I read her archives in one sitting. Lauren and I were the same age, grappling with the impending decade change, from twenty to thirty. She is so wise and insightful. I bravely emailed her one day about one of her posts. She was so sweet in her response. From there a friendly correspondence was established. At the end of 2010, a work conference brought her to the desert and we were able to meet up. Meeting Lauren felt like meeting an old friend. There was fabulous conversation and lots of laughter, not to mention the good Mexican food we were feasting on.
In the space of three months of I met three friends made via the interwebs.