My grandmother died back in 2002, and she was definitely my best friend and soul mate. I don’t think your soul mate is necessarily the person you find to be with, but can be someone who you just feel a certain connection with, that you can’t put in words. That’s how it was with us.
So, think back to 2002. The internet was not nearly as developed as it is today. I remember trying to explain the concept of email to my grandmother. I think I failed horribly, btw. But it’s pretty amazing to think of all she saw in her lifetime. Born in 1908, she lived through two world wars and a horrible great depression that shaped the way she thought about possessions and money, as well as my mom’s thoughts on the matter, and in turn, mine. During her lifetime, she saw something other than birds take flight for the very first time. She saw a man land on the moon. She saw the Berlin wall come down. She saw this new “thing” called the internet. It makes me wonder what else can be invented by the time I leave this earth. And yes, I cut her a little slack for not understanding my “post office in the air/sky” kind of description to how email works. She had already taken in enough.
Flash forward to today. I think of the internet and I am amazed at how it has changed my life. I’ve met many people online – some through my previous blog, who I still talk to today and have met in person, and hopefully will host a third online friend for the Boston Marathon (Jill Will Run). I’ve met people in online classes via facebook (KEB) and also in person at tiny house workshops (BH) that have introduced me to others (ahem, BSG) (I also wouldn’t have known about the workshop without the internet.) Some online friends have really been helpful in giving me advice about my diet, and simple living. (DBN and JWT) I can’t thank them enough. I’m a total sponge – ready and willing to soak it all up. I will never get to that point in my life where I think I know everything (um, did that when I was a stupid teenager), and if I do ever get to that point, you all have permission to call me on it and kick my butt!
Most recently, I joined an online facebook group of people who live in NC and like tiny houses. Amazing how it has changed my life – through one of them, I found out about a builder in a small town outside of Charlotte, and now that tiny house dream I have been harboring for some time, is finally going to be a reality. In fact, when I was talking to the project manager (LB) over lunch, I found myself thinking “I could be friends with her if I just met her on the street, too.” I really liked her forthrightness. Another person (QD) introduced herself to me in that group, saying she is from about 45 minutes away from where I live now. And when I met her in person, I tell you, it seemed like I had known her forever. That’s rare. And a third made a trip to meet me in person to tell me how proud she was of me for what I was doing, making such a big change in my life. (BLL)
I met one person (DO) on youtube, with whom once I started talking, I felt very comfortable. He always gives me candid advice, as he has no motive to do otherwise or blow sunshine up my butt. And that’s what I really like about him. His honesty. I would never have “met” him without the internet. Hard to believe.
Of course, there are those of you who I have “met” on here, on this blog, and some of those relationships have translated over to things like facebook or email. (JN, CL, RG). I learn from all of you and I appreciate all the comments and support. I find writing on here to be cathartic. Some days, I start writing in my journal and then I think, no, this is something I need to share with others. I’m not alone in feeling this way.
This is not to say that I think online friends of mine will replace my in-person friends. To the contrary, I think they just add to my world and I hope I contribute back half as much as I receive. In fact, when I think about moving from this area, I think first of my best friend. She is so much like a sister to me. I knew she felt the same way when her husband said to me “you can’t move…you’re going to be an Auntie this summer!” (I already knew she did, intuitively, but it still felt good to hear that.) Her dad asked me the other day how I would feel about leaving the life that I have created for myself in Boston, and she and her family are a HUGE part of that world. But I will always have them in my heart. And I just know, this is what I need to do now, for me. At one point, even the baby bird has to take that first step and see if it can fly.
So, I’m not sure where I am going with this post, but I felt the need to write it. If I have left anyone out, it’s completely not intentional. I will blame my foggy-headiness to my being sick and congested.
How has the internet changed your life? Are there people in it that never would have been without it?
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