Have you ever met someone online and thought “you know what? I bet if I knew <Insert name here> in person, we would be really good friends! Oh, come on. I know I’m not the only one!
At least one other person has felt this way because last week I had the opportunity to turn an online friend into a real one. I didn’t even have to conjure her up out of mid-air. She’s not imaginary either, so you can imagine my excitement! If you read here regularly you might notice that SimpleHeartGirl is a frequent commenter on my blog. Virtually nodding her head in agreement with my latest rant or offering advice on any number of my seemingly constant life issues. I’ve actually known SHG since my first blog where we first connected 1.5 years ago.
I can back that up with evidence because the first comment I ever wrote on her blog was in August 2012:
I’ve never been one for empty feel good stuff, so my thoughts are if he’s done that once before – you’re a fool for believing. (or was that a rhetorical question?) Either way, remember to breathe.
And so it began!
We’ve been reading and writing to each other through some very difficult (and happy!) times in our lives. When you read about someone’s personal life, their thoughts & feelings so often, naturally you start to feel like you know them very well. Especially if that someone writes as elegantly as SHG. Seriously. When I read her stories I feel like I’m watching a movie in my mind. She was even freshly pressed!
She has mentioned that she lives in Chicago a number of times and I just so happened to be there for work last week. After seeing me mention that in a blog post, she emailed me to ask if I wanted to meet while in town. (She had my email from prior exchanges regarding potential free-lance work I was trying to send her way.)
OF COURSE I wanted to meet up with her!!!! I had actually been thinking that myself but was worried she’d be creeped out by the suggestion.
Obviously I’m a moron.
As I stood on a street corner near my hotel last Thursday, I honestly didn’t know who to look for. I’ve only seen one picture of SHG and only because she sent me her design portfolio some time ago. I put out my cigarette and turned around to see a woman walking towards me with a big smile on her face. Looking right at me!
I knew immediately she had to be SHG… and she was laughing! After a big hug, I asked her what was so funny to which she replied “Well, I knew it was you because you’re so short!” Then I laughed and showed her the 3″ heels I was wearing and was so glad that we decided to get together :) We went a couple blocks to Starbucks for coffee and to get in from the cold, wet, Chicago weather.
Two hours really fly by when you get lost in conversation with a friend! It was surreal to be sitting there with her over coffee, just hanging out like we do it all the time or something. It was awesome to really see what she looks like, and hear her voice. Most of all, it was comforting to know that I have made a true friend. We were “online friends” before, but we are real friends now.
I’ve heard it said about romantic relationships but I think this holds true for friendships too: sometimes, you just know.