I’ll admit. I felt like a bit of a nerd.
I got all ready, drove 45 minutes one way, picked up some cupcakes I special ordered for the event, and drove to the parking lot where I sat and gathered myself in the car for a few minutes before I was supposed to meet a bunch of strangers.
But not everyone was a stranger. We had developed a sweet relationship online, so I was really looking forward meeting you and a couple other women that day!
For the entire month of April, this (in) Real Life conference was the talk of the town among our community on Twitter. 6,000 women from more than 20 countries were meeting up in real life instead of where they usually meet up, online. I felt the nudge to attend our local meet up, and knew it would be good for me to step out of my safe little box.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I prepared myself for anything.
The room was quite full when I arrived. I looked around to see if I recognized anyone’s real life face from the tiny avatar I was accustomed to seeing on Twitter. When I found you at a table close to the entrance, I thanked God, made a beeline to the table, and took a seat next to you. You don’t have any idea how comforted I was by the fact I found you so quickly!
Our Minnesota (in)RL group was one of the largest in the country, if not the largest, so there were several tables of women. We were fortunate to have a bunch of wonderful ladies at our table. I’ll always remember the lovely pastor’s wife who sat across from us. She was motherly and warm and gathered us all in like her own. And Vicki, she was great. I sensed there was a lot more to her than she had time to reveal that day – such a kind soul, and she’s blessed me online since meeting that day. There were others too, but one woman in particular captured my attention, made me realize my instincts were trustworthy, spot on. That’s you, Nikki!
You see, over the course of almost three years on Twitter, I’d begun to develop some relationships online. You are one among a great community of online friends. When we tweet and read blog posts, it’s my belief that we’re seeing straight into souls. Real life facades and masks are stripped away in the Twitter and blogging communities I’m a part of.
So I had a feeling about you, girl. I knew in my heart you were going to be the real deal. I knew I was going to love you. I knew you were someone I’d be friends with in real life.
And I was right!
The truths I had stored up about you in my heart came to fruition that day. You were an amazingly sweet woman with a heart of gold, someone I’d be honored to call friend, just as great in real life as you were online.
So I want to thank you, Nikki, for being a real live example of why we can trust our instincts about relationships we’ve developed online.
I know in my heart that some of the women I’ve met online would be the most awesome of friends in real life. Our souls speak the same language. The only problem is that they live in California, Tennessee, Alabama and other far off places. But after meting you, I can trust that when I engage with my close circle of online friends, it’s the real deal. I can rest easy knowing they’re not baring their souls just for the fun of it. They’re speaking from their heart. They’re speaking their truth. It’s who they are.
I’m so glad you were there that day, Nikki. I’m blessed to have met you and can’t wait to meet up again, maybe this time for a more intimate lunch or coffee date with kids in tow. 🙂
Here’s to forging ahead in relationship, believing truth and beauty are constantly being revealed online and (in) Real Life.
*If you’d like to read more from my #31Days Letters to the Unthanked series, click here for the landing page where all the letters are listed and linked!