Over the weekend, a new acquaintance asked me why I blog.
I was a bit surprised by the question, but after I collected myself, I think I rambled off an answer that may or may not have been coherent.
I blog because I am a writer and I love to write. I blog because I want to collect the everyday stories that form a portrait of motherhood. I blog because I don’t want to forget the fleeting, sweet, frustrating, precious moments that fill our days. I blog because I need to vent about the moments I desperately want to forget.
And I blog because on the internet—a place more often populated by trolls and bitter forum-members—I have found a community that makes me feel heard, understood and supported.
Last week, I got to meet some of these witty, creative, driven, passionate folks in real life.
Meeting online friends—in person
I spend a lot of time at my computer—that goes along with the territory of making my living as a writer. So it follows that I converse with people by typing, either via email, Facebook, texting or Messenger.
It was a beautiful change of pace, then, to meet up with Ali. Ali is the whip-smart and hilarious mama behind Run, Knit, Love. I never miss her posts. So when she suggested we actually meet—gasp!—in person, I felt a little bit like when the cute, popular boy asks you to dance in middle school.
(Well, what I imagine that to feel like. This awkward wallflower hid in the bathroom during almost every slow song to save the embarrassment of not having someone to spin in slow circles with.)
We met up with our kids in tow at the Westside Dance & Gymnastics Academy‘s open gym. Our chatting was interrupted every time I had to hoist Peeper out of the giant foam ball pit or coax her out of harm’s way under the slide, but it felt so good to solidify a connection. Ali and I have tons in common even beyond our roles as mothers, and seeing her—not just her screen-self—felt genuinely good.
The blogging world IRL
I also attended a Valentine’s Day meetup organized by the Portland Bloggers. Kiwi joined me as I chatted up the writers behind many of the blogs I’ve been reading and following for years. Kiwi even got to meet another blog baby, the son of Jenni—the mastermind behind A Well Crafted Party.
I didn’t bring and hand out business cards. I failed to “network.” But I succeeded in meeting new people and reconnecting with those I’d met before.
We spend so much time tapping on keyboards and staring at HD screens that connecting with people face-to-face is a real treat.
The weekend felt so good that I realize I need to meet my online friends IRL more often.