Internet friends: Where are they now?

Internet friends: Where are they now?

Like so many things in my life, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with social media.  It’s always been a place where I could go and find connection and community, but in my weaker moments, I’ve noticed that it’s a slippery slope into ego-driven showmanship.

I’ve gone through periods where I was online all the time, like right after my divorce when I didn’t leave my house for about eighteen months.  (Twitter and six seasons of Grey’s Anatomy got me through that.)

And now, when my business is taking off, I’m giving more workshops and I’ve finally seemed to settle into the me-ness of my biz. So I’m trying get out there again, but sometimes it’s been hard.  It’s too easy to see social media as a chore for the job, rather than a joy.  These days, I’m having less and less interest in posting when I ‘should‘ be posting and so I’m missing opportunities to be seen, or so I’ve been told.

But, yesterday, in one of those meandering online/reading/searching strolls that always seem to stem from an interesting article that someone posted on Facebook, I ran across the name, Bindu Wiles.

And I smiled.

I remembered her from years ago.  I’d ‘met’ her on Twitter, which is to say that she likely has no idea who I am because we never even exchanged a online comment, but I remember her.  I remember that she was sweetly discovering who she was at the same time she was shining her brilliance across the web.  She’d recently come into her own as a writer and was offering writing and life coaching sessions and what sounded like a delicious VIP experience with her.

It was out of my price range, but I followed her on Twitter and soaked up all of her brilliantly honest writing and her transparency.  I cheered for her and rooted for her and loved her from my little home office in Denver.

And so I searched for her to see what she was up to now, but her online presence is pretty much gone.  Her last Twitter post from a few years ago referenced a tech hiatus, but even that link was broken.  Her domain isn’t even active anymore.

And that made me nostalgic and a little sad.

It’s not a big deal in the hustle and bustle of my life, but I still wanted to tell her hello.  That I was thinking of her and wishing her well.  And I wonder now if she can feel it, in the slight breeze on her cheek, or the sunshine on her face, that she is loved and missed, even by someone she’s never met.

That’s the power of the internet, I think.  That when we show up and dare to be ourselves, when we dare to create and be seen, we change lives.  It’s as simple as that.

I think if we could ever grasp our own essentialness, it would blow our minds.

I wonder if we can imagine how many people love and miss us in every moment–even people we’ve never met.  Because really, how could you know that you changed that poor mother’s life by helping her carry her groceries into the elevator?  You didn’t know that she’d just heard that her mother had cancer and she was in despair with how to deal with it all and your simple act of kindness made a difference.

I wonder if Charlie Gilkey knows how many people I’ve told about the Connection blog post and how it’s affected not just my life, but probably at least a few of the dozens I’ve told about it.

I wonder if SecretWormy, EmmaNewman, or Seth Simonds remember me?

And then there are the handful of close friends I still talk to on a regular basis, or at least catch up with on the Facebook.

And in this rambling post, where I’m swimming in nostalgia, I just wonder how life would be if we could let it all in a little bit more.

I wonder if we can imagine how often we are loved, adored and appreciated.

Can we let ourselves feel it?  Can you let yourself feel your own essentialness in the universe?  Can you really stop and enjoy the way the clouds fan out behind the mountains, or the way the music flows through your body, or the way a fresh, ripe peach tastes, or the way your cat’s fur or your lover’s skin feels underneath your hand in the morning?

I hope you can.  I hope we all can savor it a little more.  In these moments I’m overwhelmed by the preciousness of life and the love I feel for everyone who’s helped me, guided me, listened to me, and challenged me.

Thanks to everyone who’s on this crazy adventure with me.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

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