circle-of-friends[1]

When Bloggers Meet

Some posts are a lot of work to put together and some are just plain fun to write. This one was just plain fun. A bit of fun is always a good thing, perhaps especially in October, a month many in breast cancer land dread.

I’m not one of them. I still love October.

Since last spring the wonderful Beth Gainer, who blogs at Calling the Shots, and I have been trying to meet up. Since we both are a couple of Midwestern gals (well, actually it turns out Beth is originally from NY) and we live relatively close to one another, we figured it might be nice to meet face-to-face.

So earlier this summer we penciled in a date on our calendars, not entirely sure if things would work out, but hoping for the best. Well, things worked out! We met!

Our get together was wonderful as I expected it would be, but after our meeting I realized something else.

This something else was that not only did Beth and I care that we met, lots of our fellow bloggers (and readers) cared as well.

Of course, I knew they would be happy and I knew they cared, but I discovered they truly cared.

When I pulled over at a rest stop somewhere in southern Wisconsin and checked my smart phone (yes I waited until I pulled over), I noticed there were a whole bunch of good wishes on the Facebook post I had left before leaving my house that morning on which I had mentioned Beth and I were meeting that day.

I realized others were excited about this meeting too.

What a lovely realization; more on that in a bit.

Later, when I walked through the door of the Little Village Café, a quaint little restaurant where Beth and I had agreed to meet in a little town called Baraboo, I immediately spotted Beth.

I must admit, I experienced a couple seconds of nervousness wondering if we’d hit it off. I couldn’t help but wonder if she’d be disappointed. What if I wasn’t what she expected? Of course, I actually had no idea what she expected anyway.

I knew that merely because two people both have had breast cancer, this doesn’t mean they will necessarily hit it off.

I’ve experienced that scenario as well, but that’s a different post.

It turned out, Beth and I did hit it off as we had much in common. For starters, we’re both educators. We’re both moms. We’re both writers. We’re both animal lovers. And of course, we’ve both heard “those words.”

Let’s just say, we had a lovely lunch full of good food, but more importantly full of delightful conversation.

Simply put, it was fun!

But there were more surprises to come.

When I arrived home later that evening, I discovered more good wishes had been posted and shared throughout the crazy venue that is social media.

Friends from all over had sent good wishes and made comments about this “ordinary” lunch two “ordinary” friends had shared.

Of course, way before this day I already knew online friendships were real and just as genuine as those “real life” ones.

I already knew about sharing joys as well as sharing painful losses with online friends.

I already knew about meetings between other bloggers and about how meaningful such meetings had been for them.

Now I knew first hand.

Somehow when any of us meet or get together, it’s like we all do.

My friend Philippa, who resides on the other side of the globe in Myanmar and blogs at Feisty Blue Gecko, had this to say:

“Knowing you two met, warms my heart.”                        

And Debbie, who blogs at Debbie’s Life is Bigger Than Cancer, said this:

“So awesome. Somehow it makes me feel closer to you all, not sure what that is, but it just is.”

How lovely is that?

Even though we might be scattered throughout the country, in fact throughout the world, there is something intangible that links us all together.

And it’s more than just cancer                                                                    

We are all more than cancer.

I’m not sure exactly what it is.

I do know it’s something real. It’s something genuine. It’s something simple, yet quite precious.

Even if most of my blogging friends and I will never meet in person, we are friends. We are “out there” for each other.

At the risk of sounding too sentimental, I know that whatever happens and where ever we go, we carry each other with us in our hearts.

And that truly warms mine. 

How do you feel about online friendships?

Have you met an online friend in person?

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “When Bloggers Meet

  1. Wonderful post, Nancy, about a special meeting indeed. It was so nice to meet you in person, and I felt butterflies before meeting you, too. I am going to blog about it from my perspective as well. Getting the final touches on my new website.

    I agree that it was wonderful meeting you in person and wonderful that so many bloggers were supportive and so happy for us!

    I consider you such a good friend, and I’ve come to regard the people we know through blogging as friends.

    It was a lunch to remember! I’m so grateful that we met.

    1. Beth, Thanks so much for suggesting we meet. It was a day to remember for sure and it’s funny to hear you had butterflies too. I look forward to reading your post and seeing your new site! Good luck with it.

  2. It is amazing how close we feel to people we’ve never met! What a great idea to get together! Cancer and blogging really does bring us together. I haven’t met too many fellow bloggers, but I have met several people who were in my book and Facebook friends on my travels.

    I’m in the Midwest, too, Ohio. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll cross paths.

  3. I’ve often thought of how odd it is that some of our online friendships can have such an impact on us. You two brought a smile to my face that day, knowing that you were meeting.

    1. Julie, Well, you’re making me smile now! Thanks for your friendship and support, too, Julie. And I used to think the strength of these connections was odd, but no more. Now I’m just grateful they are so meaningful. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I’m so happy you met. What Debbie wrote goes for me, too. I somehow feel closer to you. Maybe meeting just brings a certain reality to this virtual world we’re in. You and Beth have made it real. How awesome would some sort of #BCSM get together be? Thanks for being there, even if it’s virtual for the moment.

    1. Stacey, I think that’s exactly it. When any of us meet, it makes the connections even more real and even more special. Beth and I joked about a bloggers’ summit. That would be wild wouldn’t it? And I must say again, that many readers also feel this connection. Blogging is great for all of us. Thanks so much for commenting and for being one of my very first blogging friends, Stacey. It’s nice knowing you’re out there too.

  5. See, Nancy…
    I TOLD you I was all “back-blogged” …. I missed this… I had no idea you guys were meeting up…

    I have a big smile plastered on my face at the moment. It will stay there all day. THIS truly does make it that much more real…

    HUGS to both of you!

    xoxox

    1. Ann Marie, Well, you’ve been a bit busy. I cannot keep up with your pace. Seriously, I cannot. I think I can see you smiling now! Hugs back my friend.

  6. I saw this when I was in Paris but couldn’t reply but was so happy to see this meet up between you. There is something very real in the friendships that formulate through blogging and the ones behind the words. There are those that wonder, ask how can friendships be so good with those you have not met. .? I’m not certain if it has to do with the common Breast Cancer thread connecting or is it that we can be open with our feelings with our fellow bloggers and have a deeper understanding of our situations. Either way I hope we do have a “Bloggers Summit”
    My intention was to meet a couple of bloggers who unfortunately are no longer with us except in spirit. Cheryl Radford and I exchanged emails for over 2 years we had a lovely friendship..I miss her…
    Thanks for the warmth this morning..
    Love Alli Xx

    1. Alli, I miss Cheryl too. I didn’t know her well as you did, but I read her blog and she read mine. I’m glad you two had such a strong friendship. I think you’re right about the reasons the connections are so strong. There is a deep understanding and level of acceptance, and not just with cancer stuff. Thanks for commenting and congrats on the wedding! Paris – awesome!

  7. Being relatively new to the blogging world, it has been fun to get to know some of you through your words. I think we connect out of common experience, but also because we share at a deeper, more meaningful level because of that common experience. But common experience doesn’t mean same experience, so it is good to learn from one another as well. I love the idea of a blogging summit. Thanks Nancy!

    1. Lisa, I agree we connect out of a common experience, but I think it’s even more than that. As Alli mentioned in her comment, we open up to each other and share about a lot of things, and there’s a certain amount of vulnerability that comes with that. This includes readers as well as bloggers, by the way. At the same time it makes the connections deeper and even more meaningful. I’m really glad to welcome you into the community, Lisa. Thanks for joining us and thanks for commenting.

  8. What a great post and it does bring a smile to my face seeing the picture of you both. I’ve had the good fortune to meet several of the #BCSM regulars “in real life” and it’s amazing how quickly we all gel – while we are all different in many ways, we share common goals and experiences. Anyone who states that on-line relationships are less “real” just has not had the right on-line relationship!

    1. Dr. Attai, I know you have met some of the #BCSM regulars and I’m thrilled for you. I think it’s just great you are such an important member of the this community. Your work, advocacy and friendship are just wonderful. Thank you and thanks for commenting here. I appreciate it.

  9. Nancy, I was tickled pink to see that you and Beth were meeting! I just touched on this “meeting of cyber friends” thing in my blog post today. I’m part of a group of 7 ladies who “met” on BCO and we have had a closed group on Facebook for over a year now so we can chat to our hearts desires. I have met 2 of the ladies in person so far, and we are like true sistahs. Cancer creates the bond, but friendship is what keeps it together. Cyber friends are every bit as real as “real” friends. (And a often more understanding!)

    1. Renn, Thanks for sharing about your special group. I agree completely. Cancer creates the bond, but friendship is what keeps it together. Heading over to check out your post right now. Thanks for being part of my cyber circle!

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