Thursday, April 19, 2012
A Week in Which the Internet Becomes Reality
I nearly poked her in the face to make sure she was real.
But I didn't. I behaved *pretty* normally when I ran into one of my most long-term "internet relationships" at the thrift store the other day. I was looking down, trying to tame my outrageously overgrown Elvis pompadour with some spit and a prayer, when I heard my name. I turned to see her standing there next to the tie rack, adorable and uncertain. The chaos of the thrift store fell away and I approached as if in a dream. We held hands and spun around in a field somehow and then we braided each other's hair.
No, silly. We didn't do that! We chatted about Mexican blankets for a few minutes like normal thrift store ladies, and then said goodbye.
She was smaller and skinnier in real life, just like celebrities are. Joel McHale was on our flight to Kauai last week and he couldn't have been more than 120 pounds. Seriously, he was EMACIATED (and p.s. he totally initiated a conversation with my husband but I was like, hey this book I'm reading upside-down is way more interesting and I'm not even listening to you!)
This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the weekend, because on Saturday I was invited to a gathering of bloggers/small business owners, some of whom I've "known" for quite some time without ever meeting.
I drove with Erin and although we've never met in person, it was as if we were picking up the thread of a conversation that had just been briefly interrupted. I love, LOVE Erin's thoughtful, academic writing style and wish I could be as clear-thinking, direct, and simple in my approach to blogging as she is.
We parked down the street and downed a few shots from my hip flask of Bach Rescue Remedy (I'm just kidding, only I did this) which proved completely useless against my most special talent, social anxiety. I spent the rest of the evening willing myself NOT TO SAY ANYTHING SUPER INAPPROPRIATE, which must have worked because some of the ladies are still talking to me!
There are two major things I took away from the evening:
1) If you want to grow your blog or business or change anything about your life, make yourself uncomfortable and put yourself out there. Go take a class or host an event yourself. You can only go so far in life alone in a room with a computer screen. We are social creatures and we need the creative stimulation of others in order to move forward. Alone with our thoughts, we just get stuck!
2) Women are super heroes . Guys are ok for some things, but ladies are awesome. We get a bad rap for being "catty" or jealous or whatever (gee, I wonder who's responsible for that stereotype!), but in my experience we thrive on helping one another succeed and will even put aside our own interests to do this. The organizers, Alexis and Jules (who came and set up despite having food poisoning!), testify to this.
Attending this event reminded me of how starved I am for some good female energy in my "all-dude-all-the-time" life! So many generous women came up to me or contacted me via email later to discuss certain aspects of what I had said, give advice and feedback, or just be generally encouraging and supportive.
I felt the love, ladies. I felt the love, and I want you to feel it too. But not in a gross way.