So I have this new friend… her name is Maisha. She found my blog after I made the following comment on What Tami Said: Relationships 2.0: Are you my real friends or are you just virtual?.
November 5, 2009 7:56 PM
Absolutely real! Some of my closest friends are people I met online between 7 & 10 years ago. I live on the same block as one of them now, and one of us does morning carpool & the other afternoon carpool. Another flew from Philly to Phoenix to be with me IN THE DELIVERY ROOM when I gave birth to my youngest… it was the second time we’d ever met “in person”, but we talk almost every single day.
Virtual friendships can be very superficial, but that’s true of “real” friendships as well.
I suspect the hook for her was Christie’s attendance at Daija’s labor & delivery, since Maisha is/was a childbirth educator before returning to school for her nursing certification (congrats again!). Maisha followed the link to my blog, where she noticed that Daija’s hair texture was very similar to her daughter’s, and gave the Naturally Curly method a try. Not too much later, I added the “contact form” so people could send messages directly to me without me having to publish my email address. Maisha was the first person I got a message from.
Aaah, the cosmic order of the internets.
We exchanged an email or two, but both of us being busy mamas, it didn’t go much further than that. Some weeks or months later, I connected with a member of my church on Facebook, and noticed THEY were friends. I figured this was a pretty good sign that Maisha wasn’t crazy and friended her, and the rest, as they say, is history. We arranged a playdate for the kids a couple months later, and they all got on like a house on fire, but especially our eldest kids, both middle school boys, both biracial, and both with learning differences.
I got a phone call yesterday from Christie… who, of all my “virtual” friends, is the hardest to keep up with. So much so that I answered the phone with,
You NEVER call me. What’s going on?
Thankfully, there was no crisis… it was just a “it’s been too long since we caught up” call. I was telling her about Maisha, seeing as how most of my social calendar revolves around her family anymore, and told her how we were going to be bringing Maisha into “the tribe.” Which was a little ironic, as I reread Tami’s blog this morning…
When I began writing online about the things that are most important to me, I soon found a small group of cyber-friends who inspire me, who write things that seem like they tumbled from my own mind, who share some of my beliefs, opinions and obsessions and challenge others, who crack my shit up on the regular. I found my tribe–folks who speak my language–online.
This entry is in partly background for a couple blogs that are still in draft, and partly a marvel at serendipity. I have some rich and beautiful friendships that have either started online, or that began in person and were able to continue after someone moved away… but the one complaint that these friends and I share is that for most of us, our friendships aren’t really able to include our families. So, this is mostly a big, big thank you to Tami Winfrey… you have no idea what a gift you gave Maisha and I, or what a blessing that gift has been for our children.