Monday, May 14, 2012

Abroad

My life has been peppered with instances where I’ve felt out of place, even in the midst of my own family. It can be difficult, sharing a home with people that don’t completely understand me, that find the things I feel passionate about laughable or weird. Confiding in them is rare because I hate being mocked or used as a humorous anecdote for their friends – “Look at my daughter, the sensitive blogger, writing in her secret notebook!” It takes something out of me, each time I hedge around the truth to save being heckled or keep a piece of writing I’m proud of hidden because it would make me too vulnerable.

But with each passing year, seven to be precise, I’ve met more and more people that “get” me and I’ve formed a different sort of family. It’s the beauty, and the curse, of the Internet. It says, “Look, here are all these people that you can connect with on every level you’ve been missing! But, oh...they live 4,000 miles away, across an ocean.

You laugh, you write, you talk, you care, but you can’t hug or sit down at a table and look each other in the face. These are real people, flesh and blood and bone, but in most cases they’ll only ever be a friendly voice on the other end of a phone line or a “how are you” email.

In most cases, but no longer in mine. Because two weeks ago I boarded a plane to England and set out to meet, and stay with, four people I already knew but hadn’t set eyes on. Two weeks ago I traveled alone, to a country I’d never been to before, and had the sort of adventure most people will never get to experience.

9 comments:

Lady Jennie said...

I'm very touched by your friendships with all these people since I've witnessed its growth somewhat these past two + years. You DESERVE people who get you.

Philip said...

And aren't we lucky that we've been able to do that? Thanks for being brave enough.
P.

David Henderson said...

Nice report.

Danger Boy said...

And given that I care about a non-zero number of the people involved, I hope it was truly magical. :)

Sharon Longworth said...

I'm so glad you were brave enough to visit, and so, so, glad we got to meet you. Here's to the next time.

Mari said...

I love this because it's exactly how I found some of my best friends. Back in 2005, I flew to Canada to spend 5 days with 5 women I had only talked to by phone, forum or email. Now, we make it a habit to spend time together every year even though we live all over and I treasure each and every one of them.

Chantel said...

"The soul selects her own society..." Emily Dickinson

Sometimes I wonder how alone so many writers in the past must have felt; how this fueled them, or maybe destroyed them. I am an ostrich in a family of doves--were it not for this electronic box, I fear I would be mad.

Your trip sounds amazing.

Eric said...

They *did* realize that you were going to visit, right?

Sara said...

I'm so excited to hear this story. :)