I mentioned in my last full-length post how the frosting on the cake for our famvay* was meeting a couple bloggers. I met T whose current blogging project is The Ten Things Blog and Heather from Becoming Cliché, and both meetings were the puppies and rainbows and snowfall on Christmas that you’d expect.
*That’s Pinterest-speak for “family vacation”. I just made it up to show off my wordsmithian skillz and also to demonstrate what happens to your brain as an adult when you eat crayons as a child. I knew you were wondering.
I am not the first person to notice that it’s harder to meet people and make real friends as an adult. One of the reasons I’ve loved writing about my past experiences this summer for Remember the Time is because I can reminisce on my childhood, which I am just now realizing was a really long time ago, somehow. Back then, friendships were effortless, or at least lacking in the over-thinking we often fall prey to as adults. As kids, we were open to doing whatever our young cohorts suggested because we lacked the wariness brought on by age and getting burned. Kids had little malice behind their actions so it was easier to form bonds with them. When our relationships with other children did get testy, we had our parents to referee our fights and protect us.
Youth is hard, but you’re surrounded by other kids who are facing largely the same challenges of becoming humans, and that’s one of the things that bands you together.
Adulthood isn’t so easy. The training wheels of life come off. You have bills to pay, a job that you never played make-believe at when you were small, and you will have to stand in line at the DMV at some point. While standing in line, you’ll be with other adults who likely have very similar problems and challenges as you, but they will not be your friend, nor you theirs. Who has time to get to know them? We’re too busy worrying about how much money is in our bank account, or our focus on their filthy shoes cannot be broken for the moment it would take to realize that they probably like the same TV shows that we do and would geek out on Arrested Development inside jokes with us if we gave them the chance.
It’s hard to make friends. Our adulthood gets in the way.
But I have made some new friends, and this blogosphere has helped me do it. I can be more transparent here and so can you. Writing on the Internet has allowed me to flesh out hundreds of ideas (yes, HUNDREDS. I apparently have something to say. Who knew?). People have read them, I’ve read their thoughts too, and in this process of reading and discussion I’ve learned that the world is full of very real people who are good. Not only good, but friend material.
T is well-spoken and funny, an activist at heart who loves humanity deeply and her family even more. I’m not the kind of person who would ever be classified as a hugger, but seeing her across from me at Starbucks made me turn into one because the love and warmth she radiates begs to be hugged. You just want to grab on to a piece of that love.
Heather is a gem. She has a calming presence and she’s as sharp as a tack. She’s the kind of mom I want to be in fifteen years: honing my sense of humor, watching Antiques Roadshow, and resorting to Moon Pies when the going gets rough. Heather has “known” me since I was a pregnant woman just talking about morning sickness and sleep deprivation, and she’s always been a friend in that she listened and gave me the kind of advice she knew I needed to hear because she had been in my position before. When I sat across from her at a hipster restaurant in her town, it came full circle. And it would have even if she hadn’t brought along a box of Moon Pies for me.
Which she did. Because she’s awesome. Dur.
I am grateful for my blog, and I am grateful for all of you. You make me want to compile a bucket list just so I can put meeting you on it.
I started making this post funny but then I got all emotional and ridiculous because I love you guys and you make me weepy. Be sure to check out Heather’s very funny post about meeting me in her town. I’m pretty sure she didn’t cry while writing it. It even got Freshly Pressed!
Very true about the friend thing. My 3-year-old has no compunction asking any small human “Wanna play with me?” I would likely get a few stares if I tried the same.
Wanna play with me, Speaker7? I’ll share my juice box.
NOW I’m crying! I loved meeting you, too, and knowing that you are in person just as you are on your blog – open and funny and real.
When do we get to sit on the porch drinking RC and eating MoonPies together? The ones you brought taste like Thin Mints. I need more! MOAR!
They are from Cracker Barrel! Hit that joint up! I swear by Cracker Barrel. Think they’ll sponsor my blog? I think I’ve got a post somewhere around here about Dolly Parton…..
It was a joy to meet you. Next time, I’ll bring the RC Cola ;D
You are always welcome up here in the Great White North,,there’s always a room for you and your family!
Thank you! I NEED to go to Canada! I have been all the way around the world (literally), but I have never met my friends to the north. Bucket list!
Seriously, the older you get, the more and more your significant other and your coworkers become your main circle of friends (which can be awful, not the significant other part–most of the time).
And your children. Until they’re teenagers.
Totally feel you. Story of my last ten years.
It’s so true! My last job before I had C was working at a school in Korea. My coworkers there became my friends, the good kind, that is. The people I worked with at the industrial supply catalog? Not so much.
Emily, I too have been mulling over this adult friendship thing. This means clearly that we are both geniuses. But we knew this. I hope i too get to one day meet some people through blogging.
You will! I will set you up on a blogging blond date if I need to ;D Meeting writers is the best, and any one of them would be lucky to meet you.
Hmmm, a blond date. I think I could dig that!
Fun! Now you just need to come to Austin, because I know you’re already planning that next famvay.
I was JUST talking to someone yesterday in my town who had recently moved from Austin, and hearing her talk longingly about it really made me want to go back. Can we crash on your sofa, Jells? Eebs can boss C around as much as she pleases ;D
I was going to say, hellooooo…Las Vegas AND me all in one shot…
but I really want to go to Austin. So, I’ll meet you there and get to meet Jells in the process.
You will eventually end up in Vegas. Everyone always does. I’ll buy you a huge guitar filled with booze that you can hang around your neck.
You are so right about it being difficult making friends as an adult. Its great to know I am not alone in feeling that way. It has been a bit easier to make “friends” online, though I have not met any of them in person yet. I’m not fully into the blogosphere as you are. I’m so glad you got the experience of meeting Heather and it has been great reading your blog as you have progressed from pregnant lady to mom.
Thanks! When I first started this, I never ever thought I’d ever meet my fellow bloggers and writers in real life, so it’s been a pleasant surprise each time to see what a wonderful experience it is. Congrats on recently getting married, Navi!
Thanks! Its been awesome so far. Blogging allows for you to interact with more like-minded people. Its a great way to expand your horizons and it can lead to the possibility of actual in-person human contact.
I love how heartfelt this is. And I love that you got to meet such great fellow bloggers! Blogging has definitely brought a lot of cool people into my life as well. The good news is, I do think that IS indicative of all the amazing people there are to befriend in your adult life. I remember when I was in your place, focusing all my time on a very wee one. It can be very isolating. I mean, I still had my friends from high school and college, and I had made some amazing friends when I was working. But once I started to stay home with my little one, it just became harder to see those people. Or I was too tired. Or I suddenly didn’t seem to have as much in common anymore. But honestly…THAT ALL PASSED. Partly because my friends started having kids, partly because as you child grows, you get back more and more little bits of “you.” The other fantastic thing about your child growing up is THEY GO TO SCHOOL. I have met and made some of my dearest friends through my kids’ schools. The best way to describe it would probably be like meeting real life blogging friends. You’ve all been going through the same stuff, and just craving other people who are like, “YES! I totally eat all my chocolate in the bathroom so I can get just three minutes of peace.” So basically, I just wanted to be a voice of hope. A plethora of adult friends awaits you…especially since Heather has confirmed you are as kick ass in person as your blog self is. You’re gonna rock the PTO. Here’s to hoping we can cross paths in the future. But now I feel all kinds of pressure to bring you some really cool food to bond over. Have you ever had toasted ravioli? It’s a St. Louis thing…basically it’s deep-fried breaded ravioli. And it is gourmet junk food.
YESSSSSSS ;D I have had toasted ravioli! There is a little Italian place in Memphis where we used to go a lot growing up, and that was where my family *discovered* it. Now, my mom sends away for frozen toasted ravioli (not the same, but it’ll do) and we always have it at Christmas. LET’S GET TOGETHER AND EAT IT, KELLY! ;D Consider yourself bucket listed. I am so grateful that blogging exists because now I know you. Moms, nay, PEOPLE like you are why I do this. It is very comforting to know that the things I go through with C are nothing new and that I will indeed get through them. I relish people like you, Heather, and T who are quite a few steps ahead of me and can tell me that I’m really not going crazy. I mean, I am crazy, but not because of the kid.
You’re crazy good…and crazy in a good way. And sometimes crazy because of the kid. Let’s face it. They are maddening sometimes. AND I AM GOING TO WILL OUR T-RAV DATE INTO EXISTENCE! And I feel the same way. Blogging has been a blessing to me for many reasons, but finding a community of sweet strangers who kind of don’t feel like strangers and who always fill your bucket is one of them. You were one of the very first ones to do that for me. So THANK YOU!!! I owe you for introducing me into this little clique of the blogosphere as I slowly try to make more connections.
Emily, that’s so cool you got to meet! Words are so powerful and here is our proof. I hope someday I am so lucky.
I want to meet you too! One of these days, Amy, it’s going to happen. (Don’t worry; I’ll give you fifteen or so minutes’ warning before I crash your place.)
I am new to blogging and cannot wait to experience those things that you mentioned in the post! It is going to be great to get to know other adults! Would love if you would follow and keep up with my blog as well :)
Thanks! I will check you out!
I echo many of your sentiments here. My blog also affords me some of the release/connection that you talk about but is much more of a baby than yours. I find that there is a great deal more giving than receiving, which is natural for a blog, I suppose. But the hope is that, as it grows, some of the feedback will as well. Kudos to you. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Diana! It is indeed true that a blog is a bit of work at the beginning, but as with so many things, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. When I first started, I was so overwhelmed with the millions of blogs out there and the millions of people behind those blogs. How could I ever get to know even one of them? I have been pleasantly surprised with how many people have not only been reading but listening as well as I’ve kept at it. ;D
So true! Why are adults become afraid to put themselves out there? Meeting other bloggers is as good a place to start as any.
My writing skills are going – obviously I meant why DO adults become afraid to put themselves out there… (I’m smart in real life, honestly :))
One day we will meet up in Iceland! I was just thinking about Iceland the other day and how much I want to go back some day when C is a little bigger (READ: can sit on an airplane for 6 hours.)
That would be great. I’d love to have a big bloggy meet up in Iceland! :-)
Emily, I felt a bit weepy just reading this. You exude happiness, gratitude and knack for writing to keep me engaged. This sentence was a clincher for me — “While standing in line, you’ll be with other adults who likely have very similar problems and challenges as you, but they will not be your friend, nor you theirs.” I think you’ve summed up adulthood and if we’re not careful, it can kinda pass us by. Thanks for the reminder today.
My pleasure, Tania! I have to remind myself of that pretty frequently too. I caught myself judging someone the other day and I had to remember that I was doing a disservice to us both by writing her off. We can learn a lot from the openness of kids.
Wanna play with me? No, really! I.LOVE.YOUR.BLOG. And after going to the recent big blogging conference, I realize it’s a really good idea to say so instead of just ooooohhhh’ing and ahhhhhh’ing here in the privacy of my own shared office where you cannot possibly hear me. (Unless, of course, you’re in the West Loop on the 4th floor somewhere and my voice carries further than I might expect.) In short? You rock.
OMG! I love your blog too! ;D Also? I WISH I lived in the West Loop right about now. I lived in Rogers Park for years and I miss it like whoa. Thank you for letting your presense known ;D
I love that I unintentionally turned you into a hugger. You are most welcome, and I am most honored to have been hugged by one so lovely as you. <3
Awwwww, now I want another hug! (((((()))))))
Isn’t meeting in real life just so thrilling! I’m so glad you got to do something for yourself while on your famvay.
It is! Just so you know, next time I’m in ATL, I think there is a coffee shop with our name on it ;D
Absolutely! It would be a thrill.
I’ve been mulling over the adult-friendship thing a lot lately. Mostly because I was raised by wolves (ok, no, but I did come of age in a very small school full of bullies) and, therefore, I am TERRIBLE at the friend thing. Just awful. I feel like it’s learning a new language, only one with no rules, and just when I think I learned the rules, they change completely.
You’re completely right. The internet, for all the complaints people make about it, is a friend-space, if you use it correctly (and not just for naughty videos and such.) You can meet like-minded people, and I’m here to attest to that – I’ve met some of my closest friends online, and I’m thankful every day I’ve done so. Not knowing them would leave a huge hole in my life.
Using it correctly is key there. It’s been my experience that I simply cannot be Internet friends with people who make fun of my love for Hello Giggles. ;D
I’m glad the Internet exists because how else would I know Amy exists? The Internet wins! Yay!
I feel the same way! Yay for the internet for introducing me to some of the best people in all the world! (And you are one of them!)
I agree wholeheartedly on the friend making thing. I actually reassessed my best male friends and realized two of the four I met on Craigslist. I’ve only met one in person and the other I’ve known a few months and we’re meeting up next week. Is this creepy? The other two I’ve known for years and met at school and through comedy which is like meeting someone through work. It must be our lifestyles that make it so hard to meet new friends. We’re less communal and we don’t even know who our neighbors are at this point let alone consider them friends.
It always sounds a little creepy when you say you met someone from the Internet, but I think it’s waaaaaay less creepy than saying you went on a date with someone you met at the grocery store. I mean, what do you know about this random shopper? Nothing except that they eat Baked Lays, which should be a deal-breaker in and of itself. At least you know if the Internet person uses the Oxford comma or not. That has to amount to something.
I met my wife in a grocery store :-(
Is your wife a cantaloupe?
I met one of my best friends on the internet and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding last week. I decided I liked her once I was able to confirm that she wasn’t a 40 year old man. Yay technology!
I to attended a small school. We did not have bullies. I liked what I read on your blog site. I am trying to make mine hold my readers attention and am learning to add photos now. I am trying to write my first book and I hope to get it published. I am glad that the internet is here. Hope it stays around forever. It has helped me find the friends I went to school with and it is enabling me to make new friends on the web. The internet is definitely a friend space. If you can’t write funny stories about your family who can you write about. At least your family laughs at themselves when reading about the funny things they have said or done. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.
Thank you, Jayne! Good luck with your blog! And I agree with you; if all else fails, writing about your family is always a great idea because at least they will read your stories out of vanity ;D
Thank you so much for the encouragement and wishing me good luck with my blog. I hope to learn a lot just by following your blog and reading what you write everyday. I try to follow as many peoples blogs as I can. I love reading the interesting stories about the places they have visited and the many people they have met. Thank you again.
This was written straight from the heart, and I love that. Blogging has brought me so much more than I ever thought it would. Namely, the people. It’s amazing when you get to take your online offline.
Also, WHY is it so hard to make friends as an adult? I always feel like I’m asking them on a date.
Ditto to the date question. It is SO HARD for me to try and expand my social circle that doesn’t involve clients and shrinks.
I feel the same way! I eventually got to the point where I decided that I have absolutely nothing to lose by just asking people to hang out with me. If they think I’m a weirdo for showing emotion and wanting to get to know them better, then it’s really no skin off my back because I AM a weirdo. I really don’t have any pretenses (that I know of.)
Come to see me? You’d love sunny California. I want to be a mommy blogger like you.
I want to come to Cali! My best friend lives in LA but she used to live in the Bay area and I loved going there to see her. You’re further up north, right?
Also, mommy blogging is the best. We want you in our ranks. You should make that happen ;D
Yup, we’re north of the Bay Area for the time being. Don’t know what the future has in store, though…
I would love to meet you and all the other people I got to know on the blogosphere, unfortunately, Maine is so far from everything. This is such a lovely post. I am glad that you got to meet a fellow blogger. She sounds terrific.
I have always wanted to go to Maine! I picture it to be a lot like Vermont (where I’ve never been either, but have always wanted to go). My family is hoping to go to NYC next year. Maybe we can meet halfway?
Sure, depending on what I am doing at that time. NYC is six hours away from me. I live in southern Maine.
Fabulous. Are you going to be in England anytime soon cause let’s totally make it happen. What’s that? You dont regularly pop to London for the weekend? Disappointing, Emily. Disappointing.
Dude, I would if i could. Wanna meet me in Iceland? Those flights are cheaper ;)
Iceland? Lunch in Iceland? Ok cool. When? Thursday? 2pm ish?
[…] I may have mentioned this one or twenty times, but the people I have met through this glorious blogging adventure are one of the big reasons why […]