I did a double-take. And then I put my hand to my heart. And I uttered, “Oh, my God,” out loud, in the silence of my bedroom.
I’ve never met this blogger, never exchanged emails with her, never talked to her on the phone. I just know her through her words. But I know her nonetheless. And I could feel her sadness and shock and “WTF, world?!” And all I wanted to do was reach through my computer and touch her. Hug her. Hold her hand. Let her lean on my shoulder. Let her cry in my arms.
I always make sure to read this blog. Every day. Because I know that it will always be 1) honest, b) raw, iii) human, and four) often hilarious. She doesn’t hold back. She shows what it means to be a messy-clean-perfectlyimperfect-real-searching-curious-strong-vulnerable human being, and she doesn’t apologize for it. Ever. And I love her for that. Even though we’ve never met. And she reads my blog sometimes, and when I was going through some of the darkest minutes of my life recently, she reached out. Sent me emails. Wrote soothing words. Hugged me through the interwebs' ether. Gave me her phone number. Made sure I'd made it through another day, even though I swore I didn't want to and hadn't planned on it. She loved me from afar.
And this lovely? I wish she lived in Pittsburgh, because I’d hang out with her every.chance.possible. She leaves comments all the time on my blog. She visits my words and she takes them in and gives back her own. And I love her for that. And the words she gives back to me? Always full of love and wisdom and I-believe-in-you. Like a big sister. Arms wrapped around me from the other side of the country. Even though we’ve never met.
And the words on her blog? Living, breathing, heart. I let myself get wrapped up in them, and then I want to hug her.
People who don’t blog often don’t understand those of us who do. “You just want attention,” they say. “Why do you want the world to know about your life?” “What’s so special about what goes on in your day-to-day existence?”
Everything, I want to say to them.
Every moment, every experience, every encounter. Because I only get it once. And that, to me, is pretty special.
But it’s not just about my existence. It’s about a shared humanity. A shared, lived experience. All of us bloggers out there. The reality of being human, being messy, being scared, being uncertain, being confused, being happy, being alive, being here.
These women I write about? They help to remind me that I’m not alone in this world. That life is messy and funny and hard and overwhelming and exhilarating and full of so many things we’ll never understand but will embrace nonetheless. Because we only get it once. The interwebs make me feel like we’re one big family, getting through this life together, holding on to one another, even though our arms and hands don't touch. Because our hearts ultimately end up doing so when those parts can't.
And isn’t that what life is really about? Us? Together? Here? Holding on to each other? Don’t we always feel better when we hold someone or let someone hold us?