I’m a 44 year old, fairly technologically challenged woman. When I was a kid, phones had cords and some still had rotary dials. Every gas station, mall, and public place had pay phones. Cordless phones were like bricks with foot-long antennas. If we wanted to eat and not lose all our privileges, we followed rules: we came home to check in at certain times, which we knew because we looked at clocks and watches. We used dusk as a way to know when to call it a night, and parents called one another’s parents. Neighbors knew one another’s names. We learned responsibility and interpersonal skills. There was no Internet. No. Internet. There was no World Wide Web until many years after I graduated from college. I didn’t own a computer until around 2000. Before that, I used a typewriter, then a word processor. I didn’t own a smartphone until almost two years ago, and the job I’ve had for the last 13 years doesn’t require me to use much technology.
Technology is a must now, and it rapidly and exponentially evolves. I had to learn to use it if I wanted to be connected, and I value connectedness. I value people. The beauty of it all is that today, connection is at our fingertips. We can meet people from all over the world in a few keystrokes. And if we come to the table with an open heart and be vulnerably ourselves, we may be lucky enough to make soulful, lifelong connections.
I didn’t have any idea what I wanted or needed when I began blogging. But what I found were people. Fascinating, compassionate, talented, inspiring, kindred people. I found friends.
Not long after I began on WordPress three years ago, I met Rita. I found her blog, and her words squeezed my heart. Sometimes they punched me in the gut. Either way, I was compelled to comment. She replied. We had so much in common, and not just life experience. It was like speaking to a long lost sister.
Within a very short period of time it was apparent we’d found kindred spirits. After emailing me and not receiving a reply (I didn’t see it for about a month and a half), she looked for me on Facebook and oddly enough she found me first try. She messaged, and the rest is history. We’ve spoken by text every day for two and half years. We speak regularly by phone. We talk about everything, joys and hardships, and laugh till we cry.
Over the past several years, even as Rita and I became friends and continued getting to know one another, I’ve been delving deep to find myself. I am finally me (of course this is ongoing and evolving). That may be a ridiculous sentence, but it’s true. I am finally the me I’m meant to be, not the one anyone else thought I should be, the one I thought I should be, based on so many faulty ideas and thinking patterns. I see myself; I am myself. I listen to myself. And because of this, I believe I have more to offer others. Or less, really, lol. No smoke and mirrors. But the most freeing thing I’ve ever experienced outside of being myself with my husband and children, is being myself with friends who accept all of me. And Rita has always so easily accepted and understood me. Even when she hasn’t completely understood, she has listened and empathized with my feelings. She’s seen the strength amidst the chaos, and because of the chaos! I found a soul sister; I am so fortunate.
This past weekend, because of a few keystrokes two and a half years ago, I was able to look my friend in the eyes and give her the biggest hug. I got to see her eyes when she spoke and watch them light up when she laughed. I saw her hands move with her words and felt the friendship in three dimensions. We talked and walked and talked and ate. There was no awkwardness. I was Kay and she was Rita, whole and simple. She came to Ohio, and was able to see my life first hand and not through still pics and typed letters. It was wonderful.
What a gift that is, that freedom to be ourselves and trust so fully. I will forever see it as such. I miss her already. But luckily, in a few keystrokes, or the tapping of numbers on a glass screen, we can stay in touch, every day. Until the next time I can see her face and give her the biggest hug! I can’t wait.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to make several more close friends via blogging, and I get to meet another dear friend in two weeks! It’s going to be an amazing month.
What powerful, connecting tools we have at our fingertips….and within our fingertips, if we allow it.
-header image found on Pinterest, image contained in post is mine