So I have a group of virtual friends – by virtual, I mean that 99% of our interactions are online. I’ve met two of the seven face to face and actually knew one of the two face to face people long, long ago and far, far away. We coalesced around . . . well honestly I don’t even remember the original catalyst. Two I grew to admire tremendously as I read their blogs, another lives in the Boston area and was already connected to a couple of the others, and anyway now we’re friends.
The other day I wrote that I was grateful for a couple of work friends (still am), but then I realized that these women are equally my friends. While I can’t exactly loan them a cup of sugar or take them out for drinks when things go poorly, that doesn’t negate the friendships we’ve created.
I see a common thread between expanding the idea of family the way my wife-in-law and I did, and expanding the idea of what constitutes friendships the way these seven women and I do. To my mind, both expansions are good things. My life has been enriched in ways I wouldn’t have realized years ago before the internet, before I made friends in online games.
I get it now. Just because I can’t hug a friend – because she lives thousands of miles away – doesn’t mean we’re not friends.
So virtual friends – that binder full of women I hang out with most days online – I’m grateful for you. As our monkey arm hugging friend would say: MOAAAH.
A slightly more mundane topic of gratitude – but I’m off work today and off work all next week. I’m so incredibly grateful for that. I need a break.