I am thankful for my friends. From my best friend since we were almost fifteen and my other Dutch friends, to my friends right next door here in Austin, and everyone in between. I don’t need to blog about my appreciation of them, because I connect with them in other ways. (But if you’re reading this: Hi. I love you.)
Here, I want to give thanks to the blogging friends I’ve made.
I’m a mostly liberal, atheist Dutch immigrant here in America. Among my blogging friends are a woman in Karachi, Pakistan who blogs about her everyday life, a stay-at-home mom in North Carolina who writes about being lesbian in the south and anything else, and a seriously Christian, gun-toting, homeschooling, recently divorced mother of a lot in the Pacific Northwest who writes about coming to terms with her horrendously dysfunctional family, her abusive ex-husband and the challenges and blessings of her new, free life. I can’t mention everyone–just see my blogroll–but I appreciate you all.
When I used to go backpacking in Britain every summer, I met a lot of Australians, and what always struck me was how easy it was to connect with them. I supposed it was because they were all traveling Europe or the world for six months or a year. All the connections they made were brief, so they wasted no time in preliminaries; we talked as if we’d been friends for years. I loved that.
Blogging friends are a bit like that. Even though blogging contacts are brief and limited, they can definitely be meaningful, because you skip all the preliminaries and go straight to being personal, about whatever the blogger puts out there about himself/herself.
Reading some blogs is like the proverbial walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. For example, I’m all for gun control in general, but I certainly can’t judge the woman whose abusive ex-husband is still in the picture for carrying a gun. It’s humbling to be confronted in this way with my theoretical opinions on the one hand and some people’s actual daily life on the other. Not that it completely throws my opinions out the window, but it does make me a little less dogmatic.
Pigeonholing people at first sight is also not that easy when you don’t even know what most of your blogging friends look like. You don’t meet in either Wal-Mart or the country club. It doesn’t matter whether you’re dressed to the nines or hanging out in your warm-ups. Rather than being impersonal, I think the blogging community is the big equalizer that can bring people together who otherwise would never know what they have in common or what they can learn from one another.
So that’s what I’m thankful for, y’all.
(Image from canidaepetfood.blogspot.com)
Heheh, it’s so strange to be described as a Muslim woman, when in reality I am irreverent, don’t follow rituals (unless forced), dislike organized religion and have given up on it altogether! 😉
Loved the analogy in this post…..love the kinship and sense of connection in our bloggy community….love that you are a part of it!
Oops, sorry! I suppose I just thought you were less traditional than your mother and sisters. I’ll change that.
That’s okay! I wish I could talk freely on my blog about being irreligious in a community (I am a Dawoodi Bohra) where religion is taken very seriously indeed, but I don’t because my family reads my blog and I could get in deep trouble! 🙂
I understand! But I’m googling Dawoodi Bohra 😉
Fabulous post, Barbara. And I so agree that blogging brings “people together who otherwise would never know what they have in common or what they can learn from one another.”
It’s not why I started blogging, but it has definitely become at least as important.
Me too, Barbara. I almost decided to let my blog go completely recently because things got a little stressful at home and I felt guilty about the time it took away from my family. After a couple weeks off, I realized how much I missed the people. Friends are important even if I haven’t actually met them, so I’ll be sticking around. Great post. (And I love the photo.)