Sometimes I feel like I have two different lives. There's the "real" life - work, apartment, family, activities, things I do day-to-day out in the "real world." Then there's my "online" life - facebook and ebay and blogging and pinterest, twitter, etc.
Some Most of the "real world" people just don't "get" the internet part of my life. They don't understand the time spent online, they can't appreciate the interactions and activities. And because they don't *understand* it, they often consider it a waste of time.
This makes me sad.
I feel the internet has added such a dimension to my life. I'm not *shy,* exactly, but let's say I'm "socially anxious." Is that actually a *thing*?? I don't know. But it's how I feel. A lot of my life has been sort of solitary - I've always had a handful of good friends, but never a lot of...people to just hang out with, if that makes sense. Even in my 8-year marriage, I spent a lot of time alone. THEN I was *really* lonely. And since the divorce, and especially now with my daughter away at college, and I've moved (geographically) away from friends and work...I'm once again leading a pretty solitary life.
But I don't feel *lonely* (most of the time) because I have online friends and activities. And I feel online I can be The Real Me. Not the "in person" me who always feels sort of socially awkward and tongue-tied. Without the social anxiety present in the real world, I feel relaxed and like...the best part of me comes out. A more outgoing, witty, sociable me. *Me* unfiltered by "what if I say or do the wrong thing/what did she say/why am I always two steps behind/crap, why didn't i say THAT." I like this me much better.
And the great thing is...by people coming to know me online, as this "better me," I've formed friendships in the real world! Part of it was like...being able to sort of...practice being comfortably social, while still behind the mask of the internet. Another part was other people, "real world" people, being able to see a different side of me than they'd known before...and liking that person, we became friendly in real life. Now, it doesn't *always* translate. There are some online friends I've met in person, that...let's just say we'll always be better online friends. And that's fine! They're my friends when I'm home alone. But other friendships *have* made the leap from online to real world, and that's great, too!
This is a lot of confession here. Maybe too much? I dunno. Opening my mouth when I shouldn't is my special gift :-)
BUT, this week something really exciting happened. My amazing talented cousin and her long-time friend started a charming blog. GAH! A FAMILY MEMBER who is actually embarking on an online life?! Aside for being thrilled for them on their new venture, I also feel so....pleased to have, in some small way, my two worlds intertwining. Maybe not yet, but eventually they will "get it." How you can develop relationships and friendships with people online, that are every bit as real and significant to you as your friendships with neighbors and coworkers and buddies in Real Life! Whee!
All that said, I would *love* to introduce you to their beautiful blog, Two Chums, which is all about what they know and do best - gracious living, hospitality, making people feeling welcomed in their homes, lives, and hearts. Please pay them a visit.
~ Bettye (ducking back behind the curtain)