I adore my friends. They are the family I had the privilege of choosing. Today, I have close friends whom I’ve known for several decades. There are some I went to school with and some I have been lucky to meet as I strolled through life. I often tend to believe that there are no strangers, only friends we haven’t met, yet.

What a feeling it is to ask a friend from first grade, even today, “What color” and promptly receive an answer!  For the curious folks,  I am referring to the color of frilly panties. Yes, five-year old girls do that and feel very happy when they’re wearing the same color and say “same pinch”.

Ah, the moments shared and those happiness hangovers!

Friends

I am fortunate to have a gorgeous friends circle, offline and now, online as well. One of them is the beautiful Carolyn Hughes. If you are a regular commenter, you’ve seen her comment on every post here.  Carolyn is an amazing writer and I first met her at Cathy’s blog, Treatment Talk, where she wrote a guest post. That post made me cry and I was eager to visit her blog, The Hurt Healer.

I did. And I was spellbound by the magic of her writing. Carolyn captured my soul.  So many times, as I read her posts, I would wish she had written that here on this blog.  Aptly titled The Hurt Healer, Carolyn’s blog is  “an inspirational journey to live life as the person you were meant to be“. I am happy to say that she is also writing a book with the same name and am eagerly waiting for her to launch it. I can only imagine how wonderful it will be.

I am thrilled to have Carolyn here today with a lovely post. Please do visit her blog after you read this post!

Let’s be friends

Lets Be Friends

When the lovely Vidya asked me to guest post, I knew instantly that I wanted to share some thoughts on online friendships. Vidya is one of those amazing friends that I’ve never met face-to-face, but yet feel a great connection to her. The warming welcome and generous reciprocity override any differences in social status or culture. She shares her world and daily life with such vibrancy and enthusiasm that I am drawn into wanting to be part of that.

And isn’t that what friendship is all about? Being part of someone’s life because you both want that. Not out of a sense of family duty. Not because you work together. Or belong to the same organisation. It’s a choice willing made with pleasure not obligation. Wonderful!

“A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.”      ~ Douglas Pagels

Online friendships are special in that you can connect with someone anywhere in the world at any time. That opens up such huge possibilities of meeting people with diverse customs and traditions. Yet a virtual friendship has the ability to cross the boundaries of religion, race, or any other issue because what matters is the person. It’s not what you don’t share; it’s what you do share that’s important.

Vidya and I live on opposite sides of the world and live so differently, yet we both possess a love of people, places, families and faith. Our friendship means we can relate and communicate on all sorts of levels. And it is always enjoyable.

I would so much rather grab a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes reading one of Vidya’s blogs that read a celebrity magazine. Why? Because they are not manufactured by the media. Her stories, values, honesty, sense of fun are for real. That’s what I look for in anyone, and somehow that seems even more important when that person is ‘virtual.’

“A good friend offers an encouraging spirit, a helpful heart and a comforting soul.”   ~ The Hurt Healer

For me, the investment of time in a good friendship is worth every second. The return is a treasured connection that enriches my life through camaraderie and support. They introduce you to their world, offer new perspectives and allow you to do the same. Yet at the same time a good friend accepts you for who you are and lets you make mistakes. (No judgments or requirements that so often come from blood ties.) They are with you through the laughter and the tears. Indeed, familiarity can be truly rewarding.

Of course it’s a two-way relationship. It’s important to me to show a friend that I am interested in their life too. I want to hear about their faith, families, work ~ anything and everything that is significant to them. There is nothing nicer than developing a meaningful companionship. I must admit that if ever someone refers to me online as ‘my good friend Carolyn’, it instantly makes my day!

I get by with a little help from my friends.” ~ The Beatles

As with any acquaintance, it’s always good to catch up. It is so easy on-line and one aspect that I have noticed in this type of fellowship is that there is less guilt and it is easier to reconnect if you haven’t contacted for a while. We can pop onto a whole range of networking sites that keep us up to date without the need to interact, but then when we do it can be like we spoke to them the day before.

 I must admit that although online friendships can be fulfilling and pleasurable, there are those that I would definitely love to meet up with in person. I love the diversity and opportunities that a ‘virtual’ friendship can bring, but there are those whose company that I know I would delight in should we come face-to-face. Vidya would be one of them of course!

But what about you? Wouldn’t you just love to visit all those people and places that have enhanced your life?

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust

Thank you Vidya for inviting me share and most of all, thank you for your beautiful friendship!

And finally, I am always delighted to meet new people so do feel free to connect with me on Facebook    Twitter   and my blog The Hurt Healer

Lets be friends

Let’s be friends!

Images thanks to my good friend, the talented Jane Hinchliffe

Thank you, Carolyn!

LEts be friends

 

Carolyn Hughes lives in Northern Ireland with her husband and two daughters. She works as a freelance writer with a special interest in alcohol issues and is currently writing ‘The Hurt Healer”, a novel based on her own experiences of abuse and alcoholism.

Dear Friends,

Describe your best friend in five words!

What is the best thing you love about them?

Inspiration

41 Comments

  1. Terri Sonoda Reply

    Wonderful post! Thank you so much. Your thoughts mirror mine in many ways. Vidya has become such an important friend to me. I’ve never met her but feel a kinship that’s quite real and delightful. I cherish her friendship as I would a dear friend right next door.
    Terri Sonoda recently posted…What’s on your shopping list?

      • Dearest Carolyn, I am so thrilled you are here today! Please do interact with everyone! Love you!

    • You, Terri, are one of the best! I love you dearly. I love the way we met (via Kim of My Inner Chick blog) and I remember how delighted I was to visit your blog from there and yes, it was love at first sight. Thank you so much for being my friend. Huge hugs!

  2. Thank you Carolyn and yes, I have visited your blog and always find a warm welcome waiting for me. You are an amazing woman.

    I am just getting to know Vidya and love what I am finding. I do love getting know people from all corners of this world. It all comes down to everyone being there for the other. Through the internet we are learning what a wonderful world we do live in.

    I do have a gentleman that helps me with my technical stuff, he and his beautiful wife live outside of London. A couple of years ago my hubby and I did make the trip to met them. We spent 3 days with them and it was wonderful. Now with communications as they are today we still talk to each other. He and his wife were planing a trip to visit us this last summer but a family crisic happend and they are rescheduling. (no worries everything is OK! for them.)
    Discribe my best friend in five words.
    Loving
    Accepting
    Understanding
    Honest
    Trustworthy

    Thank you for sharing Carilyn and Vidya
    Debbie

    • Kind Debbie! And yes, I am looking forward to having you here whenever you are ready!

      I love the internet for making the world such an accessible place! Technology has made life so easy for us in many ways and communication is my favorite benefit. I love that we can simply dial someone on Skype and video chat! Or buzz a friend in chat and have an ongoing conversation throughout the day.

      So nice to read about your experience with meeting your friend!

      Hugs! And yes, I’ve seen you over at Carolyn’s. Isn’t she the best?

      • Yes, Vidya Carolyn is an amazing woman and you are too. have a great day or evening.
        Debbie

    • Thank you for your kind words as always Debbie! What a brilliant story about your online friends! The internet really does make the world a smaller and in your case a much friendly place to be 🙂
      Carolyn Hughes recently posted…You make my world complete.

  3. Eric West | Friendship Society Reply

    Ever since I started blogging and getting to know some of my fellow bloggers I’ve really come to enjoy online friendships. For a time I wasn’t sure if I could actually call them friendships if I never met them in person, but I decided that the in person relationship isn’t necessarily required to have great friendships. You have demonstrated this wonderfully in today’s post.

    I’d really like to meet some of my online blogger friends in person, but I haven’t had much opportunity to do so yet. Maybe someday.
    Eric West | Friendship Society recently posted…The Basis of Friendship as Described by Aristotle by Eric West

    • Dear Eric, Thanks for your beautiful comment. It is wonderful how online friendships can get as close as, or closer than real life friendships – I’ve had the privilege of meeting people online and then later, meeting them in person and it has been an absolutely great experience for me.

      Interestingly, even real life friends do not have time to actually meet up, what with busy schedules, etc. Luckily we have technology that helps us maintain our favorite relationships in an even better way. In particular, my favorites are instant messaging and Skype – which provide an as good as live experience.

      I hope you meet some of your virtual friends in real life some day. Thanks again for visiting and looking forward to seeing you again! Have a great day!

  4. Melissa (Miz Meliz) Reyes Reply

    I love your dual post about friendship! I have made many friends online and hope to call you both friends! Thank you!

  5. Betsy/Zen Mama Reply

    Carolyn and Vidya,
    GREAT post by the two of you. I, too, consider Vidya, to be a great online friend! I also consider you to be an online friend, too, Carolyn!! And, I’m just starting to meet these friends, too. I’ll be getting together with one over my spring break. I had two over for dinner last Fall. I roomed with another online friend at a convention last summer. I never thought I’d have online friends in a million years when the internet first started. Amazing!

    I think a friend needs to be accepting, non judgmental, funny, and supportive. A true friend really wants to know about you and your day even before you have a chance to ask about theirs. Many people I know are more interested in telling you about themselves. A good friendship is a give and take!
    Betsy/Zen Mama recently posted…This Inspirational Movie Can Inspire Random Acts Of Kindness!

    • It’s so good to hear that you have met up with online friends Betsy! Like you I never imagined having online friends at all, but I’m so glad that I do now.
      Totally agree that a friendship is about give and take!
      Carolyn Hughes recently posted…You make my world complete.

    • Betsy, always wonderful to see you! I am glad you connected with some of your online friends. Isn’t it fascinating how we can reach out and become friends just exactly as we would in real life?

      I am so glad I “met” you and Carolyn! 🙂 Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…With Love and Gratitude

  6. Sandi Amorim Reply

    I love this new kind of friendship that’s developed due to the internet! In a way it reminds me of being a penpal as a child. And you both demonstrated brilliantly what I think, that online friendships are just as real and deep as friendship in the ‘real’ world. For me, there’s just online and off. It’s all real 🙂
    Sandi Amorim recently posted…An Invitation to the Bold Life

      • Oh Sandi. I yearned for a penpal as a child but there was nothing doing at home because stamps cost money. I used to write letters to imaginary pals 😀 and feel quite happy. I am certainly glad times have changed and we can now “meet” people so easily and get close.

        I love that we met! And I am blessed to know Carolyn!
        Vidya Sury recently posted…With Love and Gratitude

      • Kaarina and Carolyn – I love the Beatles. You know, when I was in college, every Tuesday was western music day at the college assembly and we almost always sang Beatles songs. I even remember the day we were pulled up for singing “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”. Oh, what fond memories.

        I am loving it that all the people I love are here today! Hugs!
        Vidya Sury recently posted…With Love and Gratitude

  7. Hahaha I started this off with laughing at the thought of as a guy me asking one of my friends “what color underwear are you wearing”.

    I agree friendships are a very important thing, and i’ve also found some good people online that I actually haven’t met but we encourage and help each other.

    -Ben
    Ben recently posted…Make a daily practice of prioritizing your goals

  8. Carolyn, I KNOW how you feel about Vidya. She is the first on my list of online friends I want to meet offline and I enjoy having coffee with her every moment I can. More than a friend, she is a sister. I’ve found I can share anything with her, every joy, every frustration, and best of all, she cares so much she feels it on my behalf too. I’ve made many good friends online and what saddens me is that many people in my offline life would never get “it”. They’d want to make noise about calling someone you’ve never met your sister. But that is what Vidya and a handful of other women I’ve never met personally are to me. I pity those who do not realize that they are holding themselves back from experiencing wonderful relationships because they are wary of “this online thing”.
    Vidya, woman, what I love about you most, is your honesty and your high spirits and your loving personality. Love to you my sis.
    vanita recently posted…Why Bloggers Need To Be Like Spongebob

  9. Glynis Jolly Reply

    Carolyn, it’s nice to see an article about online friendships. Because of disability and moving several times, my closest friends are the ones I have here in cyber space. And yes, I would love to get together with them and have a long chat over a cup of coffee, make that several cups of coffee.

    • Glynis, I’ll always have a large pot of fabulous coffee waiting for you with my favorite mugs. You know you are always welcome. Yes, especially when we cannot move around as much as we would like to, online friends are a blessing. Hugs! So glad you are here today.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…With Love and Gratitude

  10. Jane Hinchliffe Reply

    Vidya, I know your site through Carolyn now and look forward to reading more about your life.

    Carolyn, thank you again for thinking of me and sharing my artwork with the world. I count you as a ‘virtual’ friend. I often think I would love to chat with you in person and hopefully, one day we will!

    I thank you both for being generous with sharing your life, thoughts and experiences with us all. The world is a better place because of you both… xx

  11. Hello Carolyn,

    I like your post. I would also like to share with you one of my experiences, though it’s not related to “online” friendship, but your post has somehow reminded me about this story.

    Once I was taking a nap and my brain has created an interesting dream: it looked like I was roaming in some dark place and suddenly, it was like an insight, I woke up and there was only one thought in my head: “Communication!” If I recall correctly I was thinking that if we’ve got to leave this world someday, and we can’t take with us no money and no other material things, then all that we really have is the gift of communication.

    It happened quite a long time ago (maybe 8-9 years), but I still remember that dream. In fact, that dream changed me: I began to value communication with people more and, of course, my friends – I reconnected with some of my old friends and found new ones as well.

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