I love my wife to death. She is part of an inner circle club that has only ever had two members: me and her. She loves and accepts me with all my flaws, inadequacies, and mistakes. She is quite literally a part of me.
Maybe it is because of the tragic events that occurred earlier this month. Maybe it is because I study Buddhism (Bad Buddhist joke: Why did the Buddhist doctor get fired? Because he put down “birth” every time he had to answer “Cause of Death.”). Maybe it is because I am trying to be more empathetic with those who are grieving, but I have been thinking about what it would be like to lose the most significant bond I have made.
What would I do? Who would I turn to? How would I survive?
And the answer that keeps popping up over and over is “I would write about it…on my blog.” Amid the barrage of criticism from family members, psycho-therapists, and well wishers, I would get on my blog as soon as possible and spill my grieving guts out to anyone who happened to click on my URL. Some may call me crass. Others would say that I was an opportunist trying to monetize a tragic event. But for me, it would be a means to survive.
You see, when I really sat down and thought about it, some of my closest friends are bloggers who I have only known a few short months. Don’t get me wrong, I have tons of “real” friends and an incredible, loving extended family. But most of these real-life people have never read between the lines of my life, much less clicked on one of the 45 links to articles I posted on my Facebook page.
On the other hand, some of my close blogging friends know things about me that I didn’t even know about myself. Close “friends” like NIKOtheOrb, Dianne Gray, Rarasaur, Mirth and Motivation, Professions for Peace, Sunshine, Bodhisattvaintraining, and The Temenos Journal have lovingly read and commented on many of my most personal confessions (notice I don’t use real names because I don’t know the names of many of these friends).
So what if I have never met them in person. Sure they might not come and visit me in the hospital if I was incapacitated for a few months, but I guarantee you that when I finally got back online, they would be the first to ask, “Where have you been? Are you ok?” while many of my real friends would not even have noticed that I was missing.
One of the first Freshly Pressed articles I read was Kathryn McCullough’s “Redefining Front-Porch Culture: Bloggers and a World-Wide Notion of Neighbor.” In her post, McCullough argues that blogs, like front porches of old, “create a shared space, become a place where friendships form and lives change.” To be honest, I don’t even know my next door neighbors and I live in a condo where the next door is right across the hall. My blogging neighbors and I, however, have “talked story” for hours on our front porches, even though some of these porches are continents apart.
I just had a consultation with one of the bloggers I met through Bloggers for Peace. Russell Bradley practices “Extrasensory Dynamic Feedback.” Call it what you will, all I know is that within 30 seconds of a transcontinental Skype call, Russell knew more about me and my life’s path than my therapist of 7 years could offer after countless hours of deep conversation. Being an Asian American trained in the Sciences, I’m a skeptic, but I also know that there are some things that science can’t explain. And the connection between people is one of those things.
Case in point, I met my wife on the internet through online personals, and, crazy as it sounds, I knew I was going to marry her before I met her in person. We had an email exchange that felt better than any intimate encounter I had ever experienced. Scoff if you will, but we are going on eight years with two beautiful children.
I guess what I am trying to say is “Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy,” but here’s my blog name. Comment, maybe?
Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.
Are internet relationships this powerful or am “I looking for love in the wrong places?” Please share.