A Means to Survive: A Justification for Blogging

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.0062

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 ofΒ 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.

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105 comments on “A Means to Survive: A Justification for Blogging

  1. merbear74 says:

    Wow. This is how I have been feeling, and I only started blogging in November.

  2. merbear74 says:

    October I mean πŸ™‚

    • Kozo says:

      Glad to know that I’m not desperately seeking friendship, merbear. It is a great feeling, however, connecting with people so deeply and so quickly, isn’t it?

      • merbear74 says:

        I know it’s helped me feel connected. I put my first 5-6 posts on Facebook..no one clicked on it. My friends and family don’t care that I poured my heart out. So I stopped. Plus, for me it is very therapeutic to know others relate to me.

  3. seeker says:

    Blogging is a cathartic experience. One can learn so much from oneself and others because we share a common bond, writing a story of our life. It’s more sharing I call it. My personal reason is about how my faith keeps me on this earth. And from opening up, I meet bloggers like you, Kozo. Isn’t that wonderful? I feel blessed to have met your acquaintance.

    • Kozo says:

      Right back at you, Seeker. I feel so blessed to have made the connections from blogging. I feel like we are symbiotic plants that will continue to thrive as long as we stick together. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  4. I feel like there’s no such thing as looking for love in the wrong places. I think sometimes we look for it in a way that is not necessarily best for us, like scouring a bar for the first roaming traveler to fall in love with (i’m guilty of that) but that type of mentality can also apply if I’m at a fancy business meeting, looking for someone to fall in love with.
    When we are authentic and honest and not craving something to change things for us, each avenue of connection seems to be fruitful for us and others in many cases, at least in my experience. I think it’s beautiful that you know your blog is there for you, and that the extended community you’ve become a part of has been “reading between the lines” so that your whole life is more or less accessible to different people in different ways.
    I hadn’t yet really seen it that way, but I think I’m in a similar position. It is a great thing to see this community for the powerful and space-defying beast that it is. Very fun stuff to think about!

    • Kozo says:

      Indeed, Jennifer. I love what you say about “not craving something to change for us.” I really believe that we enter the blogosphere with little or no expectations that we will find such deep friendships, so when they do occur they are that much more special.
      Love is something that can be found anywhere as long as we are “authentic and honest,” so why not online?

  5. Rosie says:

    I am currently doing exactly what you describe. This is the darkest moment of my life so far. I don’t know what I’d do without my blog and my readers.

    • Kozo says:

      {{{Hugs}}} Rosie, I been there too. I came to blogging from a low point (not sure if it was my lowest ever, but it was pretty low), but this wonderful community helped me change my attitude and my life. I’m positive that you will feel the same way in a short amount of time.
      I read your post on feminism and misogyny, and it really struck a chord with me. I have been thinking about writing a book on misogyny from an educated male’s perspective. You gave me a lot to think about.
      You also brought up a great point about commenting. I used to get upset when no one commented, but you are right, sometimes people need to process the information on their own.
      Thank you for you visit, comment, and wisdom.

      • Melanie says:

        I too started blogging when I was at a pretty low point, and then I went lower. I had no idea that I was going to find such true support. I have built friendships here, and those friendships have made a big difference in my life and my attitude. I have learned from those who are farther along the road, and the peace it has brought my mind is immeasurable.

      • Kozo says:

        So glad you found the support to pull you out of the low point. I had the same experience and I couldn’t be more grateful.
        By the way, Melanie. I loved your starting New Year’s resolutions later idea that you posted on Fish of Gold. Hilarious and useful. πŸ™‚

  6. Russell Bradley says:

    Hi Kozo thank you so much, I enjoyed the energy.
    Happy New Year too you
    Russell

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Russell, for everything. It was/is an incredible experience tuning in to the consciousness we discussed.
      If anyone is reading these comments, click on Russell’s name and schedule a consultation. You won’t regret it. My consultation literally changed my life.

      • Russell Bradley says:

        Hi Kozo
        I have dedicated this post, something you might find interesting

        http://peacelovewisdombliss.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/how-we-are-going-to-do-it-2013/

        Russell

      • Kozo says:

        Just checked it out, Russell. Powerful stuff. I really think that 2013 is a special year. I’m so honored that you chose to release these ideas now. Thank you.

      • Russell Bradley says:

        We all have to constantly remind ourselves that if we become angry we have lost it. If we side with anyone we have lost it,if we follow any one we have lost it. if we believe in any one we have lost it. Because it leads to expectation or the need for approval,or the idea one should judge and give approval.
        Faith abides in that stillness you have found on your own by the waters edge. it requires nothing its foundation is love stick with it

      • Russell Bradley says:

        Just put this single blog site up for the message with a link to b4p

        http://thehaphazardway.wordpress.com/

        just as the fish are being swum ,you are being thought.
        If it brings confusion it is ego,when you switch everything off you only feel the vibration of love.

  7. sofiasiberia says:

    Oh such a deep post! As if you were reading my recent thoughts πŸ™‚
    First, I just loved it “The cause of death is birth” πŸ™‚ And all what you said about blogging and friends is so true!
    I’ve been through ups and downs in my personal life lately and only when I stopped reflecting and started WRITING about it, everything cleared in my heart and head. And through the READING eyes of others I got a clearer and greater insight at everything in my life, as if took a detached glimpse at it from a side.
    I’m also happy that my personal life experiences I was writing about helped people to relate and find a better understanding of their own problems.
    I also have a big family and a lot of offline friends πŸ™‚ But sometimes I feel that those online ones who do read my posts actually know me much better πŸ˜‰
    Wow, thank you so much for the wonderful insight!

    • Kozo says:

      Wow, you bring up such a good point about seeing our lives through the eyes of our readers. Even if we publish a book, we don’t get this opportunity to get immediate feedback from each chapter or each page. Blogging has made this possible.
      I have only known you a day, and I already feel like you know me better than half my real life friends. I look forward to more “conversations” on our front porches.

  8. I think it’s weird to think that if you had actually met them in person rather than via blogging it wouldn’t have been nearly as great or as satisfying. I love that the internet gives people the opportunity to do this. We all become “published” writers in a sense. When people read what we write they’re able to incorporate themselves into our words (that whole “the reader is author too” thing). It’s like their interpretation of “you” is interwined with part of their own self. Not sure if that makes sense… But it’s cool. It’s an experience unlike any other. Thanks for this post.

    • Kozo says:

      I get what you are saying, Crystal. It kind of expands on what Sofia was saying on the comment above yours–how crazy is that. We get to see ourselves through the reader’s eyes and the reader gets to see through our eyes. We actually become one in the process. I bow down to this incredible opportunity to bond with others and learn more about myself. Thank you for your insightful and relevant comment.
      P.S. I am giving you the assignment to join Bloggers for Peace. Just click on the badge in the right hand menu bar. haha Seriously though, I think you will be a valuable member of our team. We need some youth to get Generation whatever-they-are-called-nowadays on board the peace movement. Plus, this will force you to post at least once a month.

  9. Hey if you are looking for love in the wrong place you found it ! Both in person and on screen πŸ™‚
    I love this post (and I sound like a broken record?) and I love knowing you met your wife online..

    Looking forward to January – will the peace blog prompts be first of the month?

    all we are saying….

    x

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Annie. You are one of the first friends I thought about while writing this post. Your porch is in Australia, but we have shared so much. Your blog makes my life better. Thank you.

      Monthly Peace Prompt will be out before New Years…I hope. haha. B4Peace down under.

      • I loved that porch post too – we don’t really ‘do’ porches in the same way down here but it seems such a lovely tradition/habit ? Don’t know the right word…

        Yes, somehow we just know each other πŸ™‚

      • Kozo says:

        You guys don’t do porches down under; you do pubs. haha
        Actually, Aussies do their whole houses from what I have experienced.
        {{{Hugs}}}

  10. iRuniBreathe says:

    Kozo,
    This made me laugh:
    β€œHey, I just met you, and this is crazy,” but here’s my blog name. Comment, maybe?
    Blogging is about community, but only as much as you make it about community. By reaching out and interacting with others, you have also created that same space and energy for people to do likewise.
    I understand what you mean about how you’d blog about a dramatic event in your life. I think so much of ourselves is expressed through our words and if you are sharing them here, your readers understand this part of you.
    Your blog is lovely. I’m glad I found you again.
    Tania

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Tania. I’m so glad that someone got the musical reference. I did a Taylor Swift allusion in a previous post that no one got. I listen to these songs because my 5 year old and 2 year old sons love them. Plus it gets them off the Gangnam Style video. haha
      I love how your phrase “create space.” We are creating a space to interact, just like a porch. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.
      I’ll come visit you soon. I miss your double Freshly Pressed posts. πŸ™‚

  11. JackieP says:

    My best friends are online. The ones that know me the best. It certainly isn’t family. They don’t know me at all. It’s not that I haven’t tried with them, they just don’t get me like my online friends. So I deeply care about all my online friends. I’m pretty sure they care the same for me. A really good post, one I’ve enjoyed reading a lot. Thanks.

    • Kozo says:

      I agree, Jackie. It isn’t so much the people, it is the medium. Blogging gives us an opportunity to read, write, and converse in a way that is not possible sitting around a dining room table. We can think about things and come back days later and make a comment. A week later, someone else might reply to our comment. It is not talking to be talking. It is communication with a purpose, which is a unique and wonderful thing. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for commenting and being a friend.

  12. cindy knoke says:

    My blogging start date, July 6, 2012. It’s up there with other critical dates in my life and signifies BB (Before Blogging) and AB (After Blogging.) And yes, it is hard to explain, but you just did it perfectly. You do get to know people on a very deep and genuine level through blogging, more quickly than face to face, because much of the BS social niceities are thankfully eliminated. Most of the mental health profession doesn’t have a handle on this because they don’t know how to blog. I know, because I am one of “them.” Some do, and are my blogiing friends.
    Great post. It should get wider dissemination…….
    Happy New Year!

    • Kozo says:

      Cindy,
      Thank you for your honest and insightful comment. I agree. We should have blogging birthdays. celebrations around the day you started blogging. Hey, that’s a great idea.
      P.S. My wife is a psychologist. I’ll try to get her blogging and hook up with you.

  13. A Table in the Sun says:

    “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.” I couldn’t agree more!

    • Kozo says:

      It is so sad, isn’t it, Teresa. I’ve actually sent emails to friends telling them I wrote about them on my blog, and they still don’t bother to look at it. Facebook is such a different kind of communication–kind of like a frat party compared to the book club meeting of blogging. Thank God for blogging, because I tired of frat parties freshman year of college.
      Thanks for the comment and the wonderful recipes on your blog.

  14. Blogging is a very deep part of every blogger inner spirit (or it might just be me ;-)The friendships you develop over the connection you have within the blogging community are in my mind every bit as valid as the ones you would have in real life. Often times, what I write in my blog has more to do with the “real” me than one would imagine.
    I think you are establishing true friendships and the community you are nurturing is giving you back the love you send it. Sorry if I am rambling…it’s just because I feel quite strongly about it. I love how open you are about how you feel in regards to your blogging friends πŸ™‚

  15. Adam S says:

    This is a great article, Kozo. You stole my idea!!

    I’ve been thinking about this a long time. Every since I started blogging. The more I write online, and the more people that I meet, the more I realize how much I could care less about so many people in my life. You hit it on the head. All of us communicate daily, but not just “talk”, we talk about highly personal information. In three months, I’m convinced that the people I talk to on WordPress know me better, and on a deeper level, than half my family and all of my friends. It’s a powerful tool, and a powerful connection that you speak of.

    P.S. Diane is great. Met her recently. I’m due to pay her a visit.

    • Kozo says:

      Sorry, I beat you to the punch, Adam. haha. You should still post though, because your post would be ten times funnier, although I thought the “hey I just met you, and this is crazy” line was worthy of RTB.
      I can’t imagine what our relationships are going to be like a year from now. We might have tired of each other by then and say, “Jesus, Kozo, how many times are you going to blog about hitting rock bottom? And stop hugging me. Have you heard of personal space?” haha
      Maybe we’ll all be healed, well-adjusted, self-confident people by then and have nothing to write about. So sad. haha.
      Do you like how I laugh at my own jokes? Now you know why I don’t have close friends in real life. haha

      • Adam S says:

        Kozo, haha. I agree. I might be running out of stuff to bitch about by about March if I keep hanging around here!

        I’ll probably still post something. It’s all unique, even if the topic is the same.

        Thanks for another great post. And thanks for keeping it light.

        P.S. I gave up on the Tagxedo thing. I’m losing my patience, but I can envision it, and it looks fucking (oops) sweet!

    • Kozo says:

      Oh, in regards to Dianne. If you mean Dianne Gray, she is my hero–generous, wise, down-to-earth, and loving. I am finishing up one of her books right now, and it is incredible. Definitely pay her a visit. She is one of my dearest blog friends.

      • Adam S says:

        I follow her. She follows me too, surprisingly! She’s a cool chick. Are you an editor by trade?

      • Kozo says:

        No,not an editor. I edit my profanity because I have young kids, but I am not an editor by trade. I am, like many bloggers, an aspiring writer, so successful, established writers like Dianne are my mentors.
        I don’t know how Dianne can follow so many people and keep up reading all the posts. She is amazing. Lucky us that she follows our blogs.

      • Adam S says:

        I misinterpreted your comment. When you said “finishing up one of her books right now”, for whatever reason, I thought you meant that you were working on it. Which book? And, I will censor myself. I’m getting the bar of soap out…to wash my hands…

      • Kozo says:

        NEVER Censor yourself, Adam. That is what I love about you–that you don’t censor yourself. Don’t worry, my sons are too young to read my blog. haha.
        I’m finishing up “The Eleventh Question,” Dianne’s newest book. It amazes me how she draws stories out of thin air and creates characters and scenarios that she couldn’t have experienced in real life. I feel honored that she is my “friend.”

      • Adam S says:

        Well, I guess I’ll be lewd, then.

        I just got a Nook. From Santa Claus. Sooo, I decided to splurge on The Eleventh Question. $2.99 is well within my budget. She’ll be be happy if she ever runs across this thread haha!

  16. I love this post Kozo! And I love that you met your wife online and just knew she was the one before you met in person. This is the power of the written word! As well, this is the power of our online friendships. I am honored to call you a friend. Thank you so much for sharing your light in the world through your inspirational blog, and know how dearly you are appreciated. You are one of many wonderful bloggers helping to build a very real network of people as close as family. We are an online family of writers working towards peace. Hooray!
    Here’s my cheers for you! Go Kozo Go!
    Hugs, Gina

    • Kozo says:

      Gina, I will never tire of hearing that cheer. My oldest son’s middle name is Kozo, so you can be sure that I will be shouting that out at his basketball games. πŸ™‚
      I never thought about the beginning of my relationship with my wife as the “power of the written word.” I love to think that I created the love of my life through writing. Thank you for this wise observation.
      I am so grateful to have you as one of my closest blog friends. {{{Hugs}}}

  17. kristc99 says:

    Maybe in some ways on line is better. You aren’t distracted by physical appearance and all the snap judgments we can make. There is also a certain distance felt behind a computer that can make it easier to let down your guard and open up your true self. I understand completely what you are saying. I also have had very close internet friends, and know others who have found true love. How good that you did too!

    • Kozo says:

      I see that you are happily married as well, Kristc99. I look forward to hearing about your retirement in Panama. You are right on target with being distracted by physical appearance and snap judgments. I am such a judgmental person; it is amazing that I ever found someone to marry me. Luckily, my wife accepted me as I was, and I made it my top priority to improve myself for her and my sons.
      Thanks you for reading and commenting.

  18. “Are internet relationships this powerful or am β€œI looking for love in the wrong places?””

    I have gained more positive feelings and learned more from my exchanges via blogging than I have through any other exchanges this last couple months. The enjoyment of it has started to spill over into my ‘real’ life, in that I am expecting more of my face-to-face exchanges- I want them ALL to be so meaningful.

    Unhealthy, as some may say it is, I often prefer *reading* how my fav bloggers are doing over *hearing* how my physically present neighbors and friends are doing. You guys have far more meaningful and thought out things to say. I feel kinda bad for saying it, but it’s true.

    I guess part of it is that it’s easier to take what I like, and leave what I don’t like or doesn’t interest me. I’m not obliged to stand and listen politely to what anyone is going on about, even when I don’t want to hear it, or couldn’t care less. … I guess it’s like cherry picking qualities and what’s being said from those I read, and they don’t know or care that I am doing it.

    I also agree with what kristc99 said in the comment before mine- I am expressing true ‘me’ and I feel as though I am getting a more genuine ‘you’. There are no meaningless social rituals, judgments, or needing to excuse or be shy about anything.

    ***
    This was a great post. … I’ve noticed how you use bolding of some sentences in your paragraphs to emphasize points. I like how you do that. It adds something to the whole, like I can *hear* your emphasize of some things in my head as I read. I hope you won’t mind if I try to mimic it sometime (I’m trying to improve my blogging style)

    • Kozo says:

      Thank you for this very thoughtful comment, WNL. I agree with both you and KristC99 that we are free to truly express ourselves here. The funny thing is that it is much more dangerous to expose yourself on a blog than it is in the company of friends, but for some reason, I am never worried about hitting that publish button.
      I also agree with your point about cherry picking which is why I use the bold fonts. I try to make it easy for readers to skim my article. If they like the bold sentences, then they can read deeper. If they don’t like it, then they can move on. Feel free to use the same technique, it is pretty common. I got the tip from a blogging web site.
      Looking forward to Bloggers for Peace. Have a great New Year’s.

  19. I and my wife both had a consultation with Russell (amazingly right on!) and I agree – our connections are what I would call Heart to Heart and don’t go through the oftentimes distracting physical appearances etc. – they sort of go straight to the Essence of each of us here in Blog-Land! Thanks for your views!

    • Kozo says:

      Heart to Heart/Godliness to Godliness or as Russell would say, Consciousness to Consciousness. I couldn’t agree more, Tomas. Grateful to have shared some consciousness with you. Would love to hear about your consultation sometime. Thank you for YOUR VIEWS–I love the pun here: view pages and point of view.

      • The most remarkable about the consultation with Russell was not the “informational content” (which was very right on) but the energy flow, the increase of light influx for both myself and my wife Alia, which we spent the whole next day “digesting” – old programs were brought into the light and disintegrated… Very good work – a great gift he has… πŸ™‚

  20. Dieu says:

    I know exactly how you feel, Kozo.
    Writing poetry for my blog has allowed me to express myself and be creative while connecting with people. I’m naturally an introvert and very quiet, a person who does not reveal too much to people except for close friends. I feel like writing allows me to be the true me, and getting feedback from strangers is so encouraging. I also get inspiration from other blogs like yours and other writers.

    • Kozo says:

      The connection you make with your poetry, Dieu, is straight to the heart. I know you are someone I like and can trust just by reading your poetry. Thank you for being such a close friend who isn’t afraid to share her deepest thoughts through words.

  21. theINFP says:

    Self doubt has hampered my creativity for far too long. Bloggers like you I have encountered in the first few months have inspired and encouraged me to step out of the shadows. I feel part of a community. Thank you.

    • Kozo says:

      I hear you about the self-doubt, INFP. I had the same feelings when i started blogging. Luckily, some experienced bloggers gave me some great advice–give, reciprocate, and keep writing. Thank you for being a part of this community. Let’s make 2013 a year to remember.

  22. Sunshine says:

    any relationship formed whether in real time or on-line connections are powerful. no? you are the third person i know who have met their mate via the internet and are enjoying a solid loving relationship. in the past we had picture bride/mail orders, today it is the internet. in the past we had pen pals via mail service, today we have blogging. πŸ˜‰

    …perhaps, love, (which really is God revealed) wants to be shared and if we are mindful of this love, there is no place we cannot take/find it.

    ❀ abundant peace + love to you and family.

  23. Kozo says:

    So true, Sunshine. Love is God revealed, and we have the opportunity to love in ways that were never possible. I am thrilled to be able to reach out to people from all walks of life, races, genders, and nationalities and offer a smile or a hug. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t life amazing? Isn’t God amazing?
    {{{Hugs}}}

  24. eof737 says:

    Very interesting subject… and you have given me an idea for a post. For now, I’ll say welcome and observe the community closely… there is more to it than meets the eye… πŸ™‚

    • Kozo says:

      I can’t wait for that post, Eliz. You must have built some amazing bonds in the past 4+ years. I’ve seen some of your pictures and you seem to have made a family for yourself all over the world. I look forward to one day tracking you down at a convention and giving you a big REAL hug. {{{Hugs}}}

  25. rarasaur says:

    A beautiful story! I met Dave through a MeetUp group, so yes… sometimes it works out! πŸ™‚ We always talk about how a few weeks of an online relationship equal years and years of real life relationships– just because you get to the point faster, and are able to dig deeper. Love this, and even though you already know it, I wanted to echo your thoughts– in times of darkness, you can count on me! *hugs*

    • Kozo says:

      Thank you so much, Rarasaur. I have already counted on you for so much. I don’t see anymore darkness since I’m surrounded by such wonderful friends.
      P.S. I read the “Beauty” story that Dave wrote for you. You are one lucky Dinosaur. That story was to die for.

  26. I love blogging and the friends I make here, because in real life I would never have made those friends πŸ™‚
    *hugs*

  27. PaulaB says:

    One of my oldest friendships goes back almost 20+ years with a friend I met online. We’ve met 3 times, but she is no less a good friend then some I’ve known my whole life. These relationships, though not conventional, are just as powerful and true as our “real-life” friends. I see a day when most of us won’t even make that distinction…between “real-life” and online friendships.

    I know personally that this blog saved my sanity. I am very grateful to the wonderful friends I’ve met here in the bloggersphere. You are no less important to me because we haven’t met in person…we have met through our words and passions, and that to me is sometimes much more powerful.

    {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

    • Kozo says:

      20 years?? How did you guys connect on AOL? haha
      I have a feeling that we will be saying the same thing 20 years from now, Paula.
      I love the idea of not making a distinction between real-life and online friends. Friendships should be based on quality, not location.
      I also completely agree that how we met is more powerful than where we met. I look forward to years of friendship, Paula. {{{Hugs}}}

      • PaulaB says:

        Anita and I connected on Compuserve in an online newbie forum. For years she thought of me, and probably still does, under my alias back then – Morgy….I was really in to all things Arthur back then.

        I used to think it was unusual that one of my oldest, and most loyal of friends happened to be someone that I’ve met maybe 4 times. No longer though.

        I hope we are friends for many years πŸ™‚

  28. diannegray says:

    Kozo – you made me misty reading this! I feel exactly the same way. There are people I have met through blogging that have truly enriched my life. They are like-minded and caring (and I wish I had written this post because I felt every word you were saying). πŸ˜€

    I only started blogging this year and since then I have ‘met’ people who have made me laugh and cry and think about the world in a whole different light. Being a writer I’ve always been a bit of hermit but this blogging world has really brought me out of my shell. I have friends who care about me, but I feel as if my world has now expanded exponentially.

    I can’t tell you how excited I am about Bloggers for Peace and I’m so glad we met. What a beautiful soul you are {{{hugs}}}

    • Kozo says:

      Dianne,
      Your statement “I wish I had written this post because I felt every word you were saying” describes how I feel every time I read your blog. Except I don’t just wish to have written the post, I wish to be eating fresh fruit on the Farm, accepting awards for published books, quitting my day job to be a full-time writer…haha
      I am so grateful that we can all get together online and change lives–ours and each others’. Now, let’s change the world. {{{Hugs}}}

  29. […] A Means to Survive: A Justification for Blogging […]

  30. Margaret Sullivan says:

    Happy New Year and a big hug.

  31. You expressed how I feel as well! Beautiful hearts you both are.

  32. MindMindful says:

    I love the image of our blogs as “a porch we are sitting on” — I’ve always thought that neighborhoods where people congregate on their porches are safer & more connected than those that don’t. Our “neighborhood” — the blogosphere — is just virtual, but no less real & potent for that:)

    I know too what you mean about blogging pals knowing more about you/us than our “real friends” — I don’t think any of my friends actually look at my blog, & I know my daughter doesn’t. You & other wordpress bloggers know more clearly what the answer might be, when someone says “so, how are you?”

    • Kozo says:

      Exactly, Shala. Isn’t that amazing that we pour our hearts and souls into these blogs and some of our closest loved ones ignore numerous invitations to view it? Yet these same people will spend hours tracking Taylor Swift’s love life or what happened to the last Bachelorette.
      I’m blessed that my wife reads my blog posts and my sons are too young to read.
      I consider you and other like minded bloggers my extended family. I may see my real extended family at all the major holidays, but I see you guys every week.
      It is refreshing to know that you guys feel the same way.

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Great observation Kozo, there’s an old saying, show me the company you keep and I’ll tell you who you are. I consider blogging, time very well spent!

      • Kozo says:

        I guess you can say I’m trying to change who I am by being around incredible company. Like I was telling Adam above, I can’t imagine what we will be like in a few years after building such close friendships through blogging. I’ll have to start a fund for my 5 year old son’s wedding, because the guest list will be HUGE. haha

  33. sofiasiberia says:

    Kozo, send me your email or Fb url to my email please! So that we can discuss the Fb group πŸ™‚

  34. 1EarthUnited says:

    Kozo, what a lovely post you’ve written. I do enjoy our virtual community which transcends space and time. Keep up the great work uniting humanity through Bloggers for Peace! Bless U. πŸ˜€

    • Kozo says:

      I feel so blessed, Maddy, to be a part of this wonderful community. The more bloggers I meet, the more I see your wonderful comments all over the blogosphere. Thank you for helping unite us all with your generosity and positive energy. Your comments are a gift to us all.

  35. KM Huber says:

    Beautiful post, Kozo, and I agree with everyone of your striking images. Ultimate optimist that I am, I believe we are changing the world as in oneness meets technology.

    Karen

  36. Kozo, you made me break my Christmasover for this one. That would be a Christmas-type hangover πŸ™‚ For internet relationships, I say they are as real as the people typing allow themselves to be. Some people like to keep it carefree even if they feel something deeper. Others let the love flow regardless of other obligations, distance and time. Look at how many movements began online. These relationships are powerful and sometimes more fragile than “real life” ones. Because an “in the flesh” friend could always call you up or come check on you if your go M.I.A. But online, you can easily get lost in the shuffle of the endless stream of the next new thing.

    • Kozo says:

      Great point, GM. I have been overwhelmed trying to keep up with my Reader lately since I have followed so many new blogs who are participating in Bloggers for Peace. I can’t imagine what Rarasaur experiences following over 500 blogs. I see how fragile these connections can be.

      • Mmmhmm, I feel the same way. I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up with all the older posts from my reader. And by older I mean the last two weeks. Ahh, such is life. We do what we can until we can do nothing else.

  37. Dave says:

    Kozo- This is a great post!

    Impossibilities are only possibilities in disguise is, a premise of my blog.

    There are no limits, except the ones we place on ourselves. Friendship can obviously be found on many levels. Many may say, impossible, and it is too bad because, they are very possibly missing out.

    Some place limits, call it impossible, and place a judgement but, you have a relationship that proves otherwise.

    Congratulations on cultivating an on-line contact in to a partnership of life-long, friendship & love.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Dave, for the insightful comment. I like the idea of impossibilities being possibilities in disguise. I’ve seen too many things in this world that many would call impossible which makes me doubt anything is impossible. I don’t think we have even touched the surface of what is possible. I am trying to stop judging and just be.
      I look forward to many more impossible moments with you.

  38. So true, great posting! thanks for sharing!

  39. NIKOtheOrb says:

    I have a big grin on my face right now. I am quite happy to be among your internet friends and in the company of some amazing bloggers here at WP. To be sure, I extend the same gratitude and characteristics to you. I’ve only been blogging since October and I have already encountered some wonderful gurus.

    I agree, online friendships/relationships are very much real today. Think about it, as we enter the digital age (where computers are omnipresent and access to the internet is as normal as gas station convenient stores) friendships would also change as a result. As distance decreases as a factor of getting to know someone, friendships formed with people on different continents (perhaps one day, different planets? :-P), and although we may not have ever “met” that person in real life, the relationship/friendship is as real as we make it. And with increasing advances in technology, not being able to “meet” that person may also change. Instead of talking to one another through a screen, perhaps one day we will talk to one another as 3D holographic projections. Then what will the naysayers say? πŸ˜€

    Great post, Kozo. Thank you. πŸ™‚

    • 1EarthUnited says:

      Hi Niko and Kozo! Couldn’t agree with you more, friendship is an awesome state of being when we feel intimately connected on so many levels. I like to think of our blogoshere as a microcosm of universal unity and love. Perhaps physicists/ metaphysicists are theoretically correct – we are 3D holographic projections manifested from a conscious source on some event horizon of a nearby black hole. I’m just happy that we’re all here together sharing this particular time and space, herenow! Infinitely thrilled to be co-creating with you guys, take care!

      • Kozo says:

        Wow, Maddie. So deep, yet “so simpo.” I also believe that we are co-creating this “microcosm of universal unity and love.” Every time we create something from the heart whether that be a post, a poem, a photo, a piece of art, or a comment, we create a reality of love and peace. Let’s keep the love flowin’.
        It is an honor to fly with you guys.

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        ALL ABOARD!! Leaving no-ONE behind, we’re riding the love wave. Each takin’ turns at the helm on the WP PeaceShip. *Peace Out*

    • Kozo says:

      I agree, Niko. It is only natural that friendships to change as technology changes. I can’t even imagine the number and types of friendships we will have in the future. I look forward to being friends with the 3D holographic Tupac, haha.

  40. Alison says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog.
    Since we became nomads, and I started blogging, I have far more contact with my real life friends through the blog than I would have had in real life. OTOH I know some of them don’t even read it. Heck some of my family don’t read it. And that’s OK. Really. People have lives. Now I’m discovering the whole world of blogging friendships. It’s an enriching and fascinating journey. Thank you for your blog.

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