Happy FRI-YAY! I hope you had a better week than I did. I feel like I’ve been RACING around this week and my anxiety has been in rare form. I don’t know about you guys that also struggle with anxiety, but mine usually hits when I’m least expecting it and then knocks me down for a day or two. I find working as much as possible and allowing myself to do methodical tasks like cleaning my house, organizing drawers, etc. really help me to calm down. BUT THAT IS A POST FOR ANOTHER DAY: Today, I am going to be talking about 3 girls that have absolutely changed my life and how old fashioned pen pals have gotten a modern day makeover. Let’s dive into this.
A little backstory: I am not someone who has ever had a ton of friends. All through high school I only had a handful of friends – and I am STILL very best friends with my high school bff (check out our joint post together here to get to know her a little better. She is one of my favorite humans and everyone should get to know her). Into adulthood and college, I had a few other close friendships and I am grateful for the relationships I had at that time. And about a year and a half ago, I met three women on the internet that would totally change my life.
If you look on the internet, it’s not hard to find articles everywhere about online dating. It’s very normal and accepted these days with the development of apps like Tinder and Bumble. People don’t bat an eye anymore when you say you met your boyfriend/girlfriend online – but there is still a stigma about meeting friends online for some reason. People get even more weirded out when you are about to board a plane to meet said friends for the very first time.
Last September, Amanda came to visit me all the way from Ohio and I got some comments and concerns regarding whether or not I was prepared to be totally catfished when I picked her up. That same month, I also flew all the way to Philly to meet Erica for the very first time. My parents were mildly nervous I was flying across the country to meet a complete stranger. I am obviously very much alive and well – so no cat fishing here. In fact – these girls are three of the people I consider some of my closest friends.
All of us arriving at the Salt Lake City airport and meeting for the first time (all together that is – we’d all met each other individually) was basically as obnoxious as you’d expect. Flying luggage…squealing…hugs for all. And the best part is – it didn’t FEEL like we’d all never been together. It felt like we’d been hanging out everyday forever. There were a few weird moments when we’d all realize – this wasn’t our everyday life. We didn’t all hang out together all the time. It just felt like such a natural and effortless friendship in person. There was never a time when someone felt left out, never a time when the others ganged up on one person, never a time when we felt awkward or unsure of the friendship.
We definitely all cried when Chelsie took us to the airport. It is never easy saying good bye to your best friends. Because we already miss each other so much – this past week, we all booked a trip to come to Erica in Philly in July because we hated the idea of waiting months and months for another #bloguad trip. We plan on making trips to everyone’s home base sometime over the next year or two. And this time we are all bringing our husbands, too! We figured they need to start an #instagramhusband support group and we already know they will all get along.
I like to think of this fabulous internet bestie relationship as a modern twist to the old fashioned pen pals. I had lots of pen pals in school growing up. Specifically, I remember getting assigned a high school student in Spain when I was learning Spanish. It was a neat experience talking weekly with another student who was just like me – but in another country. I learned a lot about her over the course of the school year, but of course lost touch once my junior year ended. The beauty of today’s “pen pals” is that 1. you get to pick them yourself. 2. you can talk more often than once a week via email. 3. it’s much harder to fake being a 23 year old girl from Pennsylvania when we talk every day via FaceTime and have weekly group Google hangout chats. I was pretty confident I wasn’t being lied to by the time I actually met my friends in person. It definitely also helps that we are all influencers and are very public with our lives on social media (not that you can’t fake that kind of stuff – but there are definitely indicators that put my mind at peace).
This evolution of pen pals is kind of amazing because it allows you to be able to really find “your people” in the world. You don’t have to live next door to someone to recognize a kindred spirit. I think it’s really important to have a support group of people that love you, support you and lift you up when you need it. In return, you need to do the same for them. Obviously, I have people that fit that mold that I DIDN’T meet on the internet, but I think it’s amazing that 3 of the people that love and support me the most were from the world wide web. Wherever in the world you are – I hope that you have people like that that you can turn to when you need it the most.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
Have you ever had an internet bff turned real life bff? What is your story? I’d love to hear all the success stories of you and your long distance present-day pen pals. It makes my heart happy to hear that against all odds – you found your people. Your #tribe, if you will (that one’s for you, mom. I know how much you love that word). Everyone deserves to be surrounded by those who fully believe in them and love them unconditionally.
Also PLEASE ENJOY THESE PICTURES OF OUR EAST HIGH ADVENTURE. I am not going to lie – visiting East High from High School Musical was ABSOLUTELY on my bucket list. #noshame. I am the world biggest HSM fan and if you aren’t on #teamsharpay then I don’t think we can be friends. She’s the unsung hero of the entire trio of movies AND the only one who got her own standalone movie. Just saying.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, fam!
Raise your hand if you are TOTALLY EXCITED for spring! *me me me me me…04 May 2018