Meeting an Internet Friend IRL // from blogging to besties

Sunday, April 22, 2018



Hello, lovely people! Yes, I am back again.

Today I have a very exciting story to share with you. While it is something that happened over a month ago, it is still very important & special to me. I've been wanting to write about this ever since it happened, but honestly, I needed time to process the whole thing. It was just so life-changing!!



On March 10th, 2018, I met my Internet Bestie for the first time...

But who is my Internet Bestie, you ask? And how did we meet? What lead up to the meeting?? TELL USSSSSS NOW!!!!

Well, fine. Don't rush me, invisible people.

About 4 years ago, when I was just a fledgling blogger, I stumbled across a cute little blog called "Wendy Greene" that was apparently run by a girl named Wendy Greene. (Thank you, Captain Obvious!! *strikes a pose*) I enjoyed Wendy's blog very much, admired the design, and found that she was a precious individual!

If I remember correctly, we had just connected through the Twitter community when Wendy decided to host a book giveaway. (We all know I'm a sucker for those!!) So I entered. And, contrary to the usual outcome of my giveaway entries, I WON THE BOOK. I was sooo thrilled to have FINALLY won something for what seemed like the first time in my life.

After that, we started chatting even more through Twitter, because it was like we had an icebreaker & a reason to talk. And guess what? We found out that we had A TON of things in common. Like, it was almost scary.

Months passed, we chatted more and more, and we started making other mutual friends who we'd chat with together. Honestly, this was a delightful experience, and I have very fond memories of those days of blogging mixed with crazy Twitter group chats.

BUT THEN....... *pause for dramatic effect*

... the summer came, and Wendy and I started writing fanfiction.

YES, FANFICTION. *le cringe*

It was ridiculous fanfiction, really. Quite terribly written & enormously cringy, we both agree. However, we still had an amazing time. It was like having a penpal/fangirl/best friend all rolled into one!! You see, each of us would take turns writing a chapter of fanfiction, while the other waited to read it. Then, as soon as the other had read the chapter, we'd have to flail about it together via Twitter DMs. After that, it was up to the other person to compose a new chapter.

All joking aside, that summer was the BEST summer. All of my memories of that period of time were splendidly happy, and I was always looking forward to something. In this case, it was terribly silly fanfiction, BUT HEY... It could've been worse.

But later on during that summer, Wendy informed me that her name was actually NOT Wendy Greene. "Wendy Greene" was merely a pseudonym or a pen-name for my dear friend, Nichole Dixon.

Honestly, I wasn't too shocked to find out that "Wendy" was not actually a "Wendy." BUT IT WAS SO  STRANGE TO READJUST. However, once her true identity was revealed, it was like our friendship blossomed even more than ever!! There was a new side to my friend that I hadn't seen before, but we were finally able to open up completely.

Before I knew it, we were FaceTiming each other once a week, chatting about how much fun it would be to meet up "in real life."

.........


Fast-forward nearly three-and-a-half years from that point.

Nichole messaged me with a splendidly scrumptious proposition. An idea so wonderful and impossible, I could hardly believe what I was reading...

She suggested us meeting up in 2018; Spring Break, precisely. Her plan was fairly simple. She would fly to Texas (yes, I am from Texas, in case you didn't know! *unironically finger-guns*) and I would pick her up from the airport and take her home with me, where we would spend Spring Break together.

Needless to say, I freaked out.

Honestly, I had spent so long dreaming of the day that I could meet this wonderful human in person, that it had turned into this crazy fairytale in my head that I thought would never actually happen. So the fact that there was a legitimate possibility of this event occurring scared the living daylights out of me!

I kinda laughed the idea off right at first because I was basically terrified of getting my hopes up. All too often had the concept come up in conversation to no avail. But this time was different. Nichole confidently explained the in's and out's of her plan to me & convinced me to think about it and discuss it with my family. (Which, let's be honest, it didn't take that much to convince me... I flatter myself.)

A few days later, Nichole brought it up again. It was then that I realized that she wasn't kidding. She actually wanted to come see me. It wasn't some kind of practical joke that someone was playing on me. My Internet Bestie was ACTUALLY trying to make a meetup happen??

I finally caved and mentioned the idea to my mom, who was very chill about the whole thing. She said that Nichole would be more than welcome & that she and my dad would be thrilled to have her stay with us.

Again, I freaked out.

This dream was potentially going to become a reality for us. We were finally going to meet, after being friends for nearly 4 years. It was hard to fathom. It was as though my brain couldn't compute the idea of me physically meeting one of my closest friends of all time.

What an idea.

I told Nichole that I had the family's OK, and that she was free to come over. Nichole started searching for tickets very soon afterwards, and the plans were more formally discussed.

Nothing really started to solidify in my mind or heart until the tickets were purchased. Once I got that text from Nichole saying that she had paid for the tickets, my mind went nuts.

THIS WAS REALLY HAPPENING... OH MY GOSHHHHHH *flailing*

Up until this point, we had kept everything a secret. We had decided that it would be funny to not mention our plans because we wanted to surprise all of our internet pals with a selfie at the airport out of nowhere.

BUT....... that didn't mean I wasn't gonna tease everyone & hype them up for it.


.........


March 10, 2018, was simultaneously one of the best and most terrifying days of my life. I woke up, was instantly hit with a shot of adrenaline, and jumped out of bed. I was gonna hug one of my favorite people for the very first time later that day. And that thought was a happy one, but it also made me insanely nervous.

What if Nichole was disappointed with who I was? What if I was subconsciously acting like a totally different person when we FaceTimed & she suddenly discovered that I was a COMPLETE FRAUD & LEFT UPSET AND SAD, ALL BECAUSE OF MEEEEE?????

Well, my paranoid brain was wrong.

When Nichole and I met, it was one of the neatest moments ever. I caught a glimpse of her through the airport doors, and I ran over to wrap her in a hug. We were both trembling with nerves and excitement, but after that initial hug and our first "hello," the weirdness slowly melted away.

It was surreal standing there, face-to-face with the girl I had been talking to nearly every day for so many years. She was a living, breathing, thinking human bean---just like me. And she was my friend. That thought still warms my heart.








.........


Our week together was unbelievably amazing. We grew closer as friends & as sisters in Christ. We laughed until we cried. Conversely, we cried until we laughed. We had random dance-parties, carpool karaoke, and many YouTube marathons. We swapped funny stories, shared ideas, and even gushed about our celebrity crushes. We even filmed some fun YouTube videos, you can check out here!

It was a magical time.









.........

But honestly, one of the coolest things about meeting Nichole was finally being able to mention my Internet Friends in passing conversation & not get weird looks. Like, I was able to bring up a funny-yet-obscure moment with some of our mutual Twitter Friends, and Nichole KNEW who I was talking about. We were able to discuss how much fun it would be to meet up with so-and-so from such-and-such blog, and how awesome it would be to hang out for coffee and lunch with different Twitter Pals we love.

It was like I had finally met someone who knew and understood a very important part of my life that I had been keeping mostly private for so long. It was refreshing, and it made me feel validated.

Not that I needed to be validated. I know that my Twitter/Blogging/YouTube presence could be something that I discuss on a regular basis with people... but it's something that I've chosen to keep low-keyed. I will say that I have been MORE open about it in the recent months, but I'm still nowhere near comfortable enough to give my blog address and all of my social handles to everyone I meet. (One day!!!! *crosses fingers*)

But like I was saying, it felt nice to meet someone who understood completely. It just feels great when you run into someone who just "gets" you in specific areas of your life. Especially areas that you tend to be scared to share with the rest of the world. Because of the internet, I have made a friend for life.

In the end, if you have a shot at meeting up with your blogger/Twitter pals, go for it! (Obviously make sure that the person is ACTUALLY your friend & not a creepy axe-murderer, but ya know... DETAILS lol.) But my point is, you don't have to wait for some big, huge, expensive convention! You can just hang out at a coffee-shop or your house. It doesn't have to be extravagant.

Seriously, after comparing notes, Nichole & I both agreed that our favorite moments during our visit were the ones where we just hung out around my house in sweatpants, doing literally nothing. Go figure! Two introverts can be happy staying at home, doing introverted things.

All that to say, I am so glad for the time I got to spend with Nichole. It was hard to say goodbye, but it made me look forward that much more to getting to see her again. I am also happy to say that now I have 3 close friends "in real life" instead of just two. *giggles* (You think I'm joking..... you poor soul. *sweats*) This has been a life-changing experience, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.






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