Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Friends I Have Not Yet Met

I suppose I should get out of the house more often, but as it stands at the moment I am savoring the fact that "home" is where I most want to be and I must be subconsciously seeking inspiration wherever I can find it.

Facebook and I have become pretty good pals. It brings friends, family, inspirational quotes, ideas and friends-I-have-not-yet-met into my world on a regular basis.

I know there are pitfalls in getting wrapped up in the world of Facebook statuses. I guess we all find what we are looking for when we scroll down the feed. Different people notice different things.

When looking at holiday photos, it is less about "Where people go" and more about "Who did they go with?" That is what matters most to me.

I notice how different people socialize differently on Facebook. Some share thoughts, others share pictures, many share inspirational quotes, some comment, others don't, some "like" most everything, others dole out their "likes" sparingly so it means a lot to be "liked" by someone who is usually a quiet observer.

I like that Facebook draws friends and family into my days so I see a piece of the world outside of these four walls without having to open the door (this could explain a lot, maybe if I didn't have the world come to visit me on my computer screen I would crave face-to-face contact more! Point to ponder for another day).

I smile at the collection of friends I have accumulated on Facebook. Apparently I have collected a whopping thirty nine friends now. For years, it hovered in the twentyish range. I must have become more popular. Not!!

I don't tally up my Facebook friends and value the number I have amassed. I scrolled down my list of friends and half of them are family. I have a sprinkling of friends from different aspects of my life (dancing, my daycare, Zumba), a few of my Forever Friends, a penpal I have not yet met, a friend I found from my childhood and a few of her friends.

I collected one of these friends purely by accident. I wasn't familiar with the ways of the touch screen on my phone and I accidentally sent out a "Friend Request" to one of her friends. When this friend accepted my request, I was embarrassed. I immediately sent her a message explaining what I had done and told her she didn't have to be my friend. She responded with, "I am going to keep you as a friend.  My thoughts are people come into your life for a reason, there is a reason you accidentally sent the request and a reason I accepted, we just don't know what it is.  It will present itself  when the time is right.  So, welcome new friend." I smile whenever I read this accidental friend's updates and bits and pieces of the storyline of her Facebook life.

Then there is the friend of my friend who "friended" me because she read something I wrote. It touched her, she commented, we became "virtual friends" and have corresponded sporadically ever since.

This friend-I-have-not-yet-met impresses me with every word she puts out into the Facebook world. In a place where people are cynical and unkind, she offers a different perspective to shed a little more light on a subject which is being attacked one-sidedly. Her comments are kind, compassionate and come from a deeper sense of "knowing". She has shared a few paragraphs from a handful of "chapters" of her life with me via private messages and with every sentence she writes, I begin to realize where the depth behind her words stems from.

I have another friend-I-have-not-yet-met and her Facebook persona is different, yet the same. Some people are writers, other people are "feelers". They feel life deeply, they live life deeply, they speak of life deeply but this deepness doesn't come out in the written word. It matters not. I "see" beyond the words because of the letters and correspondence that goes beyond Facebook.

Then there is my friend from real life, who I haven't "known" since junior high school. I love how her Facebook presence is so consistent with the friend I know and remember. The two friends I have "collected" from her friend list mirror a quality about my original friend that I value. My thoughts are people come into your life for a reason ... we just don't know what it is.  It will present itself  when the time is right. There is a reason we have rekindled an old friendship from long ago. Our paths will cross when we are destined to meet again.

I have friends on Facebook that are real life friends and our Facebook friendship doesn't begin to reflect that.

Then there is my family. Facebook cannot begin to encapsulate who my family are to me. Last week, Facebook brought both of my sons into focus as each of them updated their Facebook page with pictures that spoke volumes. I cherish "being there" and "seeing that" when it is fresh and the excitement is new.

My virtual friends, my real life friends, my family and the bigger-than-life-celebrities who I follow - you inspire me, you enrich my quiet little world, you brighten cloudy days.

Thank you, Facebook for enlarging my world. It is up to me to follow through and extend real-life invitations. "Will you be my friend?" is so easy to say on Facebook. Not so easy in the real world. But isn't that a question that rings true to all of us, going back to when we were in Grade 1 and just starting to branch out and meet the world face to face?

"Will you be my friend?" "Would you like to come over to my place?"

In real life, I have to "clean up" before I extend those invitations. The house needs to be cleaned, I should have a shower. Then there is the offering of refreshments...

Yes, I am seeing why Facebook friending appeals to me. I can sit with my morning cup of coffee and I don't even need to brush my teeth if I don't want to. I like to sit still, be myself and not worry about physical appearances. Then again, isn't that what real friendship is all about??

So, to my real life friends who are coming over tonight, if my house isn't perfect and I don't look like I just stepped out of the shower, please accept that as a compliment. It means I trust you with my "real self" and that is harder to do than it appears.

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