Saturday, 18 August 2018

The magic of the Internet

I was never a person with many friends. In fact, my (perceived) lack of friends was my number 1 worry for all of my childhood, teenage years, and early/middle (is that what you call your twenties and early thirties?) adulthood. I was never completely friend-less; but I always worried about 
a) the ones I had leaving me 
b) I should have more friends
c) not having the "right" (aka "cool") friends
d) being a bad friend, because I'm a terrible person
e) ending up alone. 

That's the majority of my life in a nutshell. It was a terrifying, stressful, lonely way to live. 
But when I started blogging in March of 2013, things changed. Slowly, I began to see that there was another world out there beyond the random world of co-workers, neighbours, and people I grew up with. Now, I started to connect with like-minded people, people who lived in a way that made me want to be bolder, braver, and more like them. 
I never had that before. 

I've now been blogging for over 5 years, and one of my most favourite parts is still how these people I've never met inspire, encourage, and guide me. I've made friends with people I've never met, but who have helped me in countless ways over the last few years: they helped me find my voice, live a little louder, and do the unthinkable: follow my crazy, wild, unrealistic dreams. 

This post is about a few of them.

Mary used to have a blog, but disabled it a couple of years ago to focus more on her Instagram and other pursuits. She's the one I credit for bringing me back onto my yoga journey 3 years ago, something I will always be grateful for. She's been part of my life for at least 4 years now, and despite never having met her, I feel like I know her. We are similar in many ways, from wanting to live small with little stuff, to loving nature and yoga, being spiritual and believing in the positive power of the universe (she's way ahead of me in that regard, being once again a role model), to both having married relatively young and still loving our guys now, more than ever. I love her. 

Sam appeared on my radar a few years ago - maybe 3? I'm not sure exactly when, time is weird. She's way younger than me (early to mid twenties), but she's a huge inspiration in my life. You see, Sam is a free spirit. She's been travelling by herself for the last 5+ years, and she's never afraid of a new challenge. When I debated accepting a job that would have me living away from home a week at a time, twice a month, her courage and fearlessness were amongst the deciding factors for me to go for it. I asked myself, "what would Sam do?", and I know without a doubt that she does not shy away from a challenge. Does it matter that I've never met her in real life? Not at all. We've been reading each other's blogs for years, kept up with each other on social media, and I know her. She's one of my heroes. 

I found Nova's amazing blog Advice I Needed Yesterday through the one and only The Bloggess. I was intrigued by the name (it's so relatable - couldn't we all have used advice before we messed up?!), and as soon as I started reading, I knew that this girl is special. She's a fearless badass (she quit her job in NYC over 2 years ago to travel full-time, solo, all over the world, making a living by writing), and her writing is sharp, witty, and deeply insightful. I'm in awe of her. She does what I never dared to, which is live life according to her rules, and she writes about it absolutely beautifully. As soon as one of her posts appears on my feed I drop everything, sit back, and read it rapturously. She's the kind of woman I strive to be. 

Suzy is a lifestyle-blogger, accomplished author, yoga-teacher, and a silver-streaked goddess. I did a feature on her a while back, because I think she's absolutely amazing. She is proof that the dream is possible: she's a full-time writer, blogger, and yoga teacher, and she and her husband have been together since she was 16! I love long-lasting love. Suzy is an incredibly generous, kind woman, and I'm proud to call her my friend. Who cares that we have never met in real life? We share a lot about ourselves in our writing, and I always think of her having written 12(!!) novels when I'm looking for excuses not to write, making me want to work harder. She's my writing- and aging-in-silver-goddess-glory inspiration!

Liz is her own woman. She introduced me to the concept of slow living, something I didn't know existed. She's completely in tune with nature, the seasons, the moon, her spirituality, emotions, and the universe, and it's breathtaking. She doesn't care to fit in, and she doesn't need to; people flock towards her, because she's a natural leader. She's also an expat, born in North Carolina, now living in Sweden with her wife Lina. She used to be married to a man, she almost was a minister, and she's now a mentor and life coach for high school students and for you, if you want to - just click here.
She's blazing her own trail, and I love following along on her journey through life. She grounds me,  and she shows me daily how to appreciate the small things in life. I did an in-depth profile about Liz here.

I'm almost 100% positive that Shannon has no idea what impact she left on my life. But she was one of the central forces helping me finally find peace over an issue that had plagued me for years. 
Shannon used to run the blog Brass Honey. She stopped writing it in early 2016, but in the 3 years before, she became a great influence on my life. 
Shannon is outspoken and unapologetically honest. She was one of the first women I ever encountered who were "child-free" by choice, and I was enthralled. I didn't know that this was a thing! In my world, the only women who didn't have kids couldn't have them - nothing else was acceptable. I already knew that I didn't want to have kids, but I found it difficult having to explain it over and over to people. Shannon not only showed me that it was my choice - she also taught me that I didn't owe anyone an explanation. It was a real eye-opener. 
We are not really in touch, so I'm hesitant to be as presumptuous as to call her a friend - but I know that if we'd meet in real life, we would get along like a house on fire. I will never forget how  much she helped me during a difficult time in my life, when none of my IRL friends could relate. 

There are more online friends, but I'll stop here for now. I have a feeling there will be a second edition to this post coming soon - my Internet friends deserve it! They have been just as real as any friends I have IRL - sometimes more so. I don't walk around baring my heart the way I do in my writing, so many of these friends I've never met know me more intimately than the people who see me every day. 

The Internet can be magical. 

xoxo Miriam  

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8 comments

  1. The internet is magical! I love my online friends!

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    1. Same here! The internet has brought a lot of joy into my life, I'm so happy we live in a world where it exists.

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  2. Awww - you’re so sweet. Thank you so much! I enjoy your writing too & im glad our paths crossed.
    Xx - nova

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    1. Right back at ya! I really want you to publish your book, the world needs more of your writing!

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  3. Ah, I love this!! Not only do I love seeing people appreciate other people, but now I have new blogs and Instagrams to follow! Thanks, Miriam!

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    1. I'm often guilty of forgetting to celebrate the good people in my life, I should do it way more often. You and Nova inspired me, you both did that recently and it feels so nice! It's fun to spread love around.

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  4. Miriam, I am the one who is honoured to know you! You are an inspiration to me, my friend. I just love that you wrote this post (and I'm sorry I didn't come straight over to read it!) and I cannot wait to read more of your writing!
    Hugs hugs
    Suzy xxxx

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