When I set out to start this blog, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My intention was to simply use the forum as a writing exercise. Period. I knew I had some talent with words but I also knew I had a lot of room to grow. So I dusted off my keyboard and went to town writing. I kept a regimented schedule of two essays a week and made a concerted effort to roam the blogosphere in search of guidance and inspiration. Along the way, I became a steady reader of certain sites. And curiously, I amassed a little following of my own.
In Philadelphia, blogging is about as popular as eating a cheesesteak topped with pineapple or pronouncing the Eagles any other way than d’iggles. Meaning, there are no networks or social gatherings like you might find in hipper cities like Boston and DC. We don’t have happy hours on Thursday after work or mingling brunches on Sunday before the weekend officially ends. In fact, up until recently, I never even read a blog by a fellow Philadelphian. Odd considering we’re one of the largest cities in the damn country.
As my corner in the blogosphere evolved, my interaction with other bloggers increased. I started to randomly email with Kris and Sean and Ryan and in turn I started to get to know these writers on a different level. It’s sort of like Match without the anxiety of being judged or liked. Plus I don’t have to shave or worry about putting out.
In the past year, I’ve had the chance to come face to face with a few bloggers. I threw back drinks with Kris, Stacy and Amie while attending BlogHer. Sean came to Philadelphia for a conference and after we agreed upon a detailed pact I had meticulously formulated – he would neither rape nor kill me and I would neither rape nor kill him - I gave him a grand tour of the city with a finale of beer, mussels and burgers at Monk’s. I roamed the halls of the Phillips with Ryan before settling in at a table in her neighborhood to have girly chats over ginormous cups of coffee.
There are a lot more people I’ve never met but feel like I know. So much so that I can confidently claim they’re friends. Like Theresa, a complete stranger who has graciously assisted me with my grad school crap, has offered her sofa if I ever work my way toward Fairbanks. And I know Kenneth would pop by my hotel in San Francisco if I attend BlogHer in July. KB would take me on a really tame biking trail if I ever land in San Diego. Preppy would happily show me the best of Vermont and I know MiniJonB would spin me some tunes if I ever passed through Michigan. And if I’m going to end up in that state, I might as well meet Croaker for some pizza. Inarticulate Fumblings & Marfs would most certainly show me around Vancouver, all the while making me laugh until I peed my pants. Carpe up in the Yukon would let me tussle her puppy and Desiree and Leisel would most definitely adopt me as their honorary sister if I passed through their part of Cali. And don’t even get me started about the damage Red or Ms. Dish and I could do in their respective home towns. And the list goes on.
More often than not, when a relationship with a boyfriend goes south and he claims a desire to still be friends I decline, saying something like 'I already have enough friends' before turning on my heel and heading back to my solo existence. But if this crazy little blogosphere has taught me anything, it’s that my flippant response is further from the truth.