me, in 2001, with friends.
through the accidental magic of film cameras.
I don’t exactly make friends easily.
I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older, and have been thrust into situations that have taken me outside of the real-life group of girls I’ve been proud to call mine since the age of 13. These forced interaction situations—camps/trips, college, study abroad, work, film sets—where I can generally make friends in my shy, gradual way, have a solid history of working way better than parties or bars, where I’m usually a complete mess.
But as one gets even older (womp womp), those types of situations kind of thin out, and honestly, I can barely keep up with the friends I do have half the time.
Enter the internet.
Yup, I’ve had a history of internet buddies too.
Oh yeah, it’s confession time.
I wrote fan fiction.
About the TV show Roswell. (And maybe Harry Potter, but let’s not give away all my secrets.)
There was a lovely group of girls (and a few guys) called the Raddish Brethren (long story), who absolutely rocked my world. They took a horrible socially anxious (no seriously, I was medicated) teenager, and gave her an escape. They didn’t know about the anxiety and depression, and the stress of senior year with the tests and the college applications and the what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-with-my-life (which someone could’ve told me DOESN’TGO AWAY), and the prom and the drama.
They just talked about television, college, jobs, and life after high school from their lofty perches of a few years older than me. And writing. Oh, the writing. It didn’t matter that we were writing about Roswell. We were writing, and reading, and critiquing and loving.
That group of online friends got me through a really shitty time without them even knowing it. They taught me that I could put myself out there, and people would still accept me, and I took that knowledge with me to college and beyond.
And then somewhere along the line, I think I kind of forgot.
Nearly a year ago, in the midst of another (still ongoing) stressful time in my life, (Because let’s face it. For most people being engaged isn’t fun. It is many things, some of them good, some of them bad, but it is rarely fun), I found A Practical Wedding.
And it was a game changer.
Not only because the content gives me the coping mechanisms to get through this process not just unscathed, but actually having learned a thing or two, but because of the plethora of smart, engaging (DERP! Is that a derp?) women.
The kind of women I need in my life during this process. And really, for always.
So from day one, despite my social [and virtual] anxiety, I just jumped right into commenting.
But then, a lot of these smart, fabulous women had blogs. Where they were smart and fabulous. And when I starting reading them, I allowed myself to get really, really intimidated by said smarts and fabulousness, because, as someone easily intimidated and dissuaded, my blog and lest we not kid ourselves—life, is pretty lazy and half-assed.
Thus the onset of blogxiety:
A debilitating inferiority complex that prevents one from fully interacting with or learning from all the awesomeness around you, and sends you crying into your room that you’re “just not good enough.”
And so I often lurked, sometimes commented, and almost always felt intimidated by these lovely ladies and their blogs. The anxiety would start as a pit in my stomach that grows into a screaming “not-good-enough” monster until I’d have to close the window.
That is, until a few months ago when I swallowed my fear, and joined Twitter, and started to get to know these awesome ladies of the blogosphere that much more. When I think about it, this alone is quite a triumph of courage over blogxiety. As someone who seriously flounders when it comes to initiating a friendship, Twitter goes against all my principles of “speak when you’re spoken to.” But I’ve tried to swallow the fear, just pipe up, and butt in, and I think so far people like me… maybe… I hope.
Now [most days], I can read the awesome blogs of these awesome ladies and feel supportive of such wonderful women going around and changing their worlds and the worlds of others, instead of scared shitless that I’m not that cool.
(Because really, being cool is something I don’t have control over. I didn’t in high school, and I don’t know. Being cool is in the minds of others, which I have no control over.)
Since I’ve come this far, I want to push myself even further out of my shell and make a scary request:
A lot of you, who may or may not actually read this, have mentioned or written about your honeymoons on your own blogs. Or maybe you haven’t. But chances are either way you’re soon going to get an email from me (or you can email me first and volunteer! less scary!) asking you if you’d consider guest-posting on my new blog about honeymoons. Because I know you all have awesome stories [and pictures!], and I’d like to hear [see!] more of them!
Ok, enough of this scary stuff, next week is all about wedding photographers and engagement photos! Good times and lots of pretty!