I’ve never met her. Never chatted on the phone, or over a cup of tea sitting at a cafe with late afternoon sunlight filtering through the window, revelling in the connection two women get when they sit and savor the moment and share morsels of their lives with kindred hearts and spirits open wide to the possibilities of friendship. Yet, reading her writings at Megan Willome: Have tea. Will write, I feel like I do. Know her. I feel like I am sharing a cup of late afternoon tea, or an evening by the fire, because with everything Megan writes, she takes you into her heart through every photo, every phrase, every gentle vista she creates with her words upon the screen.
Megan Willome has a beautiful heart.
Today, Megan shares her beauty and wonder with us here as a guest blogger.
One day, I hope to share a cup of tea and long, long conversation with her. She’s one of those bucket-list kind of people. The opportunity to meet and sit and have a cup of tea would be such a delight!
Thank you Megan for inspiring vulnerability, for inspiring acts of beauty and wonder with everything you write and share.
Making a Difference: Online Friends
by Megan Willome
I resisted starting a blog for a long time. I already had a steady writing gig with a magazine, and the whole idea seemed pretty self-serving. Finally, a friend convinced me to give it a try.
At first it was pretty unremarkable, and I was OK with that. I wasn’t looking to gain tons of followers, just to write about some things that I couldn’t in my regular job. Some of those things are more spiritual, some are more poetry, some are just musings. But somewhere along the way, a few people started to turn up in my comment box regularly. People like Louise. And long before I’d heard words like “brand” and “platform” — words that would have probably kept me from starting a blog in the first place — I realized I was making friends in the comment section. Someone like Louise would comment in my box. Then I’d comment in hers. Next thing I knew, I had a new friend.
In my life as a woman, my friends make the difference for me. I don’t know how I would get through a single day without them. In fact, if I don’t talk with at least one friend a day (in one way or another), you can bet that I’m sick in bed.
I have a friend that I call about once a week. We have kids the exact same ages and genders, and I won’t make a major parenting decision without talking it through with her. There’s another friend I walk with from time to time, and we discuss books. We’ve both read things we wouldn’t have outside of our friendship.
And then, there are my online friends. Real people, I promise! I’ve met some of them in person at a writers’ conference. But even when we don’t get that opportunity, sometimes we move from the comment section to email. A comment deserves follow-up: “Hey, there. Are you OK?” Then, some of those emails have led to phone calls.
I’ll never forget the first blogger I talked to on the phone. The funny thing is that we didn’t talk on the phone until she was in Texas, only 75 miles away from my house. We were trying to see if we could meet up. As I finally put an actual voice with a written voice, it just made that friendship go even deeper.
But sometimes just the written blog by itself can cement something deeper. One of my online friends has been keeping a secret blog. Well, the blog is out there for anyone to read, but her name and email isn’t attached to it because it’s about some family problems. I’ve been following the twists and turns of this drama, thinking about how brave she is, what a good example she’s setting for her kids. And then she wrote something that stopped me cold. I realized that her situation had parallels to my own.
I emailed her. She emailed back. I wrote back more than she probably bargained for, but she has stayed my friend. She still appears in my comment box, and I still appear in hers (her public blog, not her private one). She started that private blog because she had things to say that couldn’t be said any other way. She wasn’t doing it to gain followers — she has taken great pains to remain anonymous. She didn’t intend to make a difference in my life. But I think that maybe she was writing that blog for me all along.
Thank you, sweet friend.
Written by: Megan Willome