Here's the thing about the internet. I'm beginning to see it as a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, I love the people I've met, the friendships I've made and therefore the unbelievable support I've received from awesome friends and perfect strangers - even when I told you I didn't want it. (But god, thank you.)
And then there's the other side of things. You get to know ALL these people - these amazing, wonderful, incredible people you would have never known had it not been for blogging and twitter and conferences and meet-ups. Which is awesome. But then shit, total shit happens to these people - your friends whose lives you've become invested in - and now you hurt for them. You ache. You feel hopeless and angry and devastated but you're not just a block or two away from them like you are from your "in real life" (gag) friends; you're sometimes thousands of miles from them and here you sit, feeling useless and frustrated and scared for a dear friend - one whose relationship you can't even begin to explain to the people you meet face-to-face daily because, my god, they would just never 'get' it.
Part of me wants to just quit this internet business... the blogging, the twittering, the whole bit... It's the quitter in me that thinks, god, it'd be so much easier to just care about the very few people in my 'real' life than to put myself out there emotionally for the thousands I've grown so fond of through monikers and avatars and URLs. Because sometimes I'm selfish like that. I want what's easiest. Because I'm tired. Because the more people you know, the more bad shit you hear and frankly, fuck, ENOUGH ALREADY! I can't do anymore. I can't watch my friends dissipate and fall apart or have their lives lost or lose loved ones or go through personal hell and psychological roller coasters of torment constantly. I can't even handle me.
But then? Then I remember what it feels like to be the one who is feeling hopeless or sad or just needs a little support and these same people - most of whom I'd never recognize if I passed them on the street - bend over backward to send their virtual hugs and thoughts and prayers my way. Even when I thought I didn't need or want it.
There's nothing like this network/community/village of people we've built in our little chunk of the big bad internet and when it comes down to taking the easy, selfish way out or sucking it up and putting myself out there for the people who do the same for me, there's no contest. While so many regard the internet as a dangerous playground for deceit and corruption and scams, the truth is, the internet has renewed my faith in humanity on more than one occasion now and as a stubborn, cynical, pessimist I can never be grateful enough.
Anissa's situation has obviously hit hard with me; the timing impeccable with my last post. I ache for her and her husband and children - I can't help but put myself in her position which just terrifies me to my core.
My thoughts are with you, my friend, DEMANDING a quick Anissa-like recovery. The internet needs and misses you. xoxo