In praise of the friendship of women, near and far

I’m going to have this posted to Weddingbee, but when I mention “community,” know that I mean the bigger, broader communities of bloggers and readers connected by Weddingbee.  God bless us, every one. (Yea, yea, I couldn’t resist a little Tiny Tim.)

Warning: sappiness to follow.

I didn’t always have very many (or very good) female friends. Women were scary, frankly, with their cattiness and pettiness and rules I didn’t understand.  I tended to be friends with one girl at a time, until one of us overreacted or under-appreciated and that was that.

I’m so thankful to be so far removed from those days.  These days, I rely on a network of women to keep me sane.  My best friend Jennifer started it all by being so honest and funny and herself that I couldn’t help but be myself back.  From one friendship to a group of women who met for girls’ night, I was surprised to find how comforting the network could be.

Then I got engaged – and I can honestly say that without the fabulous women I met online (and my ever-supportive bff), I’d not have gotten through. You told me I wasn’t crazy and you related, even to my most uncomfortable revelations, and knowing how not-alone I was made everything a little better.  Not once — not one single time — did I regret doing the uncomfortable and posting about something that wasn’t rainbows and butterflies.

After getting married, these same relationships got me through the first year roller coaster. Going from a fiercely independent me to a working-in-tandem “we” was rough for both of us, and again, people online chimed in to say they understood.

And everything was just a little less stormy.

All of this to say, thanks. Thanks for being here, participants in this community of mostly women (hi, little brother) who, despite many opportunities to do otherwise, stay supportive and honest, a tough combination to find in a person, much less a group of people (and women!).  Thanks to my Weddingbee blogger peeps who field my emails (and find time to respond!) on topics varied and ridiculous.  Really.  Shout out to Mrs. Dumpling for answering my question about whether I could continue to wear thong underwear while pregnant (answer: yes), Mrs. Corn on whether she ever had doubts about a natural birth (answer: not really!), Mrs. Seabreeze for offering an ear and shoulder, and so many others for swooping in and talking me off the cliff in all number of ways.  All because we blogged here and that was enough to connect us. Amazing!

And the readers!  Many folks followed me to my blog from my Weddingbee days and were the first to offer suggestions and commiseration when I admitted to rough days and rougher nights (Little Cheese, you are quite the puke-inducer). You guys were my only people when I couldn’t tell my people – about pregnancy, but also about fights with my husband, career woes and personal doubts – and I’m so grateful. Lovely ladies emailed me tip sheets from their doctors, suggested remedies, and just remembered to check in on me to see how things were going.

Have I said thanks yet? Thanks.  Thank you for being there for me, but more than that, thank you all for being there for us all.  This community is a little shining light of awesomeness on the internet.  (I mean, really, can any other community manage to talk about weddings and relationships and babies with so little snark?)

And with that, we will end this undoubtedly hormonally-induced show of sap.  They don’t call me Mrs. Cheese for nothing.

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