I am one of those people who believes that some people come in and out of your life for very specific reasons. While some things are left to chance, there are some things that are just meant to be. I feel that way about my husband and I feel that way about some of my very good friends.
The story of how my husband and I came to be is something that can be made into a romantic comedy and is completely worth a tell… but that’s for later. What I want to share today is how I met my bff. I think it’s a story that is worth sharing.
Next month marks 6 years that I have known “Skaty”. I met her in the most unconventional way and our friendship has remained just that – unconventional. Beautifully unconventional and incredibly real.
There was a time in my life where I was heavily addicted to an online game called Second Life. It’s important to understand that I was in a place in my life where I was unhappy, bored, frustrated and disconnected. I am sure some of it had to do with my relationships at the time and the sadness of losing my mother two years prior. Whatever the case, I was lost and I was reaching for something, someone, anything to fill the void in my life.
On Valentine’s Day in 2008, I created my first “avi”. I played SL off and on and even made some friends. It certainly gave me something to do and the voids became smaller and smaller, though everything was very artificial. However, there was a creative element in game that I was extremely fascinated with and before long, I was consumed by this virtual world. I would spend ridiculous stretches in game. Hours and days and months and years…. I was truly “living” online when I wasn’t working.
Now, I won’t say that all my time in game was completely wasted because I did have the opportunity to meet many people from different cultures all around the globe. It was an interesting period in my life – but that is also another story from another time.
In November of 2010 I met Skaty through a mutual acquaintance online. We met in game and our friendship in game seemed to bloom at record speed. An important thing to understand is that when you meet people online – all you have is conversation. You can learn about that other person pretty quickly. Because of this, relationships move at a seemingly unnatural speed – for the good and for the bad. I’ve experienced both. My friendship with Skaty moved quickly and for the good (obviously!).
|Our avitars: “Skaty” & “Kel”|
Rather than typing convos all the time, we Skyped often while our avitars explored the worlds in game. We spent many late nights talking and laughing to the point of tears. Our friendship outlived that of the mutual acquaintance that we once shared. People came in and out of our very exclusive circle. Some lasted and others did not. We talked nearly every single day and appointed each other “BFF” status in world and in real life (IRL), even though we had yet to meet IRL.
A year and some months into our very close friendship I went through a very personal and very real event. I needed to talk to someone. I needed my BFF. One of the first things I did was go to Skype to tell Skaty what was happening in my life. I cried to her, I shared my fears, I showed my weaknesses – I left myself completely vulnerable to this person that I learned to love as a sister without ever meeting in person.
It was through this that Skaty and I decided it was time to meet. She knew I needed someone and so Skaty was going to drive across states to come visit me at my house and give me the company that I so needed because this is what a true friend does.
I can still recall hearing her car pull up into my driveway and “meeting” her for the first time. I remember crying as I hugged her for the first time. This was my soul sister! There was nothing virtual about our friendship. I felt it in my bones.
Our friendship has supported plenty of highs and lows in each other’s personal lives. We definitely do not agree on everything and we couldn’t be any more opposite than we are. But… that is what makes our friendship so perfect. We balance each other. She gets me and I get her. Skaty goes along with my crazy ideas and I try to convince her to run after her dreams. do it…write your Harry Potter!
After we met in person, I started going online less and less. I think I felt that I had outgrown that virtual space or maybe I realized that I found what I was looking for from that world. Whatever the case, I didn’t need to be there anymore and haven’t looked back.
Life moves quickly still. Though we don’t get to Skype every day, we are still very connected. I’ll text her if I need a laugh or to vent or just because… We visit each other and she is very much a part of my family now. She was the matron of honor in my wedding and is “auntie” to my daughter. All the big things in life include her in some way – as they should. And I still cry when I get to see her or have to hug her “goodbye”.
I am not a gaming type and never really was. I truly do believe that there are some things that just happen because they are supposed to. There is no other way that I would have had the chance opportunity to connect with my bff, my soul sister otherwise.
…and that is how I met my BFF. xo