So I don't have many friends. I especially don't have any real female friends. I do have great cousins that are female that I don't think I could live without. I have a great sister that is almost my age who I consider also a friend. But, in general, my list of friends is fairly short.
Most of my interests include very few women. I love snowboarding, kayaking, camping, beer drinking, friend food eating, etc... These events are usually swarming with men. I don't mind... a friend is a friend... male or female. But when you are stating to plan your wedding invite list... you do see the lack of women on the guest list.
I found the Sierra Community. I found E-Friends. I speak to many of them every day in Sierra, on Google Talk and now on Facebook. They are both made up of men and women. And we all have the common interest of Snowboarding. We are located all over the world. And for the most part, we really care about each other. In many ways, we are almost more close than our in person friends.
Through the protection of the computer screen, we are able to share things with one another with ease. We can censor ourselves. But that's really not the case with this group. I've met 80% of them in person over the last few months. We've shared stories, beers, food, laughs, inside jokes, and time. I enjoy them online and in person. These people are more than E-Friends. They are just friends now.
The hang up is what other people think. Does Paul understand that these people mean something to me? Is it odd I almost want them at my wedding (but I wont go there)? Is it normal that I miss them when it's been a while since we've spoken? Is it crazy that I've flown across the country to sleep in the guest bedroom of a man I'd never met in person? Is it nuts that I would do it again in a heart beat? Is it nuts I've spent hundreds of dollars to enjoy their company regardless of snowboard conditions?
So yeah, that's about it. I have a strong sense of connection with these people. I enjoy them. And I'm grateful for each and every one of them. I know many of them are not Paul's cup of tea... but that's okay. These are my friends, not his. I can't say I enjoy the company of all the people he calls friend.
I'm grateful for my international friends. My E-friends. I'm grateful for the internet, which connected us. I'm grateful for text message and national calling. I'm grateful for snowboarding because without it, we would have all never found each other. And I'm grateful to Sierra's Community, because it's where we all fell into place.
=) Thanks for my Friends!