The world is a funny place. We see “New York, I love you” the first time we “meet”….fast forward two years, your photos inspire me to move to NYC. And then, it’s a coffee date with one of your friends that leads to the interview that leads to the job that I’m off to this morning on Madison Avenue.
(postcard from NYC, 10/3/2012)
Christine and I started following each other on Twitter back in 2009 after we were both mentioned in the same local article. A few casual tweets followed, and before I knew it, we were making plans to meet up at the movies. I had never done anything like that before, and I remember Brett asking cautiously as I flew out the door, “Wait….you’re meeting a girl at the movies? From the Internet?!” It seemed preposterous at the time (little did we know I’d be making a lot of friends on the Internet in the coming years).
I showed up at the Crest theater feeling slightly awkward and nervous, as much to be expected on a blind friend date. I had only seen a small photo online, but recognized Christine the minute she walked into the theater. We took our seats and made small talk, mostly about Sacramento (her old hometown, my new hometown). About two minutes into the conversation, she casually mentioned that she had just broken up with her boyfriend, was quitting her fancy PR job, and moving to France.
That’s when I almost spit out my diet coke.
You’re doing what?! She told me all about her plans (or should I say, lack of plans), as I listened in complete awe. Who was this girl? She was so….cool. So adventurous. So low maintenance. So….unlike anyone I had ever met.
That’s the moment when I realized Christine and I were complete opposites. Me: married, homeowner, steady job, already thinking about babies. Her: carefree, single, world traveler, babies not even on the radar. For the last three years she’s been traveling the world: France, Australia, Bali, Thailand, Croatia….are you impressed yet? Meanwhile, back in Sacramento, I’ve been working and popping out a baby. She’s now living the high life in New York City, working in the fashion district and spending her lunch breaks at the MoMA, while I’m living out of the same two pairs of sweatpants, tickling a baby all day.
And yet, despite our differences, we both have a mutual affection for writing, social media (obviously), traveling (me: daydreaming, her: actually traveling), sunshine, Sacramento, and perhaps our most shared passion of all: gelato. We’ve spent hours talking about everything from our careers to our relationships to our hopes and dreams for the future. We’ve helped each other establish writing contacts and job leads and friends in new cities. She has, quite literally, sent me snail mail from across the world on a regular basis.
Which, when I really stop to think about it, is what I love most about Christine. To me, Christine embodies what a true friend really looks like: she is intentional in pursuing our friendship. By that I mean, every single time she is in Sacramento, even if it’s just for a quick week, you can bet she’s e-mailing me to set up a gelato date. She was in town for a brief time this summer (post Thailand/pre-Croatia, I think?), but still found time to meet Everett and bring us a delicious home cooked meal (with the recipe handwritten on a card!). Even though we have often lived on different continents, and now live on opposite sides of the country, I would never hesitate to call Christine a friend. And not just a friend, a great friend.
Have you ever made a real life friend on Twitter?