Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something. –Anonymous
It’s the morning of “Brunch, Blogs and Books” and I am stressed to the point of a hernia. The event is sold out. My dress is hung in the closet and ready to go. But, I do not have an HDMI cable. And, I should not stress this much about a damn cord, but my inner perfectionist is revealing her insecure self. I need an HDMI cable to hook up my computer to the screen at the restaurant in order to show the Keynote presentation I pulled together the night before.
Best Buy and Radio Shack, two places that will surely sell HDMI cables, do not open until 11am. I need to be in DC by 11am. I call Target and the customer service rep stumbles through what’s in stock at their store–no HDMI cable. I call Walmart and the guy and I go back and forth before I finally give up and hang up. I want to get mad because I don’t know what the hell he’s saying, but chances are I am also not describing what I need accurately.
Erica is sitting on my couch scrolling through her beloved iPad. I sit on the floor and explain the dilemma. She looks through a few things on the iPad and calls Walmart (the same Walmart I called a few moments before).
“Hi, I’m calling to see if you all have HDMI cables…yes…uh huh…no, I did not call here earlier,” she says. (Clearly the one rep from electronics at Walmart is getting annoyed).
“Let me give you the product number from the one I see online,” she tells him.
A few seconds pass and I hear her say, “You have it? Ok, good. How much? Alright, we’ll be there this morning.”
And, just like that, I have an HDMI cable and a successful brunch.
I tell that story because it sums up who Erica (www.everythingenj.com) is both as a person and also to me. I wish I could tell you the story of exactly how we met, how our Internet love affair started brewing, but I honestly do not remember. What I do remember is this bubbly pistol walking into another brunch I held in NYC last year and feeling like I had known her for years. Erica has that way with people, this way of saying “Hey, mama”, giving you a kiss on your cheek and making you feel like everything is going to be alright. She puts you at ease and reminds you that in a fast and sometimes frightening world, there is someone who will have your back. I think it’s the mommy in her.
It’s hard to believe that Erica (affectionately known as “E” in our group chat) and I have only hung out in person three times because she has become a part of the daily fabric of my life. The quote I plopped at the top of this post is also the one I sent her in an email a few months ago on her birthday. But, today, she is celebrating a different kind of birthday–her blog’s 5th birthday. If you know anything about me and blogaversaries, you know I find them to be of the utmost importance–maybe even more so than actual birthdays. It is beyond special and incredible to spend five years nurturing an online space, evolving as a writer and growing as a woman. Blogaversaries must be celebrated, dammit. Hence this lovefest of a post. How do bloggers show other bloggers love? Blog posts, of course.
Erica has been a constant and authentic source of support and love for me. She has seen me through tumultuous times and a lot of self-doubt. She has pushed me. She has challenged me. Earlier this summer when I lamented that “I always have bad summers”, she did not just let me bitch and moan. Instead, she said “That means the universe is trying to tell you something and you’re not listening.” She has taught me that it’s better to have a lot of real love from one person than lukewarm support from 10 people. She has listened to me fret over everything from blog post topics to men to money. When I wanted to change my upcoming fall event because I was worried about the money for the venue, she told me to wait to do it until I could execute it the way I really wanted to. I waited and then the money came along to meet the vision. She was right. She usually is.
E, on your blog’s 5th birthday, I just want to say thanks. Thanks for being a beautiful person, a kickass writer and a woman who gives the world everything she has. Thanks for filling our group chat with ridiculous gifs and a lot of “WHET”s and an insane amount of love. Thank you for trekking to DC for events. Thank you for rallying with me as we rant about blogger issues. Thank you for believing in me and what I am trying to do. Thank you for being there when I am broke or when I am broken. Thank you for taking me in, a woman who has always been told I am not “approachable”, and for making me feel like I finally could connect with people, especially other women. Thank you for being my friend, my cheerleader, my blogging soulmate. Your talent is unmatched. Your strength is unrivaled. Your truth is changing the world and the women who are fortunate enough to read it. Your friendship is everything, no pun intended.