Here's the thing: When I started blogging back in 2008, I thought I'd just write a couple of posts every now and again, maybe email a link or two to my friends exercise my writing chops without the restraint of editors and word length or fear that expressing my opinion would hurt my reputation as an objective journalist. Honestly, I hadn't envisioned this the audience, the accolades, the passion, the vast and wonderful world that is blogging, the MyBrownBaby brand. Especially the camaraderie. But all of this I've found and more, and it is the latter the friendship that I've enjoyed the most.
For sure, I'd been blogging for only a few weeks when my friend Renee of Cutie Booty Cakes suggested I check out The Mom Bloggers Club, an amazing website that serves up a warm and inviting community for moms who blog. It is there that I met Angie Arthur, a sweetheart of a woman who started The Arthur Clan, a photography blog, around the same time that I founded MyBrownBaby. A hello here, an Ohmigod, your family is so beautiful there, a round of advice and exchanges about cameras and photoshop and before the two of us knew it, we were fast friends.
Our friendship blossomed over the years: I'd drool over the stunning pictures she's taken of her kids, she'd compliment me on the posts I've written about my family and being an African American mom; I'd participate in the contests she runs on her other photography blog, the superdopalicious I Heart Faces, and she'd take the time out of her busy schedule to give me all kinds of awesome tips on how to take better pictures. I'd send her (e) hugs on the Twitter and she'd tweet (e) kisses back. Ours is an easy friendship one filled with warmth and a genuine fondness for one another.
But here's the thing: We'd been (e)buddies for more than two years without ever meeting face-to-face. Isn't that nutty? The internet is weird like that. You can know someone and be the best of friends and never once see each other in person. Like, ever. Especially if you live in separate corners of the Earth.
As luck would have it, though, Angie and I ended up at Blissdom together back in January. Totally unplanned, totally unexpected, I stumbled on her out in the hallway after I'd finished putting in a long day hosting on-camera interviews on behalf of Unilever's Don't Fret the Sweat campaign. I knew it was her because she has this shock of glorious strawberry blonde hair and she had a camera attached to her face, totally taking a bazillion pictures of anyone who would pose. I swear, we had a The Color Purple/Nettie and Celie reunion moment; I yelled her name from across the room, she looked up and yelled my name, too, and we hugged and giggled for what seemed like an eternity.
Angie Arthur is, in a word, delightful.
Her I Heart Faces partner, Amy, captured our glorious meeting almost three years in the making. And in the process, she made the two of us look not only hot (seriously, these are probably the pretties pictures anyone's ever taken of me!), but like we've known each other forever.
And in that moment, in Angie's arms, smiling and giggling and hugging and enjoying each other's company, it did feel like we’d known each other a lifetime.
Love you, Angie!
This post comes just in time to celebrate not only my friendship with Angie, but my latest story in Essence magazine, which, in its May issue (Wendy Williams, the queen of all media, is on the cover), is celebrating girlfriends. I wrote a piece about Michelle Obama and why she's our girl. I encourage you to check it out.
And if you've got a bloggy friend that you absolutely adore, shout her out in the comments section! Tell us what you love about her, and, if she's got a blog or she's on Twitter, share a link to her space or her Twitter handle so that we can stop by and say hey! Let’s all make some new friends today!