I can be a pretty practical person. I try to think about the consequences of my actions. But, sometimes in life we just can't predict where our decisions will lead us. It blows my mind to think how this journal came about and the world it has opened up to me.
I had a friend who was sent to Iraq during the first days of the war. I was worried beyond belief and tried to find any news I could about what was going on over there. I stumbled upon weblogs written by people who were over there. It seemed like a cool thing, a place of your own in the cyberworld to express yourself.
By the time I got my laptop, things had fallen apart with me and my friend in Iraq. I had been surfing on AOL to see what kind of content they had to offer. I was trying to decide if I wanted to keep the service. Up until that point, I had only used it for email because I had messed up my browser on my old computer and couldn't access the 'net through it. I stumbled upon the journals and thought it would be a fun thing to do. I never really thought anyone would read what I wrote. I began treating it like I would a paper journal. I used it as a cathartic means of making sense of a relationship that went down the drain. I wrote about my perception of the relationship I had with my friend Mike, who had returned from Iraq, but hadn't returned to our friendship. I began recording my thoughts on other things too and reading other journals. Little, by little, my interactions with others in J-Land began to grow.
I never thought about meeting any of the people who I interacted with here through my journal until one day someone suggested we meet for tea. That meeting was the starting point of a blossoming friendship and meetings with other journalers have since followed. This past weekend a group of us got together, six women, seven really, if you count Cheryl. I do, she was a big part of the weekend too.
I wouldn't be true to myself if I lied and said the weekend wasn't without bumps. When seven strong-willed women get together, bumps are bound to happen. The first of which occurred thanks to my locking myself out of my apartment Saturday morning. It made me miss the trip down to San Diego to pick up Andrea and Carol but I was able to connect with everyone later that evening once they were back in town. In spite of the bumps, I think it was an enriching experience where we all had the opportunity to connect on a level much deeper than some had expected. Any time connections like that are made, I feel blessed and grateful for the experience.
Life seems to be whirling past me right now. I can't believe it has been a week since I made an entry here. It's like that for many of us. Having a weekend like I did with these beautiful women was a chance to stop and experience what is important in life to me, the connection with others on a deep, personal level, and a chance to learn and grow as a person. I'm grateful to these women for sharing themselves with me, and for my journal for creating that opportunity, and for a relationship that went bad that somehow was the catalyst for all this to occur. Everything in life occurs for a reason, we just have to be open to where it leads us. In the end, it's a good place to be.