Hi there my special unplanned friend! You have no idea the footsteps you have left on my heart. Thank you for becoming the friend I never knew I needed.
I have went to quite a number of conferences around the world in this last half a decade meeting a wide variety of new people in each place. I am lucky that a little piece of software named WordPress has given me the ability to do all the things I have wanted to do wrapped up in one fantastic career. I get to teach, help people succeed, and see all of God’s country while getting paid. With that, there has been one perk of the career that has proven priceless that came as a surprise.
I never expected to make some of the most fierce, loyal, and whole-heart loving friends along the way. We have traveled together, laughed together, cried together. We have shared secrets that even our life-long friends have never heard. We love posts on Facebook and jokingly troll each other on Twitter. We have went to conferences a day early so we can attend a baseball game together. Even if one of us went to the restroom right as the Chicago Cubs hit a grand slam. (I will NEVER live that down) One thing remains the same is that we have made some unforgettable memories along the way.
We have banded together to help friends fighting for their lives. We have mourned the loss as we say goodbye to amazing people who we might have only met due to a computer screen. We have celebrated births, first steps, and graduations of our children and shared in the excitement of our fur babies. We have prayed and sent good vibes to each other in difficult times while sharing in the praises when life goes right.
It is a great feeling to know that even when sitting at your desk, staring at a blank screen, that there is an army of keyboard warriors on the other side ready to help you up, stand beside you, and cheer you on. You are never truly alone in this world. That even when traveling by yourself, as soon as you arrive to the conference, it will feel like a high school reunion of old friends that you have not seen in a while. Stories of catching up on each other’s lives are shared over coffee, wine, or whatever one feels like drinking. That there is at least one friend who wants you to text them when you get back to your hotel after taking an Uber or a taxi by yourself to make sure you “got home” okay.
I want to thank you for being my unplanned friend. That person I did not even know I needed but now would not want to live without. Thank you for sharing your life with me and joining me in my journey. For being there sometimes when it has felt like no one else has been. They say that a person can be defined by the company they keep. I must have done something right before as I have found some of the rarest gems of people from around the world that I call my friends.