Hindsight is not “2020”. Hindsight it almost always a romanticized version of history. It’s usually a picture far off reality generated by emotion of regret and wishful thinking.
The day I left Bellingham to move back to Texas is as vivid in my romanticized mind as a novel cover. Mr. Flinger and I stood on the train platform in Fairhaven. We hugged. He told me to call when I got back to Kelso before my flight to Houston. I agreed. My eyes were curiously dry as I boarded with the last of my belongings from college. We wave as the train pulls away and I settle for a four hour trip taking me to the place I’d board a plan 24 hours later. To a new life in a very different city than the hippie mountain college town I lived.
And then I spent the next seven years trying to get back.
I visit as often as I can. I speak highly of the town I fell in love with. Most graduates of Western Washington have visions of raising their family in the small family oriented town of hippies and vagrants. Of people with a love of nature and good books. Of free spirits. And water. And sky. But most students move along to another location where jobs are plentiful and life takes a different turn. Mr. Flinger and I are no different.
When I met Sydney online, I could relate to everything she wrote. It’s a story no different than most other bloggers turned-real-life-friends. There’s something wonderful that happens when you meet someone for the first time and they already know you just started your period, your husband needs a vasectomy and your baby boy was born early and growing healthy and your daughter is a diva. So when I met her for the first time in person in my favorite town at my favorite park, it’s only natural I’d blog about it.
I declared myself her new BFF. She laughs. We walk on the new boardwalk discovering things we have in common, which is almost everything from the year we graduated, to when we were at Western and the experiences of being a woman in computer science. She makes a living doing what I do. Her children are nearly the same age. She lives in a city I’ve always wanted to go back to and vowes to help us get there. She buys me coffee. She’s wonderful to my children and LB talks about her for days. “Can we go visit Sydney again?” she asks. Of course! I say.
The thing about blogging is that some days the Internet is crazy mean. Sometimes it’s all traffic and Search Engine Optimization and ad campaigns. But sometimes there’s a real community and a place of commonality. Sometimes it really is about the people behind the text and sometimes you find a gem like Single Super Mama and you can’t help but think, “What if I’d stoped blogging back in February of 07 when I turned off my site for a month. What if…” and hindsight is kind because you didn’t and you kept your hobby and you realized it’s not about anything but community and friendship and sometimes hindsight lives up to your expectations the way Bellingham does for me.
I completely agree. There’s many beauty bloggers that I have only known online for years and then when I met them in person—it wasn’t like meeting someone for the first time, it was like meeting an old friend for coffee. You already know each other and seeing them face to face only solidifies the friendship you have.
I loved the pictures in your post. I’ve also been following you on Twitter (but not in a stalking kind of way lol)
By Shannon/A Girl's Gotta Spa on 2008 03 08
I’ve been blogging for THREE years and have only met one other blogger in person—and that was only because she lives here in town and was already a friend of my best friend/sisterinlaw.
It makes me sad—especially when I read about the great friendships that develop offline.
One of these days dammit. One of these days…
By Sleeping Mommy on 2008 03 08
Ooooooh! OK I’ve written and erased four times because I can’t come up with something to properly capture what I intend to say. I just recently started blogging and it was mostly just to keep a record of what was going on with my kids and me. I didn’t anticipate making such a RAD BFF, or building a whole additional support network - or how cathartic it would be to put our daily lives out there into the ether (aka internet). I am feeling extra super blessed.
P.S. I read through the whole first time cringing in wait for the duck comment…
P.P.S. Long live the hippies YAY BELLINGHAM
By supermama on 2008 03 08
This is part of why I’m so keen to get to BlogHer..after spending the last year getting to know the inner workings of you peoples’ deviant minds I want to be able to put real faces to those names!
By Suburban Oblivion on 2008 03 08
Sydney, I was trying to work it in the post but I couldn’t make it as funny as it was in person. ‘Cause “We have special ducks here. They SWIM!” “um, Sydney? All ducks swim. They have webbed feet.” Just didn’t come up. Oh, looky there. IT JUST DID.
By Mrs. Flinger on 2008 03 08
Underwater, underwater! LOL.
By supermama on 2008 03 08
The community was the most surprising and continues to be the most rewarding part of blogging to me.
I’d miss you folks if I stopped.
By MammaLoves on 2008 03 08
Last night I went to the wedding of friends who live in Bellingham. And a hot topic was how Bellingham seems to be the Cool Place To Live. Seems like everyone is moving up there…
By maggie on 2008 03 08
Maggie, it’s always one of the top ten places to live. It’s just one of the bottom ten places to find a job. Darnit. I’d move back in a heartbeat.
MammaLoves We’d miss you, too. You can NEVER leave. :0)
Sleeping Mommy, ONE DAY you will meet everyone. Never fear, hon. One day…
By Mrs. Flinger on 2008 03 08
Okay, so I just went and read Sydney’s blog and immediately added her to my favorites! Just the mere fact that her girls are named Joy and Clara made me go “awwwwwww!” She seems like good peeps and we could all use more of those in our lives!
Oh, and I think I’ll take a vacation to Bellingham… it looks wonderful!
By Katie Kat on 2008 03 09
I can relate to this post on such a deep, “I feel you” level. I grew up in Dallas and in my mid 20’s moved to Seattle. WOW, it was a whole other world for me. I loved it. I lived there for about 5 years, met someone, moved to NYC, then moved back to Dallas and after being in Dallas for a year, spend most of my time trying to figure out how to get back to Seattle. It’s just the perfect city to sum up what’s important to me. Dallas is so not!
By Vanessa on 2008 03 09
Vanessa, come on up, hon. I grew up in Houston and I know the feeling of needing to get out. I love me some Texas but I could never leave the rainy green of Seattle. And the mountains, and the snowlines, and….
KatieKat, if you do you better damn let me know!
By Mrs. Flinger on 2008 03 09
Awww…I miss B’ham. I’ve been gone a year now. I seriously have a B’ham scrapbook of all my favorite places there. Great place, great people - but I never met Supermama! *sigh*
Gotta love that the boardwalk connects Boulevard Park to that peanut butter pie in Fairhaven… (another *sigh*)
By AmyM on 2008 03 09
I know!!! The Colophon peanut butter pie!!! We should have a Bellingham blog party, wouldn’t that be fun?
By supermama on 2008 03 09
I’ve been struck by this whole blogger universe…I’ve found that the community of moms who participate in this online neighborhood to be life savers. Although I differ from many of the moms because I work outside the home, it has been such a gift to read about other moms having similar challenges, making my ppd feel less isolating. I can totally see now how people make true friendships online. Thanks for sharing your new friendship!
By Ali on 2008 03 10
It’s totally gorgious up there! I can’t wait to be up there with you guys! only three months…aroundish.
By sister flinger on 2008 03 12