Two Worlds

 

I’m
back in my hostess dress again! 

This
time, I’m serving up mimosas and lattes to celebrate my guest of honor, Chris
Carter from The Mom Café.  I really can’t
gush enough about Chris.  She’s a new
friend who feels like an old friend, because she’s just that wonderful. She’s
warm, wise, inspirational, funny, and her writing is full of gratitude, encouragement
and reflects her very strong faith.   Once you have read her post here, I encourage
you to visit The Mom Café to read some more of her amazing material.

I
love the topic Chris has chosen for today, because as a fellow blogger, I can
100% relate.  I bet you will as well.



Friends

 

I have slowly slipped into
two worlds.  I didn’t see it coming, nor
did I reali
ze the depth I would go when I started blogging.  Over two years ago, I started writing in hope
of reaching out and encourage other women through my words.  I dreamed of having an impact on others.  Little did I know that in this endeavor, I
would create deep and connecting relationships that often consume my days and
nights and thoughts and emotions. 

I have realized that this
blogging gig is more than a gig.  It’s a
world of souls that have captivated my heart. 
Friends I often spend time thinking about, praying for and laughing with
through each day that I spend glued to my laptop.  I have always had a life full of glorious
friends, and for that I am blessed.  I
never knew that the depths of the bonds I would create online, would reap the
joy and fulfillment that it does.  When I
can’t get to posts, I feel urgency and need to read about the life of any of
these cherished friends I follow.  I find
myself spending more time connecting with my dear cyber friends than I do with
my real life friends… and I am amazed that sitting at my table alone for hours
enriches my soul.  But the painful truth
is that it pulls me away from my real life friends and for this, I am
remorseful.  I constantly struggle to
find balance, and I almost always fail.

I wonder if the pull of my
on line community that often drags me away from my real life friends, is a good
thing or not.  I often neglect the needs
or opportunities to see and connect with so many in my real life circles of
loved ones, for the sake of “blog work”.  
I spend hours reading and relating… 
to words and people that I have never met.  And yet, more often than not… those are the
people I find myself thinking about, praying for or even laughing about a
memorable story they shared.  It is such
a wonderful blessing that surfaced through my days of reaching out to find
followers and I realize this isn’t just about the “business”… it’s truly about
the people.  The amazing and inspiring
souls I have discovered in this incredible adventure of writing and finding
purpose in it.

I struggle with this new
world I am deeply embedded in, for as I step away and spend time with my real
life friends, I am painfully aware of my neglect.  My time is limited, and what I do with that
time reflects my heart and my passion.  I
can never replace the rich and enormous love I have for my real life
friends.  They are in my every day and I
can hug them and have real life experiences with them unlike my blogging
friends.  I have always cherished the
incredible people that have fallen into my arms through the twists and turns of
my life journey.  And yet, as close as I
am to many… they never truly understand my ‘other world’ in the great
blogosphere.  How could they?

It is a separate world.

I didn’t expect this at
all.  My real life friends know about my
blog and of course support me and love that I am pursuing my passion.  They will listen to my updates with sweet
naive ears, but they don’t know enough to really understand it.  When “catching up” with friends, I find
myself talking more about my blog and friendships in my other world than the
one I live in.  And that oftentimes
disconnects our bond, because it is foreign to them.  They know “Chrissy” in real life… and it
seems, that’s truly all they want.

Two worlds.  One me.

I didn’t know it was going to be this way.

I am the same person in
both, but each world has different people. 
I am just learning how to adjust accordingly.  I am still attempting to juggle the two, and
I have learned that the two just simply don’t blend together well.  Perhaps it’s supposed to be this way…

There are a few real life
friends that stop by and read and comment on my posts.  But what I have realized is that they get me
in real life, so they don’t look for me on line.  They might support my work and wish me the
best… but their world is
with me. 
That is enough for them.  And yet,
I often neglect these precious relationships to further those in my ‘other
world’.  It’s a constant struggle and I
am conflicted in my choices every day. 
How can I keep up with both worlds? 
My efforts are desperate and I constantly try to maintain both.  It’s so very difficult.

This has been a learning
experience for me.  And as I try to
accept the reality of these two worlds and balance it on a fine and delicate
line, I am cautiously aware that the boundaries are set.

So I go on, and I write
and I reply and I share and I laugh and I pray and I cry and I bond.

I hug and I laugh and I
talk and I pray and I help and I share and I text and I play.

Two worlds.  Same me.  Different friends.

And although it is what it
is…  I know that if I could somehow blend
the two, they would create one perfect world.  

###

My name is Chris Carter and I am a SAHM of two pretty amazing grade school kids.  I have been writing at TheMomCafe.com for over two years.  I started my blog in hopes to encourage mothers through my writing with humor, faith and inspiration.  Come join me!    


Comments

Two Worlds — 52 Comments

  1. This is such a struggle for me. I have found myself happier with my online friends. There is not the “who invited who and whose kid is playing with whose”. There is just deep in your gut connections. Kindness, encouragement in this dream of ours to be heard through our writing. Like you, this makes me feel guilty. I love my RL friends and miss them. With my life as busy as it is, the blogosphere friends are always there when I need them. It can be midnight and I could be connecting to you while you sleep. How cool is that? I’m trying to find the balance, too. I will say that I am so grateful for friends like you that make me laugh, pray for me, make the effort to connect with me and encourage me. You are one of the treasures in this blogosphere and I am SO happy that I can call you friend. 🙂
    P.S. Same goes for you, Ilene! 🙂

  2. First, I’m so happy to see Chris here! And I totally relate to this post. Every word, really. I often wonder how I can get these two worlds to intersect and if I even want them to. (How I would love to have morning coffee with Ilene and Chris in person!) So much to think about!

  3. It’s like Clark Kent and Superman to me. In real life, I have the glasses on, and assume a different role. Unassuming soccer coach, copy writer, dad. When I get into the phone booth – well, I’m not a man of steel, but I’m seen differently through my writing, I feel.
    The Superman connection is true in that the online community I’ve joined through my blog – with incredible women such as Ilene, Chris, AnnMarie, recently Jennifer and others – reminds me that even with glasses on and in my other world, I have that strength in me.
    Both are me, and I wouldn’t be who I am without my family/RL circle and my loves here.

  4. I never thought about this in this way! Maybe because I am a newer blogger? I don’t know if the two worlds are meant to intersect. I know some of my friends from here do read my blog…but they rarely comment online. They comment to me in person. At this point for me, there are no more “playdates” anymore…the kids pretty much schedule on their own…so the friendships that I have are the ones that have endured over the years (and most of them I did originally make through my kids). My online friends…this is all new for me, but I have to say I feel like those friendships are very real too. And its nice that you can find them online at all hours of the night…hehe I’m excited that I get to meet more of them at the Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte…it can’t come soon enough!

  5. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Every word, Chris. Every word. I am struggling with this same experience and find myself frustrated with trying to balance the two worlds. That said, I trust I will find a balance and as with all things, there is a learning/growth/healing experience for me embedded in this process. There is so much love to be experienced in both worlds that I pray to be able to take in more and more without pushing it away. You, my friend, are one of the kindest, most generous souls on the Internet and I’ll follow your lead. Thank you for showing me how it’s done! xo
    Great choice, Ilene! xo

  6. Well said! I kept my blog a secret from my friends and family for a very long time. I didn’t think that they’d “get it”, the whole blog thing. I always think about my blog friends and I think about their support. I think about how, without them, I wouldn’t be pursuing my dream. I know that my friends read my blog, and it still embarrasses me a bit, but I don’t really talk about my blog with them. Like you said. Two worlds. And I’m OK with that.

  7. Oh my Gosh, WORD FOR WORD we could have written this entire post!! Seriously, we talk about this topic ALL THE TIME. This is honestly one of the best things we have ever read! Cannot wait to go share it! 🙂 We certainly have had trouble balancing it and probably don’t do a very good job to be honest with you. So glad to see you here today, as having 2 of our favorite people in the same spot at the same time rocks!!-The Dose Girls

  8. I am astonished that she was able to put into words exactly how I feel!
    The blogging community is an amazing group of talented, creative, loving, caring individuals. They’ve been supportive of me in a way the “real lifers” haven’t always been as able to be. The open communication is what makes it so special!
    Wouldn’t it be lovely if both groups could be one world. Such a beautiful thought!

  9. They are like two different worlds, aren’t they? And being in the middle is tricky to balance because both are special and real. I didn’t imagine it to be so when I started blogging. I am grateful for both, even if they don’t overlap much.

  10. Chris, I’ll echo here what I wrote on your blog: you’re in my brain, lady!! I’ve been thinking about this EXACT same thing/dilemma/issue/observation? for a few months now, but I’m not nearly as articulate as you when it comes to expressing my feelings about it. Very truthfully, I’m hurt that my real life friends don’t care more about my blog. Reading this made me feel a little better. Thanks, lady!

  11. I love this comment AnnMarie!! It IS so difficult to find balance, and it’s amazing to me how deep and beautifully trusting these blogging friendships can be. Perhaps we can write on such an emotional level that we immediately go beyond the “kid stuff” or superficial scenarios that play out in RL… There is truly a bond that transpires immediately with us writers because we “get” each other and genuinely support and love each other through it all. I love that I can email you or write a post thinking about you or any other dear blogger friend and know that they will be there- in it- with a heartfelt response, praying or laughing or nodding their head… It’s such a profound affirmation. And one of the greatest blessings of all. YOU are a treasure. YOU are one of those beautiful blessings.

  12. Ahhh… morning coffee. What a dream!!! I often wonder how other blogging friends that I am close to feel about this balance and how they handle it. It is so affirming to me that others struggle to ‘intersect’ the two worlds as well. Wouldn’t it be so awesome if we lived down the road from each other and could have a weekly coffee date? Sigh… but our bond extends beyond that anyway. And for this I am so grateful Jennifer!!!

  13. LOVE this comment Eli!!! So nice to see you here!!! 😉
    I would love to meet you in person and see Clark Kent actually. Don’t you wonder what the RL world is like for our friends in the cyber world? I wonder if they are exactly how they write, or like you- superman. I have a feeling Clark is pretty cool- and I KNOW the strength within you is good and true… in both worlds.

  14. This is very true. I’m not new to blogging but the blog I’m writing is new to me. I do have lots of friends that I have met from my previous blogging experience that we have stayed connected via FB since they are no longer blogging. But its a different bond than RL friends. We know each other on a different level. I guess because we do not have to deal with the mundane things that we can focus on just what really matters. I don’t know…but yes definitely two worlds.

  15. Oh you just wait darlin’!!! As you bond with writers, you will surely discover more and more beautiful deep lasting friendships. It’s such a wonderful world!!! I seriously didn’t think it would be like this though! My friends sometimes read and comment- sometimes just read- most often don’t do either. You are spot on saying you don’t know if the two worlds are supposed to interest. Awesome insight Michelle! I am starting to look at it like someone’s job/career/work… they go to work and come home and have a social life and friendships and activities apart from work. Ours is a blessed work full of meaningful relationships… about our real lives!! SO- it gets so difficult because things I share on line are also things I want to share with my close RL friends too!! I always refer to my blog posts when I am in a discussion, because they DO relate to my Real World! Unlike say “accounting” or other careers. It’s a tricky thing.

  16. Oh bless you Mary!!! I can’t tell you how much your words mean to me!!! THIS is what I’m talking about!!! The love and support we can feed each other with is so deep and true. I am so relieved that you too struggle with this, because I always wondered how blogger friends manage it all. Sometimes I isolate to keep up on bloggers and find myself missing and needing RW attachment! And as soon as I spend time with my RW friends, I am anxiously running toward the computer to check in on my cyber friends! It’s so difficult to find middle ground and keep all the relationships rich. Like you said so beautifully, “That said, I trust I will find a balance and as with all things, there is a learning/growth/healing experience for me embedded in this process.” Oh how I love that.

  17. I echo these thoughts greatly! Sometimes the worlds intersect, and often not. I am often thinking in my “blogging cap” the way I do in my “photography cap” when I’m out and about and inspiration strikes. Sometimes I’m in three worlds at once, sometimes two. Mostly one, luckily!

  18. That is just so interesting Michelle. First off, I am so SO glad that the blogging community is supporting your dream!!! I just love that. I hate that you would be embarrassed about your work! Why, may I ask? Do you find it hard to NOT talk about your blog? It is so much a part of my life, that I am always sharing and have to shut myself up often because I know it’s something my friends don’t really understand. You should be PROUD of your blog!!! Well at least you got the two worlds in place, and it seems for the most part- you are at peace with it. SO glad!!

  19. Oh man- see THIS is what I’m TALKING ABOUT!!! How can I not feel so supported and embraced and understood? Two worlds. And yet, if we got to hang together- I am absolutely sure that it would truly be the BEST of BOTH. I just knew you girls could relate… Lisa, I wanted so badly to talk more on FB about the page likes issue. That’s when I realized that perhaps I am not the only one!!! Just such a relief…

  20. Stephanie- I TOTALLY GET THIS!!! If I would be honest, I would share how deeply hurt I am over and over again that my dear close friends don’t take the time to read my blog. It mades me so sad and I don’t really understand why they don’t. i get some of my friends that are just way too busy, but others that I know have time and don’t….? And then, It gets awkward when I share blog stuff- but this is a HUGE part of my life, and I can’t NOT share it. I’m so with you on this Stephanie. I do try to just let it go and accept the “two world” rarely collide. It is what it is. I love both separately.

  21. I think that’s it Krystal. Yo nailed it! …” because we do not have to deal with the mundane things that we can focus on just what really matters” That’s so true. I just love that. Never really thought of it that way, and you are absolutely right. So glad you shared!

  22. AH yes! I love that! “Blogging cap” is a great way to put it Tamara! I JUST said to my friend today, “Oh this is so gonna be a blog post.” And I often get comments from friends or family, “Oooh- there’s some good material for a post!” I love that. But so interesting when I share about posts I have already written, and they haven’t read it- I feel awkward and uncomfortable that I am trying to share a part of me that they don’t know about, or I’m trying to ‘push’ my blog on them. It’s just unusual.

  23. I have tons of real life friends…but after our family relocated 4 yrs ago, leaving ALL of my closest friends, family and relationships, I realized that I connect with most of them via social media, texts, phone calls and the occasional visit when we travel back “home”. Not very different from the way I connection and relate with my virtual and blogging friends.
    My current real life folks mainly consist of my family, “patients”, “church friends” “running friends” but there are very few people who transcends all the categories. I may need to get out more 🙂

  24. I have so very much started to feel this way too. Almost as if the blog- me is the real me and sometimes my real life friends don’t understand. Which is not at all true, I don’t open up in real life like I do when I write and there is something so strange about that I think. Love this piece.

  25. This is such a great description of the balancing act of the life of a blogger. There are times when I’m really good about reading all the blogs I love, catching up and staying connected. I feel so linked in. Then I can go weeks when real life kicks by butt and I don’t have time for my online adventures. But I feel left out and I miss it.
    Like you, I love all the online connections I’ve made but I have to admit that my real life girlfriends are my first love. Also like you, they support me in what I’m doing and are wonderful but they don’t quite get it. Two worlds, same me. I love that line.
    Keep up the good work!

  26. You have such a full and busy life Hope, how on earth could you make time for more friends? As cherished as real life friends are, I cherish you the same. 🙂 If we lived close, we could be together in the best of both worlds!!

  27. I can totally relate to what you said Tricia. I tend to go “deep” on my blog, and although I am deep with many friends- the hurried pace of life doesn’t call for those long intimate conversations we long to have. Writing our hearts is another way to connect and express our innermost thoughts and feelings, and that’s where the friendships on line are formed and treasured. The screen is sometimes a nice way to be honest and true, when it’s uncomfortable to share face to face.

  28. Thanks so much Stephanie!!! I think you got the balance right. Life does pull us out of the ‘cyber magnetic field’ at times, and when that happens to me, I hate missing out too! BUT- I love that you know your priorities. You seem to have a good hold on what’s important and know how to have limits when the balance tilts ‘to the real life’ or tilts ‘to the cyber life’. I keep saying to myself, “my friends can’t ever “get it” because they simply can’t get something they are not a part of. That helps me feel less resentful about many of them not following my blog. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!!

  29. Yes to all of this. I can completely relate and this hit home for me more so this week after the attacks on the Boston Marathon. I felt like that was an attack on my friends and family because I knew so many friends running the marathon – friends who I have met through social media and blogging but whom I have never actually met. It’s been crazy as I reflected on that – how much my online friends mean to me. I think that I do take my real life friends for granted and don’t always put as much effort into maintaining those relationships as I do my online relationships. It is a delicate balance – I think that online friends and real life friends play different roles mainly because they know me from different phases of my life.

  30. I think we are in a different season of our lives in making these on-line friends through our new purpose and our passion. This season is for writing and connecting on line to many other writers with the same passion. It’s a bond that doesn’t compare to real life friends in many ways, but yet real life friends are so important for our life experiences! I immediately thought of friends on line too, after what happened. That’s the beauty of our reach. We can have friends all over the country and the vast and open world. Isn’t it amazing?!! It truly is a delicate balance Christine!! So perfectly said.

  31. I don’t have many real life friends around me anymore – most are living abroad and we are more like online friends!
    Which is why I value my online friendships, made through blogging and social media so much – they are the ones who check on me when they know something’s up, they’re the ones I turn to when I have to pour my heart out to, they are the ones who hold me virtually when I need it.
    I do understand the feeling of being torn between online and offline. It’s all about finding that elusive balance, yes?

  32. Interestingly, I have stopped talking about my OL life with IRL friends. They don’t get it and I actually prefer they don’t. I almost wish there were MORE of a divide and that I hadn’t clued my friends in. There’s something to be said about anonymity. Both of my lives are real but they fulfill a different need in me. My OL life tends to fill the needs of me, the person.. you don’t know my kids, my husband, when I act like a brat, etc. You know what I want you to know and what I put out there. Sometimes I think it’s the real me.
    Can you tell I’ve been mulling this over a bit??

  33. You said it best: I love them separately! I guess I just think it’s SO easy to enter an email address and get my crazy delivered right to their inboxes, ya know? But nope–won’t even do that. I actually talked with one gal pal about it and she was like, “Well, we have different interests, ya know? Like, I’m not sure if I would be interested in all that you write.” Chris, I write about ME and FAMILY (and a few tangents), so REALLY?! Ok, there goes my blood pressure. I’m done now 🙂 🙂

  34. Allison, you have the beautiful blessing of on line friendships that sustain you and fill you and feed you. That is so awesome. What you give to them is truly just as enriching, I am sure. The elusive balance is a constant issue for us all… in any arena, yes? YES! 🙂

  35. This is so interesting Kristen! It’s so true that we have the power to choose what to put out there and share with our virtual friends. They don’t see when we “act like a brat” or know our kids or husband. It is completely different than our RL friends. Perhaps our OL friends get “the best” of us, eh? I would think though, that you would WANT to share your amazing work with your RL friends… It’s simply awesome. 🙂

  36. Okay- that friend of yours … um dare I say DROP her? What the he– is she talking about? That would have broken my heart if it was me. It’s so personal, isn’t it? It truly feels like a betrayal. Why wouldn’t they take a few minutes (literally) to read something we share that is funny or inspiring. How hard is that? I just don’t get it. Never will. But we can’t dwell on it, or our blood pressure will be THROUGH the roof!!! I have to stop myself OFTEN to not get resentful. I hear you sista, I hear you.

  37. Two separate worlds, definitely! I live an hour from my best friend, and we don’t get to spend as much time together as we used to b/c of schedules and kids. I don’t think she reads my posts, really, and I know she doesn’t get the whole blogging thing.
    I’m a pretty shy person in real life, and haven’t made any real friends out here in the boondocks where we live, so those I’ve made online have been precious to me.

  38. That’s the beauty of the blogging thing. Even if you’re shy, you can express yourself so adequately through words and connect with so many wonderful people! I am so SO glad you have your blogging friends to fill those needs. I’m sure you miss you best friend, but you have so many wonderful friends you communicate with on line. That’s such a blessing!!! I wish your bestie could see all the amazing things you do in your “other world”.

  39. Love this post, Chris! It’s great to have that interaction with kindred spirits who may be far away, as well as that face-to-face in our everyday lives. But, I often marvel at how our interactions change between people who know us in the cyber world vs IRL. Or our work life vs home life. I’m in the process of trying to blend them myself, so hurray for you! Looking forward to more stories as you navigate the journey.

  40. Thanks so much Zabe!!! I love how you put that: “I marvel at how our interactions change between people who know us in the cyber world vs IRL.” I am so grateful to meet another cyber friend though Jennifer!!! We can navigate the journey together…

  41. I know it’s unusual to reply to someone else’s comment, but I feel the same way as AnnMarie. There are days that I can’t wait to share some thoughts and feelings with my online blogging friends because I know they understand why getting on my computer was more important to me than loading the dishwasher! But it is hard to find balance! 🙂

  42. Yes, I absolutely get this! Different worlds, and in my different worlds, I am even different people! LOL. That is the even stranger thing of being an “anonymous” blogger. Of course those of you who have become my peeps know me as the real me, not just Kat. Sometimes it makes me sad that my family and friends don’t take more interest in my writing. I eagerly check to find if any of my family and friends have read or commented on my blog post. But I don’t get too sad, cause there is always Janine, Jennifer, and you and my other wonderful bloggy friends!
    I want in on the coffee with you, Jennifer, and Ilene! You know… we could have a “hangout” one morning!

  43. I feel just SO blessed to have met you Alexa!!! You are a true light in “this world”, and I’m sure in your RL world as well!!! So grateful for our friendship! 🙂 I wouldn’t think you even have time for RL friends, because you are posting so much and truly inspirational in all your passionate involvement in so many organizations. I say we do a weekly “hangout” for coffee. Oh wouldn’t that be so nice??!

  44. Couldn’t have said it better Chris!! Blogging is like a job that you REALLY love! As long as your family and your time with God aren’t being neglected, then I say go for it. Aside from my family, my large extended family, my “church family” and many extended friends, my two best friends from college both live out of state. When we do get together, it’s all about us and catching up on life. I have this ongoing joke with my family about blogging. I’ll go to say something about my blog and they’ll cut in and say…”I know, I know…your blogging friends said or did…blah, blah, blah”. Hahaha, they know I love them, but they also know that I’ve found a great network of cyber friends that I absolutely love hanging out with in the bloggersphere. I’ve found some pretty amazing people while blogging, such as yourself Chris, whom I’ve grown to appreciate, cherish and hold dear to my heart!! I mean where else can I meet up with friends from all over the world in one place?!:D It does seem as if I’ve known some of you guys all my life, lol!
    I personally like having two sets of worlds and think I have the perfect balance. Besides, too many people in one world could become a major overload…hahaha! I agree with Eli…I like being Diana Prince and Wonder Woman…LOL! Have an absolutely wonderful week my friend and thanks so much for sharing what we all have felt in this ever expanding world of blogging! xoxoxo

  45. Oh Michell- I JUST came back to get the link to share with someone and found your comment! YES! It is exactly as you say- a fine balance between two beautiful worlds of close friends and what a blessing it has been to have you in my cyber world! Thanks so much for sharing hun! 🙂

  46. Chris, I am honestly tearing up as I read this. I just love you so much and am so thankful that God connected our lives through the world of blogging. You words are so spot-on, and yes, I feel so understood by this community (esp. you!) in a way that doesn’t happen IRL. Hugs, my friend.

  47. Well now I AM tearing up!!! You know how much I love you, pray for you, think about you… and I couldn’t be more grateful for our friendship. Nothing compares to it, Meredith. You are truly like a sister- both in Christ and in a deep abiding unconditional friendship. Bless your heart for your beautiful words. I am so so deeply touched. HUGS, right back to you, sweet sister. 🙂

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