After writing this, I’ve realised that there are a couple of my other friends who deserve to know what I think of them. As such, I have decided that I will continue this article as a series.
So, I was sitting in a staff meeting today, pretending as if I was interested in what was being said. Hey, don’t look at me like that. If you’ve ever had to attend a staff meeting with a bunch of teachers, you know what I’m talking about. Everybody in the room wants to be the only one who is right, and they occasionally pull out those ‘I’m the teacher and you should listen to me’ looks that never work on other teachers.
Anyway, I started thinking about other things, and my mind was drawn back to a tweet that I sent a very good friend who had commented on one of the short stories on my bloggy thing. I remembered that I had told her when I could adequately explain it, I would tell her why her comment meant the most out of all the comments on my work.
Don’t get me wrong; all of the comments made by the wonderful people who have read my work are tremendously appreciated. I am always humbled and honoured a) that anyone would take time out of their busy life to read the stuff and give me valuable feedback, and b) that anyone actually thinks what I write is palatable. I certainly don’t wish to appear as though I have a huge ego. I’m simply just blown away by the feedback, encouragement, and support that I have received. Never in my wildest dreams, when I first decided to start a bloggy thing, did I think I would receive these types of reactions to what I posted. And to everyone who has posted a comment, or read my stuff, please know that I am eternally grateful to you. I don’t think I will ever get used to the sort of attention that my bloggy thing is sending my way. It’s nothing short of amazing. So, thank you all very much.
On to my explanation to that completely amazing person, and I’m hoping she realises that this post is directed at her. A bit of background is required here, so please indulge me a little.
Until I began following, let’s call her . . . “Valerie”, on Twitter, I had no idea that she existed. I checked out the user profile on her home page and thought ‘Hmm, cool.’ Yes, Val, that is what went through my head. Luckily for me, Val decided to follow me back. And I mean that completely sincerely . . . lucky me.
I think, as I recall, one of the first times Val and I had a lengthy conversation, I was on school vacation. And, as I recall, the conversation occurred about Easter time, and revolved around less than one horse towns, Easter eggs hidden in a park for kids to find, traffic lights or the lack of them, ploughing into stop signs while drunk, and redneck culture (an oxymoron, I know . . . redneck and culture . . .).
I remember sitting on the sofa in my study, laughing until I had tears rolling down my cheeks, and I knew then that this was one hell of a person to be able to make me laugh that much when I didn’t even really know her. After the conversation ended, I found that I was looking forward to the next time I’d be able to “speak” with her. Never, in my adult life, have I conversed with someone so easily, and that I attribute completely to Val.
Skip forward a number of months, and I’m now in a situation where I feel like I have known Val all my life. It’s strange to think that you can feel that way about someone you’ve never met in person, and who you’ve only known for a short time.
Frequently, Val has to shove me down an abandoned well, usually because I deserve it, but of late I feel it’s becoming more often, as she does it just for fun. On other occasions, I have insisted that she tell me to ‘toughen up, princess’, which she does in her best John Wayne accent. And, every now and then she is forced to fervently shake her purple pen in my direction. For all of which, I say a sincere thank you to Val for doing. Really, who doesn’t need to be pulled into line every so often?
When the email came through to my BlackBerry, informing me that I needed to moderate a comment, had I not been sitting down, I’m sure I would have fallen over when I read that the comment had been written by my friend, Valerie.
For a start, I was completely unaware that Val had actually read stuff that I posted on my bloggy thing. People have lives and stuff to do, and I don’t expect my friends to jump to it when I tweet that I’ve posted something new. That alone, knowing that Val had read a post, increased the size of my ego, and I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.
I admire and respect Val. I have nothing but love for this woman. I’m not entirely sure that Val believes it herself, but she is truly an amazing person. I feel confident to say that certainly other people who know Val feel the same way about her. In a short time I have learned so much from her, and as I tell her often, Val challenges me to be a better person and to be accountable for the things I should be. Her comment on my story means so very much to me because I hold her in such high regard as a person, as a friend, as a writer, and as a ‘wish we actually were genetically related’ big sis. I highly value Val’s opinion and insight, and I trust that she is nothing but honest with me.
I am incredibly lucky to be able to say that Val is my friend. What she doesn’t know, is that when I write or do something, I find myself thinking ‘What would Val think of me doing this?’ As if she is my real life sister, I do things and hope that in some way she is even mildly impressed by it. I know at this point she’d shove me down an abandoned well and start filling it with water. What can I say, Val? I look up to you. Yes, I’m aware that nobody’s perfect, and I haven’t been trying to imply that. I am under no illusions. But I say with all honesty that I think you are absolutely remarkable. I just wish that I could have done a better job of explaining why the comment you left is the one that I will treasure for a lifetime. To borrow your own words to me, Val: “it just is”.