This year, I finally decided to take a leap of faith.
I’ve always dreamed of doing regular meet-ups or events with my readers, but I never really got around to overcoming all the what-ifs in my head… until I put myself in a situation where I have absolutely no room to back out last minute. (Not-so-fun fact: Sometimes I’d RSVP to events, only to take it back a few hours later. Thanks anxiety for always making me seem like a flaker!)
Village Tavern reached out to host a post-birthday celebration featuring their newest Shareable Platters, and instead of inviting familiar faces, I boldly went for strangers I only knew by their Instagram and Twitter handles – some silent but loyal followers, others new and active commenters, all absolutely amazing people whom I now consider special friends.
As expected, such a courageous feat (a short 5 second-long display of bravery felt like 5 long days in my head) was immediately conquered by endless bouts of anxiety. I would always dismiss ideas of meet-ups because I never considered myself so special that people would go out of their way just to meet me. I mean, what do I do that deserves other people’s time and effort? I’m just an ordinary person who lives an ordinary life, a simple girl with very simple tastes. (I don’t claim to be more than that, but getting to this point of self awareness also messed with my head a lot, lol obviously)
I wanted to cry tears of joy when our supposed 2-hour-long lunch party went on for another 3 hours. If we could only stop time, we would’ve lasted a whole day. But I guess the passage of time was exactly what made the experience so precious. How can something so magical end so soon? Are beautiful things beautiful because they are fleeting? (Haha, I sound like such an emotional wreck!)
So naturally, efforts to constantly reconnect were made, and until now, we’re still reminiscing about good times in our own Instagram chat group. I’m really happy I found the courage to connect, even if it’s always difficult for me to go out of my cave. I’m back inside now, but for sure, all the good memories from this day will make it easier for me to go out again.
It means a lot to me to get to know my readers on a more personal level. People tell me they are inspired by me, but little do they know I also get my own dose of inspiration whenever I hear about their dreams and aspirations, about things that make them happy. We’re not alone in our struggles. We’re not alone in our little victories.
As someone who’s had an online presence for more than a decade, I know very well that readers and followers aren’t just Instagram or Twitter handles. They are real people with real stories. It’s an honor to be trusted by people who haven’t even met me or seen me in real life. Thanks to everyone who stood by me all these years, especially those who have greeted me a happy birthday every year since 2004.
Don’t you think it’s amazing how the little things we do online have a potential to make an impact in the real world? (It also validates my feelings about being extra responsible on social media.)
Ladies and gents who brunch and extend to merienda. I’ll forever cherish this day! The long drive back home didn’t seem too long after experiencing such a natural high from these beautiful souls.
Sharing is caring. Somehow we all feel a bit closer now that we’ve shared these yummy dishes from Village Tavern. I highly recommend their signature black pizza!