Saturday night I found myself in the hotel bar at the BlogHer Conference in New York City. In past years you’d find me dancing on the stage, screaming loudly when a Rob Bass song started, hugging the people around me and “squeeing” loudly. This year I hung up my dancing shoes and instead found a cozy couch, a fountain coke, and a bowl of spicy chips. I surrounded myself with women who love me and who I love, trust, admire, and enjoy. The lure of a d.j. and 2,000 women having fun no longer drew me in. Conversation among friends that feel as comfortable to me as family instead kept me planted on that velvety couch, the quiet buzz of friends’ voices the only noise ringing in my ears.
I saw a new friend across the room and got up to say hello. He was headed to the ballroom upstairs, and I pointed over to my posse indicating that that was where I would be should he want to sit and chat. He said, “I don’t think I know anyone over there.” I smiled and shared that these are the women who fly under the radar, keep their noses to the grindstone, and support each other in a way that is hard to explain.
So this is how I’ll explain it.
A couple months ago one of our crew won a contest that came with an amazing second gift – the same prize package for a friend. This prize included full sponsorship to the conference and an iPad 3. I put out there that I don’t need the sponsorship, but sure would love to finally own an iPad. My friend Jenn said she really needed that sponsorship, but already had an iPad. In a Facebook room on a whim we vowed to split the prize with each other should our mutual friend draw one of our names. And then her name was drawn.
At this point many people would say that they spoke in haste and in fact their kids could use the old iPad while the new one could be for work. Maybe her husband needed one? Or perhaps money was tight and selling it would be a better idea.
But do you know what she did? She gave me her word. And then she gave me an iPad.
She brought it to me in the bar that night with her remote charger so we could power it up. She told me about apps for photographs that I would definitely want to check out. She handed it over joyfully.
Does friendship mean giving each other gifts? Of course not. But there is something so selfless and pure about the intention behind her actions, and it is what I’ve seen mirrored in other interactions among this group – kind words, technical support, a smile, promotion with no strings attached, a hug.
I have been writing for four years and have gotten to know some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life. We have seen and done and experienced the kinds of things that I could not have imagined before I joined this crazy online world. But none of that can top the peaceful feeling that comes from the blessing of true friendship, friendship that needs no glitz or glamour, no loud squeals, but instead is communicated through a knowing look or the squeezing of a hand. Sitting on a couch in a hotel bar, playing together on a new iPad…