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I love the Internet. I love Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, and I’m even warming to Google+. But, not much replaces talk. Especially with women friends.
It used to be get togethers, the “Girl’s Night Outs.” And I still love those but the reality is, those are now few and far between. People are busy; some have minimal access to childcare. Evenings are tough if you have young kids, or you’re a single mom, or it’s late after a long day. Also, many of my friends live far away. Not south on the freeway, but hundreds or thousands of miles away, in other cities or countries. But these are women I consider close friends.
Some are friends from Philadelphia, where I grew up, and some are from Seattle. I recently relocated to Austin leaving behind two decades of Seattle friends. And some are new friends, women I have met through blogging, Facebook, writer’s groups, Twitter. I feel close to these women as if I had sat with them on my couch, drank wine and shared years of friendship.
Recently, I was anxious about something, thinking, wondering. I wanted to talk it out with a certain, special friend. She lives in Austin, but she’s busy, she has a little one. I’m busy, we live in different neighborhoods. I considered “not bugging her.” And then I thought, if she wanted to talk to me, just run something by me and hear my voice, I’d do it in a heartbeat. So I texted and asked if she had a minute to talk. She did.
Thirty minutes later, there was clarity and the true give-and-take that is friendship—she helped me, and I asked about her life, I listened, I was there for her. We laughed, we connected. We touched each other’s souls. I’m not one for small talk, and neither is she so we wrapped it up without any BS. But what I got, and what I hope she got too, was the power of talk, the power of connection through voice, inflection, hearing another’s laughter, soothing another’s pain with words. There’s something spectacular in the power of talk. Women, we have it. We do it online, we do it over the phone, we do it in person, and we even do it just knowing she’s there. Now that’s power.