Tuesday, June 3, 2014

IRL Friends

I have officially lived in Pittsburgh for five years now! I cannot believe it has been that long already! I’m not going to lie, I really had a hard time adjusting to living in the Steel City.



After I finished my undergrad degree, my husband and I decided to settle in his hometown to start our lives together. I was excited to live in a new city. The only problem was, I had a very hard time making my own friends. Sure, we had friends that were OUR friends, and my husband had his friends since this is where he grew up. I, on the other hand, really couldn't make my own friends.



This is something so odd for me. I have had the same group of friends my entire life. Whenever I know I’m heading back home, they are the first people I tell. Even before my family.




In college, I had my CUTV friends who are easily some of the most important people in my life. They really helped shape me in to the person I am today.




Not having the core group of friends was really starting to get to me. I was really starting to hate living in Pittsburgh. I thought I had made a terrible mistake wanting to live out here.



So when I ventured into this crazy world of running, I discovered #runchat and a whole community of people that I started talking to. I even discovered the Pittsburgh Running Bloggers and started chatting with a bunch of them. It was the first time in a long time that I actually felt comfortable.



Even though, I have never met these people in person. It was weird to have to refer to these people as my social media friends.



That was until I did my first tweet up with some of the #runchat people in Disney World. To say that my life was changed might be an understatement.




From meeting those few people, I made more friends. I have friends that have similar interests as me. That don’t think all of my ideas are crazy, maybe some but not all. I now even have a relay team!




I get really excited when I finally meet a social media friend and can turn that title in to an IRL (In Real Life) friend. Even those that I haven’t met yet, I look forward to those random messages about how a workout or race went. I love being able to send well wishes to people and encourage them along the way!





To some people, this might seem weird. When I tell my husband I’m running a relay in Akron with a bunch of other people I met on twitter, he responds with “I’m so happy you have street smarts and won’t get in a van with no windows.” This doesn't seem weird to me! Sometimes, I talk to my tweeps more than him! We all have a different type of relationship.




The running community amazes me more and more every day. I cannot believe that I can be a part of it. I have made the most amazing FRIENDS. I cannot wait to have more adventures and meet more and more people to add as IRL friends!



14 comments:

  1. I got a little teary on this one, I'm not going to lie. I love love love my virtual friends and I just adore making them in real life friends.
    Specifically, I'm SO HAPPY that we are friends, Steff. You are one of the kindest, funnest most genuine people I've met in so long. I'm so honored to call you a friend. <3

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    1. I FREAKING LOVE YOU! It's so hard to believe we haven't been friends our entire lives and for only a few months!

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  2. I just love the running community! So glad you got to meet up with them in real life.

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    1. It's such an amazing connection we all have! So easy to be friends.

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  3. Great post! I've lived in Pittsburgh all my life, so I know a lot of people, but very few of my IRL friends are runners. I'm pretty new to tweeting and blogging about running, but I've loved the fact that the online running community is such a warm and welcoming place. Maybe you and I will run into each other some day at a running event!

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    1. Yes! We are bound to see each other at some point!

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  4. Preach, on Steff! With us having moved to a small, small town 2 hours away from all my friends, twitter and blogging has been by saving grace. And it was absolutely life-changing meeting you and all our Akron peeps earlier this month. I've never felt so included and loved by a group of people before. Can't wait for September :-) Love and hugs! xoxo

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    1. I seriously felt depressed when we all had to say goodbye! Our September weekend will be epic!!

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  5. So awesome. I am currently trying to join running groups in hopes it will help me find some IRL friends.

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  6. You need to add me to your IRL list. :) soon.

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    1. Things we have been trying to do for at least four months!!!

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  7. I always said runners are the greatest group of people. I have only met a few of the people I talk to on twitter but I consider all of them my friend. I look forward to meeting so many more. My wife laughs when I say I am going running with someone from twitter, but she understands runners. Hopefully we will meet soon

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  8. Yes! The last quote on your post says it all! I wish I had more time for Twitter, but I just can't keep up with it. I'm happy to have met so many inspiring runners through blogging though.

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