To say I have had a bad experience with all of my friendships would be correct. I have been incredibly unlucky.
In 29 years I have learnt a lot about people, and a lot about myself. But the main thing I've learnt is that people are unpredictable.
The majority of my friendships now are online. Some of these friendships will always just be online, with the odd hello and chat at a blog conference or event, and some are friendships that have crossed over into the real world.
This is one of the best things about blogging for me, and the fact that I have been able to make these friendships and meet people who I maybe wouldn't have met in real life, away from blogging.
I can be too taken in by people. And I think this is something I am constantly learning.
I get too sucked into this persona that is projected via blogs, and Instagram photos. I believe that these people are being completely real and showing themselves, when in reality they are making the most of this perfect life which they can play out online.
They can be the person they always wanted to be. The sweet girl, the girl who always says what is on her mind, the confident one, the one who is always positive, the one who can do no wrong, the one who is everyone's friend.
But it doesn't take long for these persona's to be crushed and, in my opinion, you can only be the character you want to be for a short amount of time, and in the end people will either see through it or you will show your true side.
I've been blogging now for 3 and a half years and I can say that I am in a happy place when it comes to particular friendships. And in particular that these friendships, although working fine online and through other means of communication, also require some actual real life interaction.
Not so much in a "this friendship will not work if we don't see each other", but more of a "I really need to see you properly" kind of way.
Actually sitting face to face, and hearing each others voices. Being around each other. Those tiny awkward silences, the looks you give each other which can not be expressed via an emoji.
Real life interaction to remind you and reassure you of what is real.
There are so many benefits to online friendships. For me, the biggest benefit is that I am able to meet people who I wouldn't have met before. People who live miles away from me. People I wouldn't meet at the childrens centre, or at work.
I love meeting people at blog conferences, but I think these are mostly down to chance. The best thing for me, is someone finding you, or you finding someone else, on social media and choosing to then contact them, choosing to look at their blogs, choosing to almost make that next step to meet up, be it at a blog conference or somewhere away from blogging completely.
For so long I have hoped for a constant friendship. A friendship similar to the ones I envy in others. A friendship where I feel I can be myself, and a friendship where I feel the other person/s are completely themselves.
Everything is out in the open. No judging, and complete honesty is key.
I am a soppy person. I will tell my friends I love them. I miss them. I will tell them how much they mean to me. And a true friend will accept how I am, even if they are not the same. They won't tell me not to say those things, or change the subject, but at the same time they can take the mickey out of me being that way.
I sometimes sit and cry. Yes, I know, is there anything I don't cry about?!
I cry tears of sadness at not being able to see those friends often enough. Tears at the distance between us.
But I also cry tears of happiness. Happiness that I have found true friendship. Happiness that despite the distance, we are closer than I ever could have hoped.
The happiness that is constant.