The Beautiful People of the Internet
Copy: Serena Faber Nelson
Photography: Serena Faber Nelson
Have you ever found yourself hitting rock bottom? You know, one of those times where everything seems overwhelming and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel? That was me two weeks ago. Stuck in bed with a fever and a bad case of the flu, I was left helpless as I watched my action packed schedule for the week fall apart. Weary from the ghastly virus that had taken over my body, and the constant work and social obligations that kept ringing in my head, I wanted to give up. As the fever took hold I emphatically declared ‘That’s it! It’s too much! I’m done!’ There may have been tears.
What was I done with? Everything really. A demanding work schedule, a never ending social calendar, phone calls to return, groceries to be bought, even Pretty Fluffy was on my hit list. That’s right, this wonderful little sweet piece of the internet I get to call my own was in the firing line. I thought of the blog posts I had to write, the photos I had to take, the tweets I had to send…and started to wonder if I could keep up. I wondered if it was all worth it. What was the point of it all? Was I making a difference? Did anyone really care?
I let these questions hang heavy in the air as I fell into a fever fueled slumber. I slept. Then I slept some more. And what do you know…the next morning, as my fever broke, my spirit started to come back together. Slowly that light at the end of the tunnel, that had been so hard to see before, finally began to emerge.
It started with a simple tweet from a fellow blogger, mentioning how even though she doesn’t even have a dog, Pretty Fluffy brings joy into her life. Then came an amazingly sweet email from an online colleague sharing how pleased she was to have met me through this very blog. Then another email from a beautiful contributor telling me how the feature of her dog as the Daily Fluffy made her week. Possibly the clincher was a Pretty Fluffy reader sharing how she had adopted the gorgeous Gracie we featured on the site late last year. The knowledge of this sweet face finding a fur-ever home made me realise that people really did care.
By the time the week was out, and more and more heartfelt messages and gestures came my way, I felt like the questions I had unwittingly sent out into the universe had come back tenfold. You see, I didn’t share my previous thoughts with anyone. I didn’t tweet them. Didn’t facebook them. Didn’t send an Instagram photo with the tag #IGiveUp. I merely thought them. Which makes it even sweeter that all of the above outpouring of support, encouragement, gratitude and joy came genuinely and unsolicited. But it came when I need it the most.
The internet gets such a bad rap these days. There are trolls, spammers, plagiarists, cliques and negative nellies all armed with a keyboard and ready to strike. But you know what? Online, there also exists a whole bunch of lovely people who are there to support each another, share, learn and grow together. People who send you personalised cards of your dog just because. People that will be there to cheer on your greatest successes, pick you up from your failures and remind you that the sun is always shining somewhere. (And if that doesn’t work, to remind you that’s it’s always Wine O’Clock somewhere in the world.)
With last weeks reminder firmly in place I can say for sure I’m not giving up. Pretty Fluffy is not going anywhere. To the universe, and all those people that reached out to me online recently, thank you. You have no idea what your kindness meant to me. I may have a better plan in place for future sick days, but I’m happy to say I’m here to share the Pretty and the Fluffy for a long time to come! And that, dear readers, is 100% because of each and every one of you inspiring me to do it. To me, you are the beautiful people of the internet.
So this week I want you to share the online love. A simple shout out from you can mean the world to someone else. Have a blog that you love? Leave a comment or send an email to the writer. Love the work of a favourite animal welfare group? Leave a message on their facebook wall thanking them for the hard work they do. Really enjoyed reading a certain article? Share it with your friends. Found a photo you’re simply smitten by? Pin it! By giving out a bit o’ love, it’ll be that much sweeter when it comes back to you. Have a lovely week Pretty Fluffies.