kindred spirits

dear kaitlin,
lets be pen pals!
what do you think?

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in an ever-evolving world of technology where real-life conversations and friendships are becoming less and less 'real', receiving this message couldn't have been more refreshing.  in early december of 2012 chelsea sent a facebook message to kaitlin that would open the door to a genuine, ever-lasting friendship.

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of course, as most friendships [and relationships] start nowadays, we initially 'met' through a favorite social media outlet: instagram. we had been following each other for a few months [how creepy does that sound?] but hadn't begun talking until we became official facebook friends. [duh!] 

penpaling is one of chelsea's favorite hobbies, and i hadn't had a penpal since 5th grade. so i enthusiastically accepted her offer to step outside of the internet and communicate in a way which requires effort and intention. i think it showed a lot about her personality, wanting to take the time to sit down, physically write on pen and paper, and even walk to the post office or mailbox [exert physical energy!] to communicate with someone else. a rare trait of most souls in the current world we live in.

shortly after receiving her first beautifully hand-written letter, [have you seen her calligraphy skills?] i came to realize we were going to have way more in common than i ever imagined. we began chatting more often; chelsea was planning to make a trip up to the seattle area and at the same time i was planning my move to southern california. timing was an issue and if she had been able to make the trip, we would have just missed meeting each other.

chelsea came into my life in the most perfect timing. just as our penpal friendship began, i was going through a rough break-up, all while moving to a new state where i knew close to no one. she quickly became my rock, someone who encouraged me and reminded me of god's plans for my life, prayed for me, and was there for me more than anyone, even being 3,000 miles away with 3 hours difference in time.

chelsea shared her story with me, and how she ended up on the east coast because of an unhealthy relationship with an ex-boyfriend. she moved and he broke her heart. all too relatable, but she had the exact insight, words, and support i needed. facebook chatting turned into texting 24/7, which turned into phone calls at any and all hours.

through my up's and down's moving to california, living there, and eventually moving back, she was there for me 100%, even in the times she didn't agree with my decisions 100%. and i was there for her, through her singleness and crazy dating horror stories and heartbreak. our endless conversations had us brainstorming up the craziest ideas, and about how our stories combined would make the juiciest book of all time. photos of her cats, our makeup-less 'derp' faces, and weird lingo only we can understand are exchanged daily. [ewmergerd!]

finally, over a year of friendship later, we were united in real life! spending a week together, it felt as if we had never been apart before. we are leaving 2013 behind us, and claiming 2014 as 'our year'. after months of dreaming up a place to share our talents, favorites, hobbies and photos, our collaborative blog has come to life as feel + flourish!

feel: to be emotionally affected by, to feel sympathy for or compassion toward, empathize with.
flourish: to be in a vigorous state; thrive, to be in its or in one's prime, to be successful; prosper.

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social media has an amazing way of bringing people together who would have otherwise never even known each other exists. try to step outside your screens and reach out to those who you feel a connection with. you never know what wonderful friendships and experiences could blossom from it!

x's + o's

kaitlin elaine & chelsea diane

[Bethany Olson owns all the above photos. thank you!]