Today I want you all to meet Rochelle Fritch. Not because she’s sweet, witty, insightful and an accomplished writer. Not because she delivered a beautifully nuanced piece when she read for Listen to Your Mother. I want you meet Rochelle because not two weeks ago this woman got me on the dance floor. Me, the person who hasn’t danced in ages. Me, the woman who feels like a great big floppy oompa-loompa even at the thought of getting on the dance floor.
But to simply toe-tap or head-jut with Rochelle isn’t enough. We only just met in person a couple of weeks ago, in Atlanta, for the We Still Blog event at TypeA. I knew who she was, of course; I’d seen her good news on twitter and clicked through to read a lovely piece about being cast in this year’s Milwaukee Listen to Your Mother show. We exchanged a few tweets, enough to know that I’d like her in real life if I ever was lucky enough to know her in real life.
Then, that Sunday morning between sessions and lunch, I saw her lovely face as I passed by a table and she said ‘you look so familiar to me’ and we finally introduced ourselves and moved past social media familiarity. It’s a funny thing, these places I find myself drawn to. I so desperately wanted to go to TypeA because I was selected to be a finalist in the We Still Blog section but also because I am grasping for information about publishing, blogging and building a business on my terms. I found some of that, but I also found people that truly understand why I pour out my heart through the keys on a laptop. I found people who understand that I can’t truly talk and process what I’m feeling unless my fingers are moving and words are being scrawled on a page or saved on a hard drive. These people are my new chosen family. My tribe. They get me.
I may only see Rochelle now and then at conferences, but I will forever call her friend. We traded secrets over blaring 80’s music and kicked off our shoes to get down with Cee Lo, and I smiled and nodded and then teared up a bit as I pulled up her Listen to Your Mother video to hear her speak. How very Rochelle; so human, so wise, so funny and so right.