Álvaro Serrano:

Back in late 2014, though, I decided to make a pretty drastic change. I was less than happy at my job, and I knew I wanted to write Analog Senses full time, so I made a two-year plan to build it into a sustainable business. To this day, it remains the scariest decision I’ve ever made, but I’m so glad I made it.

If I hadn’t taken that leap of faith, I never would have worked up the courage to email Shawn Blanc and point-blank ask him for a job writing for Tools & Toys…

You see, if I hadn’t sent that email to Shawn I probably never would have become friends with Josh, and never would have evem met Marius. Candid never would have existed and, by extension, none of us would have met Thomas. These are three of the most important people in the world to me, and even now, years later, I talk to them every single day. They’ve become part of my family, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

Here’s what I wrote in our private Slack channel after reading Álvaro’s piece:

The whole digital reality of this little group takes a backseat every few years when we get to see each other, but that digital divide has a stigma… it’s like we’re not allowed to call each other our best friends, because of it. But just you writing it that way helps pull down that divide. I really appreciate that.

I stand by this, though I would have liked to use more words. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the magnitude of a relationship when it’s hidden behind a screen for 95% of the year. Getting to see each other in the skin amplifies the relationship — perhaps makes it feel more concrete.

But that doesn’t make it any less of a relationship.

It’s unique, sure. But it’s no less.

I often look at this small group of four as my epitome of the 21st Century. We met online through blogging and podcasting colleagues. We’ve only seen each other in the skin twice. But we talk to each other every day.

We are best friends.

I loved this piece from Álvaro and I really hope it sparks a drive for him to write from the heart over and over again.