The BPAL forums are a fan run site for fan of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - a company that makes the most glorious perfume oils. I had never been a perfume wearer until a few weeks before I joined the forum. But the perfume oils didn't smell like anything else I had every smelled before with perfume. I was hooked right away.
Back in those days, forums were one of the most popular ways to chat with people online. Facebook was still in it's infancy, Twitter didn't exist yet and while there was still MySpace and Livejournal, forums were there too for individual topics. These days, the BPAL forum is the only one I visit on a regular basis. Most of my other interaction is via Facebook groups.
Now you may be wondering how a fan run forum could change my life. It wasn't the forum, per say, it was and is the people there. The people on the forum are awesome and kind and honestly my best friends. Not 15,000 of them, but a few.
The forum-ites have been there for me when I was getting married, when I was pregnant, on my low days and on my good days. I've met a few in person, at meet and sniffs and Dragon Con, but most of my dear BPAL friends I've never met outside of cyberspace.
One of those friends is actually the owner and genius behind Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Beth.
|Beth, me and Emily at Dragon Con 2012|
I feel another bond with Beth because our daughters are about the same age. I get to see her daughter through Beth's Facebook posts and I'd love if Emily and Lilith were able to meet someday.
My collection of the actual perfume has gotten smaller over the years. My body has turned against it - whenever I put any on my skin, it morphs into an awful floral and gives me a migraine. I have to use solely scent lockets now because my skin hates me. But Emily has her own small collection of smellies - she loves putting it on, though she kind of over does it because she's five.
This summer the forum went down for several months and it was hard on all of us. There are several BPAL Facebook groups, but it wasn't the same. Someone actually created a temporary, bare bones forum for the interim, but it wasn't the same either. Once the actual forum reopened, it was like coming home.
That action I did ten years ago today was a simple one but it really changed my life. I'm so thankful for all the great friends I've made. Here's to another ten years!