Seeking Refuge @ the Refuge: My 1st Meeting with an IG Follower

Social Media has its pros and cons.

Pro: networking with new people.

Con: oversharing.

Last week something cool happened: I met a follower of mine from Instagram! No, this wasn’t a date and part of my Dating in the BOI tales.

Well, that’s a lie.

We actually did exchanged our own individual stories over some drinks. It was a win- win. Meet someone new & hear about his dating horror stories.

Although he granted me permission, I still like to protect people’s identity. I’ll call my Instagram follower Mr. Artist. Which leads me to explain how our encounter went from online to in-person.


Last week while checking out my IG feed, I came across this vibrant and colorful illustration of the state capitol building and Boise written across the top. I immediately paused and said danggggg, this is a cool illustration! Yes, this is my actual voice. I do say words like dang.


Source: Mr. Artist’s website


As any pro-Instagrammer would do, I commented and engaged with this account. I was pleased to see he followed me in return. After some time passed since I commented, I received a DM (direct message, for those who were unsure). Mr. Artist told me how he enjoyed my Dating in the BOI blogs, and how he too has dating stories worth sharing.

I thought it’ll be worth hearing about a male’s perspective with online dating. I’m slightly curious given that I’m only living my own female experiences.


Before I knew it, we’d exchanged numbers and met at The Refuge. After messaging back and forth, receiving nothing but good vibes from him through our messages, I thought to myself go and network!


I’m all about networking when living in a new place. I highly encourage it, actually. A few of my followers personally know me, and I met them through networking events throughout Boise.


Here’s the kicker:  Just the DAY BEFORE meeting, a friend suggested I go and checkout the Refuge, for its delicious food and beer options. And of COURSE Mr. Artist suggested the exact same place.


Mr. Artist was right on time. He approached me, we did the whole “hey are you…?” dance, and walked over to an empty table.

I’ll just say that I enjoyed my time getting to know Mr. Artist. He shared stories ranging from dating to his worldly travels, to his career path. I mean, let’s not forget his art. The exact reason to what prompted us to meet.


His illustrations are rich with color, depth, and uniqueness that’ll make a color fanatic like me stop in her tracks. If you were in SoCal, you may come across a surfboard covered with some of his illustrations.

But get this — this isn’t even his full-time job. He simply loves doing it. Which shows in his work.


We shared our stories, and boy was it enlightening. To hear about his experiences made me wonder how I come across on my online profiles. From pictures of cats & sunsets, to extremely outdated profile photos, to newly divorced women looking to find their Christian Grey — it’s the hodgepodge of dating fiascoes.


I don’t feel too bad about my dating stories. I still, however, have experienced the most awful online messages one can EVER receive. To the point where you wonder if it’s a real person behind the screen!


I know I’ll see Mr. Artist again. He is an intelligent  person with knowledge to share. And with that, I’ll end my blog post with something he said while talking about happiness:
A person should like what they do, like who they are with, and like where they live. 
When you take a step back and think of the times you may have been unhappy in your life, it probably stems from one of these things. I speak for myself and say these exact reasons are why I had to reevaluate my life while living in New England.


To end,  I’m an actual person who is all about networking and meeting new people. Whether you’re a native Boisean or a transplant, I’d love to network and learn from my peers. Boise Bucket List is more than just crossing activities off my list. It’s about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, embracing a life of simple joys, and living in the moment. A philosophy I hope you, my follower, will start to embrace as well.


Mr. Artist —  I look forward to proudly hanging up your artwork in my office for all to see!

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