Freshly Pressed

I got home late Thursday night to find my inbox flooded with over 100 WordPress notification emails for new likes, reblogs, comments, and followers. Either I’m being massively spammed…or….maybe…could I have been Freshly Pressed?

Freshly Pressed is a collection of the Wordpress gods’ editors’ picks and favorite reads from across the WordPress.com blog universe. I loaded the page and there I was. My tiny planet of writing and reflection suddenly highlighted and drawn out of its usual orbit. My little corner of the Internet suddenly stretched much much bigger.

Screen shot 2015-05-15 at 3.54.15 AM

The Freshly Pressed page on 14 May 2015. That’s me in the top right corner!

Being Freshly Pressed has been overwhelming in the most positive way imaginable. In three days, it’s made my stats skyrocket and quadrupled my number of followers (it also quickly prompted me to change my email notification settings). All this has been extremely exciting.

But beyond feeling overwhelmed and excited, I feel incredibly humbled. That people identify and connect with my experiences and my words enough to keep reading them. Enough to like, follow, reblog, and above all comment on my posts. Enough to share their own struggles and triumphs and messages of encouragement with me—and with each other.

At a time when I’ve been feeling out of touch with myself and my writing, getting this kind of support is huge. It’s a sign that at least here, in this endeavor, I’m on the right path.

My Freshly Pressed post is about loneliness, grief, and longing for an old self. Homesickness for a lost inner home. Being Freshly Pressed has made me feel less alone in my loneliness. More hopeful and optimistic and motivated. To everyone who has reached out to me, thank you.

In the weeks that have passed since writing and publishing “A Strange Kind of Homesickness,” I’ve been on an upward swing. I’ve had some breakthroughs in my social life which have led to fewer solo cultural outings and more picnics in sunny parks with cheap bottles of wine. I’ve been feeling more settled and comfortable with the family I work for and live with. I’ve still been feeling big stormy emotions, but I’m trying to accept them, ride them out rather than resist them. And the reflection and (over)analyzing they leave in their wake have been more positive and productive.

And I’ve started to focus more seriously on my writing. I’ve joined a weekly writing meet-up—a group of people with a vast array of projects (academic, professional, creative) who get together to “shut up and write.” We hold each other accountable to simply be present and to work on something, anything. To break through writer’s block. I’m finding a safe, productive space there and a small fledgling community in this city of millions.

I’ve been reading about writing creative non-fiction—and just plain reading more creative non-fiction. I’ve dared to start calling myself a writer (mostly in my head, but sometimes out loud). I’ve dared to start owning this piece of myself.

And I’ve started to get closer to that elusive inner place called “home.”

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23 comments

  1. So, so inspiring Cara. You are amazing! and that post was one of my all-time favorites. Keep writing, bisous!

    1. Thank you for your unceasing encouragement and friendship, Dana! Bisous right back at you!

  2. Ashley · · Reply

    Knowing that things slowly coming around for you in Paris gives me hope for here in Spain. Keep doing you, you’re awesome!

    1. Thank you, Ashley. I’m optimistic that they will!

    1. Thanks

      1. you’re such a nice writer!

  3. Reblogged this on mynameisjaydee and commented:
    This one is what I like!

  4. You just realized? –laughs– (I saw it 2 days ago) . Congratulations and keep going!

    1. I realized right away, but am just posting about it now. 🙂

  5. Hi Cara — I stumbled upon your post and picked it for Freshly Pressed because your musings on the meaning of home and finding peace within yourself spoke to me. A few times in my past, I’ve also revisited cities for certain reasons — as you wrote, to find the person I once was. It was very honest, too, and it made me want to read more from you.

    Indeed, I’m an editor — but first and foremost a reader and writer, drawn to themes of home and place and identity, which I also love to write about. Glad that the experience was positive for you.

    1. Hi Cheri — Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing my post. I’m happy to hear from you (and so many others) that my writing touched you, and even more so that you found it honest. Writing is first and foremost a way for me to be honest with myself, so it’s nice to hear that the honesty I strive for does come through and is relatable.
      Happy future stumblings through the blogosphere!

  6. Jamie · · Reply

    Congratulations, Cara! You certainly deserve some recognition for your beautiful and insightful writing.

    1. Thanks for always being my number-one fan, mom!

  7. congrats girl!

    1. Thanks!

  8. It’s so good to hear a positive update! Keep on ❤

  9. purplerose18 · · Reply

    Freshly pressed was the way I found your blog, and now it’s on my website too under “Blogs I follow”. I’m glad you have progressed since then and feel much better! Looking forward to more!

    1. Thanks for the follow!

  10. Awesomeness!

  11. It’s certainly how found your blog, so glad!

  12. Martin_a76 · · Reply

    I’ve only got round to reading this post and the warmth and care in which it has been written really does shout out. you have serious talent for writing , especially from the heart – I’ve enjoyed everything you have written so far.

    1. Thanks so much for the positive feedback! Glad to hear you enjoy my writing.

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