Freshly Pressed, 15 minutes of internet fame and a self-realization to last a lifetime

Not that long ago, I came to a rather surprising self-realization that I have a lifelong issue with feeling that I never get heard. Let me explain (and share some of my iPhone photos that have nothing at all to do with this post)…

Lake Ontario

I grew up in a family that was tight-knit, loud, obnoxious, crazy and of course, REALLY dysfunctional. Being the oldest of three girls, I had a lot of responsibility. Both my parents worked full-time and also ran a small business during the summer which left me in charge of my two younger sisters a lot. Despite the amount of responsibilities I had, I never really had much say in the family because my parents were busy just trying to survive. I don’t blame them for anything. They did the best they could. I learned at an early age that in order to make myself heard, I had to kick, scream and put up a huge fuss about it. Since that generally didn’t go over with my parents very well (or anyone else for that matter), I mostly kept my mouth shut and did what I was told.

I only just recently put this all together and it seems so obvious to me now – I have spent much of my life either fighting to get myself heard or quietly blending into the wallpaper. As a result of this, I have held onto a lot of hurt, anger and resentment towards people in my life who probably didn’t fully deserve it.

Wait…some of them totally deserved it but not all of them.

So, when I received an email last week that my post was chosen to be featured on Freshly Pressed, I wasn’t sure what to do. I checked my email again a few times to be sure it wasn’t a hoax. Nope, not a hoax. It was real and it immediately sent me into a panic as if the Queen just called and said she was coming to visit.

I flung open my dashboard like a crazy lady and started to “clean up”. I ran a spell check, fixed some widgets, added some new ones, changed my About Me page fifteen times and then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. The usual two-day weekend felt like it was the longest wait of my life.

Fast forward to Monday morning, “My Life, Plan B” went live on Freshly Pressed and then the emails and WordPress app notifications started to roll in – right as I was in the middle of an intense two-hour long meeting at work. Gah!

For the next two days, it was an avalanche of ‘likes’, comments and follows that I am still astonished by. In that short time, my humble little blog received over 3,000 page views, 308 likes, 135 new followers and 144 comments. WOW! My iPhone was buzzing so much that I had to turn it off so I could catch my breath.

It was like a surprise party for me and I had absolutely no way of blending into the wallpaper at that celebration. It was fun, exhilarating and damn scary all at the same time. Talk about feeling vulnerable!

Three days later, my post slipped off the Freshly Pressed page and then…there was silence.

[Insert cricket sounds here]

photo (9)

I’m still going through comments and likes and clicking on profiles to check out all your wonderful blogs. This will keep me busy for the next little while. I would like to respond to each and every one of you, but I’m afraid I will set myself up for disappointment if I commit to that. Please know, that I have read every comment and I appreciate everyone taking the time to leave some encouraging words. I must admit, I was so touched by the outpouring of support, it made me cry.

(sniffle, sniffle)

Seriously, I was so deeply moved by your words that for the first time I really understood the reason of all reasons for my need to write and put myself out there on the internet…

I write because I have a Voice and I deserve to be heard.

That deeply ingrained, unconscious belief from my formative years does not have to have so much power over me, and I see that now. I have something important to say and there really are people out there who are genuinely interested. Imagine that.

Thank you Internet, for stopping by and listening. It means the world to me.

photo (10)

(Todays photos were taken last Sunday on the shore of Lake Ontario, Ashbridges Bay in Toronto, Ontario, using my iPhone 3Gs)


25 thoughts on “Freshly Pressed, 15 minutes of internet fame and a self-realization to last a lifetime

  1. Andrew Kowalchuk

    Sometimes the soft spoken are the ones whose words resonate the loudest. It is possible that your voice is louder in other people’s minds than you think?

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Hey Andrew, long time no see.

      Yes, it’s entirely possible and I guess that is another aspect of this self-realization. I think I’ve been viewing things through the lens of “nobody listens to me” which has blinded me from recognizing the people who actually do hear me loud and clear.

  2. ArianLady

    “I write because I have a Voice and I deserve to be heard” –> so true!

    Yes, this is the beauty of the internet, the world wide web, the humble blogpages…we could have our very own slice of Earth where we can be as noisy or as silent as we want, where other people can connect to what we thought only we ourselves experience…I’m so happy to be part of the generation that gets to enjoy this privilege! 🙂

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Yes, totally! I have had a few different blogs over the years and it’s so great to be part of a “community” of like minded people from all over the world. It makes the world seem like a much smaller place. Love it.

  3. The Viking from Yorkshire

    Nay, thou canst not escape so easily. If they’ve removed thee from Freshly Pressed, I’m still watching thee! There, it isn’t every day thou art afforded such publicity – about this thou art quite right….. but neither is it every day someone addresses only *thee*, in the Singular!

  4. sarah gilpin

    Only just getting familiar with blogging & freshly pressed – will catch up on your beautiful blogs over time… resonate with so much of what you write. Aiming for a similar shift myself..

  5. Tony

    How dull and dreary would life be, were it not for those who vex our sanity? Enjoying your blog and the similarities in our life experience. I am only as unheard as I want to be! Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knows right well.

  6. composerinthegarden

    ““My Life, Plan B” is not a plan at all. It’s more of an intention. It’s an intention to let go of the tight grip on my big expectations, take things one day at a time, do what’s in front of me to the best of my ability, and trust that the blur coming up for me on the horizon will become clear to me and worthwhile when I get there.”

    Mama Bear, you are way ahead of the game. I didn’t come to that realization until I was 60, so you are wise beyond your years. It is an enormous lesson that will change the rest of your life. Congratulations, not only on being Freshly Pressed, but on being able to state and share such a simple, and important, truth.

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Thank you. It seems like such a simple thing, however it can have profound effects on a persons life. I feel relief from not having to hold on so tight to all those expectations.


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