Three weeks ago, I had no idea what being ‘Freshly Pressed’ meant. I’m rather glad I did not, because such knowledge was bound to have triggered my old chestnut of ‘I am not good enough’, which in turn might have led to me striving and striving to get something Freshly Pressed; all with a view to becoming the illusory and momentary ‘good enough’. Yes I know, what does ‘good enough’ mean anyway? And does being Freshly Pressed really matter? But hey, it’s an old wound I carry and much as I’d like to pretend that I no longer hear its silent whisper, deep down I know that it still rears its stubborn head from time to time, to let me know that I can run but cannot hide.
A couple of days after the Freshly Pressed post, I noticed that my email inbox was filled with tons of notifications of either people following my blog or posting a comment. My immediate thought was that my spam filter was compromised and I decided to ignore them. Later that evening I noticed that @freshly_pressed had tweeted my post. Aww, that’s nice I thought, as I looked though the other blogs that had also been tweeted. I mentioned the tweet on Facebook and got a few ‘Congratulations’, for which I felt embarrassed; ‘its only a tweet I thought, no big deal’.
The next day when I checked my inbox, I noticed that the emails were not spam. Instead, there were so many really lovely comments where people had mentioned being touched by the post. It was at that point I typed ‘Freshly Pressed’ into my search engine and hey presto!
Traffic to the site during the first week of being Freshly Pressed was really overwhelming and whilst things have now gone back to normal – only just – I have the wonderful comments that people took time to write to remind me that I did not dream it all.
I’d like to say a special and BIG thank you to those who posted comments, liked the post, the new followers, those who reblogged and those who read it – I am deeply moved. When I set up OutTales two years ago, my intention was to share stories by same gender loving people, particularly gay men. I guess in my mind I felt the people who would be interested in the site would be other gay men.
Reading the comments and looking at the profiles of some of the people who have started following the blog since being Freshly Pressed, I see that many do not fit my initial assumption. And within that realization lies the lesson that I am taking away from being Freshly Pressed, it was something I knew already, but somehow did not really believe that it applied to my blog?!! The lesson was – beneath the surface of our respective lives, we have much in common and ultimately that is what truly matters. For just because someone is not like me or has not experienced something the way I did, does not mean they are not interested in my story or that it does not resonate with them and vice versa.
So, here’s to telling and hearing more stories!
PS – Last week I had the opportunity to interview the vulnerability, shame and courage researcher Brené Brown. We talked about her research areas and how they relate to the lives of gay men. You can read the interview here – and you don’t have to be gay for what we talked about to resonate 🙂