It all started last Wednesday night at exactly 9:43PM. I was sitting on my couch watching Masterchef on television. I looked at my phone and saw that I had a message. I realized it was an email. It was an email from WordPress. It was an editor informing me that my most recent post, I Miss School, Already, was going to be Freshly Pressed. The email also said that my post deserved a wider audience. By this point, my jaw had broken a hole through the floor and made a large thud on the concrete floor in the basement. Dogs around the neighbourhood barked at the commotion.
I sat there stunned. In fact, I am still stunned. I feel like I have been living the last four days in someone else’s body. Maybe I should get this checked out.
The words, “deserved a wider audience”, have stuck with me since I read that email. That is one of the biggest compliments I have ever received. When someone tells you they want to share your work with thousands (maybe millions?) of other people…oh man, it’s like getting an extra scoop of ice cream on a sundae. Both cause a brain freeze, by the way.
When I sat down at my laptop and wrote that post at 2AM, it was not the topic I thought I would be writing about. I had convinced myself that I would be writing about sports. But that is not what my fingers wanted to type, nor my heart, for that matter. My heart told me to write about how I missed school. So I did. I pressed “Publish” and went to sleep. Little did I know what was about to happen later that night.
By the way, “Listen to your Heart” isn’t just a song by Roxette, it’s a motto to live by – not this YOLO nonsense. Yay, you put four letters together. Grow up. Save your acronyms for study purposes only. Moving on…
I’ve only been blogging since June. I always thought it would be cool to be Freshly Pressed, but I never thought it would happen to me. There are just too many great blogs out there and about five are chosen every day to be featured. The odds were never in my favour and I still don’t know how I beat them. If I were in Las Vegas, I’m sure someone would be scanning the security footage right now.
The feedback and support I have received in the last few days has been overwhelming. At one point I asked one of my friends (you know who you are) if they knew a word that meant, “very overwhelmed.” They replied with, “exasperated.” Nope. Definitely not the word I was looking for, but thanks for trying.
My friends are the best people that I have ever met. Makes sense, right? I had numerous friends share my blog post on Facebook. People that I haven’t talked to in years, reached out and told me they liked my post. None of these people had to do that. I never expected any of them to share my post. I can only imagine the space I took up on some people’s news feeds. Sorry about that; not really. But the fact that they liked what I wrote, so much, that they wanted to share it with their friends, meant a lot to me. I don’t know how I’ll ever repay them. And now that the Canadian penny is discontinued, I’ll have to start with nickels.
To my friends who encouraged me to start writing, and who were there during the early days of this blog, thank you. You always told me how much you enjoyed my posts, and although I believed you, I knew you were obligated to say that. It’s in our friendship contract, which is kept locked away in the filing cabinets within my head and yours. Ouch, that sounds painful.
To the bloggers that have commented on, or liked my post, thank you. You don’t even understand how appreciative I am. I made it my goal to reply to every comment, as well as visit every person’s blog who interacted with my post. It’s the least I could do. And I didn’t just click on your blog and turn away after 10 seconds. I read some of your posts and grew an appreciation for what you write about. Whether it was poetry or just random stories, I genuinely enjoyed it.
The one thing I am very proud of is the message that people seem to be taking away from my blog. I’ve had people of all ages – retired, working, college student, high school student, etc. – comment on my post and tell me they can relate or, for the students, that it has opened their eyes and has taught them to enjoy the experience while it lasts. Hearing that put a smile on my face every time.
Also, I was happy that I could let the people who are far removed from college, reminisce about the good old days. Many people told me that they still remain in contact with the friends they made while in school. I was glad to hear that because I know in twenty years, the close friends I’ve made in university, will still be in my life. That stipulation is also in our friendship contract, which is locked away in the filing cabinets between….you know how this goes.
I also need to mention my school, Brock University. Brock and the Brock Alumni group, shared my post on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Wow. It’s quite the feeling to have an entire educational institution support you. I suggest you try it sometime. At some schools, students claim they are just a number. I feel sorry for them.
After searching on Twitter to see if strangers were sharing my blog – yeah, I’m THAT guy – I was surprised to realize that some actually were. One person sent it to their friend and told them to read it because they thought they would be able to relate. Holy cow! People are sending my work to people and saying “READ THIS”? It’s day four and I’m still not accustomed to people sharing my post and relating to the things I said. I can’t believe it. What a compliment. I’m already a humble person (so I’m told), but I am humbled by this like I have never been humbled before. If someone uses my blog post as a reference in one of their essays, that might just paralyze me with gratitude. I’ll have to repay you starting in dimes – none of this nickel nonsense.
Before I close, if you would like to read about my entire University experience, feel free to read one of my previous posts, Remember The Titans.
Once again, thank you everyone who read I Miss School, Already. Yes, the publicity has been great. And yes, I have enjoyed being Freshly Pressed. But, I am happier with the impact my blog has had on people. Whether it made you reminisce, or made you realize that you should be cherishing the memories while you still can. That post came straight from the heart and I’m honoured that it has touched so many lives because all of your comments and well-wishes have sure touched mine.
Now to go pick up my jaw off the concrete floor in my basement…