On Being Freshly Pressed, A Phone Call and Such Happiness

“It took me a long time to realize that there are two kinds of writing; the one that you write and the one that writes you. The one that writes you is dangerous. You go where you don’t want to go. You look where you don’t want to look.”

Last night I cried quietly over the phone as many things came to my mind. I was crying out of joy. I was crying for the person I was and who I became and the tortuous road that lay in between. I believed that there’s only so much joy another person can bring to you and then you’re left to make do for the remaining part yourself. I was wrong.

A very safely nurtured dream came true a few days back. I saw my words being approached by complete strangers and being respected and praised immensely. I realized that the very nature of my writing that day – different from what it usually is – was still my writing and it made it to the Freshly Pressed page of WordPress. For people like me, this means everything and yet it stings just a tiny bit.

What followed in the coming few days was overwhelming, exhausting and so incredibly amazing; I guess there’s no way to entirely explain what I felt in words. Especially not in words. My views climbed and soared. My followers and like counts peaked. My phone was blown up with the incessant notifications and still goes off suddenly on a vibrating trip. But that’s not even the important part.

I received the kind of love writers can only dream about. More people than I can count told me how my writing reached to them. Some offered solace, some gave me their compassion, others promised to read, while the rest simply and honestly said thank you. There were few who said that I got into their minds and wrote their story. Which has to be what shocked me the most. I hurt all over wondering about these people I don’t know but their pain that I know all too well. It restored in me the faith that we’re never truly alone in the way we feel and think. Our experiences might be our own but there are people out there who have crossed those bridges at some point, faced the same demons and come out stronger. It’s a very big revelation to absorb when you spend most of your time cooped up in your worries and your tiny little life comprising of three or four important people. It’s an even harder blow to take when you have never been able to share your humiliating stories for fear of thinking it made you look bad.

One more reason I feel like I have to write this is because in retrospect if I had known this was the blog that was going to make the mark I would not have written some parts of it so harshly. The part about my mother. No, I wouldn’t challenge my integrity and change the facts. But I would’ve selectively imprinted on my readers a somewhat milder version of the pain I felt. The part about my mother. What part is it exactly? The part where I say how she hurt me? The part where I tell you that she only did what she thought was right? Or the part where I don’t talk about her?

Isn’t all of it in some indescribable way all her? Am I not, in the most inescapable reason simply because of her. Tied to her.

 "...obsessions of love, loss and longing. It is my mother. It is my mother. It is my mother. But mother is our first love affair. Her arms. Her eyes. Her breast. Her body. And if we hate her later, we take that rage with us into other lovers. And if we lose her, where do we find her again?"


“…obsessions of love, loss and longing. It is my mother. It is my mother. It is my mother.
But mother is our first love affair. Her arms. Her eyes. Her breast. Her body.
And if we hate her later, we take that rage with us into other lovers. And if we lose her, where do we find her again?”

People wrote to me and said they couldn’t fathom what kind of mother does that to her child. They expressed their anger and confusion and tried to mimic my sense of betrayal, if only to form a kind of kinship with me, maybe to make me feel better, by virtue of their humanity. But I read those comments, I read the ones that said, “What kind of mother…” and I lost my cool. I couldn’t control the rage I felt on the inside at hearing someone else question my mother. I’m sorry but that is an inherent right that only I can wield.

Last night, I cried because I heard the most beautiful words spoken and they were all for me. There are elegies of love and then there are confessions. There is poetry and wit, letters of love and actions of compassion and infinite mediums of explaining what a person makes you feel and what you feel for them. The rainbows, the sunlight, the kisses sent via snail mail, the memories of the places you’ve seen together, the songs that are always about your lover. Does anything ever not speak directly to you when you’re in love? The unwavering respect that someone can give you for what you do is the most enchanting kind of confession there is. I cried because for the first time in my life, I didn’t have to wonder what it was like to feel complete. I was, in that moment, by all means…infinite.

So I’ve come to understand many things with this whole writing and going viral business. I read on a blog somewhere that you can be really good at what you do but writing is lately like high school and that it’s about who can shout the loudest. Not about who can write the best. I did that shouting into the Internet void and hoping to hit a gold mine thing. I did hit a few good shots and got published in lesser known places but it was not enough for me. I can’t self promote unless it’s absolutely essential. So I waited patiently for WordPress to come through for me, knowing that the odds were way too many. I think this happened to me at such a promising and beautiful time in my life and that instead of it being the sole reason for my joy – as I had initially hoped – it only adds to the pre-existing happiness in my life.

I believe that posts like this, are not going to be too frequent here. They take something out of me and I can only put so much of my life up on public display. I am afraid that one day I will have exhausted all of my personal experiences and that will be the end of it. I was bothered before because hardly anyone was reading my blog, now I’m on the opposite side and I’m still troubled. I patiently spoke to everyone who left their precious comments on my blog because you only get to bask in the sun so much and also because while it’s shining you mustn’t forget to make hay. I said to them that readers like them make everything possible. And it’s true.

Last night, I cried because this is my life now and it’s absolutely beautiful.

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10 responses

  1. Congratulations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I stumbled upon you on Freshly Pressed and I love how you write with true emotion. Keep it up as I long to hear your voice in this crazy Internet world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sticking around!! I promise to keep at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too understand the dynamics of mother daughter relationships that are fragile at best but both sides cling on for dear life because despite hurts of the past there are redeeming virtues which make the relationship worth saving.

    While at home my mom and I could not agree on anything. She used scare tactics and mind games to keep us in line but I later discovered it’s what she used to keep me in line. I am the first born and my brother got away with things I couldn’t.

    By 19 I left home and discovered shortly after that my mother and I could only have a long distance relationship. We were both too strong-willed and opinionated to coexist under one roof.

    When I tried to address the things I felt hurt about during my years at home via letter, she totally took my attempts at making peace and evaluating my feelings as an attack. She felt that I hated her and accused me of being selfish and ungrateful. Wow! All I wanted to do was to get her to understand how her actions hurt me. I wanted to mend what was broken.

    Needless to say, those issues never got resolved. And as with many others it just got swept under the rug never to be visited again except in my journals, my poetry or in blogs as a way of self therapy.

    There are times when I miss her and just wished I could run to her and be wrapped up in her arms – – to be comforted and to feel the love I so long for. But alas, I know those feelings are just a fantasy since it won’t take long for us to not agree and need our space.

    If someone were to be enraged by my words my instinct would be, like you, to protect my mother. For she, despite our differences, is still my mother and worthy of my respect. For she could have easily terminated my life and not brought me into the world or given me up to be raised by someone else. Instead she forfeited a nursing career to be a stay at home mom – – to be there for me and my brother in every way she knew how.

    Parenting, as I’m learning from my own experiences, is done by trial and error. What works for one kid won’t necessarily work for another. I know my mom did the best she knew how but what hurts is her unwillingness to have a dialog about what’s been hurting me for so long. I don’t want to hurt her but just to get closure. That may never happen via dialog with her but I am finding solace in the arms of strangers who share similar stories of pain. At least I now know someone understands and I am finally finding closure one small step at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a new blogger, I stumbled across thid on the freshly pressed pages. I love the emotion with which you write and your success will inspire me. I will make sure to read your backlog and what comes after, but thank you for discussing so truthfully what writing feels like.

    Like

  5. Grass is always greener, doll. I hope you will settle into your newfound “fame” and embrace it as much as you can, knowing that there are hundreds or thousands who feel a piece of you in their soul with every word read. Expression, true, raw, and honest expression, is draining, but it’s damned necessary for yourself and others. And if you tone down the “type” of writing for your large audience, I hope you’ll always find a safe place in some of us to really press the knife into the wound, metaphorically, so that you can cleanse and grow with us.

    Like

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