La Pomme is Graduating

Camellia blossoms

Last fall, La Pomme de Portland quietly turned 4 years old while I was cherishing final bits of time with my mom. I’ve spent as much time coddling and growing La Pomme de Portland as I did earning my college degree. And yet, I have learned much more about what makes me tick and fills my soul than I ever did in a classroom.

I have always been a writer in the sense that I have always written down my thoughts. I have boxes and boxes of old diaries and journals.

Most of them started out as a simple recording of my day, “Took bus to school. Did gymnastics with Cassandra at recess. Had hot dogs for dinner.”

Those gave way to journals full of teenage tirades – boyfriends, girlfriends, parents and pimples.

Before long, I was a young woman using words to try and make sense of the world and how – exactly – I fit into it. But I kept all of these words private. They swam around in my mind alone.

And then, something as innocuous as my annual Christmas letter swung my life in an entirely new direction. Through a hint  of my internal thoughts that I shared publicly in my silly letters, friends noticed that my writing made them laugh.

And they told me so. Often.

Whenever I sit down to write something today, I send up a little prayer of gratitude for those kind souls. I don’t think they can fathom the impact those few generous words had on me. How they gave me the tiniest bit of courage…to write more. And to show more people.

Before I hit the publish button on my first La Pomme de Portland post, I was shaking and full of nerves. My stomach was nauseous and my heart was pounding visibly in my chest. Crazy thoughts such as, “What will people think of me when they read my ramblings? Shouldn’t I be writing about more important topics like politics or feminism? I’m writing about taking my kids to the farmers market. I’m not even in the food industry. Who do I think I am? Rachael Ray? Giada?” And on and on.

And yet, I pushed the publish button. And then I pushed it again and again and again. And each time, I grew a little less nervous. I gained a little more courage. And I discovered that there are people out there who want to read what I write.

I know that because you told me so. You sent me emails, you left comments, you pulled me aside in Starbucks. You gave me more courage.

Over the years, I found that some of you visit La Pomme for the recipes, some for the photographs, and some for the stories. But what truly fills me up with a sense of purpose is when one of you shares with me that something I wrote inspired you to rediscover your own voice, to pursue a long forgotten passion, to grab hold of a little courage in your own life to head down an unfamiliar path, or simply to know that you’re not alone in this journey through life.

Camellia blossoms, Take 2

In a few months, La Pomme de Portland will “graduate from school.” When that happens, I will offer up deep gratitude for all I have learned from her and then, we’ll say good-bye.

At some point, we have to grow up, move away from what’s comfortable, make tough decisions, and assume responsibility for the direction we choose to go in our lives even though there are no guarantees. To have a little faith in ourselves even though we’re full of all kinds of insecurity and doubt.

What comes next will be the grown-up version of La Pomme, which is simply me…
Carrie Minns
I will take my writing, my photography and this new direction in my life using my own name.

Through my writing, my photographs and upcoming videos and books on CarrieMinns.com, my hope is to inspire and encourage anyone who spends time in my corner of the web to

Nourish your body. Nourish your soul. And blossom into your truest self.

And really. That’s it.

If I can inspire just one person to unlock the passions she’s set aside, to find the energy and tenacity to go after them, and to put her beautiful and unique self out in the world, then I am living a truly fulfilled life.

I feel such deep gratitude to all of you who read La Pomme whether you’ve been reading from the first post or the most recent. Thank you. I do not take your time for granted and my hope is that you feel your time here is well spent. That you leave with a little something to ponder, a dish to nourish you, and the courage to reach out and grab onto your own amazing life.

Please, the next time you think to yourself, “Wow, so and so is really good at such and such,” don’t hold back. Let that person know because she will cling to those words…for years…and they could change her life.

Much love,
Carrie

Comments

  1. Laura Croll says:

    Congratulations and all the best of Luck. I can’t wait to see what you give us next…

  2. Tammy Wilhoite says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming “graduation”. I’m so excited for you. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go…” :-) I can’t believe it’s been four years, but thank you for every one of them. <3

  3. Inspiring, as always! So excited to see what the next evolution at carrieminns.com brings! xoxo

  4. As a charter member* of the insider, I knew her When she STARTED her blog and have read 90% of her stuff, I understand, but what about salmon and but also flowers and theres the thing about my sweetie, and then you and more you and do you remember that thing you wrote that made me think about trying that thing that had the stuff on it?

    Do more of that.

    I’ll be reading anyway, “Carrie Minns”, if thats your real name. You know, internet fakery and all.

    Joe

    *have the certificate‡

    ‡made it myself

  5. Lisa Hess (Hakkinen) says:

    This is the first time I have read your column and your words have touched my soul. I do have one dream I’ve held onto for 31 years, and I have recently felt this yearning, almost a calling, if you will, to accomplish this dream. Fears of failure and/or rejection have kept me from pursuing this dream. Your words describing how you felt before pushing the submit button has encouraged me to do the same. Thank you for your transparency Carrie!!! :-)

    • Oh my dear, Lisa, your words literally fill me up with joy. Just for you to write them down here, in this public place, is so brave. You absolutely must revisit that one dream. I hope I will be able to provide even a tiny bit of inspiration for you go after it and grab on. xo

  6. Yay! Well, you knew I would approve, right? Love to see you grow and take yourself more seriously as a professional, Carrie. :)

    • Christina, you have helped me get to this point more than you know. You are out there making such good things happen in the world. Thank you.

  7. Oh Carrie, I see so much of your unspoken mother in what you write. Betty lived what she believed, but kept so much inside of her. You have lovely insight with a unique, caring and humorous way of expressing it. Please continue to bless us with your writings in whatever form you choose. Thank you for being you!

    • Ruby, thank you so much for being such a dear friend to my mom and to me. I feel such deep gratitude for the fact that little bits of my mom are alive and in the world through her friendships. xoxo

  8. Congratulations, Carrie! I’m guessing you have had some MF inspiration – and in turn, you are inspiring me!

  9. Julie Pitcher says:

    Can’t wait to read more! Wishing you all the courage you need – your words are worth sharing!

  10. Carrie, Needless to say you have inspired me to share your writing with my daughter. She reads your Home Grown Chef article every month with me too. She too wants to be a writer some day. I am looking forward to the next adventure in your writing!

  11. Kathleen Farland says:

    Carrie,
    You have given so much of yourself and by doing so gave others the courage that they are “ok” and that their life has meaning, purpose and so many possibilities. I feel sad to see this chapter end for you, but so excited to see what happens in the next one.
    Today as I was reading your words – the light bulb went off and I jumped from my chair to write down the thoughts and ideas that were flooding my mind. You gave me the spring for my next best step. Now I know that launching is the key and what happens next is what is supposed to “be”.
    As always – love, gratitude and much success!

    • Oh, Kathleen, I feel your excitement in getting your thoughts down. Glad that I could provide even the tiniest of inspiration for moving forward. I can’t wait to see what is next for you too!

  12. Eryn Burgess (Scharwatt) says:

    I am always so inspired by your words Carrie! Such warmth & authenticity. Thanks for sharing your many gifts with all of us out here. Looking forward to the next expression of your view into the world!

  13. Melissa Nelson says:

    Congrats Carrie! For a second there I thought you were “closing shop”! Was so glad to hear about the “graduation” of La Pomme instead.I always look forward to reading your touching, inspiring posts. Best wishes on your next endeavor and I look forward to see what you come up with!

  14. Kisa Nosler-Nantz says:

    Carrie- I have stumbled onto your blog and am compelled to share what I have always thought of you….you were the “perfect” girl in high school/college. Darling, kind, talented, compassionate, authentic, smart. This blog is such an amazing representation of your soul. You continue to shine as a woman, mother, daughter, friend. Your entry of your mothers passing made me weep. Your spring break travel made my laugh. Congratulations and blessings. You are still “perfect”.

    • Oh, Kisa, you kind soul you. Definitely not perfect… (don’t catch me on a day where my blood sugar level is low and I didn’t get enough sleep…yikes!) …but I do hope I impart some kind of authenticity in my interpretation of the world that inspires others to do the same. Thank you so much for letting me know you were here. I hope you come back and I hope all is good and well in your life. xo

  15. I’ve followed La Pomme, and your journey for a long time, sometimes commenting, other times just holding the words, the story close to my chest and letting it soak into my soul. Congratulations on taking the next leap. I can’t wait to see what is ahead for you. Thank you for inspiring others to keep writing, keep reaching for our dreams. Good luck in your next adventure Carrie.

    • Thank you so much, dear Amy, for your thoughtful words. I feel such gratitude for the way the Internet brings us all together even if we are on completely different sides of the world… making the world feel smaller, cozier. Thank you for being a part of La Pomme!

  16. Carrie – I love your blog and have learned so much from your writing! Will La Pomme still be available to read after CarrieMinns.com becomes live? I refer back to La Pomme for inspiration often, today I’m looking at your post on Courage because that is what my heart is needing today. Best of luck to you with your new site. Can wait to read, see and hear what is happening in your world!

    • Hi Jessica, Yes, yes, I will still have my La Pomme content available once “the remodel” is finished. I myself often look up old posts on La Pomme whether for recipes or to reread a story. :) Thank you for being a part of La Pomme and giving me the courage to keep moving forward.

  17. Thank you, my dear friend, for “pushing the publish button”! We are all better for having seen a glimpse into your beautiful mind and spirit! Thanks for encouraging us to push our own “publish button”!

  18. I cannot wait. So proud of you, GF. You’ve talked about this for a long time. Now is the time! Move forward, new beginnings, exciting times! Love you!

  19. Carrie,
    I have loved reading every single post and am so excited for your next venture! I read your beautiful stories (and cry!) and return to LaPomme when I need an awesome recipe! I am NOT a great writer, so it’s difficult to convey how important your messages have been to me. Simply, I love you. xo

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