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.
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…
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.