Since I’m the type of person who equates adventure with trying a different type of cereal for five consecutive days, you can probably imagine how I reacted to fifty unread emails in my inbox Wednesday morning.
I obsessively check my email on my phone and am always inordinately excited when I refresh to find a new message. Usually, it’s an informational email for my major or a college event listing, but on a good day I’ll receive a promotional offer for hot Russian brides. (Not something I’d actively seek out, sure, but who can resist a good deal?)
Tough call, but I’d say these emails were even better. They were notifications of new WordPress followers. And they kept coming, at least one every two minutes.
I didn’t tell anyone at first. Whenever something good happens to me, I play a game of “let’s see how many ways I can possibly discredit this” so that if it turns out to be not as good as I’d initially expected, I don’t have to face the disappointment.
Around noon, en route to lunch with some classmates, the topic of my blog conveniently came up in conversation, and I casually, tentatively mentioned an increase in traffic, as though saying that aloud might dispel its reality. But the count continued to climb.
The moment my classes ended, I cast away other responsibilities (figuratively, because Responsibility Numero Uno was an MIS “short” assignment, the kind that notoriously takes up to six hours. More than six hours later—it was the first time the proportion of me complaining about the assignment to me actually working on the assignment approached 1— I came away with the life lesson that things really do get easier the less you care about them) to find out what was going on.
A post I’d written back in October, “The Moment I Became an Adult,” had been featured by a WordPress Editor. The editor had reached out to me a week prior with the news, but, in the meantime, I’d been too busy having nightmares about VLOOKUP and Pivot Tables to properly internalize it. In any case, I wouldn’t have expected this.
Thursday night, before my World Literature class’ movie screening of Jane Eyre, three friends and I sat in the mouth of the dining hall discussing my blog over a novelty dish of baked potato soup. (It wasn’t even Saturday Night Fine Dining, which, I assure you, is a real thing here.)
Friend: So where did all those people come from?
Me: An editor featured it!
Friend 2: Oh, wow, congrats.
Friend: You have cheese on your chin.
I placed the spoonful of potato back into the soup and wiped my face with a napkin. I dug back in.
Friend 3: Wait, what happened?
Me: I just got a lot of new readers and I’m pretty excited.
Friend: *laughing* You have cheese on your cheek.
Maybe the thought that Friend was pulling my leg would’ve crossed another person’s mind, but, in my case, I found the observation 200% plausible. I laughed and wiped at my cheek with the napkin.
Friend 3: That’s so cool. This just happened today?
Me: *pulls up spoon above head, stretching thin strands of melted cheese away from bowl of soup*
Friend: You’re having a lot of trouble, aren’t you?
Me: I’m trying very hard here.
Friend: You have cheese in your hair.
To hell with appearances. I gave up and finished the soup. Friend, who was in stitches pointing out how inexplicably high a position the cheese had attained on my head, gave me one of those … and yet you’re still like this looks. Clearly, exactly 0% of me had changed.
Probably the reason none of this feels real is that I’d always assumed I’d be a cooler person by this point. Like, once more people started paying me attention, I’d suddenly start being the kind of person people want to talk to and not the kind who whines incessantly about MIS and can’t eat baked potato soup without a faceful of cheese.
But it looks like that’ll forever remain wishful thinking. After Jane Eyre, I dragged myself up the steps to the back door of my residence hall and dug out my ID card to swipe in. The scanner flashed red.
I tried again. Red. More slowly. Red. Red.
I removed my ID card, wondering briefly if I’d ceased to exist. I flipped the card over and saw, along the black bar, a small glob of cheese.
A thank you to my loyal readers and welcome to the new! Let me know what you’d like to see from me.
Please like my page on Facebook! I try to post on Sundays, and some of the time, I succeed.