Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves

Within Automattic’s Editorial team, we feel pretty lucky — we get to spend a fair amount of time each week reading your posts, in a constant bid to find strong, original writing and photography and share it with the community via Freshly Pressed. Here are just a few posts that resonated with us this week.

An Open Letter to the Girl I Pretended To Have a Crush On in Eighth Grade

Adolescence is fraught with anxieties — about growing up, about fitting in, and sometimes, even about hiding who we really are. We enjoyed Michael Hobbes’ sharp, reflective post, An Open Letter to the Girl I Pretended To Have a Crush On in Eighth Grade and we’re not the only ones who noticed his fine writing — the post was one of the Top 5 Longreads of the Week last week.

You were the first girl I pretended to have a crush on so no one would know I was gay. I didn’t intend for it to happen, for it to be you, for it to be so easy. But it did, and it was.

This is Embarrassing

Youthful idealism about what’s truly meaningful in life often gets revised once a baby takes over your world. In This is Embarrassing, writer and working mom Anna Spanos challenges herself to dismiss self-imposed ideals about writing and life and to embrace the precious free time she has. We love the fact she’s keeping the combat boots and the punk rock tees.

On a superficial level, I am mortified by what I have become: a failed artist turned paper pusher who will never publish a real book and who now seeks satisfaction from the basest of all forms of written expression – a blog (note the sneer with which I write that word). Just about the only thing that could be worse would be to upload entries directly from my diary. Right?

Well, maybe not. My desire to start this blog and the experience of putting up my first few posts have really gotten me thinking about the place of writing in my life and what drives me to write.

Stand Up: A Lesson With My Daughter On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This past Monday marked the 27th observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. May Dr. King’s message of peace, hope, empathy, and love resonate among us and every generation to come. In this moving post, Jason Leslie Rogers shares Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech with his daughter and reflects on that experience on his site, egoinflux.

A few minutes later, after I tucked her into bed and sang her two favorite bedtime songs (“You Are My Sunshine” and “Twinkle, Twinkle”), she asked me, “Daddy, if I win the Nobel Peace Prize does that mean somebody will shoot me? Because I’d like to be a scientist and invent things that make people’s lives a lot better. And I want to make sure we always have the laws that say you can’t separate black people and white people from each other.”

“No, sweetheart,” I said, running my fingers through the hair on the top of her head. “Just because you win the Nobel Peace Prize, it doesn’t mean that someone will want to shoot you. But you don’t have to win a prize to be able to do good things for people. Gandhi and Mandela and Borlaug and Martin Luther King, they weren’t trying to win a prize or an award. They were just trying to do what was right.”

“Okay, daddy,” she said with a long sigh. “That’s good, because I wanna stand up.”

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