When Melissa Presser joined Catholic Twitter, she got more than she bargained for.
I have never been a fan of social media. The constant bickering, FOMO, and unrealistic portrayals of how people are living has always been a big turn off for me. But as I had just finished deleting my personal Facebook and Instagram accounts, my book editor texted with a message: “Time to get on Twitter. You were made for this platform!”
"Ugghhhhh," I sighed.
I gave him days, weeks, and months of grief. The idea of opening a professional account frightened me to my core. I didn’t know how to work Twitter, let alone want to be judged on there. I just did not see the need or the usefulness. I am, after all, a Gen X-er.
But for many months, I sat with the sentiment that social media could allow me to circulate my conversion story and my struggles conveyed through writing to a larger audience. My dream ever since I was a little girl was to be a writer, and God was telling me my time was now. I thought about my editor's belief in my writing and my ability to connect to a larger audience. Then one day, I just went for it. Here goes nothing …
Through much trial and error, I stumbled through trying to understand the platform and its use. Soon after I joined, I found a wonderful network on Catholic Twitter who were helping me to navigate the platform. I regularly started receiving helpful tips, motivational comments, and loving sentiments through private messages. I was told more than once by my Catholic brothers and sisters from around the globe that I was needed and wanted on this platform.
One day, after seeing a fellow writer’s example, I sent out an introduction tweet about myself. It was innocent enough. I am a Jewish convert. I am a wife and a mother. I am a lawyer. I added some funny stuff somewhere in there. Then I closed the computer for the night. The next day I woke up to hundreds of responses. People had watched my conversion story, read my writing, and sent messages about how happy and joyous they were to hear about my entry into the Catholic Church. I was so taken aback. My editor texted me and said, “See! People want to hear what you have to say, Melissa.” I was overcome by the response, still sitting squarely in the middle of my imposter syndrome.
I decided, in that moment, that I would use my account for good, to make people laugh, and to share funny thoughts and musings about what it’s like to be a Jewish convert. In between that, I shared my writing. I started to connect with people, and the relationships I was building helped improve my confidence to share my musings and stories with a greater Catholic audience.
Click to tweet:
When we open up, when we share our struggles with one another with a dose of friendship and laughter, we find that we’re not so alone after all. #catholicmom
Being a Jewish convert is difficult in so many ways. It can be lonely, we feel different, and many of us have been completely ostracized by the communities we were once a part of. But rather than share my pain and my grief over it, I began to share my laughter instead. I shared sentiments on how often I reflect on how I look around at Mass and say, "What am I doing here, Lord?"
And don’t we all suffer from some type of imposter syndrome or some feeling that we are different or alone? But when we open up, when we share our struggles with one another with a dose of friendship and laughter, we find that we’re not so alone after all.
I still wouldn’t say that I know how to navigate Twitter, but I’m having a good time trying. I’ve met a new best friend in the UK who will be ordained a priest soon, and I have found many other funny, struggling Catholic moms who get me. What started out as an adventure to get my writing out there has become a place of friendship. All because one person believed in me.
Thank you, Phillip.
Copyright 2022 Melissa Presser
About the Author
Melissa Presser is a Jewish girl who was led home to the Catholic Church by St. Edith Stein, a fellow Jewish Catholic. She is a wife, mother of three, and a seasoned attorney. Melissa is passionate about bringing awareness to mental health issues and stopping the stigma. Find out more about her conversion and ministry at MelissaPresser.com.