State of the Band Address: The I Am Me Project

Howdy The Band!

Hope everything is nifty on your end. Here? Things are quiet 'round these here parts and while I'd like to HOPE that the silence is due to the fact that our writers are all doing amazingly; sitting on a white sandy beach, watching the tide roll in, day after blissful day, not a care in the world. Just listening to that tide crashing into the shore.

But I fear I am incorrect - see, when *I* get quiet? It means that there is something very VERY serious going on; something SO serious that I'm totally unable to process it without being quiet and still.

It's been quite awhile since we've done a State of the Band address, so I figured it was time for us to check in with YOU, The Band. How are things? I am so laughably far off base with my white sandy beach fantasy? 

There's no time like the present to let it all out. I know I'm about to - I've got about a gazillion ninety posts percolating in my brain, just WAITING to be let out. And yeah, sure I have a therapist I see on a weekly basis, but personally, I prefer a blank box urging me to use my words. BY FAR (for me), there is no better therapy than using my words to write something, then taking a long, aimless country road drive.

So I urge you to use your words and tell us how you're doing. Your trials and tribulations. Things that make you feel defeated and things that make you feel ebullient.

See, I've been running this show for nearly 6 (SIX!!) years, and I've the luxury of reading your stories for as long. I've the perspective to see that what once was, at best, slippery pile of uncertainty to the elegant library of stories that I'd known it would.

But there are still ever-increasing scads of people  - survivors looking for themselves in your words, for people like you to find a connection with. Looking to see themselves in your words. This system only works if you can share a bit of yourself, let us in, and help us see what your world looks like.

I know I've seen many requests for stories written by Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents (ACONs), baby loss, miscarriage, and a TON for mental illness.

I'm going to provide you some writing prompts, but please, don't limit yourselves by these topics:

What makes you feel defeated?

What demons are rattling your closet?

What demons have you beaten?

What have you survived?

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What are some topics that you'd like explored in greater detail, The Band? What type of posts would help YOU through the hard times?

If'n you DON'T feel comfortable asking for a particular topic in the comments, don't hesitate to email me: becky.harks@gmail.com

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This August, we are officially bringing back the I Am Me Project that was started back in 2011.

The premise is simple: define yourself. Can be easy as simple declarative sentences or as challenging as eye opening revelations. This is an ongoing project here at The Band and we've found this can be an incredibly healing premise. I do hope you'll join us.

What makes you, well, YOU?

How are we alike?

How are we different?

How are you unique?

I'm personally challenging myself to rewrite my own - my initial submission is here.

Pretty much everything in my life has changed, so I'll be interested (and slightly scared) to complete my I Am Me Project post.

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Do you have free time? No, seriously. OKAY so maybe "free time" is a quote-unquote.

Rather than ask that, I'm asking for those of you who can eke out a few hours a day/week to help keep The Band running. Off the top of my (very addled) head, I know that we need...

A photo editor

Someone(s) to run our Pinterest account

Someone(s) to run our G+ page

People to help brainstorm new ideas for The Band

--- among a great many others.

Please, OH PLEASE, let me know if'n you can make some time to help us out!

That would be SO freaking Full of the Awesome. Even the littlest bit of time would be SUPER rad!

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Don't know if you know this, The Band, but we also have social media accounts! (I will warn you that some of them, naturally, have been quietly moldering away) I'd be more enthusiastic but even my brand of paper towel has its' own Twitter feed.

Band Back Together Twitter

Band Back Together Facebook

Band Back Together Tumblr

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To all of our lurkers out there, we'd LOVE to meet you! Stop by and leave us a comment just saying "howdy!" and, if you're brave (which ALL of you are), we'd love a post or three from you!

Time to step out of the shadows. No more hiding in the darkness. C'mon out - the light you see around you? It's a healing one.

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I do apologize for my prolonged absence and I promise to STOP going radio silent when shit gets real.

Wishing white sandy beaches for us all,

Love always,

Becky Sherrick Harks

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Stories Wanted

Dearest The Band,

We love your stories. We miss your voices. 

We all learn from each other. We find solstice in knowing that WE ARE NOT ALONE.

Our collection of new stories is getting very low.

If you have been reading but not telling your story, please tell it now. If you have a story sitting in Drafts that you haven't finished, please finish them and hit the Submit button. 

Together, we can teach each other, grow together, and heal one another.

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I Am Me And Me Is Who I Am

This is a contribution to the I Am Me Project. I'm a ten year old girl with a soft heart and a million possibilities. Born into a wealthy family, we don't have trouble with money, but my parents aren't going to let that turn me into a snotty, spoiled child.

One of my ears doesn't work, or at least the horrible muffled up sounds that do make it through, aren't noticeable. I have a short temper and an easy-to-break heart. Sensitive physically and emotionally, I am treated like a rag doll.

I try my best to help others, not knowing if they are thankful or not. I'm soft and always happy to socialize and talk. I care about others and absorb their feelings.

I'm proud of my character that cares about others maybe more than myself. I expect others to do the same as I do for them, making most of my bad situations worse when no one cares.

I love to write and act. I love to sing in musicals, and say my lines, and write my words. I'm proud of my creative capabilities to make amazing stories and facial expressions.

I have a therapist who helped me with my temper, but I'm proud I got help. I'm proud I don't scream any more, unless it is necessary. I'm known for swinging between optimism and pessimism. But it's good that I can see two sides of one world. I can have both high and low self esteem.

That's Me, and Me is who I am.

And Me is always proud of who I am, and I'm proud of Me.

But I'm not the best version of me. I want to take the oath I'm afraid to take, the path that would make me better. No one's perfect, and everyone should except that. No one should be left out, everyone should feel important.

I believe the purpose of life is to Survive, Love, Hate, Feel, Die. To survive, and be a survivor of your own war. To love, have friends and family there for you. To hate, to know the difference between someone you should be with and someone you shouldn't be with. To feel, to feel happiness, fear, heartbreak, anger. To feel the emotions of life. And to die, end it, and give space for someone to go on their own path of life.

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Star Trek

Star Trek has been a constant companion in my life. Since I was a small child, I have LOVED the adventures and morality expressed by the series. What's not to love about a society where none are left behind because of poverty or illness? A society where every individual is able to reach their full potential. Where people are valued above profits or power. Lives aren't wasted on wars of acquisition. Technology is used to improve the lives of the people rather than to further enslave or control.

It's one of the hopeful visions of our future.  Somehow, I know that one day the human race will evolve away from our apish animal nature to this higher existence. Perhaps not by the 23rd or 24th centuries, but sometime. Our survival depends on it.

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"Just Get Over It..."

I had my meeting today with the university, to go through with the complaint. I went in thinking, "Yeah, I'm not going to believed. He works here, of course I'm not going to be. "

I didn't think this would become a reality. I sat down at the table with my best friend on my right and some strange old woman who is apparently "unbiased" and high up within the university. 

She just went straight into saying how the university cannot do anything, saying there is no proof. Oh I'm sorry. Did you even give me a chance, or did you even try and find evidence? I am still suffering with bleeding after it, is that not proof enough for you? I've had to see the counselor for the past five months for my anxiety ...No. It's still not enough for you. Why? Oh yeah because, as you begin to tell me, he is a close friend and you've worked with him for years! ...unbiased ..what bull shit. 

She told me, plainly and simply, "get over it." Come back next year and have a fresh start. Does the bitch not think that I have been trying to put it past me? I've barely slept!  Because of the fear of this meeting coming up and having to explain what happened, I probably only got, at most five hours of sleep, for the past eight days. 

But this is the end of it, apparently. I can't do anything else because he works there. I knew this would give him an advantage, but didn't think it would get to the point where I was being questioned if I truly think it even happened... 

Life is down the drain.

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