These Are Not The Best Years Of Your Life

Dear Gay/Bi/Curious Teenage Prankster Who Is Being Bullied By Bullshit Bullies,

Chances are, you don’t know me from a hole in the ground. In fact, a hole in the ground may look more familiar than I do, but I am Your Aunt Becky, and while we may not actually be related by blood, I have adopted you along with the rest of the Internet. It’s okay. Don’t worry. When I show up to your house for some family gathering and get rowdy and drunk and sing God Save The Queen, I’ll distract your parents so you can sneak some rum into your eggnog, okay?

Anyway, I hate to bother you with a boring letter since you kids like your text messages but what I have to say is important and I hope that you listen to it. Or parts of it. Tune out what doesn’t matter to you, but please, listen to at least a little bit of it. I may not be particularly smart, but I have lived about twenty different lives, so I’ve picked up some insight along the way.

Your teenage years are not the best years of your life.

What seems like a permanent and dire situation now, the things that make you hurt and ache inside, those things will stay with you, but the hurts and the aches, those subside over time. These are the things that will fortify you. They will strengthen you and they will make you a better person. Eventually.

I know that it seems like there is no other way out, believe me, I’ve felt that way before too. I’m willing to bet that most of the people who are reading this column right now have felt this way at some point as well. Maybe it’s not the same. Maybe we cannot understand precisely how you feel because we are not you. But even when things seem so bleak and so empty, even when all that you feel is a deep chasm of pain, it will pass. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but it will pass.

Things will get better.

Physically, my heart hurts when I see statistics like sexual minority youth are bullied two to three times more than heterosexual youths. In our lifetime, (yes, I am using the royal “our” because I am rightly assuming that you will be around to make fun of my obsession with bacon for a good long while) I would be willing to bet that this number will drop as bullying is taken more seriously by schools and parents alike. Certainly, that does not help you right at this very moment, as you are hurting from the devastating effects of verbal, emotional and even perhaps physical abuse, I know that. Let every unkind word, every insult, every horrible slur thrown at you strengthen your resolve to help the next generation.

You know that you must be part of the change the next generation of children who will grow up to be in your shoes some day. You can and you will.

These are not the best years of your life.

The best years of your life are yet to come. The years ahead of you will be long and they will be beautiful and they will be brimming with love. The suffering that you have withstood at the hands of cruel bullies and those who do not understand you will leave the sorts of scars that may never be visible to anyone but those who know you best. Those silent scars will only serve to help you as you can turn all of your pain and channel it into something greater, something positive. There is a whole world out there beyond your high school, beyond your small-minded town who will welcome you with wide arms, who will love you as you are, and who will accept you simply for being you.

It’s hard to remember all of this, I know, because even now, at age thirty, my high school years winking merrily in my rear view mirror, I struggle to remind myself that it’s not the end of things when I have a bad day. I have to take a breath and remind myself that it’s not going to break me when I’m bullied by someone. The days when I get harassed simply for being me aren’t bad days at all; because they make me stronger. Sometimes, I have to take a step back from the situation, let all of that hatred flung in my face wash over me and and allow it to strengthen my resolve to do more good.

These horrible bleak days are going to make the rest of your life that much better.

I want you to know that somewhere, Your anonymous Aunt Becky is rooting for you, kid, and she loves you dearly. You’ll learn that the world is a good place. High school may not always be, but the world is. I’m sorry that things have to be so hard for you and trust me, if I could take on those bullies, I would do it in a second (don’t doubt me on this). I have a loyal Prankster Army who’d back me up. Bullies are bullshit. No, let me rephrase that: bullies are FUCKING bullshit, and you don’t deserve the suffering they’re causing you.

There’s a big world out here, kid, and we can’t wait to meet you. Please remember that high school is temporary and the rest of your life, well, it’s wide open. We can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with it.

Please, do not give up hope. There is always hope.

If you’d like to talk to someone from the Trevor Project, here is the Phone Number: 866-4-U-TREVOR

And, loves, you know where to find me.

Much Love,
Your Aunt Becky

Call To Action

Greetings and Salutations, The Band!

Did you know that your story can change someone’s life?

Your stories comfort lost souls. Your stories comfort broken hearts. Your stories heal wounds. YOUR stories save lives!

The stories you tell, here on our little website, make an infinite difference in the world. We cannot do what we do without you.

From time to time, our bank of submissions runs a little low. In order to keep bringing life-changing hope to the world, we need your submissions! If you have a story you have been waiting to tell, please share it! If you have a story you have started and is still in the drafts stage, please finish it and hit that little Submit button at the bottom of the page. Setting up a profile is easy and confidential.

We need you!

Now is the time to Band Back Together!

You Are Me

Dear Robbie,

You were born a poet. Let me quote a few of your best lines:

I bet my birth mother is still crying.

I wish God would take the sadness off me.

If she kept me, I never would’ve known you.

I have a space in my heart that never closes.

As I sit here wrestling with words that invariably elude my grasp, I wish I could write like that. But what do I expect? You are seven and I am only forty-two.

Before you read any further, you should know that your mom doesn’t want me to write this. She doesn’t want me to write anything that might one day awaken any doubt in you. So I made a deal with her. I promised that if she feels the same way after I’ve finished, I’ll punt on the whole thing. That’s how intensely she feels about you, how fiercely protective she is of you. She doesn’t want me to write this letter because she loves you so much and I love you so much that I have to write it, even if I don’t show it to you until you have kids of your own.

Here are the words your mom fears: I didn’t want to adopt you.

I know that sounds like powerful stuff, but to me those words are as trifling as the ants that march across our kitchen floor before you put your thumb to them. They mean nothing because I can’t even remember feeling that way. I’ve searched my heart and can’t find any trace of not wanting you. It would be like not wanting air. Still, just as I can’t imagine not wanting you now, there was a time that I couldn’t imagine you. I didn’t know you were going to be you. I only knew you were not going to be me.

Your mom says I was hung up on this crazy little thing called genetics, which should never be mistaken for that crazy little thing called love. It all seems so bizarre, given that my family background includes everything from cancer and heart disease to criminal behavior. Your mom says that I was worried that you wouldn’t be perfect, that we would be inheriting somebody else’s problem, and that nurture would be revealed as nothing more than nature’s cheap consolation prize. Your mom says I can’t recollect any of these gory details because sometimes I can be a stubborn bastard.

That must be where you get it from.

Because, Rob, when all is said and done, you are me — only way better looking. You are me, if I looked like Brad Pitt and your mom looked like Sharon Stone. You’re more like me than Zachary, who inherited torn genes from me and Mom. You and I are both the eldest son, moderately shy and exceedingly anxious. We love Michael Jordan, movies, scallion pancakes, and the occasional doody joke. We’re natural-born outsiders who share the same thin skin.

And there’s something else that you and I have in common: I once had a space in my heart that wouldn’t close. I still remember the cause. When I was four years old, two very large men wearing very large hats came into our house and took my father away. He didn’t come back for eight years, and even when he returned, he couldn’t repair what had been ripped apart. My dad, like yours, was a sad schmuck, sad in that he never tried to change himself into a dad.

For me, everything changed the moment I saw you.

After four years of infertility and a bout with cancer thrown in for good luck (if I hadn’t had it, I never would have known you), I was finally ready to entertain alternatives to producing a mirror image. I tend to arrive at places in my heart long after your mom has moved in and decorated. Your mom always knew that she wanted to be a mom, while I was just beginning to understand what it meant to be a dad. You know the next part from your baby book that you keep under your pillow:

They met a wonderful young lady that was growing a baby boy in her belly. But she wasn’t able to give her baby all the good things the world had to offer, and she wanted that for him very, very much.

Seven months later, I found myself in the hospital scanning the blue “It’s a Boy!” stickers on the bassinets until I saw your birth mother’s last name neatly printed in black ink. And at that moment, the space in my heart was filled. It was either magic or God, I’ve forgotten what I believed in at the time. “You’re my son, you’re my son,” I quietly mouthed to you through the glass again and again, trying to convince myself that you were real. Then I went to your mom and we hugged and cried, while you kept sleeping, our little boy, Robbie James Carlat, unaware of how much joy you could bring to two people.

And the reason I can no longer recall not wanting to adopt you is simple: That feeling completely vanished on the day you were born. “I know, I know. It was love at first sight,” you like to say, sounding like a cartoon version of me anytime I bring up the subject of your birth. But it wasn’t like that between my dad and me. I don’t remember my father ever kissing me or, for that matter, me kissing him. The thought of saying “I love you” to each other, even when he came back from jail or as he lay dying, would have cracked both of us up. In fact, the closest my father ever came to a term of endearment was calling me “Kiddo” (which is the full extent of his paternal legacy and why I why I usually answer “Ditto, Kiddo” when you say “I love you”).

There’s a black-and-white photograph of my dad holding me up high above his head — I must have been six months old — and it’s the only time I can recall him looking genuinely happy to be with me. I used to think of that picture in the months after you were born when I danced you to sleep. I never dance, not even with your mom (“They’re all going to laugh at you!” from Carrie pretty much sums up why), but I loved dancing with you.

While you sucked on your bottle, I savored the feeling of your tiny heartbeat against my own. Joni Mitchell’s Night Ride Home CD was on just loud enough so we wouldn’t wake up your mom, and I’d gently sing to you, “All we ever wanted, was just to come in from the cold, come in, come in, come in from the cold.”

Still, the space you were coming in from was far colder than mine had ever been. It’s the original black hole, and all of our kissing and hugging are not enough. All of your incessant I love yous and I love the family – words you repeated as if to convince yourself, the same way I did when I first set eyes on you – are not enough. All of the times that you asked me to pick you up, and I happily obliged because I knew a day would come when you would stop asking, are not enough. Every night when we read your baby book, which desperately tries to explain whose belly you grew in and how you got to us, is not enough.

Nothing is enough for there’s nothing that approaches the clear and direct poetry of “I hate myself because I’m adopted” or “I’m only happy when I’m hugging and kissing you. All the other times I just make believe.” If anything, you get the prize for coming closest to the pin with, “Being adopted is hard to understand.” And what do you win for saying the darndest things? A profound sadness. And let’s not forget its little brother, anger, which you direct at your little brother for no apparent reason other than that he serves as a constant reminder that you are the one who is not like the others.

The irony is that Zachy, the prototypical little bro, only wants to be you, while you’d do anything to be him.

I hope that one day God grants your wish and takes the sadness off you, because your mom and I know how truly blessed we are to have two beautiful sons — one chosen by us and one chosen for us. It’s like we wrote at the end of your baby book:

Mommy and Daddy waited a long time for a baby–a baby boy just like you. And though it might have been nice to have you grow in mommy’s belly … always remember that you grew in our hearts!

Perhaps the only thing we neglected to consider at the time was your heart. Which reminds me of sandcastles. A few summers ago, you and I built a beauty on Uncle Stephen’s beach, and you wanted to surround it with a moat, so we started to dig a hole with your big yellow bucket. We kept digging faster and faster until the hole got so deep that you jumped in. “Daddy, get the water,” you said, and I ran into the waves, filled the bucket, dragged it back, and dumped it into the hole. The sand quickly drank it up, so I kept going back and forth, trying to fill the hole with water, but it was like pouring the water down a drain, and after a while we finally said the hell with it and ran into the ocean.

You are the sand, little boy, and I will always be the water.

And that was where I intended to end this letter until you came padding into the room in your G.I. Joe pajamas. “What are you writing about?” you asked. And when I told you it was a story about you, you asked, “Is it going to be in a big magazine?”

And I said, “Yeah, how do you feel about that?”

And you said, “Scared.”

And I said, “How come?”

And you said, “Because I’m going to be in it alone.”

And I said, “No you won’t. I’ll be in it with you.”

And you said, “I love you daddy.”

And that’s when I had to stop writing.

Choose Your Own Adventure

You have woken up in a strange new place. Everything is just as you left it, see right over there is the same lamp you’ve had for years, and up there is your old painting of roses (or is it a peacock?) and just out your window you can see cars passing by. They’re the same cars that passed by yesterday and likely the same cars that will pass by again tomorrow.

Everything around you is the same. Yet everything is different.

It is the new world order.

On your computer, blinking there on your dusty desk, the same desk you’ve had since college, you find a place with a weird name. People who might understand your strange new world where nothing and everything has changed. People who remind you that we’re none of us alone.

People who understand that sometimes you slay the dragon. Sometimes the dragon slays you.

Press here to exit to find pictures of cats playing the piano.

Welcome To Band Back Together

Welcome to The Band Back Together Project, a nonprofit group blog that aims to shine a light in the darkness. We try to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, trauma, loss, grief, and tragedy through the power of the written words.

You’ll notice that stories are grouped by category and searchable from the sidebar box and along the top. Or, if you’d prefer, you may read them all. We even have an RSS Feed.

What’s more, we’d love to hear your stories, too. All of them. Everyone is welcome, nay encouraged to share their story with us. Everybody has a story, of course, and we’ve made sure that you’re in a safe place to share it. No story is too small, no problem too insignificant. These are your words, your problems, and they matter to you – and they matter to us, too.

All are, as always, welcome.

You’ll notice that most stories have several resource pages associated with them. We’re proud to share that we have over 500 resource pages to help you grow, learn, and heal. This is the library, after all, and all libraries have a glossy set of encyclopedias. I’m the head librarian, if we haven’t met before, and I make sure our library runs smoothly.

We welcome you with open arms and hope you’ll find our cozy little library comfortable. The lights are dim and soothing, which should help you relax a little. They’re the kind that make everyone look Soap Opera amazing, even if your face is tear-stained and puffy right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing ancient, frayed sweatpants and a stained t-shirt, because in here, you look like a beautiful soap opera star. Besides, even if you look like you got run over with a steamroller, we’d love you anyway.

It really is like old library in here, isn’t it? The decor is so charming; all old polished mahogany wood and rich burgundies and tapestries and overstuffed chairs. The candlelit wall sconces make me feel like I’m in some old Agatha Christie novel or stepped back in time, don’t you agree?

I’m getting ahead of myself. I apologize. I do that a lot.

Let me formally introduce myself. My name is Becky and with my group of volunteers, we run this library. Your library – it really belongs to you, The Band. We don’t make any claims that the content is all ours and we are not liable for anything you say or do.

So here’s the How To Contribute To Band Back Together guide. It’s really worth a read, but the quick and dirty is this: don’t be a judgmental asshole, we’re not liable for your actions, don’t steal from us, and we’re moderating and editing everythingincluding comments – here. Why? Because this is a safe place for everyone.

We also have several special places to note in this library. We’ve got The Twitter wing at @bandback2gether, and our Facebook page is nestled in the back, by the gramophone.

By the stereo, there’s our Guidelines for Submissions and How To Contribute for those of you unfamiliar. If you look over there, you’ll see the Operational Committee. Cynthia is making drinks for us – Manhattan’s I believe. Or maybe just a cup of chamomile tea. It’s hard to tell in this light. If I squint, I see Christine organizing the encyclopedia collection while Anne puts something special on the stereo for you.

We all work together behind the scenes to keep this place running smoothly for you.

Kathy and Nathan have fixed the place up and will be down shortly to sit with us too. We can’t wait to hear your stories. We’re all here for each other. You may be wondering where you are. This is a place for you to share your stories, slay your dragons, celebrate your victories, and support those who need your help.

This is the place where we have gotten the Band Back Together. We can’t fix your new world order or make things go back to the way they were before, but we can remind you that we are none of us alone.

So please, take a look around. As one small blog in a sea of millions, we are small, but together, we can do amazing things, if we can Band Back Together.

We are all of us connected.
We are none of us alone.

*Due to the sensitive nature of the site, all comments and submissions are subject to moderation and/or editing.

Life Of A Compulsive Liar

Hello to all. I’m new to The Band. It looks like a great place to seek help, advice, and to have someone who will listen and not judge you.

I have known that I was a compulsive liar for years, but I never thought that it was actually something that was ruining my life. Compulsive lying is an underlying psychotic disorder that can be a sign of something much larger. I began to do some research about this, reading a lot of articles and websites. I had been thinking I was the only person having a hard time with lying, but I started seeing that this disorder is real, other people have it, and it is very serious. The messages written by other people on this site, as well as other websites, gave me hope.

At first, I thought I could really change on my own, but I’m realizing that being a compulsive liar is like an abdication. Some people may really need help to get past this point in their lives. I feel like I am to that point. My first course of action is admitting that I’m a compulsive liar, and that I need to seek help.

It’s so bad that sometimes I don’t even have a clue why I lie. It just comes out without hesitation. Most of the time, when it happens, at the back of my mind, I’m asking myself why I lied. The truth would have been easier to say in the first place. When I have a chance to correct the lie, I can’t because I feel so guilty. I don’t want to admit I’m wrong, or that I just told a lie.

The worst part is that I lie to the one person I love the most. That hurts me more than anything.

Today is the day. I’m going to keep searching for help and with my disorder and try my best to speak the truth, no matter what. If anyone who has gone through this has any advice on how to get past this, I’m all ears. And to anyone who is reading this, if my story is hitting home, please seek help. Know that you are not the only one out there going through this problem. You are not the only compulsive liar in the world. Help is there, you just have to want it.

Until next time, thanks for reading and responding. I’m turning my life around one truth at a time.

I Have Been So Incredibly Stupid

If you read my first post, you know I lived with a man who couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. He cheated repeatedly, all the while telling me he loved me more than anything, that he couldn’t imagine his life without me. He said I was his future.

Funny how he could never treat me that way.

He had stepped up his drinking to a horrible rate. He didn’t feel he should keep promises, like showing up at work, if he didn’t feel like it. He drank until he would pass out. I tried not to be co-dependent, but his clients know me, so I was always the one who was stuck having to tell people he wasn’t coming. He certainly didn’t care if we had money to pay the bills on time.

I worked consistently from the time I was 18 until I had to go on disability. I had beautiful credit, so that was what we lived on. BIG mistake on my part.

He went to rehab, lied his way through it and was released after 90 days. He was drinking again within two weeks. He went back and forth to rehab a couple of times, but he always lied and would be drinking again as soon as he was released. It got so bad that I kept getting calls from the fire dept, police, or paramedics. They would find him passed out in a park, and tell me I needed to pick him up. They would never help me. They would lecture me about how he needed help, as if I didn’t know, but for one reason or another, they couldn’t just take him to detox or arrest him.

One day, he drove drunk and thankfully only did damage to our car. I said I had had enough. I told him he needed to go stay somewhere else and think about what he wanted out of his life. He was drinking to maintain, and then went on a binge. He refused to answer my texts, even though I could see he had read them. I warned him he was setting in motion things that could not be undone. He still would not answer.

I am disabled, so I’m not able to work. He abandoned me with just $57 to my name. I have no way to pay the bills, no way to pay for my medications, no way to buy food. I waited, and finally, I filed bankruptcy. Just like that, my entire life’s work down the drain. I could not be more humiliated.

A week later, he finally decided to talk to me. He said he loves me, he just needs some time to work on being the right kind of husband. I told him I wasn’t sure the opportunity would still be there. So now, he’s calling me every night and telling me how much he loves me. Each night, he has sounded more and more intoxicated, so I know nothing has really changed.

I have supported him, through the drinking, for SIX years. He would always say he wanted to be sober, so I kept trying to help. Obviously, he doesn’t want to quit drinking. So, why do I feel so bad? Why do I feel like I’m letting him down, when he has never once been there for me?

When I had my knee replaced, he was too drunk to take care of me. He stole my pain medication, and I never did find out why. I guess he wanted to make me suffer through physical withdrawal like he has to when he dries out. Would someone who loved me put me through that?

I can’t forgive him for abandoning me with no money or food. He obviously didn’t care about me, so why do I still feel guilty and sad? I know I deserve better!

Saying Goodbye

If you missed yesterday’s post, you would know that on the 29th of January I had to put down Alley Cat. She has been sick for the past couple of years and if you want to know more about that you can click here to go and read that post. I have to know for years that at some point I would have to say goodbye to her, and I knew it would be hard, but I was in no way prepared for how hard it was.

Because of how people acted towards her at the end of her life I refused to let anyone else come with me. It was just her and I and now knowing how it all would turn out I think I made the right choice. They had to give her 3 or 4 shots because she pulled out her first IV, so it didn’t work. Let’s just say that there was nothing humane about the process.

It was supposed to take a few minutes to work, and it took over 30 minutes to finally take effect. I sit here now thinking about it all and I can’t help but smile because her whole life she had to fight to stay alive and she gave them a damn good fight at the end. I wish it would have worked right away, but it wouldn’t have been Alley Cat if she gave in easy. I know she was sick, and it was the right thing to do, but I feel like I failed her because there is no way that it was painless, and it wasn’t short like they claimed it would be. I am now left wondering how much she felt and what her last moments were truly like.

The real reason I wanted to talk about this today is that it brought back so many of the emotions I felt when I placed my daughter for adoption, and I wasn’t prepared for that. I have always said the Alley was my “replacement” baby so instead of getting pregnant shortly after placing my daughter for adoption I went and adopted Alley. I feel like I just placed my daughter a few days ago, and that is one thing I never wanted to feel again. It is hard to be brought back right to place I was at 10+ years ago because at this point I would have thought that there was no way I could feel these emotions as strongly as I did then and yet here we are.

In the end, I hope that I don’t have to feel like this for too long because it truly sucks. I know I will survive this because if I could get through it the first time than I know for sure, I will get through it this time as well. I will just keep putting one foot in front of the other one and keep going. I know that it will pass, and I will have good days and bad days but in time, the good days will start to outnumber the bad days. I will never forget her or my daughter but as time passes you do think of them less and less.

Ugly

I’ve never been a beautiful girl.

My features are manly, and there’s nothing in particular that is beautiful about my face. The bullying started in 6th grade. I began to date a young boy and once his classmates found out they called me “ugly slut”. The name calling went on for the rest of the year, I’d hear the girls and boys whisper as I walked by. Prior to this I never thought of myself as ugly, but their words made me question myself. 7th and 8th grade were just about the same, I felt that all I heard was “ugly,ugly,ugly”.

Then it was time for high school where I thought everything would be better, but it wasn’t. On the first day I was called ugly by the jock who sat in the back. I couldn’t befriend boys because they would soon turn me into the laughing stalk of their friends. No one wanted to talk to me because they were embarrassed to be seen talking to the ugly girl. The few guys who would talk to me were often harassed with “is that your girlfriend, she’s ugly” “4/10”. Yet, I managed to survive all that.

Fast forward a couple years and things seem calm…

Naked pictures of me were spread. Now I wasn’t just an ugly girl, but a shamed, embarrassed and exposed one.

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

Archives

Track Two: Welcome

Welcome to The Band! We’re so happy you’re here. We are a group blog open to all. We put a voice to the things left unsaid – not for want of a teller, but for lack of an understanding ear. You now have our undivided attention. Please, pull the things kept in the dark and bring them into the light. Alone, we are small, together, we are unstoppable. Join us.

Track Three: About The Band

Track Four: Resources