Blogging Was My Provenance

June 21, 2012

in Guests

Guest WriterNothing pleases me more than hosting someone who has recently come out as a blogger. Last month I hosted Marie Nicole, who used to blog under the pen name Nikki Rules. The latest guest writer reveling in her nakedness is Aimee (formerly Deus Ex Machina) from Goddess in the Machine. She is a talented, prolific writer.  It’s always a pleasure reading her work; her choice of words and writing style inspire me. Enjoy what Aimee has chosen to share here and then take the time to read more of this talented lady’s writing on her blog and at Studio30 Plus.


I started blogging on April 27, 2008.  This was what I wrote:

“April 30 is Chris and my 14th anniversary. Our only regret is not placing serious bets that day. Unbelievable. 14 years. Wow. On July 8, we are going to officially be the parents of a teenager. I’m really not sure how I got here but the ride has been incredible. The only thing I don’t have is a pretty apron and high heels I wear while washing the dishes.”

 At that time, my husband had been in the Philippines for 4 months.  My boys were 10 and 12 years old.  They were (and are) homeschooled.  And I worked a full-time job.  At home.   On the day that I wrote that, the beginning of Pleasantly Demented, I was probably the loneliest I had ever been.

My husband had already been to Iraq twice and once to Afghanistan.   Despite the inherent danger ever present in those combat deployments, the Phillipines left me a broken woman.   I weathered the combat deployments with the spark I still carried from my youth.  I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and barreled through them.  But I slowly began to ignore myself.  I ignored the writer in me.  I ignored the athlete in me.  The woman.  The girl.  All of it had been put aside so that I could be a mother and the wife of a soldier.

By the time I began blogging, I hated myself.  I had not a single friend to my name, much less a social life.  I was an octagonal peg being forced into a pinhole.  I’d let my body go.  I’d let my mind go.

No one would guess any of that by the words I chose to write that day.  But the words I wrote 6 days later hit a bit closer to the mark.

“There are times when I literally just want to sit and be nothing. No goals, no motives, no concerns, no responsibilities, no information processing, no visual, tactile or olfactory stimuli, nothing. 

I am an awful mother.
I have no patience.
I have no tolerance.
I have no ability to think like a child.
Dirty clothes need to be washed.
I hate deciding.
Complexity is so overwhelming.
I allow my agoraphobia to take the lead.
Don’t ask me to play.
Don’t ask me to watch.
Don’t ask me to listen.
Sometimes I just do not care.
I want so badly to achieve my maternal standard.”

 I don’t think I had a single comment on my blog for 2 years.  I never advertised it.  No one read it.  There were no blogs that I read.  I wasn’t hiding, just seeking.  Myself and where I fit in the world.  Where my self-esteem had gone.  Where the crazy girl with the purple hair and the nose ring had gone.  The girl whose smile shadowed the sun.  The girl with enough confidence to share with the whole world.  Who knew words and how to dance with them.  Whose body was an amusement park with no lines.  With a foul mouth and a filthy mind.  I’d lost her.  I missed her.

I ever so tenuously began to reach a finger out into the land of blogfolk.  I discovered a few minds I enjoyed reading.  I left a few comments when I felt moved to speak.  And suddenly I had my first comment.  And another.  And another.

Instead of excited, however, I got scared.  Terribly anxious.  Overwhelmed.  Surely they’d see what an awful person I was.  Surely they’d read my words and run aghast at this creepy little creature.  I even made my blog private for a while.

What if they see my ugliness?  What if they say I am a horrible?  A horrible mother?  A horrible wife?  Or writer? 

Or worse.

What if no one understands?

The Aimee who is writing this today would kick her ass.  Today, I run races.  I just ran the Warrior Dash for the first time, and I am training for a half-marathon in October.  I woke up this morning and ran 7 miles with a smile on my face the entire time.  I physically look and feel better than I ever have.   Ever.

Today, I am writing a novel, and have a few writing projects in the works with my oldest son, who is also a writer.   Today, I have a best friend, an amazing woman who I have never met face-to-face, yet the strength she has given me is immeasurable.

I am still the wife of a soldier.  But today, I am the wife of a soldier who has multiple sclerosis.  And instead of weak and scared, today I feel like I could carry the universe for him.

Blogging was the provenance of all of it.

There was an awakening that day, April 27, 2008.  An awakening that fluttered so slightly that I only feel it now in retrospect.  As if a late evening breeze whispered against a door that I only thought was locked.  Word by word, I opened myself again.  Shone light into corners and under baseboards.  Sentence by sentence, I swept away the loathing and anhedonia.

One toe at a time, I returned to myself.

And slowly, people came.   And kept coming.  They read my words, and I theirs.

And my world grew.  Light and color ventured back into the ashen walls of my microcosm.  It happened in the manner of evolution.  Each day and week and month birthed a new generation of me, one who was stronger than the last.  These people were complete strangers.  Yet they did more for me than any parent, any teacher, or therapist, or medication.

It is validation we seek.  As humans.  Relationships that serve to remind us we are alive.  That we matter.  That we have worth and purpose.  And knowing that my words and thoughts and experiences were being heard, understood, even appreciated by other souls somehow made me real again.

I laid myself bare for whomever wandered into my soul tangle.  My mind.  My heart.  My darkness.  And my roses.  Unapologetic, served on tarnished silver platters with bent forks.

I have met some amazing people.  Brilliant writers, parents, storytellers, wanderers, blinding spirits, genuine and strong and real.  I’ve taken a bit of each of them, and have tried to give bits of myself in return.  I am happy.  Always work in progress, but work that gives me purpose and joy.

I play.  I play hard.  I feel fantastic.  I am strong.  I am proud of myself.  I love myself.  And I feel pretty damn confident that I am becoming someone who is worthy of being loved.

I feel pretty damn confident.   Full stop.

To those of you who have ever read my words, commented on them, every day or in passing, it matters.   To me here and now, and to all of the faces I present from one blog post to the next.   It matters.

Now go read my shit!


Tony Van Helsing June 21, 2012 at 9:25 am

Don’t be too hard on your old self, under the circumstances that you faced most people would have become introverted. Cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world is easy to do and happens gradually until one day you realise you are isolated.
I also blogged away on my own for a year without visiting other blogs so I had no followers. The day I started commenting on other sites and got my first follower I was so excited I rang my wife at work. I looked at my first followers site, they called themselves Mars and posted random scientific facts. I felt in their debt and would put comments on their posts even though I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.
Your strength of character comes through very strongly in your writing, you have no need to doubt yourself. It’s a genuine pleasure to read your shit.

Deus Ex Machina June 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

You’re one of the few people who read and commented even through my suckiest times. One of my most favorite blogfriends, you are.
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Marie Nicole June 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

Oh fuck. Tears are nearly blurring my eyes. You are truly beautiful. Great and wonderful things come in small packages right? I find it so hard to believe you were that – when you first started to blog – and you now are what you are. I’m glad you’ve come full circle to the greatness you began with. And the beauty of it all is you don’t even need to put your pants on!

Kelly – see all the amazing things you are inspiring by your title? Thanks for bringing us all together…
Marie Nicole recently posted..Baby BlueMy Profile

Deus Ex Machina June 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

The no-pants parties are the best kind!

I am so glad I met you ;-)

Naked Girl in a Dress June 22, 2012 at 9:50 am

Thanks Nicole. I am so happy people embrace their nakedness and if I can play a small part, it makes me incredibly happy.

Rita June 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

Every now and again, I think I should just shut down my blog. Maybe start over or something. And then…I read something like this. And am reminded of why I started blogging in the first place. So I could read things like this and be reminded of the awesomeness that comes from sharing oneself with total strangers and eventually coming to the realization that no matter what…you get to say whatever you want to and become the person you are.

So awesome.
Thank you
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Deus Ex Machina June 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Write for yourself. Own your words. And be honest. Awesome attracts awesome! It’s an inevitable universal law.
Deus Ex Machina recently posted..Superbitch, Smartass, and now Guest Blogger!My Profile

Naked Girl in a Dress June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

Aimee’s post is incredibly inspiring for writers and I am so happy she chose to share this story on my blog. It’s an honor to have her here.

Eric June 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

Aimee, I have only been reading your blogs for a short time, but one thing I have taken from them (and you!) is completely unrelated to this post.

I have to read your posts with a dictionary by my side and that is a good thing. Your vocabulary is impressive and I’m envious of that.
Eric recently posted..It’s Hot and I Don’t Feel Like WorkingMy Profile

Naked Girl in a Dress June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

I also love how she challenges my vocabulary as well. Love that about her.

Hey Monkey Butt June 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Wow! What an amazing story and an amazing writer!
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Naked Girl in a Dress June 22, 2012 at 9:53 am


Nicole June 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I have “known” you for literally a fraction of a second, and, I just… wow. I admire you so much. What I love most about your writing (aside from what Eric said about your swanky vocab) is your authenticity. That’s different than honesty, you know? You’re so real, so true to you… to all aspects and versions of you, that, as a reader, I feel I have no choice but to know you. And I adore that about you and your blog. If adoration is acceptable. Maybe I’m just a stalker. LOL.

Beautiful piece. Go YOU. :-)
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Marie Nicole June 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Ha! Eric – I love you so much for saying that. I thought I was just sub level and a tad bit on the idiot side! I’m not dumb, Aimee is just sheer brilliant!
p.s. I didn’t need a dictionary nor Professor Google to read this post though…
Marie Nicole recently posted..Baby BlueMy Profile

alfred lives here June 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Great story by a really talented writer… thanks for sharing… we all tend to be too hard on ourselves, and it takes time to get some perspective. And I think we never really fully get there, we evolve. Which I am coming to accept is a win in and of itself.
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Jen June 22, 2012 at 7:54 am

Blogging and writing can be such an empowering thing. Every time I think about stopping, I remember all the great connections I’ve made. I’ve been pretty lax about writing recently on my own blog but have still be commenting on other blogs. I’ve been going through a bit of my own funk recently and while I haven’t wanted to put it on my own blog, just keeping those connections going elsewhere have been terrific. Keep going! And, thanks for sharing your story.

Colleen June 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I can 100% without any hesitation say that I completely understand where Aimee was coming from. I was there myself! LOVE the line “Unapologetic, served on tarnished silver platters with bent forks.” The imperfect is pretty damn perfect, if only you can look at things from the right angle!
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Deus Ex Machina June 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I seem to have gotten way more of a response to this than I anticipated. You guys are pretty awesome. Seriously. You sure know how to make a girl smile. Thank you ;-)
Deus Ex Machina recently posted..Superbitch, Smartass, and now Guest Blogger!My Profile

Naked Girl in a Dress June 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Since you are an incredibly talented writer, I am not surprised at the response.

Scargosun June 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I have to say, I really needed to read this today. I have been feeling very self loathing and “We’re Not Mommy Bloggers” kind of led me to you at this very moment. I am a wife but not a Mom but feel lost at times and wondering if I will ever get the real writing mojo back, my kick ass female football player back and what I needed to realize is that she is still there, buried under a bunch of blankets. Thank you and I look forward to reading more.
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Lance June 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm

You are either a better actress than Meryl Streep or you are the most honest, raw, straight-forward, heart-filled, ferocious, sexy, and impressive writer I’ve ever met.

I admired you immediately, two years ago, when I found you through prompts. The fact we’ve become such close friends is an honor, like my reward, for being in the blogging world.

You are an inspiration to me. This post says everything.

Thank you, Aimee
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Deus Ex Machina June 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Sheesh, man…. You’re making me blush and junk…. ;-)
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