2010 was the Year of Bringing Aunt Becky Back, after realizing that I’d lost myself amid the piles of shitty diapers, colic and teething babies. It’s a hard balance, being Becky and being Mommy. Kids are notoriously selfish creatures I realized that if I couldn’t be Becky, as herself, in addition to being Mommy, I was never going to be happy.

I started the year off by starting my Phoenix tattoo and resolving to find my missing pieces.

The tattoo was initially an outline of a phoenix:

I began searching for My Missing Pieces.

I knew I wanted to be a writer, since the whole nursing thing wasn’t going to work (what with not liking to take orders from other people and stuff), but breaking into Old Media wasn’t happening. As a member of the New Media, Old Media took a look at me and got all huffy. Fine, I thought, BE that way, Old Man.

Back to the drawing board I trundled.

While I tried to figure out what to do with the rest of my life, I realized that it was also time to start being kinder to myself. I gots my hair did, bought some purdy clothes, and lost a bunch of weight. My body treats pregnancy like a famine, so every calorie I put in goes straight onto my ass. I could probably eliminate the middle-man and stick the food directly onto my ass.

Either way, I knew it was time to start putting myself in nice clothes again. Cosmo may have mostly taught me that a magazine about “me” was actually about pleasing “him” but they also did tell me that if I looked good, I felt good. Cosmo, as much as I hate to admit it, you won that round.

Still, I tried to figure out what I was supposed to do with myself while I waited for my trophy husband. I’ve been looking for a career since I scrapped medical school for nursing school and I’m not blond enough to be a trophy wife. I’ve needed something, anything, to make me, Your Aunt Becky, feel all warm and gushy inside.

I’ve carefully filled in my Phoenix tattoo as I’ve waited:

Eventually, I knew I’d figure it out. I always do.

July hit, and my life fell apart. I hate to be all maudlin and all “WOE IS ME,” but it was a fucking mess. The realization that I’d made all of the mistakes that I’d always told myself I never would broke my heart. I’m not sure I’ll ever quite be over that.

It’s like I betrayed my younger self and I’ve been slowly picking up the pieces ever since. If there is a good side to this, it’s that I’m finally dealing with all of the shit that I didn’t realize I hadn’t dealt with. Therapy, it’s good. Especially if you’re as narcissistic as I am.

It was around that time that I was able to reconcile what I hadn’t before. If I couldn’t make it in the Old Media world, it was time to do what I knew best: The Motherfucking Internet. Maybe it was time to get off my dimply ass and use my blog to launch something new; something more useful to the world.

So with the help of more people than I can ever thank, we did that. Band Back Together was formed. A place where anyone can go to put down their stories. Their stories of heartache and triumph. Of demons and light. Of laughter and love. It doesn’t matter who you are or how many hits your blog gets, over there, we’re all the same. We’re all in it together.

It’s not even close to reaching it’s potential, as one Prankster put it today. I believe the site will do so much good. It already has.

For me.

Running Band Back Together will never make me rich and famous. It will never send me on speaking engagements around the country or net me fame and fortune. I’ll never attract advertisers that drive dump trucks full of cash to my door just the way my dirty mouth scares them away from me here.

That, Pranksters, is just fine with me.

What Band Back Together is doing is more important than that. What I do here is all me. And being me, well, that’s worth more than anything.

It’s redemption.

76 thoughts on “The Importance of Being (aunt) Becky

  1. Becky, this is gorgeous. I can tell just from being (virtually) around you that you are doing good in this world, and that you are making a difference for people just by sharing your own stories. Aunt Becky is vitally important to a lot of people out there (including me), and while that might be hard to put down on a resume, I hope it gives you more satisfaction than “Nurse Becky” ever would.

    Still planning to submit to BB2Gether as soon as I can get my rear in gear. It’s a beautiful thing you’re doing. Truly.

  2. I think it’s super important, as Mom’s especially, to talk as nice to ourself as we do to everybody else around us. It’s so easy to lose who we are.

    This was beautifully written, as always.

  3. It is possibly time for the advertising and Old Media folk to take their collective heads out of their collective asses and realize there is a HUGE market for intelligent, sensitive, active, creative, not-a-crafty-mother-fucking-bone-in-their-body, bloggers. Just sayin!

  4. You are my hero for all the amazing goodness you do for others!!

    P.S. If you throw enough shit against the wall some of it is bound to stick! So keep throwing your shit out there because you have some of the best shit around πŸ™‚

  5. This is fantastic. I love it.

    I LOVE Band Back Together! TY TY for starting it. I just started my own blog last week. And Band Back Together is the reason. I realized I liked getting my feelings out. I liked writing for me. It helped me. I like telling my stories and being humorous. I also like telling my dark stories. So TY again. But most of all I LOVE the community of Band Back Together. Everyone there is so supportive and caring. People need that. Especially during the dark days.

  6. Wow. I so totally relate to everything in this post. Except your ink is prettier than mine. Okay, yours is freaking hot. Mine’s just a cute little rose and butterflies. You’re doing great work both here and at Band Back Together. And the Old News people’s loss is our gain. Your words have blown me away.

  7. As a fellow audacious woman who found herself lost in mommyhood, got a tattoo to remind me that I am still here, vibrant, and fucking awesome, and and finally found a voice (albeit a tiny one) on the internet, I congratulate you on doing something that is so fulfilling, exciting, and downright good. Fuck YEAH!.

  8. You know, the fact that Band Back Together is not a narcissistic effort to get your name in lights probably means that it will probably do exactly that. It’s a wonderful thing you’ve organized.

  9. Love this blog! You are my word hero. I can’t ever put things into words that end up sounding like I mean them to. I can feel the passion in your words and the tattoo is a fabulous symbol of moving forward with life, regardless of what the world dishes. Good for you!!

  10. I thought you were the Daver’s trophy wife. Man, I bet he is disappointed to find this out. πŸ˜‰ Looking at that tattoo just brings back all the pain from my 3 tiny ones. Thanks so much for that, NOT!
    It is pretty though even though I can feel the needles and it wasn’t even on me.
    When are we getting together again? It has only been 2 years. Time for a reunion and let our girls beat the crap out of each other while we drink some booze.

  11. Love it!

    I lurk around on Band Back Together almost every day. There are so many beautiful stories there. I feel that it really is making a difference in people’s lives.

  12. Aunt Becky,
    So I just thought I should tell you that what you have done here on the Internet is so full of the awesome that I can’t even describe it. I love your website, and I also love Band Back Together, even though my daughter didn’t have anything wrong with her heart, she was pretty sick her first year and on a heart monitor, and I wish there had been a place for me to go back then where I could talk to other people about how terrifying it was. So yeah, you’re the shit.

    1. Okay, you made me tearful.

      Without my Pranksters, I wouldn’t have survived Amelia’s first year. I have a folder in my email box that says, “Amelia.” I can’t open it, but it’s full of emails that I got after Mili was born so sick. They saved me. Honestly.

      1. I feel that you are making the Internet a special place with Band back together. Pranksters are the most loving people you can find and it’s all thanks to you. I have lost myself, too. Life did not take me where I had hoped to be, so in order to forget my pain, I focused on doing for others. I hope that somehow I can encourage you and the other Pranksters the way you guys have helped me.

  13. You’re an amazing person, Becks, and I’m glad to know you. Thank you for all that you’re doing to make the world a better place for so many of us. *smooches*

  14. Awesome post. I’m trying to find the missing pieces as well, though not fast enough for my liking…. Thank you for reminding all of us who feel this way, even from time to time, that we’re not alone. Your tattoo is beautiful πŸ™‚ And now I’ll head over to Band Back Together to check it out…. I rarely comment over here, but I couldn’t pass this one up.

  15. You make such a difference in everyone that knows you lives<<<< See why I dont blog? That totally didn't sound right, but you know what I meant right?

    Ah well… ((hugs))

      1. Your asking the wrong person, I totally love tats and am pretty inked up, I think the more the better…its my BS corporate gig the keeps me from going totally ape shit with it.

  16. Becky, the tattoo looks wonderful. Congrats on the new site and most importantly, on finding yourself again. As one of your readers I have to tell you that I think YOU are worth finding; you’re pretty awesome.


  17. I think that was just an amazing and inspiring post. I really do. I think you are very successful and that is all because of you being you! You are a leader to so many here on The Internet!

    The fame, fortune and riches will come.

  18. I feel like our journeys have mirrored each other so much the last year! (Old media can kiss my ass, too). Love your Aunt Becky self with that awesome tattoo!

  19. Aunt Becky, you are my idol. I’m in that lost place now too. Still figuring out what the pieces are I’m supposed to be looking for. Hearing this story gives me a lot of hope. Thank you for that.

    And I love (and post at) Band Back Together. I think it’s a great site and has so much potential to grow into something AMAZING. Go go give yourself a pat on the back (and maybe a shot of burboun) for all the amazing work you have accomplished so far and another one for all the amazing things to come!

    1. And by the way, I’m SUPER-duper jealous of the beautiful tat!!! Puts all of my little, easily hidden ones to shame! GORGEOUS!

  20. I’m way too chicken to get a tat … yours is lovely though. Your BandBackTogether site is wonderful. Perfect. I love it.

    It’s so hard to find yourself again … congrats to you!!

  21. Bringing Aunt Becky posts are my favorite to read in all of the Internet. They’ve inspired me to be true to myself and follow my dreams.

    You have helped so many people already and now with the Band Back Together site, the sky’s the limit. You should be so proud of yourself! I know that I am.

  22. I don’t have tattoos of my own, and I don’t love the ones my husband has. But that fucking thing on you is stunning, gorgeous, and ballsy. If I were local to you I’d beg you to let me take professional photos of that, selfishly so I can see it more clearly in all its detail. That is a lifeswork. It’s beautiful.

  23. In the process of putting your own self back together, I wonder if you have any idea of how many of us (I mean people out in internet land), have been right there with you, letting ourselves heal, and finding our own strengths, mostly from the strength that you are so willing to share with everyone. I lurk here, and at BBT, every day. I have found some wonderful blogs, people to connect with, and amazing strong women (some might be men, who knows). I am mostly a huge introvert, and I feel like I get to be a part of something huge. You are amazing. Duh…. Loads of thanks, every single day….

    Also, I am still waiting for you to get that damn book on the market…. and not so patiently….. Hurry the hell up, will ya?

  24. “It’s like I betrayed my younger self and I’ve been slowly picking up the pieces ever since.”

    Yes. This. I’m picking up those damn pieces too. Thank you for what you write – the funny, the sad, all of it And for the feeling in your words although I realize you don’t, of course, actually have feelings. πŸ˜‰

  25. This post really touched a cord with me. I’m currently a 41 year old nursing student with four kids. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but veered from a degree in creative writing for one in nursing because…well, because I’ll get a job as a nurse. Problem is that I find no satisfaction in the nursing gig…anyway, this isn’t about me (much), and I want to tell you that your story of strength and determination to find yourself and what makes you YOU, will leave me thinking about you all day. I think you may have just changed my life a little bit. So thank you.

    1. Wow. Just…Wow. I’m touched. Honestly. That’s amazing.

      I still keep my degree because it’s good to have. But if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have gotten the degree. Period.

  26. Adore your tattoo. Adore your outlook. I hope someday we get to meet because I’m pretty sure you are as incredible as you seem online.

    I think the toughest part of facing up to what we have done in this life is to look at with bare bulb truthfulness. Not try to recast it into a different mold or story that is more forgiving. Face your shit, apologize for your shit, reconcile your shit and then be a stronger, better person if you can.

  27. Beautiful ink, and what a story it represents. My backpiece was a similar journey and I think that’s half the beauty of a large piece – the period of life it represents and how much you change during that time.

  28. I love reading your blog. The honesty you write with is what keeps me coming back every single day to read your blog; it is great. I don’t really comment much but the strength you show going through every day life or crises helps me so much. Thank you.

    Also, your tattoo looks AMAZING.

  29. I’m a new(er) reader of your blog, and I’ve said before I have a huge bloggy crush on you. You’re work here on your blog is so heartfelt, funny, twisted, encouraging, and your strength shines through.

    You know I’m a huge fan of Band Back Together…and I’ll keep promoting it as best I can. I have another post I’ll be adding soon. Thank you for giving those of us that need it a place to go and share. And a place to support others and help them with what we’ve already learned and/or been through.

    And I love the tattoo – I just got my third one above my shoulder blades. I would love to get half sleeves but I don’t think I could pull it off πŸ˜‰

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