June 14, 2011

At The Intersection with Chambanachik

When I put out a request for guest bloggers, I got more responses than I anticipated.  Up first is Erika from chambanachik.  If you've never visited her blog, please do.  She writes with clarity and moving emotion.  She's honest and willing to share about her life and the challenges she faces.  Thank you so much for guest blogging for me today!

At The Intersection of Blogging and Real Life
I just had my own guest bloggers a couple months ago, so I know how nerve wracking it can be to
hand over your blog to someone else for a day! It’s an honor to be among the very first guests at Many
Waters. I am also pretty amazed at how many things she’s crossed off her 101 in 1001 List, compared
to my two or three. Thank you for having me here today, Miss Poekitten!

I remember the first time someone said it. An acquaintance called me by my blogger
name, “Chambanachik”. I just froze for a minute, not knowing how to respond.

When I first began my blog a little over two years ago, I didn't imagine anyone would read it. I wrote it
as a kind of extension of my diary, and never thought about it crossing into the real world. I had five or
ten followers for the first several months, and most of them were friends in town who also blogged. It
was a way for us to share some of our secrets and emotions without having to speak the words aloud to
each other.

When my boyfriend (now husband) began to read my blog from his FOB in Afghanistan, I admit it
felt a little awkward. It was difficult playing hard to get when I spent so much time gushing about the
guy. My blog was overtaken by posts about missing him, about soldiers, and about the war I couldn't
see from my bedroom window, but felt every second. Slowly but steadily, my blog readership began to
grow as military wives and girlfriends started to follow.

I cried over the deployment, and found that I was not the only girl on earth to experience one. I started
to feel a unique sense of support and encouragement. These women not only knew what I felt, but had
gone through even more heartache and struggle, and they gave me the reassurance I needed to know
that I'd make it through.

The real turning point for me came when I began to realize some of my family members read my blog.
My whole heart was laid out on the screen- all my thoughts about my pregnancy and my daughter, the
struggles and triumphs in my marriage, my hopes, my fears- everything. Things that they wouldn't have
known from a conversation with me were on display. But while it's more than I would ever have the
courage to share with them face to face, I have become fairly comfortable with the idea.

The reason is simply this: it's honesty. I could pretend my life away, but it doesn't do anyone any good.
Real life is difficult. Marriages can be painful. Parenthood can be complicated. And while I love to
share my joys and my passions, I won't censor my writing to just those things. If only for the hundreds
of comments I've gotten from women facing the same issues, I will keep on writing. They encourage
me, and sometimes, I can encourage them. Whether it's good things or bad, it is comforting to know
we're not alone.

So you may call me Erika. That's my real name, after all. But I'll definitely answer if you call
me “Chambanachik”.


  1. God Bless you and all the service wives living the deployment out at home. Is your husband home now? If not, when do you expect him to be????

  2. Oh, so sweet. You are a brave woman. OccDoc's the only one in real life who knows about my blog. Well, other then the bloggy friends I've met, of course.

  3. aaaand THIS is why you're one of my faves. not only do you write from the heart, you aren't afraid to write about the hard stuff. you've got a gorgeous soul, my sweet friend.

  4. i like this :) it's so true how it's such a welcoming and loving community

  5. hmmm.
    i love this.
    and i sooo appreciate honest people.
    working on that some more myself! considering some of my family has been reading for quite a while, it can be hard to open up and not care and push those worries aside to truly let it out.

  6. I'm a big fan of honesty. :) Nice to meet you!

  7. you are really brave!! and honesty always comes first!! :D
    i just started following ur blog
    i'm a military gf starting my own blog:
    hope u can follow and share the love


I love to hear your thoughts, so please share! If you know us in real life, please refrain from using our names to help us keep some semblance of privacy.

Also, I ignore comments that only ask for a follow back. The best way to get me to YOUR blog is to leave comment showing that you've read SOMETHING on my blog. Thanks!