Aug 14, 2014

Begin Again

Here I am. Again.

I wrote at my chambanachik blog for five years. Before Sky, before Millie, and before Walter, it was me and a laptop. Things have changed so much since then. Those three people have created a family for me. I gave birth to two beautiful babies. I got married, struggled in it, stayed with it. I went to school, then stopped, then went, then stopped and went again. I lived in several different apartments on different streets. I probably became different people along the way. Or maybe it's that I found out more of who I really am.

Chambanachik never fit me. It's not that I've outgrown it; it just never felt like it represented me well. A website in town started a similarly-titled blog about a year after I began mine. The "chik" part is (purposefully) misspelled (it's a long and pretty uninteresting story), and the whole thing sounds a little young and ditsy. But the truth is, I'm just days away from my 30th birthday, and I sincerely hope I'm not a ditz. I am starting a new space because I made a silly mistake that ended up deleting every photo I've ever posted on my blog. Photos that go with stories, that have meaning, that mattered to me. But in a silver lining sort of way, I have a chance for a fresh start. My blog will probably have less followers. It'll be smaller than it was before. But it will still be me, still writing.

When I was little (and really, to this day), I had dreams of writing for a living. I would sigh every time our family drove by the newspaper building in town. For a short while in high school, I did get the chance to write a few articles for that newspaper. I had the hardest time cashing the $20 checks that they gave me, because I couldn't believe that someone had paid me to write. Even before that, I came up with a (short-lived) family newspaper (The Smith Gazette), and poorly designed a couple-page edition every so often, complete with headlines to stories everyone in the family already knew, and lots of wing-ding accents. It's in that ridiculous but nostalgic spirit that I'm beginning this new blog: The Midwest Press.

The tagline for chambanachik was "marriage, motherhood, the military, and my world in Chambana". Nothing much will change here. Those things comprise the biggest parts of me. I briefly considered giving up a blog altogether after all my pictures were gone. But at the end of the day, I'm not a photographer. I'm a writer. And write I shall.

So thank you. For following me to a new place because you care what I have to say. Do you know how much that humbles me? Chambanachik began when I didn't know a soul in blogland. Now I know so many of you. Dear friends. Military spouses. People who live down the road for me. Family. You are all a part of my world in one way or another, and you all matter to me. Thank you for letting me matter to you. Thank you for reading.

Out with the old, and in with the new. There's nothing but wide, open space here. Time to make it my own.

For those of you who'd like my new links:
Email: themidwestpress(at)gmail(dot)com -or- chambanachik(at)gmail(dot)com


  1. I'm sad the pictures were lost, but am I ever excited about the new beginning! I'm glad you're the same young woman I've always loved and look forward to watching your new blog blossom as you have blossomed.

  2. I'm excited about your new blog, even though it comes at the loss of all your photos! I am eager to keep reading :)

  3. Hi Erika. We seem to be in the same boat somewhat. I just switched from my WP blog to my old/new Blogger blog in the spirit of simplifying. And part of the reason is the fact that in a way I felt that my old blog/blog name didn't seem to fit me and I struggled with it. It's only been a week or so but already I love my new blog home and the simplicity of posting to Blogger. Sometimes, a new start is what is needed! xoxo

  4. I'm excited for this new chapter in blogging for you - and I will always keep reading your blog, no matter what the title is. I love your writing :) Also, love the new layout :)

  5. This is oh so wonderful! Way to keep with the spirit; I can't wait to read what valuable experiences you live through.

  6. I love this and I love the rebrand. Definitely fits you!

  7. So sorry to hear about the loss of all your photos. I would have had a total meltdown! But sometimes life has a way of pushing us when we have become a bit too settled in our comfort zones. Here's to fresh starts and new adventures!

  8. When I started over, a friend from our time in Germany told me: "I'll follow you anywhere."
    I'll steal her line, and add it here:

    I'll follow you anywhere. Keep writing, keep telling your story. Know you're loved, even when the pictures get deleted. xo

  9. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your pictures - how upsetting. Although, I am very excited about your new space and can't wait to see where it takes you! :)

  10. Sucks about the pictures, but yay for the new start. I love the look and feel of it all.


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