What is The Odious Soul?

Back in the early 90's, I thought of a band name: O.D.S. It stood for Odiously Departed Souls. I thought it sounded cool, since O.D.S. sounded like the word Odious.

I fell in love with the word Odious the moment I read it in the dictionary. Yes, I was one of those young dorks who liked thumbing through the dictionary as a kid. For all those millennials out there, a dictionary use to be in book form, and you could actually thumb through the pages. The word rolled so beautifully off the tongue, yet it had such an ugly meaning. I felt something kindred with this word; beautiful on the outside, yet ugly on the inside.
Over the years, it has taken many transformations and self discoveries to learn to love myself both on the inside and the outside. I use to have a rage inside me that I didn't know how to contain. It was an angst against the world for all of its discrimination, malfeasance, and judgement. When deep down inside, it was just a thirst, a longing to be loved and accepted. I tried so hard to be different, but only so I could stand out from the crowd in order to be noticed.
More than twenty years have passed since the conception of the Odious Soul, and the meaning behind it has changed many times over. Now, it is a symbol that beauty lies in all things. Life, whether grotesque or divine, is a blessed thing. From the wastelands and prisons of our past, we can decide what our future will bring. Our destiny is ours. Our souls, even if they've been plagued with past sins, can be cleansed by our future good doings. We shall not blame our pasts and let them chain us to unfavorable futures, but instead use them as educational pathways that have shaped and forged us into stronger individuals, so that we can have brighter, more fulfilling paths ahead of us.
How can you know what joy is, if you've never been sad?
How can you know what happiness is, if you've never been disappointed?
How can you know what you want, until you've experienced what you don't want?
I am but a work in progress. This website is but a work in progress. The Odious Soul is but a work in progress. Follow along as they all grow and develop, and hopefully are able to do good along the way.
-Shannon M. Utz