Something new on the horizon, perhaps...
itting here, post-noon, still in my pajamas and painting my nails hot pink to counteract the bleak grey out my window (not to mention the resulting sinus headache that threatens to explode my head from within), I've had an epiphany - I've retreated into my own world as of late and it's time to break out. As many expats and/or housewives who do not have a structured way to spend their time, I often find myself getting lost in the ebb and flow of my significantly slower lifestyle, making it too easy to dwell on the little things and obsess over my constantly-changing emotions, not to mention spending ungodly amounts of time organizing my boards on Pinterest (aren't they pretty, though?). I'm not really focusing on what I want to be [when I grow up..?], or even how to express myself and my creativity.
That said, I love my life right now. I am a full-time Hausfrau *gulp* - and I actually enjoy it (shhh, don't tell the feminists!). I actually caught myself spending a good half hour over the ironing board the other day, complete with curlers in my hair and skirt on, rocking out to Adele. I was a glass of gin, a cigarette and a hefty dose of pent-up resentment at a cheating husband away from being straight off of Mad Men *double gulp*. Some days I fall into deep despair at the apparent loss of myself and my 'career', of which I was between them at the time we moved, and others I just revel in the planning of something new and delicious for dinner. Or that I have the time now to give myself a bright, fresh manicure rather than spending over three hours a day commuting to and from work. Or that I regularly run into friends to stop and chat with when out in our wonderful little part of town, whereas in California, not one person in our neighborhood even acknowledged our existence. So why am I complaining?
It's easy to sit here at my desk on a daily basis and get distressed at all these blogs where the writer (aka: Superstar) appears to not only have all the right words, but cooks like Martha Stewart, never has a chipped manicure and has a closet full of 'c/o'-ed designer clothes. Oh yeah, and manages all kinds of crafty/design projects on the side. And has a book deal. *sigh...* This is not my life, and it feels hard to compete. I often chip a nail or burn something I'm cooking, which results in a meltdown accompanied by tears or swear words or both. So if cannot measure up to these Superwomen out there in the blogosphere, why bother blogging about my life at all?
What I've realized though is that it's not a competition and there are no rules. I don't have advertisers that I must answer to and my readership, well, I'm pretty sure consists mostly of my mother and a sprinkling of other expats who read an entertaining post from me, once. I must accept that, in Popeye's famous words, I yam what I yam. Never one to have a huge social circle (I'm pretty sure my 8th birthday party where I instituted 'reading time' pretty much cinched that), never asked to a single school dance, never memorable enough to be voted 'Most-anything', I suppose I grew up thinking that I wasn't the kind of person other people would look to for sage advice or fashion tips. I mean, if people weren't after me to be their friend or girlfriend in real life, why the heck would they want that via the internet? And no, that one-time, My Space wife request from Bangalore doesn't count.
I began this blog as a way to chronicle the major life change that is moving half a world away and becoming an expat, but I am more than that. My mom noted on their first trip out, just a year into our life in Germany, that it seemed we were still in 'vacation mode'. While I vehemently denied it at the time, wanting so desperately to believe we were really only days away from becoming true Germans (ha!), I must concede she was probably right (moms usually are, damn them). But time has passed and that shiny newness has faded and real life has set in. Now, I find that day-to-day goings on involve so much more than fumbling through German conversation (which still happens) or looking up words that pertain to whatever I'm about to do before I leave the house (yup, still do that too). I love fashion, style, design, architecture, the outdoors, cute dogs, well-behaved children... the list goes on and on. So why am I not sharing that?
So what I propose for myself is an exercise in blogging. In an effort to focus myself and my writing, I'm working on ways to not only inject more of who I am and who I strive to be into this blog (my husband often notes that only my shoe blog really sounds like me...), but thinking of ways to do it with more regularity as well (What I Learned Wednesdays, Friday Fashion, perhaps..?). I thought at first this sounded silly, but when I look at so many of the blogs I love to visit, it's often because I know what I can count on from them, and when. Perhaps this focus will help not only me, but my readership as well. Because if no one's reading, what am I doing here?
Cinque Terre sunset photo courtesy of my mom
Daily Drop Cap from Jessica Hische