The Astromaid Chronicles

Slow Travel, Creative Living, and Speculation

Category: What’s Going On Here? (page 2 of 3)

A Non-Traditional Dress, A Very Traditional Meltdown: Wedding Woes & Wonders Pt. 2

Let’s get one thing straight: I’ve spent about 25 years of my almost 30 years on Earth expecting to not get married.

It’s not that I have anything wrong with lifelong commitments, partnerships, or any manner of family-rearing. I’m totally down with all those things. But the pomp and circumstance of weddings? The hullabaloo that is the dress hunt, the mile-long registries, the nail-biting adherence to tradition?

No, thank you!

Approaching my own wedding has been, to say the least, a difficult process of figuring out what I do want and why. With every new decision and task, I have to consult my gut. And often times it rumbles its disapproval with the potency of a Ren & Stimpy episode.

One of the things that I knew would not be happening for my wedding was the ubiquitous white dress. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to hear that I’ve never, not even once, dreamt about what dress I would wear at my wedding. I did once imagine what a pleasing dress might look like, because around age 14 I thought my ambivalence about the whole thing was disconcerting, and the only thing I could think of was ‘strapless’. Good try, 14-year-old Astromaid.

Not-White was a good starting point for this hunt, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough. A couple of my best girls and I set two dates to scour the environs, to begin getting ideas. Because no matter how much I thought it could still fit under the umbrella of ‘non-traditional’, I knew leggings were out of the question for this event (I mean, seriously, I can wear something other than leggings at least 1% of the year, and especially for my own wedding).

Secretly, though, I was hoping they would find the perfect dress for me and I would only have to give one convincing, emphatic nod. And preferably that it would be the first dress we found.

The first scouring took place at our local mall, which had a dismal selection. I put on a total of one dress and needed two of my friends to get out of it. Score.

The next scouring took place at a larger mall about 45 minutes from my house. The selection was larger, but not quite as formal as what I thought I might want.

What I thought I might want. I still didn’t know what I wanted, at all, and tried on anything that remotely caught my attention. Some of the options I loved, but were totally not for a wedding; and other things looked like I was trying to be my own flower girl (which, hey, would be cool. And perfectly non-traditional).

Not exactly the best option for a wedding ceremony...but really freaking cute nonetheless.

Not exactly the best option for a wedding ceremony…but really freaking cute nonetheless. ALSO HEINOUSLY EXPENSIVE (the belt alone was $50).

We realized, after fingering far too many flimsy blouses at H&M and Anthropologie, that we might need to go to a place dedicated to formal wear. So off to David’s Bridal, the number one place I had been hoping to avoid.

Let me be clear: David’s Bridal is very good at what it does. The shudder I experienced when signing into the bridal registry had nothing to do with their business plan, and everything to do with my own disgruntledness with the wedding industry. When they asked me who the bride was and I felt my lower intestine try to strangle itself, it had less to do with the perky and helpful employee Taylor and more to do with my own skin-crawling aversion to being labeled ‘a bride’.

The whole place is set up to honor and uplift brides preparing for their big day. And that’s cool—if you’re into playing the wedding game. I know a lot of women who love this sort of thing, and I respect that. But I’m not someone who wants to play the game, not even for a second.

So I beelined it to the bridesmaid section. The store only had three non-white wedding dresses, which all had trains. What even is that for? I could google it, but more importantly, I know I don’t want it. Taylor helpfully collected the dresses I selected and started a dressing room for me. Soon, I had about five options and went to dutifully present them to my friends on what was a literal stage.

A fucking stage. Because this is our chance to be the belle of the ball, a princess for a day. But I’m an astronaut mermaid! I hide in the depths of the sea or the soundless oblivion of outer space. I am really not okay with so much attention. And this became piercingly clear to me when, from inside the cheery stall of my dressing room, shimmying into a sequined gold floor-length dress that might have come from the Mother of The Bride section, I heard a bell ring…a few screams of surprise…and then applause.

One of the other girls in the store had made her selection. SHE FOUND THE DRESS!

My stomach catapulted and I growled through the door at my friends outside.

“If they ring that bell for me,” I told them, “We are walking the fuck out of here.”

I was surprised by my own vehemence, and I admitted to my girlfriends later that I would be unpacking these feelings for a while. Good thing I have a blog, huh?

It’s not that I disagree with looking pretty for a day, or dressing nicely for a special occasion. It doesn’t bother me that other women go the traditional white dress route. Plenty of brides make choices that are different than mine, and that’s totally fine.

So what is it?

I thought about this as I grunted and shimmied into my remaining options. Most were immediate No’s. I tried on one regular wedding dress, for shits and giggles. I felt so weird.

IMG_8081

Strapless. Just like the 14-year-old me would have wanted.

And then the last dress was the one. I knew, because my friends made that “ooooh!” noise when I came out onto the freaking stage. As I admired the plunging backline and the perfect shade of mossy pink, I knew this dress would work just fine.

No bell was rung. I didn’t even make a purchase that day, since the dress I tried on was just a bit small, and my proper size was located in a different store. So I was able to slink out of there without any overzealous bride-to-be harassment—I mean, uh…celebration.

There it is.

There it is.

A few days later, I called the store that had my size and ordered it. A regular transaction like any other person. Which, after that full day of intense bridecitement raining upon me from the World At-Large, I desperately needed a respite.

Dress ordered. Purchase made. One more detail taken care of. I was sitting pretty, able to breathe a little easier now that the looming detail of the Wedding Garment was taken care of.

The dress arrived a few days later in a box that was comically beaten up. I hung it on my bedroom door, inspecting it, re-familiarizing myself with it since our last meeting.

A few hours went by, the dress in the back of my mind as I continued with my work day. I don’t know what the shift was, or why it happened. But somewhere between the dress’ arrival and later that afternoon, I became completely convinced that I had made the hugest mistake of my life.

I furiously googled “non-traditional wedding dresses”, something I hadn’t done previously because I felt secure with finding something I wanted on my own. But now? Now I had no idea what I was doing. And all these dresses were white,  or mostly white with a little bit of a different color. I even googled “courthouse weddings” to scope what other non-traditional brides were wearing—and they were wearing long traditional dresses, or short white dresses, or short red dresses that I definitely wouldn’t pick.

Hey guys, just here for my non-traditional courthouse wedding. [Photo Credit: www.austinweddingday.com]

Hey guys, just here for my non-traditional courthouse wedding. [Photo Credit: www.austinweddingday.com]

And the doubt crept in. I thought, Holy hell I really messed this one up. I should have gotten a short dress. I should have gotten white, because maybe I really do want white now. And look at all these courthouse weddings in short dresses! You’re gonna look like a freak showing up in pink, much less a floor-length dress, in the middle of August. What were you thinking?? ABORT. ABORT.

At this point, I had about two weeks until the ceremony date and not a lot of free time to go dress-hunting again. So I thought I might google a dress, find something online, and hope that a totally new dress that I couldn’t try on prior to my ceremony day would work out perfectly. Yeah, great idea.

I searched for two full hours, stress mounting with each new website that originated in China. Nothing I even remotely wanted in my price range could arrive by the ceremony date, and the pressure to find this sudden, elusive perfect dress was like an ogre breathing down my neck. I reluctantly tore myself away from the computer to go pick up Jorge from work, and I cried the entire car ride there.

And then I cried the whole car ride to drop him off at this next job. I JUST WANT TO LOOK NICE, I wailed to him.

And then I cried more on my way home.

Jorge was a champ; he took it all in stride, and reminded me that whatever I wore for the ceremony was fine (even leggings). When I got home, I consulted some of my best friends on the issue.

I THOUGHT I WOULD BE IMMUNE TO THE DRESS CRAZE, I texted my best friend and honorary maid of honor, Becky, during a binge session of Google Shop and hummus with pita chips. I EVEN CRIED ABOUT IT. WHY IS THIS SUCH A BIG DEAL?

Because this is a preeeeetty big event in your life, she gently reminded me. I felt better after that. I really had thought that my non-traditional approach to planning a ceremony and reception would somehow exclude me from stress or confusion…especially of the dress variety.

But as it turns out, stress and anxiety aren’t linked to only white things. And after a few hours I felt less like a dress-doubting maniac, aided by the fact that I had settled on the dress for my reception with the help of both Brian and Jorge. I knew it might not arrive to my house in time for the ceremony itself, but either way it was one more item off the to-do list for the reception itself. Clicking ‘Purchase’ makes a lady feel good, even if she hasn’t tried the damn thing on.

The next day I woke up, bright and early as always. I looked again at the pink dress in the bright light of the morning, appraising it with fresh eyes and a clear head. I couldn’t identify at all with the stress and clamor of the day before. It felt like a dream, or perhaps a slightly lame edition of Say Yes To The Dress; and as I fingered the lacy pink bodice, I thought…Eh, it’s not so bad. This dress is perfectly fine.

Nobody rang a bell; I’m not wearing white; and I sure as hell dodged the bride moniker as much as possible. But that doesn’t mean I don’t qualify for my very own bride-to-be meltdown before the courthouse wedding day!

On the next edition of Wedding Woes & Wonders: What’s your problem with the wedding industry, anyway?

The Changing of the Tides

One of the only certainties of life is change. What goes up comes down, what recedes will swell, what backpacks to South America will someday return to North America with a frightening array of alpaca sweaters.

It’s the only constant. Back, forth, up, down, back, around, and again.

Despite knowing this, I didn’t quite expect myself end up back in Sandusky. I knew I would always be visiting home, but I hadn’t counted on my roots calling me home so quickly.

There’s something sublime about Home. It’s not just one characteristic, but rather the seamless and elegant blend of so many blessings. How could I choose just one? There’s family here; there’s four seasons and marshes; there’s my community of friends; there’s art and music; there’s my childhood memories; there’s the freaking lake; there’s Cameo pizza; there’s hummus freely available in the grocery stores.

I’ve pined for these different characteristics to varying degrees for about three years, sometimes missing each one viscerally, like a knife point in the heart; and other times just feeling the absence like a dull throb, a lingering stubbed toe.

There’s no world journey without feeling the quiet pulse of one of these sensations, like a quiet murmur in your ear. You just can’t quite shake it entirely, whether it’s the scorching smell of spring that nearly brings you to your knees with it’s familiarity of home, or maybe overhearing compatriots speaking with your accent or hometown slang. Jorge feels it when we are away from Argentina, too; we both feel it when we leave a place that we made home, like Valparaiso, Chile, or the Sacred Valley in Peru.

We’ve left pieces of our hearts around the world, a trail that leads us back to good times and fond memories. And in following the trail around the world, we’ve made our way back to Ohio.

But why OHIO of all places?

Well, for a few reasons.

One: because missing home began to hurt. Like, a lot. It took leaving home to realize how strong my roots were, and that call finally reached a fever pitch. I want more time than the frantic, one-month whirlwind; more elbow room to make plans, have dinners, make memories with my people.

Two: because Jorge wants to learn English! And boy, is he cute when he speaks it.

Three (and most importantly): because we’re getting married!

In my wildest fantasies of where my life might take me, three years ago I never imagined that this path might lead me right back to my hometown, with the love of my life at my side, preparing to seal the legal deal.

I never even imagined meeting a man like Jorge, or that he would become my partner so fluidly, so effortlessly. I have yet to write about how we met, or what it was like in the beginning (and that story is coming!), but he was the man who met me and wasn’t afraid to take the leap with me. Sure, let’s move around cities in South America and see what happens. He’s a badass and I couldn’t be more grateful to have him in my life. Oh Jorge, let me count the ways!

Jorge and I when we met, in March 2013 -- Valparaiso, Chile.

Jorge and I on the night we met, in March 2013 — Valparaiso, Chile.

Jorge and I in July 2015--Akron, OH

Jorge and I in July 2015–Akron, OH

I also never imagined I might be moving into my own Sandusky pad, complete with a tiny orange office space and back yard and free landscaping reign, which will mark my first ever rental in this fair city. (And the first time I’ve had to schedule garbage pick-up. Can’t I just tie it in a plastic bag and toss it in the plaza corner like every other South American country?)

I never imagined I’d be scouting reception venues and gathering my girlfriends so we can hunt for a damn dress (groan). Or that I’d even be confronting the issue of marriage and reception planning. Spoiler alert: I never wanted a traditional wedding, and I STILL don’t!

I couldn’t have seen any of this, and despite the fantastical weirdness of it, despite how surprising it still sounds even to my own ears, it is the truest and most organic journey I’ve ever been on.

The Horgs is the only man I’d say yes to. We’re life partners, a fact that we both feel to the marrow of our bones and back again. Travel has had a lot to do with our certainty on this front. We’ve shared so much  together, and being on the road has fortified us in a way that makes it easier to look to the unknown and know that it’s gonna turn out all right with him by my side.

People write a lot of articles about why travel is the best thing a couple can do together. I might be the next writer to add my two cents to that debate, as well.

So that’s it, folks! We’re going to be in Ohio for about a year. That’s all we can commit to for now—the travel urge pricks hard, and there’s no telling what we might be ready for in a year. If you’ve ever talked to us about our future plans, you’ll know that we have business ideas in Central America, and other ideas for around these parts. The future is brimming with possibilities!

But for right now, first thing’s first.

Time to marry this Argentinian.

That Time I Ate An Armadillo

Jorge’s family is sort of obsessed with quirquincho.

I’d heard this strange word hundreds times throughout my first visit to meet his parents. Quirquincho this and quirchincho that. Per Foreign Language Acquisition Rules, I just politely nodded and ignored asking what the word meant, because I had already pretended to understand too many times and finally asking what it meant would have been embarrassing (ONE MUST PRETEND TO KNOW ALL WORDS AT ALL  TIMES).

It wasn’t until visiting his brother’s house that they pointed to the quirquincho hanging on the wall that I realized OMG they’ve been talking about armadillos the entire time.

As in, hunting them. Eating them. Making stews with them. What a delicacy they are. How much they wish they could have another one. The way the flavors mix with fond childhood memories. And on. And on.

Like I said–a little obsessed with quirquinchos.

On my most recent visit to Candelaria, I got the chance to try quirquincho. It had been freshly hunted off their own farmland in the morning, courtesy of the three dogs that live out there. Seriously, armadillos roam their farmland. Pretty much the entire family looked at me strangely when I said I had only ever seen armadillo in a zoo.

And from my perfunctory knowledge of armadillos, I would never have guessed that it could be hunted. Isn’t it just one giant moving shell? Furthermore, how does one eat a giant shelled animal?

How does anyone even know there’s anything under there worth eating? Can’t we just let it stay out there and do its shelled thing?

These were some of my existential questions prior to the quirquincho.

Jorge's father and the catch of the day: QUIRQUINCHO

Jorge’s father and the catch of the day: QUIRQUINCHO

I’ll be honest, I was pretty hesitant to try quirquincho because, well, there’s no mistaking that IT’S A LITERAL ARMADILLO. Completely intact, just…you know…boiled. *gulp* Okay.

But hey. When you’re the partner of an Argentinian farm boy, you don’t want to offend what could potentially become your in-law family for life. So, you know, you eat the armadillo.

Even if it looks like it will leap up and ATTACK YOU at any moment.

A close-up of dinner.

A close-up of dinner. What are we even supposed to eat? I don’t get it, you guys.

Once we sat down at the table, the shelled carcass had been replaced with cuts of its meat. Could have fooled me that this bad boy would have had any meat under that shell, but hey, what does a suburban girl from Ohio know about eating this stuff? (Hint: nothing.)

The meat was pretty okay. Served cooled, it reminded me of dark turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. The shock and awe of seeing the creature in a baking dish sort of marred the experience. But, really, every time I go to visit Jorge’s family, I’m pushed up against the glass wall of where meat really comes from. For them, and many others in the world, slaughter and meat preparation is as common place as cooking beans is for me.

But from my sterile North American, non-farm life, seeing these sort of things is still SHOCKING to me. I’ve been acclimating to sights like these since my first trip abroad to Mexico in 2006 — I can still remember the cresting nausea as I walked the central market with my Mexican Mama for the first time, observing with horror and pity the swinging slabs of cow and more.

That doesn’t mean I’ve adapted fully, though. Every once in awhile, a surprise armadillo will get the best of me, leaving me both slack-jawed and horrified as I contemplate putting it in my mouth.

But I respect their lifestyle, and I really admire their connection with the land, the animals they raise, and the purity of their intentions. It’s easy to forget that a large majority of the world still lives so closely with the land — especially in America, where most things are a car ride or a trip to Kroger away.

I’m the first to admit–I wasn’t raised with much contact with rugged nature, or any sense of living from the land. Sure, I played in the woods and climbed trees. But hunting to survive? I don’t know if it’s a luxury or a pity that I’ve been able to live a life without knowing that.

13 Things That Will Make You [Verb] [Adverb]!

While things are blossoming with newness and regenerating from zero during spring, I thought it might be fitting to bring us back to basics. You know, strip things down to their most fundamental core.

So…Behold: Buzzfeed-Inspired Mad Libs! Now you too can have your very own generic article commenting on some fleeting aspect of human society or pop culture!

Fill in the blanks as you see fit at your next group meeting, friend party, bar gathering, and more.

13 Things You Should (Expect)/(Know)/(Forget) When [Verb] With [Noun or Adjective]:

1. Don’t expect any [noun] from [proper noun or celebrity].

2. Don’t forget that being [adjective] doesn’t [verb].

3. DO know that a [noun] will [verb] them for [quantity of time].

4. Make sure your [noun] is properly restrained before [verb].

5.  And because of this, you [verb] what you [verb]!

6. Don’t forget that being [verb] often produces [noun]. This can be a sticky situation!

7. You never [verb] for [livestock example]. This would be [adjective], and exemplary of too much [emotion].

8.  But remember, [-ing verb] always produce the best [culinary dish]. So [verb] away!

9. Don’t ever [verb] when you should [verb] instead.

10. But do [verb] when the [plural noun] are in [country].

11. When someone [verb]’s you, just remember to [verb] and [verb]. That’s the only way.

12. But if they [verb]? Feel free to express your [adjective] side. You matter too, [proper noun]!

13. Most of all, expect to have a [length of time] [noun] with them. After all, that’s what we’re all after.

Don’t forget to share your results! And if it comes out really nicely, hell….try submitting it to Buzz Feed!

Nicknames (And Confusion) In Latin America

My journey to Spanish Fluency began almost a decade ago, when I first moved abroad to Mexico. Once the initial headache of only hearing Spanish all the damn time wore off and my intellectual grasp on past perfect tense became a natural extension of speaking, I noticed something odd: there was a really strange propensity for nicknaming.

But it wasn’t until I moved to Chile, and consequently upgraded my Spanish level from “Intermediate Struggling” to “Can Mostly Fake Fluency”, that I realized the nicknaming system was far vaster and more intricate than I had previously realized. What I had wrongly assumed to be a cute habit of my host family in Mexico was actually a continental phenomenon that showed no signs of revealing its complex mysteries to outsiders.

It started with a guy named “Pelado”.

That means “Bald”, by the way.

And then there was another Pelado. And then another. And another. In a very short amount of time I knew multiple Pelado’s, with varying degrees of early-onset hair loss. This, as it turns out, is a very common occurrence in Latin America. (The nicknaming, I mean. But also maybe the hair loss.)

In fact, within almost any circle of friends, there is bound to be multiple ‘pelado’s. As well as the following nicknames and their female equivalents:

  • Gordo (fat)
  • Flaco (thin)
  • Negro (black)
  • Chino (Chinese)
Yeah...it's like that sometimes.

Yeah…it’s like that sometimes.

This makes casual conversation very, very difficult to follow. For the non-native Spanish speaker, at least. Even if you can follow a Chilean conversation at 80% (a significant achievement, I assure you!) or can distinguish between Peruvian/Chilean/Argentinian/Colombian accents, don’t be swayed by a false sense of accomplishment, like I was.

At the end of the day, I was still the bewildered gringa trying to piece together why this very average-sized person in front of me received the nickname Gordo. Or why members of Jorge’s family would casually refer to me as ‘Flaca’ (Hey, Skinny!), a term that just did not compute with my North American understanding of body types

The nicknaming conventions presented other problems. Le’ts say Jorge and I are sitting down at dinner, and he begins a random story involving ‘Negro’. How am I supposed to know if Jorge’s talking about his brother El Negro, or his best friend Negro, or the guy we met last week named El Negro, or this guy he works with nicknamed Negro?

I don’t listen at 100% strength ALL the time, so sometimes I miss important details. Like those used to differentiate between Brother Negro, Friend Negro, New Acquaintance Negro, and Coworker Negro.

One of my least favorite things in the Spanish language is the following question:

“Hablaste con Flaco?” (Did you talk to Flaco?)

Because what the hell Flaco are you referring to? In order to discern this, you must begin by taking into account who is asking you the question: is it your roommate, who knows 3 of the 6 Flacos that you know, or a coworker who only knows one of those 6 Flacos? Perhaps it’s your mother-in-law, who has five family members nicknamed Flaco?

WHAT. THE. HELL. GUYS.

I’m convinced there is a fair degree of telepathy that accompanies casual conversation in Latin American countries. Or at last “6 Degrees  of Kevin Bacon” (or, in this case, Flaco).

Other nicknames common in Spanish-speaking Latin America are diminutives of the first name. Some examples are:

  • Roxy (from Roxanna)
  • Lili (from Liliana)
  • Nacho (from Ignacio)
  • Goyo (from Gregorio)

The same way that we shorten Elizabeth to Liz, or Richard to Dick.

Those I can handle a bit better than the vague reference to one of the thousands of flacos, negros, pelados and gordos that constitute our social circle.

Give me a Lili anyday, and I’ll know who you’re talking about. But the second a Flaco or Pelado is mentioned, the vast filing cabinet of my internal database whooshes open in a desperate attempt to locate who this person might be, why they are coming up in conversation, and how they are blood-or-socially linked to our current lives.

The worst part is, I usually have no idea what their real names are beyond the nicknames, either. And that, to me, feels like the worst failure of all. Knowing a person only by their randomly assigned physical attribute, even if it is an approach that is widely and freely practiced throughout every Latin American country I have visited…

How cruel of me!

How basic!

But yet…how terribly convenient.

Times of Transition

I have a confession: I am a blogaholic.

I began blogging in 2006 when I moved to Mexico for a semester abroad. The intentions were twofold: it served as a natural extension for my writing and creativity, while also serving as a helpful tool for assuring my family members I was still alive.

That blog was written under the nickname Mexishan. Then, when I went to Guatemala to live in 2009, I started a new blog: this time, with the name MayaShan. (See the trend?)

And then, in 2012, when I moved to South America?

You guessed it–SOUTHAMERISHAN.

While my wittiness apparently knows no bounds, a new identity has cropped up in recent times, that of the Astromaid.

I began the Chronicles in 2013 with the intention of giving myself another outlet. I felt that my South AmeriShan blog was too restrictive, too related to travel, and I had all sorts of things that I needed to say that didn’t fall under the categories of Slow Travel, Argentina/Chile, Backpacking and so forth.

I felt I needed another forum to state my words in their raw and unadulterated form. A place where I could talk about that traumatizing facial I got in Nashville, or the weird things that happen when you fall in love. Hence, the Astromaid came slithering and writhing into existence.

Since the Chronicles came around, I also started a briefly-lived blog, The Gaucho and the Gringa, dedicated to international relationships. That blog is put on hold for the time being, since I literally cannot decipher why I thought it was a good idea to have multiple active blogs.

So now, in March of 2015, I have decided to officially consolidate South Amerishan and the Chronicles into one. This is also a metaphorical consolidation of identities, I suppose — a way for me to unite parts of my life that I previously thought were disparate, or perhaps felt that they should be disparate. I am the Astromaid as much as I am the traveling South AmeriShan — and now, for heaven’s sake, for my sake, for my family’s sake, I am going to put all of my damn writing in one spot.

Here we have it — The Astromaid Chronicles, now featuring all of the writing of the Former (and well, Still-Current, I guess) SouthAmeriShan.

Expect to see all of my travel-related writing here, as well as the occasional non-travel-related posts about whatevertheheckIwannatalkabout.

I hope you’ll all continue to float alongside me in outer space.

How I Lost Three Hours of My Life to Lifestyle Blogs

My last post made mention of an attempt to take my blog a bit more seriously. Now that it’s been pushed through the birth canal and has spent nearly a year piddling around, exercising motor skills and learning to say “Astromaid Chronicles”, it’s time that it takes a new and important step.

That of defining itself.

We all know the thorn patch that is ‘labels’. But sometimes blogs need to define themselves. So people know what the fuck they’re about.

As for me, I have no idea. I took a perfunctory stroll throughout the ample world of Blogging Resources. Amongst all the information about audience reach, followers, growth and more, it prompted me to take a stab at defining my blog.

You know, like, what category does it fit into? What the hell is it doing on the internet?

What Am I Doing Here

Ruling out all of the obvious mismatches, like Fitness, Food, and Babies, I was able to whittle my blog down to two potential categories.

‘Lifestyle’ and ‘Other’.

Though I was tempted to just pick ‘Other’ and be done with it, we all know what sort of unintended repercussions choosing ‘Other’ can have. It might relegate my blog to obscurity (well, it’s already there, so nevermind). It might be paired up with fan blogs about The Big Bang Theory. Who knows.

So I had to google “Lifestyle Blogs”. At first glance I thought, “Yeah! Lifestyle! I talk about life, and working, and dreadlocks sometimes, and my take on life, sorta.”

But then I saw what a real lifestyle blog is like. I checked out some of the most popular lifestyle blogs on Bloglovin. Some examples are The Londoner, The Freckled Fox, and I Wore Yoga Pants to Work. Just to name a few.

Lifestyle Blog Selection provided by katehash.com

Lifestyle Blog Selection provided by katehash.com

These are are excellently designed, beautifully made, artfully written blogs.

And none of them look like The Astromaid Chronicles would be a natural companion.

Those are the well-dressed girls at school, the ones who never wear the same shirt twice. My blog? It just showed up in leggings for the 80th day in a row and doesn’t care.

Some of the lifestyle blogs I’ve seen feel like a glorified catalog of daily life. And that’s really cool. I love clicking through photographic proof of Regular Joe’s incredibly organized and well-lit existence. (Editor’s Note: Why are all lifestyle bloggers technically models? Is that a requirement?) It doesn’t necessarily resonate with my lifestyle, but I like looking at their lifestyle. For a minute. Until I can’t stand it anymore.

That said, I suppose ‘lifestyle blogs’ is an umbrella term. A really freaking big umbrella term. Because though I’m not posting step-by-step photos of my wardrobe choice for a trip to Starbucks, nor am I reviewing items or talking about amazing parties in Venice, the content on my blog definitely qualifies as within the realm of a lifestyle.

Namely, mine.

Trust me, you’ll never see a post of me reviewing name brand hats (my dreads wouldn’t fit in them, anyway), or showcasing the latest changes to my living room (I live out of my backpack, so I sometimes don’t even have a living room). Nor will you see professional photos of my snacks, because, damn, I’m hungry, who’s got time to take a picture of it?

So, in conclusion, fuck it. I don’t know. I guess this is a lifestyle blog. Because I’m writing about what I want, which sometimes has to do with lifestyles in general, and that, at least, is a bit more specific than ‘Other’.

If anyone has a better idea, please let me know.

Older posts Newer posts
%d bloggers like this: