So ... I've been gone for a while. Here is the thing. I would like to write. I often think to myself "I should blog about this!" but then I don't.
I am long beyond the mommy stage of "I don't have time to brush my hair, let alone blog!" so this is definitely not an excuse anymore. I'd like this blog to go into a certain direction, write about not just my life but a topic. I would like the people who follow me to actually be interested in what I write about. Being a European in Chicago - to be honest - that is not that much of an issue for me anymore. Yes, I still live in Chicago, yes, I get homesick sometimes but I have been here for 4 years now and while I still get asked where I am from sometimes (yay, weird, unidentifiable accent!) I have also become pretty good at the American art of small talk and keeping to myself what I really think. It's made my life a lot easier. I've made a few good friends - partly thanks to my gorgeous and wonderfully social 17 month old daughter, so I don't feel as alone anymore. I've taken up hobbies like drawing and playing the guitar and baking bread. At least the first two get me out of the house regularly, sans child. My photography business is getting ... busier. I have repeat clients now which is really nice. I even have clients that aren't friends (or at least they weren't before they became my clients). I've done a lot of work that I am very proud of and my confidence level has gone up a big notch. For the first time this year, I am not wondering if I am overcharging or if I really am a professional photographer. No, I AM a professional photographer. I studied a lot for this. I practiced a lot for this and I am quite good at this.
I have also turned 30 last year! And with that (and having my child that same year), I feel like I finally grew up. I also realized that I will never be a hot, young 20 year old who get's away with things purely because of how fresh-faced and lovely she is. Not that this ever happened to me but I used to think "If I could just fit into those skinny jeans and have the right hair-cut everything would just come to me!". And I realized that now, even if I COULD fit into those skinny jeans and have the perfect hair-cut, I would still never be a 20 year old again. That was a big realization but I think also part of growing up. It's sad but it's also a relief. I don't know if that makes any sense at all.
During the last year, here is what I have been thinking about turning "An Austrian in Chicago" into:
A beauty blog
This was probably the idea I played most with. I love beauty. Yes, just judge me now. I like make up and clothes and pretty things. I am a Libra, maybe that's why. I spend way too much money on new releases and way too much time looking all over town for them. And I don't really have anybody to share this hobby with. I read, probably 20 different beauty and nail polish blogs and I love the community. It's one of the most judgmental free communities I've seen on the internet. Show me a mommy-blog where there isn't somebody who wants to start a fight about how you brush your kids teeth. Hell, I've seen snark remarks and nastiness on cooking blogs! But the world of beauty is just ... beautiful. Also, it's always been my dream (my other dream, apart from being a photographer) to be a beauty editor for a magazine and this would make me feel like I was one. But I decided that if I do a beauty blog, I'd do a separate one and keep Austrian in Chicago a more personal blog. Also, I realized I am actually not all that great at doing make up. I mean, I can make it look decent but when I see people's smokey eyes where they use 15 different eye shadows whereas my smokey eye consists of me lining my eyes and then smudging it, I realize that maybe I am not one of the players. I guess I could still just do a swatch of whatever I buy and post a picture of it but that's kind of boring (for me). And it's not like that kind of thing doesn't exist already (Temptalia).
A Cooking Blog
I have really come to love cooking in the last few years and I've learned a ton from my favorite cooking blog The Kitchn. I also have come to really like food photography. It's definitely one of my passions. The reason I haven't started a cooking blog is simply that I am too lazy. Cooking blogs are a lot of work.
A Mommy Blog
This would probably fit me best because, let's face it, my daughter takes up most of my time and I love talking about her but writing just about being a mommy, I don't know. I think if I'd do that I've have a hard time not being controversial because let's be honest - every decision you make as a mommy is scrutinized and judged and I don't think I'd like to open myself up to this.
A fitness/nutrition blog
Confession time - it took me 16 months to lose the baby weight and I am still a pant size away from my wedding weight. I gained A LOT when I was pregnant. I am not sure how this happened, I had every intention of staying active and eating nothing but lentils and rainbows during my pregnancy but pelvic pain and milk shake cravings worked against me. I spent the first year of Linn's life trying to lose the weight by "breastfeeding and going for long walks" - just like Dr Sears told me in his book but it didn't do much. I finally started tracking my calories and I signed up for a really, really nice gym with a really, really nice daycare - a gym that I actually like to go to and that's how I lost 50 pounds in the last 4 months. I'd like to write more about this to keep myself "on track", I was even toying with the idea of posting pictures of everything I eat every day like the fabulous Kim but it was too much work in the end.
So in the end, I think I will just write about all of these things, whenever I feel like it. If I'd have to label this blog, I'd label it a "personal lifestyle blog". This will maybe not appeal to most readers but it might make me post more. And I'd like that.