Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 Goth Goals

 1. DIY if You Dare…and Get it Done
           At the top of my list are my deathrock vest and vampire jacket. When that lightning bolt of inspiration strikes, I often begin a project without having all the components first. Unfortunately, being unorganized causes me to forget what tools are still needed, lose a patch or button, etc. The money and time involved to procure specific items is also another factor; it can take several months just to finish something that could easily be done in a week or two if I budgeted and planned ahead of time. If you are like me, try to sketch your design out first and make a list of what you already have v. what you need to purchase. Having the design down on paper helps me realize that my idea may involve more time or money than I can spare at the moment. And from there, you can alter the concept to fit your budget, schedule, or skill level.    
        Thankfully, I've managed to overcome my fear of failure when it comes to DIY. My advice to those who are want to start but don’t know how is to simply prioritize creative time. Turn off your social media notifications, turn on some music or a favorite horror movie and just do it. Forget perfection and relax, enjoy the process of creating. I find that when I make a mistake, and “ruin” something, I’m able to fix it or even make the thing better than originally planned.                                                      
2. Experiment with Hair and Make-up
        My hair is REALLY annoying me at the moment. Growing out my asymmetrical, layered bob has been a major pain in the ass. I also have the habit of getting frustrated and impulsively grabbing the scissors to give myself a midnight chop job, proper manic pixie girl style. I want longer hair, however having baby fine strands makes it nearly impossible to have a long hairstyle that doesn’t end up looking limp and lifeless.  The solution may very well be a loose perm, or at the very least, more frequent use or curlers and crimping irons.   
Hair adventures from the flip phone era
As far as cosmetics go, I have such mixed feelings about the industry, as well as the prevalence of Goth beauty standards on the internet. For me, coming to Goth was partially a response to the rejection of these expectations of gender performativity. Yet, I find myself avoiding more extreme looks out of sheer laziness, or just wanting to feel safe and not attracted unwanted harassment or sexual advances. Certain events in my past have caused me to hide away from showing myself to the world. 2018 is going to be the end of that era.
The problem with experimenting is that I have to present myself somewhat normally for work, and I have super sensitive skin, so the feeling of heavy makeup on my face is very hard for me to tolerate for more than a couple of hours. On top of all this, certain chemicals cause my face to get really red and itchy. On a daily basis I may not have the occasion to slap on the warpaint, but I can at least got creative in the comfort of my own bathroom and take pics if I like the way it turns out. That way, I can test new products and wash it all off right away if it causes my skin to get irritated.
 3. Discover New Bands
                We all have our old favorites, but I'd really like to hear more new music in 2018. The other day while sorting out my music files, I discovered that there was an entire folder full of Goth complication albums that have never been listened to! Much of it consists of artists that are already in my collection, but there have been some nice surprises here and there. My one piece of advice would be to ask the DJ when you hear a new song at the club that you like. Some DJs will post their playlist the day after on the events page, which I have found helpful even when unable to attend the event. If you have any resources or suggestions for newer music, please do share! In the meantime, check out the Modern Goth Playlist and GothicBop:Batwave and Guilty Pleasures.
 4. Become a Curator
             During my normal phase, I had a professional color and image analysis (to say I was having a major identity crisis is the understatement of the century). Although I have returned to the dark side(mwhahaha!!) the knowledge from that session still resonates with me. One of my favorite pieces of advice she gave was “be a curator”. Know what colors, motifs, fabrics, shapes work for you and only buy those. Don’t be afraid to invest more in a quality product if your budget affords it.                                    The main example she gave was cosmetics, because she felt that women owned more makeup than they would realistically ever use, and that money could be going to interesting accessories or quality shoes. This was definitely true for me, at one point I had over 20 tubes of lipstick yet only wore 4-6 of them on a regular basis! Makeup expires so it was basically clutter and wasted money after a year or so. Let’s say you enjoy red matte lipstick. Find the best, most comfortable, long wearing, flattering shade of red and buy that, rather than owning 10 tubes of basically the same color from the drugstore that you couldn’t swatch or try out before you made the purchase.At the beginning of 2017, I went through all my boxes of old black clothes, as well as the normal clothes I’d been hiding in. As much as I’d like to say that I was still in love with all my old Goth gear, it just wasn’t the case. Some stuff was cheap and looked terrible, other items just weren’t my style anymore. I also found that there were pieces from my normal phase that I still really enjoyed wearing, and some even fit in well with my 20s jazz era vampire look. Plus, sometimes I like to dress like a crazy cat lady librarian: D     
Skirt(Modcloth), Saddle shoes(Payless)
            The goal is to continue this process with my jewelry, bags, basically everything in my life. Lately, I’ve been drawn to a more minimalistic approach and would like my wardrobe to be easier to navigate, yet still unique to me.
Wishing you all the best in 2018,

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Few Mini-Reviews and Life Update

Hello! It's been quite awhile since my last post and I just wanted to give my readers a quick update on what's going on in my life, as well as a few quick recommendations. 
First of all, I hope you all had a wonderfully spooky Halloween!! I didn't end up doing anything other than a Samhain ritual with the coven the day before. 
Stress and anxiety have gotten to me this season, unfortunately.  
I've started seeing a therapist because I am really struggling to manage work, school, and the other responsibilities I have at home. Not to mention my family is not very supportive of me doing this; it gets extremely depressing at times to think that no matter what I do, I'll always be the black sheep. 
Going to back to school at my age is definitely a challenge, but I'll be damned if I give up now. 
Only 30 credits left!

On to some fun stuff:
BOOKS:  What I'm enjoying right now is the House of Comarré series by Kristin Painter. It's got vampires, a bad-ass heroine, and some nice interesting twists on your typical urban fantasy plot. Malkolm is my favorite vampire so far, and I think the author does a great job with his character development. 
I have yet to finish the series, but the first book definitely gets a solid 4/5 bats.  

MUSIC: New BlutEngel!!!
I find that they are often a "love 'em or leave 'em band"- there seems to be no in between with most people. Personally, I've always been a fan. Over the years their sound has became a bit more poppy, which I don't mind at all. For me, many of the songs on Leitbild are uplifting, which is something I apparently need at the moment haha. However, there a few "filler tracks" and some remixes that I could have done without.  3.5/5 bats 

COSMETICS: Sephora Make No Mistake Under-Eye Concealer is definitely worth checking out, especially at such a good price point ($14). I was looking for the Tarte Shape Tape, which they didn't have. After explaining to the sales clerk that I needed something that was more on the creamy/moisturizing side but still gave high coverage, she recommended this. You don't have to use more than a little drop or two to get the job done (I use this brush). 
It has a more natural finish that's not too matte, which tend to make the undereye area look older, especially once it settles into fine lines. Although I don't have very many lines around my eyes, my dark circles are hereditary and the skin under my eyes is much drier than the rest of my face (which is a bit on the oily side). Will definitely repurchase!! 5/5 bats 

What new music are you listening to? Are you looking forward to the holidays, or are you wishing you could escape to some exotic location, far, far away from your extended family? :D

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The internet vs. reality: Goth Elitism Edition

To be honest, I hesitate to discuss this topic because it's like shouting into the void at this point. However, Angela Benedict recently posted a video about being a 90s teen goth and the fear of being labeled a poseur. Since we are nearly the same age, I generally tend to agree with her recollections, and it got me thinking about how much things have changed since then. The fear of being considered a fake was a possible embarrassment that kept people from doing and saying stupid things.
It's too bad that some these standards never got passed down into the online community. Perhaps if they had, the Goth Elitism Monster would end it's reign of terror on the internet forevermore.
One of the most basic things I remember about being a baby bat in the mid-90s was to either know what you were talking about or ask first. You didn't want to try to bullshit your way into the local scene. It was too easy to destroy your reputation, especially if others were still getting to know you and witnessing your first baby steps into gothdom.
If someone was all image but no substance, they got called out. Yes, it was embarrassing to have your pronunciation of Cocteau Twins corrected in public. And yes, we got grilled when the more established goths saw us wearing a Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirt for the first time. It was an awkward rite of passage, but we managed to survive and thrive.

It was important for us baby bats to understand it wasn't just a look. Having knowledge about music and goth lifestyle components meant you were able to explain what being goth meant. Think of it as self-defense from a world who was eagerly waiting to proclaim us as Satan worshippers and pop us full of Prozac.
For better or worse, we didn't have safe spaces and nobody knew what a micro-aggression was. You either learned to fight back or run away. We weren't as sheltered, we had to develop a thick skin. If we couldn't physically fight back, we learned to use or wit and sharp tongue to cut down strangers who made snotty remarks. Some might say we were closer to our punk rock roots in that regard *shrugs*
Those who came up after us didn't have to be on the defense after The Craft came out or when Columbine incited goth paranoia in every town across the country. A week or two after the massacre, my friends and I went to see a movie. The manager ultimately denied us entry because the boys had long trench coats and refused to take them off as a "safety precaution".
Those of us who happened to be Wiccan and goth? Wearing a pentacle at that time was like an invitation to be harassed by any person who happened to notice it. I'm talking random outbursts from strangers in public on a semi-regular basis. One that always stuck out in my mind is when my friend Shane held the door open for a lady coming out of McDonalds. She noticed his pentacle and makeup then screamed something along the lines of "Stay away from me, you demon spawn!!" After dropping her bag in horror, she then proceed to run across the parking lot. Ahhh, the good old days when it was easy to shock people ;)
I think the next generation had a vastly different experience. Schools began to enforce anti-bullying policies and having neon green hair was no longer a barrier to getting your first minimum wage job.
Not saying that these differences are good or bad, just that they exist and probably affect the way each generation perceives the world.

The younger goths who interact mostly on social media do not seem to understand where us older bats are coming from. For many of them, the most important thing is the image they present. Why bother writing a poem and sharing it, when you can just take a selfie and get way more likes and subscribers? Why bother reading gothic literature when you can just buy some Killstar and make an unboxing video? Add the possibility of internet fame, free products and money, and being goth becomes nothing more than a walking commercial.
That being said, I do sympathize.
They have most likely been raised on the internet and interacting face to face may seem harsh compared to the ease of simply blocking and deleting comments when someone disagrees with you. When you have such a large fan base who constantly tells you how wonderful you are, it may be hard to accept constructive criticism or engage in healthy debate.
My intention isn't to place blame. This is just speculation about some of the generational differences that perhaps explain why we are experiencing this divide in the goth community. Our technology is addictive, and now we are starting to experience some negative side effects we weren't prepared for.

After watching yet another goth elitism video, I decided to ask the content creator what definition they were using for elitism because she never addressed it.
Instead of an answer, several people (including the young lady) accused me of being a bully, being negative, gatekeeping, etc. Simply for asking for clarity.
It certainly wasn't an attack on her intelligence, and it baffles me that asking someone to define their terms is now considering bullying.
In professional and academic situations, you must be prepared to defend your argument and expand on your ideas if necessary.
If you use a word that someone doesn't understand in a casual conversation, they might ask you to explain it.
This isn't bullying, and it certainly isn't elitism
From my understanding, elitism is often tied to power and the ability to grant or deny social status or resources to the people who are considered the lower class. In my experience, this simply isn't an issue that the community at large needs to worry about.
I've lived in several major U.S cities and have been going to goth and alternative clubs for about 20 years.
I'm an awkward introvert who doesn't always make the best impression.
I'm sure many people might have cringed at some of my makeup for club outfits during my baby bat years. I'm sure my fashion choices and makeup skills are still negatively judged by some.
There have always been occasional bullies and snobby goths, but no one has ever tried to stop me from being a part of a local scene if I made attempts to get involved.
Until someone proves otherwise, I'm convinced the Goth Elitism Monster is pretty much a creation of the internet.

The hilariously frustrating thing about these videos is that they are mostly made by people who are "famous" internet goths; many of whom make money from endorsing products and YouTube ad dollars.
Rant videos get views, and it makes me wonder if these famous YouTubers rush into posting content while a particular topic is circulating the community so it will be featured in the sidebar as someone is watching other videos about the subject. When 95% of a channel's content is endless shoe hauls, reviews of subscription box services and expensive makeup, I lose interest rapidly. To me, it proves they are out of touch with what most of us consider important as goths. I don't take their opinion on goth elitism seriously and it's hard for me to imagine that they actually give two bat shits about the future of our subculture.
I'm not accusing these people of being all filler and no substance. Surely, many of them are intelligent, creative beings. Just remember that their goth identity is a business. Some even flat out refuse to address certain issues; most likely because they know that taking a stance will cost them followers.
Just consider the source and their possible motivations before allowing their opinion to negatively impact your experience as a goth.  

Having been involved in many pagan community events, I feel like I've encountered this monster before.
No worries, kiddos. The monster isn't very scary and can be defeated quite easily.
Could this monster perhaps be the younger sibling of the "GOTCHA!" pagan? These people are notorious for interrupting conversations with the sole purpose of proving that they are smarter or more magical than everyone else. They corner the person who happens to be alone at pagan pride for the first time, then launch into questions the poor soul can't possibly answer.
This is the person who can't wait to hear some newbie pronounce Samhain incorrectly.
Unprompted, they easily launch into a 20 minute lecture about how Maraget Murray's witch cult theory has been debunked and how there is no solid evidence of a lineaged Wiccan tradition before Gerald Gardner.
It's the so-called "hereditary witch" who does "real magijycks" passed down from their ancestors who lived in Salem. What they forget to mention is that her ancient family grimore can easily be found at the local Barnes and Noble for only $19.99.
What I'm getting at here is that the "GOTCHA!" pagans are basically vampires who feed off newbies and other innocents to feel good about their own shortcomings. Roll your eyes, walk away, and join the drum circle. Never fear. They've most likely made a reputation for themselves and you will find many people in your local scene that are more than happy to help you evade the beast if you need assistance.
"GOTCHA!" goths are often self-proclaimed experts in some field, and eagerly await to show you just show much they know. Or, more accurately, demonstrate just how much you don't know. Never mind that you didn't asked to be schooled on Nietzsche when you innocently stepped outside for a quick cigarette. It's the type of person who still thinks we are living in the 90s and asks every new clubgoer if they like Marilyn Manson because he's "definitely NOT goth". Then, they proceed to unleash the hounds regarding every other so-called poseur goth band, just waiting for you to slip up and admit you like Black Veil Brides. And now you are stuck at the bar listening to this idiot because you aren't about to give up your spot in line after waiting nearly 15 minutes for a drink. Yup, the "GOTCHA!" lurks in the shadows and strikes when you least expect it. 

Judging you, internet. From the safety of my bathroom. Haughty myspace photo, 2008?
One more time for the cheap seats: if you wear the band t-shirt, you are eventually going to get quizzed. That guy has always existed, and he's never going away. I know. It's annoying as shit, but it's not elitism. My guess is that goths who mainly exist online and have the power to block/delete have been somewhat sheltered from dealing with these types in real life. So when said internet goth finally goes out to a club and encounters the "GOTCHA!" type, they mistake it for elitism and maybe do not have the required interpersonal skills to  remove themselves or diffuse the situation. The overwhelming majority of us bats do not behave this badly. An occasional "GOTCHA!"goth encounter indicates a personality flaw in that individual, not a systemic issue in the goth subculture. It's time to put the Goth Elitism myth to rest.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Halloween 13 Tag

Since we have a Friday the 13th AND Halloween coming up, I figured it might be fun to do start a spooky tag. Feel free to join in!

1. Top 3 movies to watch during the Halloween season?
Pumpkinhead, Hocus Pocus, Trick 'r' Treat
Also, old Roseanne episodes!!!

2. Choose a costume: witch, vampires, or zombies? Witch 

3. What is your favorite Halloween sweet treat? Carmel apple suckers are the best!

4. Favorite Halloween memory (or autumn memory if you don't celebrate Halloween).
Carving pumpkins with my dad and he would wear his Freddy Krueger costume and chase us around with the pumpkin guts :D

5. Have you ever seen a ghost or had any paranormal experience? Yes. 

6. You've been given a doll that comes alive with the spirit of which goth musician? What do they do? Are you scared or best buds?
 Robert Smith. He wobbles around, knocking stuff over and giggling. Sometimes, he sings which is nice but mostly I understand nothing he says. Kind of like this LOL <3

7. "This is Halloween"-original version or Marilyn Manson version? Not a huge MM fan, but I actually really like his cover.

8. Drink of choice: pumpkin spiced latte or hot apple cider? Hot apple cider- WITH RUM!!!

9. If you dressed up for Halloween as a child, what was your favorite costume?
    Pics if you've got 'em!!
    If you didn't dress up, what costume would you have chosen?
I think I went as Madonna a few times. Once, my mom made me a clown costume and I cried because it scared me and she made me wear it anyway!! Still scared of clowns to this day :(

I was born to be a star :D
Halloween, 1987
10. Favorite song or poem for this time of year? "Fall Children" by A.F.I.

11. Chose your own adventure!
      a)Get drunk with Edgar Allen Poe and sing "Thriller" at a karoke bar
      b)Do psychedelics with H.P. Lovecraft and go for a midnight swim
      c)Play Vampire:the Masquerade with Bram Stoker at an all night diner until the waitress finally kicks you out at 5a.m.
Why did I make such a hard question? They all sound awesome but I think I have to pick A. That sounds like it would be pretty hilarious :D .

12. Candy corn-yay or nay? Only if you mix it with dry roasted peanuts because it tastes like a PayDay candybar :D

13. What are you plans this year? Care to describe your costume? I may go to the Nocturna costume party the weekend before the 31st, but will probably just hang out with my baby niece and take her trick or treat the night of. My coven does a traditional dumb supper later in the evening. For a costume, I am thinking of a swamp witch/creature OR Frankie Stein from Monster High.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Persephone's Descent

The Autumnal Equinox has come and gone. Here in the Midwest, the wheel turns as we embrace old harvest traditions and beautiful scenery.
Appleseed days, harvest home, county fairs, and Oktoberfest. All bring the community and warmth of autumn, along with the sticky-sweet, mischievous, and boozy atmosphere of the midway.
Colorful leaves fall until the trees are barren and their branches poke through shadows, like the gnarled hands of a monster peeking out of a child's closet.
It's a sensual season filled with rich scents, inviting textures, and magical nights that grow longer until Yule.

Candy apples and costume making.
Pumpkin carving and spiked cider.
Scary movie marathons and bonfires.
Ancestors. The Mighty Dead. The Underworld.
At this time, Persephone is on my mind.

Sometimes I think the men who wrote her story got it wrong.*
Or at the very least, left out the juicy stuff.

I can't imagine any budding young woman would want to be under her mother's watchful eye, aimlessly picking flowers forever, especially since Demeter had rejected previous suitors.
And what teenager girl never fell for a bad boy, at least once?!!

Perhaps she wanted to stay so she could finally be a sexual woman, without worry of offending mother. Perhaps she enjoyed the honor and power of being a Queen.
And since she couldn't come right out and say it, she went ahead and ate the pomegranate seeds.
Did Hades trick her, or was it a pact between two star-crossed lovers?
Either way you see it, her story is a powerful one about finding your place and power.
 I highly recommend this book if you'd like to explore her lessons further.
As much as Autumn is the dark half of the year, the "season of the witch", it's also about community. It's a hell of a time to feel/be alone.

If you are single and lonely or depressed- I feel your pain, trust me. I try to tell myself that the wheel of fortune is always turning and no season lasts forever.

All we can do is try to live in the moment and make the best of what's been given to us. Take a midnight stroll, leave the cell at home and listen to the leaves crunch beneath your feet.
Cook a new meal with exotic spices.
Indulge, and buy yourself that body oil or silk nightgown you've had your eye on.
Whatever your situation is, do something that makes you feel alive.
Seduce yourself, seduce your lover.
Autumn has a sense of urgency, as if you have to capture the even the smallest moments of life amidst the surrounding decay.

I might be depressed, but I'm not dead yet.
                    She became the Queen of the Underworld and the bringer of spring,
                                       She found her place, her balance. I can get through this.

* I definitely don't intend to disregard her abduction myth as it has been written. Those who are abuse survivors and find her story extremely useful in healing and shadow work have my respect and support.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Goth at 30 and Beyond: Insight for baby bats

Goth or not, people tend to perceive turning 30 as the magical milestone into being a "real" adult. High paying job, mortgage, marriage and kids on the way. By now, they assume you should be putting away the dreams of your 20s and hanging up your dancing shoes. NO FUN FOR YOU! You are 30 now; time  to slap on the khakis and get that middle management position you never dreamt of :/

30 year old me, before the De/Vision concert in Austin, TX

These days, I'm closer to 40 than 30 and hopefully wiser for the wear. Here are my observations and suggestions for younger goths who wonder what the future holds in terms of aging and goth identity.

- I became more relaxed about mixing and matching different goth style genres, learning to DIY, etc. I'm definitely more comfortable in my skin at 37 than I was in my 20s, and have a better idea about what styles/shapes of clothing look better on me.
You also no longer live with the paranoia that someone will notice you've worn that same old reliable Lip Service dress to the club twice in the same month. Essentially, I quit caring what other people in the local scene might have thought about my style because most of them were younger and it appeared a lot of the older people slowly quit dressing up as much, or just dropping out of the scene like flies (we'll discuss this later). I think when many of us are younger, we get too stuck in specific labels, or really struggle with being ourselves while still performing the goth aesthetic. This definitely became easier as I got older.

-You might possibly find ways to help build the community, or assist in events. When I was younger, it really was all about dancing, drinking, and dressing up. I wasn't a DJ or a musician, so I never bothered to really think about how I could contribute. Over time, however, I experienced scenes in different cities (some much worse than others), and I learned to appreciate the community that comes with being goth much more. Perhaps you'll blog, make YouTube videos, decorate for special events at your local club, or just help promote shows. If you enjoy a healthy goth scene in your area, remember that it only exists because people take time and effort to make it happen (and usually for very little pay).

- Responsibilities and stress take their toll. At first, you quit going out on weeknights because you have that great job. Makes total sense. Then, you quit going out on weekends because you are just too exhausted or the bills have piled up and you could use that money for gas. Many people also experience more health issues which always equals more bills and stress. You also might find yourself in a position where you now have to buy two completely different wardrobes, depending on your work situation. Loved working at my previous employer, but they had a strict dress code and it wasn't long before I began to resent the fact that I was spending more money on office wear than "me clothes". There were times when I wanted to throw a fit like a 3 year old because I had to spend my last $60 on a nice blazer, instead of a cool vintage pair of boots I found on eBay. You learn to get over it. Wine helps :)

-Single after 30 and goth? Dating becomes a new form of hell, especially if you don't live in a major metropolitan area with a decent goth scene. And even then, it is still tricky. As we all know, just because someone is goth it doesn't automatically mean you will get along, let alone be attracted to one another.
Let's say there are 100 available people for you to date.
Subtract at least half who will definitely not date a goth.
Then, for every area in which you are considered "other" by society (BDSM, pagan, disabled, childfree, etc.), subtract another 10 people.
Finally, of the remaining people who show interest, you must subtract the ones who will treat you like a novelty toy for their amusement. This is definitely going to get it's own blog post at some point.
I really have no solid advice on this topic. I'm 37 and single. All you can really do is try to keep an open heart and believe that if you keep putting yourself out there, a good match will come along.
Baby bats, please whatever you do, do not change yourself for a relationship. In most cases, they don't last and you will eventually get tired and restful of having to give up the things you love for someone else.

- You will lose friends. Even fellow goths. As mentioned previously, around 27, the amount of my peers that still went to clubs or dressed up began to decline. As people marry, have kids or get promotions, their focus changes. And that's fine, I don't judge it (we all should follow our dreams) but don't say I didn't warn you.
As far as non-goth friends go, there is a higher risk these friendships will fizzle out as well. For the same reasons mentioned above, but also there is the pressure of "dressing your age" once you start to be around other people's kids, or just even go out in public. By this age, your friends have also found their tribe (church, country club, dance moms, whatever) and you will notice that many of them become molded by that social group in terms of how they dress, activities they enjoy, and you are likely to see a change in their political views.
I had two friendships in which the other person became increasing less open-minded and accepting as they got into their 30s. My former best friend made a few hurtful comments over the years that she swore were jokes, but I think she was embarrassed to be seen with me at times, especially once she got mom-friends. Eventually, the calls and lunch dates become less frequent. They might say they are busy, but you'll have to admit it hurts to see them post pictures on Facebook of a sunday brunch or girls' night out with their new besties, when you've been wanting to grab coffee for weeks now. Eventually, you give up calling or texting because it becomes very obvious that they no longer are putting effort into the friendship.
There may come a time when the two of you have an argument about politics or some important issue any you realize if you met her now, you wouldn't want to be friends.
Even your goth friends may change and tell you "it's time to grow up".
It's strange, it hurts bad, but it happens.
As you age in the scene, all you can do is keep an open mind. Be welcoming of the baby bats and the lone wolf at the club you might have ignored it the past. Cherish the opportunity to connect with people in your scene, be willing to say hello to a stranger.

-The dreaded normal phase. It appears to strike everyone at some point. And for most, it's either a result of, or causes, a major depressive period.  Perhaps it's a breakup, becoming a parent, or pressure from a potential partner or friends. Perhaps it's medical conditions that leave you will little energy or money. Whatever it is, it sucks the life out of you. From what I've read on other goth blogs and my own experience, this seems to last several years rather than just a few months..
 My normal phase hit at about 34. To be frank, it was 3 years of hell. It's a funny to think that when I dress normal, I feel more uncomfortable than when I'm being my strange, little self.
When they say "You know a goth is really depressed when they are dressed like a normal person", it's totally true.
Younger goths should be aware of this possibility, and if you find yourself changing, spend some time alone. Consider what is motivating you to make these changes, and if it's an outside pressure or perhaps you are dealing with depression or health issues that are causing you to be apathetic about your passions and appearance.
. It's perfectly acceptable to change if you feel that is what you are being called to do. You also absolutely have the right to say "HELL NAW!" and stand firm in your authenticity.
Either way, this can be a time of growth and introspection. If you come out of the normal phase still darkly inclined, there are some surprising benefits. For me it's been such a wonderful experiences re-discovering the scene, revisiting old favorite bands, etc. Also, I have a sense of self-confidence and inner peace that I didn't have in my 20s, which makes it so much easier to enjoy meeting people and even going out alone.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dancin' with Myself: candystripe legs

This past weekend, I summoned up some brass ovaries to go out dancing alone for our bi-monthly goth night, Nocturna.

Since I live over an hour away and the event runs from midnight-5am, I decided to go ahead and treat myself by booking a room at the Knickerbocker hotel, which has great 1920s décor and yummy themed cocktails. Drinks and a light dinner helped me relax and fall asleep but unfortunately, I overslept and woke up around 11pm. Ideally, the goal was to get there early because there's typically a long line for entry and drinks. Considering hair, makeup and dressing only took 30 minutes, I thought my overall look was pretty decent.

To be honest, I felt very nervous about going out alone. I haven't been out to goth events in a few years and none of my friends really go to clubs anymore. In some ways, a part of me was just feeling too old for late nights anymore. NONSENSE!! I had an amazing night, and stayed on the dance floor the majority of the time. I didn't leave early, and I  actually talked to strangers, which is HUGE progress for me.

I am not good at taking selfies and obviously bad lighting in hotel rooms doesn't help either. My iphone is ancient. Hoping to get a new one after this year since I spent too much money on Depeche Mode tickets <3