A few months ago I changed the name of my blog to "On My Side of the World". Lots of you started following my journey when it was still called "Frugal and Thankful". Honestly, most of the clicks and searches I get are still for "Frugal and Thankful" :) That's fine because that's still who I am. That didn't change! I think I will always live frugally, and I hope to always remember to have a thankful heart for all the many blessings in my life.
So why did I decide to change it? Well, many months ago I had a conversation with a friend from back home (if you are new to my blog, I was born and grew up in Russia, and moved to the States about 7.5 years ago). She asked me why I write in English. I tried to explain but she kind of brushed me off and said that I need to write for Russians instead.
That made me think. In the last decade my homeland changed a LOT. Even my own city changed so much that I, probably, wouldn't be able to find my way around any more. Many new areas were built, new public transportation lines started, new stores and businesses pop up every day. My friends at home all grew up too. Most of them are married with one or two kids, some achieved a lot of success in their career and other personal matters.
I try to keep my eye on what's happening in politics, economy and international relationships in my country. But I have to be brutally honest here, I don't know everything that's going on. Far from it. Most of what I know comes from family, friends and media. I realized that when I was younger, I could tell and hum all the top ten songs on the Russian music charts. And now I know more about Justin Bieber than Russian singers. Well, I lied about Bieber. I don't know much about him (thank goodness). But I definitely hear his name a LOT more often.
And this, I guess, brings me to my point. I didn't stop loving Russia and my people but I know how to live HERE now. I know how to be frugal here. I know what my favorite stores are, where I love to go thrift shopping, what a yard sale is. I know where I can find treasures, and what's the best place to shop for baby stuff. I know how to craft on a budget, and where you can find cheap fabrics. I know quite a bit about finances, and I follow the political changes in the country. And I try to write about what I know.
And yet, I'm not American either. I'm somewhere in between of both worlds. I'm on my own side :) I don't know if it makes me unique or weird but that's who I am. You know, take it or leave it :) Since I moved here, I've heard a lot of hurtful things about Russia. At first, I would just get mad. Now I simply try to help change misconceptions to the best of my abilities. Because I had them too before coming to the States. And I'm glad that lots of things I've heard about America turned out to be just not true!
And I'm grateful for many of you who accepted me for who I am - with my quirkiness, funny ideas and broken language ( I doubt, there are that many bloggers whose husband proof-reads almost every post to fix all of the "a" and "the"...Don't get me started on my love for English grammar...). You saw beyond that and became friends and supporters without judging. It means a lot! More than I can explain.
I often feel like I live a little bit on both sides and sometimes like I don't belong in either. But I'm also so happy that I have some awesome friends in both worlds, and that you come and visit me here, on my other side.
You, guys, are amazing! Just saying :)
Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!