City life can be a lot sometimes. With the constant noise, skyscrapers everywhere, and streetlights blocking out the night stars, moving to the city is almost enough to make you miss the countryside – even if you’ve never lived there. Thankfully, I watched Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice during a very formative time in my life, so I’ve always considered myself a country soul. And like thousands of other 20-somethings, I felt a deep connection to the cottagecore aesthetic. But merely imitating farmland vibes of the 1800s wasn’t enough for me, which is why I caught consumption to have the quintessential cottagecore lifestyle.
I know what you’re thinking, “Woah that’s a little bit extreme.” But I’m nothing if not dedicated. Short of actually moving to a quaint little cottage in rural England, I did everything I could to have that cottagecore aesthetic. I only wore floral baby doll dresses. I drank solely out of mason jars. I ditched all my tote bags for wicker baskets – and trust me, those things are not easy to maneuver on the trains during rush hour.
Yet it all felt lacking and superficial. Simply having the aesthetic wasn’t enough. It wasn’t until I read Anne of Green Gables (okay watched the PBS miniseries) that I realized if I wanted to embody cottagecore to the fullest, I had to go all the way: the tubercular way.
Alas, it’s not easy to catch consumption in the 21st century. Contrary to what Jane Austen’s books say, it’s not a walk in the park. Literally. I walked in so many parks in the rain and didn’t even catch the common cold!
When I finally caught consumption, I felt the ultimate sense of achievement – and a hacking cough. But that was just the price to pay for the true, authentic cottagecore experience. I was just like a heroine from an 1800s novel! For a blissful period, I felt superior to every other basic bitch on Instagram simply posing in a field of wheat or wearing a straw hat. I don’t see any blood on their Etsy embroidered handkerchiefs!
Unfortunately during a check-up, my doctor informed me that I “had to go on antibiotics” and within 6-9 months, I would “be cured”. Ugh! Didn’t he know that my pallid complexion and waning strength weren’t “cause of concern” but a crucial accessory to tying my cottagecore style together?! God, I was just trying to live my most authentic life! Whatever, at least I still have my bedridden pictures (and three more months of antibiotics) to prove that I was the supreme cottagecore girl.
Whatever. I guess I’ll just turn my savings into a dowry for whichever man comes to my father to court me instead!