Friday, 2 December 2016

Who Am I? Catch my train of thought and let's find out ๐Ÿš‚

November pretty much always ends up being a terrible month for me (maybe short-ass, dark-filled days are too much of a shock to the system!?) and when I end up doing a bit too much thinking. But that's me all over, really.

Anyway.

My relationship with lolita has changed a lot this year, and definitely for the better.

I used to use it to define me in a big way, and the reason behind that stems from a very negative adolescence. I found lolita fashion in my teenage years, and clung to it with both hands and made it the centre of my world-- an escape of sorts. As I got a little older, it became my main means of socialising and connecting with other people. I used it as a confidence boost and a way to block out the negativity of the world. But I'm in a very different period of my life now.

In a YouTube video at some point earlier on in the year, I discussed my observations on the current lolita climate, and how I felt disconnected from the community at large, which no longer felt like the cosy subculture of my teenage years. Since coming to a place of closure with all of that, things have changed for me. I began to see that there were so many other aspects of myself worth expressing, and that although lolita had been an important part of my life during some very formative years, it no longer needed to be my raison d'รชtre. I stopped telling myself I was somehow "cheating" on lolita by spending time wearing other fashions, and re-connecting with my own personal sense of style. I re-evaluated friendships I held and asked myself just how deep they ran. If I were to leave lolita fashion tomorrow, who would still stick around? What would we have left in common? Who actually knows what I'm about? Who's even interested? I don't plan to leave lolita any time soon but it got me thinking about the level of superficiality in a lot of my interactions, and I realised I couldn't continue using the same social-, or by extension, life-model I had been sticking to for so many years. I realised I needed some more depth in my life.

A recent lounging around at home "coordinate".  It was nice to wear Princess Wardrobe after not having worn lolita at all for ages due to work, and general blah feels. Sorry I have no nice hi-res pictures to hand!

I was always drawn to old school Harajuku Bridge street snaps of the early noughties. The coordinates were often messy, with a ton of character and personality. The un-polished look speaks to me, and is so expressive of what I want in a fashion, of how I want to feel in a fashion. I want to feel like I can be myself unapologetically, with lolita merely being an ice breaker rather than a pre-requisite for someone to socialise with me. I lost my way a bit, without even realising. I go through these little periods of introspection every year, and they are so necessary. Sometimes, you need to check in with yourself and be completely honest about how you're doing and where you're at these days. Personally, I think I'm at a stage where I feel a sense of stagnation and the need to shake things up a bit. 

Moving forwards, I want to bring so much more to the table. As well as making sure my love for lolita remains healthy and intact by making sure my relationship with it remains wholesome, I want to talk more about the range of interests I hold, instead of limiting myself to a box that's becoming ever constricting as my life changes and progresses. I started this blog with no intention of it being a lolita-focused one, and if I'm honest with myself, I think it ended up going in that direction because it seemed like the easiest thing to do at times. I got into a habit of trying not to include too many things that don't have a direct connection to lolita. It's easier to get comments and discussion going on lolita-specific posts than the other interests I've discussed in the past. But why should I worry about numbers? I write because I enjoy it, not because I have any plans to become a professional blogger!  I ought to be a little less self conscious and just go with the flow!

There's things I need to write because... I need to write them. The desire is there, and I know I will feel better for having put my thoughts out there.

I have so many ideas and interests and there are a multitude of facets to my personality that I'm really excited to share. I hope you will stay with me for the journey. It's December and yet I feel a real sense of new beginnings. Well, nobody can say that 2016 was a year that stuck to the rules!

Me on an average chilly, makeup-less, squinty Saturday at home. I had just washed my car in the freezing cold at this point, Could barely feel my fingers, but it was therapeutic. 

Maybe I ought to re-introduce myself for a start. My name is Shalisa. I'm twenty-three years old. I have a degree in English Literature, and dream of being self sufficient via owning my own business. I run an online shop in my spare time, and have thus far posted out frilly undies and whimsical accessories to people in several different countries, had a collection of my designs for sale in a boutique, and had my first taste of convention seller chaos this past summer. I am so hungry for more of that indie brand life! I adore photography, and can often be found taking pictures of trees throughout the autumn. I am a witch, and regularly do rituals, cast spells, do tarot readings, and research on different spiritual paths as it keeps me feeling positive and grounded. My music faves include Fall Out Boy, Foxy Shazam, and The Darkness (who I plan on seeing live soon!) as well as a whole host of other rock, pop, punk and alternative shite. I adore alternative fashion, and sweet lolita is my main squeeze. My bit on the side consists of colourful vintage knitwear and clashing patterns galore. I'm an over-thinker with a passion for writing and a never-ending desire to be the best me that I possibly can. It's really nice to meet you. I hope this isn't a quarter life crisis!

To end, I'd love to hear from you: Do you ever go through these self analytical phases where you question your relationship with your hobbies/various aspects of your life? Have you ever taken a break from lolita/your hobby? Did it fix the problem?

Thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you next time (which will be soon! I will be bringing the festive cheer so get ready!) Take care until then, my lovely readers 

8 comments:

  1. As long as this self analytical phase remains a positive or constructive one, rather than the negative spiral, then it's good to have them and to have them regularly. We change every day in a little bit, but don't notice until we've gained some perspective, so it's a bit silly to assume that the model that's worked for the me-from-1-year-ago will work for the me-from-now.

    I haven't had hobby specific phase like this, but I did go through one about my life and social life in particular last year. I had just moved back home having graduated uni, I haven't found a job yet and with all my closest friends being miles away (few "only" 200 miles away and many spread around different countries) I found myself feeling miserable, alone and not knowing how to cope. My social life seemed reliant on keeping up friendships through online means (which is like an alcohol filled chocolate to an alcoholic, after you've spend some time living close to these people) and on my boyfriend, whom I terribly envied of his friendships that have lasted from school days. Fortunately, I then stumbled upon some Lolitas walking past me when out shopping in Leeds, which made me re-evaluate my mindset and take control in my own hands by looking up both the Leeds Lolitas and some other social hobbies that I could get involved in. And honestly, that was a lifeline, it helped me find my balance again and while my ideal social life is still different from the one I have, I no longer feel like I'm dependent on a single person.

    These things can get very deep and could even be quite painful, but as long as they bring about some positive change (in our lives, attitudes, mindests, actions) then, scary as it may be, I try to embrace them.

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    1. Absolutely. You have to be careful to avoid looking at things through a negative lens. Even if you observe things you don't like, there's usually a positive lesson to learn somewhere. I've gone through this really bizarre string of life events lately and while they've been awful to deal with, I feel like I've come out the other side a lot stronger and a lot more sure about things than I have been in a long time. One of my favourite song lyrics is "Never the same person when I go to sleep as when I wake up."

      I'm sorry you had to go through that. Your analogy is so spot on, and I've definitely been there before. I think post-uni blues is something a lot of graduates go through, myself included. Nobody really tells you what to do after you've left education. There's no plan and no structure for the big life decisions, but also the social ones. How does one create a social life outside of the bubble of classes and lectures etc? It's something we have to discover for ourselves, and I'm so glad you managed to find a way of doing so that has ultimately led to drastically improving your situation ^_^ For me, graduating has almost been like starting from scratch. It's a little embarrassing to admit I graduated all the way back in 2015 and I still haven't found my feet yet, but I'm getting there.
      Lolita meets helped me in a similar way while I was at uni, and didn't really have any friends there. I don't even know what you'd call this current phase in my life but I need to make some sort of change again. After having been seriously let down by people I thought were friends, I became aware of just how limited my support network is, and how it shouldn't be the case given how involved I was in my local communities for years. It was a reality check I clearly needed. I need to learn to make more meaningful connections, and also to just spend more time on more than just one hobby! I want to work harder on putting in that effort to forge actual friendships instead of having a ton of acquaintances I never really end up getting to know properly because we never got past that stage of knowing one another outside of the context of lolita meets.

      Things have certainly been very deep for me lately! Friendship fallouts, work drama, and general life struggles have made me take a look at where I am right now and wake up. There's always a bit of fear when it comes to taking a leap from being merely "comfortable", but I also feel kind of excited at the prospect of this shake up.

      I hope this reply made some form of sense! I probably shouldn't write when it's late at night and I'm sleep deprived but there you go.
      Thank you so much for your comment! I really appreciate the time you take to leave them <3

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  2. I have feeling always akward with community, I guess it started with I did make own opinion as newbie, does not help either the only fellow loli I have met, was not really nice. Luckily some of my friends is into j-fashion as well. ^^,

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    1. I think it's good to have your own views and opinions, though obviously there's always a risk other people won't like them, or might dislike you for expressing yourself honestly!
      It's such a shame when someone with the same hobby as you turns out to be a horrible person! I'm glad to hear there's still some nice people around you with similar interests, though ^_^

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  3. Excellent post, I feel you've described what is true for a lot of us. I don't always have the energy for lolita, and I even end up feeling guilty for putting on comfy clothes and not doing my hair or makeup properly. But it should be something we enjoy, and not feel pressured to keep up with all the time! Whenever I do wear it, or do some sewing, or read a GLB, I feel happy, and I think it's too easy to let that get replaced with social media and comparing ourselves to others.

    You are a very well-rounded, funny and smart person with many interests, and I think anyone that meets you will find that there is much more to you than lolita very quickly! After all, comm meets are just mixers really, and anyone that seemed to be single mindedly focused on one topic would seem dull. It is a shame lolita has changed so much but I think it's natural with it growing so big and accessible, to lose some of the lifestyle elements etc.

    By the way - it's completely natural to go through a quarter life "crisis" and can be helpful, as long as you don't ruminate too much. I've read and responded to your recent posts in the wrong order, but I would still say not to be too hard on yourself in terms of how long it takes to be where you want to be after graduation. There is no set path and I think it's a tough adjustment after following the school map. Things always change. Wishing you the best for the new year xx

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    1. Exactly! When you start imposing these strict parameters on yourself it stops being a fun form of self expression and dictates your life in an unhealthy way. Not comparing myself to others is something I'm always trying to improve on. Sometimes I slip up, but for the most part, I realise I need to focus on living my own truth, which is bound to look different to someone else's.

      Thank you so much! It's really lovely to know that you view me in such a positive way! That's how I always saw comm meets but after going to meets for years and not having really made much headway with developing deeper connections, it's made me completely re-think things. I need to try harder, put myself out there more, and make it clear I would like to create friendships, as opposed to having yet more acquaintances I'll see once or twice and never hear from again!

      That was actually me being tongue in cheek :P I'm definitely not going through that-- it's more that a string of recent events has forced me to reconsider a few aspects of my life. Thank you for the words of encouragement. I sometimes find myself wondering when exactly things are going to, you know, happen already! All I can do is keep going and trying my hardest to get to where I want to be.

      For now though, I'm going to enjoy my Christmas and leave this year behind me where it firmly belongs! Much love and good luck to you this coming year, Maddie xx

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    2. That is so right about your truth looking different to other people's. And those people that seem perfect or have everything right in their lives, are going through their own struggles and aspiring for more. When I graduated, an outsider looking in would have thought, "you have a good job in your field 4 months after graduating", but it didn't make me happy and I'm only now starting to follow my path. And those 4 months in call centres beforehand felt like a lifetime! It has taken a long time to trust myself to do what's in my heart.

      I suppose part of the problem with meets are that people don't usually live in the same town, it's always a group, and some people seem to have deeper friendships already, so arranging to meet one-on-one can seem awkward or stressful, and people end up second-guessing if the other person also wants to be friends.

      I must admit I am a little relieved to hear you were being tongue in cheek – someone close to me is going through a hard time surrounding graduation, and I'm worried they are getting depressed and withdrawn, so I think I inadvertently read that into your post. I'm trying to make a special effort to see them more and try to cheer them up as they can't drive anywhere themselves, but it's tricky during the week.

      Hope to catch up soon, take care xx

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    3. It's funny how success looks so different to different people! We often project our own ideals onto others, when really it's only ourselves who can decide at which point we've truly found our path.

      Quite, plus there's the very transient nature to a lot of communities, especially in places that have universities. People will go to one meet and before you know it they've graduated and moved away. It's so hard to gauge whether or not the other person is as interested as you are in forging a friendship! I'm always concerned about coming across as too clingy or full-on which doesn't help.

      No, I'm doing ok all things considered! I'm sorry to hear about this person, though. It's very easy to spiral into despair when it seems like you can't find the answers to anything where your future is concerned. Hopefully they will have their moment of realisation and know what they need to do next. It's good they have you to look out for them in the meantime xx

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