Am I really part of the hobby anymore?

Dec 6, 2020

    1. So, don't get me wrong, I still love BJD's. However, my involvement in the community has diminished. I no longer search dolls and doll clothes on Etsy, I have no desire to put a large purchase on a doll even if I find it pretty, and I no longer take any photos of my dolls. I don't even remember the last time I dressed a doll, much less cleaned and restrung them.

      I was a huge part of the Insta and FB groups for BJD's but found it to be nerve wracking and toxic. I have dolls that are unfinished, don't have the right clothes, or need to be retouched. I no longer want to put any money in the hobby, even though I still want to get a male SD and clothing for my MSD.

      Is it normal to have this hiccup? Adult life has hit me full blow and it's not even the fact I don't have the funds to splurge, it's just I don't want to. I rather buy new clothes, or go out to spend time with friend, or order some food to eat at home. I rather have some savings in case I blow a tire or in case I need rent money. I feel so odd cause I went from being a teen to being an adult. I still love my dolls, they are so gorgeous to look at. I just have no desire to get back into the hobby any time soon.
      • x 15
    2. I guess sometimes you just get fed up. I had, and then unfollowed all negative/toxic people from social media and that felt really good. Do you concider you as part of the hobby? I'm not part of very big bjd groups in social media, I just watch pictures I like from different persons. Sometimes my dolls can be just sitting like months when I don't do anything with them. As long as I have my dolls, I think I'm part of the hobby. The thing is, you don't need to be active anywhere if you don't feel like it and your dolls won't go anywhere if you don't sell them. I have seen many people take long, even years breaks and then come back even more excited than they were in the first place. But I think this hobby should give you good feels and it is completely okay to take a break from it, tho it don't have to mean like getting rid of everything doll related. Time also can give you different angles to look what you like and enjoy about this hobby.
      • x 20
    3. If you love BJDs, of course you’re in the hobby. Just like you’d still be in the crochet hobby if you used to crochet every day, but you haven’t in a while. Or if you love ceramics, but haven’t made anything because you haven’t had the time or energy in a while. Being part of something is an inner decision more than an external decision. If you love dolls and you feel like a BJD owner, then you’re a part of the BJD hobby.

      For what it’s worth, the same thing happened to me when I very suddenly had to begin life on my own. Dolls were definitely on the back burner for a while. But I eventually did want to buy dolls again—and the ones I still owned were very patient with me while I prioritized other things. :)
      • x 16
    4. I would say you are still in it. Just consider it as a break, perhaps? And being forced to do any of those things you aren’t feeling isn’t good either bc you want to enjoy what you’re doing. I’ve taken breaks for big role play, photography, contests, never was into sewing myself, but I do still trade, buy or sell and cut down RP with mostly one person. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed.
      • x 3
    5. just cut the toxic people out of your life or take a break, there are no rules on how to hobby. personally, i disappear from the social side of internet every few years, my most recent break being the end of 2017 and i just came back 2-3 months ago. adulting is hard, and sometimes hobbies just need to be put on the back burner for a while.
      • x 5
    6. I'll ecco what the others said: Of course you are a part of the hobby, if you want to be!
      This is a hobby and hobbies are supposed to be FUN. If your way of doing the doll hobby right now is to simply own some dolls, but not do much with them, then that's what you should do. There are no right or wrong ways to enjoy dolls and there is no set ammount of time or effort you need to put in to be in the hobby. You can choose your own level of engagement.

      Plenty of people have taken breaks. For some it's a gradual thing, for some a complete restart, both just as valid.
      Dolls don't get cold, hungry or sad when you don't pay attention to them, they will still be there when you feel like coming back to them. And the community too for that matter, we can fuel our own parts of the hobby just fine. Sure, some of the community may change over time, but that's not always a bad thing. I have no experience with Facebook or Instagram, but if those places feel toxic, don't go there. There are plenty of other places to hang out online.

      If you have lost interest in the hands-on aspects of doll ownership but still want to contribute to the online community, you can always pop in from time to time and help answer questions about things you have experience with.
      • x 3
    7. I think if you still love your dolls you have every right to call yourself part of the hobby. The hobby looks different for everyone. For some people its buying the next cool doll and buying them all pretty clothes and commissioning faceups, some have their one special doll and make them everythinggg, and some people are in between or just like to look at their dolls on the shelf. None of those is more or less important than the others
      • x 4
    8. There isn't really a "right" way to be in a hobby. Just by having the dolls means you're in the hobby to some degree. Just because you don't participate in the community doesn't mean you're not in the hobby. Not to mention, people take breaks of all sorts all the time.
      Sometimes hobbies have to take a backseat to real life. We're also in the middle of a pandemic so a lot of things just are not stable, even if we as individuals might be in a "good spot."
      • x 1
    9. I think it's just a sign of growth. Not to mention the pandemic has people reconsidering what they really value. They are dolls, if you want to pack them away for awhile you can. As for some of the toxic people in the community, I totally empathize with you! Even eBay has crazies that have stalked me. For. A. Doll. But those people have their own darn issues and it's only going to get worse for them if they don't come to terms with their bat crap crazy behavior.
      But yeah, it's okay if you want to buy clothes for yourself and hang out with friends. You are going to change and grow and your priorities will change, and that's good!
      • x 1
    10. IMO, this hobby so much more than just buying dolls or stuff for them. If it is about acquiring more dolls, then I am also out. I am happy with mine. I do want to make stuff for them, maybe buy an item here and there, but no more dolls.

      However, right now my interest has shifted a bit, so they just stand in their cabinet and look cool. But that's also okay for me. I am sure my focus will shift again to the boys.
      • x 2
    11. A hobby is a hobby, no level of involvement is required or lack thereof disqualifies you from it. Life stresses will always come and go that affect our discretionary time that we would devote to other pursuits. Hobbies do not define us, but they can intricately weave themselves into the fibers of our being and we don't need to remove them from our lives, just grow with them.
      #11 jhiggi, Dec 6, 2020
      Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
      • x 2
    12. I think if you have dolls you're still in the hobby, even if you don't do that much with them.
      • x 2
    13. I had a similar discussion with a lot of my old hobby mates.

      All of us at one point got fed up with the purchasing aspect of the hobby and a lot of other aspects too.
      Usually that was because we all realized how much we are unable to do because of the dolls. When all your fun money goes into dolls, it means you can't travel, buy other hobby things, buy stuff for yourself and so on. For my friends it was usually other hobbies they rather wanted to invest in, getting tattoos or seeing more of the world. For me it also was realizing that the hobby heavily dominates my expenses (not to a point I struggled, but all my fun money went to dolls) and overall life.
      Who I interact with (nearly all my friends are/were collectors), what I do in my free time, what I do when I want to be creative.
      This hobby is incredibly demanding, and it's difficult to have anything else on the side if you really want to be active.

      I had a hiatus, not because of the mentioned reasons, but during the hiatus I realized all these things as well. I suddenly had money for other things, met people outside of the hobby and my online life changed as well.
      And once I returned, I really felt the dread of "I have the money, but I don't want to spend it on this". During my hiatus I had mostly bought art commissions, traveled or furnished my new apartment. All things where it just felt better to spend money vs 100 bucks for a doll wig.
      I also really didn't want to go back to the community. I don't like a lot of the popular dolls (MNFs, all those cutesie 1/4 big hipped girls etc.) or styles (casual cute, pastels etc.). I dislike platforms like Youtube, Instagram and Facebook (and the communities there as well). I hate that recasts got as big as they did. I am tired of the drama.

      However, there were a few things I really wanted to finally tackle, so I did. I purchased some things I finally needed to finish outstanding projects, and seeing those coming closer and closer to completion REALLY helped.
      Unfortunately I also realized two things: a) the hobby is like 90% waiting on things, b) everything is limited and/or from far away.
      It's always a race from your side, and then the other side (companies/artists) take their sweet time. You can absolutely not be spontaneous. Once I started purchasing things again I realized how annoying it is. It's always waiting, waiting, waiting. Then you get the thing, are happy for a short moment, and then more waiting. Especially true when you buy a blank doll. Have to wait months for the doll, months to get it painted, months to receive all the other parts. I buy a doll now and when all goes well it's done in two years, and it's mostly two years spent waiting for things to arrive.
      What a hobby.

      So I totally understand the frustration, and I absolutely think it's normal. It's pretty difficult to be in an active community and hobby for a long time. I personally have accepted the hobby will never again be the same for me, for many reasons.
      Most of my local collector friends left, I am pretty content with my collection, the online community changed heavily (not for the better), I am tired of a lot of things. But there are still some things I enjoy, so I just focus on that.
      • x 14
    14. I'm with @jhiggi on this. People have hobbies. Hobbies do not have people. We are not a club to be part of, we are, wherever we meet, just a few people who happen to have one common interest, whatever form that interest might take and however that form of interest may change over time.

      If you still feel love for BJDs, but the way you were involved in the hobby only makes you unhappy now, it is high time to step back, breathe and reevaluate how you're doing things. You will figure it out in the end, I'm sure, sounds like you're doing a great job growing up ;)
      • x 2
    15. I agree with this.

      I took a break (for 6 years) and still considered myself a part of the hobby since I still had my dolls and loved looking at they sat on a shelf and got an outfit change maybe once or twice a year. I was busy with life. I didn’t have the energy or desire to play like I used to. Then, I came back to it once I had the time and desire again.

      Life is about ebbs and flows. Sometimes you vibe and sometimes you don’t.
      • x 1
    16. I left the hobby around seven years ago and upon returning, I've realized so much has changed and so much has stayed the same. The negatives are still here, of course ; the drama, the recasts, the toxicity, the constant urge to spend money on something that is very well deemed frivolous (there is no "use," for these dolls, I mean. It is a collector's hobby.) but there are things that I was thrilled to find upon returning. More artists, more diverse sculpts, more ingenuity. The community is more sparse, and I haven't seen as much negativity as I did when the hobby was almost oversaturated.

      If you have no burning urge to get rid of your dolls, and you're still logging in here to even post a thread like this - I very much consider you apart of the hobby. Even after I sold my dolls, I found myself making pinterest boards with bjd inspiration and bookmarking clothes - not that I would have bought them, but old habits die hard. This hobby is a tough pill to swallow sometimes, especially considering the cost. I think, in general, this community is burdened by how expensive it is and how often you're encouraged to spend your money. And unless you're a seamstress, or a faceup artist, or a wig maker - that's all you'll do in this hobby.

      To wrap up what I'm trying to say here ; it's fine that you feel this way. One of the reasons I left the hobby in the first place was the cost and how "different" I felt from other collectors. I didn't want to play with my dolls and the idea of things like elaborate photostories and "bonding" with a doll never felt right for me. But upon re-entering, I accepted that it's fine that I might have a "shallow" view of things. Sure, my dolls are characters that exist in an elaborate worldbuild, but otherwise, they're just pretty. They're allowed to be my expensive desk ornaments and nothing else and it's fine that I don't allow my savings to drain into keeping them in new outfits, new wigs, etc.
      • x 2
    17. You obviously still love dolls and they make you happy, so I would say you definitely are in the hobby. You just decided to cut off toxic individuals and stress. This is a great decision in my opinion because hobbies shouldn't be about stress and dealing with difficult people but about fun and other good things. Reducing doll expenses seems to be connected to your current life situation and the fact you aren't as, lat's say, shopping happy as you used to be. This doesn't have to necesarily mean you aren't interested in collecting and customizing anymore. You just changed your habits as same as your life changed.

      There isn't any right way to participate or to be involved in the hobby! It's individual and it changes as same as we are changing.
      • x 2
    18. The hobby is the dolls, not the community.

      Do you still have dolls? Do they still bring you some sort of joy?

      Then you're still in the hobby.
      • x 9
    19. I've actually been feeling much the same way. My husband wants to buy me a doll for Christmas and I can't even pick out one I want. All I can see is "but then I have to buy her a wig, eyes, clothes, shoes, accessories...." and not the joy a new doll should bring. I've sold off several of my dolls lately and I currently have 11, which is fewer than I've had in years. And I still keep thinking "do I really even need this many?" I'm doing the same thing with almost all of my hobbies. In my case, it's because the last year and a half have been extremely stressful and difficult for me, and it's made me rethink some of my priorities.

      That being said, I do still enjoy talking to my doll hobby friends, roleplaying my characters with my sister, shopping for clothes for the dolls I have. If you own a doll or are in the process of buying your first doll, I consider you in the hobby. You don't have to be actively playing and buying every day to stay in a hobby. Sometimes real life adult things happen, and we need to be ready for them. Dolls have to take a back seat at times. Doesn't mean you have to give up the entire hobby forever.
      • x 3
    20. I haven't purchased BJD in more than ten years, but it was never my plan to keep purchasing these kind of dolls. I always had a limit I set myself, and though I could still purchase a few more, I don't want to. There is one that I am eyeing, but I don't know if I'll be able to get him before he's discontinued -- I don't know if I would mind if I wasn't able to get him. I don't do much with the BJD I own, it can be years in between before I do, but I am an old fart and was never too energetic. I never sell anything, so I am not going to be getting rid of my BJD (or any other toy I own/hoard), but I never felt like I was "part" of a hobby, or a community because of my activity within forums or with my toys. I've always been more of a silent "anonymous" lurker, I don't have any virtual "BJD" friends, and I don't feel like there would be any difference whether I stopped being "here" or not. I don't feel like I have to participate in order to "belong," but I never felt like I did anyway. I just like owning stuff, and if I do things with those things I own, I sometimes share it on public platforms, but sometimes I don't. I feel like I like saying I have hobbies, but not like I am "part" of one, and that's probably just because I am a weirdo -- I've never felt like I belonged to anyone group, and I don't like thinking that's any different when it comes to my hobbies. DX
      • x 1