Hobby woes?

Jan 23, 2018

    1. I've only been almost 8 months, so I feel like I know the basics of the hobby.. But has anyone experienced a deep sadness over someone else leaving the bjd hobby? I know It's not my life or choices, but when someone I truly admired leaves, and sells all their dolls, it rips me apart and makes me question continuing on. I know it's very dramatic, but I get attached, in a way. Maybe this hobby isn't for me because I'm too sensitive. It was originally my escape from things that hurt me or made me sad, and brought me joy! But if I can't even handle someone deciding to quit, then I don't know anymore.
       
    2. I have to say this is very different to me. I wouldn’t be upset if someone else decided to quit. I feel like it’s entirely up to them and will in no way affect my enjoyment of the hobby. I’m perhaps the opposite to you, as I don’t get attached easily and I need to chat to someone a lot to feel anything, really. There are people on here whose dolls I like, or who I think are knowledgable and give good advice, but I wouldn’t feel upset or abandoned if they decided to leave.

      Personally, I’d say that I could do with forming bonds quicker (hey, autism) but similarly you need to be aware of getting too reliant on people who are just online acquaintances. That said, you don’t specify how well you knew this person. If you were/are close friends then it’s understandable. If they were someone you followed online or only casually knew, then it might be worth thinking about why you place so much importance on them?

      We can all be upset about things that might seem trivial to others. Being empathetic and emotional can have benefits. If you enjoy your dolls, you should stay in the hobby. Maybe look for new people and try to share more things with people who reciprocate?

      I’m not a therapist, just giving an opinion...:sweat


      “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
      Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
      If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
      If all men count with you, but none too much;
      If you can fill the unforgiving minute
      With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
      Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
      And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!” (Or a woman, my daughter!)

      It’s good to care, but you can’t cry for everyone! Hope you feel better!
       
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    3. No you're absolutely right. I shouldn't place my feelings upon another person's decisions, I'm really not sure why it upsets me, they were just an online person I admired. I love and really feel my dolls have given me a great creative outlet. I know if I quit I'd just be stopping something that makes me very happy. Thanks for your input, truly. :)
       
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    4. If it's just someone I admire but don't personally know, I might feel a little bit sad that I won't get to see their beautiful dolls anymore, or read their comments and stuff, but I'll move on pretty quickly because there are so many other talented people still here! I don't get too attached to people I only follow but don't interact with regularly.

      If it's someone I personally know to the point we talk often and I consider them a friend, especially if we do hobby things together, then it'll affect me a little bit deeper because it might affect my hobby too. As an example, my sister is in the hobby and our doll characters share a lot of stories and we do a lot of hobby activities together, so if she chose to quit the hobby and sell all of her dolls, I'd be sad that it would affect all of mine too and I'd have to figure out which ones I could modify stories and continue, and which ones I'd probably abandon as characters and sell the dolls. But I'd be happy for her moving on to something she'd enjoy more, and of course I'd still have that friendship with her outside of the hobby, so it's not like I'd really be losing her. In cases like this, it's important to look it all over and see if you truly have a strong friendship with the person, or if you only hang out because of the dolls--I do have other friends where the only thing we have in common is BJDs, and if they left the hobby, then we probably would go our separate ways since there wouldn't really be anything else we'd enjoy together.
       
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    5. Yeah true, I guess it is just inspiration for me, but you are right, there's so many wonderful people in the Hobby, and everyone is entitled to stay or move on. It doesn't affect my dolls or me directly, so I believe I just have to get used to the fact that people will move on, and that okay. I know it's immature to get upset, but I guess it's part of learning.
       
    6. I think I understand that feeling, even though I haven't really experienced it yet. If someone I really enjoyed following left the hobby, I think it would discourage me too. But what I would probably try to do is figure out what I liked about they did (styling or photos or characters or whatever) and see what I could incorporate into my own dolls to kind of keep that inspiration or enjoyment alive for myself. I hope you can still keep it alive for yourself as well!
       
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    7. I do miss people who've left the hobby over the years. I can think of four in particular off the top of my head. They were all people I chatted with often and admired for their creativity in and out of the hobby. Two of them I bought dolls from and still own.....and most of them have not just disappeared from the doll hobby but completely.

      It's like @CloakedSchemer said, if it's people I know of, but never really interacted with, I don't give it much though, but the ones I did have frequent interactions with...I don't miss them for their dolls alone. Internet friends are still friends!

      IRL I have friends in and because of BJDs and I'd still be friends with them if they decided to quit. We hang out without dolls all the time! It wouldn't make much difference.
       
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    8. Yeah, that's sort of the feeling I get, I enjoy the hobby but I don't have any friends in the hobby, so I sort of live vicariously through others, I don't copy, but seeing them enjoy and create really inspires me. So yeah, I'll try to keep it in mind, all of the creativity I witness really leaves an imprint. ♡
       
    9. Aw... yeah it’s hard when you’re isolated. I don’t have any friends in he hobby and I don’t do anything particularly popular. Who knows, someone might be inspired by you!
       
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    10. With any hobby, I miss the companionship of a friend when they leave and I can no longer share my passions with them. A large part of the joy in any hobby, for me, is sharing it with others. However, that’s kind of the nature of life; people change. This is sad in some ways because you’re going to lose folk you care about or admire some days. It’s also exciting, because that means there will always be new people to share with, too! The excitement of showing someone their first BJD and seeing them light up, or walking a newbie through their first face up, or helping a friend buy their first doll...

      It’s almost more special in my mind than talking to seasoned veterans because they only have the excitement, there’s no bad experiences, yet.

      Don’t be discouraged. Take this instead as an opportunity to find a new role model or friend, and maybe try to be that person for new folks. Build a community you want to be in.

      I’m sorry you’re down. It’ll get better!
       
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    11. You have to have a certain amount of thick skin in the hobby, I’ve learned. Which isn’t to say the people who leave don’t have thick skin or are too sensitive (I never invalidate people’s feelings) as we have gotten to a point where because people can easily be hateful behind anonymous masks and can’t usually be held accountable for it, so it is hard to eradicate the problem there. The truth is NOBODY should have to deal with that. I don’t fault anyone for leaving because of this or any other reason.

      For a lot of us this hobby is a source of joy and a space that’s supposed to be safe. We come online to mingle with other doll collectors because it can be a lonely hobby if you don’t know anyone locally who shares the same interest or need connection to others to fully enjoy it (nothing wrong with that!) When that joy no longer exists or we don’t feel “safe” anymore, it makes sense to move on. You have to do what’s best for you, for your mental well being. Cyber bullying is just as harmful and problematic as conventional bullying and until harsher laws come to pass to punish or hold people accountable for their actions, we will probably see a lot more people leaving.

      Also, life in general happens. Sometimes you can’t afford it anymore or you get sick or you need to invest your time and money elsewhere. You have to realize that people have many and valid reasons to quit.

      And at some point you have to ask yourself: why are YOU in the hobby? Why does someone else making a choice in their best interest affect you? Why does them leaving make you enjoy it less?

      I have definitely felt a little sad and worried for people who go, but I still enjoy my dolls and all the things I do in the hobby. So long as I’m still comfortable being here and sharing my ventures with others, I usually don’t let people’s decisions get to me. Which isn’t to say it has to be the same for you — I totally do get where you’re coming from (it can be discouraging to stay in a hobby that so many people seem to be quitting these days for whatever reason!)
       
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    12. Just to add my two cents; I know when I was new to the hobby and figuring out how and what I wanted out of these dolls, I was pulling a lot of inspiration and information from others. When they left, I did feel a little lost and sort of felt like "What now?" But I quickly found there's always someone to connect with and inspiration comes from everywhere. Now that I've developed into my own version of this hobby, I know I would continue on even if everyone else left. I'm comfortable in my craft now. That's something that comes with experience.
      Hang in there. Your dolls/characters/ worlds are worth it.
       
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    13. I can understand that feeling, though I haven't gone through it myself. I think it has a lot to do with how spread-out the doll community tends to be; if you're not in a big city or a doll hot-spot, there's a good chance you won't find many other hobbyists around you, and a very large percentage of your interactions with others in the hobby will be online. So if that's a big source of inspiration for you, or if it's the only thing that makes your doll hobby feel like part of a bigger community and not just something you do for yourself, then having some of those sources of inspiration/connection go away could feel like a big loss.

      And maybe also partly there's a sense of, "If this person who was so invested has given up on the hobby, is it not as great as it seems? Is it inevitable that I will lose interest too? If so, then why do I bother?"

      But in both cases, remember: there are some dolls or dollmakers that were a big deal 5 or 10 or even 15 years ago which have totally disappeared now, but there are also dozens of new companies making dozens of new dolls, and more popping up all the time. People will come and go in the same way. It's perfectly natural to miss people that were really significant to you when you started, but as others have said, no one else's actions or decisions have any direct connection to your own, especially if it's a person you don't know personally. The community is constantly evolving, and there will always be new people to connect with and new avenues to explore. (And by the same token, I hope it's actually kind of comforting to know that, if you ever feel like the hobby has become something that doesn't satisfy you anymore, you can move on to other interests whenever you want. No need to feel pressured to hold onto something that isn't working for you, no matter what anyone else might say.) :thumbup
       
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    14. This is pretty much where I am, as well... After being in the hobby for as long as I have, it's just become sort of a fact of life to me that people will come and go. Interests change. Life circumstances change. Even entire communities are created and then fade out... It's the nature of the beast.
       
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    15. Agreed. It's part of what keeps the hobby fresh and exciting too.

      As with anything in life, you can't avoid some amount of disappointment or sadness in this hobby. With time, you become used to the ebb and flow of people, trends, and dolls. There are more new talented members with amazing artistic visions entering the hobby all the time than there are ones leaving it. You become used to seeing people leave and even though it's sometimes a bit sad, the influx of the great new stuff outshines the sadness. Plus, people who leave sometimes come back refreshed and ready to enjoy the hobby again. Or maybe they move on to something new but continue to share it online, so we can still enjoy it.
       
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    16. Thanks, I appreciate your input, and you're right, the longer I've been in the hobby, I've also started to come into my own style and experience.
       
    17. Almost 10 years ago, my longtime best friend introduced me into the hobby about 6 months before she quit.

      I was super sad & have maintained my presence all this time, but just last year she returned!
       
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    18. That's the thing about an online presence. People can leave suddenly and the rest of us have no closure. Hobby sites might be especially prone to sudden departures, since many other activities take precedence. What we can do is hope the best for those who are elsewhere, determine what we admired about them and emulate those admirable traits.

      And if that's a little too Pollyanne-ish for a Wednesday, I think I have a pill somewhere that'll fix that! ;)
       
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