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To those who left the hobby and then returned....

May 16, 2019

    1. I joined the hobby in 2008 when I was 16. I was pretty much obsessed with dolls all the way through college and uni. I only started to lose interest once adult life kicked in. I think part of the issue was that I was relying on my doll sewing as part of my income while I searched for a full time job, and that totally sapped all the joy out of it for me. When I finally got a job and no longer needed the dolls for my income, I stopped doing anything with them. I eventually sold all of them but two to help fund my furniture shopping spree when I moved out of my parents' house.

      I honestly didn't think much about dolls for about two years (2016/2017). One day I randomly dug Molly, one of my remaining dolls and my all-time favourite, out of the drawer where I'd abandoned her. I snapped a few photos for my instagram, just for old times sake. I guess seeing her face again made me realise how much I missed her, because I didn't put her back in the drawer. A few months later, I bought the most expensive doll I've ever bought (my grail), which cemented my return to the hobby.

      I'm so so glad I returned! But I'm also really glad I left too. The break definitely did me some good. I was never this happy with my dolls the first time around. It kind of feels like my old collection was just my practice run, and now I'm doing it for real and these are the dolls that are meant to be mine.

      I did feel a bit out of the loop for a while after I returned. There was a lot to catch up on! Also I massively regretted selling all my clothes and accessories. I'm still mourning some of the outfits I used to own that aren't available anymore. And for a while I also massively regretted selling my Iplehouse Tatiana, until I miraculously managed to buy back the exact same one (I still can't get over how lucky I was there!). But yeah, overall I would say my story had a very happy ending.
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    2. I take periodic breaks from meetups and DoA. There was also a period where I was concentrating on non-BJDs. I consider these breaks a part of my hobby. I always come back with refreshed interest.
    3. I left (or rather, paused the hobby for a while) because I didn't have a lot of time for it anymore. Now that I have some time again (graduating from uni soon-ish), I feel like I can afford to pay attention to the hobby once again. :D
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    4. I took a break from the hobby a few times. After getting my first doll, she wasn't what I had expected her to be so I took a break from the 'disappointment' (it wasn't really disappointment but more so being too hype and it not being what I had expected it to be). Then, a few years later, I'm here and I realllllllly want to get back into bjd's. I'm saving up and I am hoping to dive into this hobby again. I've done more research and have found sculpts I actually like and won't settle for less this time!
    5. I've always taken small breaks here and there from forums and other doll websites. However, moving out on my own triggered a very long break from doll stuff in general. So many new bills to pay! *_* I also picked up and dropped a few more hobbies over that time, gained an MMO sub, had someone ask "hey, this kitty needs a home, you interested?"... Life things :XD:

      I held onto my dolls for the most part, and I do still enjoy looking at them, even if I don't play with them as much as I used to. Then a couple of days ago I got the itch to look up a couple of dolls I'd always wanted, and now I'm digging through the Marketplace trying to find them again. Funny how that works, innit? :)
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    6. I started in 2008 with a gusto, hosted a lot of GOs, meetups, etc. on this website! I discovered BJDs at a convention and realized that I could make any sculpt into any character that I dream of and I was hooked.Then I had to stop for a while due to personal conflicts and taking care of the drama in my family life. I really wished I could have been in that Namine MnM GO that I hosted, but I had to drop and take care of the drama in my life.

      I came back to the hobby about a decade later, once I settled down and got away from the family drama. Brought four more BJDs when I came back into the hobby. I realized when I came back to the hobby that some of my tastes in dolls changed, I found out that I stopped loving my SD-Yo sized BJDs, thank goodness I only have two. Then I totally remembered that I sit on a bunch of DIM minimee heads (7 total) and I still love the sculpts, but now I have to save up for them bodies for these floating heads and I have a lot of money to save up for bodies. I need 4 in total and as we all know them BJD bodies aren't cheap and then resin matching is going to be a pain. I never got rid of my collection though, if anything it keeps on growing and the only problems I have to deal with is where am I going to display my lovelies without getting in the way of my sewing machines.
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    7. It's so interesting to hear about how our dolls change as we change :)
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    8. I was super into the hobby in college, only had 2 dolls though. Then my collection exploded after I got my first job (of course!). I left that job for another job that didn't work out, so I took a necessary break from buying dolls. Then depression set in, and I stopped doing much with the dolls I have. I got a couple dolls for Christmas, then a new job. It's been really fun and uplifting coming back into the hobby after being dormant for a year.

      I'm still not very active in the community, though; partly because I'm shy and partly because of entitled attitudes among some of the doll owners of my favorite companies. (I can understand their frustration, really, but complaining that you don't have unlimited access to dolls that cost over $1000 seems a little crass to me, as someone who grew up on the lower end of middle class.) Owning any of these dolls is a privilege, to me, one that I am grateful for.

      I have also found my taste in characters has shifted, to the point that I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do with my oldest doll. I still sort-of like the character, but she's not my ultimate favorite anymore. And there's more Dollfie Dream characters that I like, but I swore I'd never buy another vinyl because of how it ages. It's an interesting, and kind of fun, dilemma.
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    9. I left because after about 8 dolls I realized I had a very tiny apartment and 8 very expensive centerpieces that had no place to be displayed other than sitting next to each other on a cluttered shelf, which is exactly what I DIDN'T want... But then I got inspired by my first 2 dolls that were NOT full-sets, but rather characters that I’d created. I’d always wanted to elaborate on the vague outlines I’d given them but had no outlet for it (or so I thought, with not really being active in the community).
      After browsing the BJD hashtag on Instagram and discovering that more people created their own characters and stories with them instead of just buying full-sets, I remembered that I also had a story to tell. Not just one, but MANY! Seeing that at least a small number of hobbyists actually enjoyed the stories these people told, it inspired me to write and share my own. It felt good to have an outlet for my storytelling, but what I didn’t anticipate was that it also gave my dolls a new purpose! They didn’t have to each have their own shrine in my tiny apartment in order for me to still appreciate them and feel like they were worth the money, they can be just as glorified on social media, displayed to hundreds of people along side the stories I came up with for them!
      I now have a fresh new love for the hobby, have 2 more dolls I’m working on right now, with another 2 planned for the future... all customized original characters! Bonus, it also made me open this account and be more active in the community! :dance:aheartbea
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