I started this decade with a waning interest in lolita for several reasons, the main reasons being my declining mental health and a change in my career path. There was little to no energy left in me to engage in the lolita community which is ironic considering that lolita fashion has been the very catalyst for my energy and happiness up until then.
In 2012 I started selling off my wardrobe and kept only two pieces: an OP and a handbag from Kazuko Ogawa. They were my first lolita brand items that I ever bought so I just couldn't bear parting with them. I think every lolita has that kind of item in their wardrobe that they just never will part from.
I kept following the lolita fashion from a distance, adoring it as much as I felt detached. Having friends that are also lolitas helped keep me anchored in the community. Thank you Bella, Nadde, and Frida.
Late 2015 I got encouraged to travel to Under the Sea in Amsterdam, an international event arranged by Street Fashion Europe. The main guests were Juliette et Justine so I felt like I just had to go since they once were one of my most favorite brands. I was so excited, a huge international lolita event was a distant dream when I was the most engaged in the community.
To be honest, I struggled with feeling comfortable again in the fashion because I had gained a lot of weight (age, medication, desk job, etc). I used to be able to fit into just about any brand JSK. The only JSK I could find for Under the Sea that I also would feel comfortable in wearing again after the hiatus was Rogue Aeries Nightmare Rising in size AU14. I was very worried and anxious about not belonging, not being pretty and feeling that maybe lolita fashion no longer was for me. It turned out that all my worries were unfounded. While being at Under the Sea I felt energized, happy and especially surprised that there were other attendees there that I recognized from the Livejournal days. I felt like I had come home. Again. I felt like myself. Again.
I have since 2015 visited at least one international lolita event every year. I have made several attempts at blogging again (case in point). I have met up with lolita friends for hanging out, going to museums and having some afternoon tea. I feel alive. Again.
2019 has been a year of fortifying my self-esteem in lolita. I have been actively looking for lolitas on Instagram and other social media that are norm breakers in any sense of the word and there are a lot out there! I look at their feeds and I feel less alone. Just by existing, they have helped my self-esteem a lot. I thank them all.
I have discovered that hunting for brand garments that fit me is time-consuming and sometimes even disheartening. On the other hand, it makes me put in extra thought and effort before adding items to my wardrobe. The pieces I have in my wardrobe actually get worn a lot more. Some brand garments are possible to alter in size in order to fit me, all thanks to Nadde again for being an outright magician with sewing.
I refuse to let body shaming restrict me from being my true self. I look forward to another 10 years of living my best lolita life. Again.