If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have mentioned my love of my local community. Lolita fashion brought me a social circle and a group of friends whom I held very dear. But, over the last year I’ve dealt with all sorts of problems directly related to my involvement in my community, and for the last few months I’ve just felt anxious and melancholy whenever I think about meetups or events.
I miss my friends, but at the same time, a lot of us aren’t really friends anymore. In some cases work and life have simply gotten in the way. People are getting married, moving, or investing their time into their careers. With others heartbreak and hurt feelings surrounding overstepped boundaries have soured our relationships beyond repair. In other situations I’ve felt abandoned when I needed support, and I’ve just gotten tired of reaching out to find myself left with no one there.
The thing is, while I miss the feelings of camradarie and sisterhood, I don’t miss the drama, disappointment, and creeping sense of competition at every meetup. I don’t miss being called a bitch or having rumors spread about me, I don’t miss being harrassed, and I don’t miss feeling insecure in my personal life.
I’m currently stuck in a strange place where I’m nostalgic for relationships that used to exist, but in many cases I simply can’t bring myself to feel trusting towards this group again. Should I judge an entire community based on my previous experiences? Of course not. But, how many times do I have to help out, only to be repaid with ugly gossip? Or host events where I end up picking up the tab for no-shows and risk being labelled a stuck up bossy bitch for requiring a deposit? When can I stop sacrifing my private life for girls who don’t respect me, or the boundaries I’ve set? I am often lonely and sad, but at least my life is still.
For awhile I thought that I just needed a break, so I took a step back from event planning and moderating. I’ve travelled to other communities, attended other events. But, instead of feeling recharged and inspired, I just feel detatched and alone. Honestly? I’m not sure what to do with that. Perhaps it is time to move on.
What I do know is that I do still love the clothing, and I love the way that I feel about myself when I wear them. At least until that feeling fades, I’ll still be a lolita.
(Edit: I certainly don’t mean to say that I’ve left or that I’ve ended all relationships with other lolitas. There are still a lot of people whose company I enjoy, but I am hesitant to start looking for new friends.)