I Went To My First Lolita Swap Meet: Here’s How It Went

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Lace. Frills. Cuteness. ALL THE accessories.

Lolita fashion was basically made for me. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, for those of you who might have no idea what Lolita fashion even is, here’s what the Wikipedia gods define it as:

Lolita is a fashion subculture from Japan that is highly influenced by Victorian and Edwardian children’s clothing and styles from the Rococo period. A very distinctive property of Lolita fashion is the aesthetic of cuteness.

Lolita is something I’ve known about since I was a wee homeschooler. I think being raised alternatively meant I found out about a lot of nerdy communities earlier than a lot of other people. For instance, I had kids playing Magic at the lunch table when I was 10 years old (before it was cool) and I’ve pretty much always had friends who were furries. We were all a little weird, and built our own beautiful little nerd utopia. It wasn’t until I went to college that I found out these things were pretty niche. Especially since I went to a small private school, the expectation was more around knowing about designers than Dungeons and Dragons.

It’s pretty apparent that I’ve now settled right back into my nerdy childhood ways, but I definitely had a span of about five years where I tried desperately to be normal. Ha. Me, normal. As an adult I’m now able to invest in a lot of these communities that I was raised around and Lolita is one that I’ve been excited to pursue for a WHILE. About a month ago I decided to just go for it.

After signing up for a couple of local groups I saw that there was an event coming up. The thing about Lolita is that it can be a bit overwhelming. There’s a LOT more than just clothes that goes into it, but I also wanted to make sure I looked somewhat presentable…on a budget. The Swap Meet was perfect for the getting to know some people and getting some great clothes. So I put it in my calendar.

Then I got sick.

The morning of the swap meet I felt like a total mess as I was struck down by the plague. But the thing about swap meets is that they only happen every few months so not going meant having to wait months until the next one. So I pulled myself out of bed, took a Dayquil and some allergy meds and went anyway.

The meet was so much fun!

It’s always a little bit awkward to show up to an event where everyone seemingly knows each other, because I definitely didn’t know anyone. But as I started talking to people and buying merch I started to make some new friends. Honestly, everyone I met there was SO welcoming and some of the girls gave me free stuff since I’m just starting out on my Lolita journey.

One of the really special things I found out about from this swap meet was that the community in my city is super active and does a lot of activities regularly. I’m pretty excited to go to some events while dressed in my full Lolita gear. Actually THRILLED is more of the word. I’m just so incredibly happy I found this community and really feel like it’s the beginning of some beautiful friendships.

Here’s what I ended up getting at the swap meet. What do you think!?

 

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Unboxing my ROG Asus Strix GT503 ❤️

I was so excited to get my gaming laptop and then life got in the way…so it’s been sitting in my bedroom in a box for a week. It was so worth the wait. I’m pretty pumped to get this baby up and running!

Why Fitness And Gaming Go Hand In Hand

It’s been a while since I was in the workout mindset for a few different reasons. Life was terrible, then hectic, then confusing, and now I’ve landed somewhere in the territory of crazy…in a good way. In my life, there’s pretty much zero reasons for me to ever be physically active. I write all day in an office, then sit on a bus to get home, then sit and paint or game. My legs pretty much never need to be used. BUT. A few months ago I started having really extreme pain in my knees and lower back. The culprit? You guessed it – sitting all damn day.

Getting back support in my chair started helping with the back problems, but my knees were pretty much in constant pain and I couldn’t figure out why. I tried changing my shoes and tried to walk more, but I needed a serious change to stop feeling like a 73-year-old woman. So my partner in crime suggested that I started working out. Like actual cardio working out. I called a friend who honestly was the sweetest EVER about getting me onboard with Beachbody and then another friend suggested ClassPass. With the two programs combined, I started out on a two-week journey to getting fit. I figured if I could just make it two weeks I’d be good.

I’d be lying if I said it was easy to start. But with the help of some cat stickers, and a hand-drawn sticker chart I started working out every other day and I finally started to feel more like myself. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, but working out started making me more conscious of how important a balanced diet was. I switched from white rice to brown. I started stocking up on healthy snacks like dried mango and mixed nuts. I started upping my protein intake and drinking way more water. And guess what? After two weeks my knees started feeling so. much. better. I will say, for the first week and a half they were still hurting and I did a lot of modifications on workouts because I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t further injuring my knee in the process of trying to heal it.

The awesome thing is that by taking this time to honor my body I had more energy to do things that I loved, and I wasn’t as sluggish. Do I now have the body of a bodybuilder, no. But that was never the goal here. I started working out because I want this body to be as healthy as it can be for as long as possible. I want to have the energy to enjoy the things I love, not be walking around in some kind of coma going from one sitting posture to the next.

I’ve never considered myself a gymrat, or someone obsessed with getting their body perfectly toned, but I love having the option of going to a yoga or cardio class whenever it works in my schedule and being able to easily turn on a workout when I’m feeling sluggish when I get home after work. Usually, this only takes an hour out of my day to workout/shower and I can already feel the results. And it makes me that much more alert for when I’m playing or painting fanart, or blogging!

It’s not about perfection, it’s about taking steps toward being healthier and happier. For me, it started a month ago. For you, maybe it starts today. Join me?

PAX West: A N00B’s Predictions

It surprises a lot of people that I’ve never been to PAX West. I mean, I live in Seattle. It’s basically down the street. But here’s a fun fact: I’ve actually only been going to conventions for four years. I started going when I lived in France because conventions were some of the few places I felt like I belonged. It’s always fascinated me that no matter what language you speak you can connect with others based off of your nerd knowledge. Fandom is a lot like music in that it connects with so many different kinds of people.

When I eventually moved back to Seattle in 2015 I was determined to keep attending conventions…and to cosplay. That was the first time I went to Geek Girl Con, and then I went to Emerald City Comic Con for the first time. It was bliss. Last year I would have loved to go to PAX but I completely missed the train on tickets. This year I had a ticket buddy who let me know as soon as they went on sale and FINALLY, I’m going. PAX is pretty expensive, so I’m only going 2/4 days but I’m still so excited!

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, but here’s what I have a feeling PAX will be like:

1. The lines are going to be insane

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One thing everyone has confirmed is that the game lines at PAX West are worst than a school’s-out day at Disneyland. Knowing that I’m kind of okay with the fact that I’m going on two of the less popular days. Being around people can also be extremely draining for my little introvert soul, so it’s probably for the best that I’m going for only a couple of days.

2. The people are going to be awesome

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Something I really love is the people I meet at conventions. It’s one of the best feelings to be around people who are of the same mindset. People who don’t think gaming is for 40-year-old men who still live in their parent’s basement. People who own just as many Funko POP figurines as you do…and don’t judge you for buying more. Since the other two conventions I go to are later in the year it’s going to be super fun to have something coming up sooner. I can’t wait until September.

3. There’s going to be some insane cosplay happening

Okay, so I have no idea if this is a thing at PAX as much as it is at Comic Con but I sure as hell hope that I’m going to see some jaw-dropping cosplay happening. I need it for my soul. I will be cosplaying for PAX…but I’m not quite sure what I’m going to go as, yet. Since I really like Overwatch I’m thinking I’m going to do a gender bend of one of those characters, but who knows!?

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4. I’ll buy too much merch

Related imageThis is pretty much a given because my self-control for spending gets thrown out the window when I walk into a convention. I’m not sure if it’s the pressure of so many people being around or just a comfortability in the space, but I love finding merch that I would never have otherwise known existed (AND BUYING IT ALL). Since I’m actually not sure about the setup of PAX I don’t know if there will be as much from local artists etc. but I’m looking forward to finding out!

5. I’ll make some new friends

Related imageI’m not an extremely social person. I like the people I like, and I’m pretty good with that handful of people. Conventions are awesome because they’re usually a safe space where people can connect easier. I’ve met some of my best friends at conventions and I’m pretty excited to be back in that space again! Cheers to making nerdy friends who connect with you on what you’re passionate about!

Have you been to PAX West (or any other PAX for that matter)? What was it like? What was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments!