Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cosplay and Adulthood

source: hiwamu | tumblr

I've started cosplaying about four years ago. I was just a college student back then. Being reliant on my parents financially, I didn't have much freedom to cosplay as often as I do now. I didn't want them to burden with additional expenses so I had to find other ways to afford the hobby. That's when I decided to apply as a student assistant in a university dorm, squeezing additional hours despite the busy academic schedule.

I am now an adult with a steady paying job. Between paying bills, supporting my brother's college expenses, keeping up with my social life and affording basic necessities, I still somehow manage to keep my hobby strong. Without academics to worry about, I can finally take my time to improve my costuming skills. I can now sew my own costumes, make props and go to cons as much as I can.

Seems like an age of bliss, right?

How do you Even Adult?

When you're on that age where you're stuck in a rift called job, careers and adulthood, it's not easy keeping up with a demanding hobby such as cosplaying. Back then cosplay meant getting together and planning costumes together. Discussing themes, how we will make our costumes and where we would hold the photoshoot. Counting down the days before cosplay, the anticipation was immeasurable.

But things change once you graduate. When you have friends who are exactly at the same stage as you are: busy, struggling and scattered all over the place(in may case, country...or world), sometimes you can't help but be on your own, and it feels a little empty sometimes but you have to get your priorities straight, While we have enough passion to burn an entire country (figuratively of course), we are aware that our future is more important and should not be replaced by a hobby.

What About New Friends?

It takes time getting used to being around a new set of people. I'd usually skip cons when I have no one to go with and now that my usual con buddy has been transferred to another town five hours away from where I am because of her job, it's been a struggle since then.

I do meet new friends at conventions but trying to integrate yourself in an already established group is a hurdle I can't easily overcome without having a couple of mental breakdowns. When you have social anxiety, it can be sad and frustrating but I'm still trying.

Coping Up

Writing this I realized I've pointed out most of the depressing thoughts that I have been keeping within me for a long time but please know that this post does not intend to demotivate cosplayers in any way and does not represent the situation of every cosplaying adults out there. I'm only speaking based on my personal experience. When you love what you do keep doing it.

It takes a great deal of time, money and effort to synchronize schedule with long-distance friends just so you can attend cons and photoshoots together. Even though we may not be able to do it as often as we like, those rare moments I can be with them, doing what we love most are always something to be treasured.

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