It’s been an interesting week in my little SL world; some ups, some downs, some déjà vu, and a few how-do-you-dos. Soon it will be my one year rez day (September 27) and a retrospective will be in order. Time is a funny thing in SecondLife. If you consider that right now a day cycle is four hours long, then it’s been nearly five years. And yet, in five RL years, my SL alter ego will not appear to have aged a day, unless I choose for her to. If only I could go on, with my memories uploaded to my inventory, long after this earthly body has given up the ghost! Ahhh to be young and beautiful forever.
Yes, things move quickly here. You have to run hard to keep up. I regard my physical life as sacrosanct, and to speak of it here seems almost odd to me, just as speaking of my SecondLife in the analog world only happens in hushed tones, but the two are inextricably intertwined. Of course, one would be much easier to give up than the other, were I to choose, but as of right now I would not want to give up a fraction of either, because I would miss too much. No matter how hard it gets sometimes, life is to be savored. The sights, sounds and interpersonal entanglements are the tapestry woven with every breath I take. Perspectives change as I move through time. Taken as whole, it will look beautiful, even if certain parts of it seem ugly close-up.
As much as the technical side of this SecondLife interests me, it’s the people I meet and interact with here that makes everything else I do, and want to do here, worth the time I spend. And yet, I spend so much of it traveling alone. I’m not complaining about that. There are some aspects of my personality and preferences that are no different in either world. In RL, I do many things alone. Not because I have no choice, but because I do, and the freedom and confidence to do typically social activities on your own means you never have to miss out on something because you can’t find someone to do those things with. It’s in our nature to congregate, to pair off, to be part of a society of people, though, isn’t it? I worry sometimes that I’m not trying hard enough to do just that. When I do, though … well, let’s just say I’ve made more than a few missteps. C’est la vie.
Not once, but twice this week, I’ve been informed that SecondLife is built around one “activity,” and I’m sure you can guess what that is, but I don’t see it that way. Life, any life, is whatever you seek out and find. It’s what you make of it. There are very few hard and fast rules, but the most important ones in my opinion are the ones you make for yourself. Were I a wiser person, I might have come to SecondLife with an iron-clad spine, never straying from a pre-defined set of parameters, but I never considered myself wise, just open-minded. Through trial and (sometimes) error I’ve come to the conclusion that what happens in SecondLife doesn’t necessarily stay in SecondLife. It stays with me, after I’ve logged and shut down the laptop, stepped back into reality and resumed my real life. I know it’s so for others, as well. Real feelings happen here, and they don’t shut down when you quit the viewer. This isn’t news I’m imparting, I know. It’s just that I’ve realized that getting caught up in a moment can have a lasting impact. There are people I’ve encountered a mere few times that have left lasting impressions with me. I’ve had negative experiences that have left me feeling some people are unforgivable. I know a few have felt the same way about me. I’ve had some that left me in awe, but mostly those happen indirectly, like when I see an enchanting piece of art and equate it with the artist. Dealing with people is messy. I wish I did messy with more equanimity.
I think that’s why creating content is so appealing to me. I want to leave the best parts of me to be experienced indirectly, because to experience me directly can be hit or miss. I wonder if it’s the same for others, if they know it or if they don’t. People throughout history have left pieces of themselves behind to behold in wonder, and they weren’t always the kind of people you’d want to spend a significant amount of time with. A strong positive legacy seems to forgive many transgressions. Perhaps the inventive among us really just want to be forgiven. Maybe it’s just me. I don’t know.
We all have our reasons for walking alone, for seeking out others, for engaging or disengaging. I just hope that, whatever you do, you are being true to yourself and self-correcting as needed, and that you (and I) can forgive each other for being the flawed human beings we so often can be, and appreciate that the messy parts are not the sum of the whole, but the errant threads in the weave that make us unique. Take a step back now and then, and see how the view improves.