I’ve been trying to say something in this blog that will enable me to move on from this second existance purgatory I’ve carved out for myself.
I’ve been trying to say something that will enable me to explain both why I’ve left Second Life and how I can move forward with this virtual life I’ve created.
My recent import of my blog posts from the Google Blogger blog have kind of thrown my past into the light of day. I always felt my blogs would be useful for gaining a perspective, but I’m kinda ashamed of myself for failing to learn from past experience.
Confronting the Past
The import of my Blogger blog posts and photos went perfectly in that nearly 1,000 posts & associated comments and ~4,000 photos & associated captions were transferred. There were two issues that led me to begin updating all the imported posts though. Virtually none of the Blogger “Labels” were suitable for conversion to WordPress “Categories” and “Tags”. Also, all of the Blogger photos were too small for the more spacious architecture of this blog.
I began working my way back through my old posts updating labels and resizing photos. But here’s the thing that has shamed me, I’ve been reading all of those old posts in order select appropriate Categorizes and Tags, and in that process I’ve seen my interests and thoughts and feelings laid bare. I’ve learned many things about myself, but I’ve also seen myself struggling with certain issues again and again. And I’m really ashamed that I haven’t learned from past experience. In fact, there are three basic, ongoing struggles that color my second life.
Resolving the Struggles
All of my second life experiences have been dampened by my disappointment in Linden Lab’s handling of Second Life technology, priorities and what I believe is its responsibility to the people who live in the world they’ve created. There are far too many posts in my blogs that rant about this disappointment. Virtually all of the disappointment is aimed at the Lab’s top management and board, but it got personal when it came to the designers of Viewer 2. Regardless of how I feel about the Lab’s sense of responsibility, I just need to give this up for once and for all (actually, a second time). Toward this goal, I’ve privatized or deleted most of the rants and I’m going to try to live by Crap Mariner’s axiom, “It is what it is.”
The second struggle has been created by my desire to meet and know and be friends with a seemingly endless number of people. And I’ll include in that my desire to do everything there is to do and be part of and support every event and group that interests me. It’s just too much. In the past I’ve created the time and energy, but since moving to Florida my real life has changed and I don’t all time for all those things I love. In my final days in Second Life, I dreaded logging on because I knew someone I care about, or several someones I care about, would have something they wanted to tell me or to talk to me about or there’d be some group doing something I wanted to participate in. And I couldn’t bring myself to turn off my “Online” status thingie for anyone. This need for privacy didn’t have anything to do with anyone or group, but it had everything to do with changes in my real life.
Finally, since I broke up with my last partner, almost two years ago, I’ve struggled to find a driving force for my second life. There’s an old saying that goes, “Some things can only be experienced once” and I believe that is true. When we come to Second Life, we gain something I’ve begun to call a second innocence. Some people say SL is like high school or college and that works too, it’s that notion of a second chance. Anyway, I feel I spent my second innocence and I know I couldn’t endure another SL romance. I recognized this to some extent and I thought I my interest in adventure would reignite my second life. And I found adventure was a great driving force but… well, it gets complicated because far too often my adventures were frustrated by a variety of issues.
Reading About You, Taking to You, Thinking About You
Since I left Second Life I’ve also been quietly reading many SL blogs. I’ve lurked and studied people who may have experienced some of the feelings I’ve experienced. But I’ve read about people who seem to have found something or interest in Second Life that enables them to move forward and be productive and happy. There’s a wealth of experience among the SL bloggers and I think you know who you are.
Also, I’ve had chats with some friends who’ve shared their own experiences of leaving SL. It’s helpful to learning you aren’t the only one who needed to walk away. The majority of friends I’ve spoken with have understood my feelings without necessarily needed to understand why I needed to leave. A couple friends were offended by the way I left. For them, I can only say I have more than one-hundred SL friends and all of the friends who know me and care about me, are connected to me through my blog.
Here’s something I’ve learned from people who’ve left Second Life, they are glad they did. Some have come back with a new identity. A few bitten the bullet and return as their former self. Everyone I’ve talked to or heard about through others is happier now. Your experiences have helped me and thank you again to those who’ve shared.
Finding A Way Forward
I’m trying out the idea of getting an alt and using her to begin a new type of second life. And let me assure anyone who is concerned that I’ll reengage with them without telling them who I am. I’d consider that dishonest and I won’t do that. No, if I should use an alt it will be as a new identity and a new life.
I’m trying out ideas for using Second Life as a stage for the stories I want to write. I’ve visited Leanna a few times and she has encouraged me to consider things like recreating one of my Zen gardens. That would be very appropriate because the first story I want to write is a re-write of The Samurai & The Geisha. I’ll definitely want to stage new scenes because much of the story will be turned from mostly roleplay to mostly fiction. So I’m thinking about Second Life seriously for a writing stage.
I know that if I find a way to use Second Life, I’ll want to improve my photographic skills. In real life I’m a straight photographer and avoided making touch-ups to photos in Second Life as well. But going forward I’ll be using Photoshop to cleanup my pics. I’m still trying to learn all the tools (“shiney buttons” as Berry calls them) but I can already see the enjoyment this tool brings. When you consider that there are over 5,000 photos in this blog’s media library, I think you’ll see how important photography is to me. And I’m sorry to say that I haven’t invested the time in really presenting the best photos I can.
This is just a little experiment I did with Photoshop.
As Leanna Would Say, “Time Will Tell”
Its been a little over a month since I left Second Life. And I miss all the wonderful things about Second Life, especially friends. But I’m still sorting things out. I know it was time for me to leave and I’m glad I did.
I don’t know how long it will take to find a new second life. However, I’m sure the future will focus on writing and photography. Perhaps a new second life will be a fiction, one of pure imaginaiton, and whatever my name is will just be an actor on a stage. No, no, no, I won’t be a zombie. heh! Well, hopefully not. *smiles*
As Leanna would say, “Time will tell.”