Who Am I, Where Am I Going…

And what is the good second life?

It’s been hard for me to re-engage in my second life since my journey, or more correctly, my human’s journey.

The trip to our new home was a journey of discovery. There was that whole The Hitcher thing I wrote about in iRez, and it was a revelation in itself. I didn’t know about the concept of “bleed through” of virtual identities until Becky mentioned it in a comment on The Hitcher article.

Basically, when you create a virtual identity, like me, you may not want to have that identity be part of your “real” identity, my human. But sometimes one identity bleeds into the other. This is what happened to me on my trip, my identity bled into my human identity. I was sort of aware it happening, but I didn’t know how to stop it.

I mention this because as part of my struggle to re-engage in SL, I’m into this existential question of who am I again. I know pretty much who I am because I’m a part of my human. I know this sounds like I’m painting a big psycho-drama and it’s not like that. I’m just trying to figure out what I want from my second life.

Ok, it’s 4:00pm in SL, time to roll.

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About Yordie

I'm an avatar in Second Life where I star as the heroine of a virtual fantasy life. In the real world, I'm writing my debut sci-fi novel.
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12 Responses to Who Am I, Where Am I Going…

  1. Sue Hunniton says:

    Yordie, I love the occasional existential question and resulting ramblings (I say it that way because it’s exactly what I do sometimes! So, it’s with all kinds of love that I call it that.) We are avatars, but we are humans and one life does bleed into the other whether it is going in one direction or the other. I’ve questioned my SL existence on more than one occasion…I sometimes have wondered if I’m too “nice” for this world. But, I keep coming back to the fact that my avatar (and ultimately my human) has made friends whose love, laughter, and support I would miss if I ever left. Some I haven’t seen in many months, but I still get a warm feeling when I see “(my friend) is online.”

    For me, the addition of a new community – one that is very definitely not a part of my human’s life – into my SL world gave me the spark I needed…well, I guess I had a little additional help *wink* in the spark area, too. And, I will say right now that neither one was expected! The first step is sometimes letting yourself become completely empty when you go inworld and seeing what fills you back up in the most rewarding and enjoyable way. Don’t seek it out, let it come to you. *hugs*

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    • Yordie says:

      I agree with everything you said, Sue. And you have a very unique community in SL as well. I think that makes a big difference too. The whole idea of Bleed Through is new to me but it makes a lot of sense.

      I’ve been struggling with the becoming completely empty part when going inworld though. I think maybe I’m carrying a bunch of RL baggage right now. I think you are right about not seeking it out, letting it come to you. I just wish I could get my bearings back.

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  2. Harvey says:

    Yordie, a little while ago I found myself writing that it’s less of a second life, and more of a second body.
    The more I think about it the more true that seems to be to me. Our second life reflects a part of our personality that we might not chose to reveal in the non virtual world, but it is a part of us nonetheless. I think the question isn’t whether things bleed through the membrane that separates out virtual and non-virtual lives, but instead how thick the membrane is. I’ve come to think that Second Life doesn’t change us, but perhaps it helps us reveal and revel in who we truly are.

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    • Yordie says:

      I’ve heard ideas like yours expressed in different ways but it does come back to what you’ve said about the membrane. I guess it only makes sense that we can’t really compartmentalize things completely in our minds. I’ve tried to keep my membrane thick in SL, and I never expected bleedback into my real world. in hindsight, the relatively wreckless Yordie took chances her more conservative human would never take. It’s pretty interesting how this all works, regardless.

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  3. riverpearl says:

    I’m behind in my reading of iRez since it’s in my inbox instead of my reader. But I want to say, as someone who’s moved to different areas a lot, it’s kind of like an altered state for awhile as you adjust. It takes up energy and attention in a different way than when you can move about on autopilot.

    I have no idea if Yordie ever likes to write fiction. Pearl has been returning to a Halloween sim called Barkerville in Malaika Park. It has beautiful, gothic scenes and there’s a contest involving writing and photos. Yordie could just wander around for an hour or so and see if she gets inspired. If she’d like company there, just send me an IM. On Monday I’m going to post some photos I took there.

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    • Yordie says:

      Hi Pearl… For some reason I seem to have lost the reply I’d sent to you. So if this is a duplicate… well.

      Yes, I do like to write fiction although I’ve set my main fiction project aside for now. But all this talk about fiction makes me want to pick it up again. The truth is, I find fiction VERY hard to write. It’s much more than a story because you must truly invent characters, even when I wrote “The Penniless Man” I used the historic character of Nikola Tesla but found myself trying to create a circumstance where he could do something I needed him to do, something he was adamently set against in his life. So I had to understand him beyond what I could learn about him from reading.

      Darn… I have no idea where my reply to you went, but in it I mentioned that I’d like to checkout Barkerville. I’ll get in touch inworld.

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  4. Becky says:

    This is a question I ask myself frequently. In fact, I had significant cause to question it last night, and I think I’ll write a post about that later on the train… and omg will that be a difficult post to write.

    Jamming a bit on River’s comment, I’ve found that writing fiction/memoir can have a very interesting effect on how you reflect on your perception of yourself – and the results can be surprising – not sure if this was a byproduct of your early work on Repubblica? I suppose we do that a bit all the time in little doses with our blogging, and in a way we’re asking and answering that question of ourselves everytime we click on “new post”.

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    • Yordie says:

      I’ve found that each time I write anything beyond simple blog posts, I am forced to see myself in a different context. I also am forced to become the characters of my fiction, at least to some extent. Otherwise, the character is pretty lifeless. The first story in Repubblica, The Penniless Man, used a historic character which I had studied a lot but also a fictional character who wasn’t me, at least at the beginning of the writing. So, I think I’m saying that i agree with you completely.

      Maybe my journey across the US and my interaction with my hitchhiker stirred up a feelings and ideas i wasn’t expecting. Nonetheless, it’s been harder than I thought to reengage in SL. That’s really where I am now. Getting back into who I was before the trip.

      Btw, you’ve stirred my interst in getting back to work on Repubblica. *smiles*

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  5. sorornishi says:

    Part of the problem is that we have been [mis]lead into believing that our identity is a monolithic structure… it isn’t, it’s more like a stew than a steak. All those little bits and pieces that give flavour to our existence have been gathered over the years and brewed up together to produce Me.
    That SL experiences add a bit of flavour to our RL should not really surprise us as much as it does.
    SL is not just a game, it’s a whole new realm of ground-breaking experiences…. and, thankfully, it changes us.

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    • Yordie says:

      Oh I love the way you put it, “a stew than a steak.” I’ve tried so hard to keep Yordie’s world separate from her human’s world, but this was a real awakening for me. And even though Yordie’s story includes some real life information, those “bits and pieces” you talk about, it also includes some false real life information to protect her human’s identity.

      When you talk about SL as ground-breaking experiences, I know what you mean. I think actors and actresses should be more familiar with our experiences in Second Life. Also, playwrites and screenplay authors should be familiar with these experiences. It just occurred to me why so many people in SL prefer to say they are “just me” rather than deal with creating a separate persona.

      When I go off on tese existential journies, I know I’m not leaving SL or anything like that but it helps to at least record my thoughts as this second life continues to unfold.

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  6. reddiamondd says:

    Congratulations for this one!

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