Monday, September 24, 2007

Innocence lost

Last night, Patrice and I ended our partnership. There were a lot of reasons for it, which I will not go into here. I will only say that it was me who had the reasons. It's me who said I couldn't go on. Patrice was not in the same place, and as a result, I hurt her terribly.

People thought we were an exemplary couple, and for a long time we probably were, although that was a lot to live up to. Our partnership was never perfect, but when difficulties arose, we talked them out. We didn't run away, and we didn't have huge drama. I know that a lot of people looked up to us. Hopefully, they can still look up to Patrice for having tried to continue as we had done. Hopefully, they will not look down on me too badly for having lost the ability to continue.

We had a period of serious difficulty. She recovered from it. I didn't.

When I first started Second Life, I had little idea of what to expect. Everything was new. As I discovered things about SL, I discovered even more about myself. SL isn't a game, or at least never has been for me. It's an exploration.

I was still pretty "young" is SL terms when I met Patrice at Cala's party on September 8, 2006. I had only just been introduced to the other side of my bisexuality by Tatsuko. I was drawn to the idea of partnership, but still unsure. Patrice and I came together quickly, weathering the trials of a new relationship, which are all the more difficult in SL, an environment in which it's difficult to build trust. We partnered on September 27th, considering that our engagement, and we were married on October 13th before family and friends.

Patrice has always been more SL-savvy than I. I learned so much through her. I met so many people. I was introduced to new experiences. She made a wonderful home for us on the beach at Iron Fist. I don't think I ever was able to reciprocate in the same way. Hopefully, I brought something else to our relationship—love, devotion, empathy, and some amount of interpersonal skills. We were good for each other. We made beautiful love together. We laughed and cried and shared. We grew together for a long time in SL terms.

Lately, we had grown apart—different priorities, different interests, different ways of looking at SL. Patrice was making the effort to overcome the difficulties. I had lost the will. I don't know why. It wasn't a lack of love for Patrice. I think it has something to do with my current difficulties with SL, and that's due to a lot of changes in my first life.

First life must always come before SL. It's weird and wonderful that the things I'm going through in first life have a lot to do with SL. But they take a lot of effort. In the process, I've lost something in SL. I would like to get it back, but I'm not sure how yet.

I'm so grateful for the past year that I've shared with Patrice. I'm sorry for the way I've hurt her, sorry for what we've lost. I hope she thrives in both SL and first life. I hope I get back to that as well.

Be well, my darling, now and always.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not enough play time!

Time passes quickly in Second Life. Some people think of years in SL like dog years, seven for every one. Some go even higher!

I've been in SL for over a year, so maybe that's more like 10 plus.

Apologies, dear readers (what few of you are left) for the state of this blog recently. I'm going to have to re-evaluate it, I think. This is supposed to be a blog about SL and me in SL, but right now I'm not there often enough for that to make sense. When I do go in world these days, it's often for specific reasons. I'm not exploring. I'm hardly even shopping! What's up with that?

I'm not sure when these doldrums started. I think some of it began with the long stretch when Patrice was completely occupied with working on EnelPark. That was a difficult time for me, although I did make contact with a lot of people. Some of it probably began when I went away for a week and a half in first life during July. That was the longest time with no SL that I'd had since I'd joined. When I got back, Patrice was still working on EnelPark, although not quite as much. But I found that after having done other things for 11 days, not even on a computer, I was feeling less compelled by SL.

I got back into it, but it was never quite the same again. Not entirely sure why. I still enjoy SL. I still enjoy having my virtual life. I definitely enjoy meeting people, going places, and seeing new things. But there's a distance between me and SL that is new.

Part of it is the loss of activities that were important to me. I'm no longer doing a regular DJ shift due to school work. That was a big part of SL for me once I'd started to do it. I'm also no longer writing for PixelPulse Magazine, which was laid to rest. Writing for PixelPulse kept me involved in many aspects of SL and meeting new people. I still have my counselling practice, but clients are few and far between.

Part of the disconnect is due to first life. I work full time during the day. I'm in class for my counselling program two nights a week, with reading and assignments between classes. I'm volunteering (in a counselling capacity) at least three nights a month. I'm working on some personal things as well. All of that takes not only time but attention. I haven't stopped playing, and I mean that in a creative sense. But the priority of creative play time has of necessity been lowered.

As I said, I still enjoy SL, and I think creative play time is important, even for us old farts, even when we're busy. Hopefully I can work this out before I'm down to no readers at all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

V Dizzle takes a break

I did my last regular Monday DJ shift at the Velvet last night. Don't ask about photos! Of course there are none. But it wasn't that hectic a night, so I should have shot some.

I'm taking a break because first life needs some attention: to wit, my counselling program. I'm got a student ID, man! Two evenings a week, I'll be taking courses. I also have to keep up my volunteer work, which is counselling-related, and that's almost once a week in addition. Add in an SO who does like my attention from time to time, as well as other bits and pieces of first life, and there might not be much time for Second Life for a while.

I'll have to make some time for SL, though. I'm fine with reality, but I have friends in SL! And even though my immersion mojo isn't quite what it used to be, it's still important, and I'm working on getting it back. As well, I'm hoping to pick up a fill-in DJ shift from time to time, when time allows. Once I start school, I'll know more how much free time I have, assuming there's any.

I had a great time last night, as always. I finally added the new disc from the New Pornographers to my library, and played three or four cuts. Should have played the beautiful "Challengers" as well! Not a really large crowd last night, but a good one. Thanks to all who dropped by, especially Leticia and Sarah. Thanks to all who have come since I started, danced, had a good time, said they liked the music, and were indulgent when I couldn't fulfil requests. Thanks to Patrice for always being supportive, and thanks to Push for letting me have the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Where's the manual?

A little while ago, I find myself waiting for something, can't remember what. Had some time to kill anyway. So Merik sends me a landmark for Greenies. I've heard about Greenies, the build in which you're really small in a big house, like mouse sized, and in which the house has been invaded by little green aliens.

So I whoosh over there and start looking around. And after a while I start to wonder, what's the big deal? A lot of what I'm seeing is cute, but it seems kind of static. I see some groups of people, but I don't know them, and they don't say hi. So I just wander around a bit, shooting pictures, thinking there must be more to this place than what I'm seeing.

Apparently there is, from what I've been reading. People are enthralled by this build. Of course, if you just arrive there with no prior knowledge, I guess you might miss all the fun. It's sort of the epitome of the problem with Second Life in general. If you're motivated and work at it, you can figure things out. Or else if you're lucky enough to run into someone who knows her or his way around and shows you the ropes, then you might become engaged in the place. Otherwise, you might wonder what all the fuss is about.

I think I made a couple of mistakes when I went to Greenies. One was to go alone. I didn't have anyone to go with at the time! But I can believe that the experience is more fun if it's shared. The other mistake was to be more of an observer than a participant. I'm not entirely sure how to participate in this build, but apparently you can, so I should have clicked on a few more things and dug into a few more holes. If I had, perhaps more things would have come to life.

And I would have had more fun.

If anyone is still reading this pathetic blog that doesn't get updated nearly often enough, I imagine I'll get all kinds of advice on how to have more fun at Greenies. :)