…And A Happy New Year!

As I had anticipated, I’m not terribly consistent or prolific about my blogging, apparently.  It’s been almost a month since I started this blog, and I basically haven’t touched it since the initial post.  “Bad Lena, no cookie for you,” you may be thinking, but I would argue that the upside of this is that now I have quite a bit to write about.

For example, since last we spoke, constant reader, I have learned the art of DJing on the grid, gotten employment doing so at a lovely little nightclub called MsCherri’s (I’ll post the hours for my regular DJ sets and the SLurl at the end, if you ever want to come in and see me), and am now working as a dancer and escort at three wonderful Gentlemen’s Clubs (okay, I’ll include SLurls for them too, twist my arm).  I’ve been bitten by a very charming vampire bunny, ridden a motorcycle, lost my inworld virginity (woo hoo!), made lots of new friends, shopped WAY too much, given a fox a lapdance, and officially started escorting.  Whew!  It was a busy month, and the holidays right smack in the middle of all that.

Of course, it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses- there have been frustrating or upsetting moments, too.  I got to see inworld trolls in action for the first time, and although they didn’t upset me terribly much, I could see how disruptive they were to the environment in general, and I know that some of the others in the venue were much more disturbed or offended than I was.  I was told by one person that my voice on mike sounds like “a tranny”, and by another that I sound like a man.  I’ve been told that I shouldn’t be a stripper on the grid unless I’m willing to give my avi more exaggerated curves.  I’ve been called a “stupid newb” (newb, yes, stupid, no), and I’ve been told that I’m basically a con artist or scammer because I solicit L$ from other users.

In other words, I’ve learned that both on the grid and in the real, people are still people.  The very things that attract me to SecondLife-  the freedom to try new things without the physical and social limitations I deal with in the real, the relative anonymity, the basic lack of a “permanent record”, and the option of having multiple identities, not all necessarily publicly connected to each other- are the same things that make it a magnet for troublemakers and those who want to behave badly without having to face consequences, beyond being banned from a particular venue or blocked by an individual user.  Given that all you need to create an alt is a new email address, and that free email addresses are thick on the ground, it’s not hard to see the potential for abuse.

I’m sure that plenty of people with far more experience than I have written volumes on the subject of trolls, so I won’t bother.  All I will say is that my personal philosophy is that kindness doesn’t cost a damn thing, and I sprinkle that shit EVERYWHERE.  I find that, like a light air freshener, it mildly improves my quality of life virtually everywhere.  Sure, I have bad days, and I am not a saint, but I strive to be patient and kind, and to understand the points of view of others, even if I can’t agree with them.

It just so happens that today is the 3 month anniversary of my rezz date, a fact which is almost certainly more exciting to me than anyone else, but I can’t help being proud of what I’ve done so far.  I have a home that I decorated, and that makes me happy on the admittedly rare occasions that I’m there for any length of time.  I put in the effort to make my avatar look the way I want to look, and I get compliments on it from time to time, which swell my head and make me blush.  I’ve developed new skills, found gainful employment, and found excuses to study new languages.  I have a wardrobe that is frankly ridiculous and have discovered that, at least in this life, I am obsessed with hosiery.  I don’t know why, but I’m proud that my avi is mesh, and that my head and hands are Bento.  My landmarks folder has grown by leaps and bounds, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of all there is to explore inworld.

So today, I intend to celebrate!  I’m going to DJ, dance on all three stages, hug my friends, go somewhere new, and basically party like a rock star.  Because I can.  Because it’s MY SecondLife, and I intend to live it to the fullest.

And now, as promised, here are the SLurls and the hours for my regular gigs inworld:

MsCherri’s:http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hixxy/248/244/410  Friday 10am-noon  SLT, Saturday and Sunday 12-2pm SLT, DJing

Angels Gentlemen’s Club:http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Angel%20Isle/132/165/29 Saturdays 4-6pm, Hosting regular weekly themed events (This week’s theme is Cops and Robbers!)

Cheetah’s Gentlemen’s Club: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Larius%20River/233/46/2501

PLUSH Gentlemen’s Club:http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Plush/227/227/1983




And so it begins…

So, a little over two months ago, I decided to get a different life, a SecondLife, to be precise.

My name is not important, but you can call me Lena. I’m currently living two lives, and I’m here to write about them both, share moments of my lives, spin you stories, tell you secrets, dream you dreams, and chant you poems. I’d sing you songs, too, but, frankly, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I refrain, as a community service.

As I write this, 2016 is winding down. It’s been quite a year, and although I think it goes too far, I understand a bit of the sentiment behind the hasthtag #Fuck2016. It’s certainly not been my best year, although I freely admit, it could have been worse. Although, unless you both are on fire AND currently have the hiccups, it could always be worse. It’s not a particularly high bar to get over.

So, about me. Six months ago, I got really sick, and it turns out that there are some serious health issues I have to deal with. I was already not the picture of thriving mental health, so this was Not Good, to say the least. My life was not at all going as planned. So, a little over two months ago, I decided to get a different life, a SecondLife, to be precise.

Now it’s time to introduce the terms I use to differentiate between these lives. The things that take place in my actual, physical existence, I refer to those as ‘in the real’ or, if I’m feeling particularly snarky about it, ‘in meatspace’. Everything that happens in the fabulous shared fever dream that is SecondLife is either ‘on the grid’ or ‘inworld’.

A bit about SecondLife (skip this if you already know, unless you want to see it through my admittedly newb eyes), just in case you’ve never heard of it or haven’t played it. It’s an entire virtual world, where you can do pretty much anything you could do in the real, where you can be pretty much whomever you like, where looking like your dream self is as easy as configuring slider bars (and maybe investing some Lindens, which is the name for in world currency), and where you can interact with people from all over the globe in real time.

Now, pause just a moment and imagine that in the real, you’re unattractive, or disabled, or sick. Imagine that there’s a place where you can be beautiful, able bodied, and where you are always healthy. Imagine that in the real, you aren’t free to do what you want or be who you are, because your family wouldn’t understand, or you could lose or job, or because you made life choices that took some options off the table a long time ago. On the grid, all those closed doors swing open for you. It’s heady, all that freedom, all the potential and possibilities.

So this blog is about me exploring the freedom and possibility of the grid at a time in my existence when my life in the real is becoming more and more restricted, when my meatspace world is becoming small and narrow and claustrophobic. In short, it’s all about simultaneously accepting and processing my new normal in the real, and about escaping into the vast expanse of dream realization that the grid offers.

I have ties and anchors and lifelines holding me in the real, keeping me grounded as I become a cybernaut, but I’d be lying my ass off if I said I never think about losing myself entirely in the grid, abandoning what remains of my life in meatspace. I have said, half joking, full earnest, that if I could upload my consciousness into my avatar, I would gladly give up my physical body and live on the grid.

Some days it’s hard not to resent those ties, though, hard not to see them as holding me back or holding me down.