Today is my third rezzday. I arrived at this one in a fine frame of mind, thanks to spending a few weeks really pondering my SL existence, and making some positive changes. I’m feeling *very* good about the year to come!
I have heard about three-year-burnout from older friends before, and I can definitely see how it happens. By Year Three, an avatar is likely to be well-known in their social circles, has probably been through a lot of drama and stress, and most importantly, may have accumulated many friends, tasks and obligations. The simple act of logging into SL can actually be dreaded rather than anticipated, if one knows they’ll be facing an avalanche of blue notes, notecards, subscribe-o-matic announcements, inventory offers — and while trying to clear through those, the IM windows start stacking up like cordwood. For me, it was not unusual to log in, work on the incoming stuff, start fielding IM’s, handle emergencies and occasional dramas… and finally log off some hours later, having never even left the point I logged into. I could go weeks without ever seeing a friend face to face, or goings somewhere interesting. That is not a Second Life. That’s a Second Existence.
So I changed it. This is MY Second Life and should be what I want and need it to be. I tunneled in and completed dangling projects. I learned to say “No” when friends offered interesting, tempting, fun projects (that was really hard!). I made a list of all the collaborations with friends that were hanging, and realized that most of them could simply be let go. Not every notion in our heads will actually be DONE, and I needed to let go. I decided what projects are the most important to me, and thought about how I could get the most enjoyment out of them.
And here’s what I’ve boiled it down to. My CocoaJava Cafe is important to me. It brings me a lot of joy in so many ways. Writing and editing for the Primgraph and Prim Perfect are very meaningful to me. I cannot tell you how much I am learning through these magazine collaborations – I’m gaining skills that may benefit me in my real life. And the friendships I’ve formed there are precious. Finally, the New Champagne Rooms is an outlet for the showoffy side of my personality, and very appealing to my love of eras gone by. Again, friendships formed there are very important to me. These are my three rocksolid committments in Second Life.
Anything else I do in Second Life will come from my wish to spend time with my friends, and to get back to exploring the grid at large. It’s a big wonderful world and I want to see everything!
I’d thought about writing a list of advice – some bullet points of what I’ve learned, impart the wisdom gained by my advancing old age. 😀 But I changed my mind. I will leave you with a few thoughts, though. And I’ll preface these by saying I’m still learning to take my own advice, too!
Thought the First: If you don’t like your situation, change it. Do what you gotta do. If friendships are a mess, take the time to talk to people, one on one, and get down to the crux of things. Don’t go on assumptions, don’t rely on group-mentality for your info, and don’t play passive-aggressive in hopes that everyone will notice and rush to put bandaids on your life. Be clear, honest, up-front and respect others. It goes a long way. Learn to use the social calendars in your desired realm. Find the Nings or other social networks connected to the regions you like, you’re likely to learn a lot about the place and others and tighten up your friendships by becoming engaged in them.
Thought the Second: This is a specific Thought since I’ve had to deal with a lot of roleplay issues, even though I’m hardly a roleplayer in SL. But I am surrounded by them, as my chosen home is in a ‘roleplay optional’ City. Anyway. If you are craving roleplay… SLOW DOWN. Find the area’s covenant, ask about specific rules. Imbed your character slowly and thoughtfully. Absorb the details of ongoing storylines. Ask questions privately, get the facts straight, and ponder how you will best fit in. Face it – a sim with a longstanding roleplay tradition will have accumulated it’s own history, legends, folklore and taboos. Do not expect to be welcomed with open arms by rushing in the day you arrive and shaking things up. When you’ve gained a good understanding of the group, THEN you can shake things up in a way that’s fun for all. You are not the star of the roleplay and never will be. It’s collaborative, and all have their moments to shine. If the action is getting you stressed and angry and you’re tempted to retaliate harshly – LOG OFF and go reconnect with your First Life for a while.
And that’s enough lecturing! Time to get back to what matters. Enjoying and helping to nurture this amazing world we’ve all stumbled into. Go enjoy your Second Life. I intend to!