Thursday, March 10, 2011

SL/RL Synthesis Note (38): Rez-olution

res·o·lu·tion [rez-uh-loo-shuhn] –noun
1. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
2. the degree of sharpness of a computer-generated image as measured by the number of dots per linear inch in a hard-copy printout or the number of pixels across and down on a display screen.

Last week (March 2, 2011) marked the 4th anniversary of my Second Life. Each time a new year passes, I try to reflect on my time here and make a decision about how SL will fit into my life moving forward. I have spent a significant amount of my existence here the past four years. When I found SL in 2007, I was in a particularly vulnerable place in my life having lived within the confines of a very narrow definition of what it meant to live a “good life”. At the time, what I valued most was my marriage, family, financial stability and career mobility. What I realized at that critical time in March 2007 was that none of those things gave me happiness. Of course at different times, in different ways they each gave me joy, but I was not satisfied with my life.

As I reflected back I realized that, at that time, I had become socially isolated, while meeting the demands of my family and career; that I no longer remembered how to save time just for myself, to contemplate…anticipate and grow; and that I had given up what I valued most…the gift of creativity. As a result, I could no longer see my value because I felt out of place within the confines of this predefined role I assumed and worked diligently to mold myself into.

Second life changed all that. On the grid, there were no limits or expectations about who I was or what I was doing there, other than those I self-imposed. I was free to create in ways I never had before and to explore relationships more deeply than I had ever imagined. I love people so much, and being reconnected was like a rebirth. After a while though, I found that all I wanted to do was “be” in second life. The gift of relationship and intimacy also taught me that I was hungry for something deeper in my life, to some how synthesize what I was experiencing in SL into my first life so that I could feel it more intensely and regularly. Life doesn’t always work the way you want it though and after 4 years I am realizing that SL has its place, but to try to integrate it into my first life in some permanent way, would cause it to lose some of its majesty, mystery and infinite possiblitiy.  It is a part of my life, but a separate part and one that can bring both intense pleasure and pain as many of you well know.

So I’ve decided that it’s ok, to have two separate lives that influence but don’t necessarily coincide with each other. I’ve resolved that my “rez”olution in world is only part of my “resolution” for LIVING. That instead of living my second life in the real world (which will never happen until I can fly and teleport [wink]) that it is much more useful for me to create a second FIRST Life. A second “phase” , if you will, appreciating that I can choose to develop new ways of living for as long as I am alive. That I do not have to limit myself in one lifetime to one way of living my life! This go ‘round I’ll include those prudent things that help me to maintain food, water, shelter…and internet access (grin) but more importantly it will also include first life “paved ways” for exploration of the self in tangible way.

“It is better to create than you be learned, creating is the true essence of life.”
                                                                                    -Barthold Georg Niebuhr


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