Contradictions. I am full of them. It’s a normal part of being human, but there are times when I take a good hard look at myself and I see my contradictions as weakness and I wonder why anyone would take me seriously.
Reading back over some older blog posts, my voice sounds so strong and confident. I’m proud of my writing and I still stand by what I said, yet when I read my words there’s a part of me that winces because although my writing says one thing, lately my choices and actions in SL say another. And there’s no place like SL to make choices that contradict yourself is there?
In my first year of SL, I experienced all the usual highs and lows, the wonderment, the joy, the drama, the silliness and the heartbreak that so many of us go through. In fact, it was just before my first rez day that I turned to blogging to start my SLife over again and to help me make sense of all the thoughts and feelings that arise when living a part of your emotional life online.
If there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that change is the only constant. Do I like it? Not really, but I do know that resisting change makes it all the more harder. Seasons change, friends change, interests change, and personal opinions and viewpoints change too.
Just over a year ago, I was getting over a certain heartbreak in SL that left my fragile heart in pieces. At the time, I was angry and I resolved to never ever get emotionally attached like that to anyone in SL ever again. My firewall went up. It hurt too much, and the complexity of living two separate lives was way too much to bear. Honestly, I didn’t think there was any other way but to compartmentalize SL and RL, so I decided that having a relationship in SL wasn’t something I was willing to, or even should explore, so I took the moral high ground and closed that door.
Well, things always change when you least expect them to, don’t they?
Someone I was once very close to (one of my first friends in SL), and who for very good reasons left, came back. It was something that took me completely by surprise and brought back all kinds of questions and unresolved feelings that I thought I had long since forgotten. Turns out I never forgot. I just swept all those hurt feelings under the rug and they were there lurking just below the surface, waiting to push at my foundations.
Suddenly those feelings felt fresh and raw again and I was scared.
It’s been a couple of months since my friend’s return, and the fear is gone. It feels good to have an old friend back and contrary to what I first thought, things are different this time. This is not something I talk about to anyone because most people are quick to make assumptions and judgments because yes, I am married in RL, and happily so. I have no complaints.
All I can say is that this friendship in SL is not what people would think it is, and even when I was once quick to make judgments about the topic, I am learning now that my judgments came out of fear and misunderstanding.
I am learning now that you can never really know what goes on between two people and what looks like one thing from the outside, is actually completely different on the inside.
I’m learning that to feel love for friends in SL doesn’t mean that it takes anything away from your relationships in the real world, and maybe those pixel friendships even make our real world relations all the more better. Love grows exponentially and there is always enough for everyone.
I am my own harshest critic, and making sense of such contradictions is a painful thing for me to face. I work hard to come across all confident and sure of myself, when really all I feel is fragile and vulnerable, like an oyster out of it’s shell. More contradictions.
Today I choose to silence my inner critic, stop worrying about what people will think, and cherish and enjoy the friendships I have made in SL as blessings that ultimately enrich my Life as a whole and make me feel good about ME.
I am human and I embrace all my flaws and contradictions. I would rather be open and honest about my inconsistencies than perfect, polite and predictable. Some of the best things in the world defy explanation, and refuse to fit into neat little boundaries.
There is more beauty to be found outside the margins, in the blurred edges and grey areas. It’s what makes Life interesting and worth living.