Yesterday was a busy day and it seemed like a lot happened. First, tensions at work have been running high and I had a conflict with a co-worker. It was weird and awkward, especially because it happened right before a group program we facilitate to a room full of women. It was very uncomfortable, and it became clear to me that in order to get this project completed one of us has to walk away from it. I don’t want it to be me, but I resolved to express my concerns in a non-judgmental way to my Supervisor and let the chips fall where they may. The big decisions are out of my hands after that and I just have to be okay with it either way.
In contrast to the unpleasantness of that, I met my friend Rasputin from Second Life, face to face in the real world that afternoon. It was the first time I have met with someone I know from Second Life and it was really very cool. For some reason I thought it might be awkward, like there might be some level of cognitive dissonance from identifying my friend with their avatar for so long. It wasn’t like that at all. We went to Starbucks and talked up a storm before I had to jump on the subway to get back downtown. My cheeks were kind of sore afterwards from laughing and smiling the entire time. It was awesome!
I arrived home feeling great and then checked my email to find a DM on Twitter that another friend from Second Life was deleting their Twitter and other social media accounts, and most likely not coming back to SL for a very long time, if ever. I’m not even sure why I am mentioning this. It was just weird to be welcoming one friend into my RL, and shortly afterwards saying goodbye to another. We all do what we have to do and I hope that friend will find balance again. Who knows, maybe our paths will cross again somewhere out in the real world. Stranger things have happened.
There was a time that I would never even consider meeting someone that I met from SL face to face. I was in a different place in my life, emotionally, and the thought of stepping out from behind my avatar mask felt too risky.
Now, meeting someone that I have come to know from Second Life, out in the real world, just feels like the next logical step in the evolution of my online friendships. It’s not a risk or a big deal at all. It’s as normal as…well, going to meet your friend for coffee at Starbucks.