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“Knowing what to do, how to do it

and why you must do it;

does not mean you actually can or will do it.”

~PB Lykin

2014 06 05 The Silver Lining

After reading that sentence I am left wondering if maybe I have enjoyed one too many espresso’s today or if I actually require a strong shot of alcohol in the next cup. However if you say the words slowly, it will make sense I promise.

Being in control of choosing to make changes or even having time to adjust and prepare to the idea that change is about to occur, does not necessarily mean it will be any easier or less painful than when external forces thrust change upon you. Whether it be behavioral changes such as changing ones diet for healthier living, to the more emotionally painful change of adjusting to life without someone we care about, change IS difficult.

A strong core of procrastination encourages me to be a creature of familiarity and comfort. I dislike change intensely with the slightest tweak in my surrounds sending me diving under the bed quilt looking for cookie crumbs. Or when put into Second Life terms, hiding away from the world with the accepted practice of; inventory organisation. After all I can easily explain it as needing order to reduce OCD anxiety.

Living in a fluid virtual world like Second Life means the need to rebuild a lifestyle is a situation we are faced with from time to time. For a multitude of reasons and far too many to list on this blog, people and places constantly disappear from the grid. How we handle these goodbye’s is a deeply personal journey. Some find relief and relish in the opportunity to let go and explore new directions. While others need time to adjust to and accept their new circumstances.

Suddenly everyone, although not asked, wants to role-play surrogate counselor. Hammering a make-believe certificate to a wall their every opinion must be heard. Rarely asking questions as facts just complicate matters, advice based on wrong assumptions is dispensed in overload.

Finally there comes a time when we peek out, contemplating the pros and con’s of engaging once more with the world.  Confusion and fear common feelings when we first begin to seek out new people and places to enjoy. There will be slip ups. The strong cocktail of raw emotions you sip from leaves you fighting back tears at random comments that wouldn’t have  usually cause more than an eye roll. This is about the time you realize a vast amount of Second Life residents are tools. (I could have gone stronger here but I like to leave the use of *^!* icons  for other times.)

2014 06 05 The Silver Lining close up So having lived this experience the past few months, what advice can I share?

  • 1. Reward yourself for every single one of those baby steps. Talk it up in your own mind. YAY you made it out of that beautifully decorated house today. AWESOME you spoke to some new people. FANTASTIC you resisted the urge to hide in inventory, you’re going well superstar, keep it up!
  • 2. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, log out and go enjoy some activity in real life. A pair of scissors and a love affair with glitter glue helped return the sparkle to my life. Return when you can once more smile at your virtual existence and the antics of others.
  • 3. After an initial pity party quit feeling guilty about the what could have been done; didn’t get done and finally what was done. If less desirable aspects of your personality have been highlighted, take that on-board for future self-improvement but do not let regret and guilt hold you back. There is a fair amount of truth in that old saying “love yourself and others will love you too”.
  • 4. Give the negativity of others, ZERO tolerance. There are those in Second Life who thrive on creating drama from the misfortune of others. Always try to remember what are your issues, and what issues belong to others. Don’t pay the emotional toll for anything you don’t own. Close down conversations which are not positive and if need be cuddle that mute button tight.

and lastly .. the biggie in my books.

  • 5. Respect yourself. It is wonderful to have supportive friends but decisions need to be our own. You, not them, will live with the consequences.  Move at your own pace, even if it means the snail win’s the race. Do things only when you are ready and if visiting a certain well-known established ballroom (you all know the name) before you arrive, superglue those pixel panties on real tight!

Seriously, you will know when the time is right and eventually find that the memories you hold are the silver lining inside the cloud and the sun will shine on new beginnings.

So, after slipping some sweet comfort into that last coffee, does anyone have some suggestions where a single gal goes these days to enjoy music, dance and intelligent chat?  I know .. I’m asking for a lot .. maybe I should just advertise for a dance partner…. Hugs PB x