I’m late with Berry’s new meme, “Second Life Made Me Learn…” I’ve been thinking about it since Monday, actually, but with the switch to WordPress, building our yard sale area for The Arcade, and various other things, I just haven’t gotten around to writing. But tonight I’ve got some time to really put into words things that I’ve thought about on this topic.
It would be really easy to list the basics. Second Life made me learn Photoshop, a program I had barely heard of before, much less used. Of course, I still don’t really know what I’m doing in it 99% of the time and I’m just pushing buttons. SL made me learn how to use basic DJ software and how to keep a party at least somewhat active. SL made me learn how to be a better writer because we live in a world where appearance is easily changed so what we say is what matters.
But it goes further than that for me. After all, I’ve been here a long time and had many experiences. If I hadn’t learned more, I’d be disappointed in myself.
SL has taught me that it’s okay to just be me. This was a lesson that was not easily learned. I spent a lot of time and energy in my early days wanting so badly to be someone else, someone better, someone who could be everything to everyone I met. I was dealing with a lot of grief that was tearing me apart little by little. I was hurting badly before I came here but pretending so damn hard that everything was okay. I read old journal entries from the year before I was introduced to SL and it’s so apparent that things weren’t right. I was drinking too much, making very unsafe choices, and I was obsessed with things that weren’t good for me. I came to SL and I thought, great! Here is a chance to be someone that I’m not! For a couple of weeks, I’ll play this game where I can just be whatever I want and it doesn’t matter what other people think.
This was my mistake.
But in the past few years, I’ve just been me. SL has taught me that if I feel someone isn’t good for me, I don’t need to devote my time to them. If I love someone, I can let them know. They’re not required to love me back, but I can still care about them without requiring anything more from them. If someone says they love me, I don’t have to reciprocate if I don’t feel it. If someone hurts me, I have the choice of forgiving them and then letting them go, or forgiving them and patching up our friendship. If I hurt someone, I can apologize and hope they accept it. Sometimes they will not and that’s okay. Friendship isn’t about what someone else can do for me, or what I can do for them. It’s about how we make each other feel. Positive people bring out the best in me. I’m not required to be someone’s entertainment or someone’s fantasy. If I have a bad day, I can tell people without the fear that they’ll turn their backs on me until I have more to offer them.
Second Life made me learn how to accept myself.
And now that I’ve done all this thinking, I can go back to squealing over the lovely Arcade vendor ads. That’s another thing SL made me learn. I’m EXCEPTIONALLY girly and if you make something pink, sparkly, and put a bunny or a butterfly on it, I’m going to do anything to make it mine. *sighs*