So it may well be that those who concern themselves with the day-to-day doings of my Second Life (of which I don’t believe–or hope–there are too many) are wondering what’s up with me lately. First I shut down the garb business, early last Summer. Then I start to plan a competitive games, and abort said plan. Then I start to plan a festival, and abort that too. Then the band retires from playing in SL. So what’s next? Is Clover’s Kitchen going to follow suit now too? Is this a precursor to my up and leaving SL for good?
No. That’s the short answer.
Some who are particularly close to me may even be wondering, is it me? Did I do something to piss her off? And the answer to that is absolutely not. If anything, you’re part of the reason I’m sticking around.
Well, so, here’s the long answer.
I’ve been having a rough time of RL lately. I’m baking bread at home to save having to purchase it. I walk to and from the supermarket, carrying small amounts at a go, to save having to take a taxi. I have a grand total of three dollars in my PayPal (just a heads-up to anyone who was thinking of robbing it: you’d do better to look elsewhere). Himself had been trying to woo a client for his consulting business for months now, before it finally fell through. And anyone looking at an 8-year gap on my resume or job applications simply doesn’t look a second time. We just got approved for food stamps, and the local equivalent of Medecaid, which will help us keep our heads above water at least into the winter.
That necessary frugality is starting to enter into Mistletoe’s life now too. I haven’t purchased Ls since last December and can’t begin to think of doing so; therefore every linden that comes into my pocket goes straight into savings, to go toward rent on my home. Without live music gigs, that supply is more finite than it was. I’m living on savings, much like we are in RL, and I know it’s not going to last.
SL is ideally the place where you get away from the hardships of RL for a while. But my own Second Life is starting to mimic the things I hate and fear about my first one. And–people have told me this for months–I take too much on myself. You see, when things in RL spin out of control, and you have a personality like mine where you need to be in control at all times, you start to find things you CAN have control over. In my case, it was events. (It’s also why building is my favorite way to unwind in SL; when I’m out watching myself dance, most of the time I’m thinking, “I could be building something now.” But I digress.) I’ve overloaded myself with too many things to take control of, and it finally caused me to collapse. So I do what anyone who’s sinking under too much weight would do: start jettisoning. Off comes the heaviest cargo right away: the event planning, and the gigs. It’s not the only reason for making the decisions I did, but it’s certainly a huge part of it.
Another part of the reason was a growing feeling that the plans I was making were not nearly so important for others to enjoy as it was for me to DO. Please do not take that to mean I’m blaming anyone else for how things ended up, because I’m not. I’m not saying “Well if only you jerks had shown up to our show on Friday, this all wouldn’t have happened!” because that’s not the truth. If a whole room full of people had shown up on Friday, it would have maybe prolonged this decision, but it would ultimately not have prevented it.
The crash was inevitable.
What I’m really glad of right now is those very same people who are close to me, who cherish who I am over what I do. Who know that the grid really won’t spin off its axis (and remind me as much, when I forget), that I’m not obligated to “fix” everything around me, that if I’m not enjoying what I’m doing I ought to stop doing it. It’s like Rick Nelson once sang: “You see you can’t please everyone/so you’ve got to please yourself.”
So in final answer to what question might be on your mind: yes, I will be all right. It’s going to take some time and re-prioritizing and all, but I’ll be ok. Mistletoe as you’ve known her all along may or may not be the same as she was before, who knows? I sure don’t.