Archive for April, 2010

April 30th, 2010: Jemima Clowes

April 30, 2010

Today started off as any other weekday for me. Get up, feed the kids, make coffee, wake my other half up, log into SL to check messages. It’s pretty much the same everyday. I’m a stay at home mama, and I love every trying minute of it.

I made my first SL account in 2006 after watching C.S.I New York. I rezzed inworld and logged out 2 minutes later because i was frustrated and had no idea what to do. Today I log in as Jemima or Jemmie to most of my friends, check my offlines, check the sim for extra prims and then just sit and stare at the computer deciding if I really even want to be inworld today. I don’t, I log off.

See with that first avatar of mine I got into some deep drama. I used to go to clubs everyday, shop hang out with people. With Jemmie like today I  build a lot, stay at UnWaNtEd, and only talk to a few people. I spend a lot of time with heartless my partner who keeps my head on my shoulders for the most part.It is very hard for me to trust people. I created that situation myself. I deal with it my own way. The friends I have in SL now are ones I consider RL friends. Who I hold close to my heart. Who I worry about if they are not online for days at a time. SL has changed me  to realize what is important in my life. It has made me be able to stand up for myself. It has brought me many treasured friendships.

I log back in one more time to another offline. In the background I have my youngest who has mild autism saying “outside now?” in his own little language. I quickly reply to the message.It was about a silly freebie I put out last night. I click the X and the four of us head outside to sidewalk chalk and ride bikes.

____________________

Jemima Clowes or Jemmie to her close friends, lives in Eastern Ontario with her 3 kids and other half. She is a full-time stay at home mama currently looking for a real life job. She can usually be found inworld on a platform high in the sky building something silly, or chatting with friends in IM’s. Jemima owns the UnWaNtEd sim  with her partner and the store TUFT.

April 29th, 2010: AliannaMarie GossipGirl

April 29, 2010

Today started off like any other. I’d woken up, feeling grateful that I had even done so with little to no regret. I’d gotten my homework done, plurked a bit, and even spent a little time with my mother. It’s days like these that mean the world to me, mainly because if it wasn’t for SL, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Thanks to a wonderful medium called television, I’d gone to the SL section of the Gossip Girl website and signed up. It wasn’t long before I was welcomed by a moderator, given a ridiculous amount of clothes, and was left on my own. I felt overwhelmed, as if everything was too much to take in all at once, and tried to log off. The only problem was, I couldn’t figure out how! Meanwhile in RL, I was just as lost. Severe depression had caused me to take a medical leave from college, and I was living at home rather than experiencing life on campus. I felt like I failed; I’d worked so hard to get where I wanted to go, only to have it fall apart in a matter of months. Everyone else could survive college, why couldn’t I?

Eventually, I’d gotten my bearings and began to explore the grid. I made friends, I tried new things, and most importantly–I’d begun to love myself again. I’d never been happier than when I was logged in, each session like therapy to me. I wasn’t held back by the restrictions that had plagued my real life, so it allowed me to be more open. It was like I wasn’t even depressed! In fact, my personality flowed so freely that it shocked me. Pretty soon, the transition began to make its way into RL as well.

Thanks to SL, therapy, and medication, I have gotten over my sadness. I now spend more days out rather than staying at home in bed, wondering when my life had taken such a downturn. Though depression will always be something that I have to manage, thanks to SL, I know it is something I can handle. Everyday I get a little stronger, and that’s more than enough for me.

____________________

AliannaMarie GossipGirl lives in the Northeastern region of the United States. In SL you can mostly find her making clothes for her store, [Insatiable Fashions]. When she’s not doing that, you can often find her shopping, dancing at clubs or spending time with her SL family. But mostly shopping. Just don’t tell anyone. In RL, she is a student once again, majoring in communication and hopes to become a non-linear editor. But most of the time, she’s totally thinking about shopping in SL. Or, joyriding in her car in RL. It depends on the moment.

April 28th, 2010: Sarra Foggarty

April 28, 2010

Second Life has helped me become the person I am today.  After my combat service in Iraq I cut myself off from humanity.  I was a barely functioning alcoholic who was afraid to get close to people or go out in a crowd.  I stopped making friends because I was afraid to lose them.  One night as I was drinking myself to sleep as I did every night, I saw Second Life in an episode of CSI:NY.  I saw a place that had no death, no hatred, and no limits.  I saw a place where I could exist without my fears.

I signed up that night and right away I began to make friends.  I started to feel human again, not so cut off from the world.  Second Life got me over my fears and back out into the real world again.  I stopped having panic attacks when I was out in a crowd thanks to the club scene in Second Life.  That night was the first night of the rest of my life.  That was the night I stepped back from the brink and started living two lives.

Opening up with my friends has helped me to face the things that have been haunting me for years.  Finally having someone to talk to unafraid and unashamed is a great relief.  The anonymity of talking through an avatar has helped me to tell people things I was worried to tell my own mother without being judged, things I won’t share here because I still don’t like discussing them 7 years after the fact.  Second Life is the best thing that could have happened to me at the time.  The progress I have made there has allowed me to be a better friend, a better wife, a better person, and a better mother.

To everyone who has been there for me along the way, all I can say is Thank You for being my friend and seeing the person I was hiding inside.

____________________

Sarra Foggarty lives in Illinois.  She is a mother, a wife, a police officer, and a soldier.  In her spare time she loves to take her daughter to the zoo and ride horses.  In second life she is a part-time bunny herder, a sometimes blogger, and a full-time friend.

April 27th, 2010: Rosie Shark

April 27, 2010

I woke up today wondering what day it was and where I was supposed to be. What a relief it was to realize that I am off today! There’s no where I have to be… I’m not running late or waking up too early on a day when I have to work late.

Yesterday I woke up knowing exactly what day it was and that it was later than I wanted it to be. I wanted to be at work before the big boss got there. There were many things I wanted to get accomplished yesterday, some of which were left undone. The same is true in both lives. There is always so much I want to do!

Yet, today I wake up and want to get out of bed. Today I can be where I want to be. I can be around people who are excited to see me and people that I’m excited to see. Maybe convince my friend to take that spring picture I wanted for my blog before spring is actually gone for good. I’ll be busy, doing things I enjoy and laughing at stupid things. Today, I am Rosie Shark… virtual marketing manager extraordinaire (I kid), land baroness assistant, fashion diva, and all around socialite/hermit. I share a home in SL with some amazingly wonderful people so the hermit thing is less and less. I’ve been lucky enough to find my place in SL and to keep it fun and interesting after being a resident for five years.

I will put my all in to today, as I put it into yesterday. Still there will be things I want to do and things left unfinished. But I will enjoy my friends, my time and my interests. There will be land dramas to resolve, possibly a tentative meeting in SL, and there will have to be shopping… it’s required. I will plan with hope to get more done than is possible because I will choose to lollygag and hang out most of the day! I might talk like a robot on voice or mimic some gestures… I don’t know. But I look forward to what the day brings!

____________________

Rosie Shark is a dork in rl and sl who spends her time working and working more when she’s not laughing with her friends. She also enjoys writing the occasional blogpost at Rosie Colored Glasses. She resides in San Diego, California in a small apartment just minutes from her retail job. /me ends robot voice.

April 26th, 2010: Stacie Pryor

April 26, 2010

Happiness Is...

It is Monday again and the start of a new week for me at a job that is less than fulfilling.  Actually, today isn’t so bad.  A steady dose of music and patience gets me through the day.  But, as usual, the best part is going home.

I take the five-minute commute home and am greeted by an abundance of love from my two dogs.  I see my two cats peeking around the corner, happy to see me come home, waiting for the momentary chaos to subside before approaching for cuddles.  I press the flashing button on the answering machine and listen to my messages as I get started on dinner.  “No, Mom… I still don’t know what I want for my birthday.”  /me sighs

After dinner I return some calls, do some chores, take the dogs for a walk in the gorgeous spring weather, and return home to rest on the couch, surrounded by two tired dogs.  I open my MacBook and search for that familiar icon that serves as my gateway into a world that is anything but mundane.  I check my contacts for a few key names and smile.  I don’t IM them for fear of being bothersome.  But it’s nice to know they are there.  I’ll hear from a few of them tonight, and that will make everything worth it.

Sometimes I contemplate my existence in this virtual world.  When I joined over two years ago, I never could have imagined I would still be here.  I initially used SL as my escape from the harsh reality of an abusive relationship that was slowly killing me.  It’s enlightening to recall those early days and see how SL helped me reclaim myself, recognize my own worth, and take important steps toward self-acceptance.

The relationships I have formed have been exceptionally rewarding, and I am eternally grateful to my friends for forcing me out of my shell and helping me break free from life as an emotional zombie.  I am finally okay and able to recapture myself in my music and art.  Everything is really good, and I am happy to realize that being me really isn’t so bad.

____________________

Stacie Pryor is an SL fashion blogger for [sheek] and a blogger and writer for Second Style Magazine.  She lives in the loveliest village on the plains in Alabama, USA, works in the legal profession, occasionally indulges herself with retail therapy and yummy Mexican food, and surrounds herself with lots of laughter.  She hums and sings incessantly and most enjoys listening to music, reading, painting, and playing the piano.

April 25th, 2010: Eleanor Anderton

April 25, 2010

After an evening of thunderstorms, I was looking forward to a quiet lazy Sunday.  Work a bit on my wiki and blogs for RL work and make time to work on a build in Winterfell Harbor.  My days in real life are spent working as a school librarian.  Even in Second Life, I volunteer as a librarian with the Caledon library system (thanks to JJ Drinkwater who recruited me in my first months in world).  I came to Second Life for professional reasons.  I had heard about SL in school library journal articles and thought it sounded like fun.  I mean I had gamed a little in my day.  Just ignore the fact that I have an arcade Mario Brothers’ game in my basement.

After much personal debate, I started looking for a full sim to purchase today.  Instead of having a quiet & lazy Sunday afternoon, I have been checking around and talking with friends inworld.  Looks like I now have a plan which I hope works out in the next few days.  I’m packing up prims even as I finish up this entry.

Yes, a place to call my own home which is a bit unusual for a real educator in Second Life.  Most teacher types drop in for workshops and pop right out.  I dearly want to offer makeovers to some of them! Going on my third year of SL, I have dear friends here who I am as close to as any friend in real life – people I would have never met except for this world known as Second Life.  Where does my journey take me from here? My lives are intersecting since recently I have given a professional workshop on personal learning networks which introduced Eleanor Anderton to the world.  Eleanor is becoming a real part of myself in ways I never envisioned.

____________________

Eleanor Anderton works as a high school librarian in the metro St. Louis, Missouri area where she attempts to bring her “kids” into the 21st century.  In Second Life, she is a Caledon Oxbridge professor, Caledon librarian collector of steampunk genre and historical cookbooks, and volunteers with ISTE and AASL.  Otherwise, she is shopping and sometimes updates her blog.

April 24th, 2010: Alicia Chenaux

April 24, 2010

When I woke up this morning, with the spring sunshine streaming through my window, my first thought was, “Thank you, God. You helped us survive the night.” After the past couple of years, and even more in the past six months, I’ve learned to have faith. Not just in God, but in everything.

When I started Second Life, so many years ago, it found me at a time when I needed something. When I was, in a sense, having a crisis of faith.  I thought it would be a game.  I discovered it was far more.  But being in the middle of that crisis of faith, something I never talked about with anyone, I handled everything in a way I shouldn’t have.  I thought if I was whatever anyone wanted me to be, that would fix it.  I was wrong.  I was seeking something that wasn’t there, something that I couldn’t put a name to.  When it finally hit me, when I found myself actually curled up and crying on the floor, at last letting loose the grief that had held me for so many years – that was the real beginning.  I couldn’t take anyone with me.  They didn’t know me.  I was just beginning to know myself.  But I had the faith that things would get better. They did so in ways I never would have expected.

Stumbling to the computer on this beautiful Saturday morning, coffee in hand, I fire up my email, various social networking sites, and Second Life.  I smile at the IMs that pop up, the private plurks left overnight, the notices of sales and parties.  Good morning, I tell my friends.  Their greetings wrap me up in a warmth that they don’t realize.  They allow me to just be me, quirks, flaws and all.  I thank God again for them.

I have faith that today is going to be a good day.

____________________

Alicia Chenaux s a Texas girl who is usually over-caffeinated. In Second Life, she currently writes on three different blogs, DJs on occasion, models, and is in love with her island, butterflies, and the color pink.  In the physical world, she helps take care of her aging parents, is the mommy to a crazy cat named Holly, gets hiccups when she laughs too much, and fully admits to being terribly addicted to her phone.

April 23rd, 2010: Marni Grut

April 23, 2010

Today, my last wisdom tooth came through. Mundane, I know, but it made me realize something. I’m about to be faced with the terrible event of having to be a grown up.  And not in the mature way, let’s face it we’re all children still, we’re all susceptible to shiny things, and we all crave flying sauces once in a while. No, I mean just knowing what I want in life, who I want to be and were I want to end up.

I graduate in a year’s time knowing full well I have no interest in working in fashion in RL. Considering I’m a womenswear design student, that doesn’t sit too well. I also came to the realisation, which the feminist inside of me is shrieking against that maybe I’m open to the idea of something conventional from life. 2.4 kids, who’d have known, ill be a step ford wife in no time.

Cynicism aside there are a few things I want to do with my life, for a while now. I’ve been scribbling down made paragraphs that are a rather badly spelt novel. While hardly Shakespeare I would like to explore what I could do with my personal take on English and its odd, odd sentences.

I guess all I can hope for really is to be happy. In 10 years time I want to be as gleeful and carefree as I can. I guess what this boring even has really made me realise, is that I can do anything I want. When I was 9 I wanted to be the first woman on mars. Maybe I still will, oh, and I’ll send you a post card.

____________________

Marni Grut is a 21 year old from London; she enjoys giant mugs of tea, hats and everything a bit British. In SL she worked for LeLutka and is currently re-launching Royal Blue. You might see her one day because she plans on moving to the US. But she is currently studying Fashion in London like a cool kid and spending far too much in Topshop.  Oh, and she has a tiny cat on her lap who’s demanding a mention too. Say hi, Collin.

April 22nd, 2010: Kissez4u Gossipgirl

April 22, 2010

So, my real name is not Kissez4u, it’s Tera. Shocking, right? Most people find my Second Life name “immature”, and assume the same about me. In reality, if they took the time to get to know me they would find out I am a 29-year-old Mom with two adorable little boys who works from home.

The work I do is also a huge part of my Second Life. When I logged in for the first time back in 2007, I really had no clue this “game” was going to change my life and allow me to stay home with my children while still building a career. Two weeks after rezzing I met Twig Tomorrow who offered me a job with Metaverse Mod Squad as a Moderator in the GossipGirl Sims. I moved up the ranks to Events Manager and eventually Sim Manager where I worked directly with Warner Bros. After the GossipGirl Sims closed, I moved on to a project for the US State Department.

I am currently working back in SL as Community Experience Manager for the Army OneSource Sims. Today will be spent logging in and out of avatars and setting up different events, including a Coin Hunt and then an “Out of this World” party. Between doing that, reading reports and dealing with time sheets and schedules, I will still have time to get my youngest snacks, read him stories and give him snuggles. I will be here when my oldest gets off the school bus and be able to help with his homework. When my husband gets home, I will make dinner for my family. I have my job to thank for those moments. It’s allowed me to not only support my family financially, but physically and emotionally.

Once the work is done, dinner is served and the kids are tucked into bed; I will be able to sit down and login for some “me” time, which will more than likely be spent taking pictures of mine or someone else’s pixels. I find it very easy to get lost in Photoshop. It’s a relaxing end to my day.

____________________

Kissez4u Gossipgirl is from a small town in Pennsylvania, and as stated works from home for Metaverse Mod Squad. She spends her days taking care of her family, attempting to keep a clean house. In her SL down time she can be found taking shots of jager, being loud on skype, and snapping photos for -WDK- Poses and her blog with Best Friend Chillatrix GossipGirl, kissez&trix.

April 21st, 2010: Krissy Muggleston

April 21, 2010

This is an average Wednesday evening in my home. I look up from my laptop, where my Krissy-self is positioned on a pose stand.

“Jason was good at sports, wasn’t he…”

I’m no longer surprised when my oldest daughter asks me a question like this. Years ago, shortly after my first husband died, I had a conversation with a psychic. Weird, I know – I didn’t seek her out. But here’s the thing: She was the real deal. Here is one of several foretelling things that she said:  “Your late husband will always be with you. There will be a part of him in your first-born. You will see this as she grows, this piece of him will manifest itself in her. Look for it.”

When she began to use her left hand, I knew this had to be it. Her left-handedness is my piece of him, right?  Not quite.  It’s so much more than that. My first-born has wanted to know my late husband personally since she was old enough to comprehend his life. She has asked 100’s of questions about him from ‘How did he die?’ to ‘How did you meet him?’. She has asked some really thoughtful questions too. ‘How did he get Leukemia?’, ‘How did you know about it?’. And she’s also asked some profound ones:  ‘Is he kind of like my step-dad?’. She was trying so hard, in her seven-year old way, to figure out her relationship to this man who died three years before she was born.

At 38, I’m a married mom of three, and it’s a nice place to be. We’ve a comfy routine in our house and most evenings like this end with Hubby watching his ESPN and me logging into Second Life. It’s my outlet where I can chill out and be my introverted self with no expectations. Hubby has no desire to spend hours in a virtual world, and I hate sports. Yet we can still unwind each evening sitting side by side. So on this night, as I sort inventory from my pose stand, I answer her question.

“Yes he sure was…”

____________________

Krissy Muggleston stole her middle daughter’s name when she created her Second Life account, because she didn’t think her own name sounded very avatar-ish. She’s an occasional blogger and shopaholic with a fun job serving customers at The Loft. In RL she lives on seven wooded acres in the Midwest. She works in IT at a global company, coordinating and analyzing stuff.