May 20th, 2010: Aaron Cianci

Turning 28 is a bit more significant than one might imagine. I decided to start the celebrating early, beginning right at midnight in my local time zone. Three of my dearest friends were there, in Second Life, to be the first to help me open a party that lasts all day. It’s a really, really good way to start a birthday when, not too far from now, you’ll be staring 30 in the face.

But my day won’t consist of anything in real life, except for four hours of work, the last four I will ever do for a job I could barely stand. The beginning of summer is as good a time for change as any, and on Monday I will start a new position in a new career that gives me more freedom and control over my income and my life than I’ve ever had in the past. It’s an exciting prospect, at 28, to feel that confidence in what you’re doing, after two and a half years in a dead-end job. It’s a renewal of the spirit as much as it is a jump in pay, and a new experience to boot.

The rest of my day, a day where I get to be a little selfish and a little cavalier in pursuing anything I want, has been spent in Second Life. Despite hundreds or thousands of miles, and a hefty case of what they call “social anxiety,” a small group of friends of mine have managed to help me put together an amazing birthday celebration – just by spending time with me, putting up a new house in Second Life (which was a great birthday gift). I may be in my room all by myself, but it’s days like this which remind me that under no circumstances am I ever alone.

And even as I write this, there’s still so much more to come. The actual formal “party” for me isn’t even here yet, and already, I’m trembling in my chair, in my bedroom office, with excitement at the prospect of being once again reminded how true friendship and love don’t have mile markers.

____________________

Aaron Cianci serves in Second Life as the General Manager of The Feline Conspiracy, a fur-oriented club operating in SL since June 2006. In real life, he is departing a position as an Application Developer and Technical Support Specialist for a business process outsourcing company, and has just accepted a new role as a Sales Representative for a major name in the automotive industry. He resides in rural Pennsylvania with three roommates, though very soon he will be making new residence in urban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a very dear friend – one he met in Second Life.

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