When I was laid off from my job, the first person I told was a friend from SL. That was a year ago this week.
So much has happened since. Days passed as I pasted on smiles while the light of hope at the end of the tunnel flickered and dimmed. Months passed as I pushed people away, my spirits deflating further and further. Yet my friends inworld never gave up on me, even on the days I gave up on myself.
I worked a good temp job that was a bad fit for me for a while. To take the job, I had to sign an agreement to not blog under my avatar’s name. That doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice, especially considering how infrequently I bothered to update my blog before. But I knew that every tweet, every plurk, every comment on someone else’s blog was walking a tightrope. Being unable blog when I had something to say left me scribbling thoughts on napkins, only to leave them discarded like my slowly sinking hopes for professional validation.
Those days are finally behind me now. Yesterday was the last day at the temp job, so my agreement not to blog under any name but my legal one has expired. Monday, I start a permanent job, a year after being laid off of my old one. I turn the page to the next chapter in life, and I can hopefully return to being supportive for my friends rather than relying on them for support. Finally, SL once more becomes a place to visit for the joy of listening to live music, exploring art, and visiting with friends rather than an ineffective bunker for hiding from the uncertainty of the real world.
Maybe I will start blogging again. Maybe not. But I can. And knowing that I can is like being released from an invisible incarceration at last.
Feline Slade is a cat herder and technical writer. She lives near famous Florida tourist destinations and listens to the fireworks nearly every night. Her patient husband is amused and occasionally bemused by SL, and often says that she needs a wi-fi card implanted behind her ear for ease of internet access. They share a home with three extremely spoiled and somewhat naughty cats. Feline’s much-neglected blog is found at http://felineslade.wordpress.com/, and she chronicles some of the sights she finds around SL on her Flickr photostream. When not attending live music events, exploring, or visiting with friends, she is usually found at the home she shares with her partner, Chris Norse. They live among wonderful friends on the Five Islands estate, which doesn’t actually five islands.