There is no denying that SL has been one hell of a learning experience for me. I never anticipated most of the impact it has had on my life. Nor did I anticipate the growing pains.
Initially, I thought I was an OK chick in a bad - albeit temporary - situation in life. As I grew more confident with my performing I became more confident with myself in general. I lost a tremendous amount of weight, I achieved my dream of singing in public (and got paid for it!). I thought if I would ever pull off "cool" it would have to be in a virtual world so I tried it.
I started to open myself up to SL relationships. And I learned about people, good and bad, as though I had never before experienced human contact. That is the SL learning curve. SL makes people simultaneously more and less real. More and less honest. In a world that offers both the freedom that comes with the illusion of anonymity and the ability to fake your own death multiple times, "extreme" is the word of the day.
My evolution while in SL has brought me full circle. I have always wanted to be cool, I have done cool things, I certainly know cool people - but I am basically just a geek - and a clumsy geek at that. I have a polished facade that I have come to recognize as an act - a pretension to coolness.
When I was a kid, I realized that I didn't like myself. Approaching that with the same painfully literal mind that I do my database organization I picked traits from all the people I could think of that I admired. Bette Midler's boldness. Audrey Hepburn's class. All 5 members of Duran Duran's various traits. Julie Andrews' voice. My Aunt Vivian's style and intelligence. And I pasted together someone that I really enjoyed being. I still enjoy being me to this day.
But who the hell am I really?
I intend to find out, this time around while in SL. I have explored being cool and being unguarded, now I am just going to be genuine. My life has been in almost constant upheaval since 2009 and I am going to start by not worrying about it anymore. When I feel overwhelmed I am going to take a breath and look out at the Sound. I am going to release the resentment caused by cretins that deceived me and focus on the wonderful friends that I have (starting with you Fuz).
Because as long as I am being genuine there is nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to fear. There is just me. Whoever that is!
I look forward to exploring that, this time with absolutely nothing to prove.
My singing voice has changed as well. I like it better. It's a sign!