Well once again I found myself having to step back from Virtual World fun. Maybe I dove in way too deep, which is my nature, and here almost 10 months later I found myself needing to step back.
In Second Life, the Wild West role play really took a lot of time out of my week, planning for the lessons for the Little Red School two mornings a week two hours long. I also tried to join in the evening Campfire gatherings and tried not to miss the OOC Thursday night dances. And I also tried to attend the Saturday evening Cherokee gathering in our little town of Bear River. After almost a year there I still feel like a stranger. Then there is my Indian maiden/warrior role play. Monday Pow Wows, Wednesday combat training with our friendly tribe brothers, the Osage, Friday combat with the Outlaws and then Sunday morning Storytelling Hour (which I lead) and which took extra time for me to prepare to make sure the topic and stories were interesting and well presented. AND then there is returning to OpenSim and my beloved AAcme City trying to restore it to a more completed and workable city. It is a HUGE project. Plus I started to take a class to learn how to do mesh.
I’ve been doing all of the above trying to escape my Real Life role: being a caretaker for a terminal ill advanced stage IV Cancer patient. It’s taken it’s toll on me watching my husband decline in health and weight and mental capacities (mostly due to the high dosage of morphine he’s given) while still wanting to be a Mother and friend to my grown children, one whom recently took the hardest step of her life, finally leaving an abusive husband and moving half way across the country to get away from him with her four children. I miss her and my Grandchildren so much.
It’s all become so overwhelming to me. I realize my first and top priority is taking care of my husband, still I yearn to jump into that fantasy world of beautiful people and where one can fly and do the impossible.
There is one thing I forgot about in Virtual Worlds in my eagerness to return. The drama, the relationships to juggle and the many personalities one must deal with. Sometimes drama happens to you and you don’t even realize it until you are knee deep in yuck! Sometimes your feelings get away from you and you feel your heart begin to beat to a different drummer. Sometimes you feel so alone and wonder why others seem to be so accepted and loved and always part of the ‘in crowd’ while you watch from the sidelines. Sometimes you feel used and sought after not for your heart but for your abilities. Of course we still are real people with real feelings behind the facade of a beautiful avatar but you wish to think “this is a different fun life”, while you mask your private despair. Self doubt sets in whether it’s reality or virtual. You can not fly away from being a human!
It’s a totally understandable feeling, and taking a break is really important to do especially when you’re so immersed. I used to be that in SL years ago and it took ages for me to shake off the stress and drama once I realised I didn’t need to put up with it. I reassessed and now my time inworld is only ever simply fun. It’s tricky when you take on responsibilities though, so you have to balance. But time out is important always, refresh, recharge, get perspective again and all that 🙂