I wanted to talk a little bit about what it’s like to have to step back from Second Life and be less a part of it. Before I jump in, though, I’d like to apologize to any regular readers who have brought up this blog over the last couple of weeks and found nothing here. I specifically said I’d let you know if I was going to be away long again, and I didn’t. My excuse is that I didn’t realize it would take me so long, but I still kind of invited you over and then wasn’t home, so I’m sorry about that.

Here I’m not in Amsterdam getting lagged
(Have I mentioned how much I love Eris’s SL photography?)

So now I have to admit to myself that, at least for now, I’ve become an occasional and unreliable blogger instead of a dependable blogger. That’s kind of sad to me, but at least it’s a great lead-in to the subject of this blog, which is “Becoming a Part-Time Resident of Second Life,” or, “Places Where I’m Not.”

For my first three months in Second Life, I was more or less an addict, although that may be the wrong word, because I didn’t do any substantial harm to my First Life by spending all that time in Second Life, and in fact it was a time when I experienced a lot of joy and grew a bit as a person. Still, it was painful for me to be away from my Second Life for two days at a time, which I think qualified me as an addict.

A night on the town not being had by me.

And what happened wasn’t that I became disillusioned with my Second Life (far from it!) or that anything was going wrong with my First Life or that I got bored. Instead, it was something that happens to me all the time and gets me in all kinds of trouble: I came up with a new Idea, this time a First Life project. And as wonderful as Second Life is for me, it’s still mainly spending times with friends and recreation, and I can only do so much having fun before I start getting itchy to take on some kind of Project. Which is what I did, and it has catapulted me back into my First Life.

The reason I call myself a part-time resident of Second Life now is that I really felt like a full-time resident before. I not only spent hours every day in my Second Life, but I also spent time blogging about it and exchanging e-mails with Eris and loads and loads of time just thinking about it. Now I have to curtail that, and do all of those things on a smaller scale so that I’ll have time to do substantial First Life things. And it makes me sad at the same time that it seems healthy and inevitable.

Bliss Basin being beautiful without me there to admire it.

So I’m not doing a lot of things in Second Life that I used to do. I spend less time with fewer friends, go fewer places, buy fewer things, make barely anything, and have far less time to spend on projects like the anti-griefing guild (of which more in another post, of which the short version would be that organizing in Second Life is like herding not just cats, but cats who are spaced out on catnip–with the occasional, very stark contrast of a committed and hard-working person who shows up and should be greatly encouraged).

In fact, what I mainly do in Second Life these days is spend evenings with Eris, and with other friends when I have the time. The most important thing to me about Second Life are the relationships I have there, and therefore Eris specifically is the center of my Second Life.

A me-less Serenity in Washtown. I’m a great admirer
of Firefly, yet I’m not here.

All of which just means that my connections with the rest of Second Life have gotten much quieter. Friends no longer expect to see me on and available. I haven’t put anything new in my store for some time. Our airship may remain unfinished for quite some time.

And yet this is a natural part of the progression for me. It may be that I’ll enter another full-timer phase down the road; who knows? All I know is that you have to follow your best instincts as to how you should spend your time, even if sometimes those instincts keep you from spending as much time as you’d like with the people you love. After all, love is only one of the things we’re in the world for: we also have these unique talents, each of us, that we need to build on and pursue, unless we want to be nothing but passive recipients of our world (or whatever other worlds, like Second Life, happen to come along).

^^^\ Kate /^^^