Yesterday I turned one year old. Well, one *virtual* year. As a friend said a couple of days ago, it seems much longer and much shorter than that – maybe shorter because the actual time I’ve spent in the world, the number of days and hours, doesn’t nearly make a year (although I seemed to be trying for 24/7 those first few months!), and longer because I can’t imagine any longer not having a virtual self and a virtual life. Well, I can imagine it, but it feels strange and I’m not inclined to.

Some things have changed a lot, and some things barely at all.

When I first signed up, I didn’t know how to do anything and had no idea where to go. I was so clueless that I thought at first I was supposed to use my real name as my Second Life name, and was confused by the drop-down box of bizarre names (of which “Amdahl” was the most pronounceable one that had any hint of music to it. It was only eight months later that I learned the name came from a man who started a company that made competitors to IBM mainframes. It’s a history that lacks poetry, I’m afraid).

Now, on the other hand, I’m fairly advanced at building, I’m an accomplished LSL scripter who barely ever scripts, I know many of the tricks, and when a newbie asks for help I nearly fall over myself trying to provide specialized knowledge.

Here I am building the Tempest Ariel, a skyship that I’ve never gotten around to finishing, at our skyhouse, which I also built (and which Eris turned into a beautiful garden afterward)

Certainly I’ve spent a lot of time on my appearance and wardrobe (and generally having a great time), but the basic me in Second Life is the same. Even my shape hasn’t been changed that much.

This is me five days old, just after I’d gotten my first prim hair

Me last week

It surprised me how interested I got in Second Life fashion. In First Life fashion is not at all in my line. I mean, I do try to look pretty and put-together, but I spend very little time on my hair, don’t wear much make-up, and never buy expensive designer clothing. It’s not in my budget, for one thing, and for another it seems too self-indulgent when there are so many more interesting and useful things I could be doing.

In Second Life, on the other hand, I’m specifically there to have fun, and most of the things I want are within my price range. Certainly it’s cheaper to go on a buying spree in Second Life than it is to go skiing, or to go to a concert! Well, that’s how I justify my hundreds of outfits and hairstyles and skins and eyes everything. 🙂

I dress much more provocatively in Second Life, partly because that’s mainly what there is to dress in, but mainly because it’s fun and playful and I’m not drawing too much unwanted attention. If I wore some of the things I wear in Second Life in First Life, I’d feel like I was walking around with a neon sign that says “Rape me!” (or at least “give me lots of unwanted attention, all skeevy men out there!”) attached to the top of my head. That’s a prospect that doesn’t worry me in Second Life: in Second Life, I can always log out.

Of course, I dress much *less* provocatively than some of my friends. I always feel like June Cleaver when I spend time with my friend Soph’s family, for instance.

One thing that’s particularly surprising to me is that I quickly fell into a relationship with Eris Fallon, whose beauty comes partly from her exquisite taste and partly from her basic kindness and good sense showing through. We bought a house by the sea, built a skyhouse, and eventually started the Diversionarium together.


We’ve never been monogamous, but that has changed a bit over time, too. When I joined Second Life I led what we may safely call a very wild life. The phrase I always used with Eris was “picking up stray men,” and I did a lot of it at first (followed soon by a certain amount of picking up stray women). More and more over time, though, picking up strays took a back seat to keeping up with friends, and these days it generally doesn’t happen, although I’m still not monogamous.

Me being not terribly subtle at a club last year

I keep wanting to summarize my year, but I’m realizing now that there’s no way to really do that. I can look back and reflect and compare, but a year isn’t a single, limited thing…it’s just a part of a thousand little ongoing processes, growing and creating and ending and remembering and changing…well, you get the idea.

Who else has had a rezday recently? Any reflections on your first (or second, or third) year?

^^^\ Kate /^^^