Sunday, July 31, 2011

Being in the know, in the now....

Lately I've become more reflective of life. There are several reasons for this...making a friend who I bounced philosophical ideas off of but most importantly...realizing that a friend who I thought would be there for a few more years won't be there for a few more years. I like the quotation "We have all the time in the world"...taken from an Ian Fleming book (one of the 007 novels). Honestly, that just isn't true. What time we have is the time we are afforded in life. She asked me..."how long is the rope?" How long do you think your life is? Of course I said I didn't know. Who really knows how long their rope is?

Since my rez day passed, this has also affected my way of thinking. While that philosophy friend turned out to only be interested in flings and flirting, it taught me a good lesson. First, if you hang out at a dance place...most likely you'll find people who just like to flirt and they might be flakes. Second, brainy people don't always act smart. But then anyone can act stupid regardless of education or intelligence level.

Life is for the living and we must live it well. A teacher once said, "The best revenge is living well." I always keep that in my mind.

Before he was Ram Dass, he learned to "be here now". The past and the future didn't matter. He lives in the moment.

I too want to get more in touch with my spiritual side. I want to feel more at peace with the universe and myself.

I have since made a new friend who seems more understanding and patient. I am content. Where will the friendship lead? I hope to find out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trying to let go

Does anyone ever want to let go? I know I don't ever want to, but sometimes not letting go can make me miserable. It can make anyone miserable.

There are things we all wish we could change or redo in our lives. Even now, we make mistakes and we keep making them. But I try not to blame myself so hard, that's just my response though. So much is expected of me and I feel the pressure. There are times when I feel like the son in my family. I also know that I need to be self sufficient and strong to face the world alone. I got to be yong gan...brave in Mandarin. I don't believe there will be someone to support me until much later. And frankly, I don't want just someone to feed me and shelter me. I will wait and learn how to be a truly strong woman. It's not just about thinking independent, being self-reliant is about being capable of providing for oneself without depending on others. That is my chief ambition in life. I don't want to be a burden to others.

Time keeps on flowing by like how a river flows downstream. No dam or person can stop the progression. If we could stop it, would we make some good changes or would those well-meant changes result in badness? There's a reason why we can't stop time and it is perhaps best that way. Human meddling can lead to tragedy, disaster, pain, not always....but it often does.

Someday, we all will let go of our pain and worry. I love how meditation basically is about letting the thoughts run through your mind, never dwelling too long on one. The goal in meditation is to clear the mind and just think of nothing. I wonder if someday I could accomplish that. Until then, I'll try to let the thoughts run through my mind for seconds and trying not to agonize over them.

Here's a song by an artist I remember from years ago, Elliot Yamin. His famous song was Wait For You.

And I believe
That breathing makes you free
And I believe
That love's our destiny
And I believe
In things I cannot see
Lyrics www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/elliott_yamin/
Like faith and joy and peace and hope
And harmony

In my world we really aren't different
In your world we'll never be the same
I speak but you don't want to listen
It's easier to walk away

Slow down, wait another minute
Just once, let there be no blame
My world will always have you in it
That's one thing that time won't change

And you got to take that first hard step
There is a place and we're just not there yet

And here's a song from Billy Joel, another favorite singer of mine. Billy Joel is one of the most charismatic singers in history. I love his piano playing, his lyrics, and the melodies of his songs.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One year down contiinued...

It has been a very busy year.

I have also been sad about losing friends. I had a SL bro that left due to some drama. He left around December. He wished me a good Christmas from an offline IM and he said he wasn't sure he'd be back. I still miss him and I sometimes blame myself for not being there for him more. He taught me how use the Look At feature...how to see who is looking in your direction. I remembered feeling proud of myself when I would use it in Morris. He also taught me how to use camera controls like zooming in or out and panning my camera. To this day, I use those controls just about every time I'm inworld. I really respected him and I felt tranquil those early months I spent around him. As time went on though, I started dating and he did too. Sadly, none of those relationships were as nice as the one I had with him. I couldn't talk to those guys like I talked to him. The feeling was just so different. His relationship with a woman started turning sour and I tried to comfort him, but I was involved with another guy and I thought I was happy. And eventually, my bro got his heart broken and he began to fade from SL. He would log in less often and when he was inworld, if I didn't see him...he'd log out not long after I told him. Eventually, he left SL. I don't know when, but I just know that he is not coming back to SL from a friend of his. He didn't come back for my rez day, so I'll really let him go. I'll tuck his pictures and words away in my memory and think of him now and then, not pine away for him and be wracked by guilt.

And of course along the way I have made friends with people who would unfriend me if we didn't talk for at least a month or so. The thing is though they didn't IM me at all or hardly ever and I was (and still do) get busy on SL or when I have the viewer up. Everyone has things going on behind the screen at one time or another. Some days the phone rings off the hook and you find yourself dashing to the phone or people come and visit, things like that. Some of those friends weren't worth keeping and some were or are. It does hurt when you get a notification that the friendship has been ended, but it's a part of life. People don't always stay friends. You just take the blow gracefully and move on.

I have gotten attached to a few guys, but I soon learned they weren't worth my time. Did it hurt? Yes, it did...a good deal. And it took me time to get over and really quit blaming myself for it. I had thought I wasn't good enough or that it was all my fault. With some, I was partly to blame but the other side was wrong too.

I have resolved to really have fun. And the only things I should be serious about are Benares, helping friends and helping those who need help, writing, and creating. These are what I enjoy. I also have fun exploring sims and shops. It's amazing what one can find.

Je reviens...

It means "I return" in French. I learned that term from Daphne DuMaurier's book, Rebecca. Perhaps you have heard of the movie Laurence Olivier starred in of the same title, it is adapted from this book. It is an interesting book, reminiscent of Bronte's Jane Eyre.

A very dear friend of mine has returned after a week's absence. It is beyond wonderful to know she has returned. Without her, I have felt lost, deeply anxious, and deeply sad.

I know that no one will always be around in the live realm, but it just feels so joyous when you can talk to them when they are. They are never really gone, but memories always are a bit weaker than how they were in life.

Someday we all accept what is inevitable. For now though, I will revel in the live realm with this dear friend. It is precious beyond the concept of precious that we all learn as children and remember all through adulthood.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One year down...

July 4th is also the anniversary for when I joined SL. I still remember that night. It was around 11pm and I could still hear the fireworks making a bonny racket outside. When I rezzed into SL for the first time I showed up in a welcome area called Ahern or Morris as some call it. It was dark and full of avatars. I felt lost and so alone.

As I walked past the last pavilion I saw an IM from a woman. It stopped me in my tracks. And then she started talking to me in local about how to get around in SL. I don't remember what she said, but I remember her patience and kindness to me. And through IMs, she gave me objects like skins and an AO. I had trouble with the AO for a bit. She even joked that one guy had the hots for me. After one week, I never heard from the guy again (he's still on my list though). He seemed to be the least guileless man I've met in a long time. He was from Brazil, that explains part of it. From my experience working with foreigners, they just seem so much more polite than most people I meet on a daily basis. It is like 'a breath of fresh air.'

Anyone that woman who helped me that first now...she has become my dearest friend in SL and perhaps in RL. She has been there for me on my journey through SL and through one year of my life. As I begin another year, I am grateful that I know her and that we can speak to each other as individuals, like-minded souls, and good friends. She has touched my life in ways that I am only now beginning to see and understand. So much can happen in a year and so much change can occur. It feels like a wave swept over me and has made its impressions on me. Good people are like that, their effect always shows wherever they make an impact.

Also, I have had so much fun exploring the virtual world. I saw Steller's beanstalk in my first or second week. I tried to climb it, but still haven't gotten high up. Perhaps someday I will? That would be a cool achievement to write about. ;-) I've been to SL Africa and went up in a hot air balloon above the whole sim once. The guy I went with unfriended me a long time ago (he was probably just a flake), but I still remember the joy of being high up and seeing and enjoying the view of the luscious land and the animals. I met him at a time when I felt sad and he cheered me up for a time.

Soon after that, I met Steve at the same welcome area where I first rezzed. And since then, Steve has become a dear friend too. He and his friends just exude this warmth that I always like to be around. We talk, we laugh, and cry on each other's shoulders. He is a great friend and the friends I meet through him are wonderful as well.

I have also joined a lot of groups in SL. Back when the group limit was 25, I soon had 25 groups. So I'd leave and join and rejoin groups frequently. I'd sit there and try to deliberate about which to leave. Lol. Actually I still do that, even though the limit is 42. LOL. Through those groups, I have made many friends as well. Some are still my friends and others have left of their own volition for the reason that I didn't IM them much. The thing is I do tend to get quite busy in SL and I hope that sometimes my friends IM me. It seems like a lot of the time, I am the one who starts an IM. There are times when I wonder if I'm the only one who wants to IM, you know? But I am usually the last person to unfriend.

I have learned a good deal from their friends too. It has been fun. Or even just talking to people in group chats...it's quite enjoyable. Most people are pretty friendly and polite.

Being a part of a SL community has been really great for me. I have a home in SL. When I feel hurt or scared, I can go there and feel peaceful.

One of the things I enjoy is the fact that you can learn so much. I'm talking about the classes you can talk. You can take building, scripting, even language classes. I've only taken building and scripting classes, but someday...I might stay for some language classes. I'm still not that good at building, but I have the notes and I know a few things about building. I can build basic things like a table or a set of small stairs. I do hope that someday, I will create something of my own like a gorgeous house or a lovely tree. I am also working on creating sculpts. For now, I just use Qavimator to try to make static poses and animations. It's challenging, but I really enjoy it.

Another thing I enjoy is the art you can see and view in SL. Since August, I have been writing about museums and art galleries. And I have made many art contacts...as I call them. I befriend artists and I like to talk to them about their art. Sadly, one of the artists I talked to passed away in March, Sabrinaa Nightfire. Her sim, Erato of Caerleon, was and has been one of my favorite art sims. It was among the first galleries that I ever wrote about for Wonderful Evenings. I left a build I made, which was designed by Hig Bing who teaches at Builder's Brewery and has her own shop. I will miss her though I didn't know her well. I did get to talk to 3 of her closest friends in SL. I hope to talk to them more. I still have so many questions and I realized that I want to design art in SL.

I make poses in SL. That is a sort of art for me, but I'd love to combine that with pictures or builds. And maybe one day I'll build my own art gallery. It's so lovely to dream...