Second Life has the fascinating ability to be like a virtual Russian nesting doll, with its residents often falling in with a compelling crowd or niche interest, which in turn becomes the circles we travel within. Bloggers frequently find familiar faces at shopping events; photographers spy names from their Flickr circles at picturesque sims; live music aficionados often discover a musician or DJ whom they enjoy, and will venture to those events again and again. That’s not to say that these crowds, and so many others like them, don’t intersect. But they can also be very insular; on days where there may be 40,000 residents signed in and spread across nearly 25,000 regions, you may still bump into someone whom you recognize on your virtual world travels. A boon for those who love to socialize, but difficult at times when you’re longing for a little bit of solace and space.
There are parts of me that truly want to desire the constant connection that compels my social butterfly counterparts, but my introverted roots dig deeply into their solitary soil. While I do enjoy one-on-one conversation with dear friends and loved ones, I’m often genuinely at ease being all by my lonesome. And when life, First and Second, began contentedly feeling like a jigsaw falling into place last month, I wanted to hold that to myself for a while, as one does a treasured keepsake. So when I was in-world, an occurrence that’s needfully becoming more infrequent, I sometimes ticked the Global Invisibility option in Firestorm, which I imagined would allow me to slip in as a shadow, clear notices and make some last-minute event visits, then exit quietly without causing any fuss.
But I’m foolish, I’ll admit: I’d forgotten that Global Invisibility is spotty at best, easily surmounted by certain scripts and by peeking at the members list of shared groups, and most importantly, can lead to some grievous misunderstandings and inadvertently hurt feelings. I’m very grateful to my dear friend Victoria, who gently and graciously reminded me of this potential. Although my auto-responder still irks some (primarily because it remains persistent through logouts, so if I forget to turn it off before closing the viewer, it will still be activated the next time I log in), it’s certainly preferable to anything that may arouse conflicted emotions or distrust.
Still, I’ve had to reorganize and prioritize, and the measures of relief brought by easing up a bit on my previous Do All The Things endeavors have been palpable. So perhaps the better title for this post would be “How to Disappear Selectively”, but Radiohead is my sonic touchstone, and I couldn’t possibly pass up on the poetic nod! Flickr is still my beloved haunt whenever time graciously allows, but I’ve needfully relaxed from trying to keep up with the over 1000 blogs (!) in my WordPress Reader. I’m in-world less frequently, but enjoying those moments all the more, and while I miss out on visiting most of the events I curate in my SL Shopping Events Calendar, it’s still a genuine pleasure to keep that resource going for myself and all those who find it to be helpful.
One thing I’ve found that I have in common with those closest to me is I’m a giver first and a giver second; meaning it’s difficult for me to ask for the things I want or need, and even harder for me to be a recipient without immediately looking for ways to return any gracious kindness or favor. But sometimes being selfish (that dreaded word) truly is the kindest thing you can be to yourself. So I’m not truly disappearing, not fading away, just quietly haunting the periphery of the virtual world for a while, as I once more find my equilibrium. It’s a genuinely wonderful thing when you recognize that you need to come back into balance, and you’re able to make the subtle adjustments to do so. To once more borrow wisdom from a Radiohead song, everything is in its right place. Alla prossima. ♡
“That there, that’s not me
I go where I please
I walk through walls
I float down the Liffey
I’m not here
This isn’t happening …”
Style & Pose
Destination & Inspiration