Mmhmmm…It sure has. The short story is this…I needed some time after I finished my degree to process things and just sit in the quiet for awhile and feel everything that I had stomped down into a deep dark corner of myself so I could get through the crazy work schedule I was trying to get through. The climb back from that deep dark corner is arduous. It’s a process, ok? But I’m getting there. And today, I felt like writing a blog post. There’s going to be some rambling and some generally terrible sentence structure, but we are gonna get through this together!
I have been taking a holiday from my Second Life. That last 6 months of my degree was INTENSE. I was in a constant state of panic and work overload. It was rough. I look back over the vlog scripts I have written from that time and I can FEEL the anxiety and the stress all over again. Even when I finished, that stayed with me for quite some time and I blamed myself for friendships in world that went wrong and I let my impostor syndrome get the better of me. Despite my successes, I felt like I had let everyone down and I couldn’t face anyone else when I thought so badly about myself. Pretty crappy thought process right?? Yup…so that is ENOUGH of that…
Throughout those moments though, I have had some people who constantly touched base and checked in. I have talked about a couple of them so many times they are regular features on my blogs and vlogs. My incredible physical world friend Cath, who has journeyed with me for years through all the times, good, bad and indifferent. We have laughed and cried and talked through our lives through many hours and many coffees and many wines. We have adventured and fallen and gotten up time and again.
My wonderful friend and fellow artist Elyse, who I had the great fortune to meet during the first semester of this course. We learned and complained and stressed and graduated together. Now we remember and commiserate but mostly, we minecraft and laugh and dream big dreams about what comes next in our artistic lives together.
My friends, Pete and Extrepid, who I met online in vanilla World of Warcraft. They stuck with me all this time and through all these years, making me smile with their damn awful Dad jokes and astounding me with their wisdom and thoughts.
And you all know the lovely Mondrian, my favourite fox friend and fellow Second Life Artist. We were doing our postgrad studies at the same time and now we have finished at the same time, he is one of the few people who really GETS what I am going through. He’s the sweetest, kindest, most talented, lovely guy and I just adore him.
And of course you also all know the reticent Wavie Haller who I am going to say NOTHING good about because he gets all embarrassed and gruff and it’s really not as cute as you’d think.
But I am not sure you know Freya of the store Hilted. I have chatted to Freya on and off for a little while. I have a lot of respect for the work she does, but for me, that is not enough to keep a conversation going with anyone. I am pretty quiet in SL for many reasons and even though I tell people its because I work a lot…which I do…but between us, its mostly because I just am afraid of being vulnerable. I tell people that I’m GREAT at making acquaintances, terrible at making friends.
But today I found myself talking with Freya for WAY longer than I had expected to. Half an hour turned into 2 and a half hours and it was only with regret that I left that conversation. I felt like smiling and thinking about those tentative firsts of friendships and how they might lead somewhere incredible and comfortable. For the first time in a long time, I left SL feeling inspired and looking forward to returning. Its a really nice feeling. I love that about creative people, that they are inspiring and their passions and enthusiasm for their creativity rubs off on you. So tonight, when I had the chance, I worked on this photo…
And it felt good. It felt like coming home. It reminded me that sometimes we feel like we are standing alone, and sometimes we may be lost and searching for a way. Sometimes we may be afraid of the next steps and unsure of where to place our feet. But if we take a breath and open our eyes, we will see there are hands holding ours and not letting go and if we listen, there are gentle voices whispering kindness and encouragement.
It is here, in the journey back from the deep dark corners, I find today while remembering these splendid people, that the way back is a little less arduous and my step is a little lighter and I am hopeful again for a better tomorrow.