Okay, so I’m behind on these non-memes. But they’re not memes, so that’s okay. And if they were, well, that would be okay too, now that I think of it.
Vint Falken started off #13 by asking for secrets and confessions from our Second and First Lives. I’ll see what I can come up with.
A few weeks ago, my new female avatar might have been a secret, but no longer. However, what I expected to be just an avatar creation experiment has now become an avatar I regularly use, another expression of my personality. You can probably expect to see the new avatar more often as time goes on.
First Life (and some Second Life, too)
I’ve got a tendency to be shy, both in my first and my second lives. I fall a bit on the introverted side of the introversion-extroversion spectrum. I do well in small groups and one-on-one, but large ones can be a bit overwhelming for me, at least until I’ve gotten to know the people in the large group a bit. It’s difficult for me to invite people I don’t already know well to do things, and I avoid ever inviting myself to things. An example of this in SL would be the fact that I very seldom extend offers of friendship. It’s not that I don’t like you – I might like you a lot. It’s that I’m afraid of rejection, and have been since a young age. For months I forgot the SL software even let you maintain a ‘friends list.’
This is a part of some problems with anxiety that have dogged me for ages without me even really being conscious of them. I’ve become more conscious of them in the last year and have been directing energy toward improving things over the course of the last six months or so. And things are improving. But I still perceive that anxiety and shyness as my greatest weakness, and overcoming it, getting past years of mental conditioning, is slow going. The funny thing about that shyness is that I really enjoy interacting with people – I’m not a hermit, and I have some wonderful, close friendships. But most of those close RL friends don’t live anywhere near me. It took what felt like a long time and just the right conditions for those friendships to develop. I wish it were easier, because I’ve felt a bit isolated since moving to Denver, and working the kind of hours I do makes it that much harder to have any energy left for social events. I think people tend to be more self-protective once they cross out from school into the “real world,” too.