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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

This week I had someone share a very interesting comment with me – that they were sorry they hadn’t lived up to my expectations… or something along that line. I found it quite curious as this particular situation – I had no expectations for anyone – and was even struggling to have them for myself. It sounds very odd to me to re-read that… to not have expectations… but see.. the comment was made to me in the context of Second Life.

One thing I have always appreciated about those closest to me in SL is that they have reinforced the idea with me that RL comes first. No matter how much we get wrapped up in adventures and events and fundraisers and and and… the bottom line: RL comes first. There have been times when I have been so stressed that the words… seeing them typed on my monitor back to me… were an incredible comfort and affirmation.

So… ironically… these “expectations” that I hadn’t even had seemed quite out of place this week in the conversation. Between work and bills and furlough and kids, sick kids, and a boss returning from an extended vacation, and relatives visiting in town… my expectations for SL were simply to survive and maintain. Dave and I are really fortunate that the co-owners of the Bistro live in a different time zone and have schedules that accommodate earlier and daytime events. Honestly, it has been the best part of our co-ownership. Ok… there are other parts too -but I do appreciate that.

I also appreciate the fact that my closest friends in other time zones have incredible stamina to stay up late. I love that this time of year because I become a keyboard face by 10:30 pm SLT on most occasions and love the fact they stay up with me and I’m not the first sissykeyboard face to head to bed 🙂

One thing I have learned time and time again when I have struggled with relationships in SL is to try to figure out what within me was causing my frustration. I try very hard to be reflective and introspective and never assume that I didn’t play some role in the problem. I have owned up to things – all sorts of things I didn’t even need to in order to make peace. If I can say I did my best to figure it out and I can be ok in my own skin at the end of the day, then I know… well I just know. Sometimes… some just don’t wish to resolve things. Slowly I am learning to be ok with that.

I see my friendships as an investment. Really all relationships are. I pour my heart and soul into them. I am always in awe of the people who treat relationships as something other than that. I wish I could be that way at times and care less. It would certainly save on the heartache. The people that live in glass houses and throw stones seem endless. I was reminded this week by a good friend at work that ultimately, Kim, human nature is really really horrid and self-serving at the core. I think I have found those to be the hardest struggles of all for me to comprehend and cope with – in both lives.

I’m raising 4 little people -tall but little still in my mind as the oldest is 13 – that I want to know how to compromise and apologize and take ownership. Sorry is an incredibly hard word to swallow sometimes -but even through tears and anger it can be said. If you really care about someone and still want them in your life, then sometimes you have to be ok with accepting your hurtful actions and saying sorry and then just being patient enough to wait for them to understand and forgive. This is hard in RL… but easier when you have to live in the same house. This is extra hard in SL… people only have text to work with and it is easy to ignore or close the window and wait for it to go away.

So… expectations… what are mine? I knew long long ago that a club was for fun, not for money 🙂 I’m fascinated by the ultimate challenge of balancing a spreadsheet – but at the end of the day – I log in to have fun and see people I care about – and laugh and soak up good music – and appreciate people I have come to truly love and care about that I might have never met any other way in life. I love being able to think about new things in other parts of country and the world. I had a friend just yesterday who is battling cancer and surgery in Europe tell me she survives her surgeries thinking about all the good friends she has supporting her and thinking good things and saying prayers for her… in SL as well as RL.

What are your expectations? The noobs I have begun to meet (assuming they are not alts) have come through because of all the things they have heard or seen about SL… but it isn’t the technology and the gizmos and gadgets that keep us coming back… it is the relationships. It is the people that remind us our RL is first and support us and think about us in all the challenges we face in RL… that then love us when we come in SL. Laugh, pillow fight, spank, enjoy good music, shop till you drop… and remember we all have very real hearts beating on the inside.

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