Today is my real life birthday. It’s hard to believe that I am 46 today.. I certainly don’t feel it! Well, that isn’t always true. There are many days my body feels like its 80, but my heart, and mind are still very young. To be honest, I’m a little unsure exactly what to write here, so this may come out a bit garbled, but I will do my best to keep it coherent…
I first came to Second Life on Dec 29th of 2009. I had spent a large chunk of time roleplaying in game rooms on AOL and one of my friends from there had discovered SL and thought that I would enjoy such an avenue for both my roleplay and as a social outlet. As a RL single mom of 4, this friend was aware that a lot of my socializing was indeed spent online as it was an inexpensive way that I could chat and talk with other adults, after spending so much time being mom. Also, as my illnesses became progressively worse going out physically became harder and harder to do, and AOL was an easy “outing” right in my own living room. I had made some very good friends in my many years on AOL, and I wouldn’t trade most of them, however it had started to become a place of stress and drama and no longer the fun outlet I had once thought it to be. Though I don’t visit there often, there are a few people I do miss greatly, and try to keep in contact at least occasionally with them via email. However, it was not all role playing there, much of my time was spent chatting as my real self, and that is what they knew me as. When I came to SL I created Gabriella. Or Gabby as most call me. And in her creation, I put what I felt the best parts of me. It took some time, as I was rather a slow learner in SL, interested more in the people I was meeting than in the look of my avatar. But that would certainly change as time went on! (more on that and my now shopping habits later =) )
Yes, I admit it. Those are really me! More of the evolution of Gabby can be seen on my flickr www.flickr.com/gabbyallardyce it was such an interesting metamorphosis! I do have to credit Chance with a great deal of my transformation to who I am today. There were things I would not have even thought to look for that he showed me, and even when we were still moving prims and I was cussing because I hated it, he patiently explained to me time and again how to do it (I stubbornly refused to let him do it…) but I am getting ahead of myself here!… back to the story… Anyway, this friend of mine pretty much left me to my own devices in those early days. He would check back with me from time to time to see how I was fairing, and I would show him my new looks as they came about. I explored this new land quite often on my own, talking to many strangers, when I stumbled upon an adult club. I was oddly fascinated to see how by clicking on different balls you could not only make an avi dance, but do many other things as well! And while that was interesting, what kept drawing me to that particular club was the other people that were there. They were friendly and welcoming to both newcomers and old timers alike. It was around this time I realized that this new world I entered required currency to get the nicer things I saw others wearing. I wasn’t in a position to use RL money for SL, so I did the next best thing! I got myself a job as a stripper! Emoting was fairly easy for me, having RP’d in all text on AOL for a while, and my new career was born! My RL had taken an odd turn, and I didn’t log in to SL for a few months, and when I came back I had to reapply for my “job” which I easily fell back into . The nice thing was that even though I was gone for a few months, there were those that still remembered me! What a nice surprise! Little did I know what SL and Fate had in store for me, because this was also where I met the person with whom I was destined to be. From the moment I met the Cajun named Chance Raynier, I knew he would be an important part of my life. I just didn’t ever expect him to be as important as he became. We started out working, flirting, and teasing together, playing so well off of one another and just having so much fun! I started to really enjoy being there even more and as silly as it sounds, my RL face would light up with a smile when I saw his name on my friends list, and in my general vicinity. I couldn’t help it. I found myself logging in just to see if he was around, hoping to spend even more time with him. It seemed that we were a kindred spirit, both battling odd illnesses that didn’t respond to treatment well, understanding better than anyone the type of pain the other would be in, the frustration with the medical world who couldn’t seem to find a way to make us better, and the longing for a way to battle the stretches of time that would otherwise be wasted watching reruns on tv. Our friendship slowly grew to more, though in truth, each of us fought it. I didn’t feel I had anything to offer that amazing person I had come to love, so I hid that part of my heart from him for a very long time. I let Chance know how much I cared, I tried to always be there when I was needed, and even when I wasn’t. But my deepest heart wouldn’t be denied, and one fateful day in June of 2011 we had a talk that would change both of our lives, both RL and in SL forever. Our hearts had crossed that line long before we would say the words, and we had fallen in love. Our SL selves were already an extension of our RL selves and the feelings that we had allowed our avi’s to feel for so long already we finally allowed for ourselves. Later that year, on July 30th of 2011, we were married in a beautiful never to be forgotten wedding at our home in SL. Though the words were uttered by our avi’s my RL commitment to Chance was sealed that day as well.
Throughout these events, I did try a few other things in SL. I was a model for a time which was a lot of fun, and I made some great friends in it. I started to take photos and am finally getting to a point where I am able to say I am proud of much of my work, and will continue to strive to make it better. I became a blogger, though at first it was because of modeling, it was one thing I took away with me, and my blog continues today, though due to RL I am not always as active on it as I would like. Chance and I continue to have our home in SL where our kittycats are bred with love and tabasco; where we take time to be creative and roleplay for hours upon hours, where we take our pictures and laugh and giggle over them and marvel how each of us could see the same setting in such a different way, and where most of all, we share our love. Though we may have visits in the future in our RL, this place in SL will always be our home together; our place that we created. And no present for my birthday could ever surpass what I am lucky enough to have every day: A once in a lifetime love that encompasses and transcends time and distance and landed directly into my soul. For this, Second Life will always have a deep place in my heart.
Bio: Gabriella Allardyce ( or Gabby Raynier) Rezzed in Dec 2009, currently is Chance’s wife, blogger, photo taker, explorer, role player , and other things yet to come..