As a child, I marked each day off of the calendar, waiting impatiently for the warmer summer months and the final ring of the school bell announcing my freedom to the streets & swimming pools of my hometown. Those days, time seemed to go by a bit slower. A minute could feel like an eternity to eight-year-old me. But now, at twenty-seven, time seems to fly by far too quickly. I can never get quite enough done within the confines of a twenty-four hour day, and certainly not enough in a 365 day year.
Somehow, it’s been over six years since I joined Second Life. Over 2200 days have passed since that first confused day I found myself logged in at Help Island and immediately went into appearance mode to glam myself up a bit. More importantly though, it’s been six years of friendships I wouldn’t ever have experienced otherwise. And for those six years, I am infinitely grateful.
You see, in the first few of those years, I was suffering from severe depression. I would come home from work, get my daughter into bed, and then tuck myself away into my dark bedroom and refuse to answer the door, or my phone. On the days my little girl was with her dad, I often didn’t budge from my bed at all. The lights in my apartment stayed dimmed, and I was perfectly content with being all alone. Alone, of course, except for Second Life – and the friends that I found there; Friends who, whether they knew it or not, helped me through the hardest part of my entire life. I learned, in that time, the importance of opening up. No one can help you unless you tell them you need help. No one can love you unless you reach out and accept love. But no matter how worthless you feel, or how inadequate or inconsequential you may think your life to be, it is always worth sticking around for.
And I guess, in a way, Second Life is the same, for me. I don’t have any great talent or skill I can put to use. I don’t really make much of an impact on anyone but those who are closest to me. But I realize now, that the value that each and every one of us has to every single life we touch – virtual or real – is immeasurable.
So…I think I’ll stick around.