Today is my Rez Day…6 years in Second Life. This avatar was never meant to be special, she was the second I made of my collection of avatars and the only one without a “real” name. While my other avatars found their purpose in role play, Silly became the avatar I explored the countless facets of SL with. Six years later she has become who I am in Second Life. She has come to embody for me the things that are only a dream for me in real life.
I had always wanted to be a writer, for as long as I can remember. I knew early on that I couldn’t truly make a living at it so I never really pursued it choosing a more logical path…first in business and now in education. It is incredibly fulfilling to nurture writing in children. It is so very important to foster a child’s natural curiosity and channel it into writing…using their own imaginations to build literacy.As a teen I was scouted to be a model. I was thrilled and excited. My mother took me to the agency’s office in Los Angeles but had warned me beforehand that it would likely not be possible. I remember the experience very vividly as well as the discussion about expenses and my mother very politely telling them that we could not afford the expenses involved.
Second Life is only limited by your imagination. I consider it to be a blank canvas that we can do anything at all with. After a few years of exploring and role playing, it dawned on me…why not attempt to be a writer in SL and live my dream even in a small way? When I get an idea in my head I have to pursue it as those closest to me know, so I set out trying to find SL publications that might find a use for my desire to write. I wasn’t a big SL magazine reader at the time so the search was a little overwhelming, not knowing which publications were truly worthwhile. After a while I found two, filled out applications and waited, all the while looking around the grid for more in case those two didn’t work out. The first replied almost immediately, but communicating effectively was a problem and that one didn’t work out. The other hadn’t replied for a month so I figured my application was rejected and I kept searching. I remember the day I got an offline from that other magazine…the one I thought had rejected my application. I wasn’t logged into Silly much back then and the application was in her name. When I saw the offline about an interview, I jumped avatars right away. That conversation in July 2012 with Xandrah Sciavo was the beginning of a wonderful relationship and career with AVENUE Magazine. I was surprised such a large SL fashion magazine would want someone like me…someone with no SL fashion experience at all. The topics in the magazine are diverse, so they certainly found a place for my talents and experience in their Lifestyle, Interesting Sims, and Role Play sections. Of course in the back of my mind I had hoped that perhaps I could have a try at SL fashion one day, now that I worked for AVENUE. I was still rather apprehensive about it and just kept to writing. Xandrah learned about this desire of mine along the way and soon became what I call my “fairy god-model,” showing me how many in SL fashion enjoy paying it forward. She encouraged and supported me, helped me navigate the path toward becoming an SL model and without her and AVENUE I would not be where I am now. I am constantly amazed at the wonderful people I have met who are involved in SL fashion…from clothing designers to fellow models, magazine owners to writers, the creativity of others and the incredibly variety with which they express their creativity is truly impressive.
What also impresses me is the durability of the friendships I have made prior to SL fashion. People who I have met and grown close to in role play…people who know me in all my SL incarnations…they stand by me as I explore and grow, patient with my various interests and passions. They step out of role play and their own comfort zones to come to my fashion shows and events and cheer me on, they praise me when I gush about my small victories, and comfort me when things get me down. Always encouraging and loving…the power of true friendship in SL like that is amazing and touches me deeply.
I find it quite appropriate that Silly’s Rez Day is so close to Thanksgiving because I am certainly very thankful for Second Life and all the loving and talented people I have had the pleasure to meet, work with, and call friend. SL has allowed me to live my dream and express my creativity through writing and fashion. It saddens me at times that I cannot share that fully with those in my real life for lack of understanding and strange looks, but it is a small price to pay for the experience that is Second Life.