In a Tizzy

I want to thank everyone who sent me Happy Rezday wishes and/or who attended my Rezday gatherings yesterday. I am *so* grateful for all of friends...dear old friends...all of you that support me and that celebrated with me yesterday. You have *no* idea how yesterday brought light back into my Second Life, right when I needed it most.

Bettina Tizzy, well known SL Blogger, an active and creative SL resident, and force behind "Not Possible in Real Life", posted the following on her Blog late last week. Thank you my dear Azul for pointing it out to me. :-)

She writes very eloquently about burnout in SL for "SL overachievers", and honestly? I have been fried lately. I have experienced periods of burnout in SL before, but this has been different. It's more of a weariness rather than some big drama. This quote of Bettina's really hit home with me:

"About a year ago, I shared my feelings of burnout and my inability to satisfy everyone’s expectations with my virtual sister Tayzia Abattoir. My own little success had become a monster that was eating me alive."

"my inability to satisfy everyone’s expectations" - it's like she took the words right out of my mouth. In the last six months, this is how I have felt on a fairly constant basis. I have had a real struggle with saying "no" when I am over-committed, and then I also find that people often just expect me to make THEIR dreams happen. I posted a comment on Bettina's blog in which I mentioned how completely sick I am of agreeing to work WITH someone on a project...only to find them looking at me to make it all happen.

It has been difficult and disheartening to deal with this projection on to me. But part of the problem is me. I make things happen in a public way, and clients and coworkers have seen how I will go 10 extra miles to pull off an event well, even when dealing with roadblocks and problems. But that is my professional commitment to my clients....or my personal commitment to my does not mean that I am EVERYONE's personal project manager!

I also get a lot of, "will you IM this person for me or handle this that and the other thing for me?" stuff that people are completely capable of handling themselves. And when I ask them why they can't handle a simple detail like that, I hear: "But you are Gabrielle Riel!"

And then I want to scream. First of all, I hate to break it to you, but not very many people in SL know who the hell Gabrielle Riel is. :-) Secondly, I started out as simple Miss Riel in her small cottage in Caledon. I had no power. No reputation. No "connections". The things I did have were a desire to get things done, curiosity, no fear, and eventually passion, because of Radio Riel. *grins* There is still one Caledon Estate Manager who treats me like complete garbage every time I talk to she's clearly not impressed by "Gabrielle Riel". ;-)

Don't get me wrong. I am HAPPY to help people with advice, to point people in the right direction for information, to give recommendations based on my experiences. But I have spent my life as a Trainer. I want to enable people to do things for THEMSELVES. I can teach some things, be a cheerleader, get you on the right path...but I am NOT going to do it all for you! And I do like helping people! Those of you who have worked with me know that.

I never expected my SL to be what it is. Leading a radio station, owning sims... I have had to put myself in a more executive position, and even though I am comfortable in that role...I don't have a TON of experience with it. So I am really, really trying to learn and be the best leader/manager I can be. I appreciate your patience (especially the staff at Radio Riel) in dealing with a rather green leader. ;-)

So as you can see, Bettina's post stuck a chord in my soul. I have been bothered for a few months by a lot of what she mentioned, and what I have mentioned above. I don't care who is dating whom, who has broken up, who bought the latest Caledon Duchy or about social gossip. THIS is the stuff that keeps me up at night when I think about Second Life. This is the stuff that has had me feeling so weary.

The parties yesterday helped me see the good things again. Everyone who sent me well wishes or that attended made me feel loved, and NOT like they resented me or were dissapointed in me. It was like the sun coming out from behind the clouds. :-) Thank you, thank you, thank you all so much!

As for my malaise...well I will keep moving. I will take Bettina's advice. I will say No. If I say "no" to you about something? Please do not take it as a personal affront. You might very well have a *fabulous* idea...there is just nothing left of me to give. I am maxxed out in SL, and I'm not going to work myself into the ground. And I can't do that! I have a radio station and two communities that need me! And a RL and a child. :-)

Here is my advice to you as I am now Three in SL. It's far far too easy to get VERY focused on very specific things in SL. Take time to widen your perspective to see the bigger picture. Realize that your pet project, community, whatever might be *everything* to you...but not to everyone else roaming the grid. SL can breed a very insular and selfish outlook. I've done this in the past and I see a lot of it all over SL. When you start whipping yourself into a rage or frenzy about something very specific...stop...breathe...pull back. You'll be surprised at what a little perspective will give you. ;-)

Thank you again, dear friends...

The Nightingale


Azul said…
You are so welcome love. I thought that Bettina's post might speak to you and let you know you are not the only one with such emotions.

Remember sweet Nightingale; You are loved.
Anonymous said…
I think it's hard for most of us to realise how HARD you work, because you make it all seem easy. It's part of your brilliance, and also a disadvantage for YOU at times, this quality of yours.

I could tell so many stories, but let's just say you do a lot of things that no one knows about ... like the secret saving of (many) events that you then turn the credit over to the hosts for. And you thought nobody knew this. :) I know, because you've done it for me (more than once!) and then gone on to pretend you were "just" playing the music. I'd also bet my soul that I'm not the only one for whom you and your staff have done this. I'm not trying to embarrass you; just letting you know that people know more than we say. We should say it more. We should thank you more and tell you more often how wonderful your music and Radio Riel is.

The fact is that in the many, many events Radio Riel has done for me (Haven, Marzipan, Kinvara, St. Patrick's church), there hasn't been a single glitch on Radio Riel's part. Not by you or any of the Radio Riel staff. Not One Time. I wish I could say the same for myself.

Why am I going on and on about this? Because you deserve it and much more. I am not exaggerating, not flattering you or RR; I am, in fact, being reserved.

Thank you for everything and Happy Rezday. I am inordinately proud to know you and every staff member at Radio Riel with whom I've come into contact.

Elspeth (Woolley)
Mitsu Figaro said…
I have to say that i'm immensely proud to be a part of staff(and founders! hehe :D ) for RR. It's been 2 years of insanity and such fun. That you do so much behind the scenes is evident, and i'm glad you're so good at that.

Rest, Boss Lady. I wish i could take more shifts, but the Pharm job is rather demanding at the moment and will be for the rest of the summer. But i'll be here working what i can and coming up with events or knowing me, playing just for the hell of it. I'll drive myself nuts with yearly inventory at that job next month, but working for RR is a joy.

*hugs* Ja ne!
I'm not sure if you heard me last night, but it *so* reminded me of Sunday nights of old. The social events (and other events) of the world we inhabit have multiplied almost beyond belief. And who knows what SL beyond our communities has become like.

So it was nice to have something really special for which people turned up in ways they no longer do for weekly events or the standard type of dances.

And in light of your post, it also seems that the "say yes, save the day, noblesse oblige" spirit that you (and others) so exemplified in days past has morphed from a necessary part of building an infant community into a habit that will sap the life out of Second Life.
Gabrielle Riel said…
Azul - thank you my wonderful, amazing and supportive Partner.

Els - Thank you. Thank you for pointing out something that does probably stay under the radar most of the time. But you know what? It's ok. It's part of who I am and what Radio Riel is...truly professional. It's SO important to me (and my staff feels the same way) that we provide a bit of magic to our clients. Something special. Unusual. And it's people like you, that share these values, that are the people I want to reach with Radio Riel...outside of SL. I know they are there!

Mitsu - I am so thrilled that you were with me in the beginning...and that you are with me still. You've really seen the growth from the inside out.

Otenth - I *did* hear you say that last night! Have you been following the discussions going on in the "mainstream" music community in SL lately? I have. They boil down to: Performers and DJs are noticing a distinct drop in attendance. Why?

There are lots of reasons why, and they apply to us in the 19th Century grid as well. One of the big things is "I Wanna Be a Star TOO" syndrome. Everyone wants to be center stage. And the technology is there to make it happen for both DJs and live performers.

This causes a glut. And in the glut, only a small percentage of the DJs and Performers have TRUE, actual life professional talent. How do people in SL figure out the good from the bad? How many times are people willing to go to crappy events before they give up, never knowing that there ARE good performers out there?

Events *are* necessary, but it's also possible to saturate the social scene with them. I am seeing *quite* a bit of over-saturation in one of the 19th Century grid communities in particular. I will continue to watch it all with great interest.

Many of us who used to gather on Sunday nights at Cartaigh 2 years ago are now busy business people, content creators etc. Back then we had a lot more "free time" on our hands in SL.

Bettina also mentions the people who burn out and then quit SL. This really takes a toll on people. Look at Lapin Paris. :-( So yes, the SL overachievers add a lot to the community, but they can also fall into the trap and let it suck the life right out of them.
steadmankondor said…
Lovely to read your blog entry, and thank you for sharing your thoughts on reaching your third year in SL.

Happy Rezzday and all the best for the next (current) groundbreaking year!

Steadman Kondor
Wildstar said…
Have a great fourth year, your Grace

** hugs **
Ceejay Writer said…
An excellent post, in which you reminded everyone of what you are feeling without making anyone feel bad about pressuring you. Well and tactfully played!

I took a lot of advise from your post, too. Thank you. Onward to year four, and may it be a happy and rewarding one for you!
Emilly Orr said…
My large regret? Is that I wasn't able to be at the party, not that you're pulling back to take care of yourself!

This is invaluable advice, and advice that I should heed more often than I do--my causes tend to consume me in any world, and I lose focus on the small things, I get caught up in the things I cannot change, or things I should not spend so much focus upon.

Three years, it's important, and I hope you have many more years of bringing new music to new ears--whether it's on SL or not. But it's better that you're learning to pick your battles, and make time for yourself, your RL family, and dreams beyond the grid.

As I've said in Radio Riel emails, we'll be here when you get back. And all of us in RR, you have at least one other way to reach, beyond the grid. (Which is no bad thing either.)