I turned six in Second Life on Saturday, April 21.

For the first time in those six years, I did not want to have a rezday party. I didn't want anything. My partner Loken was the person who convinced me to celebrate and we did end up having a nice gathering at The Nightingale with some lovely guests. Thank you if you attended. I did actually end up having a good time and I appreciate that some of you were able to be there.

I have played a million rezdays over the years. I feel, and have always felt, that they are important to celebrate. I think it's important to honor the time and energy you have spent in the virtual world and to acknowledge the changes you have experienced. It's also a time to appreciate the friends that you have made. I have always tried to make every rezday that I have ever played something truly special for the rezday gal/guy.

At six, I do still feel this way...however I have a new feeling as well. It's about me, personally, not anyone else. For me, at six, I find that I am "done" in so many ways.

I am tired of Second Life.

I find myself wishing that I could rewind to early 2007 and that I could act differently in some ways. I wish that I could do everything that I did, but that I could do it with more emotional protection. I wish in many ways that I did not expose myself the way I did (emotionally) to so many people. I think about how much nicer it could be now if I had just kept friendships on the surface and not ever gotten to know anybody deeply, nor let them get to know me.

If I had done that, then perhaps I would not have disappointed so many people. Not have angered so many people. Not have polarized people. Not have made people hate my guts. Perhaps I could have stayed the polite, friendly-yet-distant, nice Gabrielle Riel.

These are strange feelings, because it's not regret that I feel. It's more of an acknowledgement that I should have protected myself more. But it was easy to let the walls come down, because back then it was all anonymous. No one knew who I was. I felt safe and protected because none of it was "real".

Five years ago I was experiencing a second adolescence in Second Life. Isn't it bizarre how that happens? Someone should study that! It does not matter how old we are, we all seem to become 16 again at a certain point in our early SL. I look back on some things I did or said, and I just *cringe*. And yet in other cases I remember interactions and relationships that touched the deepest part of my soul and I am so thankful that those things happened.

I will be honest, in terms of my Second Life? Year five-to-six has sucked. I mean totally sucked. There are many reasons for that. I know that this is a dark post, so I will inject a little light by saying that going back to school was the best thing that I have done in a very, very long time. I have loved it and I have excelled. It's been absolutely glorious. Virtual worlds and Second Life have played a key role in school for me, so I still have my passion for them, it's just manifesting in a very different way.

But as for what Second Life has been to me for the last several years? That era has come and gone.

I am six and I am tired. It's time to close some doors so others can open.


Roberto said…
I can understand how you feel. I'm coming to terms with some of the same feelings. My 5th was a time for introspection, as you are going through on your 6th. A new you will emerge from this time, it will be interesting to watch and see who you become. But know this; many lives are better and richer because of your touch.
I hit five recently and felt the same way. My first 2 years in SL were so much fun. Everything and everyone was so exciting. So much to see and do and experience. In hindsight, I realize that the last three years made me always wistful for the first two. I am going back to school too and SL helped me in that endeavor. I've pulled away from SL myself and understand what you are going through. You aren't alone in feeling this way.