A year and some months ago today, my mother died after a long battle with substance abuse and ill health. Her death broke me down in more ways than one: I no longer had any desire to write and even worst, I had no desire to play Second Life.
In terms of the latter, I would log on as a habit, but I would never leave my parcel…I simply came up with new ways to decorate it. Yet, no matter how many times I decorated and redecorated my surroundings, I was still unhappy. I was unhappy not only because my mom had passed away, but also because I felt that inworld, I was surrounded by toxicity.
The toxicity was so problematic for me that I became afraid to interact inworld with others. Though my sl brother is the only person I often feel that I can trust inworld, he had went on a hiatus to tend to his real life. It seems that, just like me, he was also tired of the toxicity surrounding us inworld.
Yet, despite my Second Life world appearing to crumble around me, I realized I had a dream. I had always dreamed of purchasing my own sim and raising horses to sell to the SL community. With this idea in mind, I also had a dream that with the purchase of this sim, I could also share it with the SL community in such a way that it would enrich and benefit Second Life, too.
The dream I had offered a glimmer of hope in an often problematic real life and second life world. However, that glimmer of hope would dampen a bit because like many dreams, there seemed to be so many obstacles in the way. Money was one of many challenges, more so because I didn’t have much of that. Motivation was another challenge, because whenever I thought of really creating–rather it be a new sim, or even writing–I would think about my mother. I knew that despite my mom and I’s differences, I missed her–and would continue to miss her everyday. In fact it was a sadness that would not (and won’t) ever leave me…a sadness that further contributed to my isolation not only in Real Life, but in Second Life too.
I was not only battling a dream deferred, but I was battling depression and self destruction.
Then, about six months after my mom passed, my life had changed again. My dad needed a place to stay, and he needed me to help care for him. See, three days after my mom passed, my dad was robbed and beaten in his own home. He refused to go to the hospital, but he knew he had to find some way out in order to survive. So, when he called me and told me what happened, I quickly told my father that if he could get out to where I live, he can stay as long as he wanted and I would be there for him. Before I knew it, my dad had purchased a plane ticket to Boston, and was here; he has only flown on an airplane once in his life, so this was a big step for him. Yet, the best thing about my dad’s arrival in Boston was that he was the first family member to stay longer than three days in my newly adopted town. He was also the first family member that wholly trusted me to care for him, too.
When dad moved in with my son and I, there were so many changes! My father has never been a disciplinarian type of parent, and that method of parenting seemed to extend to my five year old son. My dad would buy my son whatever he wanted, spoiling him rotten in the process. All the while, I had to play the “no nonsense parent” by establishing firm boundaries and keeping my son busy as needed; this “no nonsense parenting” is still an intrinsic part of our household, so for this reason, I decided to step away from my Second Life to wholly focus on my Real Life. In the meantime, my dad and son are like two kids that I have to care for, but it has given me strength that I never knew I had.
This resilience surrounding the ability to withstand this new living arrangement encouraged me to take another look at the Second Life dream I had. Though I would often come up with all kinds of excuses not to pursue it, the excuses merely added fuel to the dream I repeatedly deferred. I began to itch for an opportunity to fulfill my dream deferred, but was at a loss as to how to accomplish it.
An opportunity presented itself in August for me to finally fulfill my dream. I was blessed with some extra money, and had enough to not only take care of my real life, but fulfill my dreams in Second Life, too. The extra money, compounded by Second Life’s 15th anniversary land purchase deal were both blessings that enabled me to realize a dream that has laid dormant for so long.
I am on a new journey now…to keep this dream alive and in motion, SL Parade readers will see a lot more writing from me now. Some of this writing will center around the horses, other works will focus on the new SL Parade land and the business opportunities available for other Second Life business owners, but all of the writing will focus on articles that balance Real Life with Second Life.
In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the new SL Parade Adult Rated sim! All who visit can take a ride on the horses, as well as take a look at the 24/7 dolphin show that happens in various corners of the sim. And remember, if you are a business owner, the SL Parade sim has stores available for rent…these stores were created by Elin Egoyen. According to Egoyen’s note card, the design of these lovely shops are based on a mixture of a Victorian, Edwardian and Southern US style houses and shops, and was also inspired by the famous Rainbow Row located in Charleston, South Carolina USA.
Take your ride here: SL Parade has a NEW SIM!!!
Take a look at the slide show that features all activities available at the SL Parade sim: