“Everyday begins like a blank chalkboard, on which each one of us can write the poem of our present and our dreams for the future.” ~ Ricky Martin
I’ve decided to try to post on Strawberry Singh’s ( http://strawberrysingh.com/ ) “Advice to newcomer’s meme” this week. I don’t normally do so, but every once in a while I read one that challenges me to take a moment and ponder. The weird thing about this one is the more I pondered it the more I felt it was more likely (in my case) just advice to every day living. My worlds, the first and second are very intermingled since I am me and she is me (Cao), but I do understand the intent of the meme, it’s to help.
Meme Instructions: List 5 pieces of advice you would give to a newcomer that has just joined Second Life. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post or advice in the comments.
1. Find a sweet spot. Find a place where you can land and you won’t be harmed. A place where you can learn the ins and out’s of your environment, feel safe and feel surrounded by happiness. In a real world sense, a place where you are surrounded by peers with a like nature. In Second Life, a place where you can learn about things like opening items and finding things, changing outfits, or yourself (shape). Sandboxes are great places to practice and experiment. When I was becoming a model I created a round narrow flat “track” and I would put it down in a sandbox and learned to navigate my walking while staying on the track, and this was three years into my Second Life. This just naturally leads to my next.
2. Find a friend. When you land in an unfamiliar world, talk to people, learn of them and find a person you trust enough to allow them to “show you the ropes.” In real life, I’d liken this to taking a cross country change in jobs. There always will be one person you are naturally drawn to who is willing to take the time to help, to lead and to just “be there” to answer any questions you may have. SL is no different, I’ve been helped many times in my path and I’ve in turn remained open and contactable to others myself.
3. Let life live. We each have a footprint on the Earth, whether it’s our virtual world or our planet world. It’s our choice how we want this imprint to impact others. It’s a virtual world, so by all means explore, expand horizons and learn, but at the same time, respectfully allow others to do the same in their own terms. When we try to control others and they allow it, they lose the beauty that is their own. You can’t change people, nor should you want to. In the end if you surround yourself with good, with thoughtful and kind people, not the trolls and drama freaks, your time in Second Life will be upbeat, optimistic and fun.
4. Be realistic. You statistically aren’t very likely to meet the “person of your dreams” in a virtual world. For one thing, an avatar gives you a fake sense of “knowing” someone and the persona behind the avatar typically is a bit different in personality than the reality of the human being sitting at the computer. After all, usually we all are doing a little exploring about what it is we like in being us. As an example, I am a nice, polite person in real life, just as I am in Second Life. But as my real friends can attest, there are moments, typically not found in my SL, when I can be quite cranky, especially when I am tired or hungry. There are probably only two avatars in SL who know this, and that’s just because they are closer than most, but when you look at the 500 plus avatars on my friends list, dimes to donuts, most would have no clue what a crankly lil Cao I can be.
5. Fun is Good. For some of us Second Life is still just a game, for others it’s not. So no matter what your thoughts, remember even if it’s not a game to you, it should at least be fun. If it’s not, why even bother? Virtual Worlds eat up living and breathing time and you can’t figuratively “live in” there and honestly, in my opinion the better part of life is out the front door of my condo, but as I said, that’s my opinion. But, my advice to you is, if it’s not fun, walk away. So many things in life will bring you pain. Some you have to take, like the death of my father in December. Others though, especially the ones that are just illusions of real life, those you can turn off and walk away from. Even if it’s just for a little breathing room. If you find yourself in constant angst and pain, make the only decision you can healthily make, to cut the pain from your life. Choose happiness.
This is all, of course, just my two cents so take it for whatever you can get out of it. I know, probably not much of anything of import. Don’t forget 2014 Japan Fair is on for another week or so! Don’t miss out, a portion of all proceeds goes to Shelter Box ( http://www.shelterbox.org ) and proudly we’ve already received enough to fund two Shelter Boxes! Now see? If you want to enjoy Second Life, find out how to be involved, we do a ton of charitable things in SL, find one that you believe in and there you are, a new group of friends, like minded people, and happy times. There ya are, I even threw in a sixth piece of advice for you. I’m kinda whacky like that.