So I finally managed to make good on my self-promise to do more SL exploring. I managed to visit the magical Winter Wonderland build on the Two Moon Paradise SIM. I highly recommend it, if you fancy ice skating or some romantic dancing in snow (although I went there, unromantically, by myself!). As you can see, they have Hot Chocolate too!
List of places I want to visit in Second Life (garnered from various sources such as cool Flickr pics!)
I always feel much better about RL when I have spent a lot of time in SL.
When you step back it seems strange that wandering around lots of imaginatively meshed together pixels using the up arrow key on your keyboard can have such a real and meaningful connection with you in RL but it can.
Whenever I visit a SIM that transports me fully to another world away from the stuffy confines of my claustrophobic study or connect with another very real person in SL I feel alive. I have always had an overactive imagination and as much as I have tried to suppress it, in order to conform to standards for a lifestyle I was supposed to follow according to those who brought me up, I never quite could. Letting my imagination get taken in a myriad of diverse directions by the wondrous creations SL has to offer fires me up. It makes me feel truly alive. Very few things in RL make me feel this way, and the more limited my RL options seems to get, the more open ended possibilities SL seems to offer.
SL is not perfect and I always worry about it ending like the best of my dreams always do, but as long as it is still going and being pushed further by creative and magical people I will always have somewhere to go and fill my cup of imagination hope.
That said, I have been visiting the Burn 2 2013 SIM this week and have so far managed to learn how to Dance whilst gyrating with a flaming Hula Hoop around my waist and I nearly got eaten by a large Luminescent Jelly Fish.
I highly recommend taking the Hot Air Balloon Tour in the SIM as there are so many wonderful things to see, it’s almost overwhelming. With the Tour you get a quick glimpse of things you can go and immerse yourself in later.
I’m planning to go back to day and check out the large Snake Temple and get myself some SL snakes to add to my flaming hula hoop.
Although I missed all the parties for Second Life’s 10th Birthday Celebrations (something I’m not particularly happy about) I have managed to make some time to at least visit the brilliant SL10B Community Celebration SIM.
It has so much to offer the open minded explorer that at times it does feel a bit overwhelming. If I could spend all day everyday this week in Second Life, immersing myself in the user created exhibits, I would. Unfortunately I can’t, but i chanced upon a great way to see as much of the SIM as possible in a short amount of time.
Yes, hop onto a YavaScript Pod for an SL10B Pod Tour. You have to find a pod station and there are 2 pod tour lines, east and west.
The Western Line turns into a train journey for a short while, which I loved, reminding me of how much traveling in vehicles in SL can be. Anyway, going on the pod tour is a great way to see all that is on offer, albeit for quick flashes, but then you can go back and visit the areas you liked the look of best. I also find walking around SL quite clunky at times, so sitting back, relaxing and just soaking up the creativity on offer was a real pleasure.
Anyway Hope you manage to go on a pod tour this week, and if so, enjoy!
At the start of the new year I promised myself, and this blog, that I would make more of an effort to visit Second Life and explore new SIMs that were on my ever growing list. I love Second Life and always enjoy my time immersed in the metaverse but as with many things I enjoy I seem unable to devote much time them. I resolved to remedy this by focussing more on my needs this month and have managed to log inworld most days.
Below (at the end of this post) are some pictures of a few of the wonderful places I have visited.
The more time I spent inworld the more I felt connected to my true self (corny as it sounds and comes out when i type it!), so I thought I would share a few thoughts about that.
One of the many reasons I love Second Life, and keep coming back to it since I joined (an age ago) in March 2007, is that it helps me understand myself.
I have always loved creating and exploring places and things, ever since I was a child. I am curious and inquisitive by nature and a little bit quirky. Seeing all the mind blowing creations sprung from the diverse imaginations contributing to Second Life never ceases to inspire me and fires my own, often stifled, imagination. When I see a magical SIM with glowing mushrooms on top of a Jungle Tree floating in the sky I think wow, I never would have thought of that, but it looks great. It makes me feel that life is full of endless possibilities and other ways of doing things and living. It helps open my eyes, and keep them open. We should not be confined by rigid rules and a lack of imagination, as much as those who try to suppress any form of creative spirit try to confine us. Why does this matter to me? Why does it strike a chord in me?
Well for the most part of my life I have always been suffocated and held back by a cultural background, family and peers who have a narrow and limited view of the world and all it’s possibilities. This is basically down to their own unresolved insecurities and fragility, though I didn’t understand this until now.
When my naturally open minded and curious young self tried to push boundaries I came up against this rock hard iron wall of resistance to the preconceived norm. A sort of solid cage that claustrophobically moved ever closer to me as the insecure people who built this cage did everything they could to crush my independent spirit. They were scared I would take them down with me. Or that I would end up like them, and they hated themselves. So they forced me to conform to their ways of living and doing things, because their way was the right way and the only way to live. People who loved me and whose job it was to build up my own self confidence and faith in life merely ended up crushing my faith in myself and humanity. My imagination was a curse, a blot on myself, my family, my community, all society. It was a hindrance, liek an infectious virus that needed to be caught and killed early on.
Whatever I truly felt deep inside me, or however differently I saw the world and all it’s possibilities didn’t matter. I was wrong. I was always wrong. They were right, always, and I had to obey them and give up my true self and all it’s dangerous ideas and conform to their uniformity or else be made to.
The more they pushed me to change myself to what they wanted me to be, the more i pushed back. But they were stronger. they were my parents, my family, my peers, my community, my ethnic background, people of my inherited faith, my society. Be it my ideas or questions on anything from religion to economics to politics to art to careers or even food, any desires i had that they didn’t like were always knocked out of me.
When you are a child your parents are like Gods to you. I only really understand this know, and how powerful it is, having become a father myself 5 years ago and also going through years of psychological therapy. I always thought that as much as i ended up having my true self, confidence and hope stripped away from me, I still had a lot of independence inside me. It seems I was mistaken.
It turns out that many of the decisions i ended up making, even in my 20’s and early 30’s were basically what my parents or society wanted me to do. I never really wanted to do these things myself. Examples include my career choices. My parents wanted me to become a doctor and do Medicine at University. I never really wanted to, but I still went for it. Then they wanted me to become an accountant. Me, a wildly creative and imaginative lover of films, art, fiction and all things eclectic and eccentric, become a staid, rule following, dull accountant (no offense to any accountants out there!). I caved. I gave up dreams of being a musician, a film maker, a fiction writer, an astronaut, a historian, whatever else i really was or wanted to be. I am naturally a bit left wing and liberal, a fan of charities and change, not corporations and tradition. Yet I “chose” to live and become part of a world that was nevr right for the true me, one of rigidity, material obsession, greedy tax avoiding corporations and insecure traditionalists”.
Even when I thought I was outgrowing and overcoming all the years of brainwashing and being pushed around, i was still really living other peoples lives. I had forgotten who i really was. I bought a house and took on loads of debt when i didn’t want to, realizing it was too big a commitment. If I bought this house then I would have to work in high pressured, highly demanding, corporate, soulless jobs forever, and I never once thought I had a choice to say no. I went to work for a large global multinational corporate giant, a psychopathic entity that was even more corrupt and wrong for the world than i had ever thought possible, deep in the hidden recesses of my forgotten true self. The list goes on.
I essentially got in so deep into this world that others wanted me to live in that i forgot who i really was and wanted to be. I became a walking pod, on automatic pilot, a pale shadow of my natural, youthful, imaginative self.
However, through a combination of good fortune and perseverance i have managed to get to the stage where i no longer accept that I can’t make choices that are my own and that I have to live the life that others want me to live. No matter how powerful a pull they have on me, i am determined to overcome their brainwashing and holding me back and I am doing all i can to reconnect with my true self. The calm, patient, warm, tolerant, accepting, passive yet strong, creative, open minded, film loving weirdo that i am. I am not the ruthless, aggressive, permanently angry money grabbing, greedy capitalist the modern world, my parents, peers and many in wider society want me to be.
Happiness is a complex difficult thing to understand, let alone attain, but it does not come from material wealth or power. It certainly does not come from living the life other’s want you to live, at the expense of the life you feel you truly want to live. The more you try to deny your true self, the unhappier you become. That much i have learnt so far. It seems to hold true for me at least. And that is the point. What matters is what seems true and relevant to me, What makes sense to me. What fires me and my imagination, not my parents or others around me.
That is where Second Life comes in. Trying to reconnect with a self that has been battered and pushed deep down and who in many ways i am still deeply suspicious off, is a very hard task. It is a painful journey of self discovery. Yet deep down I always knew who i really was and what i really wanted from life. It is just about reconnecting with that again. Second Life helps me do this.
When i see a SIM or an Avie that makes me tingle with excitement or when i hear virtual water flowing over virtual rocks in a Zen garden and i feel taken to another place that chimes with me, these are all examples of little ways in which i am reconnecting with the real me. In my real life i was always limited by the insecurities and anxieties of others. Those who held sway over me. In my imagination the possibilities seem endless and hopeful. In Second Life I can see the boundaries of what is possible to create being challenged, and limit’s being pushed. Our creativity and imagination should be the only limits to what we can do.
We all need tools to help us in life, and as a tech lover I’m happy to still have Second Life to help me on my journey. Seeing other people build worlds, people and places they want to see come to life, unhindered by preconceptions or outdated “norms” is refreshing and empowering to my own quest to challenge the norms holding me back.
The only problem is that the more i delve back into the world of wonder and creativity the more time i want to spend there, and time is a luxury i don’t have.
Anyway, enough of my psycho-babble and internal musings. Here are some pictures of a few great SIMs that took my breath away and fired my imagination:
(More pictures to come in further posts)
Basilique Private Members Club Island SIM
(More pictures to come in further posts)
Visit this SIM quickly as it will be moving on February 2nd 2013!
(More pictures to come in further posts)
Tags: anxiety, challenging preconceptions, creativity, finding yourself, growing up, imagination, independent spirit, insecurity, life journey, living your truth, Metaverse, overcoming insecurity, personal growth, psychology, pushing boundaries, Second Life, Second Life Exploring, Second Life Places, self confidence, self discovery, self esteem, SL, Virtual Worlds
This is my first post of 2013, so Happy New Year (14 days late!) to anyone who is still reading my blog!
It has been a logn time since I updated this blog, and even longer since I have been in Second Life.
I logged back in last week, for the first time this year, and my avatar was dressed as Frankenstein and was bumping into all the mess left scattered on the floor of my small virtual home. I’m trying to introduce some tidiness and order into my real life and it seems time to do the same for my second life.
Realising that the last time I was inworld must have been Halloween made me feel sad and disappointed. Second Life has so much to offer and I always enjoy my travels and time inworld, but the firefighting disordered way my life seems to exist in has meant I rarely get the opportunity to spend time inworld. When I do find myself inworld, it often seems I end up wasting a lot of that precious time.
I tell myself that Efficiency is the key, though I also think being too efficient takes the soul and sense of excitement and adventure out of a lot of life. There are lots of places in SL I am desperate to visit. The main idea of this blog was to be an archive of lists of destinations i came across and wanted to visit. That way, having them listed online in a central place, I thought i’d traverse the metaverse like Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise, boldly going where i had never been before inworld. That doesn’t seem to have happened.
So my cunning plan is to allocate 1 hour every day, in the morning before work, to log into Second Life and visit somewhere new. An hour is not a long time, especially if the SIM is as exotic and creatively built as most I have had the luck to visit. Yet I hope the breadth of my travels inworld will help me reconnect to Second Life and the sens eof wonder and imaginative stimulation it has always given me.
Staring out of my study window here in London, UK, it is dark, grey, damp and cold. On a day liek this, surrounded by concrete highways and boring Tudor style brick houses that all look the same and make me feel claustrophobic, I yearn to be in a meadow or watch the sunset on a wide open beach. SL really does inspire me and help me get through the long dark days and I think I need to accept that and make more effort to jump back in.
Hopefully I’ll have some cool picture of my travels to share on this blog too! And hopefully my plan won’t get pushed aside by the tumult of real life again.
Wish me luck.
I am going through all the SL pictures/ snapshots that I have taken during the last 5 years that I have been active in Second Life, and I came upon the picture below of my very first Second Life home. I had no idea I had this picture (my SL photos are all over the place and it is becoming a real mission to organise them in some semblance of order).
Coming across it at random, tucked away in a directory labelled OLD SL pics, made me suddenly feel very nostalgic about the old times in SL and how I have actually been in SL for quite a while. I signed up and created Raza Lane in March 2007 after reading an online article about this virtual world called Second Life. I have no idea how i came upon the article. It was all pretty random. The whole process of creating an avatar and wandering around other peoples creative endeavors really excited me, as it still does. There is something very magical about SL for me. I never get to spend as much time as I would like to, I still have yet to master the dark arts of building in SL, which I am determined to do one day, but I do always have a good time when I log on and a lot has changed in terms of people, places and the technology surrounding SL in the 5 years I have been part of it. I have gone through lots of computers since 2007, as they all keep breaking and crashing, and I can’t remember which PC i actually signed up to SL using and took this picture on. I thought I had lost a lot of old SL pics when I lost the old computers but thankfully some seem to have survived.
My first home and the surrounding area look very basic and blocky compared to the smooth, almost liquid like detailed beauty of many SIMs and SL Builds I have visited recently. I remember that this was a pre-packaged home that you just rezzed on a piece of land you had to buy, back before Linden Lab gave premium members free homes. This was where I spent some happy memories with my first SL wife/ partner, and though the house and marriage are no more the happy memories do survive. Chancing upon this little piece of SL Personal History has made me feel very lucky that i came upon the amazing world and idea of Second Life and all the joy it has given me and doubtless many other people around the globe. That feeling of wonderment, like a child experiencing something magical for the very first time, is something this picture reminded of. In many ways I am still an SL Newbie, and i like the feeling of naive curiosity that gives me.
I’m now going to dig around for more clue sot my SL past and little trinkets of nostalgia from my plain, blocky SL Early years!
Here is a snapshot of me wearing the Japanese Mens Kimono 16 by Asalt Eames from the Grasp Store in front of the Entrance to The Wonderful Matsumoto Japanese Edo castle in the Hosoi Ichiba SIM. I became aware of this wonderful SIM and the beautifully detailed buildings in it after reading this blog post by Yordie Sands. I highly recommend visiting it.
Here is a link to more pictures from my 1st visit to the Castle on my Flickr account.
And here is a link to the official Hosoi Ichiba Flickr group with some really great Second Life snaphots.
Here are a few pics from my first, and unfortunately very brief visit to the wonderfully created Ancient Alexandria SIM in Second Life. I love history and have visited Egypt and the Pyramids in real life, though I didn’t make it to Alexandria. One of my favourite things to do in Second Life is visit SIMs that recreate actual historical places and time periods, as I find this creatively inspiring and it shows how diverse cultures and art has been over the centuries and across borders.
In addition to th epics below here are more pics at my Flickr page.
This may not be the best use of my blog but I’m going to list some places I really want to visit in Second Life, as I keep forgetting to note down their names or SLURL’s! Also, if anyone has any more suggestions of cool, exotic and Photogenic places to visit in Second Life please let me know!
A paradise for SL shutterbugs, Fotoscope contains a variety of photo-friendly backdrops featuring individual, couple, and group poseballs so Residents can capture that perfect image for posterity in any situation.
Destination Guide Link | Map Link |
Thematic is a fantasy island filled with romance, secret gardens, a cemetery of ships and other exciting mysteries.
Destination Guide Link | Map Link |
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
Travel back in time to the year 1815 when King William I and Queen Wilhelmina ruled the Netherlands. The United Kingdom of the Netherlands offers historical role-play, En Garde tournaments and a complete wedding service fit for a King and Queen. There’s even a Cardinal to perform weddings, vow renewals or christenings.
Destination Guide Link | Map Link |
Angelwood Savage Garden Medieval Castle
Explore this medieval castle and its endless hidden rooms, underground caves, dungeons and waterfalls. Relax, cuddle, dance or mediate in these endless themed forest gardens. More info at http://angelwoodsavagegarden.blogspot.com.
Destination Guide Link | Map Link |