twothreesixfive project

In November last year, I discovered this blog called twothreesixfive and I signed up for it. I specifically chose Valentine's Day. I was already working on the book "Love, Like Dim Sum" at the time and I realized that, in spite of everything else I do in SL, relationships are still a major part of my virtual life.

I'm posting that entry below.


mahal kita
Message on the chocolate heart says "mahal kita" in the Tagalog language using Baybayin glyphs. Literally translated, it means "love I-you."

Several years ago, a married acquaintance called this day "Singles Awareness Day." Yeah, it's sad (pun intended), but true (I wanted to smack him anyway). So I chose to write for this day, because it is not just a day for couples.

Valentine's Day 1999 was the most heart-wrenching day of my life, when my then-husband admitted he had fallen in love with my youngest sister. (She did not feel the same way about him.) As if I needed a consolation prize, he added that he still loved me, but "not that way anymore." So I filed for divorce. A week after our 14th anniversary, it was final.

V-Day would have been unbearable since, had I not found a way to cope. It didn't matter that I was unattached; I could still participate in the festivities. I joined a singing Valentines quartet and crooned love songs with all my heart. In the short messages that came with the songs, I bore witness to enduring love, to newfound love, to unrequited love. Simply being around so much love is heartwarming in itself.

Love isn't what I came for in Second Life, yet it found me on Day One in Orientation Island. And, as each affair came and went, I realized that the greater love is not the single thread between two people, but the web among all of humanity. The ultimate goal is the metamorphosis of the selfish binding romantic love into the generous boundless spiritual love. I do not have to call someone my own to love him. Nor be with him. Nor act on it. I simply have to feel that connection deeply; that is enough.

Falling in love, if it is true love, is just a recognition of a soul we already love for eternity. We are simply revisiting them in this lifetime. So, on this day, I remember the many loves that I have revisited even if they are no longer with me, I hold close the ones I now revisit, and I look forward to those yet to come. And if I do that every day of the year, how could I possibly feel unloved? My heart will always be overflowing.

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Opal Lei is the creator of the Mer Betta™ mermaid tails and the Ms.O.Lei-ny™ "Etched in Stone" jewelry sets. A self-proclaimed "full-time resident" of Second Life for 4.5 years, she has explored a wide range of activities and creative expression in-world, that it requires a website (www.opallei.com) to list them all. And that's just with one alt.

In real life, Opal is a Filipina living in the US Pacific Northwest. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and a Master's in Business Administration, and worked in the software industry as a techie for almost a decade and a half. Upon discovering SL, she found the perfect medium for her creativity and decided to be an artist and micro-entrepreneur.

Her book about short-term virtual relationships "Love, Like Dim Sum" (www.LoveLikeDimSum.com) will be released later this year.