Land shifts

I'm moving... both in SL and in RL.

Actually, my SL moves have already occurred.  If only RL moves were as easy.

Skull Mountain

I had been thinking of lowering my tier and the easiest way to do it is by giving up the quarter sim in Fendahl.  When I was still thinking of moving Mer Betta there, I didn't know how to build the ground level, but I saw a build in an RFL fair that would be perfect.  It was a mountain island with rocks shaped like a skull and a cove with a pirate ship in it.  So I talked to the creator who was very gracious and told me where to get the sculpt maps for the skull and he even gave me the texture that he created for it.  I decided to make my own texture so I could match it with the other rocks that I wanted. That was where I filmed my first Mer Betta ad.

Opal's 5th Rez Day Anniversary 20110831, X3D
A stereoscopic pair showing Skull Mountain. The platform was temporarily installed for my 5th rez day anniversary.

Anyway, I met Micah in July 2010 soon after I bought that parcel.  She was a friend of the previous owner, and she logged in on the parcel when I was building it. So I asked her first if she wanted to take it over, because the land had sentimental value to her.  Otherwise, I would just abandon the land to Gov Linden.  She wanted it, and so I transferred the land to her on the 20th of the month.  (My tier is charged every 21st of the month.)  I gave her copies of the objects that I could transfer, including the skull and the elephants on top of the skull.  I left some of my things that I couldn't transfer until she could purchase them herself.

A view of the west from the south side of Skull Mountain.

Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to move my tier down because most of my lands were deeded to groups in order to get more prim allowance.  So I had to give up two more parcels in Aglia that were given to me as gifts.  Now, I'm down to just my parcels in Aglia and Zeuzera (including my very first 512 sqm plot) and the parcel in Dunbeath where I have the Mer Betta store, the Ms.O.Lei-ny store, and the recording studio for "Talk, Like Dim Sum".

A home with Wolfgang

I don't remember how the conversation started about finding a new home, but I got nervous about Alt #27 and Alt #32 being associated with Opal/Treasure and my RL.  So, we decided (actually, it was more my decision) to find a place that was really our own.  Not just mine.

In a sense, it was a good decision, because I had to give up the parcel we were on anyway.

The first parcel was a beautiful location in the water but the owner was a jerk, because he wanted us to pay for the prims of an ugly build that he refused to remove.  I was pissed.  Wolfgang was more sympathetic to the owner (which pissed me off even more), so I told him to deal with the owner himself.  I wanted to leave; he wanted to work it out.  I asked him if he was attached to the land and he replied that he wasn't attached to material things.  I said I'd rather be homeless than deal with jerks like that owner.  It was that statement that prompted him to say, "ok ok ... let's leave."  And we started picking up our things.

I wanted to just let the rent expire, because we figured the owner wouldn't refund us the difference anyway.  But W wanted to be polite, so he informed the landlord when I refused to.  The landlord later replied, proving himself even more of a jerk.  W finally conceded that it was a good idea to get as far away as possible from people like that.

At first I couldn't understand why W wanted to stay so bad that he and I fought about it.  Then I realized there were two reasons -- he himself deals with renters, and it was the first home that was truly equally ours.  Like his comment about making plans about the future, giving up a jointly shared home probably made him nervous about our future together.  In a sense, he was fighting for our future together.

Anyway, we went back to a private-sim parcel that we saw earlier and we started building it, avoiding the use of Opal's stuff and searching for freebies and cheapies instead.  The ground level is practically done.

Meanwhile, I keep sorting and packing for my RL move ....

Fight or flight

The bet

August 14, 2012. Impy was talking about Guild Wars 2. It was supposed to come out on August 28 and he was excited about it.

[2012/08/14 16:59:16]
Alt#24: After you buy GW2, I won't see much of you anymore.
    That's where your time will go.
Impy2: no, i dont think so
    i will not go fully into GW2
Alt#24: I should make a bet.
Impy2: lol, you will loose
Alt#24: I think you'll be too tired to come into SL.
Impy2: no, this is 'diferent', it is not a game
Alt#24: And after your eyes get accustomed to the great graphics in GW1, you will not want to come  back to SL.
Impy2: laughs
    XDDD  no way
Alt#24: Make the bet then!
Alt#24: Okay.
    Here's my bet.
    By October, you will drop down to once or twice a week in SL.
Impy2: nope
Alt#24: Make the bet and I'll track it.
Impy2: what do you want to bet?
Alt#24: 1,000L
    You can afford that.
Impy2: :D ok
Alt#24: ok ... Deal.
Impy2: deal
Alt#24: One day, my darling, you'll learn never to make a bet with a Filipina.
Impy2: haha :D

November 9, 2012. Impy logged in after my presentation at the Non-Profit Commons. He had logged in a week before, but we didn't log into our dedicated alts then. This time, we did.

[2012/11/09 10:28:20]
Second Life: [Impy2] paid you L$1000.
Alt#24: What's that for?
Impy2: remember our "bet"?
Alt#24: I forgot.
Impy2: :) laughs.
Alt#24: What was the bet?
Impy2: don't remember..."I bet you will log less and less....till  one day in the week
Alt#24: oh
Impy2: i said no...
Impy2: you won :S
Alt#24: In that case, you owe me another 4000L

I won that bet because that's typical in my Second Life. Lovers fading away. Some disappear without a word. Some fall away, but they keep in touch by email, until eventually the emails disappear too. Some *do* return. Rapido did. And now, Impy did too. Even Yes Man had contacted me recently and we had a brief chat by disembodied IM to catch up on news with each other.

In the past, I figured I would always be abandoned. I have abandonment issues and they say that you would always get the same lessons in life until you learn them. I imagined that was the lesson I had to keep learning.

After all, I was always the one who was more immersed in SL. And my lovers were more focused on their RL. So it was only natural that I'd be the one left behind.

In fact, that was how I viewed every lover. He was just there for a short time and, eventually, he'd fade away. I could bet on it with confidence....

I don't think about to leave you

Later that same afternoon, I saw Wolfgang#2 logged in when it was already very late for him. He said he was on his way to bed. I asked for a hug before he goes to bed; he declined. I was very disappointed.

I imagined he was with his sub, and I felt bad that he spent the whole evening with her, but I couldn't even get five minutes for a hug. After he logged off, I couldn't focus so I logged my social alt and went to Frank's. I hid in a corner while listening to the music and working on other things outside SL. I said hi to a friend and another friend caught me. The second one proposed RL sex after finding out that we actually live near each other. I declined. He's less than half my age.

The next day, Wolfgang asked how my day was, as usual. And I mentioned taking my social alt out and the conversation with the young friend. I also mentioned that I spent a little time with Impy and that he's back. Then he asked me how Rapido was, and I said he was fine but I hadn't seen him for a while either.

[2012/11/10 02:26:25]
Alt#32: It's been just you for a long time.
Wolfgang#4: yes i know ... but it looks to change soon
Alt#32: I don't know.
Wolfgang#4: i think it will anyway as you show the wish it does
Alt#32: How do I show the wish?
Wolfgang#4: because all that, the dance with [social alt], the impy around, rapido too

I told him that I didn't really dance. I was just standing in the corner. Then I explained, "Sometimes, I just need to be around crowds because I feel lonely. And sometimes I feel lonely and rejected when I can't even get a five minute hug."

And the argument started.

I tried to appease him. I tried to prove I was thinking of him even as I stood at Frank's because a song played by the DJ made me think of him. He continued to think I was trying to make him jealous, simply because I didn't get a hug. I was trying to explain that it was just a slight disappointment and I went out to soothe myself.

I kept repeating what I said in so many ways. It was as though he wasn't listening or he didn't believe me. At one point, I felt like the argument was going nowhere, and I said, "I am at a point where I am seriously thinking of giving up." I was seeing red.

And that became another point of contention.

The argument continued through email the next day. Even while he was at a family gathering.

I said, "I always believed that love should be the only reason to be with another person. Maybe I’m a romantic idealist. I’ve wanted to run away because of our differences. I stayed because I love you. But, if my love for you is not a good enough reason, then what reason is there to stay?"

He replied, "I always believed that when you love someone, you don't have to search a reason to stay, because then, you don't wish to leave. And i believe that when you wish to leave, the meaning is that you don't love that much, or not that much anymore. ...

" Love is a good reason to not leave someone, it is just so bad that some reasons need to be found to decide to stay. ... Romantic words are words, reality is reality. ... You, the romantic, want to leave because [of] 2 argues and our differences. ... Me ,the not romantic, was here and stayed here without thinking about to leave, although our argues, although our differences which are for me constructive and not a problem. ... You, you say to me you love me. I, I don't think about to leave you."

My own reply was much longer, but essentially, "Running away doesn’t mean I don’t love you. Sometimes, it just means I am feeling more pain than I can handle. I can deal with arguments; arguments can be logical. I have a very difficult time dealing with emotional pain, because emotional pain often irrational. Feeling jealous is irrational. Feeling rejected just because I didn’t get a hug is irrational. ...

"You get hurt because of the argument. I’m already hurt before the argument starts. For me, the argument is like pulling out the arrow and cleaning the wound. It hurts more, but it’s necessary for healing. ...

"The will is not stronger than love; the will gets its strength from love. When I say I love you, I am saying that my love powers my will to stay and it overrides my impulse to run away from the pain. That impulse is the fight-or-flight instinct. When I cannot fight anymore, my instinct is to flee. But fleeing would not make you happy, so I stay."

We had a couple more exchanges by email before we met inworld again. And we made up.

But this argument has opened my eyes. As he says, I look for a reason to stay, but the thought of leaving me never even occurred to him. If he's right, maybe the impulse to flee is also triggered by fear. Fear of commitment. Fear of the relationship going further than I am prepared to go.

Somehow, a shift happened inside my brain. Somehow, I see him differently now.

Maybe I should save my Lindens. I'm not making any bets with this one.

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
Dr. Seuss