In SL, it is too easy to start over with a new identity. Most residents will be inclined to create an alt avatar at some point for various reasons. Some of these so-called reasons include: business purposes, hiding out from people on their friends list on their main AV, starting their SL existance over as somebody completely different, or even spying. Perhaps the person has an embarrassing fetish they want to hide and they only feel free to express that under a different persona.
I have two alts. I rarely let them see the light of day because I have no use for them. I may sneak on one to take photos without being interrupted, but that is about as exciting as the lives of either alt get!
Frankly, I am happy being India Nadeau. This will always be me in Second Life. I will never commit to being anyone else even if it is virtual.
Many of us spend time and lots of money on our in world representation. No matter what happens in our digital lives, it is still a life we have developed and I do not think it should simply be looked at as something disposeable.
For quite some time, I unfortunately had not been fulfilled by my pixelated lifestyle. I’d spent a lot of time analyzing it, searching for the reasons I was experiencing this…lack of passion and enthusiasm for what I was doing. It was as if my AV self had a wee case of depression. I don’t mean SL itself was becoming uninteresting, or that I didn’t see purpose to the role I was in. It wasn’t these things at all. It was more like…I felt stifled and pressured every minute I was logged in, and even felt it when I wasn’t.
I was connected via messenger, email, and phone, to some of those I worked with. Therefore, I was on call–A LOT! I was encased in this box of self sacrifice, treating my SL job like it was a RL full-time job. I was saying no to my RL because I felt guilty if I so much as went out for supper with friends. My energy was draining from me more and more.
My SL wasn’t an addiction, it had become an obligation.
When had it totally ceased to be fun? When did I stop feeling like my Second Life was just my second life?
There were a few times off and on I went through burnout, tried to take a break to recharge…but I found myself doing little SL work things here and there on these breaks until I was doing my job as I normally would. Thus resulting in little to no break at all. This time when the burnout came, it had been bottling itself up inside of me for months; the pressure had risen to immense proportions.
No matter how much I did not want to throw in the towel and turn away from something I had helped build for nearly two years, I gave in. I had to. With no regrets, I knew it was the right decision for me. There were signs making themselves visible everywhere that confirmed this. But, with any positive choice one makes, there will be at least one negative thing about it. I’m not sure I was prepared for that part. I have learned that sometimes, the negative aspect of the choice happens for a reason and perhaps this reason was to keep me from hurting inside or from being reeled back into my now broken box of self sacrifice, or my frequent inability to say no.
Either way, I discovered freedom and strength that I needed. I am comfortable enough with myself to not run from my AV’s identity. An alt is not the answer. I am still starting over and retaining the person India Nadeau is–past and present–just injecting the color back into her. I will continue to be this persona in the future.
My weights have been lifted from me and SL has once again reverted back to only being my second life. What are my plans now? This is the beautiful part: I HAVE NONE! I plan to be the free spirit I was when I first created my virtual life once again. I will learn things when I want, have fun when I want, be creative when I want, and log in and out when I want.
What I do next will be anyone’s guess…