Blogging · LSR Moda · SL Survival Guide

79. How to… let them in.

This one’s hard for me, to be honest. When I joined Second Life, I thought it was great. As a disabled person without the ability to drive, I had high hopes for Second Life as something far beyond a game. It was a social platform, too. A way to meet new people and interact in ways I couldn’t. A place where I could be myself apart from my physical limitations in the real world.

And then I discovered that some people are just as cruel and manipulative and dirty as the people in the real world. But then, why wouldn’t they be? In truth, you can paint a turd gold and decorate it with diamonds if you want to, but underneath all that pretty outer covering is still a piece of crap, right? It might look pretty, but it still stinks to high heaven. This is a lesson I learned the hard way in the real world. I went through school being that girl – the one some girls befriended so they could learn her secrets and make her life hell. The one the guys would dare one another to ask out on a date. I was the punchline of a lot of jokes, and eventually, I learned that trusting people was dangerous. Then, as I got older, I got some friends because I was talented. The crippled girl can sing! The crippled girl is good at English. These “friends” stuck around for a little while. They offered to accompany me when I went to state competitions. They came over to my house to study with me, and then they were gone when I was no longer useful. I eventually found a small group of friends that didn’t make me feel like I was constantly on eggshells and waiting for the next shoe to slap me in the side of the head, and then my dad and my family were re-stationed, and we moved from Okinawa, Japan to North Carolina in the middle of my junior year. I started the cycle all over in a brand new school. It was a magnet school for foreign languages, and I thought that at least I’d have people who could understand me a little better, but instead, I was the new girl in a group that had formed years before I arrived. Our school’s music program was abolished for “lack of interest” the day after I signed up for classes, so I joined another language class, and I met a guy there. He was ~pretty. You know the type. The kind of guy that I’d been used to before – bait and switch, laugh, continue on. I spent my junior and senior year trying to navigate this new place and trying to see how I could fit myself in because I had to show up every day and being surrounded by people at every turn and somehow feeling so alone was just beyond words. Then pretty guy sat with me at lunch one day after I’d made his friends angry in class the period before, and I was confused. I was certain it was a trap… because that’s what I was used to. But there he sat, right next to me, smiling and talking to me as though we’d known each other forever.

Well, we dated for almost two years. He showed up with flowers when I graduated and sat right next to my mother. He took me out for ice cream. By the time I went away to college, we’d called things off, but I was actually feeling hopeful. I figured, ‘Hey, people have to start acting like adults at some point, right? And all I have to do is find my people. There’s more people at college, and they’re in COLLEGE, so surely this is going to be an amazing adventure.’

But I digress.

The point is, I can still feel that sometimes. Even in SL, in this virtual world where we can all look however we want, and we can freakin’ fly for crying out loud, I still remember that younger version of myself struggling to make meaningful connections with people and not have that voice in the back of my head telling me that the bottom is going to drop out. Because it has. A few times, actually. The truth of the matter is people can grow up and not mature at all. Those are two different things. Getting older has nothing to do with maturity, and I think our culture of social media and our dependence on technology has been wonderful for some people, but it has also allowed some of those same people who were ugly and hurtful and cruel in the real world to find new and inventive ways to be ugly and hurtful and cruel in the virtual one.

Putting your trust in people is hard. It takes time. It’s even harder if you’ve been through the ringer a few times. My life has been… Well, it’s been interesting. It’s been devastating at times. But it’s also been so beautiful, and so full at times, too. And when I catch myself drawing parallels between Nova now and the downtrodden version of Nova back then, I have to stop and take a deep breath, and remind myself that I have come a long way…even if other people haven’t. I have to remind myself that someone else’s behavior doesn’t represent the whole. I have to remind myself that I am freakin’ fabulous, and I have been through a lot, and in spite of that, I still have some amazing people in my life who can see beyond everything and actually look at me for me.

It sounds a lot more simple than it is, but it’s really worth it. Trust me. Letting people in means you are letting in the opportunity to get hurt again, or to be disappointed, and that’s scary. It is. But sometimes, leaving that seat open or opening that door even when that little voice in your head is being a jerk can lead to something truly wonderful… and those moments are worth far more than any of the bad ones.

Credits:

[Shape][Divine Transformations]Nova Shape **custom**
[Head][LeLUTKA]Simone v. 3.4
[Body][Belleza]Freya 5.0
[Skin][The Skinnery]Paris (Toffee)
[Lips][Izzie’s]Matte Love Lipstick
[Hair][Stealthic]Allure (blondes)
[Dress/Shoes][LSR Moda @ AnyBody Event]Sexy Cathy Set

[Pose][Foxcity]

[Tune][Neon Trees – Your Surrender]

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