I have had a rough couple of weeks. I’m still feeling cranky, and I have really been struggling with my depression, thinking about my life and my choices, ruminating over my mistakes and missteps over 55 years. I was originally planning to take an extended break from blogging, afraid that I had let my depression colour my work, that I was simply lashing out at people and companies unfairly.
And yes, Linden Lab was well within their rights to ban me from Second Life, for posting a version of that bitchslap picture to their community forums. I just thought I was being funny and sarcastic, but I can now see that some would find it offensive, especially those who have experienced physical abuse. To anyone I offended, please accept my sincere apologies. And Linden Lab did review my 3-day suspension and decided to remove it, for which I am grateful. Thank you, Linden Lab.
Back around the turn of the century, I was really into the Stephen R. Covey book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Now, let me tell you, I am far, far from a highly effective person. I am, in fact, a highly ineffective person. At times, I am the God damn Queen of Highly Ineffective People! In December 2017, I wrote about myself:
In real life, I’m an overweight, divorced, gay librarian with diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, and a long history of mental health issues. I’m not particularly close to the rest of my family, and I have few real-life friends. I’ve been on extended sick leaves for the treatment of serious clinical depression. I am getting old (I’m now 53), and I move one hell of a lot slower than I used to when I was young. It bothers me. A lot bothers me.
To be honest, I kinda suck at this whole reality business.
And the only thing that’s changed since I wrote that is that I’m now 55 instead of 53. And I now move even slower than I did two years ago! If anything, I have gained more weight, and it needs to be addressed because it is adversely affecting my health in numerous ways. I need to haul my raggedy ass back to Weight Watchers, pronto.
One of the things I did after reading the Covey book was to write a personal mission statement. I spent a lot of time lovingly crafting it, and I used to display it proudly on my then-blog (yes, I had a personal blog back then). In part, it says:
I take responsibility for myself in any and all circumstances. Every day, I create a balanced and integrated life by taking the time to identify and honour my needs: physical, social, emotional, mental, and spiritual. I invest in myself by making choices to:
■ Exercise my body, educate my mind, and rekindle my soul;
■ Connect with other people and continue to forge healthy, loving relationships;
■ Steward my career, time, money, and other possessions more effectively;
■ Simplify my baggage, but complicate my perspectives;
■ Continue to cultivate awareness and insight, casting aside my fear and despair.
And I realize with dismay that, despite all my pretty words, I really haven’t taken any of the steps I wrote about. I haven’t moved forward. I have stalled.
However (and you might well disagree with me about this), one of the relative bright spots of my life has been this blog and the Metaverse Newscast show. I discovered talents that I didn’t know I possessed, and I found and connected with an audience. I was able to be creative and social in way I hadn’t even dreamed of before.
So I have decided that, even though I am still going through a rough patch, I need to resume blogging. It makes no sense to give up something that I enjoy doing, that (most of the time, at least) makes me happy. We all need to do things that make us happy; it keeps us sane in a crazy world.
But I also need to pay attention to the words in my mission statement. My life is badly out of balance at the moment, and I need to address that. Social VR and virtual worlds have been my joy, but also my escape from reality, and I can’t keep escaping reality forever. I need to “cast aside my fear and despair” and take come concrete steps to improve my life.
And it’s probably time to completely re-write my mission statement. Parts of it (which I haven’t shared here because it’s several paragraphs long) really need to be updated. For example, I talked a lot about God, and I really now consider myself to be an atheist. And I have to add my blog and show to the mix of things I do, and take out some things I don’t do anymore (like sing in an LGBTQ chorus, which fulfilled a longtime dream of mine, but in the end turned out to be too much for a non-musical person like me to keep up with).
It’s time to take stock, make choices, and take steps. So, in addition to blogging about social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse, I will also be sharing stories of my progress in real life (losing weight, exercising, finally cleaning up my Red Cross disaster area of an apartment, etc.). Please wish me luck and send me good vibes!