Editorial: “Behold the Field…”

Note: This is a personal blogpost, one that I have written and rewritten a couple of times, and to which I have added and removed several paragraphs, trying to find the right words to express how I feel. I may still have missed the mark, and for that I will apologize up front.

I am still feeling upset and angry about certain situations, and I take this as a sign that I should take some time off over the Christmas holidays, recharge my batteries, and come back with a refreshed perspective. So don’t be too surprised if I do announce a break from this blog soon.

I will be the first to admit that sometimes, I do not have the best overall temperament, the best combination of personality characteristics, to be a social VR/virtual worlds blogger. I lead with my heart instead of my head, and while this passion ignites what I write about and how I write it, it can also get me into trouble, time and again.

Longtime readers of my blog can see this happen in certain blogposts where, indeed, “the field in which I grow my f*cks is barren”. At times my anger about a situation which I see as unfair has led to almost a scorched-earth response, where a less emotional writer would have backed down. Yes, I do get triggered. Yes, I do get upset. Yes, I do lash out.

I am mindful of at least two situations in the past couple of months were I became emotional over something, and responded by blogging about it. The first was reporting on the layoffs among the Sansar team at Linden Lab, something which brought me into conflict with a number of people who felt that I should have kept that news secret, and frankly which has probably put strain on some formerly good working relationships.

Would I have done anything differently then, knowing what I know now? No. I am hard-wired to respond with outrage to outrageous circumstances. It is what makes me human. It is what makes me, me. If you were looking for a dispassionate, clinical response to the pain and turmoil of a mass layoff, I’m sorry, but you won’t find it on this blog. Heart first, head second.

And the second situation led to this particular sarcastic, angry blogpost.

I am old enough to recognize that the things that irritate me most about other people are the very things that irritate me about myself. I am too quick to take offense at perceived slights, and I sometimes strike back in harsh criticism, sarcasm, or anger. I realize that this is a personal failing, one which I will continue to work on. And I am sorry.

I grew up in a family where I quickly learned that to become angry was to put yourself in danger of physical punishment. So as a result, I spent most of my younger adulthood repressing my legitimate anger, often having it turn into crippling depression as a result, which hindered my life and career more than if I had simply expressed the anger appropriately, at the right targets, at the right time. It is only through years of hard work and therapy that I have been able to acknowledge and express my own anger, and in some cases, the pendulum may have swung a little too far in the other direction.

Being a blogger means finding your authentic voice, and I think I have found mine here. But it also puts you into situations where you realize that you are not always as prepared, as cool and calm and collected, as you would like to think you are. So every so often you need to pause and reflect, and make adjustments as necessary. Now is one of those times.

My first, learned-in-childhood response to incidents such as I have described here is to suppress my anger, which is wrong. My second, more recently-learned response, is to lash out in anger as my father did, which is also wrong. What I need to learn how to do is ride out my first and second gut responses, and opt for a third one: a measured response which is still passionate but not overemotional, taking into account that there can be multiple perspectives to any situation, some of which might not be obvious to me at first (or even second) glance.

Life is a process, where you are usually presented the same lesson to learn, over and over again in different guises, until you finally learn it, and then the next lesson presents itself. So I can look at my responses to recent events which made me angry, and see them as learning opportunities.

Once again, please accept my apologies.

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