My name is not important, but you can call me Lena. I’m currently living two lives, and I’m here to write about them both, share moments of my lives, spin you stories, tell you secrets, dream you dreams, and chant you poems. I’d sing you songs, too, but, frankly, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I refrain, as a community service.
As I write this, 2016 is winding down. It’s been quite a year, and although I think it goes too far, I understand a bit of the sentiment behind the hasthtag #Fuck2016. It’s certainly not been my best year, although I freely admit, it could have been worse. Although, unless you both are on fire AND currently have the hiccups, it could always be worse. It’s not a particularly high bar to get over.
So, about me. Six months ago, I got really sick, and it turns out that there are some serious health issues I have to deal with. I was already not the picture of thriving mental health, so this was Not Good, to say the least. My life was not at all going as planned. So, a little over two months ago, I decided to get a different life, a SecondLife, to be precise.
Now it’s time to introduce the terms I use to differentiate between these lives. The things that take place in my actual, physical existence, I refer to those as ‘in the real’ or, if I’m feeling particularly snarky about it, ‘in meatspace’. Everything that happens in the fabulous shared fever dream that is SecondLife is either ‘on the grid’ or ‘inworld’.
A bit about SecondLife (skip this if you already know, unless you want to see it through my admittedly newb eyes), just in case you’ve never heard of it or haven’t played it. It’s an entire virtual world, where you can do pretty much anything you could do in the real, where you can be pretty much whomever you like, where looking like your dream self is as easy as configuring slider bars (and maybe investing some Lindens, which is the name for in world currency), and where you can interact with people from all over the globe in real time.
Now, pause just a moment and imagine that in the real, you’re unattractive, or disabled, or sick. Imagine that there’s a place where you can be beautiful, able bodied, and where you are always healthy. Imagine that in the real, you aren’t free to do what you want or be who you are, because your family wouldn’t understand, or you could lose or job, or because you made life choices that took some options off the table a long time ago. On the grid, all those closed doors swing open for you. It’s heady, all that freedom, all the potential and possibilities.
So this blog is about me exploring the freedom and possibility of the grid at a time in my existence when my life in the real is becoming more and more restricted, when my meatspace world is becoming small and narrow and claustrophobic. In short, it’s all about simultaneously accepting and processing my new normal in the real, and about escaping into the vast expanse of dream realization that the grid offers.
I have ties and anchors and lifelines holding me in the real, keeping me grounded as I become a cybernaut, but I’d be lying my ass off if I said I never think about losing myself entirely in the grid, abandoning what remains of my life in meatspace. I have said, half joking, full earnest, that if I could upload my consciousness into my avatar, I would gladly give up my physical body and live on the grid.
Some days it’s hard not to resent those ties, though, hard not to see them as holding me back or holding me down.