It’s 2:30am on 30 December. I am lying awake with insomnia and I keep writing tweets then not tweeting them.
Writing them… because it’s therapeutic I guess. I’m feeling a bit frustrated right now and it helps to write things down.
And not tweeting them… because I don’t want to bore my Twitter friends with negative sounding tweets. I wanted my account to be mostly about Second Life, but my problem is I’m anxious because real life stuff is keeping me away from SL.
So I’m writing this in the notes app on my phone and maybe I’ll post it to my blog later. Not because I want sympathy but because, well it feels good to share and maybe there are other people in the same boat or who have been here before.
I don’t want to go into too much detail because it’s not relevant but I had a pretty good day for the most part but let’s just say there is some tension at home which turns to bickering or occasionally full blown arguing. And at the centre of our world is our little boy who is six and will always come first.
Second Life is my escape place from all this, a bit of a guilty pleasure. Holidays are actually a bit of a nightmare for me in this regard. Both my son and husband are at home all day which I should be happy about (and am mostly) but there is no me-time, which I get when they’re at school and work.
Writing this now I sound like a privileged so and so. But the fact is that rightly or wrongly I love my escapism and the life I am carving out in SL. It fulfils some things that RL is not giving me.
I work but during the week if I get my work done early some days I can buy myself maybe 1-2 hours to spend in SL before I have to get my boy from his after school club. And my partner usually goes to bed early due to his early starts, so most evenings I can spend an hour online after he goes to bed. Or at least one of the two. It is a juggling act but I find some time most days.
But not in the holidays. I grabbed 10 minutes this morning and literally only 5 minutes this evening just before being asked if I was coming to bed. I logged out and came to bed to avoid another argument.
I often look at my Second Life account page on my phone to see who is online. I don’t know why I do this when I know I can’t come on but I do. I want to melt away and go have fun with my friends in the fantasy world that is SL. At one point it showed 24 of my friends were on. Usually outside of holiday times there are more typically about 6 friends on (I have 56 in total). So there’s this frustrating feeling of wondering what I am missing out on. Meeting people, exploring places. Keeping friendships alive by visiting them and chatting. Strengthening bonds. Maybe some intimacy, or dancing at some cool parties, all denied.
And a day in SL feels like a long time. A lot can happen in a week. I hate being away too long.
Sometimes I worry that my life is just not set up for me to have a meaningful Second Life too. And that me trying to do both is putting a strain on both that’s just not worth it. I would say half of the time SL gives me joy and half of the time I’m anxious because I’m missing out.
How do other people who can only spend about 3-4 hours a week in Second Life cope? Do you have friends there? Do you ever SEE them?
Do I need to win the lottery or retire to make this work? How do other people make it work for them?
I suppose it follows that people who can spend huge uninterrupted chunks of time in Second Life must have less going on in their real lives, so perhaps I should be careful what I wish for. The grass is, after all, always greener on the other side.