I wrote this post a few days ago, before the LL price hike announcement. Maybe this is a good time to post this, maybe this is terrible timing. I’m not really sure. But this post explains one of the reasons why I like being in SL and why I view it as a positive experience, despite the occasional blip.
Reading through endless blogs and following links, I ended up back on Hamlet Au’s blog. He mentioned the Stanford Study, research done in 2006 by Nick Yee. The study was way more than I could handle in my greatly-fatigued state, so I am relying on Au’s summary. Basically, and I am copying this directly from Au’s blog: Yee “found that people using physically attractive avatars tend to exhibit more self-confidence, both in-world… and in the real world.” I’m no scientist/psychologist/expert, but I am a human being. 🙂 And I’d have to say that my own experience supports Yee’s conclusions.
My father died 2 years ago. Although it was not unexpected, it was traumatic. I aged years overnight. I felt that I had become the front-line troops. That the security and well-being of my entire family depended on ME. Everyone in the family suffered greatly when we lost my father. Many emotions and issues surfaced. I realized that I had to grow up emotionally and psychologically or my life and my marriage were going to spiral down into depths from which they might never recover. I’ve already directed you to Botgirl Questi’s blog and her mention of Byron Katie. I am not familiar with Katie myself, but judging from Botgirl’s comments, the philosophy sounds much like the one I managed to embrace and internalize. There is no question that I was able to save my sanity (and thereby my health and the well-being of my family) by changing the way I look at life.
I have learned to really like myself. I have learned to look at others and accept them for who they are and what they are and to throw away my demands of what they “should do/be”. (Okay, my dear son – this does NOT apply to you – I am your mother. I have a FULL set of expectations for YOU and your behavior. Sorry. That’s my job! 🙂 ) Anyway, the point here is that I have reached a stage where I like who I am. And yet…. I still have issues left from those wonderful teen-age years. 🙂 C’mon – we all do. 🙂 But I have discovered SL.
Here in SL I can choose what parts of my RL existence are emphasized and which are played down. Ahuva is me, I am Ahuva. There is no difference. One of my SL friends has great difficulty believing that I am so “immersed”. I’m not really immersed. I simply am. But let’s face it. Ahuva NEVER wakes up with any physical aches or pains or zits or other aggravations. Ahuva’s clothes fit perfectly, or all it takes is a mild edit. She can dance all night in stiletto heels and look fresh and relaxed and pay no price the next day. Ahuva and I both react to stress by buying more boots. 🙂
Since Ahuva IS me, since she is doing what I like to do, being who I am, Ahuva is inside of me in RL. I walk about and I am She and She is Me. I walk like Ahuva. I feel the same confidence in me that Ahuva exhibits when she moves about inworld. I feel a lot of that buried teen-age angst dissolving. As Ahuva’s appearance has been tweaked and modified, so has my RL appearance. I hear again and again from people about how “great” I look. I look and sound younger. I have much more energy and excitement than I’ve had in years. I look hot. LOL (You GO girl!! ) I’ve lost weight. I went back to wearing my hair a different style. I have a picture posted on my social network that shows us side by side. 🙂 We are NOT identical, but everyone sees the similarity, the connection. (And Ahuva’s profile has been updated too – forced her to be a little more honest about what she was doing inworld 🙂 ) I was doing okay before SL. But Ahuva and I together – we are really quite a team.