‘Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Yeah, not a blogpost about a destination I explored, nor about some art. But a personal note. Times are a-changing, as Bob Dylan sang (a tad before my time) and he is still right.
As with all things, life itself doesn’t really change but the way you deal with it. Previous goals need adjusting, expectations either were met or not, and it is not really in my nature – or character if you will – to just sit about and keep holding on to ‘the good ol’ times when all was better and easier’.
Surely, I have my reservations and doubts on ‘new-fashioned stuff’ and I may not be the typical early adopter of many trends, but I am always willing to try them out and do my best to keep an open mind. This goes, of course, for real life and Second Life.
For me, and I am not alone in this, a lot of changes happened in my comfortable real life. Losing my job, after almost 19 years of being a loyal employee, was one of the biggest and scariest. That by now is turning into all kinds of exciting opportunities, so no worries. But there is more, of course. Like..aging. Getting older. Getting reading glasses, spotting more and more silver hairs in my dark hair, being tired as hell on Friday-night…and so on.
I sometimes think I age in SL too of some sort. Not in terms of looks and all, heh…Caity just got a mesh body and looks like new, well and she is, so thats not the issue. The issue, well, not even really an issue but more of an observation; Caity – me – has grown up. Developed into a character with some sort of life of her own. Her routine, the things she likes and does. And she went with the flow. Not always jumping on each new trend, some trends went over her head and some just took some time to adapt, but she did. I think that is why she is still around. And alive and kicking, after over 7 years. It may also cause me to use my blog for some more personal, self-reflective posts as well – rather than just exploring. A blog..changes too!
Recently, coincidentally a few old friends returned to SL. People from Caity’s past, as in: they left SL years ago and now they suddenly surfaced. They left before mesh got introduced, they know nothing about windlights, phototools, the merge with teen grid, the Zindra content and mostly: mesh.
First, I admit, I was thrilled to see them returning! My good old friends, I missed them so much! YAY!
But now, a few weeks later. I don’t know. I still love them, they are good people and lovely to talk to, but….I found out Caity has obviously moved on in SL while they were away. I developed my life, my habits, I changed my ways of living SL and for the people returning…I am not the Caity I was when they left me in 2009 -2011. They log in, being all from that time. I tried to help, guide, explain and for the technical stuff (mesh, pathfinder etc) I can, but the emotional changes Caity has gone through and the change of my way of living and enjoying SL, it seems impossible to explain.
I have, by now, let go of 2 of them ‘oldies’ and fear I am about to lose the last one too. Because we just do not..connect anymore. They will find new friends, new people with interests they like. I sometimes feel bad my SL changed so much, during their years long absence it seems they do not fit in anymore, but….isn’t that how it goes in RL as well?
I am thorned between the happiness of that awesome feeling of lost friends returning, and then realising…our paths are too far away from each other now, and reconnecting seems impossible. I may need to let go and wish them well. I hope they wish me well too. Times they are a-changing.
9 Comments Add yours
Ty Caitlin for sharing the bit of a glimpse inside. I have had old friends return after sl Hiatus and your right explaining how you have changed in a pixel world is difficult to impossible. Cheers to changes may they be fun and bring you wonderful places!
I have experienced the same thing with long lost SL friends. That said tho, I still spend time with many friends from my earliest days but only because I have made the effort to stay in touch and because those friends have never left for any significant period. With friends who have left for an extended period it is harder.
I hear you, Grady. I have had friends returning, after shorter periods or they were more adapting…I guess it is personal too.
love every word and thought of this post … it’s like you could read my mind regarding some old friends of mine. hugs!
Thank you Owl and Charlie, I have been struggling with this topic for a while…as I felt I was the bad, bad friend. I know I am not. Life goes on, people move on and not all reconnect so easily as one may hope. I do not give up on them though, maybe…one day, we will find eachother again. Well, or not. It is (second) life :)
yeah i agree i have more or less done exactly the same thing oldies come back and i just havent been able to connect at all Im so glad to hear it from you and others agreeeing with you as i felt maybe it was me being silly and alil selfish but its soo true we do move on in a way that is soo imposible to explain thank you so much for your post made me realise i am slightly normal afterall !!!!
I know Full Moon, I have (and still..) felt selfish but then…the constant need to explain why you do the things you do now, things you never did when they logged out for the last time..It’s unfair and unreal. They log in, frozen in time..as it were. Adapting and reconnecting has to come from both ways, in my cases – sadly – it didnt work. For now, but who knows in a few months :).
Sometimes I think when people take an extended break from SL, they expect things to be the same when they come back… the people, the avatars… to be unchanged.
But time marches on, in world and out. Second Life doesn’t stop when we log out… it continues, people continue living, growing, exploring, loving, crying, laughing, losing. And when people aren’t on that same journey with us, it’s hard to reconnect to them when they rejoin us.
As you said, SL Caity has grown. She’s not the same person she was two or three years ago, and that’s a good thing. Growth is good… and sometimes it means outgrowing the old.
It just is… and it’s nothing to feel bad about. :-)
Thank you for sharing Caitlin. As an 8 year veteran of SL I know exactly what you are talking about. For whatever reason people leave for years and come back and are shocked that most everything is changed. It would seem obvious that after a very long time, most things would be different. When someone complains that “their favorite places are gone” I tell them it’s because they left. Places and communities can develop very quickly in SL, but they can disappear just as quickly if they do not evolve and transform. If you stick with SL you don’t see this as epic change, just the day to day evolution.
As far as the relationships, they change too. People, hopefully, evolve and change as time goes on too. You are not a fixed point in time, you are a dynamic individual, your avatar, your relationship with it and the rest of SL have to change too. While it’s good to hear from old friends, I usually don’t expect them to remain very long if they have been gone for a great while. Just remember it’s them, not you. ;-)