Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Then and Now

Like the majority of people in SL, I'm a long time fan of Strawberry Singh and her amazing blog.  Each week, she posts a challenge for other bloggers to take part in.  This week, it was to take a photo from your first blog entry and a recent picture of yourself.  Now my blog isn't that old, so I decided to do something slightly different and post the very first picture of myself, or at least the first picture I have that wasn't deleted....and compare it to where I am today.  I believe this picture was taken within my first two weeks of Second Life.

I started SL May 17th, 2008.  It was 3 days after my 23rd birthday.  I was young and way over my head.  I was a bit naive, altogether too trusting and had no idea of the ride that this virtual world would take me on. Obviously, I'm wearing silks in the first picture, which gives away the lifestyle I was/am involved in. I started Second Life to explore some things I had no way of exploring in RL. I moved on from that after about 6 months in SL and did other types of Roleplay, moving then into photography, and then modeling.  

Looking closely at the first picture, it's easy to see that I had terrible editing skills, I have jewelry going into my arm, my shape was completely disproportionate. and my hair color was pretty terrible as well. But I was blissfully unaware of this at the time, and my first few months in SL were probably part of the most enlightening time of my entire life.

I can honestly say that if I had not started using Second Life that my life would have charted a much different course.  It may have been better.  It may have been worse.  But I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't taken that first tentative step and created the avatar Occasus Jayaram.

My first day in SL, I met a man who changed my life forever.  If I hadn't met him, I probably wouldn't have logged a second time or a third, or started the journey that has been my second life. I wouldn't have made the friends and loves that I've gotten to experience and I don't think my RL would have been the same either.  It was through my journey in Second Life that I was brave enough to explore things in my RL and made some amazing friends in the process.  Even though we lost touch about 5 years ago, I've never forgotten him or the impact his existence had on mine.

My most recent photo was done by Alia Novo of Oh Snap! Photography and she does amazing work with a lot of hand drawn details.  This was something I had never had done before and I really wanted to see how my avie could be captured in a more artistic sense.  I chose to use this photo as my now picture because of the contrast between me in 2008 and me in 2015.

The girl on the left was bathed in the light.  The girl on the right, in darkness.  I can say that the girl who logs into Second Life today is more guarded, more cautious, and stands up for herself a lot more than the girl that first made that first tentative click of her mouse nearly 7 years ago.  It makes me shake my head in wonder over what an impact a virtual world has had on my real world.

I have had ups and downs in Second Life, but I know for a fact that I would not have traded them for anything in the whole world.