Sit down, folks. This is a long one. :)
As many of you know, we lost Millie Gears this past week. She passed away suddenly, or at least, what felt sudden to probably most of us. I can't say she and I were close and I really only knew her from Plurk, but she was a sweet girl who always had something funny to say and her passing leaves a dark space in our community.
Natalee offered a challenge to us in honor of Millie. She challenges us to be thankful and improve.
I have to think that I'm a pretty thankful person. I am thankful that for as bad as things were for me emotionally for so long, that they're not that bad any more. I'm thankful for the friends who have helped me in ways they could never imagine. I'm thankful that no matter what happens, these people are here by my side. Second Life has allowed me to meet Ulaa and Aldwyn, and I know that no matter what happens or where we go in the future, we'll be close way beyond Second Life. And I'm very thankful that life has led me to this point and to new friends and family that I'm eager to grow close to.
But for all my thankfulness, the SLife I've led in the past 2 years has been a cautious one. I've been cautious of who I talk to, of what I blog, of what I talk about publicly. I've not stepped too far out of my bubble because I've been scared of being hurt, of being left, of learning things that I didn't want to know. Part of me thinks that I've needed it. That it was a bit of karma that needed to be repaid. The other part thinks that I did it to protect myself and maybe that was necessary, too. And then, of course, there's the little part of me who thinks I was being stupid about the whole thing. :)
Over the past month or so, I've been slowly trying to step out of my comfort zone. Lightning hasn't struck, nothing's exploded, a limb hasn't fallen off. I've been taking baby steps, though. Tiny little baby steps.
This leads us to this morning. I logged in to blog, and had an offline from my friend Lolita. She had sent me a notecard with a landmark that said she and Rune would like me to go somewhere. I figured it was for some event or just something they wanted me to see. So I teleported on over and stood there for a bit. I didn't see anything except Lolita's home.
Then I turned around.
I could not believe it!!
The thing is, as much as I have talked about family and wanting one in SL... I was never really sure if I was ready to make that leap. Aldwyn and I have been married almost 2 years. Ulaa is someone I consider my RL sister [we're even facebook related!]. But this SL family stuff...I just didn't know. But I also knew that even if I said no, they would not hold it against me. I knew I had the option of saying no without losing their friendship.
So I took a deep breath...and took a big leap.
It's part of the challenge. I'm challenging myself to improve, to be more social, to meet more people, to be more.
It's been a long time coming. :)