There are any number of strategies for achieving success, or progressing, in life; some are born of necessity, others form part of a long-term plan, whilst some are the result of spur of the moment decisions. There are those who are risk-takers, those who plan and map their path in detail, and then we have the type who stick to tried and tested stratagems, and the type who constantly re-invent themselves and their lives in order to stay fresh and move with the times.
Perversely, of course I don’t really fit into any specific pigeonhole – in both the real world and the virtual, I can switch between a number of different approaches, although I veer toward established and well-rehearsed practice in SL… But, sometimes you just have to make a change, in order to survive and succeed.
This particular time in SL seems to be one of change for me and those I associate with. I’ve seen friends completely ‘rebrand’ themselves, ditching a path they’ve embraced for years in favour of a new approach; one which they now find themselves relating more strongly to, and brings them back in touch with what feels right to them. Then again, I’ve seen others who – some might say are ‘stuck in their ways’ – more resistant to change and the shifting landscape of the virtual environment, who appear to be struggling to adapt to new scenarios and situations and are actively waging an internal war to reconcile themselves with their feelings.
As for me, I long ago learned to be pragmatic. SL is by its very nature impermanent: Locations, styles, environments, people and relationships change and, if you’re going to let that phase you too much, there will come a time that you’ll eventually find yourself struggling to either let go of, or embrace what is happening around you. This is something I’m extremely familiar with from my own real world experience: My RL job is entirely focussed on delivering change initiatives: Not so much project management, but rather, project implementation – working with, and alongside, those who will be impacted by radical organisational change, to enable them to move from one state to another. It’s hard and it’s challenging, but it’s taught me a huge amount about people and about myself.
In the most simplistic terms, within this context there are two basic personality types: Those who fear, resist, and do not understand change – these tend to feel out of control and see change as something that is imposed upon them and adopt a victim mentality. Then there are those who (usually with support) will adapt and learn how to change when necessary – this type of person will often see change as an opportunity and consider themselvs to have a role in it. There is another third, and relatively uncommon and unusual type – those for whom change is their adopted normal state, even when it is undefined, inconsistent and fluid – and that’s where I find my own particular niche.
It doesn’t matter whether this is real life, or Second Life, people will tend to follow the same behaviours and responses in both worlds – if you don’t like change in RL, you won’t like it in SL, and that of course poses difficulties when we consider that SL is inherently unstable and changeable, particularly if you treat SL as your escape to ‘normality’ from an unsettling and challenging real world.
Whilst I may be entirely comfortable with change in the real world, I do like my SL to have a degree of stability and reliability, because it is one of the few areas of my life where I’m pretty much in complete control, and sometimes it’s just nice to escape the madness! However, there’s always the danger of stagnation and routine; even of finding yourself getting bogged-down with things that were once cool and held a special place in your virtual heart, but now have had their day, (at least for the time being… It’s surprising how often the ‘retired’ can assume a new lease of life in SL when the time is right). The realisation that I’m slipping into that sort of regime is a call to action that I can’t ignore, even though it inevitably requires an investment in time, effort and hard cash on my part to resolve.
Every dog has his day, and the same applies to our inworld perspectives too. It was something of a shock when I realised that my inworld Gallery had been hosting the same set of images for 5 years. That realisation resulted in a complete revamp and the launch of a new exhibit ‘Human’, at the beginning of this month. That, however was just the start of a wholesale reappraisal of my inworld ‘estate’, starting with my – now extensive – collection of tribute replicas of defunct real world music venues, such as Wigan Casino, CBGB and The Marquee, along with a bunch of other esoteric and fun clubs that I’d whip out of inventory for special events. Most of them haven’t seen the light of day since last summer and, for complex and boring reasons, I haven’t held a regular event at any venue since November, so the time has come to mothball them – possibly permanently, but certainly until some time in the future I feel the need to resurrect them. To be honest, I never really enjoyed the mechanics of running clubs… DJing, hosting, managing – the appeal always really lay in the build and in creating a unique and special atmosphere.
That decision means I now have a spare 400+ prims to – quite literally – play with on my land, allowing me to realise the construction of an inworld store for Haven Heavy Industries. It’s a work very much still in progress, but which will ultimately take me into new creative territory and push me to delve into the world of virtual retail in ways I’ve yet to explore.
I think I’ll be revamping some of my land too, maybe do some terraforming and look at changing the look and feel of parts of the parcel. Other than some initial messing about with environmental settings, which has resulted in some rather dramatic skyscapes, I’ve no real ideas as yet, but those will come over time, and I’m in no rush… So, I guess it’s going to be a busy few months for Yours Truly, but afterwards I’ll be able to put my feet up and relax.
Although, coming to think about it, it’ll probably be time for a new exhibit at The Gallery by then!