Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mea culpa

I have this opinion -- and feel free to disagree with it or add to it -- that a really good blog falls into one or more of four categories: 

1) provides its readers with plenty of useful information; 
2) is wildly entertaining; 
3) is just flat-out damn good writing, even if it's just reciting the alphabet; or
4) occasionally gets a nice heated debate going . . . or at least a mild discussion. 

Based on No. 4 alone, if I write a post and it makes people angry, I'll usually keep the post up, slammin' comments and all. I don't attack people who comment and disagree with my opinions. I don't even respond with anger to the hate mail that I occasionally get. 

(For the record, I get plenty of love mail too. It is Love Thursday, after all! And I love you people who drop me those wonderful notes. They make my day. Thank you!)

But last night I wrote a blog post that deeply offended someone I care about and caused possible irreparable damage to our friendship (ouchy, I've never been muted before. I thought people only did that to griefers or losers with annoying gestures. **winces**), so I deleted that crazy, tipsy post I wrote last night. It was toxic, according to my friend. Or maybe she called me toxic. I guess I agree with either context right now.

(Yep, you gotta check this blog during the wee hours of the morning if you want to catch the crazy in action.)

When my former friend told me she was cutting me from her life, she listed a couple of reasons. Because she made some valid points, I'd like to clarify a couple of things for my readers.

-- Last night I said my life was an open book. I listed several open-book moments. It wasn't really intended to be a pity party and if it's sounding that way, I need to work on the tone.

Here's the thing. In spite of it all, there has never been one dark incident or time in my life from which I haven't managed to emerge shining on the other side, as a stronger and better person. 

This, right here, right now, is another bad time, but I have no doubt that I'll eventually rise from these ashes as well.

As a writer, my attitude is this: If my readers follow me through the blackness alllll the way to the other side -- the bright one, the one with the greener pastures -- maybe they can take something from that story and apply it to their own dark journeys, should they ever have to walk those roads. Or at least get some hope that, yes, this too shall pass. Trust me, it always does.

I try to handle the blackness with equally black humor. But apparently I'm failing at it these days. So I'll try to keep the "wow, look at the trainwreck of my life!" moments to a minimum from now on. They don't belong in an SL blog anyway, but then again, maybe they do. How can you know my SL self if you don't know the real person behind her? It's always something I ponder. Unlike other people, I can't separate the two.

-- Last night I also expressed my belief that many people who spend marathon hours in world are either unbelievably bored or unbelievably damaged. That flippant comment came from tunnel vision and a lack of perspective on my part (not to mention gin).

I mentioned that I fall in the latter category. If I felt better about myself in real life, believe me, I'd be out there soaking up every minute of it. Life is short. Do we really want to spend it at a computer screen? I don't. But I am. And I like it in SL. It's a guilty pleasure, with the emphasis on guilt. So that comment came from a yucky place of conflicting emotions -- guilt, shame, regret, self-loathing . . . every shrink's wildest dreams come true.

But HEY, at least I admit that I have a problem. Take that, Step One!

I apologize for generalizing. Most of my friends are in world often, so CONGRATULATIONS, EMERALD, you just insulted them all in ONE SWOOP!! Many people have businesses in SL. And many of you have your own stories and reasons as to why you spend significant amounts of time there. Instead of making a broad and insulting comment, I should have asked this open-ended question:

Why do you spend time in Second Life and how has this time enriched your life?

And if you're hiding out like me, licking emotional wounds and leaning on SL friends who help you grow stronger by the day, maybe we all need to update each other with progress reports on how our trips back to the other side of the border are going.

So that's my mea culpa. I lost a friend because of my blog post last night and hell yeah, I shed tears over it today. But I accept the consequences of my actions and my thoughtless words, and I'll just close this topic with this sage advice:

Don't Drink and Blog!

P.S. To my new friend Selkie, I will do your RAWKIN' meditation cushion (below) justice in a future post. It's Love Thursday! And I love it. I'm so glad I stopped by your store.



V said...

I'm with you... I read your post, and I have to say I kind of agreed, or maybe I'm in the damaged goods section with a heapful of bored. I don't want to spend my life in front of the PC but I do probably as guiltily as you do b/c I KNOW better... butSL is my "happy place".. where I can have all the things I can't have in RL, look however the hell I want, and feel free to be me.. b/c my RL isn't a bowl of cherries and sunshine and rainbows and shit. I don't think you meant any harm in what you wrote last night.. everyone has a rant... I love reading your blog because you're funny and sharp, and I totally can relate. Chin up wild thing!! (I mean that in a good way!)

-Eevie Lemon

V said...

Oh... and who said that all SL blogs have to be the same?

-Eevie Lemon

Emerald Wynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emerald Wynn said...

(Reposting to fix a type-o)

I don't know you, Eevie, but your comments always mean a lot to me. I hope I get to meet you someday.

And thank you. SL is my "happy place" too. It's just that it's reached the point where I DO sort of have to suck it up and immerse myself in my "not so happy place" and fix it. My days of playtime need to come to an end for a while.

And I'm just not feeling that up to it these days.

But oh well. This too shall pass.

Love to you,

Krissy Muggleston said...

"Life is short." So simple and yet so profound. Do we want to look back in 30 years, at our 30's and 40's and remember a computer? I want to look back and remember my geeky hobby, but not so clearly that it defines this time in my life. Good post today it shows the content of your character, which I never doubted. :) *hugs*

PS - Word verification: 'ficless' well isn't that the truth.

Anonymous said...

Emerald I am in agreement with you about individuals that spend their life in SL. The exceptions for me are those who work in SL full time and I imagine they are AFK quite a bit doing other things. I'm sorry your friend walked away from you like that - I have been guilty myself of cutting ties to quick. and in time she may regret it to be honest. Walking away is easy to do in SL but it doesn't take away the feelings of friendship you had for that person. I regret doing that to one person and now she will never talk to me again.

To answer your question - Why do I spend time in SL? Well it depends. When my relationship with the douche ended it was to escape but for the most part creativity and companionship. But what I have learned recently is if I am truly in pain I need to step away because being in SL keeps me from being in touch with my feelings. Sorry for the wordiness but I am very wordy LOL. Hugs!

Emerald Wynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bella said...

Hey Emy,
I agree with you everyone in sl has a reason for being there and we are all a little damaged and bored. Lord knows I am LOL. Proud of it too.

chestnut rau said...

Darlin'-- its not just an avatar or you would not be crying.

What kind of friend is *she to you* if she can't support you, when you are clearly hurting? You deserve better than to be cut off and muted.

Of course I am blowing steam since I don't know anything more than you have posted. Still, I value forgiveness and from what I read you did not write anything that horrible.

Chalice Carling said...

Hi Emerald...what a shame someone took offence at your post. Maybe it just touched a nerve in her and she might feel you are too perceptive. That can frighten some people so avoidance may be her avenue not to have to face up to the fact that you spoke a lot of sense.

I read your post and it struck me how wonderful it was in amongst all your current difficulties that you have an outlet and that SL may be just a tool in your journey to heal and get back out there again when you are ready.

Apart from the fact that I just love your writing style, I also think you are very courageous and willing to admit life isn't exactly how you planned it to be. From where I sit, you are facing the fact that things aren't as you want them which is the first step in the cycle of change.

It's lovely that you care so much for the opinions of others and that just oozes through your words but in my very humble opinion, you don't have to apologise so much. This is your blog, your opinions and your life. If people don't like what you say, they should click the X and leave.

I truly hope things get easier for you and that every day is a step closer to where you want to be.

I love your blog and as for Ms Mute, that ain't friendship. You deserve better.

Emerald Wynn said...

Big hugs all around. Thanks.

I'm over all this now. Not worth the space in my head, frankly, or the energy it took to explain myself. I believe in adults discussing differences and agreeing to disagree or, if necessary, cordially parting ways. I don't believe in using hateful language if I disagree with someone someone says or does. I can't relate to that type of a response.

I don't believe in dramatic -- with an emphasis on drama -- methods like muting when it comes to dealing with disagreements among friends. In a personal conflict, muting is a passive-aggressive tactic. It immediately shuts down any opportunity for clarification, discussion and, if necessary, an apology. Frankly, I see it as a sign of a lack of interpersonal communication skills and hey, I'm entitled to this opinion.

I'm moving on to other topics now. If I pass this person in the street, I'll still smile and use sign language to say "Hi." I have no beef with her.

I really just want to focus on unicorns now.

Meara Deschanel said...

Sending you my love Em. I appreciate your writing in all its beautiful craziness and besides, you wouldn't be a good writer if you didn't touch your readers and make them feel *something*, good OR bad. I hope that your friend can see through to forgiving you at some point. They're missing out otherwise (imo).

Much love. <3