Sunday, August 30, 2015

Goodbye, Bluebonnet (A love letter to my SL home)

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I knew this day would come someday; I just wasn't expecting it to come, well, now.

I have about 24 hours or so to pack up my stuff on Bluebonnet and relocate, probably to one of those free Linden homes for a while. That'll be a different post, I guess.

I've lived on Bluebonnet since, wow, 2008, I think. But the sim is changing and my friend and soon-to-be former landlady Ali has new plans for it, so it's time for me to go. I'd like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for giving me this safe haven, for finding me when I was lost, for introducing me to so many wonderful friends, for letting me express myself in so many creative and often cringe-inducing ways through my yard and house decor, for letting me call this place home for so long and for all the friendship, laughs and fond memories that came with it. It sounds silly, but I will hold this place in my heart for a long, long time.

I take a meditation course in real life. During the first class, the instructor told us to close our eyes and imagine somewhere peaceful and lovely and safe. Funny, but I immediately thought of my SL parcel on Bluebonnet. The instructor wanted us to create a beautiful place in our minds, a place where we could build a big sturdy box and put all of our troubles and "negative stories" and stressful thoughts in that box, lock it up and leave it all there, knowing that the positive power of the place we created would transform everything in that box into things that could no longer harm us, but could only make us stronger.

So throughout that meditation, I hung on to that image of Bluebonnet. The instructor didn't have to know it was pixelated. Because really, what better place could there be to find shelter from all the drama, people, bills, cluttered junk, perceived failures, deadlines, screeching editors, financial woes, family fights, health concerns, frequent bouts of self-loathing and soooo many "thanks, but no thanks" job interviews that seem to define my life right now? Second Life, with all its quirks and hilarity and extraordinary creations, has always been a place where I could escape, take some deep breaths, laugh with a few friends, create something beautiful or funny if I felt like it, be a slightly upgraded version of my real self for a while and then, finally, once I felt recharged, close the laptop and return to the real world, feeling better, feeling stronger, feeling happier, feeling loved.

I think Second Life works that magic on a lot of people. I feel fortunate that I've had one fixed place where that magic could live for so long, somewhere I knew I could always go if I needed to reconnect with the real me – happy, creative and, in those moments, unburdened by all the ugly troubles that seem to hang around my real neck like roadkill these days.

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(Me and my apparently really happy, sparkly PlantPet, back in the day.)

Before I leave there tomorrow, I will go to a deep, quiet place in my mind one more time and think of Bluebonnet. Once again, I'll try that mental exercise my New Age instructor is always pushing on us. In my mind, I'll dig a hole in that backyard by the ocean, and I will fill that hole with all the ugly self-talk that occasionally sneaks up on me when I'm at my weakest: "You are a complete career failure." "You are not worthy of love." "Nothing will ever change." "There is no hope." "You're all washed up." "You've screwed up your life." "There's no way out of here" and on and on and on.

I'll put all those words down in that hole and bury them. Then I'll plant a pink shimmery tree – the kind you can only find in Second Life – on top of that makeshift grave. Its roots will wrap around the words, separate them and shape them into new sentences, maybe: "You are complete." "You are love." "You are worthy." "There is hope." And then I'll say my final goodbye, but I'll leave those painful thoughts behind me, where the soothing sound of the waves and the benevolent rays of a painted sun and the kind work done by deep, magical roots will hopefully soften and change them or at least hold them tight so they can't find their way back into my head.

And then one last time, the Bunny and I will say, "Goodbye, Bluebonnet! Thank you for all the fun!"

I promised myself I wouldn't cry when I wrote this silly post. I lied. Crying sentimental tears over a fake place in a fake world. Those harsh inner voices are having a field day with that one.

Oh well. Enough of that. Now please excuse this self-indulgent parade of photos of the many faces of Emerald's Iceland at Bluebonnet. I've chosen some of the more extreme stuff, because well, the boring ones are boring:

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Jesus is coming ... to take your cows. The octopus looks nervous.

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Eventually I ditched the UFO and cows, but kept the floating Jesus. This photo was my last artistic attempt at anything before I logged out for a while.

But in the beginning, there was a simple beach house, provided by my landlady, on a sandy parcel. I added a trampoline for kicks. Really, really high kicks, that is:

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Sometimes there were pranks.

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Happy Thanksgiving. No, that is not my glowing platter of turkey, but yes, it delighted the hell out of me. And I don't know if that chair is supposed to look like a strip of bacon, but OK.

I would always deck that house out for the holidays:

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Eventually I started experimenting with new houses:

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Oh wow, yeah, and chickens. Those were the days before KittyCats. These are all photos taken from old (realllllly old) blog posts. I'm guessing that "OMG" is either referring to the fact that the breeding of animals had gotten so extensive that it required a stable or the fact that the stable is a little, um, large and unsightly. My poor neighbors.

I tried a treehouse for a while and learned I'm not really a treehouse-dweller type:

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At least that's what I'm thinking, because when I dug up this photo, it was called "effing treehouse."

And then there was this monstrosity, which lasted for about a day:

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In fact, there were times when I fugged up my yard with so much bizarre crap, I'm surprised I didn't get booted years ago:

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Yeah, that's my gigantic, gnarly tree.

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And my kraken.

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I had a threatening peacock for a while.

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And a creepy Christopher Walken that wandered around my yard.

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And hair that would not fit in my house.

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And a swimming, realistic mermaid that kept keeling over and really didn't didn't work out so well.

Winter was always my favorite time on Bluebonnet. The other night I did a halfhearted search for parcels for rent on "winter sims" because, damn, I'm really going to miss the changing of the seasons and all the holiday festivities. I couldn't really find anything. Maybe I'll keep trying. Maybe I'll let it go. But in that spirit, some Winter at Bluebonnet pics:

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My friend Aisuru's ice castle remains one of the favorite things I own. She left SL a while ago. I wish she would come back. She has always been one of the most talented creators and wonderful people I've known. She was my next-door neighbor for a long time, God bless her. She had to put up with so many oddities.

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And of course I had to violate that thing with as much Christmas cheer as my "prim allowance" (that's what we called it back then, kids; none of this "land impact" stuff) could hold.

Sometimes I opted for simpler seasonal houses. *cough*

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Two of them, I guess. And a magical Christmas whale, apparently.

And then there was a time when we entered The Age of the Dinosaurs. It started with a cartoonish one:

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(I guess it was Halloween.) (And the whale!)

But then things got real with this thing:

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Yeah, don't ever let anyone tell you that you cannot put a tree on a balcony, kids. YOU CAN.

I used to sit up on that dinosaur and get all contemplative about life:

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But then to my delight, it began to serve as artistic inspiration for some of my friends:

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I was mainly all about the yard at Bluebonnet, but occasionally I did try to do something with the inside, which could sometimes get just as painful to look at. I spent my first year as a noob living in skyboxes that looked like low-rent sets for amateur porn or weird little rental houses in strange beach communities full of bikini-clad women with lots of bling and body oil. Regardless, those early homes were always furnished, so moving to Bluebonnet was my first opportunity to buy my own furniture and try to do something with it. I kept it really simple at first.

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Eventually I added a little more character:

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Occasionally there was a fish tank:

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And sometimes my friends would come in and add their own decorations:

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And so speaking of friends:

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Thank you for the memories, everyone! ♥  

Goodbye, Bluebonnet! Thank you for all the fun!

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Alicia Chenaux said...

Stop making me cry! *laughs* Thank you so much for living on Bluebonnet these past several years. You made that section of land fun and interesting and utterly enjoyable to see. No matter what is built there next, any time I am in that area, I will always think of it as YOUR place. ♥

Kat Terrawyng/Bianca Paramour said...

This brought tears to my eyes! I've loved reading your blog over the years and have laughed out loud at some of the crazy concoctions you've thrown together on Bluebonnet. When I heard that Alicia was going to be changing the sim, you were my first thought. I hope you are able to find a happy place on SL again and I look forward to what you come up with in the future!

Emerald Wynn said...

I've edited this post about 9,000 times. It makes me look like a dysfunctional, unstable, train-wreck tenant. I maybe should have titled it "How to Abuse the Hell Out of a Parcel." I can imagine the "Project Runway" judges talking about my "taste level." Looking at some of these photos, I cannot imagine what the hell I was thinking at the time, except "Weeeeeeee!" I also have to give props to all my neighbors and thank them for not launching a massive campaign to boot my ass out of there. One of my favorite memories is of Sehra sending me a really polite message asking me if I could so something about my summer snowstorm that was drifting into her yard. And hunting for dozens of my breedable (and by then, dead) baby chickens at the bottom of the ocean.

If anything, the whole thing was an artistic expression of mania at its finest. Like those articles you see featuring self-portraits by artists on various mind-altering substances and prescription drugs.

I don't take antidepressants or other mood-altering medications anymore, as evident by the more sedate trailer I've spent my last year living in. I'm on a more natural kick now. It was a fun, wild ride though!

I didn't mean to get so sentimental and sappy in this post, but damn, I will always love the place, and my landlady. ;)

Unknown said...

Waaai~ I remember that dinosaur~!! *snugs Em* You're always welcome on my sky cupcake. Or my Linden House.

Asthenia said...

My god Emerald, I just stumbled back upon your blog and I am so happy you are blogging on occasion again. This post has given me tears (the laughing kind and the more emo kind) <3