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Strengthening the SL Community (revisited)


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I promised that when the new forum came online, I would find a way to keep this thread alive. The original thread is preserved in the archives. Let's carry on the conversation here. I've loved reading everyone's stories and hope more of you will step forward to share.

ETA: For those who are newcomers, here is the OP text from the original thread in the archives, to help you understand a little better what this is all about.

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There's been a lot of discussion in this forum over the last couple of days about how others perceive us, how we perceive and present ourselves, and how much of ourselves can or cannot truly be communicated  in this type of environment. It got me to thinking—there is a lot about each of you that none of us have ever been exposed to. That unknown story behind the avatar which defines who you are or how you see the world or how you interact with others. I think we each have something fascinating or poignant or traumatic or hopeful to share that has shaped us, either permanently or for a season. Something that we've never revealed here but which might help us all understand, or at least read each other, better.

Will you share your story? I don't mean specific RL information, just a backstory, something you'd like us to know about you that has influenced you or drives you or might change how we perceive you.

I know this topic will not appeal to everyone in this anonymous environment, and I respect that. But for those who, like me, would be interested to know more about the personalities that we communicate with here on a regular basis, I point you to this video for inspiration.

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ETA #2: Hot off the press from Keli Kyrie, we now have the following graphical representation of the diversity within this forum community. Thanks, Keli!

community.jpg

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Sunstroke? 

no room for new playing courts ... regions are sold out.

Quinn Morani wrote: Lia, of course a new home takes priority. I'm so glad to hear that things are taking shape with it. Sounds like you like the area you've landed in, too. That's great news all a

To get this thread back on track, I'll be the first to share a story in this new version of the thread. Although it's not a new story. I'm just copying what I posted in the original thread, buried so deeply there that probably no one ever saw it the first time around anyway. So here goes the unedited (though in hindsight there are things I'd edit to read more smoothly) reprint:

 

11-12-2010 09:45 AM

My turn. It's only fair that I share my story too, since so many of you have been so gracious to share yours.

Maddy talked about having a charmed life, and in the original thread I think it was Sling who mentioned privilege. I would say both of those descriptors have applied to me. I often feel that I've had things undeservedly fall into my lap.

That's not to say it's always been easy. In high school, my parents emphasized education and wouldn't let me hold a job unless I was making straight A's. And so my classmates (mostly in good fun) teased me for not having to work, with the implication being that I had the easy life. Later, when I finally landed my first summer job as a waitress, eager to demonstrate a work ethic and establish an employment history, a classmate who was also a co-worker told me that my car was out of place in the employee parking lot and that I was taking a job away from someone who "really" needed it. I felt humiliated. I've long since forgiven those cutting remarks, having attributed them to adolescent inexperience, but I learned some life lessons from the exchange that have remained with me to this day.

The first thing I learned is that you'll never please everyone. As much as I would love to try (and I do fruitlessly try sometimes), there are some people who will always see the negative, no matter what you do. I learned that it's pointless to waste a lot of energy on those people when there are so many others out there who will appreciate you for exactly who you are.

The second thing I learned is that I'm fortunate to have the things I do, but it's a mistake to bank my happiness or social acceptance on them. It's just "stuff," and only temporary stuff, at that. At the end of the day it's who you are on the inside that makes you stand out, not what you have or don't have.

But that's only one piece of my story. The next part of my story is that I was a late bloomer. Growing up, I was very shy. I was voted "Most Shy" in high school, and was surprised that enough people even knew who I was to have voted for me. My high school yearbooks are littered with people calling me "sweet," and I have always looked at that as code for "I don't know you well enough to say anything else." It wasn't until college that I began to crawl out of my shell, finally escaping the self-fulfilling label of "shy" and offering some substance behind the "sweet." No one who knows me now would describe me as shy, but I still don't know, even at 40, if that's because I'm really no longer shy or because I've just gotten so expert at hiding it. I suspect it's the latter, because there are still times when I have to mercilessly beat that shy girl back into her hiding spot.

The final piece of my story is that I have a career and a family that I love. There is nothing about my life, not one thing, that I would change. There is not one part of my life that I would go back and attempt to repeat or repair, however tempting that seems sometimes, out of fear that I would inadvertently do something differently and, like butterfly wings flapping in the wind, it would alter the entire course of my life. I don't want to be anywhere except exactly where I am.

Lest anyone think I sound too impossibly well-adjusted, there are plenty of things I've failed at. I went all the way through graduate school but never wrote my final thesis, so I don't have my Masters degree. That has not hurt me in my career advancement, but I regret what it says to my kids about not following through. Some of my acquaintances call me "Supermom" because I appear to be really good at balancing work and family cheerfully, without ever having bags under my eyes. I accept those compliments because I'm too chicken to tell them the truth: I miss a lot of my kids lives because of work, especially when I travel. But still, I wouldn't trade my life for anything. Somehow it always seems to end up just right.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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Elric Anatine wrote:

Thank you for putting forth this thread... especially as we are feeling our way around the new layout and lack of a GD area.  Cheers.

I'm glad to have put something out there that feels familiar in this strange new world.

 

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Clarissa Lowell wrote:

I dunno just help people when you can and try to be nice even if people aren't nice to you.

Someone can help me figure out how to add an avatar pic to this new forum if you want to. :smileyvery-happy:

Clarissa, first you have to go to your forum profile page to upload an avatar pic. Then under My Settings (link at top of page) go Avatars > From Uploaded Images to add the pic as your forum avatar.

 

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

Smile. I love that you were surprised that enough people in high school even knew who you were to vote you the "Most Shy". You must have been blooming a little in spite of  yourself, and that wouldn't suprise me in the least.

Perhaps. All I know is that I felt mini-popular for the first time ever.

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DQ Darwin wrote:

Lovely story Quinn and why does it so fit the Quinn I know.lol

I would be inclined to say you didn't bloom, but blossomed. Thanks for sharing.:smileyhappy:

Thanks, Dee. Blossoming sure is a nice way to look at it. :smileyhappy:

ETA: Woo hoo!! It looks like there is no more 120-second rule! YAY!!!!

 

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In a post not long ago on the old GD Forum Quinn corrected me. I had referred to the existing 'Strengthening' thread as Quinn's. She said, "It's the Forum's thread now". And after thinking about it I had to agree. I'd like to think this incarnation will come to contain a lot of what the first one did. In any case, as one of the owners of this thread I'd like to comment.

I know that there is now a whole new Forum category called "Off Topic" (yippee!), but I think this particular thread is right where it belongs. It is and was not a collection of friends communicating, but in many ways it was at least for me and for others a kind of friend genesis. There were people who posted who are now my friends. There were people who posted who I've yet to meet in SL and  who may eventually become friends but in any case are people I'd love to meet and talk to. The whole thread was/is a collection of rare and very valuable shared experience. Humor. Struggle. Pain. Love. It was, in fact, very much like life, Second or First. That was its beauty. I wish more than anything that that continues.

I would like to propose something to you, my fellow thread owners (past, present, and future). There have been some negative comments. Rather a lot, actually. I responded with a jab of my own and so did some of the rest of you. I propose that retaliation not continue. We can't control, nor should we want to control, what gets posted here. But we can maybe just read and move on. I don't think this thread requires any defense whatever (I know that's easy for me to say since as I mentioned I've already gotten my lick in). It is it's own strength.

I for one will try my hardest to just let any future negativity go. I hope you all do the same.

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Looks like this thread now lives here in the new Off Topic forum. While it "belonged" in the "Make Friends" forum, it feels at comfortably "at home" here too since its roots are in the old GD forum, so I can't complain. Carry on, whoever would like to continue the conversation and sharing.

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

In a post not long ago on the old GD Forum Quinn corrected me. I had referred to the existing 'Strengthening' thread as Quinn's. She said, "It's the Forum's thread now". And after thinking about it I had to agree. I'd like to think this incarnation will come to contain a lot of what the first one did. In any case, as one of the owners of this thread I'd like to comment.

I know that there is now a whole new Forum category called "Off Topic" (yippee!), but I think this particular thread is right where it belongs.

Thanks, Dillon. I agree that this thread was a perfect fit for the "Make Friends" subforum, especially as it seems to be a bit lost since getting moved here to "Off Topic." But the fact that people were glad to see it reappear and that it remains in the forum at all makes me happy.

 

 


Dillon Levenque wrote:

It is and was not a collection of friends communicating, but in many ways it was at least for me and for others a kind of friend genesis. There were people who posted who are now my friends. There were people who posted who I've yet to meet in SL and  who may eventually become friends but in any case are people I'd love to meet and talk to. The whole thread was/is a collection of rare and very valuable shared experience. Humor. Struggle. Pain. Love. It was, in fact, very much like life, Second or First. That was its beauty. I wish more than anything that that continues.

I have loved the shared experiences that were discovered as a result of this thread, and I too hope that there is enough momentum here to continue that. But even if this thread fades away (as it will, I am sure, ultimately do), I'm so grateful for the friendships that have developed from it.

 


Dillon Levenque wrote:

I would like to propose something to you, my fellow thread owners (past, present, and future).

What a nice way to look at it. I love the idea of past, present, and future owners of this thread. I hope there are still many future owners out there!

 

 

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