My SL name is minamonroe, but to all my friends there I am Alizbet Ziplon. Second Life became my refuge when my RL was falling apart. I was able to escape. I'm sure there are a lot of SLer's out there who can relate to that. My escape took the form of immersive RP. After visiting several others areas, I set up home on one of the Western Alliance sims portraying a lost and abused Native American maiden. She had no tribe. She lived alone in a little log cabin on the outskirts of a small White man's town. She was a very fearful and skittish soul. She'd been hurt. She'd been lied to. There was no one she really trusted. And she was very, very lonely though she worked hard to hide that. She always had a smile and a kind word for those who would be kind to her. She worked hard and wanted to help those she could. One night as I was preparing to log out my gentle, sad Native self, a Group notice popped up. It was one I'd seen dozens of times before and had never paid it much attention. That night, I decided why not. That night and that decision changed not only my Second Life but my Real Life, too. I went to the Cherokee Story Hour and met Arty. I had seen him before in passing, but we had never spoken. Long story short, a month later we were married in as authenic a Cherokee wedding ceremony as you can probably have in Second Life. Five months after our wedding, me met IRL. Arty DROVE 1600+ miles to make that happen. A year after that fateful first night, Arty had quit his job and hired a U-Haul to make our life together REAL, 24/7/365. I had a one way ticket to his home. I helped him pack his things.I promised his mom I'd take good care of him. And we drove off together. Tomorrow 6/17/2015 will mark 3 years since he climbed out of his car in my RL driveway for the first time. It will be three years since I heard his voice without the aid of technology say, "There's my girl." Three years since our first RL never-to-be-forgotten hug and kiss. We have been a live-together couple for 2 1/2 years now and by all accounts, we're going to be together for the rest of our lives. What does Second Life mean to me? It means finding someone who loves me in the same way I have always tried to love others. It means learning to trust again. It means taking a huge and very frightening risk and never looking back or having any regrests about it. Second Life taught me to believe in myself and to listen to my heart in ways I'd never done before. It has brought me wonderful friends I've never met and ones I will have for the rest of my life. Second Life brought a very sad and lonely Indian girl a husband. And it's looking very much like the real life people behind Ali and Arty are going to be tying the knot themselves one day soon, too.