I feel restless.
In an attempt to conquer the hungry, gnawing grip of restlessness, do we attempt to fill our time with things that don’t matter, because we’re afraid of what we’d do under its spell if they did matter?
Restlessness can be dangerous. We try to shake it off by turning to new pursuits or reexamining old distractions, but perhaps it’s the current that is really demanding examination.
I’ll occupy my mind during this restless period with television or music or words, but not actions. Never actions.
Clear and purposeful acts require forethought, planning and if undertaken during brief periods of restlessness could lead to regrets.
I always regret regrets. They are quite regrettable and usually throb with finality.
And like a good book, I have trouble setting my regrets aside. I cling to them. I worry them as if my tongue caressing a sore in my mouth, a slight combination of pleasure and pain.
Restless actions lead to regrets which can lead to sleepless nights. And of course, sleepless nights lead directly to wordy, nonsensical blog posts.
I have a million questions about myself, my actions, my yearning for distractions, but restless periods never bring answers.
I’ll stop prying and find a new show to watch instead.
Wish me luck.
Recently, a story bounced around the Plurk and Second Life communities that displayed a particularly horrid example of online deception. I won’t go into details about the deception, but I will say that the lies were extremely detailed and of a different variety than the old picture in the dating profile trickery.
In a blog post about online deception, I’d like to establish what I think are some basic truths:
First, and of course, the most basic truth of all, one lie usually leads to ten lies. Next basic truth, I believe that everyone lies in some form or fashion, both online and in real life. Lies of omission, lies to spare someone else’s feelings, lies told to yourself, are all still lies. If everyone lies, is one particular lie more dishonest than others? Does the intent behind the lie make it better or worse than another lie? If someone asked me if a much too-tight dress looked good on them and I lied and told them it did to spare their feelings, is that an okay lie? What if the too-tight dress was worn to a job interview, and subsequently, the job opportunity was lost due to the wearing of the dress? Was that lie still okay? Who is capable of making a decision to say one lie is somehow less deceitful than another? For the purposes of this post and honestly, my own opinion, is that a lie is a lie. The reason behind the lie doesn’t change what it is. It may change how I react to it, but for all general purposes, it remains a lie.
So, my three basic truths about lying:
1. Everyone is a liar.
2. All lies are lies.
3. Lies multiply.
Here is where I get a little murky about things and would like some feedback:
In a pretend world, why is it important to be honest?
Obviously, real life relationships have come out of online interactions and in those circumstances honesty is of utmost importance, but in a world where 40 year olds play 5 year olds and 25 year old college boys role-play as a tiger, aren’t the lines of honesty a little blurred. Should we really take anything as real truth without proof?
First, I think the level of honesty you should expect in your online interactions should be equal to the level of honesty you provide. Obviously, you may expect a high level of honesty and not receive it in return, but it’s a good starting point.
99.9% of my interactions online are for social purposes. I enjoy communicating with a variety of people, and I believe that I provide quite an honest glimpse into my real life, and I usually expect the same. When I discover that someone I communicate with regularly has voluntarily told me a lie or omitted a detail that I would consider important to our relationship, it diminishes my ability to communicate with this individual and since communicating is 99.9% of what I come online to achieve, there is no reason for me to continue future attempts.
Though the key statement in the paragraph above is “a lie or omitted a detail that I would consider important to our relationship”. I enjoy silly conversations. I enjoy people with a sharp wit. If someone chooses not to tell me that they are the opposite sex in RL than what they portray in SL or if they lied and told me they work on Wall Street when really they haven’t worked in 10 years, unless that was the basis of our friendship, it probably won’t change our relationship much at all.
Even though I know that if they told a lie about where they worked or what they looked like, etc., it was most likely to manipulate me into liking them more or to gain sympathy. The lie was a means to use me to gain something they wanted. Online, I would say most lies are told to gain sympathy or to gain social favor which means that everyone that hears the lie is being used by the liar for a specific purpose, whether intentional or not. I try not to take it that personally.
If I discover that someone I am communicating with is a liar, and I do decide to end communications, do I have a social responsibility to inform the rest of the SL and Plurk community of my discovery?
Obviously, informing others and displaying the proof, could possibly save heartache for people in the long run, but there is also the possibility that the person revealing the liar could be labeled as encouraging drama.
Do we have a social obligation in the small community of Second Life and Plurk to name and shame liars? If every honest person made a commitment to expose lies when discovered, could we eventually make a real difference?
Or should we instead of exposing liars work toward making ourselves less susceptible to those that seek to deceive?
What are your thoughts?
As I child, I questioned. Most children do. Why is the most popular question, but my personal favorite was and continues to be “What if…”
After several of these questions in a row, my 3rd Grade teacher in frustration, finally yelled “What if the world was square? We’d all fall off and die”. My “what if” questions were never met with much enthusiasm. I grew up with adults trying to convince me that asking “what if” was a waste of time. It was an unhealthy exercise, and my time was best spent answering the questions they asked versus coming up with questions of my own. Though, it didn’t keep me from spending many nights secretly pondering the answers to those “what if” questions. I still do. Though, now my questions are more focused on past actions than the broad questions of my youth regarding the world around me.
When I fall into a counterfactual mode of thinking, I usually try to snap myself out of it quickly, because most people believe that this sort of self-reflection is harmful. Spending hours lost wondering if you made the right decision in the past could negatively impact your future.
But perhaps, just maybe, reflecting on the decisions you made and the effects those decisions created could in some way be positive?
Lately, I’ve been focusing on several key decisions and wondering how my life would be different.
What if I had turned into another parking lot on July 20, 1996?
What if I had slept through that phone call September 16th of that same year?
What if I never went to Arizona?
What if I wasn’t home “sick” that day when I read that article about Second Life?
What if I had woke up late January 5th of this year?
Who would I be? Where would I be? Would I even be?
Sounds like a wasted exercise huh? Asking questions that will never be answered.
Fortunately for me, experts are beginning to realize that counterfactual thinkers may have a few things going for them. “Counterfactual thinking — heightens one’s perception of the moment as significant, and even fated. Armed with a sense that life may not be arbitrary, counterfactual thinkers are more motivated and analytical…”
I’m not sure I entirely agree with this study’s findings, but over 30 years of asking “what if” doesn’t go away easily. I hope that the time I spend questioning my past decisions will help me find the right answers when it comes to my future twists and turns.
Wouldn’t it be great if the people we encounter on a daily basis came complete with a Certificate of Authenticity? A nice little slip that declares them to be the genuine article, exactly who they claim to be. It could come in especially handy with the individuals we encounter online. But who would determine if the person was truly who they said they were?
When you meet someone face-to-face, you obviously can recognize if it’s John, the guy that works at the auto repair shop down the street, cousin to Mark, who you met at that party last year, the one that was once married to Evie, the girl that cuts your hair, but what do all those facts really tell you about John? Could you claim to know the real John?
What if you were married to John? He slept next to you every night. He was there when your children were born, and he nursed you when you had that nasty stomach bug last year. You know his favorite food is chili, he can’t stand Burger King, is allergic to latex, bowls every Friday and loves the blues. Do you know John?
What if you met John one late night in a BDSM chat room? He tells you he can only cum with pantyhose stuffed down his throat and that he dreams of leaving his wife and living with Rick the plumber, the guy he fucks every Friday night when he’s supposed to be bowling. Could you vouch for John?
What if you are John, the mechanic, cousin to Mark, ex of Evie, married to a stomach flu prone wife, Friday night fucker of Rick, lover of the blues? Obviously, John knows John, right? Or does John not really even understand himself. Why does he do the things he does, and why does he act on certain impulses, while resisting others? John may be an enigma, even to himself.
Who could verify a person’s authenticity? Is there really even a such thing as a truly authentic person?
What would it take to know someone was real, truly who they represent in an online, anonymous setting like Second Life?
4chan founder, Christopher Poole said “We choose to filter ourselves based on what others will think of what we say. If there is no risk of someone judging me there need not be a filter. Consequently anonymity allows me to speak without fear of social reprisal. I can say what I genuinely think. Ergo, authenticity.”
I disagree. I think we continue to filter ourselves, even online. There’s a calculation, a slight manipulation, not purposefully, but it’s there. Perhaps we’re so used to filtering ourselves at work, with our families that we can’t help but continue the process online? Or perhaps, since we spend so much time online now, the lines are blurred.
Though, interestingly enough, I would say that the average person may choose to reveal what he would filter normally in real life, and hide the details online that are most obvious to the individuals he encounters in the real world.
Here, we sometimes reveal the deep, dark personal stuff, early on. The arrests, the dirty one night stands, the time you saw your aunt topless or your sister walked in on you jacking off in the shower, it all comes out in amusing anecdotes or whispered in private to semi-strangers, nasty little personal revelations. Possibly, we reveal those things, because we think our secrets are our most interesting tidbits. Maybe, we tell them here, because they are screaming to come out, and of course you can’t tell your boss or the lady at your dry cleaners. We might suffer from some sort of confessional inclination. Or perhaps, we reveal those tidbits to confuse. Obviously, if we amusingly or achingly tell the dirty dish about ourselves, then we must be telling the truth about the everyday boring facts, right?
For me personally, it’s not the number of skeletons or the condition of the corpses that you pull out for show and tell with me online that convinces me of your authenticity. It’s how much I can relate to them, and how well you relate to my revelations that convince me you are someone worthy of my trust.
It all comes down to a connection. Connect with me, and I’ll believe your every word.
Remember when I thought you liked me? I remember when I liked me too.
With less than 5 months to go, I wonder if 2011 will go down in my memory as the year I shattered, burst into a million pieces on the 5th day of the year. Or will the last few months of the year finally wipe that memory away? Perhaps 2012 will rush in and make me wish for the mundanity and silent pain of 2011? Perhaps I should save the yearly retrospection for my News Year Eve post? Yes, I think so too.
I laugh more deeply and sweetly with strangers. The more you see me, the less I want to see you. I do miss you.
I stare into his eyes, and I tell him I want to be happy. I want to put it all behind us. I want to move on. I want to put all those pieces back together and see what my happy face once looked like. Before, I knew how fake it all was. Funny, now I can’t help but see the fakery, in my smile, in my eyes, in my words, on our faces.
Fickle, fickle little girl. Fraught with vanity over your cleverness. Wasting time with falsehoods while reality whirled.
We went to the beach. It was lovely. Sunsets, sand and sunscreen, all the cream-filled yumminess filling up the perfect vacation. The sex is wonderful. Blowjobs and cum shots galore, fuck me’s yelled, and I love you’s whispered. Sex in bathroom stalls, lips caressed in theatres, cocks licked in cars, just like teenagers. Is the sex better, or are we just clinging to it more as we avoid the jagged edges of the broken pieces scattered all over the bedroom floor?
Cuts and bruises heal. Memories of unfaithfulness and other loves linger.
Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, heart pounding. I dream of wild animals, murderers, death. I wake up and call out for you. It means I still need you. Need your arms around me. Reassurance, reminiscing, rewind… If I think of someone else, does that mean you do too? Is assuming you don’t like hiding somewhere where I can’t see you and assuming you can’t see me? If you find me, does that mean you’re overwhelmed with images of others? No one concrete, just random images of someone who can make you happier.
The idea that you have to make yourself happy, before you can make someone else happy is a crock of shit. What if being a selfish, fucking unemotional prick makes you happy? Think that’s gonna make you a great partner for someone else? Doubtful.
I am happy when I make you happy. I am happy when I press against you in the middle of the night and feel your immediate response. I am happy when I press my lips against yours for a quick kiss as we stir cake batter or get dressed in the morning. I am happy to know that we’re still here trying.
And coming up after the break, we have the 33rd birthday of one Miss Daila Holder. Stay tuned for there’s more to tell.
I may even figure where some of those missing pieces are…
Don’t despair, I’m still an amusing complication.
I logged into SL tonight, dressed Daila up and took a picture.
She’s still there and with a few lindens spent to update her look, she quickly got over her abandonment issues. I still don’t see frequent visits to SL in my future. Though, I am extremely glad I didn’t delete her completely. She’s way too special to me.
Today, someone shared some honesty with me that made me stop and think. I love when that happens. I go through my day posting random nonsense and joking about anal sex and lab coats, and I sometimes forgot that there are real people out there and some of those individuals may not appreciate my brand of humor.
As silly and flighty as I may seem at times, I swear there is some substance here. I do care how I come across. I do want my thoughts to resonate with someone out there. I’m not all fluff.
I don’t think every person I encounter online is there for my personal entertainment, but I’m honest enough to admit how amazing I find that idea! I realize you are all unique individuals, and I can’t categorize and sort you all. We all have our hang-ups. That just happens to be one of mine. I promise I can put up with your bad habits, if you can put up with mine.
As far as May goes, it’s rocky. Fortunately, it’s almost over! I have lots of plans for the summer, and I can’t wait!
“What potent blood hath modest May.”
– Ralph W. Emerson
It’s May again.
My perfect year would skip from April to June.
May hasn’t been kind to me in the last twelve years.
I know that just having the idea that a particular month brings tidings of doom greatly increases the chance of it happening. I do believe in the power of positive thinking, but May has proven me wrong year after year.
Good things have happened in May. Surely they have, right? Just in my own family, two “successful” marriages began in May, and my father will celebrate his 63rd year this month. Those are all things to look forward to in May.
If only I didn’t remember the times May let me down. The times May made me want it to be the last month I ever lived.
This year I dread May more than I ever have. It has not been a good year. My least favorite month on top of a very bad year might just mean 31 very long days for me.
I know this all sounds very silly, and I hope that on June 1st, I can come back and read this blog post and laugh. Heck, this blog post is so melodramatic, I might just laugh now, if I weren’t so paranoid of the next 30 days.
If anyone still reads this blog, it’s okay to laugh about a grown woman being scared of one little month. Though, I’m not really sure that anyone does actually reach this blog looking for me anymore. Aside from an occasional weird search, very few even stumble here any longer. If by chance, you find yourself reading this, and you just happen to be one of the few people who have seen me through Mays of the past, say hi sometimes. I miss you.
One day down, 30 more to go, and I remain desperately waiting for June.
For love that smiled in April
Is false to me in May.”
– Sara Teasdale, May
Roses will be delivered, candies will be consumed, lovers will delight…
Today is the day of love.
It’s also the day for Grand Romantic Gestures. You picture, John Cusack and hear Peter Gabriel playing.
As a young girl, I, like many others, may have had daydreams of a young man serenading me across a crowded room, picking me above all others and cementing publicly that his desire for me is greater than his pride.
As a mature woman, whose tin heart has had many dents popped back out, I realize that most of those grand gestures are not so much about showing someone that they are your only one, as it is hoping and praying the gesture allows you to be their only one. It’s an act of desperation by someone who may realize deep down that they haven’t truly won over the object of their affection, and perhaps a huge billboard sign will convince them.
I’ve changed my views on “romantic love” more times than I’ve changed my hairstyle in Second Life. Though, I’m still not ready to give it up completely.
Sometimes the grandest gesture of all is to swallow your pride and put societal views of romantic love aside and give someone a second, third, sixth, eighth chance to dent your heart all over again.
Making that decision is a little easier when you have perfect days like we had on Saturday. A long hike, beautiful scenery and good company all worked to create a magical atmosphere and a damn close to perfect day.
Love may start as a spark, a special connection, but a long term relationship is about unequivocally stating your needs and opening yourself up to allow a willing party to meet those needs. Unmet needs, now there’s another topic for discussion, but not today, not on the day of love.
You can share in our special day by viewing some of the shots from our hike at (Flickr)
I’ll end by stealing/paraphrasing words from a Relient K (yeah I’m in shock too) song
You’re still the Cusack on the lawn of my heart.
Have I used this picture before? Who knows? Yeah, I haven’t taken a new picture in SL for a while. My bad.
This picture sort of physically captures my mood when I log in though. I feel like I’m in a contamination zone. Unlike a normal zone full of deadly bacteria, death and disease, this is an area where I’d really like to catch the bug. Unfortunately, I just can’t seem to force myself to spend enough time around the infected with my mask off to get bit.
Oh well. *shrug* I’m sort of over talking about it. Almost all my blog posts for the last year are about my lack of desire to log in and my lame attempts to try to find joy in playing SL again, and fuck, talking about that shit gets boring.
So what’s going on with me? Well I’m glad you asked. I’m getting ready for the holidays in RL. I’m sort of pretty proud of myself. I had all my decorating and shopping done by the first weekend in December which is quite unlike me. I’ve also sort of went overboard buying gifts this year, but you know it happens. Oh well. Fuck, talking about Christmas. You can only talk tinsel and garland so long before that shit gets boring.
So, can I just talk some random nonsense that makes you go “Huh, that chick is weird.” now? Cause I’ve been dying to get it all out. All the prior niceties were beginning to grate. Fuck niceties, that shit gets boring, right?
I’m actually fairly happy, content, satisfied, good to go right now. I think finally at 32, I’m beginning to just appreciate the small things and not try to analyze the most minute detail of my existence and ponder how I can improve it. It feels really good. I find satisfaction in a really great cup of hot chocolate, smooth sheets on my freshly shaved legs and movie nights. The highlight of the last week was walking around the zoo at night, marveling at Christmas lights and holding the hand of the person I love. My heart didn’t race, but it beat steadily, and I’m beginning to realize that’s just fine with me.
Does that mean that next week I won’t be wishing for someone to distract me with tiny morsels of longing? Probably not. I’d never turn down a decent distraction attempt.
I’ll end with something I read recently that I identified with which is probably just an attempt to end this blog post with a nice little fuck yes. Fuck yes is always a great ending point.
“Overpopulation will only accelerate until we need walled cities to keep out the hungry, swarming insane masses. And they will scrape and dig under the walls like bug eyed mole men.”
You say catastrophe, I say, fuck yes.