I have an issue with birthdays, since I feel significantly younger than my biological age is. So I always feel a bit anxious when one is around. As SL is special to me, I hoped to make my first rezday last year special as well, so weeks in advance, I put out clues and hints to my friends, and hoped I could celebrate with them - alas none showed up. So this year I decided for myself to not mention it to anybody, so the potential disappointment would be not as drastic.
The first to remember it was my friend Ivanova, who started the congratulations shortly after Midnight SLT time on Plurk, and a lot of friends joined in. Later my close friend and SL sister Trinity joined in, and I received a lot of congratulations over the course of the day. That made me feel good.
Admittedly I was a bit disappointed that my girlfriend Skinkie did not seem to remeber, but when I finally took the courage to tell her she said she's notoriously bad at remembering birthdays at all. However she arranged an impromptu rezday party at the Code Red Lounge, where a lot of friends came and danced and had fun. I'm not the party animal, but I loved that so many folks stopped by. Late in the day, I even did Moggs Oceanlane's "Poppins RezDay Challenge".
So what happened in this last year? Most notably, I met two amazing women. Gina Glimmer, with who I developed a close and closer friendship, until she made me the most happy man in SL by accepting to become my partner in January. Unfortunately we only were granted 3 happy months together, followed by 3 painful months as she was forced to leave SL due to RL obligations. Yet I am deeply grateful to her, and consider myself lucky to see her still around and still have a close friendship to her. And then there is Skinkie Winkler, my girlfriend of over 3 months now, an incredibly "present" woman, who manages to root me firmly on the ground, and with whom I am so much in synch it's wonderful.
With my translation company "Babel Translations" being a success beyond imagination, I was able to take over a competitor early this year. On the business side I also founded "GREENE concept" with my friend Ivanova, developing furniture, and a business company with Trinity. Also Skinkie offered me to become part of her company and take care of the Sales & Marketing side - and I am glad to say my help made a difference.
Another highlight of the past year was also my appearance as Post 6 Guy in the SL Herald, which - as I got told - marked a special event in the Herald's history as it was the first Post 6 that attracted almost no nasty comments. May of my friends were portrayed since then - Trinity, Moggs and Gina, and even the photographer - Bunny - became a friend through this. Hope it's Ivanova's turn soon :-)
What I value most about the last year is the intensification of existing friendships, and finding new friends. The closest person to me (apart of course Skinkie) is my SL sister Trinity, and I only met her early this year by pure chance. I can not imagine how it would be without her friendship. We share openly personal thoughts and insights, and it is eerie how similar we are in many things. Ivanova comes to mind as well - I met her in Januray as a friend of Gina, and now we are very close and even run a company together. Dandellion is the only person I talk about politics a lot. We don't meet that often, but when we talk it usually goes on for hours. Quaintly commented on my blog (I still don't recall how she found it), and she became a very good friend in short time. Tarissa, who speed TPed into my office one day, and from which a long and funny friendship developed. There are a few young friendships, which still need to develop, and I hope to write about them next year. Unfortunately, there are friendships who suffered as well, and time will tell if they can be mended again.
My RL situation is a very difficult one - even became more difficult recently - and I value all of these freindships highly. Even considering the more negative events of the past year, I would not want to miss it for anything. Thank you all who made my SLife an enriching experience!