I don't know what exactly made me sign up on that 9th of October back in 2006. I knew of Second Life before, in fact followed coverage of it loosely on BoingBoing.net - I even downloaded the client a few times but never took the final step to register. Back then a credit card was mandatory even for free accounts, and while I had a CC (not typical in my spot of the world) I was reluctant to use it.
But on that day, I made all these steps, registered my account, gave my credit card details, chose my name and logged in, stumbled my way over orientation island, talked to the parrot, made my first clumsy moves with camera control to see the back of that test-panel, lifted a stone and practised my object moving skill and finally climbed to the temple, leaped into the air, and flew into my new life.
My first months in SL were not the best. In retrospect I consider them lost time. I met the wrong people, hung out in the wrong places, and spent an incredibly silly amount of time with camping. When I look at "people my age" (read: signed up in fall 2006) many have more or less directly shaped this world for themselves. I was on the brink of leaving when I found my first real friends, people who made me stay, who are intelligent, creative and who give soul to this place. I am blessed with the ongoing friendship of some of them. Cake Kidd, Caterin Semyorka (though she is barely on anymore), lorinz Gloucester.
My Second Life got some structure when I founded Babel Translations in summer 2007. Babel posed a great and exciting challenge, Babel provided wonderful successes, Babel provided financial independence. And in the process of building Babel, new friends came. Tina Lynch and Gina Glimmer, who became a friend, a soul mate, finally in January 2008 my partner - and a while later my lover.
Real drama and artificial drama found me in 2008. My beloved Gina was forced to leave SL. A friend turned enemy over false claims - I got blackmailed and threatened in the process. But also good things happened. I found one of my closest friends and now my SL-sister Trinity Dechou, who helped me through the loss of Gina, and with who I forged a strong band of friendship. I found a new love, and while it ultimately did not last, I enjoyed the time with her very much. I renewed the friendship with London Spengler. I met one of the most amazing talents in SL - Ivanova Shostakovich - and founded GREENE concept with her. I came across Rika Watanabe's blog and when I met her in-world for the first time it "clicked" and we formed a strong friendship as well and find exceptional fun in working on projects with each other. And two other close friendships formed in 2008 - with the wonderful Quaintly Tuqiri and with the equally wonderful Zippora Zabelin.
This year - 2009 - started with a bang. Having been partnered for only a few weeks after having been together for almost 9 months, my partner broke up with me. While I was confused and also hurt at that time, it was the beginning of a new chapter in my SL. Being dragged to an event by my friend Nadine Nozaki to "get some brooding thoughts out of my mind" I discovered the Blacklist, a club which showed me the whole beauty of Second Life and the liberties to be whoever we want to be there. The Blacklist has become my favourite hangout where I can be found typically several times a week. I made friends there too, especially Lectra Forte, but also Hyang Zhao, Shye Kidd, Jo Soosung, Yoshimi Yoshikawa and many others.
In many aspects 2009 was the best year so far. I found love from unexpected and unusual sides, finally admitting the mutual feelings with London, but also - carefully and constantly surprised - finding out that I can love more than one person at once. While being with London - and actually encouraged by her - I finally allowed romantic feelings for another person who I unfortunately still can not name publicly. And finally there is Nissa Nightfire. I met Nissa the year before doing PR for my former partner when I contacted her as fashion blogger. We had occasional contact, but in 2009 the contact intensified, and we became friends. And the contact intensified more, and over the course of months, of slowly getting to know each other, we became lovers - something neither of us expected, but something that is thrilling each day anew.
By the time of posting this, there will be a party at the Blacklist to honor me. Nissa secretly planned the party, and from what I have seen during this day, she must have worked her lovely butt off with everything she arranged. As a thank you for organizing that, I spent quite some time and thought on an outfit I hope no one ever expected from me - King Peter I. of Beachwood.
I am blessed to have great friends! Blessed to have their affection, blessed to have their respect. Blessed that they opened their hearts and souls to me. Blessed to have two wonderful lovers. Blessed to have a great sister. There are so many of you not explicitely mentioned, but all of you make my life special, make my SL rich.
Thank you, thank you everybody I met over the past three years who I can call friend.