On being delightful…

“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.” ~Lady Gaga

In a month, I will be 6 years old in Second Life. It just floors me how fast time has flown. As I get older (in both RL and SL) I keep thinking about days gone by. Oh to be young again… LOL

When I first joined Second Life, I was young and… well young. Haha I explored a lot  more and dated A LOT more. It  has definitely been a wonderous roller coaster of a journey.

One thing that I keep asking myself,  “what happened to me?” I have definitely changed. Have I grown up? Matured? Become smarter?

When I used to come into Second Life, I was less lonely. I had a great group of friends I would hang  out with almost nightly. I had a couple boyfriends (not at the same time…LOL) who I couldn’t wait to talk to. Life was wonderful. I felt like someone special. Somehow I lost this ‘loving’ feeling.

Since I started thinking about all of this this past week, I have gone into Second Life a bit more. I decided to go dancing and meet people. I thought this would help me feel less lonely and more beautiful in RL.

I am at Franks Jazz, right now. There are a lot of people here. I’m sure people just like me, looking for company, a dance partner, someone to connect with.

When I stopped by a couple days ago, I met a really nice guy. We spent about an hour having a really great chat. I felt intelligent, beautiful, witty and myself. He said I was delightful. Sitting here at my desk, I was smiling. No one in RL has ever called me delightful before. No  one has ever called me beautiful. (Well no one who is flirting anyway). It felt really really good. I missed that.

Sometimes I think my work on identity has hindered my perception  of myself rather than helped it. I try so hard to find myself that I forget to be myself.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde

 

Categories: Identity

Author:Author

Kristine Schomaker is a new media and performance artist, painter and art historian living and working at the Brewery artist complex in Los Angeles. For over 14 years she has been working with various interdisciplinary art forms including online virtual worlds to explore identity and the hybridization of digital media with the physical world. Whether virtual or physical, the object-based work Kristine creates combines elements of color-based gestural abstraction, animation, pattern and design, neo-Baroque and Populence. Using installation, text, photography, mixed media, video and performance for her ongoing conceptual project My Life as an Avatar, she visualizes a narrative/dialogue with her virtual persona, Gracie Kendal. Kristine then documents her experiences on her blog. In 2012, exploring ideas of community, Kristine turned a local gallery into a modern day creation of Gertrude Stein’s salon of the 1920’s with a live mixed-reality dinner party merging the physical world with the online virtual world. Over the summer she also performed The Bald and the Beautiful in which she had her head shaved as a statement to challenge society’s standards of beauty. Currently, Kristine is working as an Artist-in-Residence through the Linden Endowment for the Arts creating an immersive virtual environment which she is planning to bring into the physical world via sculpture/public art work.

3 Comments on “On being delightful…”

  1. Tuesday, 04 September 2012 at 12:12 UTC #

    I think the last statement you made in this post rings very true, at least for me personally. The more I think about myself, about who I am, what I look like etc, the more insecure I feel. I found that too much thinking doesn’t make me happy. So instead, I try to do the things I love to do, make sure I put time in things I deem important. It’s not as easy in practice as it sounds, but I found that this, after all, makes me happy in the end. After all, it’s what you do that makes who you are. That’s at least something I strongly believe in. In 40 years, we’ll all be old and ugly anyway, and then I’d rather do meaningful things than having spent my youth looking into mirrors and trying to be pretty.

    I always thought it was very brave of you to do what you do, because I know it would make me unhappy if it would’ve been me doing it. But your work is also very meaningful, so that makes it worth it. You know, for the greater good and all. 😉

    P.S. Love how you like your own post there, go Kristine! 🙂

  2. katcool
    Wednesday, 05 September 2012 at 20:18 UTC #

    Awesome post, Kris!!!! I do agree with you and Ravenel that there comes a time when too much self-reflection can indeed hinder your perception of yourself. I for one have found that I am happiest when I am preoccupied with something greater than myself – in my case helping animals. That is after all, the thought behind the invention of religion… but let’s save that for another time.
    In my case, what has really surprised me about my own identity in SL and RL is how little difference there is. Prior to really immersing myself in the environment, I had, like many I’m sure, heard about individuals (especially introverts like myself) blossom in SL and take charge socially. When I first entered SL, I experienced very intense social anxiety, to the point where I would make sure that no other avatar was in my proximity prior to entering a SIM. I basically had to talk myself into thinking that these other avatars didn’t know who I was and weren’t interested in me.
    Slowly, I began responding to IMs from strangers without wanting to run away. It somehow never occurred to me that I could simply log off if I did not like how an avatar was interacting with me. In a way, these initial days in SL were “extra-sensorial” in that what I felt in some situations in RL were amplified tenfold in EVERY situation in-world. Then I stumbled (by sheer luck) on Pirats and they took me in. I guess I needed to feel part of a community, a family, before blossoming in SL. The same can be said of in RL. I still whole heartedly believe that it is this sense of community that is so special in SL. And when you think about it long and hard, the same is true of in RL. Coming back to how I started, doesn’t community, after all allow you to become part of something that is greater than yourself?

  3. Wednesday, 05 September 2012 at 20:26 UTC #

    Hi Kristine… Delightful is a wonderful compliment! And so is beautiful. I found your comment, “Sometimes I think my work on identity has hindered my perception of myself rather than helped it. I try so hard to find myself that I forget to be myself” made me wonder about where you feel you are headed?

    More and more I discover my own approach to SL is different from most, but more and more I discover that everyone seems to have a unique idea about what SL is in their world.

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