May 9th is Strawberry Singh’s 15th Rez Day so I thought it would be fun to bring back the Then & Now Challenge. I am going to post this challenge in the Challenges category on the Second Life community forums shortly so you can do this challenge there.
To do this challenge, pick one of the oldest images of your avatar and make a side-by-side comparison of a recent picture of your avatar. Here is my image for the challenge.
Both of these images are raw shots, straight from SL. The 2007 image is actually one of the first images that I blogged with back in December 2007. The 2022 image I just took today and didn’t process in any way.
The image at the top of this post is the one that I processed and had a bit of fun with in Photoshop. I haven’t done this amount of processing in a long time and it felt so fulfilling to play with it again.
Strawberry Singh’s face has changed many times over the years, and even last week I changed my shape for the OBS Tutorial post, but for the past couple of years, I keep coming back to this shape and skin. I feel like it really suits me. For my Strawberry Linden avatar, I don’t think I’ve changed her much either for the past couple of years. They both use the same mesh head but I’ve kept their shapes and skins different just so they are not complete twins.
So now that I’m 15 years old in Second Life, this may be a good time to share something that I don’t think I have shared on my blog before. In January of 2019, after thinking about it for many months, I decided that I was going to completely stop blogging and also possibly quit Second Life by the summer of 2019. I had even started dropping hints in some of my posts in January that in a few months I may get busy and you guys may not see me around much anymore.
For several months before coming to that decision I had been feeling like the creative light Second Life had always been for me was diminishing because I was getting bogged down with doing mesh head reviews. I have to be honest with you, I absolutely hated doing those videos. I had come to a point where I loathed all the time I was putting into reviewing things and sharing style credits and not being able to just be more creative and have the time to do fun things in Second Life.
I figured it was time to stop my blogging and only log in to Second Life to do fun things from time to time. Once I had made that decision I had put together a plan on how I was going to exit blogging and reduce my time in Second Life. I was scared to do it at the same time because I was so attached to SL, but I knew if I had continued blogging in that way, I would just kill any love I had left in me for SL.
Then about a month after I made that decision, Linden Lab announced the new job position. I almost didn’t apply, since I already had this plan in motion, but then I realized that if I do get this job, this may be everything I need right now and would be the perfect way to stop blogging but still continue to enjoy Second Life.
When I became a Linden I began to see a different aspect of Second Life, behind the scenes and how the world runs. I felt like a newb all over again because now I was looking at this world from a different perspective. I was also learning to deal with the community in a completely different way. People have so much love and passion for this world that they want nothing but the best from it and I understand that. But learning to deal with that relationship with the community as an employee was a big adjustment for me.
Now after 3 years at the Lab and feeling a bit more like I have a grasp on things, that feeling I used to have where SL was this amazing creative outlet where I can do all of these wonderful things is completely back for me. I am having so much fun not only enjoying all aspects of my job but playing around with this virtual sandbox like I used to.
My latest fun past time is finding the perfect dance animations to match all my favorite songs:
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15 years is a long time and a huge chunk of my life, but Second Life continues to help me nurture that creativity inside me that I didn’t know existed, and at the same time, added this element of fun in my life, so even as I am aging in the physical world, I still feel like that young girl when I first discovered this amazing virtual world and look forward to all it has in store for me.
Thanks for being on this journey with me. I’m happy I’m still here.
UPDATE: So I got the infamous Second Life Rez Day email today, for the first time and I totally was not expecting it. By looking at the stats, you can obviously tell I Second Life way too much!
I get a lot of questions about this rez day email from Residents that I don’t have the answers to so I asked my colleague who runs the email campaigns how this Rez Day email works and who receives it. He says that all stats in this email are referring to the performance in the past year only, regardless of the Resident’s age. The email is sent only to Residents that are subscribed to receive our promo emails and that have a certain level of stats in all three categories. The query calculates the stats for all agent_ids that are tied to that specific email address and you only receive this email on the original registration day of your oldest account tied to that email address. He also says the average numbers are calculated by the numbers of every single user that has logged in at least once in the past year.