…and a sixpence in your shoe. (bet you thought I’d leave that one out didn’t you?)
“Is this the end of the moment
Or just a beautiful unfolding of a love that will never be?”
SafetySuit – Anywhere But Here
I know I know, “Lucky it is Spooktober, what the hell are you doing posting stuff like this.” I hear you, I understand it, but let’s be real, I’ve leaned heavily into October vibes this month. The great part is I get to do what I want and if you like it awesome, and if you don’t, that’s okay too, hopefully I see you in the next one. I’ve had this particular post written for quite some time now and figured I had best get around to it eventually or I would just keep moving it back as other things took precedence. It -IS- a monster of a post loaded with backstory and that’s truly what it is, backstory. I’ve always been an open book here and that’s not changing with this.
I told you a month ago I would get to the other photos from the wedding and I’m following through on that. If you knew us well at that time you may have seen this somewhere, probably our home, but I’m not sure how many of you are still around. That being said “From The Vault” is the perfect style of post for this kind of thing and I’m going to do my best to use it well. Memories are good. People change and grow apart, and life always has it’s twists and turns but you learn from them all, always. This will undoubtedly be the biggest Vault post that I’ve done and maybe will do. Grab a coffee, tea, butterbeer, whiskey, or whatever you prefer and settle in. I’ve got a lot for this one.
Anyone who knows me or has followed me for longer than a minute has probably seen or heard Portia’s name come up in a past post, maybe years ago, maybe yesterday, maybe in the last “From The Vault” post. Probably the last Vault post for the majority of you. Normally I wouldn’t sit and tell stories that explain in depth the ins and outs of something like this, but I feel like this one is good to do that with. One because you’ll understand our story a lot more, and it’s probably good for me to write about it because that’s how I do things. So for a change let’s take a deep dive into the past.
For starters, I’m going to assume the majority of us in SecondLife, have been in a relationship or two in our time on the grid. I won’t put a percentage on it because I’d never be right, but it’s safe to assume more have than not. Some of those go extremely well and people are a part of each other’s lives for a long time, some even go beyond our virtual world and become real world couples and more. For every relationship that goes that far another one hundred never do, at a minimum. Often times as I said above people change and grow apart, life is life, you have to roll with it and appreciate what you had when you had it. Not every ending is a bad thing.
Back to the story though because I’d hate to waste your time here. So Portia and first met in late 2011 if I recall correctly, somewhere in that neighborhood, it’s been more than minute so leave a little room on specific times. At that time we were both in relationships with other people, and Portia eventually ended up being my SL brother’s sister, which in turn made her my sister sometime in 2012. It may have been earlier than that but from a photo standpoint I can confirm early 2012 at least. SL families are complex things, try sorting it all out.
I’m not one to usually sit and go oh I should have done this or that…wait yes I am, I do it all the damn time. I’m totally an over-thinker. Anyways Portia was definitely an exception. When we met we got along really well, obviously enough where we were perfectly content to be SL siblings. We talked quite a bit when we had time to and even blogged together very early on in our blogging lives. I’ll throw some of those photos in here for your viewing pleasure, but keep in mind we are talking 2012-2013, I’m not re-editing these. I’m dedicated but I’m also realistic and lord knows I’ve only got so much time.
Time went by and relationships change and although we’d both found different partners amidst all of it, each us being on our own at the same time never quite lined up. We of course never brought that subject up because we were both the type who was happy for the other person if they were happy. That wasn’t something you messed around with. We also never talked about any feelings that might be there between us beyond our SL brother and sister bond that we stayed true to for as long as it was a thing. She is, was, and always will be the absolute best SecondLife sister I could ever ask for. It’d be a no contest against anyone else. I couldn’t put our brother/sister relationship better than she did so I’m just going to quote her because it’s 1000% accurate.
We took care of one another, supported one another, and during those times where our lives took us in completely different directions, there was always the security that came with knowing that there was someone, somewhere that accepted and cared for you no matter what. We could always come back.“Promises” – Portia Pexington, February 10, 2016
All of that is truth and we did that for years. I’ve been fortunate to have two people, who for the majority of my SecondLife, I could ALWAYS count on being there no matter what. Portia, and my SL daughter Lily. No matter what twist or turn happened, no matter how wrong things went or how silent anyone had been. We could strike up a conversation and talk for hours like we’d just talked the day before. It was like a ship being out at sea in a storm, and you’ve got that lighthouse that guides you back. That’s how it was. Home. Safety. Always.
Fast forward to late 2014 and whomever I was in a relationship (I think it was Pink, no not P!nk) with had ended and I had decided that I needed to step away from SecondLife for a bit. I wasn’t sure if I would come back or if that was enough for me to be done for good. I knew I needed time to think and figure out what was best for me. I’ve done that a couple of times and for me it’s the right thing to do. I sort things out, work through whatever I need to and if coming back is right I’ll know, if it’s not then well you can see precisely when I chose not to. I stayed away for a good chunk of time there, I’d like to say about six to eight months but I can’t be 100% for sure on that.
When I did come back in May 2015, I came back with no plans on things, whatever happens happens. One late night I was on doing something and ended up at a gacha resell sim of all places. Yes I had a gacha addiction and profoundly good luck with those damn things, so I had a lot of extra stuff. I needed a place to get rid of some and well I ended up somewhere. In the time I had been back I hadn’t seen my then sister online which was surprising but like me, I thought maybe she took time away for something. Coincidentally enough we ran into each other there on that sim and she had somewhat disappeared, intentionally. We obviously never hid from one another in terms of our little SL family so imagine her surprise when we realized that oops a box got unticked. Shit happens right?
I hadn’t talked to Portia in a while because I was away and she was stealthy. It started off as usual, catching up on things and small talk about what had been going on. At this point we’d both been on our own and were okay with that as far as I remember. It wasn’t until the end of that conversation that I chose to say something that could backfire. As you’ve heard me say before I’m more for taking my shot and it not working than not taking it and never knowing. I would rather know it didn’t work than wonder if it could have. Gotta take chances or you’re choosing to settle, and maybe that’s right for you, or you, or even you, but I’m not a settler.
So I told her how I felt, that if we had both been single when we first met, I would have wanted to date her then. But we weren’t and since we were both loyal and faithful people, it wasn’t something to consider. Here we were four years later though and even if it’s not mutual I wanted her to know. I don’t remember what I said specifically (if you can remember things like this far back please teach me the ways) but it was something like “I know we’re brother and sister, but if we were both single when we met, I wanted to date you.”
I think I remember the initial reaction being a mix of surprise and needing to think about that because that is an odd change from being brother and sister. Of course you don’t want people thinking we’re strange or that something was going on all along. We loved Game of Thrones yes, but we weren’t Lannisters ya hear? I think that night ended with us being our normal selves, her saying she appreciated hearing that, and she’d need to think about all of that. I respected that and regardless of what way it went I felt better knowing I had finally told her.
Having just come back to SecondLife, I had to figure out land and all that stuff, and if you know me, you know I’m all about privacy when it comes to where I live. Not because anything gets crazy or weird, but because when I want to be able to do the things I want, I can do them and not be bothered by random things or people. I went and found a homestead through one of Anshe Chung‘s sims and started making my new home. I remember picking the house and busting my butt to decorate it as well as I could. Which at the time was not spectacular because I’m not a great decorator and we had far less options then we do now.
I remember the house I used very well because I loved the look of it, and for once it was -my- choice of house and done my way. I used reBourne‘s “The Lake House” skybox and ground mansion. I chose the ground version obviously because it had a cool boat garage that I wanted to make use of, even if it made it challenging for me to landscape right. Oddly enough I didn’t have a damn boat but hey it was the thought that counted. You can check shots of it from reBourne below to get an idea of what I was working with.
It took me a couple of days to get a good chunk of it done and Portia and I hadn’t really talked about the conversation we had that one night. I wasn’t going to bring it back up because I respected the boundaries of what we were at present. If she felt a way I wanted her to feel that on her own, not because I’ve mentioned it more and more. I went about my business as usual and did what I would be doing. I don’t remember the exact night, but I want to say it was a Friday night because I stayed up late as hell. I had gotten a few rooms finished in the house and my living room was one of them. At the time my SL brother Mike was online and I invited him over to see the house and just hang out because we hadn’t in a while. We both sat down and were listening to music or something while we chatted about all kinds of things. I hadn’t told him or anyone else about what I had said to Portia because it wasn’t anyone else’s business to meddle in.
At some point during that evening, Portia logged in and I thought oh cool I can invite her over and we can all hang out for the first time in a long time. I messaged her and asked if she wanted to come and hang out with us and she said yes. Once she made it over, I first wanted to show her around the house and see what she thought about my “man decorating” and all that. When we finished the tour of the house we settled back down in the living room to talk about all of the things, catching up as a trio for the first time in what felt like forever. I think I had two couches and a chair in the room, sort of a U shaped setup and Mike was sitting on the chair while I was on the couch facing the fireplace because Mike and I are clearly not going to sit on the same couch because then you end up in animations that are way closer than he and I would like to be. We’re cool, but we’re again not Lannisters.
I assumed Portia would take the other couch since our relationship was as I knew it to be. This is where it got interesting. She ended up sitting on the same couch as me and whatever animation we got wasn’t a cuddle, but it put us much closer than I would have expected. I tried not read too much into it because we hadn’t talked about that and with Mike there I didn’t want to make it something it may not be. No one really questioned it at the time and eventually Mike decided to call it a night because it was getting late. That left myself and Portia sitting closely on the couch still. Our small talk turned into us talking about -us- and it was in that moment that our relationship as brother and sister ended, and a new relationship started to grow. I don’t remember how late we stayed up, but we eventually moved from the couch to the balcony where she rezzed out a white hammock to watch the stars and relax. We snuggled up on the hammock and both fell asleep there for the night, a new chapter had begun.
I remember waking up the next day and wondering if what I thought had happened actually did or if I was just imagining it. All it took was looking over and seeing her still laying there right along with me to confirm it was real. Thus began a whirlwind romance that neither of us could have predicted when we had first met. It wasn’t an option and I think I can say confidently that I don’t believe either of us had ever considered it being one at any point before that. I could sit and tell you a thousand stories about those years and I’m sure they would be good stories, well to me at least, but I don’t need to. You can read them all here, and on Mask and Mien, everything exists still to this day. Have fun reading if you do, we did a lot of stuff!
There was a time when I wouldn’t go back and read or look over pictures I had done then. I didn’t really understand it at the time but it was part of a bigger process that took a lot longer than I could guess. I look back on it now and smile about the things that happened, remembering the moments, the good, the bad, the happy, the sad. You name it and it probably applies. I learned a lot, grew a lot, ultimately left SecondLife for a good amount of time. It just didn’t feel right to be there anymore. Some of you will think that’s foolish and hell you might be right, but it’s what happened, it was a void that I couldn’t fill and the best option was space. I never knew if I would come back, if I’d even want to, let alone feel like I could do it.
Over time I did, briefly and sorted through some of the things I needed to, and then I stepped away again for a bit. I had come back to write the things I needed to write, to shoot photos that I was inspired to, and share my thoughts in the best way I knew. That was the big turning point in how I wanted to go about doing the blog from that point. I swore I would always write what I felt was right to me and real, whether it related to what my photo idea was or not. I’ve done the usual posts on brands and items and shown my love for creations a ton and I still do that. But the reality of writing something that you “feel” and that someone else might resonate with just outweighs the usual deal for me.
Now I can comfortably sit here and look back on everything I’ve done or been a part of and not feel lost or disconnected from it. Going back and editing these memories is therapy for me. There isn’t a sad emotion attached to doing it or the should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. Things happen, life is life, it doesn’t always make sense but you can’t just stop. You have to find your way through it and come out on the other side. I’ve found, at least for myself, the key to it is not letting any of the “negative parts” (I use negative extremely loosely here) of it outweigh the good parts. Because there are certainly more good parts than bad and you lose too much joy if you focus on the wrong ones. This post turned into quite a monster post, apologies for it being as long as it ended up being. I just kind of got in a groove and the writing came easy. Thanks if you made it this far and I’ll see you in the next one…
“Is this the end of the moment
Or just a beautiful unfolding of a love that will never be or maybe be?
Everything that I never thought could happen
Or ever come to pass and I wonder…”
SafetySuit – Anywhere But Here
I know you’re not looking for credits again, are you? Seriously? I can’t provide full credits here because well six years ago, here’s what I’m reasonably sure of though. Thanks for understanding.
Hair: [Deadwool] Undercut hair – tidy – chestnut ~ Masa Plympton
Hairbase: [Deadwool] Undercut hairbase – chestnut ~ Masa Plympton
Skin: -NIVARO- Baptiste Skin – creamtone – nohair_clean_bald ~ ReishiProphet Resident
Ears: [MANDALA] Stretched ears-Omimi~ Kikunosuke Eel
Eyes: IKON Promise Eyes – Sky ~ Ikon Innovia
Body: Slink Physique MALE Mesh Body Release 1.2 ~ Siddean Munro
Hands: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands MALE V2.2 ~ Siddean Munro
Skin: Lara Hurley-Fae natural/Rose Pale ~ Lara Hurley
Eyes: IKON Triumph Eyes – Quicksilver ~ Ikon Innovia
Mesh Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara ~ Onyx LeShelle
Hands: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands ~ Siddean Munro