Good friends are alot like comfy sweaters. You may not need them for awhile as you go about your business and day to day lives but when you do need them, they are there for you, offering their shoulder and ear. They say if you can count on one good friend or two you are very lucky.
Anna and I met about this time last year. Both of us were passing time away, each nursing a bruised heart. I thought she had a really cute outfit on and Im'd her about it, but also teased her about wearing a fur outfit in hot weather. She laughed and we quickly started chatting. Then, we decided to play a game. Only we two knew we were playing it but we had fun seeing who would "win" by the end of the evening. I'm not sure who exactly "won." Maybe it was a tie. It doesn't really matter though. We were both winners because we each now had a new friend.
Time passed and we each moved on and our hearts mended. We shared secrets, fun and wedding plans. And, throughout the rest of the year we saw relationships end, new ones bloom and there were more times ahead for that proverbial shoulder.
We've been through thick and thin, Anna and I. She is one of the constants in my Second Life world when other things change around us. Sometimes we can foresee the changes, other times change is thrust upon us without warning like a storm off the radar screen. You know those kinds of storms. They are the kind where in its aftermath life can emerge ruined, with broken dreams. Not always, but sometimes.
And, when it does, it's hard. Because SL is supposed to be an idyllic world. It's supposed to be your refuge, sanctuary. A vortex of sorts against the harsh reality of real life. When things happen in SL that rock your world, I think the reason the fallout can feel so painful is because SL is not only in your head but also in your heart.
In your heart grows a world where dragons fly, where you can live underwater without needing oxygen and where fairy dust and unicorns really exist....really. So, when painful things happen your heart really feels it, too.
To borrow a line from a David Crowder song, "...There seems no end to where you begin and where I end now You and I, collide."
But thankfully, friends can help cushion that collision. Like angels with a safety net, they catch you when you are about to fall....and hopefully your world rights itself again. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow...but sometime in the shadows of time.