thalia heckroth

How to Disappear Completely

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Second Life has the fascinating ability to be like a virtual Russian nesting doll, with its residents often falling in with a compelling crowd or niche interest, which in turn becomes the circles we travel within. Bloggers frequently find familiar faces at shopping events; photographers spy names from their Flickr circles at picturesque sims; live music aficionados often discover a musician or DJ whom they enjoy, and will venture to those events again and again. That’s not to say that these crowds, and so many others like them, don’t intersect. But they can also be very insular; on days where there may be 40,000 residents signed in and spread across nearly 25,000 regions, you may still bump into someone whom you recognize on your virtual world travels. A boon for those who love to socialize, but difficult at times when you’re longing for a little bit of solace and space.

There are parts of me that truly want to desire the constant connection that compels my social butterfly counterparts, but my introverted roots dig deeply into their solitary soil. While I do enjoy one-on-one conversation with dear friends and loved ones, I’m often genuinely at ease being all by my lonesome. And when life, First and Second, began contentedly feeling like a jigsaw falling into place last month, I wanted to hold that to myself for a while, as one does a treasured keepsake. So when I was in-world, an occurrence that’s needfully becoming more infrequent, I sometimes ticked the Global Invisibility option in Firestorm, which I imagined would allow me to slip in as a shadow, clear notices and make some last-minute event visits, then exit quietly without causing any fuss.

But I’m foolish, I’ll admit: I’d forgotten that Global Invisibility is spotty at best, easily surmounted by certain scripts and by peeking at the members list of shared groups, and most importantly, can lead to some grievous misunderstandings and inadvertently hurt feelings. I’m very grateful to my dear friend Victoria, who gently and graciously reminded me of this potential. Although my auto-responder still irks some (primarily because it remains persistent through logouts, so if I forget to turn it off before closing the viewer, it will still be activated the next time I log in), it’s certainly preferable to anything that may arouse conflicted emotions or distrust.

Still, I’ve had to reorganize and prioritize, and the measures of relief brought by easing up a bit on my previous Do All The Things endeavors have been palpable. So perhaps the better title for this post would be “How to Disappear Selectively”, but Radiohead is my sonic touchstone, and I couldn’t possibly pass up on the poetic nod! Flickr is still my beloved haunt whenever time graciously allows, but I’ve needfully relaxed from trying to keep up with the over 1000 blogs (!) in my WordPress Reader. I’m in-world less frequently, but enjoying those moments all the more, and while I miss out on visiting most of the events I curate in my SL Shopping Events Calendar, it’s still a genuine pleasure to keep that resource going for myself and all those who find it to be helpful.

One thing I’ve found that I have in common with those closest to me is I’m a giver first and a giver second; meaning it’s difficult for me to ask for the things I want or need, and even harder for me to be a recipient without immediately looking for ways to return any gracious kindness or favor. But sometimes being selfish (that dreaded word) truly is the kindest thing you can be to yourself. So I’m not truly disappearing, not fading away, just quietly haunting the periphery of the virtual world for a while, as I once more find my equilibrium. It’s a genuinely wonderful thing when you recognize that you need to come back into balance, and you’re able to make the subtle adjustments to do so. To once more borrow wisdom from a Radiohead song, everything is in its right place. Alla prossima.


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“That there, that’s not me
I go where I please
I walk through walls
I float down the Liffey
I’m not here
This isn’t happening …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
LeLutka Hair – H-NV-0001 (Naturals HUD with flowers add-on)

Style & Pose

Thalia Heckroth Dress – Nisha Gown (Rose Solid) *
Exposeur Pose – Spring Singles 12M

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Furillen
🎧 Sounds: Radiohead – How to Disappear Completely

Ordinary Heart

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When I was 12 years old, I had an existential crisis. Distressing events kept hitting me like tidal waves: my beloved grandmother died; my mom went deeply into the throes of her depression; my dad was never around; I went through puberty and was dropped by the small talent agency I’d been with since I was 9 (“frankly, if she’d only been dieting as we repeatedly advised … tsk tsk”); migraines plagued me and I suddenly needed glasses, further cementing my “unpopular geek” status. But of everything, the tipping point came when two of my friends – really, two of my only friends – were each having parties on the same day, and I couldn’t figure out which one to attend.

My favorite teacher at the time was a loud, passionate, intense Italian gentleman from NYC in his sixties, who had a jolly “Santa Claus on vacation” look with his bright white mustache and merry, laughing eyes. He took a shine to me and nicknamed me Stella, saying that my red hair reminded him of his granddaughter. Often times I’d peek into his classroom when he had a free period, and he’d lean back and his chair and say “Stella! What’s happenin’?” Usually I’d just wave and smile, with a hearty “Hi, Mr. G!” But the day of the Double Party Conundrum, I broke down in tears.

I sobbed out the whole story – everything that had been going wrong that year – as I sat at a desk and Mr. G leaned on his, saying nothing but passing me tissues, his bushy white eyebrows furrowed intently. To his immense credit, there was none of the typical teasing or cajoling in his demeanor; he took my distress as seriously as I did, and when my voice finally trailed off into silence punctuated by hiccup-breaths, he cleared his throat and said: “Stella baby, you can’t bring back your grandmama, you can’t fix your parents, and you can’t be in two places at once.” (He graciously refrained from commenting upon the puberty quandary.) “But put yuh’self first? That you can do. Make you happy, everyone who loves you will be happy for you. They don’t like it, fuggedaboutem!” He made a sudden, sweeping gesture with his giant paw, like he was back-handing a line of imaginary people across the face. “Vaffanculo!” (A sensational Italian word that I learned, much later, means “fuck off”. Something about the fact that he used this in my defense just makes the memory even more charming to me.)

In the end, I turned down both of my friends’ invitations and stayed home that Saturday reading, which made me happy and angered them both, teaching me that while the logic was sound, sometimes even people who love you may take it personally when they feel that they’re being slighted. And this is something I experienced in both SL and RL very recently, which distressed me greatly and found me once more tearing up at a desk, face buried in tissues, trying to divine a way to let myself be happy while also never allowing those whom I care about to get lost in the shuffle. And I’m blessed to have wonderful people in my life who understand and appreciate this people-pleasing nature of mine. “You have a big, soft heart,” they say, though it feels pretty ordinary to me. I just need to remind myself, gently but intently, that self-fulfillment is paramount. Sometimes “no” is the kindest thing you can say to someone, or in response to a request, for the benefit of your own well-being. Still, for those whom I’ve inadvertently hurt by not being as available, or by putting my attention elsewhere for an overlong period of time, I am genuinely sorry, and I appreciate your patience tremendously. One day time will be on my side again; I have faith that I’m moving in that direction. But until then, when you have my love, that’s something you can always trust. ♡


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“what I’ve got is just an ordinary heart
I’ll give it more than anybody
you can always trust this ordinary heart …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Izzie’s Freckles – Body Freckles II (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink Appliers & System Layers)
Mandala Ears – Steking Ears Season 5
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Avi-Glam Eyes – Ardent Eyes (Aqua v2) *
Wasabi Pills Hair – Jasmine (Fudge)

Style & Pose

Thalia Heckroth Dress – Emilia Dress (in Air for Maitreya Lara) *
!Bang Poses – Stand 544M

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: It All Starts With a Smile
🎧 Sounds: Emily King – Ordinary Heart

Elevator Love Letter

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When you have a blogger or photographer on your Second Life friends list, you may find yourself needfully cultivating a lot of patience for distracted conversations (I’m the world’s worst multitasker, truly), as well as gracious tolerance when you get out-of-the-blue questions like “Hey darlin, where’s that one elevator again?” So this picture is dedicated to my dear friend Alex, whom I met at Elysion what feels like worlds ago, and who very kindly came through for me when I was looking for a particular locale. I hope I did it justice!

Speaking of destinations, I’m slowly working on a project that I hope will complement my SL Fashion & Shopping Events Calendar, but is more focused on picturesque locales for fellow photographers and virtual world wanderers to explore. There are some wonderful Flickr groups dedicated to SL locations, and there’s always the official Destination Guide, but the one I’m working on will be more at-a-glance and quick reference. Of particular interest are places that are rez-enabled, so if you have favorite destinations to share, please never hesitate to get in touch! ♡

Elevator Love Letter
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“my office glows all night long
it’s a nuclear show, and the stars are gone
elevator, elevator
take me home …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Avi-Glam Eyes – Radiant Eyes (Jungle)
Lamb Hair – Prove It (Dark Blondes HUD) New Release for Luxe Box June 2016

Style & Pose

Phedora Jewelry – Brigitte Necklace (Dark Gold) New Release @ AnyBody, through June 30th
Thalia Heckroth Dress – Ava Dress (in Mulberry for Maitreya Lara) New Release *
KC Couture Shoes – Andria Heels (for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink & TMP)
Nrage Studio Poses – Lovely One 5 (from the Lovely One Pose Set) New Release *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Elysion
🎧 Sounds: Stars – Elevator Love Letter

Whisky

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“You are my whisky
I’ll make you mine
I can just taste it …
I know you won’t burn when I drink my glass
I know how to drink it, I learn pretty fast
So take me to bed, babe, and I’ll close my eyes
Yeah, I like the whisky with my lullaby …”

Whisky
Please click for full size.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
Ears // Steking Ears Season 5 by Mandala
* Hair // Helena (Light Blondes HUD) by Murray for N21, through June 12th New Release!
* Eyes // Juno Eyes (Gold) by Inkheart New Release!

Style

* Top // Doutzen Blouse (Nude for Maitreya Lara) by Thalia Heckroth New Release!
Pants // Leather Skinny Pants (Bronze) by Maitreya
* Shoes // Raquel Laced Sandals (Praline for Maitreya Mid) by Murray New Release!

Pose, Destination & Inspiration

* Pose // Scene #2 Pose 3 by Label Motion for Shiny Shabby, through June 15th New Release!
Location // Saint Pete City
Song Spark // Marian Hill – Whisky

A beloved quote from one of my all-time favorite TV shows comes from the character Jeff Winger in Community: “This class is like a redhead that drinks Scotch and loves Die Hard. I suggest you all get her number.” Now I know I’m rocking blonde hair in the picture above (I couldn’t resist; I just love Murray’s blonde colors and textures), but the RL me is a redhead to the roots, and when I first heard that quote, I was determined that loving Scotch whisky should definitely be on my agenda. I’m sad to say that as much as it warms my throat, I haven’t quite warmed to the flavor; I like liquors with distinct sweet or tart vibes, and my true love is an inexpensive, bubbly sparkling wine. My friends say this makes me a cheap date, but hey – who’s complaining? ;)

If you have the Maitreya mesh body, you should definitely treat yourself and get these incredibly slinky, sumptuous leather pants. They fit like a dream, just as you’d expect them to, and they come in three different lengths and tapered-leg options. Since I was really loving the thought of a chic, neutral look, I paired them with the gorgeous Doutzen Blouse from Thalia Heckroth, which manages to be demure, stylish, and sexy all at once. In addition to their lovely hairstyles, Murray is also branching into footwear, and these strappy heels are truly sensational. They’re made exclusively for Maitreya’s mid-high foot shape, and while I find that it’s often an ideal shape for wedges, sometimes it doesn’t seem to work so well for high-heeled shoes. But in this case, I can say honestly that these sandals have a wonderful shape and style, and I know I’ll be wearing them all the time! ♡

Hope

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“Call and anywhere, I would go
All I’ll ever have, I offer
All I need is hope
All I ever am, I offer
And all I need is hope …”

Another several days of incredibly meaningful words exchanged, and I feel truly uplifted on a wave of amazingly positive energy and like-minded ideals. This is exactly what I needed in the days preceding my birthday; as I get older, I don’t find that I necessarily feel it in my psyche or my bones, but seeing that number creeping ever-upward is disheartening. Still, you’re only as old as you feel and as energized as the company you keep, and I’ve had some truly wonderful conversations since I wrote my very personal post on Saturday morning. I even managed to see my instant messages cap for the first time ever, which made me feel very fancy, hee hee! It’s the little joys in life. ♡

Hope
Please click for full size.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
Ears // Steking Ears Season 5 by Mandala
Lashes // FATELashes v2.0 by Damien Fate
Hair // Adriana Swish (Range HUD) by LeLutka
* Eyes // Ardent Eyes (Fjord v1) by Avi-Glam

Style

Necklace // Ever Anchor Necklace (Silver) by YS&YS
Gown // Helena Gown (Air) by Thalia Heckroth

Pose, Destination & Inspiration

Poses // Valeria Pose 3 and Hera Pose 4 by Label Motion
Location // Chouchou V
Song Spark // Toad the Wet Sprocket – Hope

I visited the always beautiful and inspiring Chouchou V region for this picture, which exists as a gorgeous cathedral in the sky. My dress is the sumptuous and slinky Helena Gown by Thalia Heckroth, and I paired it with a fortuitous find from my visit to YS&YS a little while back: a delicate anchor necklace called Ever! How could I resist? It felt like an especially apropos symbol for the last few days, when words have been my lighthouse, and hope, my anchor. I hope you had a wonderful and restful weekend, dear reader. So much love and appreciation for you. ♡