For as far back as my memory allows, I had never found myself in a place I felt comfortable. My world has been in a constant state of change since I graduated High School, actually since my parents divorced when I was 12. I have moved in and out of my mom and stepdad’s house, had several roommates, had over 16 cars in 20 years of driving, changed my hair more times than I care to say, fluctuated my weight with the rising and setting of the sun and the list goes on… Needless to say, I have not felt comfortable in my own skin.
When I joined the web 2.0 virtual world known as Second Life www.secondlife.com, it was probably the first time I felt at home. My life within Second Life has remained pretty constant from the time I started. I bought a house and land and have lived there for almost 3 years now. My avatar, virtual representation, has pretty much remained the same. I have had the same body from the beginning and have only had a couple hairstyles that I have kept. In fact, I normally wear the same clothes, consisting of my jeans with paint splatters, a black t-shirt or tank top, my glasses and my Chuck Taylors. This is who I am. I am comfortable in this alternative/virtual skin, within my avatar known as Gracie Kendal. Although I still have deep personal issues I am working through in real life, I am consistantly inspired by who I am in Second Life. My avatar allows me to be free. I often feel more confident and I’m not scared to say what I feel. I know, that my avatar is run by who I am in real life. So the confidence and self esteem I exude in second life, does come from my real life self. But I don’t know where in my real life self it comes from. I want to explore this relationship more fully in this project.
I am currently a Graduate student in art at CSU Northridge. The current artwork I am creating, has to do with my identity in both real life and second life.
On November 1st, I started documenting my life in both worlds. This is going to be an ongoing project. I am going to document how Gracie Kendal inspires me to be a better person. I am going to show on a day to day basis, my real life self (I hate pictures of me, so this is not something I am taking lightly) juxtaposed with Gracie. We are both going to go on an exploration of our selves. And we will see where it leads. I am posting the documentation which I started on November 1st, and will try to keep up the blog on a daily basis. I would love any suggestions or critique you’d like to offer. Thank you so much for your support.