I am quite blessed to know some amazing people in Second Life, and to have some of my most treasured real life friends as, also, a part of my second, virtual existence. If you'll give me leave for a moment, I'd like to give a little bit of space to them.
Rosie Barthelmess - pictured here - is my best friend in both worlds. She has been a constant in my life since we first met online years ago - connected through our rl-blogs - and I simply cannot imagine either life without her as a part of it. Rosie has been my go-to person for personal crises, a shoulder I lean on when life brings me down, and one of the very few people in this world I will - and can - truly open up to. She understands me, innately, and even still likes me. In fact, she loves me to pieces; as I do her.
Rosie has really taken to Second Life; doing things I could only ever hope to imagine. She has opened her own jewelry store, Sable Rose Jewelry, where she creates some of the most beautiful, one-of-a-kind, high-quality pieces in Second Life. She has a few stores, Filataponic, Sn@tch City, along with her main shop at Gallinas. She also has work up at Xstreet. I do suggest checking her out, and I don't just say that because she's my best friend. Her work is truly lovely and unique, and deserves to be seen.
As well as being a content creator, Rosie has recently begun tentative steps towards becoming a live singer in-world. I am amazed, truly, for the thought of singing live in front of anyone makes my toes curl in nervous apprehension. Nervous or not, Rosie belts out tunes with her powerhouse voice and everyone is charmed. Some people are simply born golden-throated and with a natural ability to sing and Rosie is one of these. If ever you get a chance to see one of her shows, I do suggest you make it a point to stop in. You won't be disappointed.
Rosie amazes me every day. Whether it's her Mama Bear-approach - an iron fist in a velvet glove, to be sure - helping run Lounge of Dreams, where we both work, or her tireless efforts to raise money in-world for cancer research through Relay for Life, spinning tunes as a well-renowned DJ, pursuing her dreams as a singer, or spending hours piecing together beautiful jewelry pieces for SL residents, she always has time for a friend. She's quite the powerhouse, but you'll never hear her act like top dog or thinking she's better than anyone else. She won't put up with any shit or be taken for a fool, but she also deals with each person honestly and openly, with a shy smile, a flirty wink, and a pithy comeback. She's brave, intelligent, warm-hearted, funny, down-to-earth, silly, business-minded, fair, and all around beautiful - inside and out. She is, quite simply, one of the most awesome people I have ever met and anyone who knows her is quick to exclaim how much they "love Rosie!"
I know so many beautiful, wonderful people in SL and I'd be here all day trying to name each and every one of them. Many I know from Lounge of Dreams, others I share a home with at the beautiful Four Corners. Still others I have simply met in my travels, or knew them before they ever stepped into the metaverse. All are special to me; each makes my life better for having them in it.
One that stands out is my dear, dear friend, Belmont Roux. Bel and I have been rl-friends since 2000, when we met at the apartment I had just begun sharing with my childhood best friend. Quirky the both of us, we hit it off immediately and - throughout the years - have remained good friends. We became especially close right before he left Louisiana for Nashville, TN to pursue his Master's in Music, and I urged him to get back into SL (where I'd had him dabble a bit before - both of us, also, being total geeks) so that we could continue to hang out and do things together, even if it was just virtually.
Eventually, Bel got back into SL full-force and was recently hired as a new host at Lounge of Dreams, for which I am so excited for and proud of him. I know he'll be a great host; anyone with a sense of humor that keen and side-splittingly funny is sure to keep a club full of avatars in stitches. Bel is, hands down, one of the funniest people I know. He could be a stand-up comedian, for he has no qualms taking on any subject and being "politically correct" isn't even in his vocabulary (which I love about him). He is a sweetheart, and I do adore him - my Mom and sister are two of his biggest fans, and we even created a "fan club" for him when he lived down here in Louisiana and was on television and the radio doing traffic reports. His quick wit and big heart make him a special guy, and we are in talks to be married in SL - I would be quite proud to be Ms. Izzy Roux-Graves (or Ms. Izzy Graves-Roux, I'm still not sure which sounds better).
I am blessed to have such special friends; truly I am. Be sure to tell the people in your life that you love them and how special they are to you, for we are not promised tomorrow. In the last year, death has visited my family twice in a short span and it reminds me how each moment should be treasured and that you can never say "I love you" or "I am so happy you are in my life" too often.