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The Resolution

By : Trouble


If I had to name some of my favorite past times, one of them would most certainly be profile creeping (counted amongst the greats of eating, sleeping, Zzoie, shopping and perusing my Facebook newsfeed). When you do something often enough, you notice recurring themes. With profile creeping, they are:

1) Asserting one's deep loathing for drama.
2) Implying one's great popularity by stating IM's are capped.
3) Displaying one's extraordinary depth by inserting a life-altering quote.
4) Exclaiming in a rather patronizing manner that one should never confuse SL with RL.
5) Warning all that they should, never mistaken their kindness for weakness.

I can understand one through four. Whether one has been a victim of countless drama-filled episodes, finds IM's being lost or owns a business, simply loves to quote or are adamant of keeping both these lives separate... I get it. After all, I am guilty a few times over of number three, but the fifth one I have always found perplexing. 

"Never mistaken my kindness for weakness."

Since when has kindness ever qualified as being a weakness? Is it an illustration of how weak someone is? I have always thought that it is a person's greatest strength. It takes such a great level of self-awareness of personal power to be kind. It takes an even greater ability to see beyond a repeated action or behavior... the good in someone, the beauty in someone. Being kind through a genuine concern and consciousness for others, regardless if earned or deserved, requires a unique level of inner courage, dignity and grace. It is not a reflection of a persons ability to stand up for themselves, but rather a testament to a persons introspective and tolerant compassion.

This may be my last blog until the New Year, but I have found my resolution. While it may be easier at times to remain apathetic to those I do not know, I will make a concerted effort to be kinder, and it is my sincerest wish that others will too.


Roll Call:
Top: flow . - Bronx Loose Fit Tank Top @ .SNEAK PEEK.
Bottom: United Colors - Lee Ling Trousers [Black]
Shoes: !APHORISM! - Worn Lace Up Boots [Black] @ TMD
Hat: Action - Swagga Hat Los Santos
Hair: Action - Jimmy Veganic
Tattoo: Endless Pain Tattoos - Asian Dragon
Watch: [VALE KOER] - Motus Chronometer Black
Bracelet: AITUI - Long Live

The Great Disconnect

By : Trouble


I am going to preface this blog very simply. I am not a designer, nor do I own a store. I never have; however, I do enjoy watching. I am a former member of the Teen Grid. During the merge, I was at the forefront of the transition. I am a former land estate manager (previously on the Teen Grid, Bonaire & Zoha Islands). I am a major proponent of fundraising endeavors on Second Life (notably Make-A-Wish and Relay For Life). Currently, I model and am a part of the fashion community, at a very moderate pace. Everything is subject to change, except this: I will always be a professional shopper.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone regarding my desire to find six active (i.e. willing to produce monthly exclusives) designers of quality to fill the new .PENUMBRA. Retail space. She commented that it may be difficult because designers have complained that they only make money at the events they participate in, rather than their main stores; thus, to convince some to open up a satellite location would be a rather daunting task.

Now, I am going to say something that some people will find rather irksome: If you are a content creator and your bread and butter is not your main store, you are doing something wrong.

*I shall wait as the flames of outrage, begin to burn at a slow ember.*

There are three things you need to run a successful business, (1) Location, (2) Quality and Relevant Products and (3) Marketing. Anything else can fit into those three categories.

LOCATION. If you sell quality products, and you have a consumer base that continues to grow through the wonderful marketing techniques you employ, then the location of your main store does NOT matter. The reality is that we are in Second Life, everything is just a teleport away. However, if you are looking to open up a satellite location or are debating on renting at a commercial sim, then you have to ask yourself, "What are these people going to do to help me build my consumer base?" TRANSLATED: How will they help you market your brand? If they have no answer or even worse mention foot traffic, exit that conversation NOW.

QUALITY & RELEVANT PRODUCTS. I have always believed that part of the beauty of SL is that everything is 100% user created and that the only limitations placed on you are the ones you place on yourself. There are so many different communities and cultures in this virtual world that almost anything you could possibly want to create, someone will want to buy, although, some products will be in higher demand than others. For the purposes of this moment, let's say you are a clothing designer who follows RL fashion trends. You are very relevant. Now, for quality products, if your creations are mediocre at best, there are a plethora of youtube videos that will help you out.

MARKETING. I feel the main purpose of this concept is to broaden your consumer base and keep your existing one informed. With the advent of social media platforms (various blogs & feeds, Facebook, FlickR, etc), and the groups in-world that allows you to continually send notices, this is not hard. Couple this, with all those events, you are set on the marketing endeavors. Yes, I just mentioned events in the marketing section that some designers say are the only places they make money.

Why?

I believe that the perspective of the content creators, who participate in these events, should view them as a marketing tool. An entry fee is paid, and you collect all the sales; however, if done correctly- you have to the potential to grow your consumer base exponentially, which is a far greater reward. If the majority of the people who buy your products at events, do not translate to consumers who go to your main store- you are doing something wrong and need to find the disconnect.

EXAMPLE 1: I am male, and there is an all male event that is probably the highlight of my shopping adventures. Every now and then, I will even find some great clothing designers that I have never heard of previously. I am compelled to go to their main store, but I have realized that often times- there is NEVER anything new. So why would I waste my time going there again, when my perspective as a consumer is that they only create new products for events?

EXAMPLE 2: I love gachas. The moment I play a machine, I will not stop until I have the rares. Every three months, I go to this epic event and impulse gamble on the cutest little animals and other random things. I will NEVER visit their main store. Why? My perspective as a consumer is that their store only sells cute things that I can wait until the next round to buy. 

EXAMPLE 3: There are a couple events that I go to, where I can tell you who the designers are that participate. I may miss a few, but the events cater to a very specific clientele. This should be great, right? It is, after all, even before the event I was already a patron of ninety percent of the stores that are involved.

With these three examples, I come back to the question, "Why do I only sell at these monthly events and not my main store?" Forget the arguments that there are so many events that it is too saturated, or that people save money waiting for the events and have no money to spend. These are not answers. They are excuses, while there may be some level of validity and could be contributing factors- they are simply obstacles content creators need to overcome. Ask yourself, instead, what you can be do to make it better.

1) Are you updating your main store?
2) When you participate in these events, are the products you showcase an accurate reflection of what you sell at your main store?
3) Are you participating in events that are bringing in new consumers, or are the majority of people being marketed to by the event frequent your store already?

Ultimately, the question is, what is the disconnect that prevents you from turning your event buyers to every day buyers?

I could continue this blog and get into image and branding, or discuss in further detail how else to market a brand, but that is a discussion I plan on having between myself and my future .PENUMBRA. Retail tenants :P

Side Note: I love events, and I love shopping. If any of this offended you or you feel it is targeted to you, nothing was meant to be offensive, and I target no one. Should you disagree with anything I have said and feel the need to voice your opinion, please feel free to leave a comment. I do not check this frequently, so if you wish for immediate discussion- you are better off leaving me an IM in-world: Trouble Dethly. I will respond in between Christmas shopping for my family.





Roll Call:
Top: Blank Line - Duffle Coat [Off White] @ TMD
Pants: Kauna - XIV Trousers [Cream]
Shoes: REDGRAVE - Classic Loafers [White]
Hair: *DURA* - *Dura-Boy*52 [Black]

A Shot of Pervasive Honesty Chased by Clarity

By : Trouble


Uncensored Confession #2:

I used to wonder how much I would change as time went by. I wanted desperately to know, if I would like the person I would become. Since then I have learned that the breaths I take, the number of times the sun rises and sets and the years that pass bear no implication to any personal growth... Instead, it is every tear shed, every pain endured and every obstacle overcome; ultimately, is how and why I am who I am today and defines who I will be tomorrow.

****

Perhaps, my sudden reappearance on my blog is worth addressing. I hate Photoshop, and the prospect of taking photographs nauseates me. While I appreciate the beauty and artwork of others, I could find better things to do... like eat a sandwich. Then I messaged Logan McMahn (very talented) and asked him if he knew any photographers that would be willing to take blog pictures for me. He directed me to Arol Lightfoot (very talented, as well), and the magic began!

Beyond that, I find myself at a slight crossroads. I am not sure what I want to do in SL. While I have some slight inklings, there is nothing solid. I look back on the years I have been traversing this metaverse, and the most rewarding and fun times were the times where the focus was not me, but an idea to be rallied behind. I miss that part of me, the part of me that only saw how beautiful this world can be, rather than the me that is consumed and so affected by the ugly.

Maybe during my next visit, I'll have a better idea :P



Roll Call:
Top: C L A Vv - Sandstorm Vest [Night] @ Kustom9
Pants: GABRIEL - Skinny Pants @ TMD
Shoes: FLite - LC Wings [Black] @ Kustom9

*All photography credits go to the very talented Ms. Arol Lightfoot.

A Shot of Clarity Chased by Pervasive Honesty

By : Trouble


Uncensored Confession #1

I used to think that I had to fit some mold. I thought that if I pretended to not be so painfully shy and insecure, people would like my front and endeavor to know who I am inside. Since then I have learned that people will have their preconceived notions and that expectations are made or broken this way... better to stand by the person you are, rather than hide away and be who they wish you were.

****

If there is anything I have learned in these past few weeks, it would be that under no circumstance should one ever sacrifice the person they are for anyone or anything. While it may be painfully difficult and it would be easier to simply flow along with the masses- the greatest disservice you can do to yourself is to pretend to be someone else. 

The concept of a Second Life family may seem silly to some but for me it was and still remains beautiful. Unlike the one we are born into in real life, this one we got to choose. This one we made a conscious decision to bring into our life and ultimately make ourselves vulnerable to and for, but most importantly to love and be loved. For me, it was like a second lease on life, the opportunity to connect with a group of people with no ulterior motives, except to simply share our lives with each other. 

Unfortunately, sometimes things just do not work out, and you find yourself hurt and disappointed. The funny thing is, although you can and will take a step back, there are some things that won't change. When I care for someone, I care deeply and always will. It's as if, I took a piece of my heart and gave it to them, and despite the tears shed, the moments of self-worth questioned that piece of my heart I will never get back.

To the ones who remain steadfast with me in my life, thank you for loving me and accepting me for who I am. To the ones that I have lost along the way, thank you for the moments in my past you made me smile and laugh... Always love and live honestly.





Roll Call:
Suit: zanze - [ZE-Men] Troubled Suit @ .SNEAK PEEK.
Shoes: GetDressed - Sneakers 08. [Pink]
Hair: Action - Jimmy Veganic
Glasses: ieQED - Ace Shades [Fuchsia] @ Geeks n' Nerds
Mic: [zeD] - Shout Headset Microphone
 
*All photography credits go to the very talented Ms. Arol Lightfoot.


Simply Put: Love

By : Trouble

Love? Hasn't this crazy world written enough about it? Written enough that often times we identify the depth of our love through clichés and words uttered by millions? What justice have we done love that we can bottle it up in a wonderfully selected and perfectly aligned choice of words? Trivialized and common Love experienced should be anything but ordinary.

The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The healed and the broken. The found and the lost. All compounded with heightened emotions. What is love? What does it entail? Do I trivialize it even further by trying to define it? Maybe. I'm sorry. I'm just compelled. Compelled to categorize because I want to understand. I need to understand. Perhaps, my youth betrays my confusion. Or this sense of wonder will cease to inspire once I do understand. Then, do I want to understand? Love is the reason. May I cliché it now? Is this love what turns my legs to jelly, my stomach full of butterflies and my heart to race? Is this love why the tides come and go, the sun rises and sets and the world spins? Is that all love is?

If I had to pick the most beautiful thing in the world, it would have to be love. Whether stolen, chased, borrowed or stumbled upon- I feel overwhelmed something by this simple beauty. It's that inextricable feeling, where a single glance or a single word can convey volumes. It's not about blind acceptance and a cover-up of flaws, just the recognition that a general perfection is impossible but a perfection for each other is possible. It's a mutual acceptance that does not require a bond to be everlasting. It shouldn't be a bond or a sense of obligation. It's not something that you can direct the course of it, all you can hope for is that it runs its course through you. Ultimately, it is the ocean between two souls... a give and take.

And then it breaks. Angry, bitter, disappointed or maybe just hurt. How can something that was so beautiful turn into something so ugly? Was it love? Was it lust? You swear it was real. These feelings. These emotions. They can't be faked. You take a risk and then you fall, was that risk worth taking at all? Second guesses and second chances, even thirds and fourths. You wonder if you did things differently, maybe said your words a little more softly- things would be different. So you wish, you pray and you hope. Hope? Hope can be so incredible. Hope means potential. Hope shattered is painful. The pain makes it real, remember?

Oh, I know you will swear off love, and you promise you will never fall again. Until the cycle begins once more. And here we are, perhaps a little more timid and a little more reserved with a lot more baggage and insecurities. These silly and painful stepping stone loves. Let's be honest, we never loved everything about everyone who came before. All we can truly do is wait for the one who isn't like all the fractions and find that they are our whole.

 
[On a side note: I received the Eddy Suit from the wonderful and very talented Ms. Wicca Merlin. Definitely follow that LM to Wicca's Wardrobe and pick up your own epic suit and who doesn't love sculls?! Also, I was feeling exceptionally lazy, so I had one of my favorite people in the world, Taylor Wassep, shoot the photos :P]
 
Roll Call:
Full Suit: Wicca's Wardrobe - Eddy Suit
Shoes: Hoorenbeek - Yorkshire
Headpiece: Illusions - Volto Altezzoso Crown
Hair: [Atro Patena] - Noah [Black]
Facial Tattoo: Masquerade Parade - Face It! September Morn
Cape: Utopia - Alexander
Shoulders: Dirty Stories - Woods Fairy Shoulder Pads
Ring: [Mandala] - Polly Ring [Black]
 


Not Another Fairy Tale Prince...

By : Trouble

 
There was a time where I sincerely believed in that mildly cliché idea of a fairy tale. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl live happily ever after.
It truly was a heart-tugging story of epic proportions.
 
Then life happens.
 
We are born into a word of billions, but we are told since we are young that we're unique. You are special. There is no one else gracing this world that is exactly like you. Yet, we're grouped, we're stereotyped, we're meant to fit this mold. A mold of what? A mold that is pre-determined, fill your role or fall out. These are the expectations, meet them and succeed or choose your own path... then what?
You love. You laugh. You cry. At the end of the day, you just feel. When it's good, it's amazing. When it's bad, the numbness appeals. So you beg for that numbness, a quick elixir for the pain, but at the end of the day, what is it? You fail. Every tear shed, every pain endured, has shaped you to be the person you are today.
You're beautiful. Why do you settle for being second best. I know the story. I have heard the excuses. Why do you fall for the lies? You don't need him to be happy. Didn't someone say, "Your happiness should never be dependent on the presence or absence of anyone in your life?" Except, with him around, you feel a little more whole, a little more okay. Walk away. It kills me to see you being strung along. Every girl that has come before, every girl that will come after; he will sing to them the same siren song that has you entranced. He tells you that he loves you, but he continues to keep his secrets. He says it hurts him that you don't trust him, but you're allowed to hurt?
You're the kind of beautiful, when beauty used to mean something. If he can't see and appreciate that, he is a waste of your time. But there you are again... waiting, wishing and hoping. Let's drop this pretense, you wait because you don't want to shatter the hope. Hope shattered is the cruelest thing in the world. Serve him the ultimatum. Now or never. Nobody deserves to be told they're not good enough now but maybe later. When does later come? So take the risk. You never struck me as the type of woman who was content with simply waiting their turn. If you wait, sometimes your turn will never come. But if you don't wait, will you haunt yourself with regrets?
I don't know. I don't care. I just wish you could see, he's not worth it. He's not worth your tears. He's not worth the hurt. He's not worth your dignity. You are incredible and deserve to be more than just a safety blanket...
 
[The first styling challenge for Mister Virtual World 2014 had the theme of "Happy Ending." We were instructed to take inspiration from any fairy tale prince, whether real or fictional- simply anything we could imagine. From there create the look in such a manner that it embodies our own personality and sense of style, while being both high fashion and creative. I drew inspiration from Prince Charming coupled with a much more contemporary feel. He offers the poisoned apple because I don't buy into the idea of fairy tales, and this seemed like the best way to poke a hole into such a theory. My heart feels that while there is such beauty to love- the road to it is never perfect; thus, it won't always be a "fairy tale," but ultimately- there always will be a happy ending.]
 
Roll Call:
Coming Soon...



Finding My Place on the Line

By : Trouble

As hard as I tried to force my eyes to close and my body to rest, they refused. I felt so overwhelmed with my thoughts but mostly my feelings [There is a difference, at least to me]. So overwhelmed that I was compelled to get up and go to my window and stare at the night sky, so vast... so bright but so dark. Forced to look and maybe count the stars, forced to come to terms that those billions of stars are so infinite while I stand there in some lack of sleep induced stupor... so finite.

Is that all it is then? To simply struggle with the daily grinds of life, to worry about falling below a standard and miss expectations that were thrust upon us? The pervasive truth is that no matter who we are to this world, no matter who we are to each other, we still suffer from the same pain, from the same hurt, from the same weakness of the human condition. To accept and be accepted, to love and to be loved. And the end of the day, do we not all bleed the same way?

Is there something that I am missing then? Am I that blind? To feel so overwhelmed when others in this world suffer so much more? Won't the world continue spinning, if I refuse to move along with it? So thus it is, I must find my place on line or get left behind, and continue this cycle of sleepless nights.

Sometimes I lay at night awake in the burden of my blessings. I feel I have been given so much, so many opportunities, and I don't know how to accept them. Instead, I fight these blessings, casting my eyes from them- my selfish vision content to over-analyze whatever problems I may have. I turn the joy I should have from them to worry, while I should be thankful for them all; I pursue like a vice that holds me captive instead. My struggles are nothing, when I know that of my friends greatly exceed my own. My heart grieves for so many: in this month continues the saga of memorials, lost friends to tragedy. Yet, here I am still burdening myself with my own sorrow- I am not there for the friends who need me the most. And this is when I remember. Maybe it is possible to support from afar. Maybe from afar, but my heart continues to ache for them. I wish I could be filled with a sorrow for a time, and I wish it would break my heart. I wish I could be filled with the compassion so the tears of the people I love and care so much about, become my own. I wish I had the perspective, insight and just peace of mind, so that my petty problems take no place in filling my thoughts. And again, I am tying the milestone around my neck. I wish I would never grieve for myself. To those I love, to those who are hurting, when I have sorrow, be only for them.

To those of you out there who I could love more, and to those who I could cry with more, I'm sorry. My heart breaks for you and with you.

[Side note: This is the styling I used for the Mr. Virtual World Live Auditions, which was held on Sunday May 4, 2014]
Roll Call:
Jacket: Dharkan - 0023 Mash Jacket
Pants: [Cheerno] - Prince Frank Pants
Boots: Lassitude & Ennui- Embroidered Boots
Hat: Death Row Designs - Cap
Facial Tattoo: A:S:S - Drama Shadow [Coal]
Harness: Sunkiller - Harness
Hands: VRSION - Konvert Female Gloves
Belt: Lapointe & Bastchild - S'Wear "Death" Skull

Cubism

By : Trouble

When I first decided to start blogging, I wanted it to be funny and fashionable. The initial intention was to showcase young Trouble's sense of style through a series of unfortunate but amusing short stories. As of late, I have found that I am continually blogging simply about what I feel, whether it is a current feeling- or a feeling that was brought about from whatever triggered my sense of nostalgia for the day.
It was not too long ago that I dabbled in the idea of "Cubism," which at it's core [I'll spare you the dictionary definition, but if you are interested- click here] and for the purposes of this styling is to take something, break it down and put it back together in a new abstract way.
If any reader feels that I have taken my definition of "Cubism" in the completely wrong way, feel free to send me an IM in world. At any rate, I find this style far too easy to relate to because the mistakes I have made, the pain I have endured and the various forms of heartbreak I have experienced... have all broken me, and each time I come back- never quite the same, a little more cautious, but always ready for whatever life happens to throw my way.

How can I describe to you
These twenty-two years to me
My life is filled with pain, I'm told
And I half consciously agree
I can't recall it all, I only feel
The start of my pulse.
When I act,
React (were prisoners of stimuli, I hear),
I can sometimes see the roots,
Like twisted branches above a rocky soil.

My life is passing still, it's 
Groping, back to find a way ahead.
Only retrospectively can I see change.
But change is all round, is now, as life,
But look aback.
What is the acceleration of my instantaneous change?

Groping back to find a way ahead
To find a way? Say rather thrust,
-cause and effect.
There is no choice, your mind had already been made, made up.
Not fate, but the inescapability of
A falling sparrow touching ground.
More tragic heroes, we! More fools, to
Be so noble in our pretty played out lives,
To think we have a choice

       The most
That I can have is a thought, but even that's
Not mine. Automatons.

So much of me is someone else
The all of me is everyone else
I wish I was brave enough not to hide.


Roll Call:
Skin: Nuuna's Skin - B&W [Ninja Male]
Top: The White Armory - Fire and Blood Targaryen Men's Tunic
Top: Gawk! - Ultra High Waist Panties [Black]
Bottom: [sYs] - Aeon Baggy Pants [Black & White]
Shoes: NeurolaB Inc. - Xtrema Boots V4 [One White, One Black]
Hair: Vanity Hair - Closer [Jet Black]
Eyelashes: TuTy's - Runway on the Moon [White & Black]
Collar: The White Armory - Fire and Blood Targaryen Men's Tunic
Necklace: Zibska - Sorren Uomo
Left Shoulder: Pure Poison - Spiked Military Shoulders [Black]
Right Shoulder: The White Armory - Fire and Blood Targaryen Men's Tunic Collar
Lower Right Arm: ~C2X~ - Studded Wrist Band
Right Wrist: Gizza - Dark Swan [Male]
Lower Left Arm: Underground - EVO Slate Bracer

Ten Seconds

By : Trouble

Ten seconds. Within ten seconds, you can feel your heart hammering in your chest, your thoughts swimming in your mind. All it takes is ten seconds, and you're gone.

Ten minutes. Suddenly, you're jolted awake in the midst of your dreams and glance at your clock. It's three AM. You go to bed too early, you scold yourself. But really, what's to stay awake for? Friday nights just don't play the same song anymore, it's completely different now. Friday nights no longer bring that sense of excitement. What happened to your dreams?

Ten days. I guess that really is a long time to be apart from someone. But in the end, maybe you were supposed to be apart. In reality, it's really not that long. Ten days isn't too long to relax your mind. Spending Friday nights doing things you don't really want to hasn't always been the worst.

So what if you had dreams that maybe things would be different? I guess you can't change people. [Even though you watch those people you used to care about bend like air for others- when they wouldn't for you. Sure. People don't change.] Memories stay the same. If one person won't change just for you... maybe they're not worth waiting for.

Ten weeks. It took you longer than it should have to sit down and say, "It's okay." You knew it was long before it was over. Maybe those sleepless nights are far back in your memory, tucked into the drawers among other past broken hearts. But that doesn't mean they didn't happen. That doesn't mean you won't let them happen again.

Ten months. That's how long it's been. First meetings set the scene, right? But oh, it's okay to laugh back at what used to be. Things have changed in you. Things have changed in the people around you.

Nothing ever stays the same. Not for ten seconds.

[This is actually the second outfit for my final with SCALA (the graduation shows was this past weekend). All photographs were taken by Ms. Silly Avro for her VISIONAIRE project. It is worth noting that she and I met at the SL grocery store. Truth. Or not. Either way, the pics were awesome, so I totes had to blog them :P]


Roll Call:
Top: [sYs] - OBLIVION [Black/White]
Bottom: Fruk - BioTech [White]
Shoes: Epicosity - {Epic} Slip-Ons [Black]
Hair: *DURA* - *Dura-Boy*44
Glasses: [Steinwerk] - Aviator
Bag: AZOURY - Duffle Bag Polochon [Black]
Watch: *chronokit* - watch no. 36

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