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Monday, July 8, 2013

A peek into the Real Life of an Avatar- Orchids Zenovka Reporting…

The duality of existence is seen when we try to “escape” reality, creating anonymous virtual – selves giving us the freedom to unleash ourselves from self and society determined roles, and experience the world afresh. Yet, the “real” us sits behind a keyboard and types via our avis, thoughts in our “real mind. The thoughts we think about our own-selves, we project to the world. Unknowingly, we come to understand our First lives better. Second  Life does not seem  less “real” than a phone call. Experiences we acquire online be it good or bad, spill over and change our lives in the real world, often without our awareness. How can this be translated to improving the “real” me is the question. Because once the computer is shut down, that is what I have to face....

Today we have the "Real Deal"; the combo SL+RL fighter and the anarchist. Yet at the same time the softie who wouldn't hurt a dog's tail. This self described Jessica Rabbit is "Julya Lykin". This is the story of one Avi on SL who has shown me the true meaning of fighting to live for the right reasons. She has fought through heart disease and 6 surgeries and still believed enough in the goodness of this world to find her love in SL and now married to him over a year. She is certainly not the only one. There are wonderful people in SL and RL who fight to live each single day. This is a representation of all of you fighters out there; and also for those, looking for a reason to live.

And suddenly, out of the blue, SL makes sense....

Does SL only provide an inconvenient youth to live fantasies or does it translate to real world changes?  What draws us to Second life? Is it the game? The money? The friends? The escape? Or is it something deeper.... Love it or hate it, SL makes everyone curious. There are those who cannot fathom what Avis do on the big 3-D chatroom on SL. To others, it is an extension of the RL self. There are those who have found love and those who have been burned. Yes, SL is powerful stuff.
I have always wondered is it really necessary to know the Real person behind the Avi. We make deep friendships with people whom we have never seen. We have friends always cheering us on with no clue whether they are rich or poor, Asian or European or American or African, male or female. It really should not make any difference if we indeed did come to know. Everyone’s just trying to express their innermost selves here. Reality does not mean seeing the person’s skin or gender or status. What meaning do they bring to this very “real” life... that is what I have felt reality to be. If the Avi’s criteria were what you were expecting from reality rather than the heart they have shown you virtually, then we are indeed in a superficial world. We all know that we cannot be like our Avi’s, because reality is tough. We need to deal with it. And better it. Whats real today is gone tomorrow….


Orchids: Who is Julya Lykin in SL?
Julya: I'm a mix of Jessica Rabbit, Holli Would & Coco Austin (Ice T's Wife) w/ a dash of Goth.

Orchids: Who is Julya Lykin in RL?
Julya: 35 year old female that moved from Tacoma, WA to Spokane, WA.  Surviving major odds with past heart issues after a heart condition received @ birth.  
Enjoys a mixture of different music (80's hair band music, 90's music, some metal, even some 50's country like Patsy Cline).  
Major tomboy, loves going mudding, dancing, & SL of course. Normally either listening to movies on the computer while on SL or listening to ITunes. 
Happily hooked up with Kirk Bishop in RL.

Orchids: Are they very different people?
Julya: My personality is the same.  In RL I have some medical problems that are not so flattering on the body.  But with hard work & being stubborn they will match.

Orchids: The rebel spirit in Julya... where does it come from?
Julya: SL has given me an outlet to let the personality that I have stuck in my body out.  And I just love it.  SL is your SL & you make it your own.  So, I'm loud & boisterous & SL makes it easy.

Orchids: You are a RL fighter. How did you do it? What kept you going?
Julya: Life is what keeps me going, the fear of dying is what keeps me going.  The anticipation of seeing what is next.  That & because of the heart problems I have, I was the first one to receive a certain procedure so they're counting on me to stay as long as I can.  I was the guinea pig so to speak.

Orchids: What is opinion about SL?
Julya think that SL is a fantastic place.  Not just because I'm addicted, but where else could you go & interact with people from all over the world.  Learn different languages & find someone compatible with your personality RL bs gets in the way...

Orchids: What is your opinion about RL?
Julya: I’ve said this once before, if the box doesn't fit you.  Break it down & make your own.  RL is hard, but with the right outlook life you'll do just fine.  In the words of Eric Draven, "It can't rain all the time."

Orchids: When did you enter SL and how? What did you do initially as a newbie?
Julya: I started SL a little over 6 years ago.  I fought it tooth & nail. My sister told me about it.  And she was on it all the time.  As many people are.  I thought she was nuts to be on so long.  I came on, made an account messed with it for 3 days & left it hanging for more than a year.  The one day I decided to hop back after strong encouragement.  Being that I have some severe heart problems (I've had 6 heart surgeries to date). I don't get out in public much, cause I get sick REALLY easy. So she convinced me that SL would be a fantastic outlet. She was right.  I've been hooked since.

Orchids: Tell me about the process to get to this point, what have you done?
Julya: I started off doing the money chairs around SL.  It was a great way to make money & explored different Sims.  As I was doing that I got into Stripper/Escort as a lot of females start off at on SL.  From there I found out about freebie groups. After meeting some people from them, I started blogging for them.  Then that inspired me to start my own blog, My Haters Motivate Me, while I maintained the freebie blog, Yer Mawm. 

Orchids: Did SL give you a new outlet or further your RL interests? How did it help you?
Julya: SL is a great outlet for me.  I'm a major organizer.  And being on SL has given me a chance to organize some great events, & help others pull of some incredible things.  It has also helped me at least learn how to write & understand other languages by regular day to day basis interaction.

Orchids: Is this your first SL avi?
Julya: Yes, I have one other avi, and her name is Julya as well.  She was made because I had about a week period where I couldn't log on as Julya Lykin.  I decided to make an alt named Julya as well so my husband and I can could spend time together because there was no telling how long it would last. I do not use her very often.

Orchids: Was it smooth riding in SL?
Julya: In the last 6 years I have been able to dodge the drama that is collected around here.  I don't put up with the bs nor cause any.  I don't have the time for it.  With my heart condition I have always learned that life is too short for the dumb shit so I just let it roll off my back.

Orchids: What did keep you in SL? Who or what most influenced you, and how?
Julya: At first, it was the money.  Stripping, escorting & then I met Kirk Bishop my husband.  He then taught me a many things of SL.  From modding, photography, & many other things.  You can say basically Kirk was the most that influenced me & kept me around.
Once we went real the second person that influenced me was a friend named Vic.  She taught me about blogging and I self taught how to organize a hunt & Total Anarchy.

Orchids: The people you met in SL... Have they influenced your life in any way?
Julya: Every person I meet influences my life in some way.  It is what you take from that interaction that forms you into what you are.  Even when you meet someone briefly you have taken that much amount of time out of your life to focus one that one interaction.

Orchids: What have you learnt in SL that has influenced your RL positively?
Julya have learned to do photography, & angles.  It has inspired me to take it outside of SL & start doing it in RL.

Orchids: Any other outlets in SL that have influenced your RL?
Julya: After organizing the Dare2Bare hunt & Total Anarchy, it has really upped my organizing skills in RL.

Orchids: What changes did you make in RL learning from SL experiences?
Julya learned to not sweat the dumbshit.  Drama's not worth the energy.  So when I'm faced w/ it in RL now I just walk way.

Orchids: What was the best day of your life/ best thing that happened to you while in SL?
Julya: The best day of SL is when Kirk set up this entire ball in my honor where he got all my friends to get together & make this huge event for me.  I didn't know it was going on.  And he got me diamonds, the day was perfect.

Relationships to Last...

Orchids: You met someone special here... how has been the magical journey?
Julya: I met Kirk @ Escort Oasis.  I was perving profiles & saw that he had a pic of him w/Mick Foley.  I am a HUGE wrestling fan so I thought it was great to find someone as much into it as I was.
We took the long route; we dated for like 3 months before I moved into his place.  After 5 months of being together, we got married.  After that we spent another year together on SL. Then we met up in person, he stayed w/ me for 3 months. Went home & packed his bags, came back & we have been together ever since.

Orchids: You got married to someone you met in SL. That speaks a lot for SL. How did it come about?
Julya: Like every girl, I've always dreamed of having a wedding.  Because of my RL heart problems getting married in real life would cause lots of problems.  So here on SL I could have the perfect wedding.
At first we were gonna just partner & then I mentioned having a wedding.  Next day I logged on & Kirk had a ring.  It was fantastic.  The wedding was a disaster (the person doing the wedding was 2 HOURS late).  But sometimes things go that way.

Orchids: What were the difficulties in SL and RL that you had to face to keep up with the relationship?
Julya: The most issue I had was seriously neglecting my RL to be on SL to be with Kirk.  I barely left the house; I always wanted to be on just in case he was.  I know I sound like a nutcase lol.  But now that he's w/ me in RL everything's cool.

Orchids: What advice would you give to people who are in relationships here and wish to go out into RL?
Julya: Make sure you really know the person.  Outside of SL too. Don't go into it blindly.  Make sure you do video chat, at LEAST few different times.  But before you decide to do it, think really hard how it will affect your life & everyone around you.

Orchids: What advice would you give to people who think SL to RL transition is not possible?
Julya: Some people want to keep it as a fantasy & that's great.  It works for some people.  It doesn't work for others.  Just do what makes you happy.

Orchids: Your biggest do's and don’ts in relationships in SL....
Julya: I’d say don't have more than 2 people in a relationship.  People get jealous, even if they say they don't.  It causes unneeded drama.  Have truth & honor in your relationship like in normal relationships.  Cause you're gonna get caught otherwise.


Orchids: You got interested in business. Did you have RL experience or was it a chance to do something new and unique?
Julya studied business in RL and thought I could apply what I have learned to SL.  Of course it’s all different but it gave me a good head start.

Orchids: Do you mix RL with SL? Is it necessary to do so? Or can a person remain anonymous and still do good business?
Julya like to be very personal, I'm friendly to everyone unless they give me a reason to not be.  I do mix both, because I am the same person.  Julya is not a "Character" that I play.  I don't think people have to mix it, again this is your SL & you do what's comfortable.  I am not politically correct & talk like a trucker.  I'm a real person & I fake nothing.  Like I said, I believe you do not have to be politically correct to run a good business.

Orchids:"My haters motivate me “and "Yer Mawm".... absolutely unique... where did that come from?
Julya: Yer Mawm is a freebie's blog that prides itself on truly being free.  Nothing is more than 1L on the blog, and that counting the price it cost to join a group.  It is attached the freebie's group Sit Here Slap This, which I have been running for a while now.  The original owner has been out because of RL.
My Haters Motivate Me started because many people would ask me where I got my clothing, & others would put me down for what I was wearing.  I would wear clothing that showed a LOT, back when it was pretty uncommon.  So I thought I would do a blog which I can do cost clothing & just be me.  Also a place where I could take advantage of the generosity of the designers I have met along the way when blogging for Yer Mawm.  Some would like the work & give me their newest release.  I felt like I should blog them but had no outlet.  That is how Haters began.

Orchids: It seems your blogs stem from passion...whats the secret to a good blog?
Julya believe that taking a great picture of the product you are trying to showcase is not a chance to show off your Photoshop skills & forget what the true goal is.  The true goal is presenting the product in a manner in which it can be seen in its most perfect moment w/o all the frills.

Orchids: You have a multiple blogs/Facebook and are active in social networking...apart from the social aspect does it further the prospects greatly or can one do without such?
Julya think both blogs & Facebook is a great way to get your name out there.  How are people gonna know you exist if you don't stand out with a huge sign & say "I'm HERE!"

Orchids: What are you planning next?
Julya: Right now I'm working on the opening of Total Anarchy which is July 5th.  And then Dare2Bare will be around August 1-31.  Right now I think that's about all I can handle.

Orchids: If you hadn't gone into business, what might you have done? 
Julya: I’m not sure what I would have done.  For all I know, I might have just left after Kirk & I went real.


Orchids: The SL addiction is an issue that is discussed at length in various forums and lot of negative vibes around it. What would your advice be to such people? How does one find balance?
Julya understand the addiction.  I logged onto SL less than 24 hours after heart surgery just to let my friends know that I made it out ok. 
I think that SL is fabulous for those that are sickly or other issues. I can see if SL is making MAJOR impacts on your RL as staying up all night & not making it to work.  Or neglecting a mate or child.  But other than that it's what you want to do with your free time.  I say, worry about one's self.  So Be It!

Orchids: Do looks matter? Does seeing an avi’s RL picture enhance or kill the fantasy?
Julya: Personally the fact that you're looks should matter in ANY world is just retarded.  So what if your ugly or fat or missing an ear.  Seriously, does that make you any less of a person?  Does that make it where you are not entitled to happiness?
In SL it’s all about fantasy, NONE of us look like our avi's.  To think the person does is dumb.  Live with the fantasy because in most people's RL, it sucks.
Remember, we are all nerds, none of us are any better than the other.  Yeah, some can organize, some can create, and some can barely type or understand another language.  We all have one thing in common, we are all NERDS.  Cause if we weren't we'd be out HAVING a life instead of stuck indoors on SL.


Orchids Says…
·         Live the life you were meant to lead. Live your life to the best you can.
·         My Real life is far removed from writing. Maybe even being near a laptop. But my friends in SL told me, "If you love to write; write. There ain't any reason better than that."
·         There isn’t great meaning in life. You just have to live it. It’s YOUR life. Don’t let anyone else command it. And don’t try to command other people’s lives.
·         If it ain’t tough, it ain’t worth doing at all.
·         The other person making mistakes rolling in sewage is no excuse for you to roll in sewage.
·         Do your stuff. There is lot of stuff to do.
·         Stop plotting your revenge. Nobody can make you negative without your permission.
·         Stop complaining. Do better.


  1. Fantastic article. I really hope that your health gets better, if possible. I applaud you for also keeping it real in Second Life. :P

  2. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. You have a wonderful blog! Keep it up!


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