The Relay Refresh RoadTrip rolled into Thomasville, Georgia, home of a 308-year-old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford, to visit with May Ivy Ellarian Wayward. Born and raised in Georgia, she is a true southern belle who would “prefer to live in the big city”. Challenged with Asperger Syndrome, May is a hard driving millennial determined to “be an inspiration” to the people around her.
With a BS in Psychology and a minor in Music, May currently works with 2 year olds and hopes to someday get her Doctorate and become an Educational Psychologist. She told us at the early age of three, she learned to play the “lap organ” and now plays 13 different instruments. She plays both by ear and by reading sheet music, and has spent many years in “marching band”.
She traverses the grid with a MSI Windows 10 laptop, with 16GB RAM and an NVidea GTX960 graphics card. ZTE MAX Blue LTE is her cell phone of choice and she has 38,211 items in what she described as her “very organized” inventory. She joined Second Life almost 9 years ago with some college friends who told her SL might help her “get out of her bubble” and “out of her dorm room”. She enjoyed talking to random people in SL and then thought why not try it more often in RL. She told us she feels SL has “really helped” her to interact better with people in RL.
May recalls first logging to SL and spending “two weeks learning how to walk on Freebie Island” until she met her first friend, Kay Merlin, who gave her a L$1000 gift and helped her shop to improve her noob avatar. She let her set home on her land where she met her “first SL mom”. Family roleplay quickly became, and still is, a very big part of her SL. When asked about a funny noob story, she told us about experiencing her “first crash” and then relogging only to find “her hair stuck in her butt” and she stayed like that for two hours until Kay logged in, laughed, and told her to “just relog”.
Her favorite song is Free Me by Sia, a song with a “powerful message” about breaking free from “all my chains and struggles”. When asked about her favorite musician or group, she surprisingly told us it was the “Ohio State Marching Band”. She characterized them as a “prime example of perfect marching” and said their “music gives me goosebumps”. May has her own stream and DJ’s in SL, playing all kinds of music, especially “remixes”. She does not watch TV but has seen every Twilight & Harry Potter movie.
She literally laughs at anything but particularly enjoys the antics of 2 year olds. She told us how she loves watching them progress from the “me me me stage” to a more “social stage” where they understand the value of using “please and thank you”. She used the words “language nutrition” to explain the importance of using adult words with her students. She really loves her kids and enjoys being an integral part of forming personalities that she told us “are usually set by age three”.
When asked about her hero, she quickly said her grandfather, recalling how he “put her on his lap and taught her how to drive” and encouraged her to be “outgoing”. She still lives with her family in the house he lived it. His house has lots of good memories and old family pictures and she “knows he is around and watching”.
She has been Relaying since 2010 when she saw something on her login screen and took the link to the American Cancer Society (ACS) sim. There she learned about Relay in Second Life and decided she wanted to be involved inworld. She joined the Relay volunteers group and for two years participated on her own by going to events. By her third year, she was Relaying on a team with her vampire clan, Faeries For The Hope and The Cure, even serving as co-captain. They continued to Relay together for the next four years and now May is entering her 8th season with the Second Life Cheerleading Squad (SLCS) Relay team.
May told us she Relays for her Great Uncle who battled lung cancer for many years. She recalled how at the end of a college semester she drove hundreds and hundreds of miles to be with him as a caregiver for his last week of life. She also Relays for her Granny who is a kidney cancer survivor and her cousin who is battling stage 4 lung cancer.
The “Luminary Walk” during The Remembrance Ceremony on Relay weekend is her favorite part of Relay. She lights luminary bags along the track for her uncle, granny, and cousin. As she walks the 40 sims and sees all the lit bags, she said “you know you are not alone”.
One of her favorite Relay moments is from her first year with the Faeries For The Hope and The Cure. Their campsite was set-up to remember all the people special to them that had battled cancer. She talks about the walkway that wove through the campsite, lined on each side with pictures and stories of those special people. Two of their team members were cancer survivors, and their pictures and stories were up front. She says it was “so perfect” and she remembers how “proud” she was about their build.
With both a blog and a Flickr page, May is a well put together and involved avatar in Second Life. She is a model. She is a cheerleader. And she is a passionate Relayer. She told us she wanted to be different in Second Life and “inspire people”.
May Ivy Ellarian Wayward is a tech savvy millennial with an awesome laptop who is without doubt, an inspiration to others. She has come a long way from that noob avatar who needed help with “her hair stuck in her butt”, to someone who is now deeply involved in Relay For Life in Second Life and making a difference.
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