Although I will never be able to retire from Real Life and live on a sim island with palm trees and a fabulous house stacked to the rafters with extravagant, prim-loaded stuff, I am now officially breaking even in Second Life. By that, I mean that I have now accumulated enough real dollars to pay my annual subscription, monthly tier fees, and still have money over to buy clothes and gadgets, and the occasional CD from iTunes.
When I joined SL, I have no clue what I intended doing here. But over the first few weeks, it became clear that I wanted more than a free account and needed to get lindens to buy things. What I didn't want to do was use real life cash to do this. So my plan was to find a job that would pay me lindens that I could change into cash. And my choice of becoming a reporter paid off - literally.
As I approach my first Rez Day (1st November), I feel as if I am settling into a Second Lifestyle that suits me well. My house (bought and paid for) gives me a base of operations and a "Fortress of Solitude" where I can hide from the world; my art collection gives me great pleasure and I now have more paintings that I have room to show them, which means I have, like museums, to have rotating exhibitions; and my contacts and friends make sure I always have articles to write and people to talk to.
All in all, it's still working out for me. Still.