I'm not even sure I want to sit and say (as I did last year) this happened and then that and then this and then that so it will all just come out as it does when it does. And we'll all have to be ok with that.
I didn't do as much at Burning Man this year as I might have wanted to. But that's just the "should haves" talking, really, because I realized last year that there is NO WAY on Earth you can do anything near "all" the things you want to do/see/experience at Burning Man. Like, ever.
So I didn't go with any plans this year.
Other than "get there and back safely", "stay healthy", "not get overheated", I really didn't have anything I felt I *had* to do. I had a friend ask for me to mail her a postcard and even that was somehow annoying to me. I just wanted to be there and not have to *do* anything. So I could very easily sit here and say I didn't see enough art, I didn't go to enough events, I didn't do this or that or waaaaaah I'm so sad/mad/disappointed or I could just say the truth. I'm really really happy I got to go this year.
I said to Connor that it feels like it's easier to bring how I feel at Burning Man back home, and that I kind of feel like it will be even easier each time I go.
I'd been told that second year is kind of an odd one for folks because the magical "I'm at Burning Man for the first time" feeling isn't there and while I wouldn't say anything like that happened for me, I did feel different this time.
I wasn't... trying to fit in... or trying to survive, I was there, and I was a Burner.
I think I knew that before I left though... and I don't know if I've talked about it here yet, because it was Jason that started pointing it out to me and I haven't quite wrapped my head around what that means for me.
Part of me feels like I haven't earned it. I've only been twice. I haven't contributed enough. I haven't been enough of a participant to really feel like I can call myself a Burner. Does it even get a capital B?
But I also feel like I'm ok if I take a year off. Do I want to go back next year? Absolutely. But if it turns out I can't, or it doesn't work out in a way that I'm comfortable with? I'll be ok. Because it's here within me now. Maybe that only makes sense to me, but I just feel like I figured it out this year. Figured out what it is about it that I get. And love. And value. And it doesn't only exist in that one spot for that one week. It's something I have within me, and can carry with me wherever I go.
Do I want to go to Burning Man forever and ever? Yeah. I do. Do I want to drag all my loved ones and see each of them appreciate what it is that's awesome about the place? Yes.
Because that's part of what's amazing about the place. What I love about it, and what it means to me? Might not be anything like what it is about for someone else.
Or maybe it is, I don't know, I'm talking outloud to myself right now, processing as I type I suppose.
But then part of me also wants to recognize that as hard as it is for me to admit, it might not be for everyone. That thought makes me sad, but I should probably accept that it's true. Even if for simple reasons of comfort. Too hot... too far away... a frigging desert...too many people...too loud...not someone who camps...needs running water...can't handle portapotties...the physical environment alone might not be something that everyone wants to deal with or can deal with.
I've got a large number of people in my life who have no desire to go. And I want to make them understand why they're wrong, but maybe it would be worse if I dragged them and they hated it.
Maybe I'll go and hate it one year.
I know I had some moments of un-happy this year and the grump factor was high for a while.
I don't know. I don't even know where this post started...I think it started with a warning that my thoughts might not be terribly... straight and organized.
I guess I was right.