Monday, 7 September 2015

Too Much Unknown

One of the things I very briefly mentioned was also something that started to cause me too much stress in the weeks leading up to Burning Man and that was the potential of spending time with someone on playa.

As I mumbled in that previous post, I connected with someone online via a shared interest in both photography and Burning Man.  And in our chats and messaging we discovered, among other things, that the reasons we loved Burning Man and art in general were similar.  And he wasn't unattractive.  A "burner" looking guy from his photographs, although not necessarily someone I'd be drawn to on a day to day, who knows.  Once we both sort of realized that our chats were beyond the surface layer we both realized that beyond meeting to say hi (which makes me nervous enough) we might find that we liked each other, emotionally, and in a more romantic connection kind of way (no I don't mean sex but I don't not mean sex ugh, just shush!) and that what we might find when we met could be... very cool.

For a week or so, my brain tried to run away with this.  What would it mean post playa?  Would it mean we were so madly in love and had had such a wonderful connection we'd try to be long distance somehow and then move our lives together?  Would it mean that?  And of course I had to try to shut that thought process down real quick because crazy making, thanks.  And, as Jason put it when I called him and explained what I was freaking out about "You're adults.  If you connect in that kind of way you'll figure it out."  Oh.  Well that was simple, wasn't it. 

So let's shut down that train of potential worry, ok?

But then the worry train went down the slightly more practical track of how exactly would this all work?

I mean, a)  how do we even logistically find each other to say hi and meet?  He knows where he will be staying (he's with an established camp) but I don't.  So that means I would have to go to him.  ARGH.  Pressure!  Because then that pushes my buttons of what if he's not there, what if I go and can't find him, what if what if what if?  And add that to the regular what if he doesn't like me when we meet, what if I don't like him when we meet that I get on a normal date anyway and it became a lot to think about.  So that's one thing.

But then b) what if we manage to pull off finding each other (which I hope isn't as complicated as I know it could be) and we don't like each other (or I don't like him)... well, that should be ok.  I can just say that Sarah and I have plans or excuse myself in some way and I should be able to make that ok, but then I might be super disappointed because I'd already started to wonder about how amazing it could be so that would suck and it would not be fun to be disappointed at Burning Man because... it's BURNING MAN!!!  So... I did what I could to just ignore any possible thoughts of we're going to LURVE each other to eliminate the potential of disappointment.  So now two thought processes I was having to manage.

And then there was c)  what if we actually like each other?  A little or maybe even a lot?  What if we connect in some really wonderful way, well then what?  And I'm not talking about the post event, I'm talking about during.  When would we find time together?  When would we get to talk or connect or whatever?  Would I spend my entire burn locked up in a tent smooching?  Would I see nothing and not hang out with Sarah because I'd want to be by his side all the time?  What about all the events he's planning on going with and the people he knows and connects with?  What if it takes over everything?  What if we don't have enough time?  What if we connect early on but can't make our paths cross again until the last day and then we haven't had enough time?  This... worry train of thought #3 probably messed with me the most.  The what if it's good thought.  Because really... it was not in my plans to go and meet someone.  It was just in my plans to go and be there and maybe stretch myself and push some shyness type boundaries and to survive the heat and enjoy the amazing experience that it is.  What if this guy ... changes all that.  And so I had to do what I could to really really shut down that train of thought.

Because I don't know.  I don't know any of this.  I don't know if we'll find each other (we probably will) or if we'll like like each other (because I figure we'll like each other, it's Burning Man and he's a burner/photographer after all) or what we'll do about that if we do.  It'll just happen.  I'll figure it out.  Or not.  What I kept trying to tell myself is that it's going to be the burn it's going to be and I can't control it from here and really, I can't even really control it from there. I can just make choices and do what I want or need or feel like doing when I am there.

Sure, I can hope and maybe even think about and imagine how I'd like it to go or what I'd like to happen or what I think could happen but that doesn't mean anything at all.  What's the point in imagining us cuddling up together watching a sunrise in deep playa when I have no idea if I'll be doing anything near that the entire week.  When I don't even know if I'll want to be around him or spend any time with him. 

Maybe I won't like him but his friend at camp and I will fall madly in love with each other.  Maybe it'll rain and dust and wind all week and we'll be stuck in our own camps and never make it to meet.  Maybe Sarah and I will get caught up in such wonderful adventures we'll lose track of days at a time and just have the best time ever.  I don't know.  But it was stressful having those potential thoughts going in, that's for sure.  So I did my best to shut them down and turn them off when they attempted to show up.

Which meant cooling the jets somewhat with the chatting and messaging with this guy.  And, yes, we did talk about all this, well, we talked about the potential for disappointment.  I didn't really bring up the "what if we connect" part other than to say, you know, if we do like each other, the week's not going to be long enough and he said yes, he's conscious of that as well.

The funny thing about this post, you guys, is that by the time it's published?  Whatever is going to happen will have happened.  This post is set to publish on the day we are planning on leaving Black Rock City.  So by the time you read this... it will all have happened.  Or not.  Exactly as it was meant to, for better or worse.  And my biggest hope as I write this is that I don't feel like I missed any experiences because I was too wrapped up in wanting to be with this person I don't know yet.  That's the one I'm having a hard time shaking.  And that's probably because I can't imagine what it will be like if we do like each other... so I'm just going to let those thoughts go and let it happen as it will.

Far too much unknown though, this little unexpected wrinkle in my plans for this burn.  I really had none.  Other than getting us all there and back safely, and staying physically comfortable in the desert, and saying hi to old friends from last year.  Those were the only plans I had a month before the burn.  But apparently I was meant to come across this person, in this way, at this time.  I do not know what will happen or what it's meant to be.  Perhaps I won't even know by the time this is published, perhaps it will be clear the moment we meet.  We shall see what's meant to be.  Playa provides after all... just not necessarily what you expect or think you want, but always what you need. 
Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2018 and then some.) Kay? Kay.