Archive for the ‘weekends’ Category
A few weeks ago, I ventured into the desert to frolic with 90,000 other souls in celebration of an insanely awesome music lineup. Also known as Coachella.
Normally I avoid such gatherings like the plague. A single afternoon of navigating the teeming masses at Outside Lands or Hardly Strictly Blue Grass in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and I invariably swear off human contact for a week. I love love live music, but I hate hate large crowds. Hence, enormous music festivals really aren’t my bag.
But alas, the allure of donning of a sparkly headband across my forehead proved too powerful to resist, so off to Indio I went.
(And lest you believe this prior statement to be in jest, know that this accessory was purchased weeks in advance; my plane ticket: days. #priorities.)
Like any good adventurer, I did zero research before arriving at my destination. Turns out La Quinta Resort is quite different than La Quinta Motel (a welcome surprise), and that the concert grounds are comprised of nicely manicured grass, not the expected desert sand (also good – fewer snakes, perhaps?). I did get a few things right, though. My newly purchased neon jorts (jean shorts) and aforementioned headband created sweet, sweet fashion harmony with the very LA, very tan, very seventeen-year-old Coachella set.
Also, as one might imagine, very high.
Now, I’m far too square to do any interesting drugs, but to be fair, I can see why one might be tempted to indulge at Coachella. Drinking simply isn’t pragmatic. And yes, I realize that makes me sound absurdly lame for a twenty-something without a baby or mortgage to her name, but hear me out. Even if you kick it poolside for the first part of the day (rough life), you’re still spending a good eight to ten hours on the Coachella grounds. Maintaining a buzz throughout and still having the requisite energy and hand-eye coordination to rock out to Swedish House Mafia at midnight with the fervor they merit is far beyond my (admittedly fading) super powers.
So, after downing a few delicious breakfast mojitos by the pool, I would coast into sobriety for the remainder of the day.
And wander defenseless amongst the masses. God help me.
Well, not entirely defenseless. I had some awesome friends with me. And friends of friends. And friends of friends of friends.
But eventually, all these degrees of friendship and the small talk they required were more dizzying than the giant Burning Man-esque orchid that swiveled 100+ feet above the ground. (Hello Alice in Wonderland, no blue or red pills required.)
So when my social capacity hit its sadly limited limit, I did what any rational introvert would do. I wandered straight into the thick of the densest, danciest group of people I could find.
The first time it happened by accident. Coachella has the cellular reception you’d expect from a barren dessert overburdened by smartphone-wielding narcissists uploading Facebook photos in real-time (for the record, I include myself in this group). Stray from your crew without a preordained meeting place, and you are – in a word – fucked.
Which is how I learned that dancing anonymously in a crowd is almost as rejuvenating as being stranded all alone in the desert. And certainly more rejuvenating than trying to be charming among the other humans without the conversational lubricant that is alcohol.
Admittedly, getting your groove on in a throbbing throng of strangers with a BAC of zero entails some awkward ramp-up (think Dr. Evil and the Macarena*). But then you realize that no one gives a damn, and furthermore, no one is all that good at dancing anyway. And the music is frickin AWESOME. This blanket statement applies to Fitz & the Tantrums, Calvin Harris, The Rapture and a bunch of other acts I rocked out to solo.
I was even on my own for the final act, separated following Florence and the Machine. Snoop and Dre and every possible guest appearance you could ever hope for: Warren G, Fiddy, Eminem, TUPAC’S HOLOGRAM ZOMG.
And by “on my own,” I mean I was surrounded by new and equally dance-minded friends. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten down so hard in my life, sober or otherwise.
So overall, it was a very good exercise in embracing an overwhelming experience, dispensing with dignity, and loving it. It was also a good reminder that there’s solitude to be found in anonymity, and I should never ever leave the city for suburbia, where supermarket small talk reigns supreme.
And last but not least, Coachella reaffirmed that jorts rule, something I’d forgotten after my age hit double digits.
Until next year, Coa.
*If you get this reference, marry me?
Confession: I actually like working on the weekends. I can get ahead of the upcoming week, free myself up for any unanticipated Monday developments (the Internet is a crazy place, after all), and better coax my ADD-brain into tackling longer form projects.
But every weekend, I do the same. Damn. Thing.
I promise myself that this time I won’t save everything for Sunday evening, which invariably means I’m up crazy late. Instead, I’ll spread the work out. Get up early on Saturday, perhaps, and check a few to-do boxes over a latte. But without fail, I always end up procrastinating until Sunday night.
Which totally sucks. Not only do I feel shitty about not meeting my goal, but I’ve also sabotaged the rest of my non-working weekend with guilt.
This time around, I tried something new. I accepted that I wouldn’t get to my work until the very end of our glorious three-day weekend (so in this case, a Monday), and I gave myself a free pass to just enjoy myself until then.
And it was AWESOME.
Ask any habitual procrastinator, and they’ll tell you their biggest source of anxiety isn’t the adrenaline-fueled eleventh hour (that’s actually kinda fun). Rather, what plagues us are hours one through ten, when we know we should be working, but almost certainly won’t, if prior data is any indication. Sure, we all have highly developed powers of compartmentalization, but we still spend time feeling guilty about just how highly developed these powers are.
So new goal: when I already know I’m going to put off doing something, I’m just going to roll with it. This mentality goes beyond near-term, definitive deadlines. Want to join CrossFit but know you won’t have time until the Spring? Enjoy your curves while you still have em. Or, on a more serious note: to all my friends who love what they do for a living, but feel the pressure to get a “real,” better paying job; or dig the single life, but worry they should be settling down – give yourself a free pass. Pick an age, any age, and go ahead and postpone tackling that responsible, adult milestone until then.
Because if you’re not ready, you’re not going to do it anyway, silly. So you may as well have fun in the interim.