…and if you would have asked me even just a few days ago how I was feeling about not leaving, was there FOMO, or heartache of any kind, I would have emphatically told you I’m fine. I’m totally fine; even though I wasn’t.
You see, my husband and I decided a year ago on the last Saturday of Burning Man, as we watched the sun rise up over the mountains in front of us, that we were going to take the upcoming year off. We had thought about it considerably and knew it was the right decision for us to make. We had trekked to the Burn for four consecutive years and soaked up everything we thought the the Burn could have offered us, and then some.
We cemented our love for one another while kicking up the dust in 2014.
We committed our love during a sunrise at Robot Heart, listening to the deepest of beats in 2015.
We were married at The Temple in 2016 in front of 100+ Burners: family, friends and strangers alike.
Afterwards, we created a 100 person cinnamon swirl hug!
I flew by charter plane from Reno onto the Playa in 2015.
That same year my husband ran the Burning Man 50k in 5 hours, 18 minutes and 25 seconds.
We’ve explored the farthest reaches of a desolate desert. We’ve listened and danced to some of the greatest DJ’s in the world and uncovered new DJ’s alike who have become some of our favorites. We’ve laughed with each other, and with the world until our sides split. We’ve connected and had some of the deepest experiences of our lives; with one another, with family, with friends, and with sisters and brothers who hail from all over the world. We’ve witnessed sunrises of such beauty they’ve been beyond our wildest dreams. And, throughout four short years we’ve had moments where time has seemed to stop. Where, just by sitting and paying attention to our own consciousness, either solitary or in union with another, we’ve been brought to tears through the recognition of our own humanity on this earth.
Burning Man is a temporary city annually built in the middle of the desert. Its citizens embody the values and principles we so actively choose to live every day of our lives. The experiences have shaped who we are today, as individuals, as a couple, as parents and as professionals.
So after thinking through it all, when considering if I have FOMO or if I’m sad that I won’t be going this year, my answer is this:
I thought I would be. Leading up to today I tried to keep my feelings suppressed in a box. I posted Burning Man photos online for posterity’s sake. I kept each post at a distance, allowing myself to remember the good times, but only fleetingly. I kept the language in my posts light with general description and less emotion. I didn’t allow my mind to wallow in the memories I had of the Burn, in fact, I was active about pushing them away. I was scared to feel the heart ache. I haven’t wanted to think about not being there. It hurt more than I let myself actualize. That’s the box though. And that’s a place I don’t like to live.
I decided to take a different route instead. I chose to open up the box and allow the experiences and memories to fly out onto me and embody my being. This is why the post. I choose to celebrate my four Burns instead of shushing them. I believe in turn they are validated. And, they are that much more real.
Knowing our decision to not go this year was the right decision for us to make.
It’s just good sometimes to be reminded of why all of it matters in the first place.