My second Burning Man is approaching. That's super exciting. My sophomore year. It's like knowing *kinda what to expect, having lived a year post Burn, but also just as thrilled and excited to discover EVERYTHING. My first year I was there for 10 days. Enough to get acclimated, sort of understand what's going on, leaving the world, and then the dreaded return to default. I dealt with many depressing days and confusion in the days and months following Burning Man. I left there a really changed person, in my eyes a positively really changed person, returning to the world where any rapid changes that are happening seem like nightmares. Pollution, murder, racism, wars, anger, terrible energy... flooding into the lives of everyone every day. I have already felt that uneasiness post Burning Man, and have felt extremely lost and confused but eager to help make a change since. Everyday since. Which leads us to here. It's that time again. To pack shit to survive in a desert, pack emotional shit to take out there and sort-heavy baggage that weighs WAY too much in the real world. The difference now, I'm spending 3 weeks. 25 days. In this magical, opening, heart evolving place. Above all I am nervous. I realize I am leaving this life of being me and all the things I do, to go to a new place, different than any other and truly disconnect from all of this but truly connect to myself. Deeper, fuller than hopefully ever before. That's nerve-wrecking. I am beginning to confront this emotional baggage and invite it along for the ride. I am taking myself and some of my things, my physical capabilities and I am going to the fucking desert to build a beautiful temple and hopefully some damn clarity for how to keep trudging this world. I am going to an artist's safe haven, where I truly feel I belong. I feel as though I offer this community something and really, that's all I've ever needed to feel. But somehow, there's still overflowing nervousness. Okay, pack your things, pack you up... who even are you, Lex?
I may sound crazy. Sometimes I think I've thought too much, sometimes I think life would be so much easier had I not sought to live the life of an explorer and creator. Both of those characteristics make for some stressful ground to cover. But I love it and that's who I want to be. I want to explore inner and outer realms, I want to question EVERYTHING even if it means putting more weight on me to care for this world. Someone's gotta do it. I am a creator, inner and outer, creating a reality worth living in for myself that I hope in turn offers something to the community and individuals around me. That's what I know.
As I've been away from my normal life this summer, in the city that my creative energy calls home, I have opened my eyes to these realities. I have felt the most human need to be true to myself in my artist existence. I want to turn EVERYTHING into art. The art of cooking. The art of movement. The art of friendship. The art of mindfulness. The art honesty. The art of living. Having the chance to exist every day with that as my soul purpose this summer has been transformative. I am in a position where I feel ready to explore these realms deeper and really confront myself on how to express this LOUDLY and QUIETLY. STRICTLY and LOVINGLY. PROUDLY and EGOLESS. What am I Burning? What am I learning?
It's Wednesday. I leave Saturday. I am receiving my offer from Dolls Kill to become full-time employed. My dream fashion brand to work for in my dream city. I am nervous because I literally have 3 days to decide. If I accept the job, I am uprooting everything to come be here (exciting but scary) and if for some reason it falls short of expectations, I somehow have to muster the courage to decline. I have tried to prepare myself for both. As I receive the call and have 1 million crazy feelings, I hear the offer and I basically already know... I can't drop my education path to come live with a "barely making it" salary in the Bay. Don't get me wrong, at first it sounded amazing, and for wages in Kentucky, it would've been a done deal. But as one does, I asked for some time to think about it, have until Friday, hang up the phone and just bawl. I am leaving the Bay again.
My time experiencing interview after interview with Dolls Kill made me excited. I feel like they could really see my passion for their brand exuding out of me and hear my excitement to be involved. Turning down this offer is probably the biggest grownup decision I have ever had to make and a REALLY FUCKING hard one at that. I know I belong here and I know that no other company suits my spunky, outlandish mind more. But it all just seems like a premature jump. I am not an architect, yet. I am on my way to a professional degree... stopping in the middle for instant gratification of a cool title like working for Dolls Kill is just that, instant gratification. So, I struggle through Wednesday in the middle of my dreamy garden house and feel defeated yet empowered. At least now I know I can book flights and make plans to return to Kentucky. The suspense of that hanging above me has been challenging to keep moving forward and preparing to pack my emo shit for the desert because the question has been, "What's happening post Burn?"
By this point you may be looking for a packing list of Must Have things for Burning Man but come on, do I look like that kinda gal? I've basically been backpacking all year and learning to survive anywhere with whats on my back, so this isn't much different. With the build crew, we will be eating meals together 3 times a day and snacks throughout. Basically, for materialistic things, I am taking my overalls, goggles, gloves, tool belt, shelter, water bottle, books, tarot cards, THC, journal, boots, socks, boxers, chapstick, a couple burn worthy outfits, peanut butter, my Onewheel, and a shower bag. Everything I brought to Cali is coming along on the trip, but all of that is accessibly packed and everything else is sealed off from the dust.
I love people who really plan and go all in preparing for this event. Radical self reliance. Going prepared with what you need to survive. Me? I don't take much. Honestly, I am ready to rough it.
Fuck it. Let's explore.