On the worst night of Burning Man, I stood alone in the deep playa, looked out across the fluorescent landscape and said aloud to myself, “It’s over.”
I thought of myself back in May, telling anybody who would listen “We don’t have a single plan after Burning Man!” I was so proud of my own fearlessness and so excited to see what would become of the unknown. But in that moment, the unknown suddenly took on an entirely different meaning. Burning Man was no longer the distant future. It was undeniably, entirely and obviously the present. Everything the future held— the endless unknown— scared me deeply.
I beheld the low, colourful skyline of Black Rock City once more, through tear-blurred vision, and thought, “I am at the end of something beautiful. And the end is beautiful.”
Thoughts such as these troubled me near-constantly for the first few days of Burning Man, to the point where I checked myself into the nearest medical tent for some mental first aid. My worry about what I was going to do after the event ended was amplified by the presence of our camp-mates. They were all lovely people, but they all had well-paying, career-shaping jobs. None of them had to worry about being broke and homeless. I felt like there was nobody around whom I could make comforting “haha, we sure are screwing up our lives” jokes with. Besides Adrian, of course, but he got along easily with our new friends and didn’t quite understand why it bothered me so much.
The Black Rock City counselling services did wonders, though. I’m proud to report that I haven’t had a single emotional breakdown since talking to the ranger. It’s now more than a week after Burning Man has ended and we still don’t really have any idea what the future holds. We might be hanging out in Oregon, or we might be working on a sailboat bound for New Zealand (actually).
The adventures aren’t going to end, so neither is this blog. We’ve had a crazy week that I can’t wait to write about and I think I might be posting mass thank yous with lists of everyone who gave us rides and places to stay soon. Maybe I’ll even write some blog fluff top 10’s and travel tips and stuff like that. What I’m saying is… to everyone who has followed this blog, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You people give me purpose. I like you, so stick around 🙂