This August I’m stepping out of my sweet cozy little sweatpants-wearing, bed by 9.30 every night, goose-down duvet comfort zone.
I’m packing up my tent, my crazy eyeliner, that funky outfit I bought at a second-hand store, my nerves and my 45-year-old-ass and I am going to Shambhala for the the very first time ever.
ALL BY MYSELF.
I submitted my resume as an MOA to volunteer at the festival, not knowing if they’d be interested in having me on board with Medical.
Lo and behold, I was placed on “Team 3” and I am working two 12-hour shifts at Shambles.
I’m gonna tell you something. I am scared SHITLESS.
I’ll be on my own, even though I know two of the docs I’m working with, as well as one of the EMTs and several other amazing folk who work with harm reduction and medical. I’ll be driving there, not knowing a single thing about anything. I’m greener than green, a Shambles Virgin, a middle-aged gal ticking off shit from her bucket list. Jesus, I am stressed. I do NOT know what to expect. I hear stories, I have had many many people tell me all manners of tales about Shambhala.
Even my husband was skeptical. “You’re really going to that dust pit? With all the ravers?”
Yes. I guess I am.
I’m excited. I’m scared. I’m thrilled. I’m reluctant.
I’ve wavered a million times, telling my fretful self at 2 am that I am TOTALLY emailing HR in the morning and telling them that I can’t commit. And yet morning comes and I am once again more excited than nervous. And I avoid sending that email.
So here we are, the countdown is on. I’m starting to plan on what to pack. I’m hearing tales of Shambalove. I’m told time and time again that I’m going to LOVE it. That I am suited to that place: the energy, the dancing, the love, the vibe.
I’m looking forward to seeing it firsthand without judgement. So many people hate this festival for the “bad apples” it brings to our area. I admit I was one of those. The week before and after is kind of a gong-show in town, with displaced people intent on a party without a whole lot of money in their pocket. But every festival has it’s own issues, and I am pretty sure that the discourse many locals detest is probably not indicative of the majority who attend.
So here I am, ready to go. My nerves are jumbled, my dreams are riddled. But I am ready.
I am ready.