Not much good comes from sitting around “having thoughts” instead of being out in the field reporting, but that’s the situation we’re in. We don’t like it, but we’re going to deal with it.
For all the good reasons, we weren’t at Fence Day on Friday. So that meant no dawn patrol, no weak coffee in the darkness, no taping of fingers, no pep talk from Just George, no pounding of stakes, no push-ups, no beer at the finish, and no feeling of immense accomplishment and satisfaction in the evening. No, just Instagram and Facebook feeds filled with pictures from the day, of everyone out there getting it done, in the heat and sun, yes, but with each other, having the good times.
The time is so precious — the getting ready, the anticipation, the great collaboration, and it doesn’t last for long. It’s just a few short weeks until the gates open and the real party begins. But this can be an especially tough time of year for people who aren’t going to Burning Man this time around.
It’s the season of FOMO, and it is not fun.
[Editor’s note: not everyone knows that FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out.]
[Reporter’s note: STFU old man.]
For old-timers, missing a Burn is like missing a family reunion, or skipping the holidays, or not having summer vacation. For newcomers, maybe it’s a bucket list item that once again doesn’t get checked off.
People have lots of good reasons not to spend all that time and money going to the desert: They’ve got jobs. They’ve got families. They’ve got responsibilities. They are ADULTS, ferchrissakes, and they better start acting like it!
There’s a part of you that would rather be finishing the art and checking the packing lists and cleaning out the dust from the camping gear. You’d rather be doing the shopping, getting the water, and figuring out a shower plan that will actually work. And costumes! You’d like some new costumes!
No, no, no, that’s not right. You’re feeling fine that you’re not going. In fact, you’re feeling really good about it! You’re doing the right thing, and you know it. And there are plenty of other people who aren’t going, either. We’re going to hang out and build a little fire at the beach, and we’re going to park and eat wherever we like in the city because it’s going to be so empty, and it’s going to be juuuuuuust fine. It is! It is!
Yeah, it is. And it isn’t.
It’s been a little bit like that these past few days, doing the adult-ing and watching everything happen from afar, and going back and forth about it in our brains.
We believe, though, that in the end, we wind up doing exactly what we truly want to do, despite the mental chatter clouding things. So it makes sense to put aside all the rationalizations, stop debating with yourself, and accept the fact that you’ve put on your big-boy pants and you are getting down to business.
But we’ve been feeling your pain, and we’ve had the pangs and conflicted feelings, too. While we were away, we consoled ourselves with pictures from previous Fence days. We hope they console you, too.
We’ll be back out there in a day or two. And we hope you’ll come back, too, if and when the time is right.
More pics from Fence days past: