If you know anyone who has gone to Coachella, you've probably heard the standard run down of the experience: it was awesome, epic, life changing, beautiful, insane music, the "best weekend ever." And while some of this enthusiasm is totally true, and totally warranted, I've found that it's often accompanied secret seeds of doubt, regret, or general displeasure. That's right, blog friends. I feel I can trust you and so I will reveal the truth of Coachella. It's fun, but it's exhausting. There are some really awesome moments and some moments where you can't help but think "can my body withstand one more DJ asking me to jump up and down?" "am I really comparing myself to that tiny hula hoop wielding girl?" or "wouldn't this be a little bit better if I had someone to help me wash my feet and hug me at the end of the night?". And I can tell you that after three years of going, once with a significant other and always at a different stage in the emotional maturity of my life, that the highs and lows are ever-present no matter the experience.
I'm not trying to be complainy. This blog is about practicing gratitude for all of the blessings in my life, and the ability to go to Coachella for vacation is definitely one of those blessings. However, this blog is also about being true to myself and loving myself no matter what - and today, that no matter what is secretly kind of love-hating a music festival.
On that note, here are the highs, lows, and in-betweens of Coachella 2014.
Some really great music. Of course, I got to experience some incredible sets this year. A few of my favorites (linked where possible):
Lana Del Rey
The Head and The Heart
...and some really good friends. I really love my friends and got to spend some wonderful QT with them and make some serious memories. I wouldn't trade all of the jokes and laughs for anything. And we got to know a few new friends, who were all awesome.
Great outfit game. Coachella is part fashion show, part music festival, and though it can be completely overwhelming, my outfits were on point this year and I had a lot of fun frolicking in the sun, getting tan, and wearing bright flowery headbands. And getting ready with the girls in the house. No shame!
+ Great pics
Constant group logistics: Unlike in years past, I wanted to spend as little time on my cell phone trying to find my friends as possible this year. So, I clung haplessly to my group, and avoided straying from group think as much as possible. As a result, I did miss a few shows I wanted to see, and also didn't get to catch-up with some of the people I really wanted to see. However, I DID spend significantly less time contemplating meeting spots.
Forcing ourselves through sets / FOMO: Kind of related to the point above, we literally forced ourselves to hang through one of the sets on Friday rather than expressing what we were all secretly thinking: this kind of sucks, let's go check something else out or better yet sit down and rest our sad, sad legs. Silly, but true. We all discussed how we wished we had had the balls to tell each other how much we were NOT enjoying this show, but didn't. That, and the fear that you're missing another amazing set by choosing one performance over another. It's really unavoidable but it still hurts.
Sneaky moments of anxiety: I don't know how exactly to pin point it. Perhaps it's the exhaustion, the over-crowding, the super high expectations and personal pressure I can put on myself at these sorts of things, the down time in between really good songs filled with mediocre songs, or the fact that my ex-boyfriend was parading around like he was captain of Coachella, but sometimes in the middle of the festival, you just feel sad and overwhelmed. I'm talking "what am I doing with my life" sad. And you just have to suck it up and move through it.
The zombie walk out of the festival: ~2 miles, in the desert, with thousands of other super spent festival goers. Enough said.
In sum, it is the best of times and the worst of times, but I will probably go back next year, this time with a clearer heart and some distance :).