Deep into the Forest

It’s been over a year since I wrote my last blog post, and boy have things changed in my life. What sparked my desire to start up writing my blog again is my new-found sense of self I gained from my experience at my first music festival, Electric Forest. Almost exactly one year ago my life began to spiral out of control. I quickly had to figure out how to support myself and my two pets on my own, which was something I wasn’t expecting on having to do. I moved closer to my job so I could be able to take care of my new puppy; I continued to work long hours at my second job to be able to afford to live; and to make it all worse the fear of doing this all on my own kick started some “wonderful” anxiety attacks.

I spent most nights, when I wasn’t working, trying to figure out how to piece my life back together. I felt lost and unsure of myself. How is it that you become so attached to a person that you don’t remember who you really are without them?

Things that I used to get excited for, I dreaded. Christmas is my favorite time of year! The day after Thanksgiving you can find me blasting Christmas music, decorating my house, and lighting holiday scented candles in every room. This past year I didn’t even want to look at a single Christmas decoration. My mother came to visit and “forced” me to put up my tree and decorate… I cried over an ornament that represented my once happy family. Almost 3 years ended in a blink of an eye and after months my brain could still barely register what happened, and why it happened.

I did all sorts of crazy things to try to rediscover myself. One of which was running a 15k! How I let my best friends talk me into doing that I’ll never know. But I finished it and that kickstarted a year of saying yes to things that came my way: a spontaneous trip to Iceland and buying a ticket to a music festival where I practically knew no one in the group that was going.

Fast forward to last week. I attended the second weekend of Electric Forest. I went there vaguely knowing 5 people out of a group of 24. The first two days I was anxious and felt like I didn’t belong, a feeling very familiar to me from this past year. I did everything I could to try to feel like I belonged which included dousing myself in glitter and body paint. The second night of the festival I tried something I’ve never done before. I’ll keep what it was vague, but that probably screams exactly what that was. Something in my brain unlocked and I was unapologetically me. I wandered the forest. I danced. I was happy, genuinely and unconditionally happy. I found something deep down inside of me, hiding under insecurity and doubt. The rest of the festival I never felt out of place. I felt like I belonged. I felt like I was home. While I do believe that you are the source of your own happiness, it took a little help from my Forest Family to find it. To them, I am eternally grateful.

“The forest calls each and every one of us. Only a certain few will hear the call.”

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