Festival season is almost here! On these cold, rainy days, I can easily cheer myself up by opening my closet and running my hands over feathers, leather belts and vests, and wildly colored tights. I can almost hear the music, feel the warm sun on my skin, and embrace the joy of connecting with like-minded souls.
I can feel my heart-opening. I’m. So. Ready.
Once the festival scene had embedded itself in my heart, life was never quite the same. I felt instantly at home.
Nothing unusual about this. You’ve heard it before, perhaps feel the same way.
Yet one key difference between us is likely age. I’ve been on this beautiful planet for about half a century.
Typically, I do not see but a handful of people anywhere close to my age, if that, at any given festival, EDM event, or rave.
At the CRSSD Festival in San Diego last year, the guy who fastened my festival bracelet on me at the entrance gate leaned in and said, “Now, you be safe. Watch out for all these kids.”
And that was it.
The only time my age difference was ever pointed out to me.
I’ll admit, after not having been to an EDM event or festival for several years while busy single parenting two great kids (one of whom has become an EDM and festival fan himself) I was uncertain about getting back into it.
I had that internal voice. You know, the super critical one that talks shit all the time. It said, “You are too old.” “It’s weird that you want to rage.” “You should grow up.”
Well, you know, fuck that, I decided, and dove right back in.
That’s one great thing about getting older. I care much less what people think than I ever did before.
And that is one of many beautiful qualities that I notice among festival-goers: they don’t much care what other people think, either. I find this refreshing and remarkable, so different from the way I felt at (dare I say it) that age.
I have built many lovely connections with people half my age. They give me something truly distinct: these friends typically radiate a special sense of freedom, acceptance, comfort in their bodies, acceptance of their sexuality, openness, authenticity, and a deeply beautiful willingness to search for answers outside of the box, to take risks that I never would have even thought of at that age. There was much I never thought to question back then. In this way, they are my mentors. They help me expand my limited vision.
And yet these connections are hardly one-sided.
I offer them support and encouragement to believe in themselves, which is easy because I so believe in them. I offer strategies to help them manifest their dreams, and support in dealing with stresses as well as support for the emotional turmoil of living in this world, as many of them feel so deeply. In this way, I am their mentor.
The festival world has given me profound, rich, mutually supportive connections with people I deeply admire. And in that way, what it has given me is no different than what it has given anyone else.
We are all in this together. So, if you see me dancing at a festival or raging at an EDM glitch hop concert, say, let’s connect. Because connection, of course, is what it’s all about.
Dana Reece (Prempal Kaur), PhD, is a Personal Transformation Mentor, Inner Space Sourcing (IST) Practitioner, Kundalini Yoga Instructor, writing/editing consultant, and writer. You can learn more about her at http://drdanareece.com/