#EC: Back to the Castle
Festivals are a funny thing for me these days.
Not because my city is basically a hub for these kind of events, but for finding myself experiencing them in a very different way than I used to. Shoving in alcohol until it numbs my brain isn't really something I look forward for anymore, but that doesn't mean that I'm not having fun.
You see, it's weird that we've all grown up a lot, yet our standard for what fun is supposed to be is still pretty much the same. We expect things to be just as we remembered them, the cocktail of adventure, drama and foolishness we discovered when we were 16.
Doing stupid things we normally would never do is just one of those things that make the best of memories. Or is it?
How about hooking up with guys or gals just for the thrill of it? Is it something you still yearn for? Some of us do, some of us don't. It depends a whole lot on wether we've settled in a relationship or not.
I actually ended up talking about what having a good time is quite a lot with the friends I bumped into at the castle. The conversation was, for my surprise, almost always started by the other side. Things came up like "parties are just not as fun as they used to" or "my friends are so boring these days, no wonder I'm not having any fun".
It all sounds pretty sad, doesn't it? I don't think it's true.
But I'm sure you know what I'm pointing out here. You probably had the same uncomfortable feeling of not really fitting in anymore. That becomes more obvious in the places you used to feel at your very best. Where you were the star of the show, and now, somehow, it just isn't as important to you anymore.
But what is important to you now?
I know what is for me.
Before we drift off in a pity talk, I want to make sure we're clear on something here: there is no progress without change. If you're not at all ashamed of who you were 2 years ago, you probably haven't grown at all.
It's really important to remember that we're NOT supposed to stay the same, to like the same things, to go to the same places. We've got these incredible lives that are overloaded with possibilities and options for growth, for amazement, for genuine new connections, creative outbursts and plain old disovery. We can and should constantly grow!
If things bore you, that's certainly not something to feel ashamed about. If you've changed, embrace it. That's what entering emerging adulthood is. We've started a new phase and we're still adjusting, but you gotta make sure you keep inspired and curious at every single step of the journey.
I don't care how many years you've lived, there's always so much more on the horizon.
If you don't have the time or money to just go ahead and travel and experience different things, you ALWAYS have the option to experience the same things differently, if you change your perspective. Then again, there are some people specialised in creating these environments and sensations for us. Electric Castle is just one example.
Once I let go of the idea that I have to get intoxicated to have fun at a party, I noticed having fun was way easier than I thought.
Being able to let go of the little troubles and problems we all have floating in our minds from dusk till dawn is something we need to start practicing. We need to be able to just chill, no matter how ambitious we are or how far away our goals are.
Enjoying is the most important part of the process.
So it's not that you just haven't had enough to drink, but that you probably aren't used to letting go, in order to do it effectively. Practice helps, so does meditation, so does self love.
So is going to a festival a good idea if you're a highly career driven person or a health freak, like me? I can't see why it wouldn't. As long as you've got good company and a good inner vibe, a festival gives you the perfect playground to just hang out, engage or let the music take you far away. It's also fantastic for people watching. I just love soaking in the crowd.
It's also a great reason to play a little.
You know, dress up, play a role, get into character and just create epic moments. Yeah, you heard me. Why wait for others to create them for you? Go for what you want and make sure you create some amazing memories yourself, by really engaging with the people you meet, by getting to know new folks or just by getting out of you comfort zone and getting involved in some of the activities that are set up around the scene.
On the castles grounds, there were plenty of fun things to try out, like getting a temporary marbling sleeve tattoo or flying around on an installation made with bungee jumping cords.
There were dozens of places where you could get a good bite of food and many of them had quite a gourmet selection. Not too many healthy options though, but I guess there's just not a large enough market for that, but I've got my hopes up for future editions.
Prices also varied a lot, giving options for all pockets. The Lidl installed in the camping area was a heavenly idea, not just because of their bargain prices, but because they sold camping gear, fluffy blankets and fresh fruit or veggies. I was able to have a cheat meal along with my friends, even if I was still on track with my nutrition principles I care so much about. Hummus, crunchy apples and prosciutto were my solution for all the cravings I was having a hard time resisting.
This may not be too important for you guys, but it is for me. Oh, and I also picked up a pillow to sleep on one night when we crashed in my brother's tent. You have no idea how much that pillow meant for us at 4 in the morning.
Another thing I loved were the hide outs. Little passages that cross through the forest on the castles grounds, where you could just wander around at night, looking for an intimate spot to truly connect. The little lights, the details, the background noise of music and laughter, it all worked it's magic on me.
All in all, I loved it. I found I spent more time with myself, checking in on what I was feeling and how I perceived things than I used to, but that's fine. I'm learning to accept all the versions of myself that I am going through, because, honestly, they're exactly what I need at the very moment. And the moment is really the only thing we have.
That's it for my experience, now tell me, how was yours?