How Coachella Changed My Life

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. But, looking back on what I now fondly refer to as ‘the best weekend ever’, I find myself much improved after my tryst in the desert. Sure, many people give Coachella shit and think it’s filled with trust fund kids and sweaty, smelly hippies and overpriced beer. And sure, there are plenty of trust fund kids and smelly hippies and grossly overpriced Heinekens, but so what? Yeah, that’s right, I said it. SO WHAT? And this my dear readers, is how Coachella changed my life. A weekend at Coachella helped me say so the fuck what to so many things.

For as much as I’ve learned and grown over the years, I’m still guilty of over analyzing way too much and, at times, it has really kept me from fully enjoying life. Need some proof that Coachella did anything to change that? Fine, here’s your proof, you non-believers!

When I first won tickets to the festival I VERY quickly went from extreme excitement into panic mode. What will I wear?! Coachella is full of celebrities and trust fund babies with adorably chic desert attire. I don’t have adorably chic desert attire! And furthermore, even if I find this adorably chic desert attire, my body is far from looking desert attire ready! THIS IS TERRIBLE. Yeah, y’all. I was up in my head FOREVER. I shopped and shopped and dieted (kinda) and worked out tons (some) and shopped more and I still hated everything I had packed for the weekend. I felt like I would look like a frumpy bag lady in a sea of waify, designer clothes clad chicks. But then… I actually got to Coachella. And a ton of people DID look adorably chic and I kinda didn’t, but it really didn’t matter because I was too damn busy dancing and running from stage to stage to have all these amazing bands melt my face off with awesomeness to even really be concerned with what I was wearing or what I looked like because at the end of the day if I’m not rockin’ the crocheted top and flower headband and shorty shorts (which my friend actually was rockin’ and was adorable in) SO WHAT? Did my fashion or lack thereof make the music any less great? Nope. Did it make me enjoy my weekend any less? NOPE.

And speaking of all the face melting music… Sometimes when I go to shows, which I do often, if I haven’t had proper boozy lubricant, I find that I don’t enjoy myself quite as much as if I had. Probably because when I’m totally sober I feel a little silly dancing and singing at the top of my lungs around so many people. I don’t know why, because those are pretty much two of my favorite things to do ever- oh wait, of course I know why! Because, like a good chunk of the population, I am self-conscious. Always have been and always will be. Or so I thought. I hated the idea of enjoying myself so much that, god forbid, I might make a spectacle of myself. Well, for 98% of the weekend I was pretty damn sober (y’all, not that I didn’t try, but it’s real hard to get drunk when you aren’t particularly fond of Heineken and you’re also pounding a shitload of water as to not die from desert heat) and towards the beginning I was my usual sober self at concerts. Dancing a little, maybe singing along, but nothing too crazy. No spectacles being made. But then on the second night Snoop Dogg popped out on stage with Pharrell and I LOST MY SHIT. From then on it was like, whoa good luck reigning in my inner party monster! I nearly broke my old lady body I danced so damn hard. Oh, and when Calvin Harris ended his set with Sweet Nothing? Yeah, I don’t think I’ve screamed so loudly from happiness. Ever. Did I make a bit of a spectacle of myself in the process? Probably. But, SO WHAT?! I was happy.

I was happy nearly the whole damn weekend. It was impossible not to be. Despite the heat and the sandstorm and major lack of sleep and aching legs and feet, I was pretty dang happy. I was even happy to run into an ex-boyfriend. And his new girlfriend. Yeah, leave it to me to go to a music fest over a thousand miles away and one of my ex-boyfriends is there. But, it was fine! We had fun and it was one of those hey it’s so crazy, I can’t believe we are here at the same time situations and it really didn’t bother me at all. Until it did. Something about seeing him treat her in a way I almost never got treated in the five years we dated and being all nice and boyfriend-y to her just hit me on the last night. And, okay, so maybe it could have been that it was also the 2% of the weekend that I was kind of drunk, but as I said adios to them for the last time and he wrapped his arm around her as they walked off I got sad. Not like falling to the ground in the fetal position sad, but sad enough that a few fat little tears rolled down my face while Arcade Fire was playing in the background. I had spent PLENTY of time crying about spending so much of my life with that particular ex and never being treated the way I should have been (or really, allowing myself to spend so much time with someone who did not treat me as I deserved. Shame on me.) that I REALLY didn’t want to go back down that road. I’ve been over it for a good long time and I did not want to go back there. But then, like magic, Debbie Harry appeared on stage. DEBBIE. HARRY. Suddenly I was crying for a whole different reason, because, guys… DEBBIE HARRY. It was like she was my magical, blonde, never aging angel showing me all that is right in the world. (Yeah, I love her that much.) So what that a person who wasn’t particularly great to me is now good to someone else? So what that I spent too much of my time in the past worrying about that? SO WHAT? So what that I don’t look like a waify desert chic chick? So what that I sometimes make spectacles of myself? So what that I have given my heart away a little too much in the past? So what that at this moment my life is not perfect? SO WHAT?

And that is exactly how Coachella changed my life. You go through all these self-doubts and insecurities and hard times in your life, because yeah, often life just sucks. But peppered throughout those shitty times are the these perfect weekends. These perfect days, perfect minutes, perfect experiences that put all that shit into perspective and just allow you to say even if it isn’t always good, sometimes life really is great.

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