What is it about Midburn that made it one of the most memorable moments in my life?
Since returning from the dusty playa 4 days ago, I have been trying to figure out what exactly happened to me there. The words “Euphoria”, and “Life changing” and “Can’t wait for next year” keep going through my head, yet these words seem so general and almost cliche after reading so many other posts. So I have been trying to search deeper into what made this event so extraordinary for me.
I am a 49 year old, cynical, critical, and boundary pushing person. I am a full time artist, mother and wife. My life is very good just the way it is – no big problems to solve, or heavy baggage to take care of. I have lived and experienced many things in my lifetime – sexual, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual. I have enough weird and exciting stories that I could tell you for days on end. So what is so special about the Midburn that it has left its mark as surely as if it were branded onto my cheek (not talking about my face cheek either).
After much reflection and talking with my friends, family and life partner, I think I know what was so special for me about Midburn.
It was the radical freedom of self expression. For the first time in my life, not only did I act and speak the way I wanted to – with no filters, but people I met accepted me and loved me for it. It was a super huge ego booster – in a very good way.
I think the “ego” has gotten a bad reputation in our modern language. We are told to control our ego, to suppress it, that it is bad in some way. I think we might be missing something here.
Definition of Ego
- a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.
(in metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject.
Using this definition of ego, I choose to celebrate my ego. To acknowledge not only its existence but its basic essential need to survive if I am to survive as well.
There were many ego boosters – the kind you get when you work hard, and the work is appreciated.
-Every time a bloody mary was pored through the Virgin Mary dispenser at our camp bar – I felt an ego boost.
When people ate and enjoyed the chili I made for dinner, I got a boost to my ego.
For every joke I made that caused someone else to laugh, my ego was inflated a bit more.
Every time I sprayed someone with my water mister and they sighed in pleasure I got a boost to my ego.
I got a huge ego boost when my body was appreciated for what it was, and admired, and not judged by ridiculous model standards.
I got a huge ego boost when people told me of the gifts they got from the sharing tree, and the gifts they hung on the tree.
I got a huge ego boost when I heard of the policemen first taking a gift from the tree, and the following day, placing a gift on the tree.
I got a huge ego boost every time I cursed at some “hippy” that walked into our Shit Hole camp and then invited him/her to sit next to me in our salon.
I got a huge ego boost every time someone hugged me, and I learned to really hug them back, and to melt into the hug instead of counting the seconds before I can break away.
And mostly I got the hugest ego boost by all the unbelievably smart, funny, kind, and truly insperational people I connected with and vice versa.
I feel this list could go on and on and on…… but as you see my ego balloon is already super duper inflated. And I think when it is inflated in this way; it is a good thing, a special thing – a thing to cherish.
“אם אין אני לי, מי לי? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני? ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי?
Thank you burning man for teaching me that one is never too old to wear a tutu.