August and Everything After.

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” – Anaïs Nin

I wonder how many states one would have to go through until we fully became our lives.  I was shocked to discover this weekend, when I accompanied my 18-year-old sister to Lolla, how much music festivals are not my thing anymore. Sure, I’ll still go to a concert without question, and I still breathe music as if it were a second language, but the days of festivals – for me – are over.

Which isn’t to say that I didn’t have a good time. I sang so loud at points that I lost my voice; I was with one of my favorite people in the entire world, and it made me super happy to see her so happy. Sadly, I had to duck out at the last set (Sam Smith) because I – music lover extraordinaire – experienced a panic attack, or overheating, or dehydration, or some combination. I remember standing in the crowd and thinking, “Man, I haven’t peed all day. Probably not good, considering I’ve been drinking water. And my kidney hurts. And I probably am getting that thing called Toxic Shock Syndrome that I read about from tampons, and some model got it and lost her leg. I really don’t wanna lose a leg.” And then Sam Smith came on and started singing “Not The Only One” and I fucking belted out that song like there was no tomorrow. And afterward, I felt like there WAS no tomorrow.

Because I couldn’t breathe.

I tried to. Smaller, shallow breaths. But nothing was happening. I thought that if I looked at the ground and could focus, that it would be better. But no, still not breathing. And what I definitely didn’t want was my younger sister seeing me pass out, because Lolla would be forever ruined for her. So I quickly told her and her friend where I was going to be so that they could meet me after the show, and then I proceeded to shove – and I sincerely mean get-the-fuck-out-of-my-way shoving – everyone in my path until I could breathe again. That didn’t happen until I was standing in the middle of Columbus, which was fairly cleared out. I immediately went and bought three bottles of water, one for me, and two others for my sister and her friend. Every fucking person who passed me asked if they could BUY my water, and I thought that they were fucking stupid because they could have just as easily bought water the same way I did.

On the way home, I still didn’t feel any better. My sister, loving person that she is, told me my eyes looked red and asked me if I was going to throw up. I said I didn’t think so; I only knew that something didn’t feel right. She said she was prepared for me to throw up and cupped her hands. What a darling.

Once I got home, I demanded that the girls drink more water, because I knew that if I was feeling terrible they probably were dehydrated too. I got them food, then took a shower and just kept drinking water and thought, “I might die. My sister is going to find me dead. I’m supposed to go to Michigan tomorrow. And I might be dead.”

Needless to say, I didn’t get that much sleep.

I did – of course – wake up the next morning. Paul and I took a roadtrip to Michigan, where his dad and stepmom were staying. It was the first time we would be spending any extended period of time with each other, and I was a bit nervous – roadtrips can make or break you.

But – of course – we were fine.

And I met parent set #2, and decided I didn’t much care for them. I don’t know if this is exactly fair; I tried really hard to make a good, honest judgment because I sort of gleaned that – as far as Paul was concerned – his mom and stepdad were the important parents, and his dad was just kinda… there.

But, yes. I pretty much made the same conclusions.  Of course I was polite and I thanked them for everything, but overall I found them callous. And I guess the important part, really, is that I had a fantastic couple of days with someone whom I enjoy very much: We canoed (I gouged a chunk out of my finger on a wooden oar… you can take the girl out of the city but… no, maybe you just wanna leave her there), we swam, I WORE SHORTS, we read books AT THE SAME TIME IN THE SAME ROOM BECAUSE WE ARE NERDS AND IT WAS ADORABLE, we drove a boat around the lake, we watched the sun set and rise, and we laughed a whole bunch.

(It’s possible that the reason for all this “togetherness” time was because I was out in the country and my phone had no signal, BUT!!! [seriously, at points, I was trynna text my sisters and my BFFs and it just was not happening.])

… in all seriousness, it was a great trip. It’s amazing what happens when you choose to leave your worries behind for a little while, huh?

Have a good night, friends. Be kind to yourselves.

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