I don’t do things halfway and seldom check to see how deep the water is before diving in. I’ve been going to Burning Man since 2002, when a friend told me about it during a camping trip in Death Valley. I’ve been volunteering for Burning Man year round since 2002. My entire life, with the exception of my work life, has revolved around burning man. I’ve not missed a burn since I started going. Those are my people; it’s the first time in my life that I felt like I fit in. Being involved so deeply has served me well.
I just spent 17 days in the desert working and enjoying the event. The event itself has never meant very much to me. Most of what I got out of being involved with Burning Man came from the year round communities I helped to build. It’s the other 51 weeks of the year I’ve gotten so much out of. After 9 years I feel like I need more. It’s time to find or help build communities that are focused on having a more direct effect on the world, focused on helping people to live more meaningful lives.
I certainly won’t walk away from the burner communities that are so much of my life, without them I’d not have any friends, literally, and my friends are my family. I don’t anticipate changing who I spend time with but I’m done with doing volunteer work for Burning Man. That energy and time will go into my work, which has become my life.
It’s always bittersweet saying goodbye. I feel like Temple Grandin, opening a door to a new world. Sometimes opening a new door means closing an old one. So thank you Burning Man! You’ve helped me grow into someone who I like quite a bit and I hope I’ve helped you grow as well. So long and thanks for the fish.