A Travellerspoint blog

My First Blog, by Zac Tarrant

I'm finally jumping on board with Annabelle's crazy scheme to get famous via blogging (don't think this is gonna help much)

This is the first time I have posted anything on a blog. This is the first time I have written something that other people may actually read. Quite a few insecurities immediately come to light; first of all, I just remembered that I am not a good speller, also that I’m from Australia and will not forfeit my spelling of words like ”mum” or my use of the metric system (a far superior way of measuring things) or my sense of humor which apparently can be offensive, sorry.

Burning Man was the second most incredible experience of my young life (the Kalalau Trail on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai takes the cake). The people, the place, the art, the philosophy, the giving, the parties, everything about my time in Black Rock City, Nevada was beautiful. Annabelle and I also chose this event to experience the wonders of LSD for the first time, and we did it with style. Well, Annabelle did it with style. I spun myself out of control on a merry-go-round atop a double-decker bus as it drove through the desert at 3 in the morning. I got off the spinning wheel, which I thoroughly enjoyed but I couldn’t kick the nausea (due both to the acid and the fact that we were still moving across the desert surrounded by 100,000 lights). I remember a strong humbling feeling as I threw all of my previously consumed, much needed, hydration over the railing of this extremely dangerous contraption. There were a number of burners on bikes following this massive art car, which by the way had a 2-storey LED martini glass on the side which I was hurling straight out of. I did try to apologize to the newly scattered cyclists through my stinging spew nose, but I don’t think they heard me.

That festival changed me. It gave me an incredible faith in the good of people. There, I was surrounded by 60,000 people who have abandoned the society most of us know. The structure which oppresses creativity, pollutes the gift of this planet, and provides us with fashion guidelines. The society that eats at McDonalds. This 60,000 people have been with me, outside the wet paper bag that seems to contain all of western suburbia, but I hadn’t met them until Burning Man.

I want to write. I want to fill this page with all the thoughts in my mind, thoughts of travel and love and fear. Thoughts of pure joy and moments of intense pain. The times when I come to terms with the person I am, and the times I lose my self in my surroundings. I want to write about my experiences, all of the things I accomplish in my life, but this all takes time. It takes time to write about the fun I had in California with all the Aussie boys. It takes time to write about the times I look deep into Annabelle’s eyes and feel completely at home, and even more time to explain the times that I don’t feel that comfort, when all I want to do is scream off a cliff or fly home to Aus and curl up in my room (if I still have one).

I haven’t had the time to write about the experience I had in Eugene where I fully hallucinated without taking any drugs and had the biggest freak out of my entire life. So ill take the time I have right now. Sitting in Dog River Café in Hood River, Oregon

I felt my whole world, and everything I had known, coming to an end. The whole universe turned on me that night; the same universe that had supposedly been protecting me and propelling me though this life. This is what I was relying on to get me through and it abandoned me in Eugene. Well, I believed it had abandoned me and that is what was so scary about it. No one could convince me otherwise.

All I had done was smoke weed, something I had done almost everyday since I arrived in the United States. The mixture of a big glass bong and some stupidly chronic weed, things we just don’t have in Aus. However, it was just weed. Something happened in my mind… a realization. I can recall every detail of the evening, except the thought that took me to that terrifying place. I started shaking. Annabelle’s face became so unfamiliar that she was no longer on my team. I was on my own and I was seemingly going insane. When Annabelle asked me if I needed to go to a hospital I said, “yes” she asked me two more times and I gave her the same answer, I’m glad now that we didn’t go, but I thought I was on my way out.

I think the whole experience came from not having a strong belief in myself. I suppose for the last few years I have believed that there would be a moment, or an experience, that would define who I am. I would be able to remember how I felt at this time, and it would overwhelm me with a sense of comfort. I would know exactly who I am in this moment, all questions would be answered, and I would move on to being an adult. My path would be chosen, I would know exactly which area of my life I would throw all my time and money into. I would feel so strongly about a girl that I would never think of leaving her, never look at another woman, my time consuming life as a single man would end, decisions would be made with ease and I would be happy. This may be a dreamers dream, a childish real-life fairytale moment, a 23yr old man traveling around like a fucking conscious Sleeping Beauty waiting for a kiss.

I am not gonna lie and say I have given up on this dream. I still feel as though there will be moments in my life that will enlighten me, but now I realize it is up to me to define myself. I have to provide myself with a strong sense of my own character, and tell that tiny foreign voice in my head that I’m not crazy, that I do have a past, that I have experienced life and that I am the sum of my own experiences. It wasn’t a nice feeling to have to try and piece myself back together after that night in Eugene, and I don’t know if I will ever be done. I think I might just have to find some new way to fill in the gaps.

I think I have always been a sensitive, emotional person. Simply because I care about the people around me and I have a mind opened as wide as the Columbia River Gorge by the endless possibilities this life has to offer, but like most men I believed emotions were just something too useless to get in the way having fun. I think it’s a combination of blocking them out and simply not feeling them that my keep emotions from surfacing. Over the last few years I’ve been slowly getting over trying to prove I’m a man, it seems the real men in this world are the ones that don’t give a shit about proving it.

I genuinely do want to experience everything in this world, everything I ever seen in a movie, heard about from a friend, read in a book or dreamt of at night. I want to do it all. The only things I don’t feel drawn to are the things I’ve already seen. Of course some of them can be done over and over again, but if I can do them in a different location, then I’d be stoked.

So what I think I’m missing due to growing up as a child nomad, is the ability to stick to anything, find something I like and get attached. So now I feel as though I’m going to have to learn to get attached to things. “Things” meaning a person, a location, a job, a particular lifestyle. How can this be done with the amount of people, places, and things out there to see and meet? It seems a mathematical impossibility that I have already been to the place in the world best suited for who I am, that I’ve met the girl in the world that is most comfortable around my weirdness, or most likely to help me grow into the person I want to be. This kind of thinking will drive you insane. I know this because I have actually been there, on my strange weed-induced acid flashback, and it was not pretty.

So what have I learnt from this experience, where I believed I was going to die in the back of a van on the U of O campus? Not as much as I would have liked. I had no all-encompassing epiphany. I just realized how important it is to stay in the moment (something my mum has been telling me for years). Although ideas of infinite opportunities and possibility can motivate me, what goes up must come down. Acceptance, awareness, and the present moment will keep my feet on the ground.

Posted by Further 12:59 Archived in USA

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Comments

Wow Zac. You have REALLY grown so much in your relatively short life. You have the gift of awareness, and that alone is a very special quality. You also have shown your gift for writing, which I hope you will continue to do on your journeys through this world. You can be proud and humble in the same moment. XX

by louise kilp

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