This past week, I found myself tethered to a gentle undercurrent of post-vacation depression that I couldn't seem to shake. Which, I'm always prepared for when I return from a trip. Because, well, it always happens. And it's not because I don't love coming home to LA, god, how I do, it's just that I love the freedom that comes with traveling so very much that it's always tough for me to see it go.
It's fitting, really, that I'm writing this post on the 4th of July. Because it's the holiday of freedom. And there is nothing I value more. Which is why I'm always acting like I'm on vacation. That's when I do feel the most free.
In any case, I was slowly adjusting to being back in the responsible world, when I remembered that my first Hollywood Bowl show of the summer was on Sunday! Oh, now that made me happy! And then I looked at my tickets to see who was playing and it was Ben Harper. And I was just like, Ben Harper? I don't even like Ben Harper. Why in god's name did I get Ben Harper tickets?
To my credit, it was probably that I just tend to buy tickets for all of the Sunday shows because they usually end up being some of the most memorable and unique. Even if I'm not familiar with the lineup for the evening, I always leave having discovered something new, and truly affected. The Sunday shows tend to be a full blown experience. Like, I've been to Mexican night and the Highlander Fling and African night. Dancing in the aisles, smiling and filled with music under the Hollywood sky.
I decided, with the Ben Harper show, that I would just decide whether to go at the last minute. And it wasn't until I was in the park playing badminton with my AT&T friend that I just stopped and looked at him and was like, come on, let's go to the Bowl! Because, I realized, I'd go to any show there and be happy. I just can't resist it.
So, off we went, spontaneously, with a bottle of white wine and plastic cups. For the record, AT&T doesn't like Ben Harper either.
The second we walked into that amphitheater, though, I just felt all the stress of not being on vacation fall away from me, like a cloak I left with the usher, and I was free once again. Blessed be for that night! I mean, we were sort of chuckling together at moments in a tacit, nope, still don't like Ben Harper sort of way. But being out there on the hillside, the air saturated with the sound of the percussions, back in my old spot, I was a happy girl.
Hollywood Bowl, I love you. I know I've said it before, but a piece of my heart has made its residence in those bleachers. And I can look back and recall so many sweet fleeting moments of being so very overflowingly full of gratitude and just looking up at the stars and planets and often the moon, saying, thank you life, thank you life.
I found my freedom again that night and I realized something about myself too. That's why I live so fully in the present moments, digging into each experience like it's all I've got. It's why I always want to be out exploring the world and its offerings so much. Because I will get depressed if I start to feel like I'm living to get somewhere, or just trying to make it.
And every experience, technically, during its duration, is all I've got.
The adage goes, there is no time like the present. In actuality, there is no time but the present. And I've always managed to live knowing that, or at least been able to quickly catch myself to remind me of that fact. And in the present, you are always, unquestionably, in truth, completely free.