Observing my life recently, as it serendipitously aligns with my eCourse; The Party Girls’ Guide to Peace, has been magical- and, I won’t lie- a little strange. I’ve blogged about this recently, but as I started working on Party Girls, I simultaneously (almost by accident) found myself in the company of brilliant, sober women. Also, in July last year, while it still wasn’t unlike me to drink a bottle of red after work, I purchased my bestie and I tickets to the Big Day Out festival on the Gold Coast. I remember shaking in front of my lap top, with my credit card in one hand and a green juice in the other; my favourite band in the whole freaking world was coming back to Australia, and I was about to seal the deal in seeing them for the first time (you may have heard of them. They’re called the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Haha!).
After I launched Party Girls almost two weeks ago, I had to laugh. As my soul sisters asked me how I was going to celebrate the launch, I replied: ‘I’m going to Big Day Out this weekend. Sober.’
*This was kind of a big deal- festivals had always been my big shiny excuse to take copious amounts of drugs.*
I had the time of my life last weekend. I was present, happy and juiced on natural highs (and H2O). This is how it went down, and, if you’re a Party Girl who’s willing to flirt with sobriety, hopefully this will inspire you.
People Watching: A Necessary Time-Filler
Obviously, there’s a whole different pace to a sober festival. Hours that are normally spent in high-as-a-kite conversation, instead feel naked and open, particularly when most of those around you are drunk or high. People watching saved me. Ally and I sat on a hill, and silent moments where I otherwise might have been having my doubts about this whole ‘sober thing’, were filled with giggles and discussions about the horrendous fashion statement that is ‘the cut-off butt cheek shorts with shirts that show the belly’ atrocity. Seriously- WTF is up with up that!?
I also found myself smiling at other people often. I could see the old me in them; in the girl that was spread out on the ground with her eyes closed- clearly having a very good time- but would be in a world of pain tomorrow, and in the girls who were dancing around like crazies with their friends. That was me a few years ago, and it felt safe to remember that, knowing that I’ve come a long way, and that in fact, I judge no one. We really are all on such different journeys.
The Unexpected Arrival of Compassion
This one took me by surprise. Dancing at the back of the Boiler Room, listening to Nicky Romano when he was dropping a particularly sexy beat, I turned to Ally and yelled ‘Everyone who’s effed up will be having a REALLY good time right now!’ She laughed, nodded and continued stomping into her dance moves, as if to say- ‘So are we!’
And on the flip side, as we nervously awaited the Chili Peppers, I could feel the anticipation from everyone around me. As the band graced the stage, it’s as though the crowd was levitating, until… they started to play. When we realised that there were a few problems with the sound, that energy came crashing down back into the ground with a giant THUMP. I kept my eyes on the screen, appreciating that my favourite band in the world were still in front of me, giving it everything, but I couldn’t help but feel a little sympathy for everyone who was high. There’s nothing worse in that situation than being able to hear your heart beat louder than the music.
I felt so grateful that I wouldn’t be subjected to a premature comedown thanks to a horrible combination of party drugs and dodgy speakers.
Honouring the Body
I’m buggered. Wanna sit down? Yep, cool. I’m hungry. Shall we grab a feed? Totally! Ask, oh wise body of mine, and you shall receive.
Music. A New, More Wholesome Relationship
Over the last year or so, this is what I’ve been most afraid of during my Party Girl transition (other than losing my identity): not being able to appreciate music the way I once did.
As I’ve cleaned my life up more and more, I found myself switching off the radio when a house beat played, and deleting electro off my iTunes playlist. That music connected me with a part of myself I was willing to let go of, so I thought I needed to remove it from my life entirely.
Big Day Out changed these beliefs.
Music is divine creativity in action. I don’t have to hide from it anymore. It still makes me feel just as good, but entirely different, at the same time. A huge catalyst in realising this, was…
I can still dance. Seriously, this is huge. I can’t even begin to tell you how utterly freaked out I have been at the prospect of dancing without drugs. The thought froze me for months. What do you mean… dance completely uninhibited without having put speed up my nose? You’ve gotta be kidding me, right?!
I’m happy to report that I’ve karate chopped that fear smack bang in the face, because you know what? I’ve still got it. I can still dance. I can still feel the music in my body. I can still predict when the beats going to drop and when the crowds going to go insane (always an amazing moment). And I can do all of this with nothing in my system but water and delicious (albeit deep fried) garlic-y Hungarian bread.
And you know what else? I can dance better; without thinking that I’m, like, so amazing, and you all better give me some room because I’m like totally going to bust out right now and I simply must be the centre of attention. Good riddance to that.
Give Ally and I a 2×1 metre space, and we’ll be rocking it, without trying to tell the whole world about it.
Getting Proper High
I mean it. Happy and energised and a little nuts. That’s likely to happen when you’re covered in dust, feeling good, and rocking it out with your bestie to the Bloody Beetroots.
The Impressed, Relieved and Grateful Bank Account
Says it all really. 3 bottles of water, 2 meals, $20 parking, $30 fuel, and a gorgeous night’s sleep in my own bed.
Compare that to $300 spend on pills and speed, $80 on drinks, $150 on an apartment…
The Moment of Truth (the next morning)
It’s funny, when I peeled my eyes open, I almost expected to feel rubbish. Until, I didn’t. I found myself springing out bed, elated and pumped. I did it! And it was easy! And I loved it! And OMG, I want to do it again! What other festivals are coming? That’s it! Live music is a priority for me this year! Holy shit balls- I can have the time of my life- and not be a mess in the process!
Huge revelations there, friends.
Breakfast was left over quinoa and kombucha, and lunch was spent connecting with the girls that are already a part of our (ex) Party Girl tribe.
Life’s throwing all this at me because there’s women that need to hear these messages. You’re not a loser for flirting with sobriety, babe. Far from it. You’re brilliant for simply trying.
I want you to jump on board. There’s over thirty of us so far, and we want to recruit you for this soulful experiment. You do know that The Party Girls Guide to Peace only costs $89 (or 3 x payments of $35), right?
Over to you. I’d love you to share this post with your sisters, and leave me a comment below: Ever been to a festival sober? Ever wanted to? What are the fears that are getting in the way? Open up, below.
Love you guys,
PS: JUST ANNOUNCED: I’m going to be speaking alongside Jess Ainscough, Melissa Ambrosini and Amanda Rootsey on March 6 in Brisbane. The theme: A Celebration of Self-Love and Sisterhood, and I would LOVE to meet you there! Find out more about this beautiful event, hosted by the incredible Yvette Luciano and her new company, Earth Events, right here: http://earthevents.com.au/