You may identify with the Mad Hatter and ask yourself "have I gone mad?"....both Alice from Alice in Wonderland and the festival-goers at Electric Forest would give you the same response, “I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
Don’t get me wrong, every second I spent in Sherwood forest was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world, but for the sake of time I would like to focus on one particular snapshot; a few brief moments of insanity that I shared with the over 15,000 attendees of the forest.
It was the last night of the festival and I was sprinting around the forest from stage to stage, playground to neon playground. There wasn’t a single place you could look where you wouldn’t see a smiling face or someone hugging, kissing or talking to someone that they most likely just met. My boyfriend and I were waiting for our new friends to get back with water. As I was sitting there waiting and observing the sheer nonsense going on around me, I noticed a full pineapple (yes I mean the fruit, that isn’t some weird code word for anything) stuck in the rail in front of one of the side stages. I then decided to pick the pineapple up and bring it over to my friends to explain why I love all of the ridiculous things going on in the forest. On my walk back, however, I changed my mind. I ran up to the first person I saw, handed him the pineapple, and all I said to him was “tag you’re it”.
What does that mean? I honestly have no idea, I had no idea at the time either, but the person I gave it to did. He responded with “what, no I’m not it”. I then watched for the next couple of songs as the pineapple got passed from person to person; each beautiful person who handed it off drastically changing the meaning of what that transaction meant. Sometimes the pineapple was an Olympic torch, sometimes it was a grenade that you had to pass off quickly! No matter what the pineapple was representing for that second, every person who got handed it received it with a huge smile on his or her face.
In daily life I think this pineapple interaction is something important to remember. Its easy to get caught up in tangible things such as money, apartments, or cars, and it's harder to remember things that, in my mind, are the things that truly matter; like love, happiness and creativity. I left Electric Forest a drastically different person than I entered it, debatably much crazier and even farther off my rocker than I was before I went. I’m completely okay with that though. If passing off large fruits as Olympic torches was even close to acceptable in a corporate environment, then maybe everyone would smile a little bit more.
According to PsychologyToday, the average kid smiles 300 times a day, whereas the average adult is under 50 smiles a day. If we all allow ourselves to go a little crazy sometimes, like we did in the forest, the world would be a better place!