So I went to Riotfest with my daughter yesterday. Why? Because I didn't think before I spoke when I made the offer! (Yoga lesson #1 in this story- "I have often regretted my speech, never my
silence. " Publilius Syrus (~100 BC), Maxims). Everything I am about to tell you is true, totally true!
In our yoga themes, we have many times spoken of fear, should have's, love, and frustration; all of these are present in my story. I began on Friday to look into exactly where Riotfest was occurring. I already had purchased the tickets and seen the line-up, happy that I at least knew Blondie and liked the Violent Femmes...only to find it was being held in Humboldt Park which, besides the area's reputation, isn't in the confines of downtown Chicago. There's no parking garage and most websites said you would be crazy to drive, so that left us with the train. Then, I either figure out the bus system or take a cab. Here is where fear set in- fear of the unknown- and mostly fear about how to get back as cabs wouldn't be so easy to find. Mainly, it is a fear of being stuck somewhere; I like to know my car is nearby!
Fear is a mindset. But before I could rationalize it, my fear took me to should-have land: I should have never said I'd go, I should have looked up the location prior to buying tickets... I chose to let fear get the best of me and I got grumpy and stressed. (Yoga breath, here.) When I finally came to the conclusion that we could do this, that zillions of other people were doing this, I became my calm yoga self again.
So, we drove to the train station, took the train into the city and a cab to Humboldt park. I chose to not let fear creep back in when the cab driver didn't know about Riotfest or where Humboldt Park was- I figured he and the Universe would figure it out! And we arrived.
I had thought my daughter would be easily locatable with her dyed red hair- I don't know what I was thinking! There was hair of a million colors and a peacock colored mohawk. The only park of my story that may not be true but will be very close to the truth is everyone, besides Sam and I, was smoking. By the time we left, we agreed we had inhaled at least a pack of cigarette's each, our lungs hurt and a cloud hung over the park. But this inspired me to do some research as to how many people get cigarette burns in a crowd packed that tight- I'm just wondering? Continued education is good, right? People were walking around with large ziplocs picking up cigarette butts. At first, Sam and I feared the worst but later found out if you filled a bag up you received a free 3 day pass to next year's event. Many people got those passes.
So, I mentioned love. My daughter ran into a group of her friends who were planning on "moshing" and "crowd surfing". I said go, I'll find a tree to sit under. She said, no I came with you and I am staying with you. LOVE. We did bond as we made jokes together....one couple inseparably making out behind us we thought should "find a porta potty" since there were no rooms around- well, it was funny at the time of our smoke induced stupor.
I learned my daughter knew one of the carnie vendor's from Ribfest. Why does my daughter know a carnie vendor? See, more continuing education on my part to find out. He was very nice and pulled her up on top of the Whack-a-Mole to take a picture with her. I learned yoga is necessary for balance in a port-a-potty, I have no more to add to that subject! And I learned a 21 year old band called Rancid, which I had never heard of, was more entertaining than Blondie. Violent Femmes still outranking both.
My daughter, at one point, gave me an out to leave early and, looking back, I am embarrassed I jumped at it. In retrospect- here's a should have- we should have stayed. A fellow yogi was there- I love yogi's!!!!- and had offered us a ride back to our car at the end of the concert. But I kept thinking, if we leave now, I will get one more hour of sleep before teaching my class in the morning. Well, just as I thought, we couldn't find a cab. We paid a petty cab (bike pulled cab) to take us to a real cab. The cab took us to Union Station- all was good. Until we got to the Berwyn train station where a car was stuck on the tracks. All I know is forty minutes later we began moving again and ended up at home at the same time we would have had we stayed for the whole concert! My yoga friend who had offered us a ride even offered to get us when we were stalled and I was so grateful...did I mention I love yogi's?!!!
There's another yoga theme in this story that is very important- letting go. I am always coaching my students to let go of what no longer serves you. Attachment is a big yoga theme, as well. I learned both. Next year, I will detach myself from my teenager and let go as I let her go to Riotfest on her own, with her friends, rather than her old mom. Having said that, she's the best concert friend and I would do it all over again with her in a heartbeat.