Life After Burning Man?

Burning Man Series Part 5
by: Jessica v. Beusekom


Back from the burn and beaming more than ever! 

As some of you know, this was my third burn. Coming back from the previous two burns was heavy, emotionally and eventually also physically. I remember being super high initially after coming back from my first burn and telling everyone about how great it was, but it soon switched and I found myself being emotionally confused and missing the great vibrations on the Playa. I noticed people in ‘the default world’ were less nice and less open towards each other. People in the ‘normal’ world were so much more judgemental. It made me sad wondering why people couldn’t be more like they were at Burning Man. Luckily, it didn’t last too long though; it lasted for about a few weeks and after that I was back to my pre-burn self. 

The second year was worse. Since I knew how hard it had been the first time, I was already preparing myself emotionally for what it would be like after my second burn. The moment we left the Playa I felt a knot in my stomach. I knew immediately that this year was even more significant in my personal growth and I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy getting back into the default world. I spent a significant amount of time trying to fit back into my normal life and definitely had a bunch of crying sessions.

Decompressing after Burning Man is such an important part of your experience. Your Burning Man experience isn’t just over as soon as you’re on your way home; settling back into your normal life is just as much part of it. How you handle the decompression is so important. This year I took plenty of time for myself once I got back to Amsterdam and I planned on doing nothing but spend some quality time with myself. I made sure I had the first few days off from work before heading back, so I could take my time unpacking my stuff. I had time to reflect on this year’s experiences and let them sink in. Coming back has been super easy this year and I’m sure the fact that I didn’t rush into getting back into the normal life has been a part of that. I’ve been in such great moods ever since and feeling super fulfilled. 

If you find yourself having trouble letting go of the Playa, try to incorporate little things from the Burn into your life.. perhaps that can help your process become smoother and easier. Think about hugging your friends more often or practising the act of gifting in your normal life. As soon as you start practising some of the principles in your normal life with your friends, you’ll eventually start seeing them reciprocate and you’ll get to experience a little Playa magic in your day-to-day life. And don’t worry, before you know it the year has passed and you’ll get to roll around in that magical, alkaline Playa dust again. Just make sure you keep your fire burning in the meantime. 

Stay tuned for the 6th and final part of this series, in which I’ll be sharing my favourite moments of this year’s burn. 

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