What happened to me when I met my tribe at Summercamp

So I got up yesterday and had a need to write so I did and this is what came out. It might not be “good writing” or have a structure but it is 100% honest and unedited from my journal at an important time of my life. The day after I got home from Happy Summercamp 2016.

I said it as a joke but I think it was true. Infact I’m pretty certain it was and I hope it remains that way. I had to sit in the car and have a little moment - or as I like to call it, get my shit together — before I went and knocked on my own front door. I felt incredible. Positive, motivated, tired — but in the best way. I hadn’t showered in two days and I stank of bonfire, fags and quite possible BO but I didn’t care. The best way to descibe it is my mind was blown into pieces but it was amazing.

It started on Thursday night. I had a couple of beers too many which is my normal behaviour before any weddings, long haul flights, holidays and other major events, because who doesn’t love doing those on a hang over! I was dancing to some of my favourte tunes on my iPod and thinking, what is to come? What will this be like? Friday morning came the thoughts were still in my head, my bag was ready packed all I had to do was go and get my cash. The sense of ergency was emmense. I just had to get there to camp except I was on the go slow — as I am with a hangover — “just get the cash and get in the car Heidi. Get the cash and get in the car.” The drive was slowed down by the rain and massive trucks on the road and there was a diversion and huge puddles that needed slowing down for but the ergency was still there, I just had to be at camp. So when I arrived I was initially surprised at how my anxiety rose. I didn’t feel immediately comfortable. I was out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know what to do or who to talk to or how to be and everyone I did speak to seemed to have been before. So I found myself watching. Like shy kids in the playground I stood with my back against the wall and watched. How does it work here? How do you be? What are the rules?

And then all of a sudden it began. With a honking horn and bingo! (I LOVE bingo) and karaoke — sober — and permission to be as real and as open and as you as you were comfortable to be. I love some guidelines and this was enough for me to relax and I got stuck in.

It happened slowly at first and then I noticed it was happening all the fucking time. On hay bales, on chairs, in the toilet queue, in the toilets, whilst you were brushing your teeth, waiting for the milk, in the middle of a field, on the path in a towel, HUGS. They were everywhere. Everyone was doing it. Sometimes they were long, sometimes they were short, sometimes it was an arm squeeze, sometimes it was in groups and it was amazing. I looked into the eyes of people I’d never met before for 30 seconds and to begin with it was creepy but then it was beautiful. People were giving. Not just tooth picks and advice. They were sharing their shoes, their clothes, anecdotes and tiny or sometimes huge emotional pieces of themselves to strangers and it was fantatsic. And I did it too. I revealed parts of myself I don’t even always share with my friends and family and I loved it.

At first I was overwhelmed. There was a lot of emotion flying around and my head and my heart had not been completely prepared for that. I watched people cry and they watched me cry and I heard stories and heard pain and joy and honesty and there was hugging. I loved the hugging. I had some of and gave some of the best and strongest and longest hugs I’ve had in a long time and I’ve been at festivals this summer and people on drugs at festival love to hug you! I spoke with people about their dreams, their families, their pets, their life experiences. I reached out and let people in. And pennies were dropping everywhere. If they made a sound it would have been deafening. Oh my god — you could see that happening everywhere too. In the middle of worshops and during dinner — my mind would suddenly click and it became clearer and clearer.

On Friday night much as I love a band and a party it was too much for me. I still wasn’t totally sure where to go or who to be with. But by Saturday night you couldn’t get me off the dance floor. And some of those favourite songs I was listening to on Thursday night — other people were playing them and it was synchnonicity in action. Suddenly everyone was familiar. The room was full of people you’d connected with, chatted with, shared a meal with, had a cuppa, given to, recieved from and definitely hugged.

I danced, I cried, I sang. Most of the time I cried whilst I was dancing and singing and I listened and talked and laughed and was so inspired and ate so much soul food my soul is now clinically obese.

And then it was Sunday and it was time to go home. I was sad to leave but excited too. My head was clear and I hadn’t know what I needed but it felt like I had found it. How was that possible? That I’d found every little thing I had needed right then, at that time?

So I was sat in the car getting my shit together. I made a few notes in my note pad and one simply said it all in three bold words — fuck, wow, yes!

I got my bags and walked up my path thinking how is this going to go down? Is my husband going to get this? What if this feeling ends? How am I going to descibe this experience and awakening I’ve had without sounding like a wanker?

So I rang the bell and he opened the door and he looked at me and smiled. “You look really happy, you’re glowing, how was it?” And I thought it was a joke, but I know it was true, and I looked into his eyes and cried and said, “you’re not getting back the same wife that left here on Friday.”