What can you live without?

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On Reddit! Firefly Music Festival So here’s a thing:  I went to the Firefly Music Festival this past weekend.  First of all, it was awesome.  Favorite performances were probably the Foo Fighters and Imagine Dragons.  Beyond the music, however, it was just an awesome experience.  We went with some friends, got a campsite, and shared a giant tent.  It was awesome!  It also reminded me how little I actually need to survive.  So, without further ado, let’s look at what my personal essentials are, and then we’ll talk about why it’s important to note these things.

What I need!

Food

No ifs, ands, or buts about it, I need food!  In fact, most people do.  That said, I had to make very conscious decisions about what food I needed.  Food inside the festival grounds was very expensive, and while most of it was tasty, very little of it was healthy.  That said, the festival grounds were also a good mile-long jaunt from where we were actually camping, so making a quick trip back to camp for a snack and then making it back in time for a band’s set was not really a feasible option. Water Holy crap.  Water was actually a bit of an issue.  It was HOT, basically the entire time we were down there, and extremely humid, so I sweat like crazy.  Our campsite was half a mile from the nearest water station, which only worked a small percentage of the time, and a mile from the festival grounds, where all the other water stations were (with excessively long lines).  As such, my usual habit of carrying a metal water bottle around became FAR more important, and I hydrated every chance I got.

A Place to Poop

Self explanatory.  Peeing is easy (for guys, at least), pooping is more problematic.

Shelter and a Decent Place to Sleep

So, as mentioned before, it was HOT.  Shady places were like nirvana.  Also, a place to crash after a long day of walking, drinking, and dancing, was incredibly appreciated.  The first night we were there, our air mattress actually sprung a leak, leaving us on the rocky, hard-packed ground all night.  No bueno.  We actually hiked out at 5:30 AM, grabbed an air mattress from WalMart, and slept in the car until 1:00, hahaha.

People

I had a crapload of fun this past weekend, and it had everything to do with the people I had around me.  Surround yourself with good people, and you don’t even need things to entertain you.

What I do not need!

Electronics

Shocking, yes, but outside of trying to keep our group together during the day, I didn’t even use my cell phone (so many people using the available bandwidth made trying to get any data anywhere near impossible).  Sure, it was awesome to take pictures and videos, but I would have enjoyed my time just as much without any electronics at all.  Yes, this includes video games (dangerous talk around here, I know).

Indoor Plumbing

A shower is a really nice thing to have.  So is a flushing toilet.  But I made do with porta-potties for four days, with one shower among them (showers cost $5 a session, wtf), and could have gone on doing so (although some rain at some point to rinse the dust off would have been appreciated).

Basically All of My Clothing

Two pairs of shorts, four pairs of underwear, four pairs of socks, four t-shirts.  That’s all I needed for four days.  Honestly, if I didn’t have my day job requiring slacks and button-down shirts, that’s probably all the clothes I’d need from spring through fall.  I could realistically pare down my entire wardrobe to fourteen garments.  Heck, even less.

Stuff

I had a ridiculous amount of fun at Firefly, and as I said above, it basically all had to do with the people I was with.  We spend so much of our life seeking out things.  I mean, I’m not going to go on an anti-materialistic rant here, because I love cool things like video games, computers, toys, gadgets, etc.  But I don’t need them.  In fact, I could happily live without them.

So what can we take from this?

Okay, I’m gonna bring it all in for you folks.  So, this blog is about becoming a game character, right?  Think about how little in the way of stuff and luxuries that game character have.  Granted, there are some outlying cases, but most character own the stuff on their back that they carry with them, and maybe a small collection of things back at home base.  That’s it. Frequently, our lives of excess lead us off of the path towards awesomeness.

Playing video games is freaking fun, but if you’re doing it all the time, and barely interacting with people because of it, you’re really missing out.  Eating delicious food is great, but if it’s all you’re really enjoying in your life, your food will consume you, instead of the other way around. Look at what you’ve filled your life with.

For an experiment, see how much you could do away with for a week.  Now, this is not a prescription for misery, I want you to always live a happy and fulfilled life.  But why don’t you try, for a week, to find out how little it actually takes you to do so.  Go for a walk.  Hang out with friends.  Leave your games, and toys, and electronics in the closet for a day or two.  Remember, experiences, not things.

I’ll see you again on Wednesday.  Live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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