• Stephanie Hinds

The Unexpected Lesson I Learned at My First Rave

This past weekend, I learned a very valuable lesson about perspective. And accountability.

It came at an unexpected time, in an even more unexpected place: Beach Club Fest 2015.

Thousands of Toronto’s hottest party animals descended on Muzik Nightclub Saturday afternoon for an all-day, all-night party. Women wearing bikinis and stilettos walked past muscular, shirtless men.

There I was in the midst of it all, wondering what I had been doing there. I had never been into electronic dance music, but when my two friends insisted I would have a good time, I felt compelled to accept the invite.

I lay there in my yellow bikini under a tree, taking in the sun. I realized a long time ago that I have an abnormal obsession and love for the feeling of the sun on my skin, and not for the tan. I just love feeling the warmth of the sun on me. So much so that whenever the sun got trapped in the big tree ahead of me, my smile turned upside down.

I had been laying there for about half an hour when I realized that the sun was diminishing. It was moving very gradually away from me and was almost completely hidden behind the tree.

My friends had suggested moving to the pool where there was more sun. But I insisted on staying where we were. I knew that after a short while, the sun would be back in the open sky and I would feel that warmth again.

Another half hour passed and the sun was still hiding behind the tree. While it had indeed moved, it still had a long way to go before it was out in the clear sky again. Fed up, my friends said, “Stephanie, there is sun at the pool, we just have to move there.”

The idea of getting up, gathering all my belongings, and trying to find comfort at the pool seemed daunting. But I wanted the warmth of the sun more than I wanted to stay where I was. And so I picked myself up, gathered my belongings, and walked over to the pool.

When we got to the pool, I couldn’t believe how warm it was there. The sun was directly on me! People were dancing. Heck, I was dancing. There were beach balls everywhere. But more importantly, there was sun. There wasn’t a cloud-or a tree-in sight.

I was crushed that I hadn’t moved here earlier. I could’ve been feeling the comfort of the sun all this time. Mid-dance move I asked myself what had been stopping me the whole time I was laying by the tree.

Truthfully, I just didn’t want to move. I was comfortable. I knew the sun was going to come back in due time. I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to do anything. I was being lazy. I just wanted to lay there and feel the sun.

Then it hit me.

Constantly, easily, and unforgivingly do we make excuses for ourselves to stay in whatever situation we might be in at the time. We get comfortable, we tell ourselves it will happen later, or next time, when really, those are grounds for it, whatever it might be, to not happen at all.

How could I have possibly laid there under that tree for almost an hour waiting for the sun to come back when there was sun elsewhere the entire time? It’s like I was standing in a dark room complaining there was no light and there had been a switch in front of me the whole time. All I had to do was reach for it. That tree had represented every piece of adversity I had ever faced. It represented the word no. It represented every excuse I had ever made for myself, and every excuse I made for others. We get so familiar with the darkness that we forget what the warmth of light feels like. We forget how to remind ourselves to look elsewhere when our current circumstance isn't good enough for us. We forget what good enough is.

It is so easy to stumble across mediocrity, unhappiness, or complacency. It’s so easy to fall into a rut and decorate it and call it home. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s okay.

This weekend I learned that in life, there is only so much sunlight before the darkness comes. And you’re going to want as much of it as you can get, not only because it feels good but because you deserve it. You have to be willing to get up and move sometimes.

As I stood there on the side of the pool, looking all around me and feeling kissed by the sun, I learned two very valuable lessons. The first is that if you want it, whatever it might be, you have to go after it. The second is that the music of life really isn't so bad once you start dancing.

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