I was there. Sort of. But not always when or how or whatever.
Ultra is this weekend. And I’m not there.
If you don’t know what the Ultra Music Festival is, check out the venues it rolls through around the world. Add to that the top trance and progressive house DJs in the world, stretch it out over three days, invite tens and tens of thousands of people, and yeah, it’s just a bit of a party.
I won’t be there in South Beach when it kicks off in Miami on Friday.
A week or so ago, the Vancouver Canucks were in Miami to play the Panthers, who I guess are still an NHL team. I wasn’t there for that either; I haven’t seen the Canucks live since 1999—that time was in Vancouver.
No, I’m back in winter. I was in Miami a few weeks earlier, visiting family and getting out and deciding I’m just going to grab life by the throat and do my thing. I don’t get the respect I want at work, but screw it: I’m not my career. I know I can write. I know these words come together. I know what it means to feel.
Taking a break to let some light in is good for everyone. That’s what I did. Even if I didn’t get out and touch every part of the city, I got out. I was someplace different. And like all of us, that makes me someone different.
I’ve been to Miami. I felt what it means to be warm in March. I’m different. At the start of this academic year, I did a two-hour session with some first-year students about a book they were to have read. Not many did, but that’s alright. I knew what I was doing with that time.
I wanted to get their attention. I wanted them to realize the opportunity they had. I wanted them to see that the next four years determine their next forty. So I told them this: you will never have more opportunities than now. You will never have this many doors open again. Seize it. Grab it by the f*cking throat and don’t let go until you get what you want.
I won’t be at Ultra this year. But there are numbers after 2014 — a lot of them. And it’s time I took my own advice.
Thank you, Miami.
Words and photos by Kevin Hodur. Previously calling suburban Chicago and Portland home, Kevin now lives and works as a writer on Upper Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Catch more editions of The Road Rarely Traveled next time, written approximately whenever.