Exactly three months ago I sat in my living room surrounded by unpacked boxes and ordered a ticket for Austin City Limits Music Fest. I didn’t know a soul in Austin or how to find this “Zilker Park” where it was apparently going to take place. That didn’t matter, music was why I had picked this place over all of the other dots on a map. Besides, I had three months to meet people who were going. No problem.
I did meet people. I met all kinds of great new friends who love to go for hikes, kayak, grab coffee, explore Austin and any number of other activities. I didn’t meet anyone going to ACL. I found myself on Thursday night, the eve of the festival, bracing myself for a weekend of bouncing solo to all of the concerts. And then a magical thing happened, as it always seems to do in this magical city of Austin. A friend of a friend who showed up to happy hour said he was going, so I gave him my number. What? ACL? my waiter asked, so I gave him my card too. And it turns out my new friend from choir was going! I even met new people at the fest. This never would have happened in my old life.
The weekend was epic. The bands were perfect, the weather was perfect, the company was perfect. Every time I caught sight of the Austin skyline I smiled and thought, I live here! On Sunday morning I sat with friends in the shade of a tree listening to Blind Pilot while a light breeze wafted through bringing respite after a long, hot, wonderful weekend. I couldn’t help but look around and think that I had stumbled onto euphoria–accidentally.