November 15, 2017


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Last month, Mom and I escaped to Phoenix, Arizona for a long weekend. We hiked in the mountains, we shopped for art and jewelry, ate some incredible food, and I went alone to a concert for the first time!
By nature, I am a pretty anxious person. It comes and goes at times, and there are a lot of different experiences that tend to make me anxious, but large crowds are definitely higher on my list. The idea of facing a large crowd of unfamiliar faces....alone? I'm breaking out into a cold sweat just thinking about it. And yet, I wasn't willing to forgo my concert experience simply because nobody could go with me. I decided the anxiety was worth it, and bought a ticket.

I had myself pretty well convinced that I was okay with going alone and that I'd be totally fine until I actually got to the concert and was standing there outside the venue surrounded by thousands of people I didn't know. Fear started prickling up in my belly and I had to dry swallow a few times. It's not like I had any other choice -- I was either going to go to this concert alone or not go at all. I took the plunge, stood in line, and the experience immediately changed.

To my left in line was a girl who also seemed to be by herself and after some quiet mustering up of my own courage, I turned to her and introduced myself. "Yeah I'm here by myself..." I had to admit. To my utter relief she immediately responded, "Oh thank god I'm here alone too!" I cannot tell you the wave of relief that crashed over me. For the next 20 minutes we spent in line, we were inseparable. We talked about our favorite memories from past shows and if we knew anything about the opening act (we didn't -- but I highly recommend them now!) and noted the gorgeous style of the concert-goers around us. Unfortunately we weren't sitting close to each other but when we were saying goodbye, a huge hug was obviously necessary and made me feel completely at ease. 

Once in my seat, it was so easy and natural to strike up a conversation with those sat around me. We all had at least one thing in common and from there it was a breeze finding common ground to chat about. Once the concert actually started? It was magical. When you go to a concert with somebody, you're always checking for their reaction and the shared experience is incredible but everyone's reactions are so personal it can make it difficult to describe. When you're alone, you feel the rhythm and the movements of those around you and you can feel yourself get caught in the flow.

During the slower songs I had no problem grabbing the hand of the girl sitting next to me and we swayed together. During the fast-paced, you're-definitely-on-your-feet songs we jumped and yelled together. When it was all over, we exchanged snapchats and went our separate ways, left to process our experiences alone. My concert experience will forever be joined to hers but it was also completely my own and the feeling is a rush I can't explain.

I will forever love going to concerts with A -- best friends and concerts go together like peanut butter & jelly. But going to a concert alone is something everybody, introvert, extrovert, anxious, calm, floats-somewhere-in-the-middle needs to experience! Not only did I leave knowing that my memories of the evening belonged to me, I made a human-to-human connection with the strangers sitting around me, and I proved to myself that I actually can handle being alone in a crowd. It's certainly a night I'll never forget and I think everyone deserves the chance to experience that rush. 


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