Monday, June 23, 2014

Blog #172: on doing what you want

I had the BEST date Friday night. My date knew exactly what I liked and wanted me to enjoy the night as much as possible. My date took me to a concert by one of my favorite bands, bought me some delicious beer, and introduced me to some really cool new people. It was such a wonderful date that it might even be love.

So, who was this date, you ask?

Me. Myself. I.

So I went to a concert by myself. Look, I have friends. Plenty! And I had done some lobbying throughout the week for said friends to join me in my concert attendance. However, they all had other plans or weren't interested in spending the money or any number of reasons not about me (or maybe they didn't feel like hanging out with me that night - who cares!?) Rather than take all of this personally and spend the evening sulking about how I wanted to go to the show but couldn't because I didn't have a partner... I just went to the show. I'm a grown woman who wanted to see a concert and had the means to do so, so I went. 

And it was wonderful. First of all, The Avett Brothers' fan base is a group of pretty cool individuals, so there wasn't a shortage of people to talk to about the music. I met people before the show, during, and after - all friendly and happy to share the moment with me. Second of all, my ability to enjoy something is not dependent on whether I have someone to go with or not. 

It's kind of silly, but I'm pretty proud of myself for going alone. I know that Marissa even 2-3 years ago would never have considered it. And that's too bad because she would have missed out on a really great show. The Avett Brothers simply do not do bad shows. They are top 3 in my faves for live performances and among an elite group for me in bands I've seen live more than once (and plan to see again live whenever I can). So, wouldn't it have been a shame if I had let something as small as being the only one in my social circle who felt like going get in the way of seeing a band I love sing songs I love? 

This post is not about getting you to see me as some bad ass lone wolf (I still much prefer the company of others) or elicit any kind of sympathy for "having to go alone" (I told you, I have friends! I just made a fairly last minute decision to attend a time consuming and fairly expensive event). I'm secure in my social life and my choices as of late. The point of this post is that it is totally okay to do things by yourself sometimes. And not just things like going shopping or grabbing lunch while using your smart phone as a buffer. It's okay to do big, intimidating things by yourself. It's okay to go to a concert solo, drink a shock top or 2 in the parking lot before you go in and start conversations with strangers over the shared interest that brought you all there. To plant yourself in a great GA seat and welcome the people who sit near you. To enjoy the things you enjoy because YOU enjoy them and not just because you found someone to go with. All of that is okay. Awesome even. I had a really wonderful night. Avett opened with my favorite song, and made sure all my other faves (to be fair- most of their songs are my faves in one way or another). And I just kept thinking about how much I would have missed out on if I had just given up on going when I couldn't get a gang together for it. 
So, basically the moral of this story? Do what you want. Or, as the Avett brothers put it in my favorite of their songs and their opener - "decide what to be, and go be it." Only you get to decide what you're gonna do and how you're gonna be. I decided that I was going to see a band I loved and enjoy it regardless of anyone else's plans, and that's what I did. Go do what you want to do. 

Seth Avett wants to wear his hair in pigtail braids, so he does. Let's all take a page from that book. (Please don't think I'm making fun of Seth's pigtails. I love everything about Seth Avett and would never consider mocking him.) 

Disclaimer - in saying "do what you want" I'm not advocating selfish decisions that hurt others. I'm simply making the point that a lack of an entourage should not keep you from experiences you want to have. 

Now, go and have fun and get down with your bad self! You might discover that you are pretty good company.

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