On January 10th, 2018 I attended a concert for a very talented band, Tennis. I decided to go alone. The definition of alone is “having no one else present; on one’s own”. Reflecting back on it, the only time I was alone during the night was when I was waiting to get picked up from my lyft driver. He had taken a wrong turn and my phone glowed with the words “your lyft driver will be departing in four minutes”. I could not waste five dollars to cancel my ride, so in the frigid nine degree weather, I started walking towards my driver. It wasn’t until I saw that I had thirty seconds left to get to him that I started running, and then sprinting, making it to him with four seconds left. We both complained about how terrible google maps is. For a split second outside of his car I was alone, but that ended right as I entered the doors of The Waiting Room to be greeted by people. And walked through the dimly lit room, passing friends and couples sitting at the bars and booths, and up to the stage where the smart people were waiting so they would get the best view of the band. At this point in the night I had been alone for about five minutes. And although I was too shy to talk to anyone, I didn’t feel alone.
Bethany Conerly’s words from a few days before were all I could think of. She had gone to see The Staves by herself not too long ago. “I love this band so much that it didn’t matter, and you’re in a room full of people who are all listening to the same music as you so I didn’t feel alone. I was much more focused on The Staves rather than me being there by myself.”
We all stood there waiting, it felt like the waiting place in Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go”. Except, instead of waiting for a train to come, or the snow to snow, the fish to bite, or a Friday night, we were all waiting for the same thing. And just by that fact, we were all connected. And it wasn’t a useless place, because we were waiting for something amazing to happen.
When Alaina Moore came on stage, there was a bit of silence before everyone started hooping and hollering. A gorgeous figure, more petite than any online source would portray her, though the size of her opulent curly locks had not been distorted. And when she started singing, the thoughts of coming alone disappeared from my brain. A group of thirty year olds joined in with my funky dancing. We didn’t even ask for eachothers names, we didn’t have to. They were the kind of people who you can connect to with no words. Tennis finished with “Bad Girls”, performed just by Alaina and Patrick Riley, a most wonderful end.
I was surprised by one of the thirty year olds who asked me to go across the way to a bar, unable to tell by my thirteen year old looks, that I was not 21. I proceeded to the merchandise table, to buy a little slice of that concert that I would have forever. Waiting for my lyft this time was not done alone, as people waited outside for rides and smokes.
Later that night I thought about my experience. And although I had been nervous, I was able to overcome the idea that being alone or attending something alone is sad or pathetic. Overcoming the feeling of being alone in a crowded room will enhance your experiences, and you will meet new people, too, just as I did the thirty year olds. Learning to be able to be by yourself and enjoy your own company is one of the greatest characteristics to have, and appreciate. There will be many times in your life where you will feel alone, and once you are able to admire those times, “Kid, you’ll move mountains”.