Monday, September 16, 2013

on being alone.


Seven years ago, I discovered a new-to-me band. They opened for another band I was seeing with a friend and immediately, I was in love. I quickly got some of their music and endlessly listened to their songs. A couple months later, they returned to Boston and I was dying to go see them. They only problem was, I had no one to go with. I can only imagine Chris was working and I was probably too insecure to ask someone else to go along. With no one to go with me, I agonized over my decision until the last minute. I would have to take the train. I was nervous the tickets were already sold out. It would be so awkward to go by myself. And so, I didn't go. Regretting it ever since.

I've watched, and watched, and watched, waiting for another concert first in Boston and now in San Francisco. Leave it to me to miss my last chance to see them for seven years. Of course I had no way of knowing this break was coming (I'm not sure they did either), but goodness, there's a lesson in there.


Thrill of all thrills when they announced a show in San Francisco for last night. I asked a friend who shares a mutual love for them to come, but she wasn't up for it. This time, though, I was determined. Regardless of the drive to the city, the concert taking place in a shady part of town and being on my own. I was going to go. And not just for the music. To prove to myself that I could do something I tiny bit uncomfortable.

Of course, the music was amazing. I'm not sure I've ever wanted a show to keep on going the way I did last night. I could have listened forever, all by my lonesome. The added bonus was showing myself I could do it and realizing that, actually, at this point in my life, it's not at all scary (aside from the walking through the Tenderloin by myself).


The being alone. The cruising up the 101 with music blasting. The putting my name on a dinner waitlist for one. Sitting at the bar, eating my favorite meal, just me. Making my way to the venue, finding myself a spot and eventually getting lost in the music. That's my sweet spot. My way to recharge and be left to my own thoughts.

So, Hem, I thank you, for coming back to San Francisco. For the beautiful music. For the chance to learn, again, how important it is to push yourself just a little bit so you can learn a whole lot.



Adrienne said...

Great post. Alone counts for so much - funny how we all have different things that keep us from exploring our aloneness. Mine wasn't fear, just an overly dramatic, over developed sense of purpose and obligation. Glad for you that you're venturing out earlier than I did! Also really love the progression of these photos from blurry and unsure to clear as a bell!

David McAnulty said...

So awesome! Proud of you and glad you had a great time. I remember going to Lou Reed in Boston by myself. Feels funny, but if there's no one who can really share the thrill of a favorite band... then alone is the way to go! Wish I had been there, I'd gone with you, for sure, to add to our concert adventures together! Love, dad

David McAnulty said...

"The Tenderloin is a high-crime neighborhood, particularly violent street crime such as robbery and aggravated assault"... WHAT???

AbbieBabble said...

I love this post. One of my favorite things about traveling by myself is that it pushes me to do things I wouldn't normally do- like eating dinner alone, or going to a concert without a buddy. It's amazing how solo adventures like that can be energizing, no?

Rachael said...

I love reading these longer posts from you. And I love this. I'm a cautious concert goer. But I wonder if I would be more into it if I DID go alone? I'm always so aware of how everyone with me is responding to the music, and how I should be responding, etc.
The blog tweaks look great!

Coastie Wifey said...

Love this!

colleen said...

beyond loved this and related to it. (i do love a good meal alone at the bar). i still get a good bit of alone time (since we have no little ones), but even then i have to make an active choice, unless i'm traveling for business and it happens naturally. and i love the lesson in this, the story you told, you pushing yourself. so wonderful, and wonderful to remember myself.

Bridget said...

so great. i remember falling in love with half acre by them and being like WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THEY ARE SO GOOD.

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