I am generally good at being alone. I feel comfortable making a reservation for one for dinner, shopping by myself, seeing movies alone, and even traveling to other cities sans company. But there are things that I always feel incredibly awkward doing alone. Going to concerts is one such thing.
I have never felt comfortable with the idea of going to a concert by myself. They really feel like social places to be. You wait forever in line with a friend and talk crap about the people that are blocking your view, you dance to the songs with your friend, you take countless selfies together, etc. This feeling even applied to the concerts that the Music Department put on at my school.
So, I decided that I am a twenty-one year old woman and I should be okay with going to a concert alone. Ideally it would have been a concert off campus, but none of my favorite artists were playing at times when I wouldn’t be drowning in piles of schoolwork, so I decided to ease in and attend one of the jazz concerts that the music department throws every semester.
I arrived early to the concert so I ended up wandering around the entrance to the music hall. A sizable group of people had already assembled, also waiting for the doors to open. I definitely felt awkward with all the pacing I was doing, so I forced myself to relax and stand still. I also caught myself reaching for my phone to seem busy, so I made myself put it away and be present in the moment. (This felt incredibly uncomfortable and awkward!) When I did this, I found it interesting that few others were truly present in the moment - most people were holding their phones, whether they were checking social media, texting, or just having it on hand.
Then the doors opened and I went for a seat in the back of the hall. Baby steps, guys. I was alone in my row and feeling self conscious, and I was itching to reach for my phone. Instead, I actually read through the entirety of the program. As someone who doesn’t know anything about music history, it was nice to learn some of the stories behind the pieces being played. During the concert I found myself really focusing and noticing the different parts of the jazz band working together. And then I noticed the ways each individual fit into the performance. And then... I forgot all of my awkwardness.
Afterwards, I didn’t mill around the lobby since I didn’t know anyone who was performing. Maybe next time I'll hang around and get to know people there - who knows? Either way, I consider my first solo concert a success. It wasn’t nearly as awkward as I thought it would be, even though I felt uncomfortable in the beginning. But what I really loved was how going alone made me focus on the music much more. After all, the most important part about a concert is truly experiencing the music. And, now that I’ve done it once, I can do it again.
What do you think?
What are some some things that you feel weird doing alone? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear!