I am a reluctant groupie. I do completely nonsensical things, along with my best friend, in order to see our favorite bands live, and I have a hard time owning this fact about myself. About a year ago my friend told me she was going to make a trip to Seattle to visit a friend, but she was waiting for our favorite band to announce new tour dates so she could also catch a show while there. When the dates were announced, I decided that I might have to get in on it too. This would not be the first time we have gone to such extremes and it’s probably not even the craziest thing we have done. As luck would have it, I had enough airline points to fly for free, and even luckier the concert was happening during a three-day-weekend.
When we made these plans, I didn’t yet know how much things would be changing in my life. I didn’t know then that I was on the brink of having my world turned upside down. When the time came for me to actually go, I couldn’t muster up my usual level of enthusiasm. I’ve been stuck in a loop of sad-mad-scared-stressed and this trip was starting to feel like a really bad idea. Did I really need to be flying across the country to go to a concert with everything else I have going on in my life right now?
The answer was most definitely yes.
My time in Seattle was completely restorative. I was without my kid so I got an extremely rare break from being Mom. I got to go to an incredible show, which is my most favorite thing to do in the world. I got to see Kurt Cobain’s guitars and read pages from Jimi Hendrix’s diary at the EMP Museum. (Where else would groupies go on vacation?) I got to sit on a rooftop patio with my bestie, sipping cocktails and gushing like high school girls over the musician we had discovered the night before. Going through with this trip meant that I gave myself something I wasn’t even aware I needed.
I thought I had been taking pretty good care of myself. I have been reaching out to friends. I’ve been trying to be extra patient with my kid, knowing that she is also hurting. I have been listening to music, making time to write, and treating myself to ice cream a little more than usual. I have been taking the high road even when it has hurt like hell to do so. What I haven’t been doing is giving myself time to just step outside of my world. It’s a hard thing to do when I’m low on resources on all fronts. This past weekend, though, I was reminded of how good it feels, how necessary it becomes to allow time for escape, to allow room for nothing but those things that bring me joy. Obviously, I can’t just board a plane whenever the mood strikes, but I’m going to commit to giving myself permission to “check out” more often. If those times happen to coincide with a concert, well, that’s even better.