Here’s the thing; it’s one thing to say you don’t care what other people think and it’s another thing to actually realize how unimportant other’s opinions are and to let that leak into your day to day life. Let’s face it; we’re trained from a young age to be accepted and liked, and although that’s important, it’s also important to remember that we shouldn’t mold ourselves to fit into anyone else’s idea of who we should be.
So, this is where my story begins. Last Friday I went to the Tabernacle, a venue here in Atlanta, to see one of my current favorite bands, Balance and Composure. They were performing with some hometown heroes, Manchester Orchestra, but I suck and don’t know any of Manchester’s music, BUT they do put on an amazing show! I was there for Balance, who I’d seen in October at The Masquerade (another Atlanta venue), right after their new album dropped. I have been listening to them everyday since then.The thing is, a lot has happened in the months since October, people have come into my life and left it, and I feel like this band has been a constant since that day I saw them. Seeing them again was like closure and new beginnings wrapped into one. I was definitely excited. And, as always, the biggest step in a show is finding what to wear; especially if it’s at the Tabernacle, where you have chairs to sit in. OPTIONS GALORE. I decided upon this ensemble.
I chose a bandeau from Zara in the perfect mint green and paired it with a pair of pants from H&M. These pants are my new favorite; a they have lace paneling on the sides and are sheer and have a pair of hot pants as a slip of sorts. I didn’t really know what to expect as far what other people were wearing so I went full out. I even swapped out my classic, tried and true red lipstick for black.
Selfies were most definitely involved.
Okay so the point of this story? Fast forward to being at the actual venue with my best friend Marissa right before Balance and Composure comes on. I was freaking out. My heart was racing, my hands were clammy, my feet were antsy; I was sitting up in my chair about to have a panic attack, I was so excited and ready to get up and sing and dance.
The lights dim. Balance comes out. I stand up from my chair and run to the little gate at the front of the section of the second level of the venue that we are on. I was at the very front, overlooking those who were standing at the general admission section below, and I let loose.
When I say I let loose I mean, I LET LOOSE. I was dancing my heart out, and if you’ve ever been in the car with me when I play Bohemian Rhapsody, you’ll know what I mean. I was shaking my hips, screaming my lungs out to every word and I had both arms in the air the whole time. The catch? No one else was dancing. At all. Everyone else started dancing when Manchester Orchestra came on, but they weren’t so impressed by Balance and Composure. Everyone below me could look up and see me dancing and everyone behind me was taking photos and snickering and laughing. I didn’t even notice the people below us staring until Marissa pointed it out after I made her come and stand and dance next to me.
But you know what? I had the best time of my life. I LOVE dancing and I can’t imagine standing still through the set of a band who I love so much (and who are so good. Seriously if you’ve never heard Balance and Composure, check them out). It doesn’t matter to me what these random people think about me because I was so present and happy and JOYOUS when I was watching this bands set.
I was dancing with my best friend to a band who had been there longer for me this past year than a lot of other people. I sat down after the last song was finished and unintentionally started crying. It felt like I had just come off a week long juice cleanse and all my emotions were coming up. I felt whole and present and grateful and complete and kinda like I wanted to throw up. But the one thing I didn’t feel at all? Regret. No sort of regret for looking like a loon on loon tablets for dancing so hard, no regret for looking weird because I was having so much fun, no regret for truly, truly, dancing through life. Nothing. Why? Because I had so much fun, seeing some of my favorite songs live and what strangers thought of my experience was, and continues to be, completely irrelevant to the experience itself.
I went to the bathroom after the show and just took it in. Everything. I had even been able to experience the night with my best friend and also one of my closest guy friends, James. Although there weren’t enough seats for us all to sit next to one another, we grabbed James a seat a row and a few seats over from us. James and I both love Balance and after I got back to my phone once their set was finished, I saw a text from him reading “I fucking love you”. That made all the side eyes worth it.
So what’s the morale of the story? Dance. At red lights, at concerts, in your car, at work. Dance through life because we’re not promised another day or another hour; we just have this. And what’s more organic and wonderful then surrendering to a song? Whether it’s one the universe’s hum or one your favorite band singing, it doesn’t matter. Dance through life literally and metaphorically and never, EVER, be deterred from your dance because others don’t have your rythm.