I am feeling inspired. I have just returned from a wind band concert (courtesy of Newcastle University Wind Band no less). It was set in Newcastle’s oldest church, St Andrew’s. The acoustics were brilliant, and perfectly suited for big crescendos and melodic symphonies. However, I am feeling inspired not because of the event itself, but because I went alone.
A girl from my course invited me to the concert. I asked if anyone else from the course would like to come with me, I even invited my flatmates, but they all gave the same reply ‘no thanks’. Short and sweet, leaving me completely on my own. I didn’t see this as a good enough reason not to go though. I wouldn’t want to let my friend down who had no doubt put countless hours into rehearsals and practice. I myself have just performed three dance shows with Newcastle Dance Society and the hours I had put into that have left me pretty exhausted by today.
The performance was free and they only asked for a charitable donation towards St. Oswald’s hospice in Newcastle. I arrived and sat on a pew, I had it all to myself. I like churches as I always appreciate the architecture and the man-hours that must have gone into the countless forms of labour required to build them, after all, no cranes were available in 1200AD.
I didn’t feel self-conscious; I could see my friend was clearly pleased when I arrived. I had been true to my word when I said I would go.
The concert was fabulous, much better than I expected, and something I would have been happy to pay for. St Oswald’s have had a larger donation from me than I would have originally given. They even provided cake and Pimm’s for the audience at the interval!
As I sat listening to the concert I had time to reflect on what I was doing and how busy I had been during the week. I appreciated those couple of hours when I could sit and have nothing to do. No phone to distract me, no friends to distract me, just me and my own thoughts. It also meant that although I occasionally drifted into my own mind, I actually concentrated on the music. Hearing music live frequently gives me goosebumps, and this was no exception. At one point during a ‘Les Mis’ medley I welled up, it really was that impressive. And yet there was no one there to ask if I was ok, no shoulder to cry on, just me, and I laughed. I felt completely free and realised just how much I was enjoying myself.
Sometimes it’s nice to spend some time outside of your personal space alone. I dare you to go for a meal alone, go to a concert alone, go to the cinema alone. Who is really going to judge you? And why do you care? Other people’s opinions should not affect your own happiness or enjoyment of a situation. I realised this as I sat on my pew, I was alone, but not lonely. I was thoroughly enjoying my own company.
I think everyone should regularly do something by themselves that would usually be out of their comfort zone. It’s not brave just because not everyone would do it; it’s liberating. It makes you completely comfortable with yourself. I was smiling like an idiot through some of the songs they played, having a whale of a time. It’s something I will do again.
Having friends and spending time with them is great, sometimes nothing can compare, especially when it means you have people to share memories and good times with. But you can, occasionally, be selfish and have some really good times by yourself. I dare you to try.