Many of us humans spend an inordinate amount of time bellyaching over small decisions. We also spend a lot of time making the same mistakes over and over, having to spiral back to the same lessons repeatedly until we learn them. Allow me to free you from at least one issue tied up in both of these problems: Buy the damn concert tickets.
Just buy them.
This topic is a bit of a departure from my other posts, I know, and I'm sure you are all just dying to read part two of my skin picking story, but indulge me here. Because the universe is whispering "Buy the damn concert tickets" into my ear every day lately, even louder than it usually does. And so I'd like you, dear readers, to also benefit from that lesson.
Why should you buy the concert tickets? (Or gather around the street musician, or bring the guitar or the karaoke machine out onto your stoop, or go to the free outdoor show, or go to the sing-along musical at the movie theater, or go to the dance party at the festival, or go to the bar where your friend is spinning records).
Yesterday on my bike ride to work, I was listening to social worker and researcher Brené Brown's new book, Braving the Wilderness, which is basically a fiercely honest roadmap of the only way we might be able to dig humanity out of the mess of divisiveness we're in. I highly recommend it. I was listening with thoughts still lingering in my mind of my weekend of two amazing live shows- one of which culminated in the audience standing and singing We Shall Not Be Moved and Gracias a La Vida with Joan Baez and Lila Downs. (Not lying. I couldn't make that shit up.) It was a purely magical experience. I'd been thinking all weekend about how amazingly alive and connected I feel at shows. So much so that I was inspired on Sunday to commit a lot of money and travel a lot of miles to go with my friends to see Tori Amos play in Oregon in November. So I was riding my bike on Monday, and Brené's talking in my ear about the importance of connecting with strangers, now more than ever. The bridges that we can build with simple but emotional experiences. Then, like she's reading my mind, she begins talking about concerts. About all the studies indicating that experiencing music with others is one of the fastest, most powerful ways to build those connections. Music is so immediately visceral, it's no wonder it's one of the best and easiest ways to connect with strangers. To name and unearth our pain, and to experience joy. This information rings so true, because our hearts have always known it. Emotionally connecting with ourselves and each other is why humans make and share music in the first place, isn't it?
Soon after I arrived at work, I learned of Tom Petty's death. I thought of my brother and my friend who both saw him in concert recently, realizing a dream they'd long had. Of my friend's initial hemming and hawing over the price of the ticket, and how glad she was that she'd decided to buy it. (Even before he'd passed, but now more than ever.) I thought again of how I felt when Prince died, but mostly, of how I felt when he lived. Because he was truly alive. And he helped me and everyone around me to truly be alive.
And it was not lost on me that the Las Vegas tragedy was during a concert. The horror of it all. Was it made better or worse for people because they had experienced a heightened sense of love and connection with strangers, right before the violent hatred? Only the survivors can tell us. My hope is that their belief in humanity is kept afloat partly by some of the beautiful experiences they had, even immediately before they had one of the worst experiences imaginable.
I know that my own belief in humanity involves- requires, actually- dancing and singing and smiling and embracing. And all of that comes much more naturally when there is music.
So, buy the damn concert tickets. Buy them to support artists. Buy them because watching You Tube alone at home shouldn't be the only way you experience music. Buy them because it's called live music for a reason. Buy them because having something on the calendar to anticipate will immediately spike your happiness. Buy the tickets to the show because it is in line with your values of spending on experiences over material goods. Buy them because, of all the things you regret spending money on, going to a concert has never been one of them.
So, just buy the damn concert tickets.
Literally, for humans' sakes, buy them.
is a health-seeker and health educator living in the US in San Francisco, California. She is also a former (and maybe future) high school English teacher, and she loves words. Maybe health seeker looks better with a hyphen, or maybe it doesn't. You should just get over it. Even if she cannot.