Solo Date Night + How Going to Concerts Alone Helped Me Through a Breakup
I originally wrote a draft of the below words to be an Instagram caption, but sometimes I get carried away with Instagram captions and feel like I should move certain things over to here instead. Especially since I haven't posted on here much recently. So, I went to see one of my absolute favorite musicians, Marc Broussard, for the second time last night. I saw him last year at The Troubadour (one of my favorite venues!), and that was probably the third or fourth concert I had been to alone. When I heard a few months ago that he was coming back to LA, I immediately bought a solo ticket. This time he was gonna be at the Teragram Ballroom, and one of my musician friends told me that's a great venue (which I can now confirm). I knew he was here on a Friday night, and I usually work Friday nights, but I just bought the ticket and was luckily able to get my shift covered the week of. Phew! I've written about my appreciation for solo concert dates in a previous post (I just reread that post, and it still really resonates with me, so give it a read if ya wanna), but here I am reflecting again. Just tryna be reflectin' foreverrrrr.
Marc Broussard @ Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles, 9/28/18
Two years ago, I was going through a breakup and found that I had forgotten how to be alone. Or I never really was happily alone. And I’d supported boyfriends and their dreams without also supporting and properly taking care of myself. As a child of divorce, I spent my entire life hoping for love and looking for it everywhere. Starting at a young age, I never wanted to go out with friends if I didn’t think I might meet someone where we were going. Which is insane. And as much as everyone saw me as “independent” for moving 3,000 miles away from home at 18 all by myself, I knew I was far from independent. I used to not do things if I didn’t have a friend or boyfriend to go with me. If a band or artist I loved was in town but I didn’t have anyone to go with, I wouldn’t go. If I wanted to see a movie but didn’t have anyone to go with, I wouldn’t go. Buuut, in the midst of my last breakup, I decided to kick my ass out of my comfort zone and buy a solo ticket to see my favorite country duo, Brothers Osborne. It was weird and exciting and uncomfortable and empowering and fun. Now I go to concerts alone. It’s just something I do. The same goes for movies. The beach. Lunches and dinners on occasion. Day trips. I’ve come to genuinely prefer to do a lot of things alone, and I often feel bad when friends are like, “I’d love to go with you next time!” I simply cherish my alone time in a way I never did before. Hopefully not too much. Maybe too much. Being by yourself at a concert is such a lesson in being in your body. Sometimes I joke to myself in my head, “How many sips of this glass of whiskey or how many songs from the opening band is it gonna take for me to start swaying to the music and dancing alone without feeling self-conscious?” Sometimes I meet cool people at concerts, and other times (most of the time) I talk to absolutely no one but the door guys and the bartender. Sometimes (too often) I get hit on by drunk married dudes. And sometimes I tip more than i should (jk, literally always). I, oddly, feel at my most comfortable and uncomfortable alone at concerts. I feel most in tune with my singleness and my body in that environment. I feel genuine happiness for the couples around me that are holding each other and enjoying beautiful music together but also endlessly appreciative that I’m not one half of one of the couples. Because I’m getting to know myself better and better and loving on myself in a way that only comes from having been absolutely crushed from heartbreak and all the grief and rebuilding that comes after it. And that's what I need right now. That's what's bringing me happiness and clarity and will ultimately make me a better partner to someone else when the time comes. Being alone is so much more fulfilling than feeling alone with another person. Allll that being said, I had a great time watching Marc Broussard and his band absolutely crush it! It took about one glass of whiskey (my only glass of the night, 'cause I've been a very good girl lately) for me to start shakin' my booty. (I think I just use the whiskey as a placebo of my own choosing.) I barely talked to anyone, got hit on by a drunk married guy at the very end, and then I took a lyft home and did a little late-night snacking. Can't complain!
Now lemme bless your ears with some snippets, okay?! Okay.
"Fire on the Bayou"
"Lonely Night in Georgia"
"The Beauty of Who You Are"
"Cry to Me"