Photo: Hoong Wei Long
Not so daring I hear you say, but as a thought nothing ever is. When no one wanted to go see Oh Land with me, I wasn’t prepared to miss out because everyone and their cat were too busy to go. Oh Land has been one of my favourite artists for a while and I was intrigued to see if her live show would measure up to the album that had been the soundtrack to one too many dance parties (in my room, I might add) and I wasn’t prepared to miss it because I would be alone.
Initially, the task at hand didn’t seem too bad, but as 7pm approached, so did my rush of nerves. It wasn’t so much the being alone that bothered me, it was the worry that people might laugh and point at me, or if I wanted to dance, I’d be dancing by myself in a crowd full or couples and groups.
I won’t lie to you, I did nearly stop myself from going so as to stop the embarrassment I would inevitably feel, however I knew that doing this would be not only good for my confidence but also I wouldn’t have to feel the regret of not going afterwards (or would I regret going at the end of the night).
Me, being the punctual lady that I am, arrived at the venue on the dot of 7pm, of course, it was still empty which made me feel like even more of a sore thumb than I was expecting to feel. I walked over to the bar and got a drink and hesitantly made conversation with the bar man, who I still think felt sorry for me being by myself. As the venue started filling, I moved myself nearer the stage and tried to blend in as much as possible. Of course, the stress was still there but I could feel the ease settling in, realising that the people were there for the music and not there to make me feel uncomfortable and that they probably didn’t even care.
As the supports played, I felt my arms swaying, my feet tapping and my stress float away. Between acts I even found myself talking to a group of students, I asked them what they thought of people going to gigs alone and if they would ever do it. Their reaction was not what I expected but definitely what I had been hoping to hear. They expressed that the ability to do things on your own makes you appreciate yourself more. By the time Oh Land came on stage, all my inhibitions had gone and I was truly able to enjoy myself without being worried that someone might be laughing at me behind me, I knew that if I did hear laughs it was probably at my dance moves more than anything. I was able to enjoy the music in a way that had never been possible when I had been to gigs before, I didn’t have to worry about my friend I was with, or be embarrassed if I did something stupid because I wouldn’t have to be reminded about it the next day.
It was more of a relief than anything else. I had finally found something that I could enjoy by myself. To be honest, I actually preferred being by myself and it’s a shame that I had been too scared to be alone at a gig before that.
I think we should try and get rid of the stigma around doing things alone. We should start to enjoy our own company. Why should being alone be something that people will criticise you for or make you feel bad about? When really it should be the opposite. We should embrace ourselves and treat ourselves to fun things and not rely on others to do so.