I breathe a sigh of relief when I see the bus approach the station. I, along with four other long-suffering passengers, ambled towards the bus. We were simply eager to get to Chicago as soon as possible. I was feeling bothered as the bus had been delayed for two hours and the time it took from me could have been used to prevent the need for me to skip my morning classes in the first place.
I handed my ticket to the bus driver, who peers at me through her dark sunglasses. I try not to stare so much at the large gold hoop earrings she was wearing. Without a smile, she asks: “Where are you headed to, Miss-”
“She’s skipping class today to a concert, ma’am!” One of the passengers I was waiting with – and made the mistake of being too chatty with – who is a smiley and overexcited middle-aged man, cuts in a booming voice.
The bus driver raises her eyebrows at me. I could only smile meekly.
For it was totally true, I planned this entire two-day-one-night trip to Chicago just to see The 1975.
The doors of the concert open at 6 p.m. and frustratingly enough due to the delay I was barely even in Chicago yet by the time 4 p.m. rolled around. The bus delay had taken my chance to have a ‘chill’ ride to the hostel I was staying at and then to the concert venue. I suppose the universe can do whatever it wants to me, further propelling the fact that nothing ever really goes as plan. With that, I recline in my seat and prepare myself for the concert by listening to their songs.
It’s 5.16 p.m. and I’m on the train to get to the concert venue. Times like these is where I am severely reliant on Google Maps to get me to places. I can barely remember much from the rush it took from where the bus dropped me off to actually getting to my hostel where I could dump all my things. I didn’t have much time left till the venue doors open and I felt a little bummed out because I knew I would probably be at the back of the line. Ah well, I looked decent enough at the very least. It warranted a classy restroom selfie, okay?
Of course, the line to get in spanned across three blocks. I don’t know why but I felt weirdly vulnerable walking down the line by myself. It wasn’t a walk of shame, but maybe a walk of self-inflicted loneliness? I was seeing all these people who came in groups chattering and radiating a sort of warmth amongst themselves even in the cold. It made me miss my friends who would be down to boogie and jam to The 1975. But then, after texting said friends to moan about the long wait and having them send me their love and support, that feeling faded away.
So, I joined the line and took out a packet of M&Ms to eat. I even offered the people around me in the queue. It’s amazing how this packet of chocolates became such a wonderful conversation starter because that’s how I started talking to these two girls. We got on so well that we exchanged favorite The 1975 songs, names and Instagram accounts.
Not to be dramatic but I really messed up my priorities for this night. My finals were coming up next week and I willingly chose to skip two days worth of classes. I remember telling some people about this and I remember how amused or surprised they were I was doing this. My friend, Quentin, who was a serial class-skipper actually told me, “Naw man, Marsya. Even I know that you’re never supposed to miss the final week of classes.”
How reassured I felt from his words. Not only that, I took out money from my grocery shopping budget to fund this trip. I didn’t even have the balls to tell my parents about this trip because I knew they would disapprove, even though I always make it a point to let them know where I am. What if, in the end, all this really wasn’t worth it? All these thoughts were in my head as I stared at the empty stage, the crowd around me cheering and yelling for The 1975 to come on.
And then they did come on. As soon as Matty emerged to the front of the stage in his gloriously sexy scrawny form bathed in the stage’s neon pink lights, the crowd starting to cheer and scream in a unifying crescendo. Immediately, all of my fears ebbed away. Yes, this was all worth it. The beat for their song Love Me comes on and I started screaming along.
A day has passed. I type this post up as the bus bounces up and down the highway. My textbooks for my morning exam tomorrow rest by my side and I’m eating another packet of chocolate to starve off hunger pangs. Ultimately, I feel absolutely wonderful. Who wouldn’t be if you got the chance to see one of your favorite bands live? Especially if the experience was amazing, in every sense of the word? I’m rather proud of myself that I planned and executed this trip by and for myself. It’s a feat that the friends I made at the concert really were inspired by.
So I say this, sometimes there are things you wanna go to but the universe isn’t giving it to you in a pretty package with a bow. The cards aren’t always lined up. I really think if it’s something important to you, sometimes it’s worth it to try your best by straightening the cards yourself.