Music has been the one place where I feel the most like myself in public.
A part of me thinks it’s because it’s an environment where it’s normal to go the whole night without having to talk to anyone. I don’t need to explain myself to anyone or give a damn about how I appear to the world. I don’t need to impress anyone or overthink any interactions. I’m literally lost in the moment. Or drum kicks, if you will. And everyone else who’s there is also in that same mindset. We’re all there to dance away all the fucks that had been weighing us down, to see the greatest musical heavyweights, and to discover the newest up-and-coming acts that we will spend the rest of the week listening to on Spotify.
Being on the dance floor is where I am at my most confident. I never think twice about what I’m wearing or worry about what others might say. Nobody has ever verbally passed judgment on my makeup or clothing. It’s the one time where I’m not hesitant to play up an edgier alter ego. And I honestly don’t give a shit if anyone’s staring, which is a complete 180 of how I feel most of the time.
It is the one place where I’m not too self-conscious to weave back and forth through the crowds, to smile at a stranger, or stop to make sure someone’s okay. This is where many small moments, forever fleeting or just beginning to bloom into a long-term friendship, have led people to connect with each other who would otherwise never meet.
Music is an escape, but it’s through it that I feel like my authentic self. The person I wish I could at all hours – someone who isn’t hesitant or looking for ways to blend into the crowd while ignoring the stabbing loneliness of being a wallflower. This is what I have missed the most as we reach the ninth month of solitude, an ache I’ve been trying to dull without avail. All I can do is be patient, along with the rest of the world, and hope we can return to a sense of norm in the upcoming new year.