It's true that you don't get to choose what stays and what stays behind. I'm sure we all have some really random things we remember years later. When I am really sad and just don't have time to feel it all, I make myself imagine the happiest things that I can to bring out warm and fuzzy emotions instead.
I used to sit and reflect on the endless directions that life can pull us, and would get lost in elaborate daydreams of the various different places I could end up, the different types of work I could be doing in 15 years, and wondering about the people who will become crucial to me whom I don't yet know. It always filled me with hope and determination. However, time seems to become a scarce resource as we get older, so I found something that requires much less of it: pulling from my happiness memory bank.
A really popular mental destination of mine is the first Florence and the Machine concert I went to with my friend Kitty.
It was a weekend trip, because did I mention the concert was in Los Angeles?
The drive there was pretty spectacular. We shamelessly jammed out to our favorite ladies to get in the concert mood. After we got a couple of date milkshakes, I passed one of the ultimate friendship tests back then (somehow), because Kitty was actually letting me drive her fancy car.
It was shortly after she let me take over that she discovered one of my most endearing qualities: my intense phobia of semi trucks.
The rest of the ride was just a thrill for her, and a test to how well I could hold my pee in (from the intense laughter...and scares) for me.
We realized as we were entering the Wiltern that night that most of the concert goers were females, in relationships with other females. We thought that was adorable, and I tried to hold Kitty's hand and pretend to be her lover but I don't think she was amused.We got an amazing spot. We were as close to the front as we could be without being in the pit, standing against the dividing wall. We had a better view than those in the pit, anyways.
I'm super impatient and wanted the openers to hurry up so I could see Florence already.
I was not expecting to fall in love that night, but I did. With Grouplove.
They opened for Florence and the Machine. I still don't know if it was the caffeine pills I took before the show, or magic, or what. All I know is that I suddenly felt...alive. I felt like I was waking up from a coma. I felt like how someone must feel when they get told they're going to Hogwarts. Fireworks were going off in my head. The band just seemed so happy, liberated, and connected to one another. It was palpable.
I think they were playing Gold Coast when I noticed the girl. There was a girl in the pit, dancing. She wasn't...dancing with anyone. She wasn't doing conventional dance moves. She was just dancing. It was like she could feel the music in her soul, like she anticipated what the next note would be before it was played.
She was surrounded by people, but she was in her own world. She didn't care what anyone thought. I don't know how to describe this emotion. I watched her and I simultaneously wished I could be as free as she was, but also wished I never had to know what that was like. It was tragically beautiful.
I don't know that girl, I don't know her story, I just know that at that moment I wanted to know everything about her, and I wanted to give her a hug. I didn't say anything to her though because I didn't want her to stop dancing.
I'll never forget what it was like watching Florence and the Machine at the Wiltern, the dress malfunction, the electric energy, or singing myself hoarse. I'll never forget how excited I was about Grouplove, buying their EP, and meeting Andrew afterwards (and telling him he smelled good, what?). I also won't ever forget that girl, dancing in the pit.