adventure: new york city, ny

the objective of this adventure was the same as the last one set in new york city: attend a life changing concert. this time the guests of honor: thirty seconds to mars. the occasion: the last show of their guinness world record breaking tour.

And not to mention my first time seeing the band and my first rock concert.

thirty seconds to mars have risen to the top of the love list faster than anyone else has before. and this was the quickest turn around of falling in love and consummation. it took my entire life to finally see prince and there are many others that await me, with incubus at the top. they were going to be the first rock show, i had it all planned out in my head. but the timing was imperfect.

then mars300 was announced and i immediately pounced for a ticket. without hesitation and thought of consequences after the fact. like it would be right after final review, which was perfect for celebratory reasons, but it completely neglected the fact that i was not done after final reviews. there is documentation, there are papers, and not to mention grading.

but i know once in a lifetime when i see it, and this was it.

it gave me something to look forward to. making all the sleepless nights, muscle spasms, and tired eyes worth it. because i knew i would be able to get lost for one night with a band whose music has kept me going this semester. not to mention, see this gorgeously dedicated and dysfunctional community, the echelon, in action.

just as before, i found myself sitting in an airport watching the rain fall from gray skies and hoping that i would not be stranded. that i would not be weathered out of my experience or my money. i had already paid more for a taxi than i really wanted to and could feel my money just running from me like water off feathers.

but i was not bothered as soon as i hit the ground in new york. i was on a mission. i didn't look up the exact location of the venue before i left, but i knew it was near penn station. i knew i could find my way and just started walking. within ten minutes or so from the bus stop, i was in line. a satisfied grin on my face, which caught the eye of those who stood before me. we chatted and were quickly joined by two hooded girls without umbrellas. i offered and we became a little unit for awhile. they were from different places but i was clearly the most distant traveller. some had been to the show last night and there all four of the shows that were happening that week. only one other girl in the cluster was a virgin like me.

their stories were reminding me of the purple people i met when i came to see prince. there was such fervor over how much the show would change me, and my life. i cannot lie that i was skeptical just because i have felt that feeling before. seeing prince was surely life changing because i have loved the man my whole life. so i was unsure if my latest and greatest infatuation could do the same. i knew i would feel something because that is whole reason why love concerts. it is the most feeling that a music lover like me can do.

i am 100% alive when at a show. i am full with feeling.

i am trying to live for those moments and not go for those fleeting ones that if continually pursued will kill me. music is my welcome addiction. so i knew that i would get a fix but was it going to be the adrenaline shot to the heart, i wasn't sure yet.

i knew that i had to see them, because that was what pulled me in. the footage from shows made me want to be there and this was my shot to be there. to see how it feels.

but before any of this could happen, we had to wait. and wait and wait. part of the experience was being in the pit on the floor which meant i had to wait for my spot. and the rain never did cease. i was drenched all the way through to the lining of my wool coat, but managed to keep my clothes dry. my feet were cold, wet, and completely aching by the time i got inside. after six hours which ended with security discarding of my umbrella, which i knew i would need again after the show, i made a mad dash for coat check. i found my spot near the front and to the right of the stage. i made some more friends while waiting in line and clustered with them once inside. one girl and i bonded over our height, which is always nice. they were truly sweet. to the point of feeling really bad when i didn't get a backstage pass because the guy that offered only had three. i couldn't have imagined meeting the band to be honest, and the look on their faces let me know that this was something they had prayed for.

i'm not huge on meeting my creative loves in that way. if i am meant to cross paths with them, i shall. otherwise, their creative output is how i connect. and what i came for there tonight was to connect in the flesh and give back some of the life, light, and energy they had gifted me. no more, no less.

we sang along to the videos as they played, got really annoyed by some obnoxious people behind us and enjoyed the opening band, semi precious weapons, in all their flamboyancy while we tried to ignore how much pain we were in. i knew that once the drums for escape began that i would forget it all.

and surely i did.

what came next was a whirlwind. the first five songs were "jumping" songs that had me feeling as if i couldn't control my body due to the currents of the crowd. i was in a living organism that reacted to pull of jared leto's gravity. i grasped hands with another girl to help keep our balance. once I got the hang of it, it was fun to lose it. though i was consistently being elbowed, pushed, and hit, i knew that it came with the territory. i could not zone out because i was in motion. but i sang and jumped and banged my head until i was winded, until i was hoarse, until i am sure my brain hit up against my skull.

complete abandon.

singing every word. becoming part of this collective voice that i am sure were making the walls vibrate. i love it when you can tell that the band is amazed at your response. we delivered a performance all our own.

which i have been able to see due to the show being streamed live online to people around the world. and when i watched it for the first time, i was shaking and vibrating like i did when i was there. it was unreal to know i was there. i was part of that madness. i was lost in the mass of echelon who came to show their love to the band and break a world record.

that feeling was life changing because i no longer have to wish that i was there. i was there!

and i got to feel what i needed to feel and hear what i needed to hear. our fearless leader gave thanks to us all when receiving the certificate for the record and said what my spirit needed:

i want to say to everybody out there, the true believers that you are here tonight. i can feel it in the room. i want to tell you something. you've done something really magical, and i don't want you to take this too lightly. you have through your belief, through your will, through your passion, through your love, you have made reality from a dream.

and i want everyone in here to carry this with them for the rest of their lives, okay?

this is an example to all of you, all of you out there who want to do something different with their lives, who want to do something special, who want to contribute, who want to do something meaningful, dreams are possible you can do what you dream.

so after tonight, tomorrow, lets all promise we're gonna live the first day of our new lives, you understand? lets promise each other that we will be brave, we will fight for what we believe in, and we will live dreams.

ironically enough, it is right at the beginning of this speech when i can see myself on camera for the first time. i am catching my breath, wiping the sweat out of the hair, and looking upwards with full intent to listen. those words bolstered a conviction that has set me forth on the path i am currently on. i have to continue to press on. but i am in alignment. i am living out the things that i never thought i would do. but to have someone i admire shower those words upon me, in that particular moment, and to word it as a promise, felt like what i needed to hear.

i needed a reminder of my conviction and faith.

the show ended on a semi-high note as two girls were taken out for medical care, but both recovered thankfully. but at the time, one was still down for the count so it felt weird singing kings and queens knowing one of us had been hurt so badly she had to carried out on a stretcher. but our voices rang clear like we were sending her all the love we could muster.

afterwards, i left the venue riding the wave i tend to after shows.

but i was met with a loneliness that hadn't hit me before. other shows were followed by a gathering of some sort with the people i meet but this time i was alone in new york city. i was more exhausted and tired than i had felt all year and had to figure out how i was getting back to the airport. not to mention it was still raining, and i had work to do.

i jacked an umbrella from the ground, found a diner on corner, ate my food in silence when i realized that the last shuttle to the airport just left. so i would need to get a taxi all the way out there because i was not wondering the streets all night. the ride cost the same amount as my concert ticket! but i was just happy to be where i needed to be and dry.

i felt broken. i felt myself wondering why, why did you do this to yourself?

then i looked in my bag and saw all my little stickers and fake tattoos, and guitar picks that i got from some girls, my echegifts. i tired to forget how much pain i was in and how much my head throbbed from being hit by a crowdsurfer. i tried to write down what i could remember from the night because i didn't want the negative to outweigh the good.

and they didn't. they couldn't because i got what i came for. i got to sing, jump, dance, and lose myself for one night, with a band whose music has been carrying me at a show that meant so much to them. i got to send my thank you and share it with some very sweet people. and add yet another experience to my list of memories.

i will never forget.
i will never regret.
i will live my life.

thank you so much gentlemen and until we meet again, i believe i have promise to keep.