Courage in the Attempt

  Welcome to another segment of "this makes me anxious but I'm going to do it anyway." On Wednesday I went with a long-time friend of mine, Krista, on a day trip to Albany, NY. Our other long-time friend, Chloe, moved there immediately after we graduated high school in 2013, but we'd never been out to visit her. We were motivated by a free concert featuring The Vaccines not 30 minutes from her house. 

  I should preface this by saying that I'm not really a concert person. The last concert I went to was Vampire Weekend in December, 2013, and I only went because, well, it was Vampire Weekend. But I had a concussion at the time, and was recovering from a car accident, so it wasn't the best experience. Consequently, I haven't been to a concert since then. And I haven't wanted to. But the allure of a free concert and seeing a friend who I so rarely get to see nowadays was too tempting to pass up.

  Krista and I spent the two hour car ride discussing how and why we have commitment issues and listening to The Vaccines. The quote of the trip was, "get a good look at this asshole when I pass him." When we arrived in Albany, we kicked off the day by picking Chloe up and heading into the vaguely Stars-Hollow-esque town of Ballston Spa. We got waffles at this place called the Iron Roost, and I tried my first ever "savory waffle." It was a BLT served on a waffle sandwich. All I can say about this experience is that I want to start a waffle based religion.



 After stuffing our faces, we walked around and shopped. In one particular antique store, I got my hands on a gold revolver that Ron Swanson would have been in love with. So I posed with it, obviously.






  After this, I went to Lush for the first time in my life, which was an out-of-body experience. The store itself was pretty small, but evidently not small enough...as I still did $20 worth of damage. (That got me 3 bath bombs, in case you were wondering.)

  From here we went straight to the concert venue, where we sat, waited, and wondered if anyone was even going to show up. But eventually the show started and a small crowd of people formed, with us at the front. I'm not going to lie, I didn't feel like I was in my element there. I just find that I can't lose myself in the music quite like others can. I'm too tall, gangly and far too aware of my body and surroundings. But seeing how this show made my friends so happy, energized, and elated...seeing the smiles on their faces...in turn made me happy.



  When The Vaccines played Norgaard at the very end of their set, however, I did lose myself. I danced like the crazy nerd that I am, because I love that song, and it's been my favorite song of theirs for years. I have so many memories listening to this band, so it was really cool to see them live, in a fun and not too rowdy setting. And after the show, my friend Krista was able to get a picture with the lead singer, Justin!

  In conclusion, I may be young, but sometimes I act like an old lady. I like to be in bed by 11 and I don't like to be around people who are drunk/high. I don't like lines, I don't like standing, and I like to eat frequent meals. But I challenged myself on Wednesday, and I surprised myself by having a good time. At the start of 2015, I scribbled this little list of goals for myself in my journal. Not resolutions, necessarily, but things I wanted to do more of. The list looked like this:

Goals for 2015:
Be more adventurous
Be healthier
Grow (Mentally + emotionally)
Create more than you have ever created before
Be happy

 There's this quote from one of my favorite movies, Before Sunrise, that goes,

"You know I believe if there's any kind of God, it wouldn't be in any of us. Not you, or me. But just...this little space in between. If there's any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it's almost impossible to succeed but who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt."

  Halfway through this year, I think I can say that I've been consistently doing those things on my list for a few months now. It hasn't been easy, and I've had to push myself a lot, but progress doesn't happen overnight. It has taken constant vigilance, constant mindfulness. But I truly believe that not only is the answer in the attempt, but courage is as well.

 -Fran