As I hit publish on Gig 10, I let out a sigh of relief, I didn’t have to think about the anxiety of being in public for a while now. Work, home, work, home, sleep. I shut my laptop and pressed play on Netflix, settling in for a night of Skins and wine in bed, and that’s when it happened. All of a sudden, I had a That’s So Raven moment, I was forgetting something. I was forgetting something important. Then it hit me, Lime Cordiale was fast approaching and this was at a venue I hadn’t been to for a gig in while. God damn it.
I love Lime Cordiale, so much so that I’ve forced every person in my life to listen to them, what I do not love is being surrounded by people that my anxiety very seriously (and aggressively) tells me are so much better than me. Despite all of that I was going to Lime Cordiale with a friend that I hadn’t seen for a while, easy right? Wrong. Constantly being stuck with the idea that I’m not good enough doesn’t just extend to people I don’t know. There’s a constant fear that my friends aren’t actually my friends, that they’re all pretending, that it’s some kind of inside joke. I’m no expert, but I feel that fear could be deep-rooted in me from some kind of past emotional trauma, but that’s just a theory and not a fact. Besides, if it weren’t for all the trauma, I’d be boring and not at all the comedic genius that I am today.
Leading up to Lime Cordiale I panicked, I cried, I listened to them on repeat. I knew all the words to all the songs anyway, but I wanted to be sure. I wanted to make sure everyone, who definitely wasn’t actually focussing on me at all, knew that I was a big fan. The biggest of fans. I was an industrial sized fan that deserved to be there as much as them. Before I knew it, Monday had turned into Friday and as my alarm went off at 4.30, I knew that tonight was the night. Dragging myself out of bed and to the gym was harder than every other morning, but I kept telling myself that I needed to do it for the serotonin. I spent precisely 40 minutes on the treadmill anxiously going over every possible scenario that could happen at the gig, and 20 minutes cursing myself out for writing up the most horrific HIIT circuit possible. Endorphins acquired.
I continued to stress about the night ahead in between clients at work, ironically, I spent a lot of the day coaching my clients through dealing with their own anxiety. Go home, get ready, get to the venue. Arriving before my friend meant I had to awkwardly sit outside and wait for her, which would have been fine except for all the people who were lining up waiting to go inside, and in that moment my phone had never been so interesting. Heading inside was fine, my friend is a good vibes person and she has such a calming effect on me for some reason that neither of us can figure out. We spent some time catching up and despite being calmer the idea of standing inside with the crowd and having to exude industrial fan confidence when I have the confidence of a miniature desk fan was playing on my mind.
As I headed inside to try and find a position that I would be able to see literally anything from the anxiety intensified. Were people looking at me? Was I drinking my drink too fast? Too slow? Was I standing weird? Did I look nervous? Then the music started, and just like the first time I heard them, Lime Cordiale engulfed me. As always, it’s important to mention that I truly love live music, I love the atmosphere, I love the way everyone is connected for that hour or so. As I took in what was happening around me, the sound of the crowd singing in time to songs such as Temper, What Is Growing Up, I Touch Myself, Robbery, Waking Up Easy and Dirt Cheap (these were those that were particularly loud on the crowds behalf) I was reminded of why I’m doing this. I was going so well and then I took 105 steps backwards, but I have to keep going forwards. The pure joy that I felt throughout the Lime Cordiale set was enough to convince even myself that I was an industrial fan and always had been, I just forget that sometimes. Even if I was just that tiny little desk fan, I deserved to be there and appreciate the music, I deserved to feel all the feels and to experience an entire crowd enthralled by the band.
After all, if I didn’t learn to live with my anxiety how would I ever see Lime Cordiale again? How would I ever feel the post-gig buzz? I would never have experienced the brilliance of brass instruments on stage, the electricity from both the band and the crowd. I’d just sit in my room forever, and a life without live music is not a life I want to live.
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read all the rest of the 52 gigs series