Social anxiety. A lot of people have it. Especially in my age group.
It's rough. It causes stress and fright and puts a huge strain on your ability to function in everyday life.
But, sometimes, you are able to find a place that doesn't give you that - a place that allows you to feel safe, comforted, happy, and like you're home.
It could be your family's home, a friend's home, a dance studio, a band room, or a school. It could be anywhere for anyone.
But, my place? I have a home at concerts.
What concerts? I'm sure you could assume by now. But, yes, Niall Horan concerts.
I'm not going to go into depth about his concerts specifically, because it's not that important, but I think it's important to understand why concerts are so different for me than any other social setting.
I can't remember a time where I didn't have anxiety. I think I've always had it, but it became even more prevalent in college, and I couldn't find a place to fit in. It's not that easy as to find a club or find a new friend around campus. I had to find my own niche; my own place where I belong.
Concerts helped me get there, specifically my Niall concerts. I met my best friends because of my concerts. It's the one place in the entire world where suddenly I'm not afraid of anything. I am singing loudly and dancing like no one is next to me. I am wearing outfits I have never had the confidence to wear before. I am traveling the country to see my favorite artist.
I am my best self when I am at a concert with my favorite person.
It's hard to understand, I get it. How could someone be so comfortable in a huge environment with people they don't know but aren't able to go to a party or a club because it's with people they aren't around?
I don't know how to explain it. It's a different feeling. With every concert, each person is there for the same reason. We are there for our best friend, with our best friends, singing our favorite songs. We all go to feel loved, accepted, and free. It's the one place we have in the world without judgment.
It's the one place where I feel free to be my true self. I hold nothing back. I'm not afraid to sing loud, to dance obnoxiously, to yell out "Yeah, baby!" in front of friends. It's a place I can call home.
So, before you judge someone on why they don't feel anxious in a concert, take a second to think about why they feel that way. Just because concert doesn't seem like your average safe space, let me tell you, it is for a lot of people.
It's important to recognize this.
Because, let me tell you, a concert is my favorite place to be.