When I was in high school one of my favorite things to do was attend concerts. My best friend and I would go to a show what felt like once a month where we would have the time of our lives. I was the girl that people would look at and say, “What is this twelve year old doing here without her parents?” Although I wasn’t quite that young, I was of the very unripe age of fifteen and very much without parental supervision in the city of Chicago late into the night. Fortunately, nothing unlucky ever happened to us, and even though I’m thankful for this, it isn’t the point of this blog post. More so, it’s that I’m grateful for my parents trusting me and my friends enough to do something that gave me that much joy, which I unfortunately have lost somewhere on the rode to becoming a crisp, yet tender, but not at all flaky age of twenty-one.

Last Friday I took my mom out to see the Lumineers at Allstate Arena and while I thought it was a great show and had a good time, I wasn’t anywhere near feeling the joy I felt seeing a really terrible boyband at a cramped up venue with people who were probably twice my age. And you could say, “Well, Justina. You went with your mom”, and I’d tell you that my mom is way cooler than I imagine myself to be and, I’d even dare say, has more friends than I do. But I’d also tell you that I haven’t felt that certain sweaty fifteen-year-old concert attendee joy in a really long time, with or without my mom as my company.

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I, to this day, frequent the concert halls and bars of Chicago and its outskirts, but something about it is less exciting. Maybe it’s because my taste in music has changed. Maybe it’s because I’m older, and everything, since the overly hormonal prepubescent years, seems a lot duller. This is probably the winner, but I’ll go ahead and entertain a few more possibilities. Maybe it’s because the one friend I went to nearly every show with has become a lot less close to me. Maybe I’ve forgotten how to have fun. Or maybe it’s the combination of the first two because if I’m being honest, all I really want to do is end up at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge and listen to jazz music since, as one of my friends puts it, I’m actually thirty-five years old inside.

It’s odd because suddenly it’s 10pm and I’m tired at a concert of a band I truly do enjoy, I kind of want to go home, and my back is starting to hurt from standing too long. My friend Rita would probably correct herself after reading this and say, “I take it back, you’re actually eighty-five inside”, which is exactly what she did say when I told her I wanted to learn how to knit not too long ago. The data is inconclusive and I have no idea what’s wrong with me. All I know is that I wouldn’t mind having the desire to scream the words to every We The Kings song like the fan girl I once was. But, those were simpler times. The music was terrible, and the presidency was okay.

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