Saturday, October 10, 2015

My Chris Cornell Adventure

I did something rather selfish on Friday. I went to a concert. Now to most that may not seem like a big deal, but for us, it was. And you know what...it was amazing! 

I hadn't been to a concert in years so when I heard Chris Cornell was coming to Toronto, I was determined not to miss it. I've been a Soundgarden fan since the band and of the singer, Chris Cornell (and his amazing hair) since their early days when I was a teenager. I missed Soundgarden twice in the past couple years when they came to Ontario so I didn't want to miss Cornell this time.

If you didn't see my previous post, music plays a big part in my writing. Usually my work connects with a band and I listen to their albums while writing. My latest urban fantasy novel chose Chris Cornell. I have been listening to his solo albums, Soundgarden, and Audioslave for hours over the last several months while writing and revising this manuscript. So seeing Cornell preform was extra special. Anyone who writes (probably creates in general) to a soundtrack understands the connection you can develop with the music. I hear certain songs and they take me right to my characters and story. If I listen to other music and become stuck while writing, I bust out my Chris Cornell playlist and am back on track.

It was a week before the concert when I found out he was coming. But it was a Friday...of Thanksgiving weekend, so the timing was good for us to travel the six hours to Toronto. The problem was life.

I had no one to work at my store. So I decided that I'd close on Friday and Saturday if I had to. Anyone who owns a retail business knows that this is a tough decision. I need the money to pay for rent and new stock, but I also needed this. I was fortunate that a friend stepped up and said she would keep my store open for the couple days.

Then it was my husband's work. He couldn't get Friday off so we'd have to leave once he was done work at 10 a.m. This meant the possibility of driving about seven hours to my parents' place to drop the kids off, then another two to Toronto (on a long weekend), then back to my parents' again after the show. Given that my husband gets up at 4 a.m., I thought that was too much, but my husband insisted we could do it. Thankfully, I have a wonderful family and someone met us part way to pick up the kids.

Of course we need tickets. Ticketmaster was sold out. So we paid an a ton more for tickets off another provider. I'm trying not to think of that because it still bites my ass, especially since we live on a tight budget.

It would have been easier to say, "Forget it," and just stay home. With the number of people we had to inconvenience, the hassle, and the money, not going would have been the way I usually handled it.

I'm going to be very honest. The past year has been rough. Everyone has their hardships, so I won't go into mine, but let's just say lately it's been stress headaches for four weeks, insomnia, and tears. I was done in many ways. I knew I needed something like this, something I could count as a win because there haven't been many lately. When I told my husband about the concert, he knew it too. When I brought up all the buts, he said, "You deserve to do something for yourself."

You only live once and it wasn't like it was anything drastic, like taking off to Europe. It was one concert, by a musician that I truly admire and love. It was one thing that would mean a lot to me and give me the pick me up I needed.

So, I threw caution to the wind, called on several people to help make this work, and went. This was about indulging myself and reminding myself that I can have fun.

Am I ever glad I did.

I waited all week for something to come up that would keep us from going (seriously, that's been my luck for the last year). I tried not to get too excited because I worried it would be taken from me.

But the universe smiled on me.

My husband and I got to Toronto early enough to hang out downtown, which we hadn't done in years. It also gave us some together time, which is very rare for us.

Then we headed to Massey Hall, which is a fantastic venue for a concert. Put an amazing singer like Chris Cornell in there and you have a memorable night. We sat in the balcony to the right side of the stage in second row. They were really good seats. Cornell took the stage a little late because, being the awesome man he is, he was texting his wife who was worried that the plane she was on was going to crash. Once she was safely landed, he took the stage. He played a two and a half acoustic set that included solo stuff, Soundgarden, Audioslave, and a number of covers. Cornell sounded amazing. Sometimes you get fantastic singers who don't sound as good live as they do on an album. That was not the case with Cornell. He was amazing (yes, I know I keep saying that, but he was!).

Going to that concert was worth the hassle of arranging the trip, the six hour drive (five hours of it with kids), and the money. Every now and then you have to do something for yourself, to remind yourself who you are, and to simply have a good time. It's easy to get bogged down in daily life and forget to live. Because I gave myself this, I feel refreshed and ready to keep on fighting. 

Thank you Chris Cornell for the amazing show and the pick me up I needed. It gave me something positive to look forward to when things weren't going well.

For everyone else, my message is go see Chris Cornell! Just kidding, though if you are a fan do. Find something you love and treat yourself every now and then. You deserve it.

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