Taylor Smith is a sophomore news and magazine major and writes “Bold Type” for The Ball State Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper.
When Harry Styles toured in the summer of 2018, I saw him eight times in seven different cities across the United States. I was criticized for it.
“That’s such a waste of money!”
“Isn’t it the same show every time?”
“You’re too obsessed.”
“Why don’t you put that money toward something else?”
“Because Harry Styles makes me happy,” I said, “And I like being happy.”
People watch their favorite movie more than once, attend more than one sporting event to support their favorite team and visit the same city multiple times because it makes them happy.
So, why is it wrong for me to want to see my favorite musician more than once for the same reasons?
After I graduated high school, I asked family members to help me make my trips to see Styles around the country possible, and for a while, my mom was the only one who understood why I would want to see him more than once.
She took me to New York City for my senior trip to see him perform at Madison Square Garden two nights in a row. She helped me check ticket resale sites on a daily basis, waiting for the perfect seats at the perfect price to appear, and when they did, we bought them as soon as we could and planned our trip across half the U.S.
I have never been as happy as I was while I was singing the lyrics to Style’s song “Kiwi” at the top of my lungs in New York City, standing in awe behind the pit as the floor shook beneath my feet and one of my favorite people in the world was on a stage 20 feet away from me.
In that moment, everything in my life was absolutely perfect.
After those trips, other members of my family began to understand why I wanted to go to so many of them, and they promised next time he toured they would take me again — not because they knew I loved him, but because they had never seen me happier than I was when I was singing along to the lyrics that saved my life.
Styles’ lyrics saved me from myself, from people who would bully me in middle school, from my eating disorder and from my anxiety. He made me strong, and seeing him multiple times was my way of thanking him.
I took the lyrics “choose your words” from Styles’ song “Ever Since New York” and got them tattooed on my wrist, making them a permanent part of who I am and giving myself a constant reminder. When I got to hear those lyrics sang live — see the person who wrote them with my own eyes and sing them at the top of my lungs with him — something inside of me made everything feel OK.
It’s the perfect moment — it’s magical, and it’s addicting.
That’s why I’m doing everything I can to make sure I can feel that again. I work as often as possible. I save every dollar I make, putting most toward my college tuition, but saving a percentage of each paycheck to make touring with my favorite artist possible. I schedule and plan everything out to the minute, and then I make it happen.
For my friends and me, concerts are moments we want to relive as often as we can, so we work hard in order to make that our reality.
By going to more than one concert, I am not affecting anyone else. I am not taking away anyone else’s opportunity to see that musician. I am not taking away anyone else’s time.
I am doing it for me because it makes me happy, it helps me make friends and because there is no other place in the world that makes me feel the way I do when I am standing front row at a Styles concert singing my favorite songs at the top of my lungs, arm in arm with my best friends, having the time of my life.
Contact Taylor with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @taynsmithh.