concrete jungle.

the following is a letter I wrote earlier this year when I was looking for internships in New York. I stumbled across it in my Google Docs and thought it would be cool to share with you guys. enjoy!


JANUARY 2016

I can’t lie to you. New York has intimidated me for a long time. It’s uncharted territory, like Mars, or Australia, and I have only in the past couple of weeks made any attempt to actually rectify that, thanks to my neo-New Yorker mom. She made the move from Philadelphia to Hell’s Kitchen over the summer, and while I spent my fall semester in London, she sprouted wings and flourished there. Seeing my mother so in love with New York, and knowing that mother knows best, I figured I would give la Grande Pomme a fair chance. As expected, as she is right about everything else, my mother was right about New York.

I am constantly surprised by how quickly we as humans can adjust to new environments. The few trips I’ve taken to Manhattan recently have not been enough to truly decide whether or not I can blossom there, but I am feeling more and more confident about it with every passing day. I took the New York subway once, and by the second trip, I knew where I was going. With each passing moment, I can see myself living and working in New York more and more. Almost every time I speak to someone in my field, I am told that I should consider looking for internships and future jobs in New York if I really want to make an impact in the media, and I am starting to agree with that.

Until I left Philadelphia, I never wanted to leave Philadelphia. After spending four months studying in London, I am realizing that while I love Philadelphia, and while it will always be my home, I am pigeon-holing myself by expecting to stay there while pursuing my career (whatever that may be). How can I possibly grow in a city I already know like the back of my hand? London is just as crowded, big and intimidating as New York, and I still fell pathetically in love with it in a matter of days, giving tiny Philly a run for its money. If I can handle a massive metropolitan city like that in Europe, I know I can handle New York too.

I am a third-year journalism and public relations student at Temple University. I am 20 years old. If you ask me where I see myself in five years, I don’t actually know what I would say. I could end up doing investigative reporting for HuffPo in New York or doing PR for Taylor Herring in London. I could end up staying in Philly and writing for the Inquirer or find myself somewhere totally different. The possibilities are endless. I have no idea where I am going, and I’m okay with that. All I know is that I have to consider any and all of my options.

Philly has had me for 20 years, and London got me for a few months, but now I’m thinking it’s time to give New York a shot. There are aspects of both my hometown and Londontown in Up and Downtown, and with every comparison and connection I make, ten new things make their way onto my Pro-New York list. Every time I think about my potential career path(s), I am more and more drawn to the idea of thriving in Manhattan, and I intend to make it happen. New York is big and intimidating, but so is my future, and I am ready for it.


xx Gabi

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home away from homesickness.

the following is a short stream-of-consciousness post originally written for my personal tumblr blog, slightly edited to exclude the many profanities originally included in it. 

I’ve been missing London so much lately.

I miss my boyfriend like hell, but now that I’ve spent time with him outside of London and in Philly, I’m realizing just how much I actually miss London itself. They’ve become two separate things because they’re no longer connected the way they used to be. I miss Simon beyond words, but now it’s becoming very clear to me just how much London as a city has come to mean to me. It’s no longer just because Simon is there and I want to be where Simon is. Simon was here, in my city, in my apartment, nowhere near London, and I still missed London.

I miss the tube, the underground, my commute to and from school. I miss the streets and the cars and the people. I miss the dirty-ass Thames. I miss Boots. I miss Oxford Street, and Primark. I miss the countryside full of greenery and cows. I miss the train ride to Simon’s house. I miss Simon’s family, Simon’s friends, Simon’s car. I miss having such easy access to the rest of Europe. I somehow miss living in a tiny closet, because I was living in such an awesome place with someone who ended up becoming a really great friend of mine. I miss walking through Kings Cross, and up the road to Angel to yell at Vodafone for their awful customer service. I miss Brian, the professor who had us meet him in bars every other week and then just walked around talking to us for three hours and called it class. I miss the pubs, the atmosphere. I miss surprisingly delicious real-chicken McDonald’s. I miss Pret. I miss Nando’s. God, I miss Nando’s.

It has always blown my mind how much any given song can take you back to a particular time in your life. It’s crazy to me that I hear My Way by Fetty Wap and want to burst into tears because it reminds me of London. I listened to it on repeat for an hour today. Just put my headphones in, sat up straight, closed my eyes, and hoped that when I’d open them, I’d be on the Piccadilly Line.

I miss seeing Brand New with a girl I had just met at Alexandra Palace, I miss seeing Fall Out Boy for the fourth time and meeting the love of my life at Wembley. I miss Camden, real Camden, and Shoreditch. I miss the jitters of waiting in line to meet Pete Wentz. I miss Hyde Park and high tea. I miss Kensington, real Kensington, and casually walking past Buckingham Palace. I miss seeing the London Eye from my bedroom window.

I just miss London. Damn, I miss London.

xx Gabi

a broken down bus, an opera singer, and a $240 Uber ride.

On Friday, I hopped onto a Bolt bus from Philly to New York to visit my mom.

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(This is my mom! She’s great!)

I should have known that time and the universe were not on my side when the usually 20-minute ride to Cherry Hill, NJ, to pick up the remaining passengers, took 45 minutes thanks to the Friday night rush hour. I was a little annoyed, but whatever, I was going to see my mom. I was excited and remained optimistic. Come 6 PM, when we were supposed to arrive at our destination, we were stuck on the NJ Turnpike still about an hour outside of Manhattan… and we BROKE. DOWN.

The bus just… stopped running. Our, bless her heart, very sweet driver, said “my bus cut out on me. I’m going to try to regenerate it.” I understood what she meant, but who did she think she was, the Doctor?

After multiple admittedly scary attempts to… “regenerate” (jump) the bus, she said that she just could not get it to start up again and actually stay running, and that there would be another bus coming to save us in half an hour. Some passengers were NOT having it. Almost immediately, people started making plans to split Ubers into the city. The girl next to me casually mentioned that she had an audition to get to (I later learned that she was an opera singer), and asked if I wanted to get an Uber with her. I told her I had no money, and she said it was fine (even though 45 minutes later IN the Uber she asked if I could give her money, so I felt slightly duped, but I digress), and we joined forces with a young couple on vacation from New Delhi, India, to track down an Uber while broken down on the side of the highway. After ages of Opera Girl on the phone with our Uber driver trying to explain to him where exactly we were, he arrived, in a massive six-person car. We piled in, and were able to squeeze in one more person: an old, gay as hell, freelance production coordinator. A minute into this ride, I knew it would be an interesting one. With the Lincoln Tunnel being completely constipated by everyone trying to get into the city for the weekend, we took the long way around, which ended up getting us there faster than the Tunnel would’ve.

20 minutes into this ride, we’re all talking about ourselves and finding things we have in common, and one of my best friends calls me. Now, this friend is not someone who will just call out of the blue. She’s a texter, so I saw her name pop up on my phone and my heart sank, because I just KNEW something was wrong. I pick up, and wouldn’t you know it, she’s sobbing. Personal stuff, that I can’t really discuss in a car full of literal strangers. Anxiety, meet the roof. Go through it.

I promised my friend I would call her as soon as I was in private, and hung up, immediately texting her so she could continue explaining her situation to me. It was at that moment that my knight in shining armor, Opera Girl, asked me if I could take cash out at an ATM or something when we ended the ride to contribute to what turned out to be a $240 trip. What the hell? She said it was fine! I thought that meant it was fine! I mean, I guess in retrospect, I didn’t make it very clear to her that I had literally NO money. Not that I didn’t have cash, but that I didn’t have ANY money. And I had NO MONEY. ZERO DOLLARS. So, anxiety, meet the OZONE LAYER. GO THROUGH IT. Fortunately, my mother is a saint and technology is amazing, so she quickly transferred me enough money to pay for my share of the fare. Okay, anxiety, you can come back down to earth now.

We finally drive into the city. We all agreed to get off at the location designated by OG, since she’s the one who ordered the Uber and she was now over an hour late for her audition, and since her destination was only about 15 blocks from my mom’s place, I wasn’t complaining. My mom, however, found my location through the iPhone “Find My Friends” BIG BROTHER app, saw that I was already only about four blocks away from her, and demanded that I have the driver drop me on her street, which would require him to get off of 12th Avenue and make OG even later for her audition. In one ear, my mom is yelling, in another, OG is slightly-condescendingly trying to explain to me that she’s already an hour late for her audition (I know, OG. I know), and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Anxiety, meet THE DEPTHS OF OUTER SPACE. Meet THE DEATH STAR. Go through it. Go through it all. Say hi to Harrison Ford for me.

I tell my mom not to worry about it. I tell her that I’m just going to get out where OG said and take my own Uber from there. Finally, some peace. My ears stop ringing. Our Uber driver, who turned out to be one of the coolest Uber drivers I have ever had, ended our trip ten blocks early so that we could all give OG our share(s) of the trip. I say it a lot, and I’ll say it again, technology is amazing. In 30 seconds, I sent OG my share of the cost via PayPal, and she received it instantaneously. After I paid, I realized I no longer had any reason to remain in the car until the end of the trip, so at a red light, I said my goodbyes and quickly hopped out. I ordered my own Uber and it pulled up in less than two minutes, and I finally got to my mom’s house. I dropped my 70 pounds worth of stuff on the ground, hugged my mom, hugged my dog, and ate a lot of sushi.

The moral(s) of the story are that A) New York is a weird, WEIRD place, B) people are nice, but not THAT nice, and C) if you ever have the opportunity to share an Uber ride with a bunch of strangers, there’s a good chance that you’ll not only survive, but actually have a pretty interesting experience.

xx Gabi

P.S. D) when it comes to Bolt buses, you get what you pay for. That said, they will refund you if they ruin your day!

long-distance relationships.

Editor’s Note: This post was inspired by a Cosmopolitan article I read yesterday about a long-distance relationship. It resonated with me a lot, so I figured it was time to talk about mine.

If you’ve been following me for a few months (or you’ve spoken to me at all since October), you’ll know that my boyfriend Simon lives in England. Having met at a truly incredible Fall Out Boy show in London, we were obviously destined to be together. Clearly, some ominous omniscient being watching over us (read: Pete Wentz) wanted us to meet.

12366041_10207912280075073_76715821180008690_oThat said, we’ve now known each other for almost four months and officially been together for a little over two months, even though I have now been back in Philly for over a month (that is the most math I’ve done in over a year). I like to think that I’ve gained some wisdom on long-distance relationships (LDRs) now that I’m in one, so I thought I would shed some of that light on you. (Please note: I am not a professional. I just like talking about my boyfriend.)

Here is some advice and maybe some hope for those of you who are in or may one day be in an LDR:

#1: If you’re with the right person, long distance will not be that hard.

Okay, this is kind of a lie. Long distance is really, really difficult sometimes. That said, if you’re with the right person, it is manageable. I’m not sure what I expected of LDR-hood before I was thrown into it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it didn’t really feel that much different. Sure, I haven’t kissed my boyfriend since before Christmas, but our almost constant communication hasn’t dwindled at all, and being 3000 miles apart, we’ve kind of been forced to make the extra effort to become closer in other ways in order to continue progressing the way a normal, geographically-close couple would.

#2: Communication becomes EVEN MORE important.

Communication is 100% the most important part of any relationship. If you don’t talk about stuff, you’ll suppress, you’ll repress, and you’ll struggle to grow both as a couple and as individuals. In LDRs, this is even more crucial. Simon and I obviously can’t wait to see each other in person to handle a problem; we have to take care of things as soon as they happen. This is where technology comes in. Part of what makes the distance so manageable is the fact that things like Skype and FaceTime exist. I still get to hear his voice and see him outside of the hundred Snapchats we exchange every day on a regular basis. iMessage has also allowed us to text just as much as we did when we were on the same continent, even if it uses up all of my data (sorry mom). If you find yourself in an LDR and don’t have iMessage, I recommend the app Couple. You can text, send drawings, let your S/O know when you’re thinking of them, and even utilize a feature called Thumbkiss, where you can make your thumbs… well, kiss. (Editor’s note: I tried to explain this better. It did not work.)

There are so many different ways to communicate through technology that our ability to interact as a couple hasn’t really changed at all. We’ve just had to learn to make up for the things we can’t do with words. (It is possible that Simon and I have just gotten lucky with that as we are both writers, and expressing ourselves verbally is pretty easy. I’m pretty sure you can read any of my posts and know that I talk a lot.)

#3: Knowing when you’re going to see them again makes things way easier.

This isn’t really advice, or anything useful, so sorry. I understand that in many cases, LDRs are indefinite, and you might not know when you’ll be able to see your S/O again, but knowing that I’ll be seeing Simon again relatively soon (5 weeks!!!) is really comforting. That said, after his trip to Philly in March, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see him again. At this point, it’s looking like I won’t be able to make it back to the UK before Christmas, which is admittedly scary. Fortunately, we got that aforementioned communication thing down pat.

#4: You will get used to the time difference.

Simon and I only have a five-hour time difference, so I can’t really speak for the North America/Australia LDRs, but being in different time zones isn’t as bad as either of us thought it would be. Five hours isn’t even that much time. There have been times when Simon has had to wake up really early and I hadn’t even gone to sleep yet, but that’s more of a reflection of my absolutely horrendous internal clock than anything. He always says good morning first, and I always say good night last. It really isn’t any different than just having an S/O with a much better sleep schedule than you.

#5: If you really have to force it, it might not be worth it.

This might be a bit redundant, and also might be a bit of a crappy thing to say, but it’s true. LDRs take an insane amount of work, like all relationships do, but it should not feel like work. I never feel obligated to do something or say something for the sake of my relationship. I don’t really want to compare it to a job, but it really is just like having your dream job. You have to work, yes, but you should love doing it. If you have to remind yourself to text your S/O, something ain’t right.

There will be times in any relationship where you might have to compromise, but it should never feel like a sacrifice. The only thing Simon and I have sacrificed for the sake of our relationship is sleep just so we could Skype for a few more minutes. We have never felt like we’re losing anything or giving something up. It isn’t losing five minutes of sleep, it’s gaining five minutes of a good conversation.

~~~

Ah, a super long post about a super long-distance relationship. How appropriate.

BONUS: built-in drinking game a la You Deserve A Drink by Mamrie Hart: re-read this post and drink every time I repeat myself, say something mushy, or say “Simon.” If you get hurt, I’m sorry and please don’t sue me.

35 days!

xx Gabi (+ Simon)

life update/ch-ch-changes.

Well guys, I’m home. Back in good ol’ filthy Philly. It feels nice, being back with my best friends, and more importantly, my bed, which you’ll be happy to hear has never been more comfortable.

Getting readjusted was a little difficult. I live alone now, and with my mom not telling me what to do, I didn’t fully unpack my suitcases for almost a week, because I almost didn’t want to come to terms with the fact that I was home. London is now one of my favorite cities, and saying goodbye to it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

That said, it wasn’t just London I had to say goodbye to. Those of you who know me personally will know that I actually met someone at that Fall Out Boy show back in October that I wouldn’t shut up about, and that someone is now my incredible boyfriend. Unfortunately, he had to stay in England, because immigration or whatever, and I am now finding myself in a long-distance relationship for the first time. Fun fact: long-distance sucks.

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Fortunately, however, I am pleasantly surprised by how… easy it’s been. Don’t get me wrong, I miss Simon like hell and I want to be with him more than I could even begin to explain, but technology has advanced so much that it has been virtually effortless to communicate with him. We still get to text all day thanks to the beauty of iMessage, I still get to see his face 700 times a day via Snapchat and hear his voice whenever we Skype (which is almost every day), and it almost feels like nothing has really changed. Sure, I’m 3000 miles away and there’s a five-hour time difference, but I slept until the middle of the afternoon regularly in London anyway. No lost time!

Now that 2015 is quickly coming to an end, I’m finding myself looking back on where I was this time last year, and I’m realizing just how much I’ve changed since then. I had a different boyfriend, different friends, and most importantly, a very different relationship with myself. Now I’m only a little bit older, but I’m a hell of a lot smarter, and I like myself maybe more than I ever have. I don’t know if that’s just because I’m no longer a teenager and I just… don’t hate everything anymore, or if I’m finally surrounded by people that actually bring me higher and push me to be better, but whatever the reason, 2015 was definitely a year of growth and personal development for me.

I hope you all had a great year and if you didn’t, I hope 2016 makes up for it.

Happy New Year!

xx Gabi

study abroad entrance essay

Hey guys,

With finals creeping up on me, I’m feeling slightly braindead and not too motivated to be my usual witty self this week.

Something I do when I’m feeling this way is go back and read old papers I’ve written for school, and I came across the essay I wrote when I was applying to study in London. As I am getting ready to go back to Philly in about two weeks, I thought I could do a little throwback (#ManyMoonsAgoMonday?) and share it with you. Maybe next week I’ll give you guys a conclusive update, to reflect on my time here and see if I really did what I came here to do. Enjoy!

As a child, I was very fortunate to have many opportunities to travel. Thanks to my perpetually adventurous parents, I have been lucky enough to see twelve countries in the twenty years I have been on this planet. From getting to travel to Moscow and Kiev at twelve years old to see where my parents grew up, to knowing Paris like the back of a good friend’s hand, I think I can safely say that I am more comfortable on an airplane than most.

When I was thirteen, I went on a two-week expedition across parts of Western Europe with the student ambassador program People to People. Spending two days at a time in each city, we toured France and Italy, and spent our last 48 hours in London. While those 48 hours are the only hours I have ever spent there, London became one of my favorite cities in a matter of minutes. A self-professed anglophile, I am practically jumping out of my skin to further indulge in British culture.

Being able to travel so much as a kid helped shape me into the person I am today. Getting to see how people live in places other than where I live has expanded my view of the world and diversified my way of thinking. I gained valuable knowledge through those experiences, and I believe that that has benefited my academic writing. I chose to study journalism because writing is a true passion of mine, and I know that if I did not have a more culturally diverse outlook on things, it might not be. I am hoping that this opportunity to study while suffusing myself into another culture will strengthen that even further, and allow me to analyze the world from a new perspective.

Going to study in London at this point in my life is crucial to me. I’ve looked forward to this experience for as long as I can remember. This trip is a huge step in my academic career and I know that it could make or break my future as a journalist.

I am not entirely sure where this saying originated, but it is something I am determined to follow while in London: “be a traveler, not a tourist.” Tourism only pokes at the surface of travel. You can see Big Ben, eat fish and chips, and take a “selfie” in front of Buckingham Palace. Genuine travel, on the other hand, goes past all of that. You can get lost in the London Underground, eat your weight in Indian food, and take a “selfie” with some nice strangers in a pub. When I go to London, I do not want to treat it like a vacation. I want to treat London like I just moved there for a new job and I have to figure out the city on my own before I start work on Monday.

xx Gabi

Scandinavia to Mesopotamia (with a few stops).

I’ve surely mentioned my roommate Pat a few times by now. For some
background, she is as small as she is vicious, she will do your dishes if you pay her in cupcakes, and she is one of the most driven journalists I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, let alone sleeping next to.

One of Pat’s many talents is hunting down obscure and awesome stuff to do in the city. On Saturday, we fought the insane winds and sudden wake of winter, traveling out to Canada Water in Rotherhithe (a small

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Pat, Scandi Market, 21 Nov. 2015

residential area of Southeast London) in search of a Scandinavian Christmas market stationed outside of a Finnish church. What we found was a utopia of Norwegian food, Swedish candy, and a rock choir serenading us with Queen’s greatest hits. The highlight of the festival was possibly the abundance of puns (a-pun-dance?) strewn throughout, a

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Fine & Scandi, 21 Nov. 2015

stand labeled “Sweet-ish candy” and a food truck called “Fine & Scandi” being my personal favorites. We indulged in Norwegian hot dogs (albeit on explicitly “American” buns), ate our fair share of Swedish candy, and pushed through the crowd of beautiful blonde Vikings drunk on spiked hot chocolate just to find ourselves in hipster heaven, a vintage shop, with the most expensive item of clothing still costing less than £10.

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Do I smell that bad?

From there, we tubed back into Central London and made our way over to the British Museum, where my mature adult half was intrigued and amazed by all the ancient artifacts, and my less mature inner child wrote some totally objectively hilarious Snapchat captions to go along with some of the more amusing pieces.

I find it interesting and kind of ironic that the British Museum had such a huge collection of non-British artifacts. The collections we had time to see stretched from Mesopotamia and Egypt to Greece and Italy, and only after about an hour did we encounter any British artifacts. Upon telling a native Brit of my plans for the day, they responded with, “oh cool, enjoy the British Museum, a.k.a the things we stole when we could get away with it.”

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British Museum, 21 Nov. 2015

After the museum, we tracked down a little Mexican restaurant called Benito’s Hat for some delicious burritos and all the guac our bodies could handle, and then we strolled over to Regent Street. Starbucks’ in hand, we watched the intricate Christmas lights overhead change, with the suspended clock gears projecting beautiful colors and designs. We made our way through Piccadilly Circus, spent way too long in the makeup section of Boots, and headed home.

The fact that I was frozen down to my bones for the remainder of the evening aside, I was so happy to have experienced such a culturally diverse day. We started in Scandinavia, made our way through Mesopotamia, stopped in Egypt, stopped in Greece, had dinner in Mexico, and then ended right back in England, taking in the crisp London air and pretty Christmas lights. It can be hard to travel. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and can be scary. That said, it can be surprisingly easy to experience other cultures without leaving your city. You just have to know where to look. Or, alternatively, have a Pat to do it for you.

xx Gabi

fall break 2015.

I’ve been home for over a week, and have tried at least once every day to sit down and write about my fall break experience. I realized after about eight attempts that I had no words to accurately explain it nor do it any justice.

On the subject of things that will not do my fall break experience any justice, I put together a small video/slideshow of some of the beautiful things I saw and did instead. I learned a lot about myself and my limits, ate delicious things, slept on multiple airport floors, and fell in love with a few new places. Enjoy!

xx Gabi

life-changing experiences + being alone.

It can be difficult to determine whether or not something is truly a life-changing experience or not. We don’t always want to label something as “life-changing” because chances are, more important things will happen to us one day, and we don’t want that powerful label to lose its meaning. That said, after much consideration, I am officially declaring yesterday a life-changing experience for me.

If any of you follow me on social media (*eh hem* Twitter, Instagram), you might’ve seen that I was given the opportunity to meet Pete Wentz yesterday. Pete, the bassist of my all-time favorite band Fall Out Boy, did a signing at their three-day pop-up shop in Camden, and I was one of the 120 fans that got to attend. (Side note: I have to give most of the credit to my girl Sam for this one. She made her way over to Camden before sunrise on Friday to wait in line for the wristbands to get in, and if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have known that I could show up at 9:30 and still get one. Thanks for not sleeping all night so I could, babe!)

I have been a diehard fan of Fall Out Boy since my older sister put Sugar We’re Going Down and Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year on one of her mix CDs in 2004 and left it in the boombox in our bathroom. (Side note #2: When was the last time you heard the word “boombox”?) I caught up on FOB’s first two albums (From Under the Cork Tree becoming one of my favorite albums ever), fell in love with their next two, and survived the 2010-2013 hiatus (though seriously struggled when My Chemical Romance broke up during it — my little emo heart couldn’t deal). I reveled in the glory of their comeback during my senior year of high school and I am thrilled to report that they’re still excellent, unlike many bands that get back together and suddenly don’t know how to make good music anymore.

Being such a huge fan, I was actually kind of scared to meet Pete. It was mostly because I was worried my legs would just give out when I saw him, but it was also because I was so terrified that I would be disappointed. It is unfortunately common that someone meets their favorite celebrity just to find out that they aren’t really good people, but I felt fairly secure in the fact that Pete was known for being a nice person and that the whole universe hadn’t been lying to me all these years. (Spoiler: It hadn’t.)

With Pete Wentz in the Fall Out Boy Pop-Up Shop at Rock 'N' Roll Rescue Camden, 11 October 2015.
With my husband Pete Wentz in the Fall Out Boy Pop-Up Shop at Rock ‘N’ Roll Rescue Camden, 11 October 2015.
The newest (and biggest) addition to my wall, signed by Pete.
The newest (and biggest) addition to my wall, signed by Pete.
There’s something ironic about meeting someone known for singing and screaming on stage just to find out that they’re really quiet off stage. It is equally ironic that I, the girl who never shuts up, was completely silenced just from being in Pete’s presence. I don’t think either of us said more than two words to each other, and after he signed my new most prized possession and took a selfie with me, I was escorted out, borderline paralyzed in awe and slightly confused by what had just happened to me. At least I didn’t cry?

Alright, Gabi, we get it. You met Pete. What does this have to do with being alone?

Well, disembodied voice, if you must know, after the signing, I attended Fall Out Boy’s show at the SSE Arena in Wembley by myself. I had never been to a show alone before last night, and I think I can safely call it my new favorite thing.

I have been to many concerts in my life, and Fall Out Boy has been a large chunk of them. This was my fourth FOB experience, and by far, my best FOB experience. I was anxious about going to a show alone. I usually like having someone to stick with because the idea of getting sucked into a mosh pit with no one to pull me out is terrifying, but I realized after seeing Brand New perform at Alexandra Palace that getting separated from your friends at a show is almost inevitable. With that in mind, I embarked on my journey to Wembley alone, prepared to take on the wild crowd on my own. Halfway through FOB’s first song (after staying relatively calm during their three opening acts), I realized that I shouldn’t be fighting the crowd, I should be embracing it. I’m not really the kind of person to have my back against the wall all night at a show, but I have never been a crazy “dance like no one’s watching” person. That changed last night.

Clearly, the only logical explanation is that my friends are bad people. I’m always with them and have kept my dancing fairly reserved out of fear of being judged by them, but being on my own last night, I have never felt more uninhibited. Possibly apart from the group of people I met at the show who knew nothing about me and couldn’t justifiably judge me, no one was watching me, so I danced like it. I jumped, I screamed, I sweat, and I almost passed out from dehydration. My feet are still screaming almost 24 hours later and the fact that I have a voice right now has got to be some kind of scientific breakthrough. Having fun has nothing to do with the people around you, but everything to do with yourself. I always thought that I had less anxiety going to a show with friends than I would on my own, but going to this show alone proved me wrong. “Care-free” is the last adjective I would use to describe myself, but last night, that is what I was.

xx Gabi

P.S. If you’re interested in listening to some Fall Out Boy, you can check out my Spotify playlist, “Fall Out Boy: Gabi’s Top Ten.” If you don’t have Spotify, I can only recommend that you look these songs up on your own.

  1. XO
  2. I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me
  3. Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part To Save The Scene And Stop Going To Shows)
  4. Dance, Dance
  5. A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me”
  6. Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
  7. Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year
  8. Irresistible
  9. The Kids Aren’t Alright
  10. Saturday

Please note that this is my personal top ten and I will fight with you about this for hours if you try to tell me I’m wrong. Someone please take that as a challenge.