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  • Daniel John

That Time Taylor Swift Almost Gave Me a Panic Attack

Alright, ya got me. That title might be described as a little 'click-baity', this is not a story about actually meeting Taylor Swift (I wish) and freaking out. It's a fable of heights, Wembley stadium and a Taylor Swift gig, so the titles not that far off, right?

Anyway, let's begin.

Time for Swifty Cent

It was a perfect British summer's day and I was off to see Taylor Swift a.k.a. T-Swizzle/T Money/Swifty Cent in London. Now, I'm likely to get a lot of stick for admitting it but I'm a big Tay Tay fan. I think as a musician she is super talented and she happens to write very catchy songs. She was also the soundtrack to mine and my housemate's first year of university, so her songs carry a lot of happy, hazy (first year drinking) memories.

The evening before I had seen Flight of the Conchords at the O2. They were, as always, hilarious but being in huge crowds for hours on end wears me out, so the thought of hanging out with 90,000 people in Wembley the next day didn't appeal to me all that much.

As a result I could sense those classic feelings of anxiety when catching the train into L town.

Once I arrived at Wembley Park, I was joined by hoards of teenage girls and plumes of glitter makeup (after much debate I decided against a glittered face). I was meeting up with a uni friend, her sister and her sister's friend. After swerving my way through the crowds of selfie takers and befuddled dads, we found each other and headed up to the stadium.

Before going in we grabbed a pizza and a waffle (of which half went down my white t-shirt). After that we headed through the ticket gates and up about 4 escalators. Really that should have been a clue to what was coming.

We walked in to the stadium and were greeted by the magnitude of Wembley. I'd never been before (as a football fan, it's a tad embarrassing to admit my first visit to Wembley was to see Taylor Swift) but it is some place. My friend was leading the way and we headed up the ridiculously steep steps.

Just shake it off

We kept climbing and climbing, eventually finding our seats in the middle of a row. I sat down and looked ahead of me, we were high up, like reaaaaal high up. I was beginning to hear the panicked voice in my head piping up. I tried my hardest to reason with him, the conversation went something like this:

Panic:"Oiiiiiii, you are aware how high up we are right?! I don't know if you remember but we HATE heights!"
Me: "Okay yes, we are maybe a tad higher than we'd like to be but we'll get used to it, don't worry."
Panic: "Are you f**king nuts?! Even Evel Knievel would shit himself up here!"
Me: "Well, now you're just being dramatic."

At this point I was bordering on a proper panic attack, trying to sink down into my seat as far as I could to feel more secure.

I told my friend that if anyone stands up when Taylor comes out I'll lose my shit, to which a mother and her daughter in front of us turned round and gave me the dirtiest of looks. Well I guess I'm standing up then!

The support acts provided me with some much needed distraction from the unfruitful conversation I was having in my head. Slowly but surely I felt my anxiety decrease, I was getting used to sitting up with gods.

Before I knew it Tay Tay was making her entrance. Immediately everyone stood up, I got up gingerly and soon realised I actually felt way more comfortable on my feet. All in all the gig was incredible. I'd never been to a 'pop' concert before so all the stage props/fireworks/flying snakes were something to behold.

What I learnt from this experience:

  • When it comes to heights, you actually get used to them after a while and that feeling of 'Oh, I might soil myself' eventually subsides.

  • Don't let fear stop you from going to an event. If I had known beforehand how high up we would be sitting, I probably would have had second thoughts. Yet, after the first 45 mins it really wasn't that bad!

  • My love for T-Swizzle can push me through any fear.

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