I NEVER thought I would see my favorite musician perform live.

In 2013, I was a junior in high school.  I had spent the previous few years absolutely enamored by Ed Sheeran. Reading that now, it’s easy to think, “yeah okay, cool Maria. Who ISN’T?” But that is not the point.

The point is: I had never been to a concert and Ed Sheeran was coming to my city and playing at Stage AE. During the same month I turned 17. It wasn’t a coincidence, it was fate.

I HAD to go. But I couldn’t. I didn’t buy tickets.

For some crazy reason, in my head, concerts were some crazy fun events that everyone could experience, but not me. There were no reasons for me to feel as though I shouldn’t go, I just felt like I couldn’t.

It is hard to explain in words what I was experiencing, but it’s comparable to a person who dreams of traveling. You dream of it and you want it so badly, but when you go online and look up flight tickets, you just can’t do it. You have the money, the time, but something inside you is stopping you. You just feel like you can’t do it.

Something inside me was holding me back from seeing Ed Sheeran. And whatever it was, it was getting on my nerves.

It was the night before the concert and I was scrolling through Twitter. I saw Ed Sheeran had tweeted about getting a Heinz Ketchup tattoo. And whatever that force was inside me that was holding me back shattered. I was going to that concert. I went to my mom’s room and she said I could use her card to purchase tickets.

I bought two tickets for the price of $72. I wasn’t certain that I would get the tickets in time, since the show was tomorrow, but I had hope.

The next day, I received an envelope in the mail. This was it. I was going to see Ed.

I opened the envelope.

Three tickets slid into my hand. Three?

The envelope wasn’t empty; there was something else inside.

More tickets. Seven total. And a note.

“Hey here’s a few extra to take your friends. Tickets were almost gonna go to waste. Have fun, Maria.”

Signed: “a local broker.”

I learned three things that day: 1. How to make friends FAST. 2. That waiting until the last second is RISKY, but sometimes okay. 3. NEVER let yourself believe that you are incapable of following your dream, no matter how big or small it may be. If I hadn’t decided to buy those tickets, I would have missed out on the memories I’d made at the 31 concerts I’ve been to since 2013.