It seems that recently, the universe has decided to force me to go a few things alone. I’m not entirely sure why- but I suspect it has something to do with me needing to prove that I’m capable of doing things myself.
The first instance of me ‘going solo’ was last weekend, when I went to the movies alone. This may not seem like a huge deal to many of you- but it was the first time I’d ever done so.
I had tried to organise to go with various other friends and family members several times- but the plan always managed to fall through, and I was getting more and more desperate to just watch the damn movie. Come hell or high water, I was off to watch The King’s Speech.
At first, I was rather uncomfortable. I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t use my mobile phone as a ‘prop’- something that I could reach for to pretend I was busy, or that I was waiting for a friend. But all the same, I found myself reaching for it the first chance I got. I kept worrying what other people must think of me- buying a ticket alone, queuing up at the candy bar by myself- and it took me awhile to realise no one else cared. I’m not the first person to ever go to the movies alone- but I sure felt like it for those first few lonely minutes.
Finally, I realised I was there alone and that I was supposed to be enjoying it. I didn’t have to make small talk with anyone, I didn’t have to politely wait for someone while they visited the toilet- heck, I didn’t even have to share the popcorn.
Once the movie started, I found that I was more engrossed in it that usual. I didn’t have to divide my attention between the film and my immediate company. I could snort with laughter when it was funny, and cry pathetic tears at the sad bits, and no one would judge me (except the people sitting behind me, and quite frankly, I couldn’t care less about them).
And so I did. I laughed so hard I choked on my popcorn, and I cried so much in the sad bits I had to go to the bathroom to wash my face. I also stayed right until the end of the film credits- I just sat there, letting the music wash over me. It was one of the most wonderful, freeing experiences I’ve had.
I’m not saying that you’ll feel like this if you went to see, say, Hall Pass by yourself. But what I am saying is that it’s something everyone should do. Take yourself on a date, and enjoy your own company. After all- you ARE stuck with yourself for the rest of your life, so you may as well get to like yourself. Don’t you think?