By: Beatriz Craven, Guest Blogger
I had a friend in college who would go to the movies by herself. I was pretty sure she was the most fearless woman on the Earth. I had always considered myself pretty comfortable in my independence. Or so I thought. I still had a lot to figure out about who I was in the world. I grew up in the suburbs, a tightly sealed little bubble. I had zero experience asking for a table for one. "One ticket please" also seemed incredibly vulnerable. Like there should be someone walking behind me by a few feet playing a sad song on the violin.
As a young college person it seemed there was an unwritten rule that certain social activities were taboo somehow if we did them alone. Like we must be lonely and kind of pathetic if we're not with someone. Which is why I looked at my college friend with such amazement. It was like she was playing cool but really she was tucking her superwoman cape under the back of her shirt. "It's kind of my thing," she says. She buys a large soda and popcorn. All for her. I set a goal that day. I was going to do that. I was going to take myself out on a date and make it happen. By golly, I was going to walk up to that large glass ticket window, hold me head up high, and announce: "One, please."
I did it. It was pretty awkward in the beginning and I felt some of that imaginary spotlight on me as I walked through the large open lobby. I anxiously walked down the hall and crept up to my seat. But then the lights went down. The projector came on. And my heart came alive with it. I felt so liberated and a huge smile took over my face. I felt incredibly happy and in love with my life in that moment. I knew I wanted to do this more. I wanted more of this feeling. I established a ground rule: only daytime movie dates with myself. I mean, who goes to the theatre alone at night? That's definitely asking for strange looks. Right?
It's been a good eight years or so since that time in my life. Now as a full on "adult" (whatever that means) complete with big person job, I attended a conference for work. It was in my old, sleepy college town. I was absolutely beaming as I retraced old steps. I was flooded with memories and nostalgia. I was spending the night and decided to reconnect with some old faces and enjoy some dear places from my past. I ate fried food. I drove my car down winding country roads, admiring the beautiful grassy landscape that smelled sweetly of another era. The moonlight shining on my hood. It was soon time to turn in for the day but I decided that I'd catch a flick for old times sake. I got my ticket for one and made my way to the theatre with popcorn in hand, feeling all kinds of lovely to be back. I took a seat and looked around at all the college girls around me, ready to ball their eyes out over the screening of The Fault In Our Stars. I was still high on nostalgia. I took a sip of my drink and that's when it finally hit me. I broke my rule. I was out at the movies at night on my own and I hadn't been weirded out by doing so. I hadn't even noticed. I was too busy living my life to feel shame or silly self-consciousness. The lights dimmed. The projector came on. And a big smile took over my face.
Going it solo can be the BEST gift you give yourself!
- Give the solo-whatever-date a shot: take yourself to lunch, a flick, grab a ticket to your friend's band or improv show and go it alone. Tell us about your experience!
Beatriz finds incredible meaning in her work as a therapist in Houston, Texas. She completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology and works with college students at Sam Houston State University. She is an avid life enthusiast, loving wife, and movie fanatic. Check out her website and tumblr at beatrizcraven.com
image via yourlifechoices.com