Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

Today I found myself with a few hours of alone time. I am quite the lucky gal, because I have parents who love my sweet ones as much as I do, and they cart them off every single week for a day of spoiling. Thus, giving me some much appreciated alone time. Usually, I do the same sorts of things with my time 'off'. Target and Panera Bread always top the list. But those two things simply would not do today. Boss (ever the grown up) has me on a new (strict) budget, so I am afraid that Target and I are going to have to break up. I havn't shared this news with Target yet, but I have been thinking of ways to let her down gently. It's not you, it's me Boss, or something like that. So Target was clearly not an option. And since I am on a mission to lose my last ten pounds of baby weight, Panera Bread was out, too. I, for one, know that the Cinnamon Crunch bagels will soon miss me. In fact, I think they already do. I can hear them calling my name from ten miles away! Why, oh why, does breaking up have to be so painful?

Anyway, back to my alone time dilemma. What was a girl to do? Specifically, what was I to do with my next several hours? I sat down (in the tub) to think, and somewhere in the midst of my thinking, my mind wandered to my 30 Before 30 list, and then I knew. I just knew. I was going to take myself on a date. To the movies. Alone. (Gasp!) Yes, that was exactly what I was going to do! Because if real men wear pink, then real women are capable of going to the movies alone. Or something like that.

It is important to note here that I have never been good at being alone. Never. The more the merrier, I always say. Being alone usually makes me feel depressed. And when I am depressed, I like to eat bagels. Cinnamon Crunch bagels from Panera Bread. Which (as you know), cannot happen anywhere in the forseeable future. So I was quite nervous about my soon-to-be alone time at the movies, but I decided to make the best of it. Since it was a date, I curled my hair AND put on lip gloss. And then I drove to the theater in my twelve passenger van all by myself. I rolled down the windows (which ruined my curls thank you very much) and belted out Kids Bop like the cool adult that I am. It was awesome! And it was just what I needed to face my first task off my 30 Before 30 list.

There was one time back in 2003 when I tried going to the movies by myself. We had just moved to a new city so we hadn't made any friends yet, and Boss was working insane hours. There was a movie out that I wanted to see, so I put on my big girl panties and went by myself. I was pretty sure that I would die of embarassment should anyone discover that I was there alone, so I pretended like I wasn't. I fake talked on my cell phone as I paid for my ticket, leading the unsuspecting cashier to believe that my girlfriend would soon be meeting me there. Because I know that the cashier cared. I could tell. And then when I sat down in the theater, I picked a super crowded row (so maybe it would end up looking like I was in fact with one of the groups near me), and then I casually placed my jacket over the seat next to me. I 'saved' the seat for my nonexistent girlfriend that would soon be arriving. It was all really very clever. And just a tiny bit immature. (But hey, I was only 21 years old back in 2003. A mere child!) But this time? This time I am fast closing in on thirty, so fake phone calls and casual jacket placement simply would not do. Maturity had to be the name of the game. I was to present myself as a calm, confident, adult woman, who was completely sure enough of herself to go to the movies alone.

By the time I arrived, after several rounds of Kelly Clarkson's What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger, I was ready to do this. I confidently walked up to the cashier, asked to buy ONE ticket to the movie of my choice, and imaginary girlfriends were nowhere to be seen. I purchased my diet coke and then picked out my seat. I sat where I like to sit (half way up and on the right hand side), and it didn't matter to me that not one other person was sitting in that section. I smiled at the elderly couple behind me, and then I got comfortable with my feet up and my jacket in my lap.

And you know what? Maybe I really am growing up, because I had a fantastic time. Turns out I am pretty great company. It's quite the freeing feeling to finally learn to be comfortable in one's own skin, and I think I am getting there. One step closer with each passing year. Loving myself, the real me, a little bit more every day. I have learned a lot in my almsot thirty years of journeying this earth. Today, I only went to the movies, but tomorrow, I might be called to do something different. Something harder. One day I might be called to follow down a road less traveled, and I think I just might be brave enough to do that. Even if it means I would have to walk alone. With curls in my hair, gloss on my lips, wind brushing my cheeks, and Kelly Clarkson cheering me on, I have discovered that I can do just about anything. And what doesn't kill me will in fact make me stronger after all.

No comments: