I recently found myself with a free night off from work.
This is a rarity in the last 6 months so I have to take full advantage of it when I can.
In the last 2 weeks especially, I have worked every single week night.
Sadly though, most of my friends were busy or out of town on this particular Wednesday night that I had off from work.
Yet, I could not bear the thought of going home and sitting again. Whether I would be reading, watching tv, doing house hold chores that yes, did in fact need to be done... I didn’t want to be in my house alone. Again.
I like living alone for the most part. Kind of like being single, it has it good days and its bad.
Good days consist of being able to unwind peacefully when I’ve worked a 14 hour day.
Bad days are having no one to watch the terrible tv that I know I shouldn’t, but just can’t resist with on nights that I have off when I’ve worked continual 14 hour days.
So I did something I swore I would never, ever, ever, never, ever do.
I did it and I still get the heebee jeebes thinking about it.
I went to a movie all by myself.
To a single girl... in the south... who never anticipated nor wanted to be single at 25..... this is a big deal.
There are two things I have been deathly afraid of for about 4 years:
Eating alone at a restaurant.
And going to a movie in theaters alone.
But we’ve been over the fact that I couldn’t just sit at home again.. so I went.
And luckily Blue Like Jazz was playing in Chattanooga. And it is seriously one of my top 5 books of all time.
Since Thursday was going to be it’s last showing, I buckled down and decided to give in and go see it.
As I pull off the interstate to go to the theater, I start thinking about where to park.
The parking garage of course is validated for free by the theater, but I’ve seen too many horror flicks to park in a parking garage in the middle of the week and have to walk back there by myself.
That and every time I’ve been downtown lately in the middle of the week, the ratio of women walking around by themselves and creepy guys hanging out on the sidewalks is about 0:12.
Let’s be honest, just not safe.
So I park by the theater ($5 is worth the safety), and head inside. All the while, talking myself up.
“It’s fine. It’s totally fine. People do this ALL THE TIME. It’s not a big deal at all.”
Of course the cashier is totally adorable. It took everything in me not to say something like this:
“I don’t normally come here by myself. I have friends, they just happen to be all busy tonight. I have lots of friends. Just trying this out. PEOPLE DO THIS ALL THE TIME.”
Thankfully, something inside me stops myself.
After shelling out the $10 (praying this movie is worth it and now being fully committed to this journey since I payed $10 for a movie), I head to get popcorn.
The girl at the counter is overly friendly today. Granted there is no one else in the lobby so maybe she is bored. When she asks me if I would like butter on my popcorn, I almost tell her to just hold the popcorn and pour me some butter. I mean... I’m single. At the movies. ALONE.
This is the good part. Seriously.
I turn around to head off and, kid you not, fumble my popcorn bag about 3 times before completely losing all grip and dropping it, spilling popcorn all.over.the.floor.
Now, if I wasn’t already self conscious about coming to the movies alone, this just pushed me over the edge.
I wish I could make this stuff up. But I can’t.
Ask anyone who knows me... THIS IS MY LIFE.
I slowly turn, (I know sometimes people say they slowly turn, but this time.. I really did. I was afraid I’d crunch the popcorn and make an even bigger mess), and sure enough--because I’m the only person in there--both cute cashier and overly-happy-to-work-the-concessions girl are staring at me. With not happy looks on their faces.
I PROFUSELY apologize and beg them to let me clean up. But while one minute ago she was so friendly, now she is speaking like she may kill me.
It was my fault. I’m not saying it wasn’t. All the butter just got to me apparently. But come on, I was the only one there and there were about 2 cars in the parking lot. Wasn’t like it was the Hunger Games premier. (yes, I would know.)
So here I am in the theater.
And it’s just me.
I know I wanted to go see a movie by myself.. but come.on.
This is a bit extreme.
God relishes and delights in pushing me farther than I want to go.
He knows that when He says go, and I say “ok!” and take a baby step.. He’s gonna have to push me off the cliff to get where He wants me to go.
At least I didn’t have to silence my phone.
Ok I may have anyways. I’m not the rebel type.
I watched the movie of one of my favorite books about losing yourself and finding God.
I laughed out loud. I cried silent tears. And I felt God speak to me.
When I first sat down, I plotted out how I would leave so that I wouldn’t have to see the cashier or concessions girl again.
I was so worried this whole time what people would think about me.
That poor single girl who has to go to the movies alone.
Because that’s how I felt.
I’ve spent my whole life caring what other people thought and over thinking how I think about myself and projecting it on to other people.
I care about my appearance.
I care about my figure.
I care about my heart.
I care about my motives.
And I care how you see them.
And the way I feel about those things.. I tend to allow that to cover anything anyone else would say or feel about me.
The last scene of this movie is completely and utterly riveting, heart wrenching, and a gut check for Christians.
And it made me see that I am ashamed of Jesus and the single girl He made me to be.
I am ashamed to allow Him to reveal those hidden parts of me that still scare me.
Therefore,I project MY thoughts, MY beliefs, and who I am on the world around me.
And I let those things control how I feel about myself and how I view others thoughts about me.
I was ashamed to go to that movie. Because I was ashamed to say that I’m single because God has allowed me to be single. And that I was lonely.. because God allowed me to be lonely so I would search for Him.
I’m in the process of rediscovering, yet again, who God is.
A deeper level of who He is, is being written on my life.
I took a challenge that night to get to know who He is a little bit better, by stepping into something I was ashamed of.
And when I left the theater, I walked out the front door.
And then I walked around the city for a little while to enjoy the beautiful summer evening.
And then I came home, and I sat outside in my yard.
Hoping that somewhere, up there in the stars that were circling in the blue like jazz, He’d rewrite Himself just a little bit more on my heart that night.
Because I’m not ashamed anymore.