Today was one of those days that I did something I had often visualized myself doing, but had been avoiding for years. I finally watched a movie at a multiplex ALONE! It is not a big deal and most people would roll their eyes at the glorification of this. For me, it was a huge kick! I had associated a sort of phobia with it, so even though I had trekked alone, shopped alone, eaten out alone, lived alone, danced alone, attended concerts alone, even walked around new cities alone- this was my first lonesome movie!
I analysed and broke the fear down into 2 components:
I don’t look at watching a movie as an activity; it’s quite a passive way to spend time! So, in my analyse-every-moment value system, I have low respect for it. Of course, there are some movies that make you think so much that you take a part of them away with you when you walk out of the theatre, such as Kung Fu Panda, but such movies are so rare that if you have movie-loving friends, you would end up watching such movies with them! Whenever I decide to go for a movie, I game myself into believing that “going for the movie” is a social event, i.e. a mere excuse to spend time with friends, where you don’t necessarily have to make conversation!
The bigger component was, of course, living to see the day when I did not have a friend to watch a movie with me! And, well today was the day- I wanted to watch Wall-E and I did not have any friends to join me! On mentioning to Barood, he quickly pointed out that it is lack of self-confidence! Ouch! That pinched hard. Barood has an uncanny ability to matter-of-factly make observations about people that they hate to admit. Sometimes, he is kind enough to sweeten his words, and this was clearly not one of those rare occasions!
Lack of self-confidence is not something I would, per se, find difficult to admit! I have, at times, battled with grave self-doubts about my capability to excel. Every time I have thrown myself into a professional challenge, it has been a bumpy ride for my self-esteem! But, this was not about Vineeta, the entrepreneur or the manager or the engineer! It was totally about my personal life- and I don’t remember the last time I had major self-doubts in that regard- probably in 10th grade when I was not propositioned on Valentine’s Day (an important metrics of self-worth for me then)!
So, after I had a nice time watching this movie all by myself, I was damn relieved! Not because this was a liberating experience on its own, but because it drove me right into my fear, and left me no option but to address it! It got me thinking about all those relationships I am still holding on to not for their own sake, but because they represent some kind of security that I will never have to be lonely! It got me thinking about the strong need I have to be liked by people and how it has often dented my decision making process. It got me thinking about my constant drive to grow as a person, because I fear being unpopular if I’m not smart or interesting enough. It got me thinking about the constant reassurance that I need from myself and others that I am not a socially unwanted person!
I chose to live alone in this city because I never wanted to voice such fears even to myself. But, like most other fears, admitting to myself that they exist has made it easier for me to tackle them! At least that's what I believe! I will only know when I am able to catch myself swinging towards a decision not because it’s right, but because it’ll make me more popular. I will only know when I don't succumb to the mistake of measuring my self-worth by the number of people who care about me, and most importantly. And, most importantly, I will know when I am able to guiltlessly walk out of those relationships that do not make me happy!