I watched the movie Ready Player One yesterday. Those of you who have been reading this site for a long time know that I have read this book multiple times, and that I was apprehensive to see what Hollywood would do with it. But that isn’t what I’m going to write about this week. (If you absolutely must know, I’ll briefly address that in a bit.)
What I want to write about is the fact that I went by myself. I rarely go to movies by myself. It’s not just because movies are expensive, and it’s not just because I necessarily want someone to discuss the movie with afterward.
I rarely go to movies by myself because going to a movie alone feels like failure. It makes me feel like I wasn’t good enough to have a friend to go with. And it isn’t just movies; there are many things I’ve never seen or done because of some self-imposed stigma about doing those things alone. With my past of often feeling like an outcast, and not having grown up with a lot of friends, and living in a world where people like me are told that we need to get out more, it is understandable that I would have developed this reaction. And sometimes I do want to be with friends. Sometimes I wish making plans with friends came easier to me. Sometimes I wish that the friends I do have weren’t always busy when I’m free and free when I’m busy.
But there is nothing wrong with going to a movie, or to a cultural attraction, or to a sporting event, or on a vacation, alone once in a while. I’ve missed out on too much by assuming that I have to be with someone to go certain places or else it won’t feel right. So I really need to get over this. It’s okay to do something by myself if I want to.
(And as for the movie itself: Everything I’d heard about it made it look like they took the same characters, the same basic premise, and the same general outline of the story, but wrote an entirely new story with different details. That worried me, because the specific details that were used in the book were exactly what I loved so much about it. But I didn’t hate the movie. To me, the new details still kept enough of the spirit of the book to make it enjoyable to watch.)