For most of my life, I’ve seen at most an average of two movies in the theater per calendar year. My lack of movie-going can be attributed to a variety of factors, the least flattering being my cheapness ($11.50 for a movie?! Come on!) and my laziness (ultimately, I would always rather watch a movie in my pajamas under a fleece blanket on my couch). More noble factors include that I’m more of a book-reader than a screen-watcher, and if I am going to watch a movie, I tend to go for old-classics more than new blockbusters.
Whatever the reason, movie-going was not a hobby of mine… until this year. This past January, I gifted myself MoviePass (a subscription app that allows you to see up to one movie per day at participating theaters for less than $10 a month) and I’ve drastically skewed my movie watching average. Now, I go to see at least two movies a month instead of two a year.
The best part of having a Movie Pass subscription? It has compelled me to watch movies that I wouldn’t have considered viewing before. In doing so, it has expanded my taste, worldview and experience. Whereas before I only watched movies that I really wanted to see—movies with my favorite actors, within my preferred genre—now I will go to anything that even mildly intrigues me. Many of the movies that I wouldn’t have watched otherwise have led to interesting conversations, given me new ways of thinking about people and issues, and moved me to feel deeply. In other words, my life has expanded in numerous ways from watching more movies.
My experience with MoviePass has taught me two important lessons:
- I’m more set-in-my-ways than I previously realized
- It’s a good practice to step outside of my usual box and try new things.
Having preferences isn’t a problem, but sometimes we don’t know what we are missing until we choose an option other than our usual go-to.
For an example, I absolutely love the paella at a local restaurant and so for the longest time, it was the only item I ever ordered off their menu. Why mess with a good thing? Inspired by my MoviePass experience, though, I decided to branch out last time I visited this eatery, and it turns out that I love their bolognese as well. It’s not that there was anything wrong with always ordering the paella, but there is something satisfying about trying and enjoying something new. The same logic applies to vacations (do I always go to the same place? Could I try a new location, or maybe even just a new activity in the same location?), books (could I venture into a different genre?), and even career logistics (do I use the same programs/resources for all my projects? Could I try a new one? Do I ask for advice from the same person over and over again? Could I get a fresh perspective?).
We can never know what we are missing out on until we give it a try, and sometimes we just need a little push to try something new. Let this be your push!
What are the areas of your life that could use some expansion? What is one new thing could you try this week?
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Teresa lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where she works as a Director of Faith Formation at a Catholic Church and dabbles in hospital chaplaincy. She has a BA in English, a Master’s in Divinity, and a passion for thinking about the intersection of spirituality, self-improvement, and well-being. Her perfect day includes slowly savoring a morning cup of coffee, reading for work and for fun, and receiving snail mail.