I saw Aquaman last night.

By myself.

Nobody in my immediate circle wanted to go, so I went solo.

You went to a movie alone? That’s just sad,” my brother told me on the phone on my way home from the theater. He lives a thousand miles away from me, but even if he lived in my basement he wouldn’t have gone with me, either. Then again, he doesn’t make a living talking about superpowers like I do.

I really wanted to go, so I went. So, yeah it’s sad, but EMPOWERING,” I replied. We both laughed at the truth of it.

The truth is I almost didn’t go because I had a similar conversation with myself just before I bought the ticket, only mine sounded more like “Hey dummy, only loners, losers, and freaks go see movies by themselves.” My inner voice doesn’t have much of a filter.

There are probably dozens, maybe hundreds of potentially amazing things both large and small that I haven’t done in my life because I let that voice in my head talk me out of it. Not the helpful, protective voice of reason that prevents me from riding motorcycles and eating raw sushi, but the evil, joy-depriving voice of fear and judgement that keeps me from doing things that I might actually love doing — such as taking myself on a date to see Aquaman.

I don’t know if that annoying inner voice will ever disappear completely, but I have tamed him quite a bit over the past few years. Quieting that voice didn’t happen overnight, but every time I ignore him and do what I want to do JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO DO IT, he becomes less and less convincing.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying I’ve adopted the a screw-what-anyone-else-thinks-I’m-gonna-do-whatever-I-want-to-do attitude. That would be narcissism. No, I’ve adopted the habit of ignoring the voice in my head that wants me to play small and live in fear.

That’s called empowerment.

And that’s what I learned from Aquaman. Ok, I didn’t really learn it FROM Aquaman, but I did learn it by going to see Aquaman. By myself.

Here’s to ignoring that villainous inner voice and doing what you want to do simply because you want to do it.

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