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It’s Our Turn: Midnight movie memories

What do you do when your friends ask you to do something spontaneous or out of your comfort zone, such as attend a midnight movie? Perhaps some of you would jump at the chance or perhaps most of you would think of all the excuses you could:

It’s a week night. It’s a work night. You’ll fall asleep. You’re behind on sleep. You’ll be more behind if you go.

Yet on a whim, you do go.

Invisible energy pumps you with adrenaline as you, your friends and a stream of hardcore movie junkies claim your seats an hour before show time. Your veins rush with already consumed sugar. The theater is buzzing, a hub of quivering excitement.

Then the clock strikes midnight. Lights fade. Energy spikes. You manage to keep your eyes wide through ups and downs, lulls and laughs, until scrolling credits meet rolling applause.

You’re smiling. You’re exhausted. You’re laughing. You’re tired. But, best of all, you’ve made new memories.

OK, so maybe going to movie premieres at midnight isn’t your thing.

But the point isn’t about what you do, it’s about choosing to spend time with friends, choosing to take a chance on something new and out of your comfort zone, and being optimistic that you’re going to make good memories that you can revisit, hopefully, for the rest of your life.

Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do, to just say yes, to call an audible on your plans.

I know this from experience. I’m the worst at getting out of the house and getting involved in, well, anything. I have to genuinely make an effort to allow myself to live a little, to break up the daily routine, to ignore the introvert in me that would rather, more often than not, veg alone on the couch and watch Netflix.

I’m certainly guilty of missing opportunities to have fun with friends, especially guilty of missing opportunities involving my faith. It’s a constant struggle, but I’m working on it. I want to get better at it. That’s all you have to do. Make an effort.

Of course, you can’t say yes to everything – that’d be impossible. However, you should at least give yourself permission to be spontaneous once in a while, whether that means losing some sleep to attend a midnight movie or meeting a group for an unplanned shopping trip.

It doesn’t just apply to activities with friends either. Learn that instrument you’ve wanted to play since you were 7. Take a road trip to a city you’ve always wanted to visit. Join a local group to meet new people with shared interests.

Make memories.

You only have one life to live on Earth, so make it count. In fact, British actor Tom Hiddleston said, “We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize that we only have one.”

You don’t want to look back at your life and say, “I wish I had done this, I wish I had done that.” Well, stop wishing. Just do it. Take the Newsies’ advice and “seize the day!”

I’ll admit, I was hesitant to seize the chance to attend my first midnight movie premiere, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, a couple years ago. Would I enjoy the movie as much being so tired? Would I be able to stay awake? Silly questions, really, when the most important part was that I was with awesome friends.

The second time around, I was more eager because memories of the first were some of my favorite. And now, as I gear up for my third time, a midnight showing of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (I will be catching up on sleep by the time you read this), I’m anticipating it all the more.

I’m allowing myself to break out of my norm, to have an adventure, and I’m sure I’ll walk away with plenty of memories to cherish.

Carpe diem, my friends!

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“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Jessica Sly

Jessica Sly has been working as a content writer at the Echo Press since May 2012, contributing, proofreading and editing content for both the Echo and Osakis Review. A Wadena native, she graduated from Verndale High School in 2009 and worked that summer at the Wadena Pioneer Journal as an intern reporter. She attended Northwestern College in St. Paul (now the University of Northwestern - St. Paul), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in Bible. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano (and learning the violin), reading, writing novels, going to the movies, and exploring Alexandria.

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