$10 DVD Therapy
Once upon a time, in a faraway land of The Long White Cloud, I lived in a deeply un-fun relationship. When it ended, as all un-fun things eventually must, I found myself alone, free, stifled and confused.
I could do what I want, the choices were overwhelming, the opportunities for clarity were boundless. But my new found freedom was stifling me:
What would I do with myself tonight?
What did I feel like watching?
TV or DVD?
Action? Sci-Fi? Comedy? Fantasy? Drama?
The silence of my answers was deafening. I had been in a relationship for so long, perpetually compromising, that I didn’t know how to answer myself anymore.
I had put my own needs aside so deliberately and so carelessly, that after a while, I just didn’t feel them anymore.
So newly single, when it came to the question “What DVD would I watch?” my mind instantly went blank.
It came to a head one Saturday night standing in the DVD rental store. (Yes, way back when rental stores were still a thing.)
I had already spent 20 painful minutes browsing the aisles because I just couldn’t make a decision.
Why couldn’t I make a decision? I was scared about picking a bad film, a film I’d be chastised over, a film I’d only watch part of because I was too busy watching him out the corner of my eye, worrying if he liked it or not.
I was starting to panic.
My anxiety reached a climax when I felt like the walls of the store were closing in on me, mocking me for my indecision. I literally ran out of the store, empty-handed and in tears.
I spent the rest of the week processing what had happened.
The following Saturday, I went back into the DVD store and gifted myself an entire hour.
60 full minutes.
I mean, what else was a newly single girl going to do on her Saturday night anyway?
I walked past the aisles with the expensive overnighters and went straight to the weeklong rentals – I could pick 5 dvds for $10 and take the whole week to get through them.
Or watch none of them – I didn’t have a lot of money but it didn’t matter so much when they were so cheap.
I took my time choosing the DVDs that resonated with me. Just me.
No audience to judge my choice, no more fake laughing to cover up for a dull comedy, no commentary complaining the special effects were unrealistic.
I picked two films I loved and had seen before (Amelia and The Long Kiss Godnight) and felt relieved and safe for making a choice. I would at least have something to watch and nothing unexpected was going to pop up on the screen.
That stress out of the way, I was free to go ahead and casually pick a few others that seemed interesting. I could only find another two and the bean counter in me angsted that I had to find 5 for the best value.
As I approached the counter, I casually picked another DVD randomly off the shelf – as you do, when you aren’t worried about the audience.
I got into my car, relieved, excited, and for the first time in seven years, buzzing and feeling totally alive. I was making decisions just for me!
Giving myself permission to have needs.
Re-learning what I liked.
Re-developing my relationship with my child self.
Taking myself on a date for a whole hour in a DVD store, and being totally okay with whatever outcome I arrived at.
As I immersed myself in other people’s stories, the pain started to subside. My imagination started to grow back and I found myself feeling again.
I found this process so incredibly healing and nourishing, I did it for another 6 months.
As my confidence and social life improved, sometimes I’d return all the DVDs back on Sunday completely unwatched.
I’d browse for another hour, choose another 5 DVDs for $10 and be on my way to another seven days of self-development.
Because $10 DVD Therapy works… and because I’m worth it.
Womb-Centred Leadership Coach
In 2016, after nearly 2 decades working in corporate, I created Empress Crow and Rabbit. Designed to celebrate the cycles (lunar, menstrual + seasonal) I also loved interviewing imaginative women in inspirational careers. Now, I'm a Life Coach + I support Corporate Wonder Women just like you, to explore + harness your own Womb-Centred Leadership. When a client discovers her Power Days + plays to her strengths on these days, her corporate life + home life transform. She is more productive, more inspirational, more creative + more rested. Yup. All of it.
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Photo credit: Lucy Spartalis