Thursday, April 19, 2012

You Talkin' To Me? No? Well, I Am.

When I was four years old, I was in a recital where I danced to Elvis’ “Rock-A-Hula.” My uncle video-taped my stellar performance (My head piece kind of fell off and I was one of those kids who looked down the line at everyone else to see what they were doing. Spoiler alert: it rarely was what I was doing.). Afterwards he interviewed me (for posterity’s sake) and told me that one day my future self would be watching this video and was there anything I wanted to say to her?

I stared at him for a moment, laughed derisively and said only, “I’m not talkin’ to myself.”

Ah, tiny past Kelly. If only you knew how wrong you would be….well, you probably still wouldn’t have said anything. Tiny past Kelly was a stubborn kid.

As for present Kelly, I doubt this will really be that big of surprise to anyone who has read anything else I’ve posted here, but I’m a big talking-to-myself-er. It’s how I work out problems, story lines or occasionally just pass the time. In a slight nod to societal norms, I do try not to have these conversations out loud when in public. Do I always succeed? No. But the attempt is there.

Even when I can get the audible discussions under wraps, I’m still rambling on in my head. And since, every once in awhile, I can be unintentionally witty, sometimes I laugh at what I’m internally saying. I actually think this is worse than just talking out loud to begin with. ‘Cause now I’m the creeper who is walking by herself, staring into space and chortling nonsensically.

The potential for maniacal laughter aside, I still highly recommend self chats. They’re almost always interesting because you know what you’re interested in. Really makes it easy to tailor the conversation for your audience. If you manage to bore yourself, then you know that this is not the topic to try with other people. Because if you don’t care about what you’re saying, why would anyone else? And when else can you have an argument where you ultimately have to be both a gracious winner and loser? It’s a great learning tool.

Do you ever talk to yourself?

Fair warning, if your answer is “no,” I’m not going to believe you. Most likely I’ll even go past that and start regarding you suspiciously. You see, I don’t completely trust people who scoff at talking to themselves. You don’t want to talk to you, but you think other people should? That seems weird. (Yes, I know, me calling someone weird is a little bold. But I'm standing by it.)

Still, there are occasions when I see someone talking to themselves and have the desire to tell them to rein it in a little. This morning, Roomie and I were driving to work and stopped at a light. A young gentleman walked past on the sidewalk. Not only was he involved in a whispered yelling match with himself, but he was punctuating it by quite literally shaking his fist at the sky. (At least that’s how I saw it. Roomie said it looked like he was working out with an imaginary Shake Weight. Eye of the beholder, I guess.) It was a little more public, yet solitary, rage than I’m personally comfortable with.

Here’s my suggestion, if you don’t already talk to yourself, give it a try. You probably have some interesting stuff to say. If you do, keep up the good work! If you’re afraid you’re going to start having these conversations in public, throw in a blue tooth ear piece. Sure, in your case, it won’t have anyone on the other end, but for all you know, neither does anyone else’s. I would just recommend that all parties keep violent hand motions to a minimum. ‘Cause that’s when you start looking like you may be a danger to society.


  1. I for one agree completely! My best ideas come from talking to myself. That may be because the person on the other end of the convo (me) is super into all of my ideas and thinks I’m probably the coolest person ever for thinking of it....either way I'm all for the self-conversation. the slonversation.

    1. A few things about your newly coined word:

      1. It's awesome.
      2. It could also be used to describe a conversation with Sloane from Alias, making it all the more awesome.
      3. See point 1.

  2. One time, I was walking from my car to my apartment, and I noticed a creepy dude staring at me. Clearly, I sped up my pace a little, and looked back and noticed he was still watching me as he walked to his car. It was only as I answered the question I asked myself once I got to my door that I realized I was conversing with myself aloud during my walk, and I was in fact the creepy one. Sad day.

    1. I have certainly been there. Being an unintentional creeper is never the best, but some conversations are just too important to wait...