So…I talk to myself. I didn’t used to…I mean I certainly had plenty of lively thought processes but I didn’t actually talk to myself. Maybe it’s because I just didn’t have that much time alone so instead, I talked to other people. In my early twenties when I got my first “real job” I worked with a woman I’ll call Cee. She was lovely. Smart, good, kind, and very quirky. Not quirky in an irritating way…okay that’s not true, there were times when she made me insane in the membrane, but for the most part I was able to handle her oddities because I adored her. One of her things, however, was that she talked to herself. Out loud. All. The. Time. No seriously, I mean ALL THE TIME.
“okay, now I have to do this, and this, and then this, and then I should call so and so…”
Or, “did I already do this? I think so. No, maybe I didn’t.”
Or, “I hope my daughter is having a good day?”
And I found myself saying “pardon?”, or answering her, or agreeing with her, when in fact…she was not talking to me. I learned to let her be and not get involved. Because clearly, it was a full fledged conversation, with herself.
Onward and upward, that job threw me full force into my career as a fundraiser and I was catapulted to an amazing job. I left Cee behind and did a terrible job keeping in touch. But in my new role, I found myself talking to myself. Out. Loud.
What the what?!
I’m a “lister” anyway. I used to do it in my own little head but I started doing exactly what Cee had done. When planning parties, because let’s be honest, in my 20s that’s what I did much of the time…I’d spend the days leading up to each one listing all the things I had to get done prior to the party. “I have to get the keg, get the food, clean the house, get extra chairs from my parents, and I need to find a new outfit.”
So that’s how the talking to myself started. Listing things that needed to get done. But then it evolved into conversations I planned to have if ever I was given the opportunity. Conversations with ex-boyfriends, future boyfriends, future husband(s), future job contacts, etc. And one of the ones I ran through over and over was the “I’m engaged” conversation. Because in my self-important mind I was sure this news would devastate many many people. Obviously.
I’d be putting on my make-up and saying “I’m engaged. Yes, he’s an investment banker.” Or I’d be driving and saying, “yes, I’m engaged. We plan to honeymoon in Paris.” Or I’d be running my morning run and saying, “yep, engaged. We’re getting married after my fiancé is elected.”
You get the idea.
When I actually GOT engaged for real, it was years after I’d started having this conversation with myself, and texting was now possible. That’s right people…when I started having this conversation? Texting didn’t even exist. So there! Instead of having these fabulous conversations that would crush the souls of men I’d dated before (ahem), I simply texted a picture of my fabulous ring to everyone I knew and that was that.
As I’ve gotten busier and busier, and my mind has filled up with real things like work and responsibilities, the constant conversations I’ve been having with myself for the past 20 years have taken place less and less. In the car I’m either thinking of all that I need to do or listening to books to take a break from thinking at all. When I’m at home I’m fully present with my family and I’m living for the first time in a good long while.
For the past couple of weeks I’ve felt like something was missing. It’s not that I’ve felt unhappy at all, or that I’ve felt a longing for something specific, or that I’ve been sad for the loss of something. It’s more like when I’m almost to work and I realize I didn’t put my wedding ring back on. It’s not a big enough deal to drive all the way back home for it…everyone knows I’m married…but the ring is such a big part of who I am, and signifies so much in our lives, that without it I feel like a big piece of who I am is temporarily missing.
The conversations I used to have with myself? They’ve always been about what I aspire to be. Who I aspire to be. The amazing and maybe even ridiculous things I aspire to accomplish. And while I haven’t stopped dreaming, per se, I seem to have stopped actively thinking about any fantastic and over the top dreams. The ones I’ve been focusing on are simple ones like…oh I don’t know…finishing our bathroom remodel. Or small and attainable things at work. Or things for my husband that are no brainers (he’s got so much potential it’s ridiculous…his future’s so bright he’s gotta wear shades). But these are all more like goals…not dreams. And back in the day? I was talking to myself about (talking myself into?) crazy dreams every single day. And as you know, I tend to think that saying it out loud makes it so. Meaning…my big and wild and fantastical dreams? They are currently not being spoken of at all, and thus, they are sitting firmly on a backburner somewhere. And, well, that? That just won’t do.
Okay, so I’m going to cut myself a teensy bit of slack, I’ve been in a bit of a honeymoon phase with my life this Spring. Things are good. Really good. So the fact that I’ve not been chattering my own ears off about things that will make it even better is understandable.
But I think it’s time to re-open the conversations. Because they were really good ones! And, frankly, my twenty year high school reunion is next summer (cough, cough), and there are plenty of conversations I should be practicing.
“Yes, I AM in fact writing a book on top of all of the other many things I do!”
“Why yes, we ARE in the process of adding on and rebuilding our house!”
“What’s that? Oh…YES…you heard correctly. Our business IS having a banner year.”
“Hmm? Why yes, my husband IS wildly successful. I know…his picture on the cover of Twin Cities Business Journal WAS a good one.”
Man…I’m rusty! I really need to get on this one STAT!
TODAY: What if I go back to talking out loud about those wild, and crazy, and far out dreams that might just come true…if only I talk about them out loud!