I talk to myself. Constantly. My audible self-convos are not a sign of insanity, but a coping mechanism for keeping my life together. If you do so too, then hallelujah! You and me, we get each other sista (or brotha?).
If my world is flowing, the mute button on my internal dialogue remains on. But when things don’t go exactly as planned (which, let’s face it, is a lot of the time) that’s when the conversation goes live “On Air.” It’s like a defense mechanism that keeps me from short-circuiting. Ironically, I think it keeps me from becoming one of those crazy ladies on the street muttering to herself. Well, at least I hope so.
My favorite type of conversations with myself:
1. The to-do list. This is more or less an out-loud recitation of what I need to get done in the next ten minutes or ten hours whereupon I rearrange my task list into the most efficient sequence to prevent my slacker-self from crashing the party.
Example: “So if I wake up at 8 a.m. will that give me enough time to hit the snooze button for another 15 minutes, get ready, go on Tumblr, possibly have some chai, style whatever curls that managed to hold on after I raked through them with my straightener last night and leave the house for 9 a.m.? Hmm better set the alarm for 7:30.”
2. The pep talk. There are times in life when we are anxious/nervous/terrified of something. In these high stakes situations, I try to be my own cheerleader by giving myself out-loud pep talks to strengthen my resolve.
Example: “You can do this, you badass bitch! Now get at it!”
3. Self-soothing session. It’s alright to cry, but it’s also important to know what to say to make yourself stop. Sometimes that requires a stern yet compassionate self-talking to.
Example: “Pull yourself together woman! This is not the right time or location! Now, go clean yourself up and we can wallow later.”
4. The snide remark. Usually these are made for the benefit of my friends or co-workers. But if no one is listening, should I be deprived of my own humor? NO!
Example: “Everyone who wears those skel-a-toe shoes should be exiled to a deserted island to live together starting with Scarlett Johansoon"
5. The memory jogger. Throughout an average day, I lose the plot of my story several times. I find myself standing in a room not remembering why I’m there or staring at my computer screen wondering what I was just about to do. That’s when I have to ask myself what I was up to. Out loud.
Example: “What was I trying to do? Why am I here? Oh yes! I was writing about different conversations I have with myself!”
6. The angry rant. Sometimes telling people off is easier if they’re not actually there. The annoying friend, the idiot who doesn’t know how to drive, the lady who makes a fuss about leaving her bag outside the university bookstore etc. I believe in getting the anger out. Who cares if I seem loca to innocent onlookers. It’s better than bottling.
Example: “You #*^$&*(^#(*^ #(&%&^@&%%$ )*#*^@&%@&^%@!” [said into thin air]