I talk to myself, and it no longer bothers me when someone catches me self-conversing. I even look forward to those moments. When it happens, I continue self-conversing, while staring at the person looking at me until he grows uncomfortable, hurriedly gets into his vehicle, and speeds out of the grocery store parking lot. I win!
In the past, whenever someone looked at me chatting with myself, I would pretend my phone was on speaker and then act like I had a willing participant on the other end of the line. Then, I’d catch the observing stranger’s accepting glance and know that I had sold him on my being a normal, functioning member of society. Before the advent of cell phones, whenever someone thought they saw me chatting with myself, I would cough violently to make it seem like I wasn’t talking to myself. Just an allergy, strange judgmental guy. Nothing to see here.
This indifference over the last few years, however, has given me vocal freedom. I’ve learned that if I’m in need of advice, I’m the best person to go to for it. I’ve tried everyone else, and it hasn’t gotten me very far. For one thing, my bias is completely self-serving. I’m also a rather captive audience. I’ve yet to outrun myself. Honestly, I love the sound of my own voice. I have a very impressive inflection with certain words, and that seems to make the advice I’m giving me sound even more profound.
We all have our weird little quirks. Human beings are about the weirdest things ever to roam this planet. Porcupines are pretty strange, too. Humans, though? We take the cake. Talking to oneself isn’t all that egregious, compared to some of the off-the-wall stuff I’ve seen other people do.
The thing is, I’ve always talked to myself. Not always in public, though. On walks, in the car, in the shower, even in the men’s room. Well, not a public men’s room. Even I draw the line somewhere.
The other day, I was taking a walk outside my office building. The sun was out and the humidity was low, which, in my opinion, is optimal self-conversing conditions. I had just turned a corner and was discussing with me where I’d like to see myself in five years. Yeah, it’s a stereotypical interview question, but if you ask this of yourself, it can lead to a rather profound self-discussion. As I was spouting off to myself about this, a man breezed past me on my left side. He glanced back and told me, “Just be content with who you are.” Then, he sped off towards peripheral irrelevance.
Initially I was annoyed that this passer-by was eavesdropping on my one-man conversation. It’s bad form to interrupt someone when they are talking to themselves. I quickly realized, however, that I was publicly airing my grievances and that he was well within his rights to offer up such simple – and rather profound – advice.
It’s my suspicion that a lot of people talk to themselves. Most just aren’t willing to admit it. Yet. Everyone will reach a point when caring about such trivialities will become less important than being yourself.
In the meantime, the best advice I can give to anyone is the advice I once gave to myself several years ago. I said, “Self, no matter which path you choose in life, it’s the right one. Unless you get run over by a car. Then, the path you chose was stupid and now you are dead.”
Be yourself. You’re the one that must live with you for the rest of your life.