When I was a teenager, I would go on walks and listen to music and think about stuff. Not important stuff, just stuff like how good the music was. It was fun, but I always assumed the missing ingredient was a person I cared about to share it with me. Well, I was wrong. What I actually wanted was a clone of myself to ping back my exact thoughts and then be silent while I listened to my music.
Recently I’ve realized how much fun hanging out with me is. Turns out I always want to do exactly what I want to do. On Sunday, for instance, I bought the paper and had brunch by myself. It was the brunch I’ve always wanted to have, but never did because there was always someone across the table from me. I can’t be across the table from someone and not feel obligated to talk to them, even if it’s clear that neither of us wants to talk.
I don’t always not want to talk. Often when I’m reading, I want to talk about whatever I’m reading as though the person across from me is reading it too and having the exact same reaction. In other words, I want to talk to myself. And it is a terrible thing to talk to yourself through someone else.
There are drawbacks to always hanging out with me. I get obsessive about things when there’s no one to tell me to shut my trap and get over them. I get too confident about notions that other people would challenge. Also, sometimes I end up talking to myself in public. People say that’s normal, just like they say you shouldn’t care what other people think. But I do care what other people think and I don’t want to be known around my neighbourhood as the girl who’s always talking to herself.
Not being accountable to anyone, ever, is not actually that healthy in the long run. People think that only through being alone can you get to know the real you. In fact, you are not the only judge of the real you, unless the real you is the person who scratches her ass and yells at the newspaper and flips aimlessly through strangers’ Facebook pages. Hopefully the real you is also hanging out with people and trying to do right by them. Sorry, but other people get to judge that you.
People also think that being alone takes great inner strength. In fact, being alone is incredibly easy. Being alone means doing whatever the heck you want. You can ruminate over whatever nutty things you want to ruminate over and do whatever stupid things you want to do. You can’t live your whole life that way. It’s pretty fun, though.