Remember in Mean Girls, when Cady (Pronounced “Katie”) realizes that all she ever wants to do is talk about Regina George and even though she can tell it annoys everyone, she can’t help but bring it up all the time? like word vomit?
I’ve had moments like that before, but with things like shopping or running or strollers or pregnancy or office supplies… Sometimes, I’ve just got so much stuff swirling around in my brain that I just need to get it all out and say my piece. The problem is that, if I don’t get exactly the response I was looking for, I just keep bringing that topic up to whoever will listen (or pretend to listen).
But the BIGGER problem is when my gotta-talk-about-it topic is a person. I try really really hard not to gossip and/or talk negatively about people, but that doesn’t mean people don’t get on my nerves and do things that make me WANT to talk crap about them. to everyone. about everything they do and have ever done to tick me off.
So, how am I supposed to get this Regina George word vomit off my chest and actually find a way to stop focusing on all that negative (or otherwise boring-to-other-people) stuff I always want to talk about?!
Well, I’m kind of lucky, because I have a friend that listens as much as Gretchen Weiners (who’s hair is so big because its full of other peoples’ secrets), AND (unlike Gretchen Weiners) keeps all my blabbing boring chatter completely to herself. And what if I told you that YOU could be friends with her too! for the small price of 29.99/mo!!!!?!???! jk. Her friendship is mostly free. At the risk of losing all my actual real-life friends, let me introduce you to my true life forever BFF:
Occasionally, I’ll try to “sell” someone on the idea of journalling. And I kind of think that you’re either the type that can get into it or you’re not. So, if you’re already bored by this idea, then “Go on… Get!” (Like they say in animal movies when they’re sending the animals back into the wild, even though the animals are so used to captivity that they’ll probably die within 24 hours.) So, maybe journalling isn’t for you, on a regular basis. And if it is, maybe “regular” means every day, once a week, or once every 3 months. But even if that is more often than you’re interested in, you could still benefit from the ultimate basic journal plan of “just owning a journal”. Because you never know when you might need it!
Here’s why I like to “chat it out with my BFF” ( = journal):
- I have a terrible memory. But, even with a terrible memory, compared to people (like my husband) with amazing memories, I often have the BEST recollections of past events (or Christmas presents), just because I know where to go to find those memories, and when i do, they’re quite detailed. #winning
- It’s very relaxing to me to sit in the quiet house and just write whatever pops into my head for however many minutes until I need to get up to get more Pepsi. If you’ve worked your way into the middle depths of a journal, you can kind of just blab blab blab away because any semblance of organization or standards for what’s interesting to write about are long gone and you know that the chances of you or anyone else reading their way in that far are going to have long lost interest by now. (kind of like this point right here in this blog post!) Plus the physical act of writing is also a little bit therapeutic. We’re always typing or iPhoning and it’s cool to remember what your handwriting actually looks like.
- Sometimes I feel wronged by someone. Or I just generally don’t like someone. Instead of gossiping or letting those negative feelings fester inside me until inevitably I’m going to say something I regret, I find I feel much better if I just write it all down. I do so with no care for how well I’ve presented my argument, and without caring if it seems like I’m coming off as fair and level-headed (as I would have felt like I needed to do if I was talking to an actual human), AND, the best thing about this is that, once it’s down on paper and I’ve said my piece and listed all of the reasons I’m right, IT FEELS RESOLVED. Like, I can move on to my next obsession or boring topic to think about 24/7.
- Obsessions and boring topics are BORING to other people. My poor real-life friends and family can attest to this, but I have gone through a phase where LITERALLY every conversation I had found its way back to strollers. And then another phase was gym memberships, and another two phases where the topic was pregnancy. And about every couple of weeks, I’m steering every conversation back to some online shopping website that I just got a good deal at. Not to shoot down the idea of “actually talking to human beings about things”, but sometimes it gets to a point where you can tell that you just keep bringing it up and nobody wants to hear it anymore. [If you do not know what I’m talking about, you might be lacking in the self-awareness department. Or you might just be a really pleasant person. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to know which.] Your BFF, “Journal”, will listen and listen and smile and nod, and then listen some more and tell you exactly what you want to hear. and then listen some more until her ears bleed.
So, are you sold yet? If you’re not… Go find a really old journal of yours and look through some of it. I’ll bet you a bamillion dollars that you find something you had forgotten about. And you’ll find something that gives you better insight into who you were on the day of that entry. Us humans are funny in that we’re always changing and evolving and finding new (boring) things to obsess over. I find that “living in the moment” and “documenting the moment” are equally rewarding. (and you can do BOTH!) So here’s one of my favorite Ferris Beuller quotes: