It’s very early in the morning and I did not sleep well so I currently lack the ability to come up with a creative greeting; my apologies.
The world has seemed chaotic lately. There’s confusion, sadness, anger and all sorts of other emotions being thrown every which way. It has provoked my anxiety so much so that I, the social media alien princess, have had to remove myself from just about all social media save for WordPress. Of course, I have thoughts and feelings about the current state of the world, and I will share them, but not until the world has calmed as is ready to hear me. Right now, I don’t think many people are capable of listening. All that being said, if you are like me and are overloaded by current events, don’t worry; this has nothing to do with any of it.
A few days ago I had a spectacularly long conversation with a new friend who has quickly become one of my very favorite humans to talk to. We spoke on the phone for hours until the day had ended and a new one had begun. As I’ve said before, I constantly crave delicious human interaction. I’m a conversation addict, drawn to people who both love to express and think while allowing me to do it with them.
We conversed about everything and anything, he talked and I listened and replied, I talked more and he did the same. I at one point became hyper aware of just how much I was speaking and I brought up the fact that every boyfriend, friend, and family member have at some point told me in disdain that I just “talk too much.” I’ve told him this several times before because after having it drilled in my head, I’ve become highly self-conscious about not only how much I speak, but how I speak in general. I have also been constantly told that I’m hard to follow and some have gone further to tell me that I make their heads hurt. As I had expressed to my other friend Danull not long ago, I have decided that when I meet someone who doesn’t ever tell me that, especially in order hurt me, I should probably marry them straight away. I’m kidding of course. Mostly.
My friend then brought up the fact that I serpentine when I have conversations. I tangent, I come back, new things come up and things get lost and sometimes returned. The moment he said this, I had a flashback to the ancient times of the 90’s, playing the video game Snake on my mother’s flip phone. I imagined the snake gobbling up little 8-bit blocks and growing a block longer, then moving on to the next poorly animated victim. The black, pixel-y snake slithered across my mind, and I could see his point, but I felt it wasn’t entirely accurate as to how I felt. Then suddenly an idea hit me and caused me to blurt, “I think I talk like a tree.”
His immediate reaction was, “like Treebeard?” Which, for any self respecting nerd is of course the first thing we’d think of, though I did not mean it as literally as a Tree Ent. What I do mean is that every conversation I have begins as a tree trunk. As I think, converse and discover, my trunk grows a few thick, sturdy branches. As we continue more branches appear, some thick enough to swing on and others not quite so strong, others simply twigs that are barely visible from a distance. The branches continue to grow, reaching for the sky until they’re all over, and then all at once they start to grow leaves. The leaves fill out the emptiness between the branches. My conversation is complete, the zigging and zagging connected by the leaves, the overall point of the conversation. To me, most lengthy conversations with dear friends always have the same point; to hear one another, to connect, and to learn.
I realize that talking like a tree is not everyone’s cup of tea (oh how cute, that unintentionally rhymed!) and as the great Olan Rogers states, “you cannot make everyone happy. You are a not a pizza.” Even still, I suppose because I constantly find myself in such dire need of human connection, when those connections fail, it saddens me and causes me to feel alienated and strange. While part of me thinks that if every conversation were to blossom into a full, beautiful tree, they would lose their remarkableness, the other part of me would like to think that at least with a select few in my life we are capable of growing entire forests together. That thought leaves me ecstatic.
There’s also the problem of my speech impediment and how quickly I speak. I’m sure part of the reason I speak so fast is simply because I’m from Northern California and we’re all just a tiny bit insane. Recently, in this same conversation, I had the miniature epiphany that my anxiety also plays a part in my thoughts flying out of me like fireworks. I assume this is because my anxiety and my lack of memory make me feel that if I don’t get my thoughts and words out quickly enough, I’ll forget them, and I despise forgetting things. I try to stifle this as much as possible because when I forget to, I end up interrupting people even more than I already do and accidentally talking over them, which I find deplorable.
I’m not sure I can fix my tree like thought process, but If there is one thing I’d like to improve, it is that I still tend to interrupt others here and there. While this is somewhat normal and we all do it to each other, I’m afraid someone may get the impression that I think I’m more important than them, or that I’m only talking at them, not to them. As much as I love to talk and let my heart and mind swell with thought, I truly love experiencing others do the same.
My forest contains so much beauty. Some of my trees are small, sad little Charlie Brown Christmas trees, while others are glorious Redwoods. Regardless of the type or the size, what is most important is that my forest is full of variety, and many trees that are not my own. To truly listen to someone is to bring them into your forest and tell them, “you may plant your tree wherever you wish, and I will protect it. The sun will kiss it, the rain will nourish it, and it will always be yours.” After all, my forest would not be nearly as beautiful if it were full of only my trees. And come to think of it, they’d probably get lonely.
I saw this man dispose of hunger and soap operas too.
I saw this field, that grew perfection, full of things you do.
I saw this box get rid of heartache, and cure cancer too.
When I awoke I sat there hoping, this is what we’ll do.
If we can, we will leave a letter and this song for you,
And we’ll write once a day, and float it through the sea to you.
We’ll regret all those things we thought, of but didn’t ever do.
When the sky seems to clear, who will then be left but a few, me and you.