My Own Best Friend
I am still enjoying American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. I don’t have any brilliant insights into how one goes about keeping someone close who holds divergent views from your own, but there have been a few moments where I’ve grabbed my notebook and jotted down something because it resonated with me.
One of these moments is early on in the book when she confronts someone who swindled a family member. She slips between two houses to cry in private and have a conversation with herself. Within moments, she is calm and collected, and she states: “Long ago, I had become my own confidante” (p. 138).
When she calls herself her own confidante, she’s not being facetious. She talks to herself — in her head, but still addressing her feelings, answering questions, and giving comfort. She is the advice giver she wishes she had outside her own brain, but she doesn’t stress the fact that some of her relationships are strained. She is, after all, her own confidante.
I sat thinking about this idea for a long time because I am someone who likes to spend time with myself. Sometimes I will joke about it when I’m going out with myself and sing a throaty version of “My Own Best Friend” from Chicago. But while I’m out, am I really talking to myself?
The act of telling yourself something, as I often do on this blog, creates clarity. It leads you to action or puts things in perspective. Writing it down, putting it into words, matters. And maybe THAT is the biggest loss of people not writing on their own blogs. Yes, they are still throwing up small bon mots on Facebook or Twitter, but they’re not delving deep, telling themselves their own story. In stepping away from that conversation with yourself, do you lose that role as trusted confidante of your own mind?
Do you tell yourself things, or do you just assume your brain already knows everything happening in your life?