Zoning out

19 Dec

It should come as no surprise I spend a lot of time in my head, with my thoughts. I concoct elaborate daydreams, with multiple characters and story arcs and plays-within-a-play. I have ones where I’m discovered and become famous, typically by a well-respected B-movie type. I have the lottery dreams where I win and do sensible things like pay off all my debt, and frivolous things like tour Europe. I have the ones where I run into people from the past who are struck by my fabulousness.

I do the thing where I tune out and follow myself down a rabbit hole, rapid-firing through thought after thought after thought until I blurt out something like “hair only grows to a genetically predetermined length” when the last thing said was about carrots.

I think the weirdest thing I do though is rewrite conversations, practice confrontations. I have a pretty exacting memory for dialogue. I can remember chat conversations from eighth grade, telephone calls from 10th. Passed notes, things I’ve eavesdropped, embarrassing things like the time I quoted a Billy Joel song to make my point in a fight with a friend in seventh grade.

I like to zone out, go back, and rewrite some of those things with how I think they should have turned out. For example, not quoting Billy Joel. Standing up for myself more, making my points, being an all-around bad ass. I also do it for things I think might happen, conversations and confrontations I’m anticipating or expecting or dreaming up. I play out multiple scenarios, where I’m tough, where I’m manipulative, where I kill with kindness, where I wow with logic. Where I don’t win, where I bow out graciously, where I snap and lose control.

I like to think of it as a role-play, an internal Gestalt Empty Chair. It gives me a chance to pinpoint where I think I went wrong with things, practice better skills for the future. To prepare and fine-tune. To create conversations that maybe, just maybe, I won’t feel like doing a postmortem rewrite on.

I just wish I wouldn’t also forget where I am and make the complementary facial expressions. It’s difficult to explain that part to people.


3 Responses to “Zoning out”

  1. squirrel circus December 20, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Oh.my.word. — you need to get OUT of my head. Unbelievable how much I can relate to this post! My husband often comments on the likelihood that I will meet my end by wandering into traffic…

    • Cally December 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

      Yeah, I’ve definitely heard that warning before. Husband is usually pulling me out of the way from running right into multiple people as well.

      • squirrel circus December 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

        Now that I have kids, I misplace THEM (in the house), like I used to do (and still do) with car keys and phones. My short-term memory is SO poor that I’ll send one of the boys to their room for a time out, and, less than 60 seconds later, ask “where the hell is so-and-so?!” Husband just shakes his head.

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