Talking to Yourself

Many years ago I read a book called Momo. It tells the story of a little girl, also named Momo, who lives in the ruins of an amphitheatre on the outskirts of a large city. Momo has no parents, can't read or count and doesn't know how old she is. But the people in her neighborhood love her because they can come visit and talk to her, and she listens to them. She doesn't say much in response or give advice, she doesn't solve anyone's problems, but by listening to people, she helps them solve their problems on their own. Eventually, Momo makes many friends and when someone is struggling with anything, they often get advised to "go and see Momo!"

I'm thinking of that book again because I often feel like I want to talk to someone about something, but don't know who. I mean, I have good friends who I would trust with anything, but the hours we spend with each other are far and few between, and I don't want to use them all talking about my own stuff. Instead, I've found a different approach - talking to myself.

I'm a software developer, and I started talking to myself as a way to think about software problems. Like, maybe I was debugging some code, or I was weighing multiple different approaches to a problem with pros and cons. Whatever the problem, talking about it helps me think about it. I'm assuming that talking about something activates some area of the brain that is otherwise inactive and, look, I don't know exactly what goes on up there, but if you activate a whole new area things are bound to get more dynamic.

One of the things I work at is a single person team. I'm the only software developer, so I don't have any coworkers that I could talk to about this, so I just talk to myself. And eventually I thought, you know if this helps me debug software problems, it might be helpful for debugging life problems to. And it is. I mean, it's not a silver bullet but it helps. I guess it helps to sort out your thoughts and feelings and make sense of what's going on up there in your head.

A good thing about talking to yourself is you can do it anytime and don't need to coordinate with another person. And I'm not saying that you shouldn't talk to other people about things are important to you, but talking to yourself can be in addition to that. And if you don't like talking into nothingness, try getting yourself a rubber ducky or a teddy bear or some other easily anthropomorphized object and talk to them instead.

Or you can talk to Siri, which has the added benefit that she can take everything you say, and turn into a note. Although the speech recognition is less than perfect - I tried writing this blog post by dictating to Siri, but gave up halfway through because she got too many things wrong. I don't fault her for that, because she probably has better things to do.