I can carry on a conversation in my mind for twelve, solid hours on a solo road trip. This is not the kind of conversation where I am anxious or angry, and dwelling on something. (As if I could stay on one topic for more than three minutes)
These are fun and engaging conversations, where I solve problems like hunger and violence and bring about world peace. I also write songs, Pray for all the people I love, write “How to be Joyful” seminars, (because I believe myself to be an expert), and remodel my entire house.
In case you are wondering, I do talk out loud when I talk to myself. When a car pulls up beside me and I feel self-conscious, I quickly remember that technology is allowing me to do this without looking stupid.
Sometimes, I record these conversations when I am really on a roll, because I have the memory of Dory. I know this because there are times when I think I am having a great epiphany, only to find in my journal that there is nothing new under the sun or in my brain. It just manifests in an updated version.
I can ramble on without receiving the “please stop talking and let me walk away” gesture. (You have seen those poor souls.) The good part is that nobody must listen to the rough draft. I have time to organize and analyze my presuppositions, thoughts, and opinions. I can clear my mind and consider things I had not previously considered, in order to present my babble in a more organized manner.
I almost always find practical answers to unsolved problems in my life and relationships, which usually frees up my creative mind. That’s when It gets good. Great ideas and thoughts begin to flow.
I have learned to recognize when it is time to stop pushing constant stimuli on my brain, and just let that little guy rest. It probably takes a few hours for it to finish processing all the articles, music, conversations, and Hulu episodes, that I have crammed into it. It is only then, that it can figure out what it wants to think, say, or do next.
I have gone for hours needing to use the restroom or have had a gnawing headache that had a simple and quick remedy. Because of the constant flow of life, it took me until the end of the day to fully acknowledge that I had this problem the entire day and address it. Times like those, I know that I have probably been running like that for too many days and it is time for my little guy (brain) to shut down.
It is not always possible to be alone or take a road trip to talk with yourself. It is possible, however, to find cracks of time to withdraw from stimuli and let your brain rest. Only then, will answers and ideas be able to freely flow.