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Voices Carry

Something went viral this week that I can’t stop thinking about. So much so that it is just after 5am on Saturday and I had to get up to start this post in the *hope* that I can get out enough thoughts to be able to go back to sleep for a couple of hours.

Did you know that not everyone has an inner monologue?

Like, not everyone hears a voice in their head.

This thought has blown my mind. And you should know, I do not use that phrase lightly. In point of fact, I think the “mind blown” thing has been way over used and is almost never accurate.

But in this case?

Mind. BLOWN.

I wonder what life is like for people without the inner monologue. In the story I read, evidently they literally see the words in their head instead of hearing them.

For instance, right now I can HEAR these words in my head as I type them. I hear tone and inflection and if I want to hear them in a funny French accent, I can.

I can’t do a French accent out loud, but in my head? C’est magnifique!

But also this inner monologue is why I can’t sleep sometimes. When I say I can’t turn my brain off, this is what I mean. I have all of these thoughts floating around in my head like I am talking to myself and I won’t shut up.

I sort of envy people that don’t have that problem.

There are people that think the inner voice narrative in movies and on TV is just a clever plot device.

Which also begs the question for me – does that mean they don’t get songs stuck in their head?

For instance, I woke up at 4:45 to pee. And I have the Jonas Brothers Only Human currently stuck in my head. So much so that I am even “singing” some of my thoughts to the tune of Only Human.

Are you telling me this doesn’t happen to everyone?

What is that like?

This also got me thinking about empathy.

I saw another headline this week, or a viral tweet, something. And it said something to the effect of Americans are great at short term empathy but suck at the long term.

For instance, when tragedy strikes be it in the form of a natural disaster or an act of terrorism, we will come together and be the best of humanity…helping total strangers en masse.

But when it comes to wanting to provide shelter for the homeless or universal healthcare it is more of an every man for himself sort of attitude.

And I think that is true.

I know I want to do more. I feel passionately that we need to think about others more. I’m willing to pay more in taxes if it helps the greater good, and I don’t feel that way only when Australia is on fire or there has been yet another shooting.

But I don’t *really* do more, do I? I vote. I try to make my voice heard. But I don’t really do anything about it.

Except donate time or money when something big happens.

I’m not trying to imply that we shouldn’t donate time or money when something big happens because obviously, yes. Help any way you can. But what can we do on the daily?

How can I help all the rest of the time?

I don’t know the answer, but if you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

I’m a very empathetic person. You will not cry alone in my presence. Even if you are a fictional character.

I’m also pretty good at seeing two sides to the story. I’m sure it is annoying to those around me sometimes. But I can’t help it. And I can’t help putting myself in the other person’s shoes – metaphorically.

When everything happened last year and I so desperately wanted answers, I kept asking him “wouldn’t you want to know”? “If the situation were reversed, how would you feel?”

And the short answer from him was almost always “I wouldn’t care”. Or my favorite “I don’t deal in hypotheticals”.

So in addition to not everyone has an inner monologue, not everyone has an innate empathy. And I’m not being judge-y, I’m just wondering what that is like.

How does one walk around truly not caring about other people?

I don’t expect an answer. And I’m sure there are degrees…like you can care what happens to someone, but you don’t have to cry about it. I mean, I can’t. But some people can.

I’m not suggesting that makes anyone more or less human. I’m just puzzled by some of the basic differences we have.

In other news, I am going to Operation Kindness to volunteer for the first time since orientation. I’ve been putting it off since I literally cried through most of orientation. I wasn’t as ready to be there as I thought. I kept thinking back to when I found Spike. And there was a puppy there that looked just like Trixie when we got her and I was not prepared for all the feels.

I want to help, but I don’t think I am ready to be with the animals yet. Partly because I think it would make me too sad but also because I would want to bring them all home with me and I don’t want another animal until I am in a house.

But all of the sign ups were for Cat Room, Kitten Room, and Dog Room and I’m just over here like…can I just do laundry? Or dishes? Is there some paperwork you need filed? So I spoke to the volunteer coordinator and explained my situation and I am going in this morning to help prep for their Volunteer Appreciation Event next weekend.

So, I’m hoping I have gotten enough off my chest to be able to go back to sleep now.


Spoiler Alert: I didn’t.

I did go back to bed but I just couldn’t fall asleep. I did try.

I also went to Operation Kindness today. And I only cried a little – once – when talking about Spike. I just miss him so much. I know I will work my way up to animals but definitely not today.

I finished up around 11:30 and thought since I was dressed and out maybe I would do some shopping. Or stop and pick up some Starbucks on my way home. Maybe get my nails done.

But I didn’t. I knew if I went shopping I would spend money and I don’t really need to do that right now.

And I didn’t stop at Starbucks because I have food at home and I don’t need to be spending money right now.

And I didn’t get my nails done because…say it with me…I don’t need to be spending money right now.

That and I really want a fresh mani pedi for my upcoming vacay.

What? I haven’t talked about that yet?

I'm like Superman, I get my strength from the sun. And maybe a little like Aquaman because...beaches.

Rob and I are going to the Dominican Republic for Valentine’s Day. I found a good deal on Groupon and it’s already a 3 day weekend so we thought why not?

I did not thoroughly research the resort prior to booking. It’s all-inclusive, the Groupon reviews were good, and I need a beach. And Rob was ok with it – it’s an adventure.

I’m not expecting 5 star accommodations. I’ll give you a full report when I get back.

I chose the destination so I told him he has to plan what we do. I’d be perfectly fine laying on the beach under a giant umbrella with an unending supply of drinks in coconuts or with little umbrellas the whole time but he wants to explore the island.

Not that I don’t want to, but part of the beauty of an all-inclusive resort is knowing I don’t have to spend any more money.

Hence the “I don’t need to be spending money right now” discussion I had with myself this morning. In my head. In a funny french accent.

I do have one request – we will be approximately an hour away from Starfish Island! I definitely need to go there. So there is that.

Anyway, I am really looking forward to it. Note to self: stock up on coral safe sunscreen.

So instead I spent my day binge watching Shrill (good but I thought the first season was better) followed by a nap. You know, ‘cause of how hard I’d been working all day. Rob came over for a few hours so we could watch Buffy and Angel - ‘cause we cool like that.

But seriously. Great shows.

I was telling him about my day which reminded me I needed to finish this post and here we are.

That’s about it for now. Until the next time I can’t get the voices in my head to shut up.

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