Most of the time when I write I need silence, but every once in awhile I sit down to stare at the screen and I put a song on. Usually I turn it off, but this time the song I put on inspired the whole post. I’ve been obsessed with this song since the day the album was released and it’s taken up so much room in my brain that I knew I had to turn it into something. So thanks to Ed Sheeran, and his ridiculously soulful and talented self, we’re going to talk about Thinking Out Loud.
Thinking out loud is something a lot of people do. Usually it’s trying to remember where they put the car keys or what to make for dinner. Sometimes it’s just getting that final thought out before they forget what they were about to say. We all do it, but we don’t all do it all day long. And I think most of us do it all wrong.
As a writer, thinking out loud is like an addiction. I have so much that I want to say, so many ideas, and so much that doesn’t make sense once I look back at it on paper, that I just ramble. Constantly. I talk to a friend and know I can relate to the issue so I run on and on when we’re speaking, because I know later I can take all those words and turn them into a post that other people can look at and say, “Oh my god, me too!” To her, I’m a lunatic…she started looking at her phone 3 minutes ago. But I just have to get all the thoughts out.
The problem with having to get the thoughts out is a lot of times, the thoughts come out wrong. Sometimes I say everything that’s going on inside my brain and I look up and someone is staring back at me blankly. Or angrily. They can’t believe I just said that, or they’re SO mad that I just said what I said. At this point I’m either so proud of what I said that I’m trying to make a mental note to remember it, or I spoke so fast that I have no clue what I said and don’t understand why you’re looking at me that way. So then I stare at you staring at me and try to decipher the vibe. All because I thought out loud.
You decide to show me some dresses you bought and talk about which one your boyfriend likes. I will tell you why he would and wouldn’t like each one…and then I will tell you why you shouldn’t take that personally. And then I will tell you about an article I read. And another article. And then I will tell you why I don’t believe articles and think you should do what you want. And then I will tell you how that situation compares to a different situation but in reality maybe you just need to have more self worth. And then I will quote Spice Girls, but also tell you how I’m not a feminist.
And then you will tell me to FUCK OFF because all you wanted to know was what dress I thought you should wear to dinner.
This is what happens when you think out loud. People tell you to fuck off. This is why people only think out loud about car keys and meal plans.
But want to know something? My favorite moments, the ones I really love? They’re the ones where someone lets it all out. Where you ask them that simple question and all of a sudden you’re so wrapped up in a conversation that’s full of scared thoughts and vulnerable emotions and hysterical, throw your head back, tears streaming down your face laughter that you just know a sacred memory is being made. Those moments make the FUCK OFF moments so very worth it.
You’re learning someone. You’re becoming something. You’re saying these things that you know you can’t take back but for some reason you just can’t stop the words. You have to get them out. And they may hurt. They make come out harsh. They may be sweet. They may change everything. But right then, they had to be said, without thought, without fear, without expectation. Just because.
It may not always come out right, but isn’t it better to go back and explain what you meant now than to look back in 40 years and wish you’d said more? That’s why we should be thinking out loud. Because you deserve to be thinking out loud. Bravely. Unabashedly. Happily. Because your thoughts, just as they are, flawed and beautiful, without pretense or perfect timing, matter. Because you, just as you are, flawed and beautiful, without pretense or perfect timing, matter.
PS: Seriously download Ed Sheeran’s album. It’ll blow your mind.
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