Please stop being boring as hell. That’s not you, that’s not how you talk, and starting with the same thing every time just makes it feel like I’m talking to a stranger every time, and I don’t like it.
Be you, yeah?
You know, that crazy thing you do where I call you up and instead of saying “hey!” You say “OH MY GOSH, you’ll never guess what just happened!!” Like an excitable kid, while you’re laughing hysterically?… be that you, yeah? Cos that is you… none of this “Hey, I just saw” rubbish. Or, “Hey, how are you?” Cos you’re gonna find out how I am without asking.
OK? Cool… anyway…
That’s a weirdly paraphrased lesson I got from my ex when I was about 18, and it’s stuck with me ever since.
He was my college sweetie, we studied together, worked together, socialised together, went to the movies every week without fail (til the point we saw everything and then had to rewatch a movie cos there was nothing new to see) Then he joined the RAF, and I stayed home and got a job. Then we went from seeing each other all the time to talking a hell of a lot.
He’d call me up after his morning drills – he was my alarm clock.
He’d message me during any breaks he got during the day, usually at lunch.
He’d call me every night when he got off duty
He’d write to me at least once a week.
And he came home on weekends.
We talked a lot – so much so, that even my Mum wondered how the hell we did it. And it was great, never strained and we always had something to talk about, whether it was something that had happened, some plans we were making, or random theories and ideas we’d come up with.
(I know, why did we break up? It sounds perfect! Well, I’m not telling you.)
But I fell into a habit that even annoyed me, until he called me on it.
Every letter I wrote back started the same way; “Hey, I just got your letter…”
Well, no shit Sherlock, of course I’d just got his letter – what else was I replying to?! Duh! And he called me on it.
Told me to stop being so formal, so repetitive, so notme.
“Where’s my random, crazy girlfriend gone?!”
Well, I was still there, it’s what happened whenever he called – especially at 5:30am
phone rings again
Phone rings again
“hey babe, you awake?”
“Ok, well get up, you’ve got work”
“I hate you”
“ok, love you too, I’ll ring back in 10”
And ring back he did.
EVERY.DAMN.DAY. Not gonna lie, I secretly loved it, but not the point – I love sleep. And what better alarm clock than someone who gives a damn? – it also prompted me to find the least annoying ring tone on my Samsung flip-phone (those were the days!)
I very rarely answered the phone with “hey, how are you?” And he didn’t expect me to. I didn’t even initiate text conversations that way, it was always something random. More natural.
And yet “hey, I just got your letter… “
Debbie, you boring shit, stop it already!
And that’s where we got to, Until…
“What the hell was that!? Where did you find so many randomly coloured pens on an RAF base?! What are you? A bunch of excitable teenage girls in the stationary shop buying scented coloured gel pens?! And yet they’re gonna be sending you off to fight wars… Ok, I’m not gonna think of that… back to the weird rainbow you just sent me…”
Yep… he’d got bored and realised there was a whole bunch of random pens in the barracks, so wrote one letter in every pen he could find. One pen per sentence. It was weird as all hell and I wish I still had my letters (I know, disappointing, right?)
He rang me to tell me “He’d just got my letter…” as he laughed at my random outburst of crazy that was on the page in front of him.
And ever since then, I’ve vowed to NEVER start with the boring as all hell start to anything I write. Usually my writing comes “mid-flow” from something I’ve been thinking about then just start writing, and it comes out just “as it is” and I need to backtrack to make sense of my own thoughts.
But there’s no “plan”
Nothing on any tangible level other than “this is what’s currently in my head, so here you go…” as I hope that my fingers keep up with my mind and I don’t completely lose track or have too many typos (cos that slows me down, and then I lose where I was)
It’s just how it is.
I’ve spent many years writing, even more reading… it just comes naturally to me now, and I tend not to care what other people will think of what I write, other than “for the love of all things written, DON’T have a boring start!” Because if you have a boring start, who’s gonna bother with the rest?
And I don’t expect you to either.
So there you go.
That’s it, in a nutshell
(an 899 word and counting nutshell… 905… you get it)
Don’t start with boring stuff, be random, let it flow.
And when you’re done… just let it go.
Feel calm, because now your crazy is on the page, and it’s all good. Why? Cos it’s you. Just as you are. In all your weird glory, and that’s why people keep on talking to you (and listening to you) in the real world anyway.
Stop trying to appeal.
Stop trying to explain, or be understood.
Or trying to make sense, cos the more you do that, the more confusing you’ll be.
The more bland.
The more “blah”
The more likely you are to be scrolled on by and passed over for the next thing that’s more interesting (humans are fickle like that y’know?)
So there you have it.
Til next time