Weird? What makes you think I'm weird?
For a very long time, I've been telling regular readers of this blog that I'm weird and I'm fine with it. I've been encouraging you all to embrace your own quirks and see your personal strangeness as a good thing. But I came to realise recently that I've never been completely open about what my odd little ways actually are. So, if I'm going to carry on telling everyone to wear their weirdness like a badge of honour, I figured it was about time I really unleashed the inner workings of my random brain and compiled a list of my quirks.
Considering I'm really quite bizarre, I'm going to whittle it down to just a few of the weird things I do, otherwise we'd be here all day...
1. I talk to myself.
And seriously, I don't just mean the little mumbles we all do from time to time, like when we mutter that we can't find our glasses, or we yawn and say aloud "I ought to go to bed," even if there's nobody there to hear us. I'm talking about full on chatting. There are times when I'm alone and I practically narrate my life, a la JD from Scrubs.
That incorrect apostrophe hurts my soul, but the gif is appropriate, because I sing a lot, too.
The thing is, I don't even feel embarrassed about the fact that I'll happily laze around in my room - sometimes glued to my laptop, sometimes with the telly on - chatting away to nobody in particular. It untangles my thoughts. All those little moments from the day - the workmate who annoyed me, the friend whose text message seemed a bit snappy, or the secret I've started planning for someone's birthday - flow out, and by putting them into words, I can make sense of how I feel about it all. It's the verbal form of keeping a diary, I guess. I do have a diary as well, but there's nothing quite like the revelatory moment of getting stuff off your chest in the spoken word and realising how you can fix a problem. If it's a case of keeping everything in my head and suffering an eventual brain explosion, or talking it all out by myself, then I'm picking the non-explosive method every time.
And yes, I do talk to friends and family as well. But they're not around at midnight, when I really want to discuss vital issues, such as whether all the celebrities I follow on Twitter have grouped together and made a pact never to respond to me ever.
I suspect they have.
2. I invent music videos when listening to songs via earphones.
I love music. Best of all, I like listening to it through earphones/headphones, ideally in the dark, late at night, whilst I'm tucked up in my duvet like a cinnamon roll. For me, music is best when it's a totally immersive experience - I like to almost drown in sound.
The weird side effect of listening to music that way is that you completely lose yourself and, if you have a strange, creative brain, you end up carried away, either having incredibly vivid daydreams with the music as a backdrop, or you find yourself imagining a music video for each song you listen to.
Often, the two thought processes merge, so my brain sometimes creates a sort of "best-bits" compilation of my recent daydreams, set to each song. And so, earlier today, whilst travelling home from a shopping trip, C'est La Vie by B*Witched randomly came on shuffle on my phone (everyone's allowed a bit of cheese in their lives, don't judge me) and I had a bizarre dream that I was in a karaoke booth with Dan Howell and we were attempting Irish dancing. Where that came from, I don't really know, but the mental image was so hilarious, I was genuinely laughing out loud.
It looked nothing like this, but it turns out that typing "Dan Howell dancing gif" into Google doesn't come up with anything close to what my strange mind created.
3. My subconscious tends to decide how big a crush I have on someone, by either killing them or making them seriously ill in a dream.
Look, I told you I was weird. And it's not like this is something I have much control over (I can sometimes control my dreams, but not always and the more immersive they are, the less power I have to drag myself out of them, or change things within them).
Basically, if I think a celebrity or someone I've met in real life is cute and seems like a nice person, then a crush might form. If I have a crush on someone, I tend to dream about them. And then... Well, I can tell I really like someone - famous or otherwise - by whether or not I've dreamt that they've either died or been really ill. It sounds incredibly bizarre and utterly morbid, but it would seem that my subconscious' way of determining whether I actually do care for a person is by checking how I would react to their imaginary demise. If I wake up thinking "ugh, not another dream where someone I like died," then maybe my crush is only minor. If I wake up and I'm really sad and I have to check that the person is actually alive, then we can assume I've got it pretty bad.
To put this into context, when Josh Widdicombe was my number one celebrity crush, whilst I did dream about him, I never dreamt that he died and I had to mourn him. Yet a few nights ago, I dreamt I was Phil Lester's girlfriend and his appendix burst and we had to rush him to hospital. I actually woke myself up, sleep-talking the words "you're okay" and tenderly stroking a cushion on my bed, whilst feeling a sensation I can only describe as panic-sadness. So, I think we can safely say that's a full-on crush. Plus, he lived. My subconscious wasn't even allowed to kill him.
He did look a bit like this, though. Which is possibly the face he'd pull if he ever heard about my weird dreams, come to think about it.
I guess, whilst this is a particularly odd habit of mine (I expect to be dragged off for testing any day now), it's not one I control. And it is a handy way of working out whether I genuinely like someone, or whether it's a case of being shallow and just thinking "phwoar" - not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that. After all, if you're sad at the thought of losing someone (even if they're not actually in your life), at least you know they must mean something to you and you're not just being a perv.
4. I can only drink something with bits in, if the bits are MEANT to be there.
I have a very strange problem when it comes to drinks. If there are supposed to be bits in it, I'm fine. I can drink pulp in orange juice and I'm fine with thick smoothies with raspberry pips etc in. I'm even okay if I've got a drink with a slice of lemon in it and there's the odd teensy bit of stray lemon strand floating about in it. But if I'm drinking something with nothing in it and I see a speck floating around, I flip out. I find something extremely gross about bits in drinks that aren't supposed to be there.
Perhaps it stems from working with children. Kids don't seem to care what's floating about in their drinks. Bits of cracker, pasta, peas, you name it, I've seen it taking a dip in a child's drink and I've seen them not give a damn. It turns my stomach and I've become so obsessed about it, that I've been known to throw entire drinks of mine away because the tiniest random crumb has made its way into the glass, somehow.
Just, no. If there aren't meant to be bits in a drink, then the bits had better stay well away.
5. I have entire conversations with people in my head.
I'm actually pretty good in confrontational situations - I stay polite but firm and I generally handle things as well as I can. But you can't always have a conversation with someone who's "wronged" you, plus I'm also not actually a particularly confrontational person, so whilst I can hold my own when put in that kind of situation, I'm massively unlikely to create one.
And that's where the internal conversations come in.
Cut me up at a roundabout? I will imagine that we meet again mere moments later and you somehow bump into my car, giving me the opportunity to tell you exactly what I think of your lousy driving skills.
Because I try to be a nice person, if someone says something to me that hurts or angers me, nine times out of ten, I'll internalise that feeling (and decide it's probably my fault or that I'm overreacting), rather than start an argument. But later, when I'm in bed at night and I've finally stopped talking to myself, I'll imagine all the many smart ass responses I could have made. I will own you. You'll just never know about it.
6. Actually, I pretty much LIVE in my head.
My brain is a peculiar place. If I'm ever around you and I have a strange, faraway look on my face, it's almost certain that I am existing entirely in a world I've created for myself. In reality, I could be at work, eating dinner or even writing this very blog, but in my head, I'm saying my wedding vows, performing to a crowd of thousands, signing a multi-million pound book and film deal, or developing super powers. And you have no idea.
In my head, I can be prettier, richer, more talented and married to any celebrity I choose (although currently it's always the same one - guess who?!). I can be hilarious, charming and confident.
The world I create for myself has endless possibilities. It's literally limitless. Is it really any wonder I like living there so much?!
It's just lucky for everyone concerned that I do check in to the real world from time to time. And I've quite enjoyed my visit, whilst I've been writing this blog. But I really do have to go, soon. A burst appendix is no laughing matter and my beloved Phil needs me to nurse him back to health...
Holy shit, this dream just got VERY weird. Even for me.
But seriously, there are so many other ways in which I am utterly weird. And utterly fine with that. I mean, we haven't even touched on the way I will interrupt a perfectly normal conversation with whatever random thought has just popped into my head, or my genuine love of dressing up at any given opportunity. Let's just say I'm strange.
And you're strange. Deal with it. Love it. It's what makes us unique.