That day, I was playing outside the place where my brother had his cello lesson. There was a great play-set, and since I was the oldest of two children, I was used to entertaining myself. So I started spinning on the merry-go-round and pretending it was a time machine. (No, I hadn't heard of Doctor Who yet.) I was talking to thin air, explaining that LIVING was time travel, because time never stopped. Then another kid who was there for his brother's cello lesson walked up and asked what I was doing. I don't remember if I tried to explain, or if I mumbled something about playing on the merry-go-round. I just remember the awkwardness of the situation. I couldn't have been more than 9 or 10, but after that I realized it was kind of strange to talk out loud with no one listening. Maybe I thought I was too old for that sort of thing. Then again, I was embarrassed about a lot of things when I was younger. At any rate, I'm pretty sure that's when I tried to stop talking out loud. Before that, I'd just get carried away and not even notice I was doing it.
These days, I mostly try to carry on conversations with myself inside my head. That's probably why I love writing so much. It's a lot easier for me to express myself through the written word. It gives me a chance to see what I'm thinking before I share it with anyone. I love writing in my journal for the same reason. That's where I can be myself completely. Now, there's my blog, too. This is basically me talking out loud, sharing my thoughts. These days, I've learned to be a lot more confident about sharing my thoughts with those around me. I'm still hesitant to speak up, sometimes, but I've learned to get over awkwardness. And my audience isn't imaginary anymore.