I opened the notes app on my phone to quickly write down an idea for this space before losing it, but immediately became sidetracked with all the other notes listed in front of me. I scrolled through them and this proved to be a mistake because within moments I had completely forgotten what idea I was originally going to write down. So, let’s just talk about notes instead.
I always wanted to be a note-taking type of person. Not the school note-taking type of person (been there, done that), but the cool note-taking type of person. I wanted to be that clever looking someone who sat on the bench at the park or against a tree in the forest and pulled out a notebook or pad and pen and scribbled notes about my surrounding observations and the thoughts that occurred in that moment and about everyday life in general. I wanted to look like I could be a decent conversationalist and had good stories to tell and wisdom to impart. I tried to be this person, but it turns out I’m just not. I’m a collector of notebooks, but the moments I use them are rare and scarce.
Digital notes are even worse. Over a span of eight years, there are 122 notes of thoughts on my phone, but most of them I either a) have no recollection of creating or b) have no recollection of why it was created or c) never came back to it, so what was the point of writing it down? Browsing through them is like looking at two-second long thoughts with no context, no additional information to explain to myself why I thought this thought or what was so important about it that I was compelled to write it down.
No additional text. No additional text. No additional text. No additional text. No additional text. No additional text.
2/2/15 - Pretty sure I had just watched The Others for the first time, so I had an idea for The Other Others. That idea evidently didn’t pan out.
1/22/15 - What about Eric Clapton?
10/29/14 - A list of songs. Most I haven’t listened to since 2014.
10/17/14 - I feel like “She’s a whore hotel” could have been something great.
10/16/14 - A song I haven’t listened to since October 16, 2014.
9/6/14 - Great start to a noir detective story or something or other.
7/22/14 - That title is already taken. What was I thinking?
7/18/14 - An inner monologue story. Okay, yes. Something relatable.
7/16/14 - Never used the slang “let’s go mob” before. Had to look it up on urban dictionary. Only two options: “let’s mob” means “let’s go” and “let me mob” means “to tag along.” More context would have been great.
I should leave my phone at home because it’s clearly not a good system for me. But I wonder how many of those clever looking someones who sit on the bench at the park or against a tree in the forest with their notebooks or pad and pen are just imposters. They’re probably playing tic-tac-toe. I could do that.
Very interesting. I find notes are only ever useful to me at the point of writing when I’m grappling with an idea but they rarely serve as a reference point in the future.