June 26, 2008

Tale of a Notebook


Somewhere around my 16th or 17th birthday, my friend gifted me a notebook. It had a hard cover, lined pages, and a spiraled spine. It was a beautiful cranberry colour, with hand-made paper on the outside. I didn't think much about it at the time, and put it away until I knew what I wanted to use it for. I wasn't really one for lists. Yet.

I can't remember what changed, but I think I was feeling particularly angsty about my lack of focus in life. I took down the notebook, and made a small list of my goals. They were pretty superficial - wanting to have certain clothes, collect certain types of music... But some were good, like wanting to save for university, and wanting to get better at songwriting. Slowly, over the following months and years, I reached my goals. Writing them down seemed to help me visualize what I wanted. This is how I became addicted to lists.

Nowadays, you'd be hard-pressed to find me without my hard cover, spiral bound, lined notebook. I replace it every four or five months, and I always have an extra on hand in case I run out of space. When I found an Alice in Wonderland notebook during a recent trip to Montreal, I was thrilled. Alice and I go waaay back, and some of you may remember that my first band was named after Ms. Wonderland, in a roundabout way. I contemplated buying every Alice notebook in the store, but wisely only bought one, since I wasn't sure of the paper quality and the rings looked a little cheap.

Thank God I didn't buy more. This notebook has come apart almost completely in only two weeks. The spirals are all misshapen, the cover is slipping off and tearing, and I can't even open it to reach my precious lists. Not even the little Alice quotes will cheer me up. Luckily, I have a backup notebook that I plan to fill as soon as I can. I'm not sure this story has a moral, but it was a good excuse to explain how I became so attached to my notebooks. And also? Just because it has Alice on the cover, doesn't mean it's going to be stellar. Seems impossible, but it's true.


Anonymous said...

That's what happens when drug-addled story-book characters start manufacturing products we think will be useful. I hope you're saving all your notebooks because they'll be worth millions on e-Bay when you become famous.