I like to take notes in a blank sketchbook. I’ve always hated lines and boxes, and writing by hand is more fluid… (see what I did there?).
My notes are thought fragments, shorthand, just enough to remind me what I was thinking.
And in this process, I’ve developed a collection of inside jokes: potty-mouthed reference points, word amalgamations, my own language that only I understand.
For example, the word “Objective” — used to describe a client’s career goal — has slowly morphed into “Obby” and then “Obbatude” and, just yesterday, “Obbalobbadingdong.” (Who knows what it will be today.)
Letter for letter, these words actually take more time to write so, okay, this isn’t quite shorthand.
Then why bother?
In high school, my girlfriend used to pass me love notes between classes. She’d fold them up into little triangles and write sweet things with little hearts on the flaps. In the midst of my Earth Science lecture, I got to unfold a love story, literally.
These notes were just for me and they were always good for a smile.
Perhaps I’ve picked up where my high school girlfriend left off.
If you go through my journals and my college notebooks, you’ll find tons of nonsensical words with little pictures and animated, puffy words drawn in the margins, stories in pen and ink that only I understand.
This has carried into my work.
Here’s the thing: when I come back to these little scrawlings days later… when it’s time to write the resume or prep for the second counseling call, my notes always make me laugh. Often out loud.
I know they’re coming, and I still laugh.
Definitely good for a smile.
It’s like I’ve been writing love notes to myself all these years: something whimsical and warm in the midst of all the seriousness of work.
Love in the margins.
Just for me.