Other than tea, the thing that features most heavily in my instagram photos is my trusty notebook. MY handbags always have to be big enough to fit it in, and coffee has to wait until after I have finished scribbling to be drunk. If I’m at home watching tv, or reading, it will be by my side. My trusty companion.
Inside my notebook is everything from the weeks to-do list, post ideas and quotes I find particularly inspirational to todays journal entry, a phone number I need to remember and every creative idea for a show or story I have ever had. I go through notebooks, quicker than I do guys, and more regularly too. But unlike guys, each and every notebook sticks around afterwards, for good. They don’t pass through my life to be my everything and then disappear leaving me having to readjust. They take pride of place on my bedside table, top of the fridge, shelves, and any other surface that happens to be free.
I have kept every notebook I have used for the past three years, and that is a ever growing, already fairly sizeable amount of memories to find a storage place for.
There’s a number of reasons I keep these beautifully packaged streams of consciousness. The obvious one being, that this is where every show I have written and planned to write is born. Every creative thought that has popped into my head has been recorded on a page, and is waiting for its time to come to life. If I threw away my notebooks, I might be throwing away a whole scene of a play, the ending to a children’s novel or that piece of set inspiration that ends up shaping the whole show. Sure, 80% of these ideas may never see day light, and a percentage I’m not willing to number, probably aren’t even any good, but why risk it? Afterall, just last week, I dug out my notebook from 2013 to finish off the storytelling piece I put together for a performance last Saturday.
But other than this, there is a bigger reason for me keeping these notebooks. A reason that is sentimental, scares me, and I question over and over again.
The reason I keep every single pointless scribble I’ve ever written down, is because one day, these pointless scribbles might be all that is left of me.
My nan had Alzheimers, it probably runs in our family. My mum says if she starts to go like her mum, she is going for a long walk, and hoping that she gets lost. Alzheimers is a cruel cruel disease, it can leave the body a mere shell of a person. My mum lost her mum, 20 years before she actually died. My nan passed away when I was 18, but I never really knew her as a person. The nan my family would describe, was the life and soul of the party, a woman who could do anything, the one they relied on. I only know my nan through second hand stories.
I face the fact that one day, this might be true for my grandchildren too. The my daughter might start to forget who I really was, and remember me only as this shell. I don’t want that for me or for them. So I keep my life, my memories, myself in the pages of a notebook, and hope that one day, if I go old and grey, they will keep the real me alive.
I also like the idea that even if I don’t get Alzheimers, my kids will be able to meet me as a twenty something year old, confused, happy, and probably talking about sex far more than they can bare to listen too. I will still be there mum after all.
So that is why I keep my notebooks, as a reference library of my life. It’s a nice idea, but if I carry on filling up pages as quick as this, I’m not sure the kids will thank me, when they realise they have several storage containers of notebooks to inherit!
Live life & take the time to write it down x
ps. If you like the bedding in the background of the photo up top, I picked it up in the BHS Sale on Monday, and they have some lovely sets in at the moment!