Maybe it’s the obvious fresh slate of blank pages just waiting to be written in. Or it’s the fact that I’m a visual creature; the gagillions of swirling thoughts in my head scream for a place to live, laid out in inky linear representations. I don’t know why I do it. But, apparently, it’s “my thing.” Or so she says.
I embrace this. She is right. Every time I have changed a major direction in life, I’ve turned to a spiral-bound notebook to carry the burden of my thoughts and ideas.
Eleven years ago when I birthed the [seemingly] crazy idea of hauling my jobless being across country in search of creative ambition, I turned to a black, plastic cover, classic-style book. I filled it with lists. Pro’s and con’s. Stay in NYC? Move to Las Vegas? No facet was left unanalyzed. My sloppy, careless handwriting surrounded by doodles. My life journey unfolding before my eyes in pen.
There have been half a dozen since then. Some I have forgotten, some are burnt into my mind. There was the “breakup” journal of 2009. I will never forget that. A pink Moleskin purchased from a Barnes and Nobles in Louisville KY in a set of three. Half filled with self-affirming letters to myself, intended to help me through the end of a relationship. Flip the journal over, from the other side, you’d find my notes, plans, contacts and brainstorms intended to launch me to my next job the next phase of my life. Lists of agencies. Hotel and casino contacts. Condo’s I contemplated renting…
I am particular about paper quality. I like thick paper with a little coating. I like my ink to glide over the page, not seep into it. I walk through the aisles of stores, scrutinizing and eyeing notebooks. Of the fifty there, I pick up ten. I finger the papers. I flip the pages. I reject most of my options and, have been known to go to several stores before settling on a book like. I commit to my book. Once I start dumping my thoughts into it, I won’t abandon it. It stays with me. An extension of Sarah. Always at my side.
Pens? Well, I’m just about as picky as them too. I won’t use a basic Bic. And I don’t like a fat-pointed instrument. I went through a phase with LePen’s. obsessed with the thin, dainty wands of color and finely pointed marker-tips. As if the more colorful the ink the more colorful I would allow my dreams.
This past week, I added a new notebook to my collection. It’s hefty. Thick. Lots of pages. I’m going to need a lot of pages to hold my hand through this transition. I bought an eight-pack of pens in the most vivid shades my little fingers could pry from the shelves
SWAK Designs has been my life for almost four years. I bought into the dream, committed myself to the customer and threw myself into my work with abandon, passion and an immense sense of pride. I laughed, cried, created and learned. I felt pride, pain and strength. I never imagined how my time there would end, but when that moment came it was done with care, some tears and a lot of respect. I look back at my time there with nothing but immense pride. Leaving is, without a doubt, the hardest professional move I have made in my life. Except… I’m not scared. Not one bit.
There is no doubt in my mind that I’ve never been stronger, smarter and more ready to sculpt my life into what I want it to be. Do I 100% know what that is? Not in the least. But I know what I need to do to figure it out. I need to create. I need to dive head first into the deep end and bring something to life with my bare hands and raw, creative vision.
So I’ve filled the first few pages of my new notebook. Some lists. A few quotes. Ideas are scratched out and circled. The pages are coming to life. Five down, a few hundred left to go.
I look forward to seeing how they fill up…