I do not like lined notebooks.
They make me feel restricted. So many lines. So many grey lines. Of course you can write neatly with lines, nice and straight, but I like it when my words and lines are a bit wonky. This is actually quite strange considering I crave neatness and order like my life depends on it. Sometimes I really think it does. Sometimes I think I will explode if I cannot harness the chaos and squish it into a nice neat box.
Sometimes notebooks without lines are called ‘unruled’. That’s how they were always labelled in WHSmith where we’d go to get our back to school supplies. Ruled or unruled, the label would say.
Maybe this is the problem. I am too UNRULY.
Do you know how hard it is to find a good, unruled notebook? One that is just the size you want, with lots of pages, made using recycled paper, that doesn’t have an awful cover and doesn’t require you to go into debt to buy it?
I can tell you something about this. It is hard.
Maybe this is the problem. I am just too FUSSY.
I recently needed a new notebook and was going through this whole dilemma, again, when I had an epiphany – I could make my own!
So I did. I made myself a notebook. And I love it. There is not a single line in sight.
And it got me thinking about all the things we might want or need but can’t find or afford and how empowering it is to take back the use of our own brains and hands and creativity and learn how to do it for ourselves.
Because we live in a world in which it’s now normal to buy everything, readymade. Everything is done for us. Not only that but it’s also driven into us that you need to be a trained professional to do things that once upon a time, regular people knew how to do themselves. Sometimes it feels like you need a four-year certification just to get out of bed in the morning.
Do you know how amazing it is that we exist? By some crazy, mysterious miracle, we exist! We have hearts and eyes and hands and feet and legs and brains and thoughts and feelings and intelligence. And yet every day we pretend like we’re capable of hardly anything at all.
Let’s not do that to ourselves. Let’s remind ourselves that we can do things. Let’s remind ourselves that it’s good to have a go, even if we don’t get it quite right. Even if it’s not perfect. I mean, probably don’t try to rewire your own house. And personally I wouldn’t go anywhere near a chainsaw. But otherwise, let’s be UNRULY. And thank our lucky stars that we’re not in France, where notebooks are filled with squares and dots.
Just kidding – I much prefer squares and dots to lines.
Here’s to you and everything you’re capable of.
Love and COURAGE,