A clean slate, an old notebook and a new year
Just like a new notebook in school, this new blog feels like a clean slate.
Back in school, I would make an enormous effort to get and keep my new notebook tidy.
When I look into these old notebooks, I always see myself trying so hard on the first pages. I wanted to make the letters all perfectly shaped, the words evenly spaced and the pages neat, straight and stainless.
After the initial pages, I would slowly see my handwriting and tidiness transform into something that resembles my personality more, even now. My letters were rushed, I wanted to get as much information down as possible. Because of the rushing, I didn’t pay as much attention to spelling and keeping everything neat. I wouldn’t make an effort to take the notebook out carefully and without folding the pages anymore…
I still see some of those personality treats in myself now. If it needs be (like for a test or in communication with a customer), I will make an effort to mind my spelling. (As I do in this blog) However, if my communications are not a big deal (like in a notebook or on IRC), I tend to not pay as much attention to it. Just because I think it’s more important to get information down than it is to spell it correctly.
Partially due to the rushing, I alienated some very good friends. Even though I don’t mean to, my lack of attention to details such as interpunction (and therefor intonation, when speaking online) can cause enormous misunderstandings.
It’s not that I am indifferent to other peoples feelings, it’s just that by trying to get my point across, I sometimes miss the little details that make it very clear what my point actually is, rather than something that can be interpreted in many different ways.
When the notebook would become slowly filled, I would start to rush in the end. I would make my letters bigger and create more whitespace, just so that I could get a new notebook.
I would pay even less attention to keeping it in mint condition, after all, I would be getting a new one shortly, a nice, new clean slate…
Somehow every new year feels a little like a new notebook. I make resolutions, try to keep the year crisp, to keep it from staining. I will try to do things better, in my household, in my friendships, with my pets.
After a little while, the new year doesn’t feel new anymore. I will be slacking a bit here and there, not being obsessed with making my every move and decision the best way possible.
As things progress, stains will form on the new year. I will be disappointed in myself, because I didn’t live up to my resolutions, although I never really took them seriously.
Resolutions tend to be hypocritical, why better your life only because of some event? Isn’t any day as good as the next to start bettering yourself?
This year, my only resolution is not to make any resolutions. I will try not to set my own standards too high, so that I will not be disappointed by myself. I hope that motivates me to keep the year from creasing at the edges and keep it neat for the rest of the year.
Stains will always form, be-it by my faults or life itself. Maybe I shouldn’t mentally discard a notebook because the proof of usage shows it’s marks. Maybe, the little flaws it picks up during time are what makes it beautiful and valuable.
What fun is a perfectly neat notebook? One that only shows a meticulous and pedantic personality? What would tell the story of the notebook, about the things it’s been through and the places it’s been?
Now I wish the year would move on already, I would like to get a new one, so I can proudly stain it, crease it and make it lived, rather than crisp and new. Just so I can keep my slate as clean as it will always be. I don’t need a new one, I just need to clean the one I have regularly and take good care of it. Slates chip easily, we just tend to drop them more often when they get older, because we don’t take care of them as well as when they were just new.
For now, I wish you all a very happy notebook, origami creases and “pretvlekken”.