Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Journal, My Life

So, here I am writing my post at the last minute. Literally, the last minute. In fact, the next talk starts in 55min.

After Matt's talk, I started thinking about how journals (or design notebooks) fit into my life and how I had never really noticed that before. I still have my journals from 1st grade, when I was learning how to write and we had to write one sentence and draw a picture every day. It was pretty intense - after we wrote our sentence we had to go show it to our teacher who would correct our spelling and grammar.

In middle school, I carried a big purse and always had a notebook inside. I would write lists of things to do, angsty poetry, and notes about things I needed to remember. I made a lot of big plans in those notebooks. I had a 30min bus ride to and from school so I had plenty of time to record my thoughts and feelings inside its spiral bound pages.

As I got into high school (and started driving myself to school), notebooks became less of a driving force in my life. I would take notebooks on trips to write down my memories or make lists. I'm famous for making lists. At least 50% of my notebooks are just lists. Lists about what I wanted to own in my house someday. Lists of places I wanted to visit. Lists of websites I was going to create. Lists of books I wanted to read. So much of my notebook space is/was about things I want to do and may or may not ever do. I suppose that's still a flaw of mine - I always enjoy planning much more than the follow through. Gradually, I transitioned from notebooks to blogs. Sometimes I would still write in my notebook, but only so that I would remember what to write in my blog later. My friends and I got really into it - we all read each other's blogs religiously. Of course, the downside was when you had to change your URL because someone you didn't like had started reading your blog. Somehow, that didn't seem like a reason to stop.

Having mostly transitioned to electronic forms of recording my plans/lists, I still keep a couple notebooks on hand, but they have very distinct purposes. I mostly use the purple one for trips - so far I've written about 2 pages in it. The brown one is actually a photo album I use for ticket stubs - a memory of the music/theater/art productions I have attended. I love flipping through it for random memories like the Philly Folk Festival, the Sex Worker's Art Show, and my name-tag from Olin's Candidate's Weekend. I like that it's visual. My last notebook, and most private, is the pink one. I actually made that notebook myself in a high school art class called "Textiles". In that notebook, I hide all of my secret feelings and romantic woes. That's the notebook where I dump out everything so I can get over my ex-girlfriend. The notebook where I convince myself that everything's going to be okay - I'm better off single. I guess in many ways, it's the most important one.

It's interesting to think about how the role of notebooks in my life has transitioned. I'm interested in seeing how my design notebook from this independent study evolves.

I may add more to this later, but this is a good start.

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