I had three notebooks with me when I went for lunch on my own yesterday.

These three are few of the many I have filled, and a drawer full of new ones and gifted ones waiting for my stroke of genius to happen so the pages contain something stupendous.

The Don’t Worry, Be Happy one by Jimmy, contains my Chinese literature studies and notes though void as I have not had the time nor energy to transcribe my rough notes into the notebook for something for legible. From the back, I started jotting down my experiences and emotions during my spirit journeys.

The pink one is my journal. I have many journals since I was 9 or 10 years old. They went from “today I went to Ocean Park and it was hot” to elaborate descriptions of encounters throughout the years of school, university, work, relationships, people. Mostly about people and the conversations with them, the ones that made me cry and sad and joyous and shy and scared. Details, rich details. This is one set of notebooks that no one is allowed to read, for it conceals my deepest, darkest, secrets. Plus, it is not eloquent as Anne Frank nor Adrian Mole’s diaries. They are for me. My space.

The black C’est Mon Psych is an artist I really enjoy and would love to collect all his products especially those printed on stationery, but I know the stationery would just stay on my desk, though I do have a few folders with his illustrations on it. This one contains my career evolution, the ponderings, the contemplation, the self SWOT analyses, Ikigai, pros and cons, you name it. It records my transitions and transformations and regressions and mutations. It contains my dreams, both the day ones in form of career aspirations, and the night ones as I keep this one beside my bed and when I remember a dream after waking up, I scribble it down from the back. I have never really made much sense of my dreams, though I am pretty sure I can lucid dream.

Then there are a few others hidden between my desk and the set of drawers, with a pile of colour pencils, scrapbook, writing prompts, and photos of calligraphy I had done – I still vow to one day write a book about calligraphy. One has passages that meant something to me either cut out and stuck in it, or copied into it and poems I had written during school days. And the other has my occasional rambled musings and more recent poetry in it.

A little pink one is hidden in another drawer, which I used to record the culinary expeditions, trials and errors I had made – including the guinea pigs who had the misfortune of tasting and rating it. I noted down Bamboo’s growing up journey in another one, and a polar bear one listed all the cities I had travelled to, in hope one day I get to wherever to see polar bear cubs.

Gifts from friends over the years, who give me these notebooks because they know me well. And souvenirs I had hoarded from events in case one day I needed a notebook for something. All tucked in yet another set of drawers with my collection of stickers, which I cherish dearly and would use to stick onto a letter or a card – yes I still use pen and paper.

All this to attest my neglected addiction to writing. I write, therefore I am.

I have not been writing, and have found myself lost in dazing circles. The lack of clashing words even if the final production had no function for anyone is starting to deplete me, again. I can feel the same cycle.

In words, I find possibilities, and glistening senses of myself. My writing is my thinking; it is a baring of my soul. Every word I dare present to anyone is exposing my core. The question is, what will you do with this present I voluntarily give? I will judge you by how you interact with my writing and determine whether you are worth the risk for me to let you in.

I think everyone has something like that that is for them. I have my writing, some have their drawings, photography, pottery, weavings, doodles, comics, songs, PPT visuals, speeches, cooking, paper cuttings, clothes, décor, napkin arrangement on the dining table, florals…

We find a way to show ourselves, gingerly, shyly, cautiously, playfully. See me, hear me, know me, feel me, be with me, are our pleas.

I might need to start using these psychoanalytic pencils so I can work on my gratitude.

These notebooks might matter to no one but me. And that’s all it matters. But give me a notebook that I will like, and I will fall in love with you – for a moment.

Comments are closed.

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.