When I was in high school, CDs were all the rage. Obviously. And I had a group of friends that was all about music and festivals and live shows. We were always talking about bands and going to buy CDs, a collection I still have today. So I always had this ongoing list in my brain of albums I wanted to buy, but this weird thing would always happen to me whenever I'd walk inside of Best Buy.
I'd forget all the albums I wanted to buy. All of them. And sometimes I'd buy something that wasn't even on my "list," and I'd walk out of the store wondering what had happened to my dream of owning something else.
This magical loss of ideas and thoughts when I need them has been prevalent throughout my life. As an adult, I at least started writing things down, and actually became quite obsessed with making plans and lists. I became a crazy hoarder of little scraps of paper with notes on them and piles of colorful post-it notes.
And then I'd lose the lists and notes or they would get buried in other papers and mail I neglected. And whenever I'd "enter the proverbial Best Buy," I could never remember anything I'd written down. I couldn't remember the plan.
Over the past year or so, I've become far more disciplined, to cast a wide net and capture all of the ideas and wants I have, so that I can actually go after them. I have a system that involves the To Do app in my phone, my calendar app on my phone, a dry erase board I made from an old window, an Inbox tray with little notes and reminders I've written myself, and a beautiful mint green leather-bound planner. It's not a perfect system because of my own nature to wander off, but at least I know where my ideas are when I'm ready to come back to them. After I've broken through the fence and explored the neighborhood like a dog with ADHD, my plan is waiting for me back at home when I'm ready.
I also have a manila folder system cataloging all the magazine pages I rip out for artworks or personal projects. And I have a more intricate system of how to capture ideas on writing and art that involves voice memos in my phone.
Because when I sit down to make a piece of artwork, I completely forget that idea that would not quit badgering me when I was at work and couldn't do anything about it. Or while driving in my car to Memphis and couldn't do anything about it. These pesky, incessant ideas come to me when I am in no place to do anything about them, and when I have to the time to create, they hide! I think this might be one reason artists drink a lot or go mad. It has been maddening.
So I decided instead of accepting alcoholism or going insane as my lot in life, I will be fastidious, steadfast, and vigilant. I will be ready at all times (as much as possible!) to take my "lasso" - all of my tools I've mentioned above- and wrangle in that idea when it comes, even when it pops into my head when my hands are in a huge blob of bread dough at the bakery where I work. Because they LOVE to pop up then. Because they are jerks sometimes.
Or, if I was Elizabeth Gilbert, I would say instead, they are not jerks, but rather gracious and generous to even visit me at all. So I must be ready for them. It would be irresponsible of me otherwise.