I found this note in the aptly named Notes app of my phone recently. It’s from November 2015, almost exactly 2 years ago, 2 years + 2 weeks, which makes me wonder if my depression/motivation is on an eternal loop or somehow connected to the phases of the moon, alignment of the planets or the Olympics’ schedule. I’ve already linked it to my ‘feminine cycle’ but that’s a little obvious, whatever the cause, that’s for another post. The note was titled ‘Books’ because presumably I was going to fill it with books that I wanted to read but it only contained one title – Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I’d like to think that it contained only one titled because that was the last book I had to read since I had read all the others and promptly, in an organized fashion, removed them from my To-Read books list but I know that’s not true, and now you do too. My extremely outdated and never updated Good Reads account can confirm the same, I’m just not that organized and I’m incredibly forgetful.
I had forgotten about the list and the book but thankfully my subconscious had not so when I saw it on sale at Target a few weeks ago I picked it up because it seemed just ridiculous enough to read in public with its elated raccoon cover art. It would surely contribute to everyone at work thinking I was ‘weird’. At the time when I bought it I didn’t think “Oh, I’ve been meaning to read this book since 2015 it’s about time I got around to it.” I didn’t even think, “I think I remember hearing about this book and being interested.” The book didn’t even register as a book I had seen because even though I know I had seen it before because I had a note in my phone about it. How my brain can manage to completely forget the existence of a book with an overjoyed taxidermied raccoon on the front is just a testament to its remarkable ability to block things out. Even after reading and immensely enjoying the book and doing a little bit of research on the author I still did not recall having a desire to read Furiously Happy, although now I’m glad I eventually did.
When I found the note I felt no connection to it. I don’t recall creating it and saving it in my phone, maybe I didn’t. There are other notes in my phone I don’t remember making like one from 2016, titled ‘Circus Restaurant’ with the only contents being ‘Juggle Me Gently’. Maybe someone else stole my phone two years ago and created this Books note hoping I would find it and read the book it recommended, knowing it would make me, well, not furiously happy, but definitely happier. With a memory as poor as mine this isn’t entirely out of the question. Also I often leave my phone unattended so anything is possible.
It worries me that my brain can forget things as simple as wanting to read a book, a book I knew I would relate to with its unconventional yet humorous approach to mental illness, but I guess that’s what Notes are for. It makes me wonder about all the other things I thought about doing or had a passing desire to do that I didn’t make a note of. Did I ever end up doing those things? Will I ever? What else have I forgotten that could have brought me joy or amusement? It makes me think of my inability to make goals and stick to them; it’s so easy for me to forget that I ever made a goal in the first place. Notes are helpful but only if you also remember to go back and reference them, which in this case I did not. But still somehow I managed to get around to accomplishing my rather insignificant goal of purchasing and reading Furiously Happy and I’m so, yet still not furiously, happy I did. It made me want to read and write more and also quit my job, two out of the three I should actively pursue, I’m just not sure which two yet. I guess I should thank the fates or the gods who circled back around and allowed me to stroll down the book aisle while Target was having a sale. But isn’t Target always having a sale?
I’m uncertain the conclusion and take-away here. Is it a ‘whatever should happen will happen’ situation? A sort of que sera, sera? It sort of feels like a variation of deja vu except I don’t have the feeling of remembering because it’s still buried deep in my subconscious. Perhaps things happen in their own time. Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten as much out of Furiously Happy if I had read it in November of 2015. Who knows? In two years I’ll probably forget I’ve already read it and find the note again. I’ll buy another copy, forgetting I already own it, and re-read it with a new set of eyes and the same, very forgetful mind. And Jenny Lawson will benefit twice and I will too.