The other day I was watching a recently released movie and one of the actors paused, looked at the camera and said, “Note to self…” I loved it! It was a stroke of cinematic genius!
I realized, then, that this whole Notes-to-Self concept is a relatively new phenomenon. As much as I enjoy old black and white movies starring Cary Grant and Kathryn Hepburn, you never hear them pause in the middle of their fabulous lines and say, “Note to self.” The phrase simply hadn’t been born yet.
I don’t really know when the concept first arrived on the modern scene, but I am glad it did. In fact, it is now such a widely used idiom that there is movie titled Note to Self, a WNYC tech show podcast, and a song by rapper J. Cole. Note to Self even has its own Wikipedia page.
It appears to have permeated into all aspects of our culture, and why shouldn’t it? After all, if you’re human, there’s a fairly good chance that you have made a mental note to remind yourself to do something important at least once in your life. If you have, then you are already a Note-to-Self veteran. And if you go so far as to write them down on paper, then you are a seasoned veteran!
I, for one, have been a believer in Notes to Self for 25 years. I am thrilled that today’s society can understand and embrace it, since it is completely acceptable to go to counseling and read self-help books in this modern era. Of course, self-help itself is an oxymoron. If we could actually help ourselves we wouldn’t need a book to tell us what to do, and even with the book we still can’t seem to figure it out.
Still, I have been writing notes to myself for many years. My favorite type are the notes I write about a truth I want to fully grasp or a word of wisdom that comforts me, or something funny that helps me not to take life so seriously. We all need a best friend and we ought, first, to be a best friend to ourselves. Note to self: write more notes to self!