Outside The Lines

“With a blank slate, you never know what can happen.”

Some unexpected wisdom from my manager as I was on my way out the door this evening, that immediately struck me in the metaphorical sense.  You see, what he was actually referencing was a gift he had for me this morning (an actual, tangible gift; much as I love writing about abstractions, there are material possessions in my life, too).  I came in later than usual, following a dental check-up (hurrah, insurance! boo, flossing!), and when I arrived & popped into his office for a start-of-day huddle, he had a token of appreciation waiting for me.

It was simple, but thoughtful and meaningful: a notebook.  But not really a “notebook;” more, a book with pages in which notes may or may not be taken.  There are no lines, no margins, no guidelines, no words.  It is a ‘design’ notebook; almost like a sketchbook an artist might carry, but all-purpose.  My manager, a graphic designer by craft, uses his own for all sorts of documentation & idea-hatching.  Our department, as a creative services team with business partners, is ever on the hunt for the fresh, the buzzworthy, the inspired, the novel.  I’m excited for an opportunity to shift my eyeballs away from a screen, and towards my hands to do some real, honest scribing.

So as I was heading home I stopped to express my appreciation for his thinking of me and giving me room to grow & contribute…and that’s when he dropped that line on me.  In reference to the notebook, of course — but after a weird Monday it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Because it’s true.  I got a blank slate, and have barely even begun to color in around the edges.  There is an unimaginably vast canvas that lies in front of me, just waiting to be filled with a life of…what?

Anything.

———

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