Tried the following command:
git commit path/to/my/file.ext -m 'my notes'
error: pathspec '-m' did not match any file(s) known to git.
error: pathspec 'MY MESSAGE' did not match any file(s) known to git.
git commit -m 'my notes' path/to/my/file.ext
Your arguments are in the wrong order. Try
git commit -m 'my notes' path/to/my/file.ext, or if you want to be more explicit,
git commit -m 'my notes' -- path/to/my/file.ext.
Incidentally, git v18.104.22.168 is 4.5 years old. You may want to update to a newer version (22.214.171.124 is the current release).