Some odd years back I made a "vision board". It was actually just an 11"x14" Lucite picture frame box, but inside it I put images of the life I wanted. I cut out inspiring phrases and tantalizing images from various magazines. Everything from God, career goals, marital expectations, dream houses, fancy cars and travel destinations. Puppy dogs, charitable causes, convictions, beliefs and inspirations. All the things which make up me. At least the me I wanted to be. I was really struggling to define myself at that point in my life. I was newly married, my career was not forming into a cohesive vertical path, I was battling depression and did not know what I wanted out of life. So I put together the things I thought would bring me meaning, stuck them onto a piece of pink construction paper and hung it up in the vanity area of my bathroom. Every morning as I got ready for work I stared at that vision board. Slowly I started to make some headway in my life, things kinda started coming together.
We moved to San Francisco some time later and there was no vanity in my tiny apartment, and the bathroom was floor to ceiling tile. So the vision board was stuck on a closet shelf and I forgot about it. I was packing to move a few years later and found it. As the memory of the girl who made that board flooded my psyche I marveled. So many of the things I put on it had come to fruition. And things which had not yet been achieved were much closer than before. Once we got settled into our new home and I started getting sick I decided to revamp this imagery meant to project my future, my dreams. Health and wellness took much higher priority then they had before, for good reason. Things had changed. My values were different, ambitions were more rooted in reality. I had a better grasp on what to expect out of life and what I needed to do to meet those expectations.
When we moved to Arizona I hung it up behind the bathroom door, so every day as I was curling or ironing my hair I had a chance to soak it in. Right my intentions, stay on track. One day last month I was looking at it and decided I needed a new one. I had outgrown the one from years before. So I sat down in my living room one afternoon with every magazine in the house piled in front of me and hours of General Hospital to catch up on blaring on the television screen before me. I ripped out pages, cut out images, this time affixing them to cream colored cardstock. It took me hours to complete but as I stared at the finished product I fell in love. I had captured past, present and future me, everything I was meant to be. I propped this one up on my vanity and every time I look at it get a shiver up my spine. I can be in a horrible mood, in pain and certain life is complete shit. But when I look at that vision board I am looking at everything which can be, and it renews my sense of duty to myself. There are times it is very hard to find motivation and meaning while living with chronic pain and illness. What this compilation of magazine clippings does for me is remind me life is so much bigger than right now. And there is still a girl inside who believes in a better tomorrow, and oh my is she worth fighting for! In fact my favorite phrase on the board, written in ridiculously large block letters reads, "OH YES I CAN!"
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