Before the rise of Pinterest, my sage old uncle (don’t tell him I called him ‘old’) told me to create a vision board. In his best James Earl Jones voice, he told me to “put it somewhere you see every day. So that it is always in your realm of awareness.”
“Okay, I will” My teenage-self said but never did. Then a few years later when I was having an extremely stressful semester in college (read: mild emotional break down over how hard ‘adulting’ is), he asked me if I had done my vision board.
What are you talking about Old Man?!? My entire world is ending (in hindsight, maybe I was being a tad dramatic) and you want me to do CRAFTS!?!? I thought but didn’t say. To be fair, I do love crafts…but there is a time and a place for everything!
What I did say was “I will”. This time I did. I took to Google Images and typed in ‘cool places to visit’, ‘nice houses’, ‘diploma’, ‘square cut diamond ring with baguettes’ (future Husband that one is for you 😉,) ‘cool architecture’ etc. I went to the campus library printed the most artistic images from these searches, put them in floating Ikea glass photo frames, and put them up as wall art (I already admitted to being a crafter).
Fast forward ⏭
I resumed my college life and after a while I rarely noticed the ‘visions’. A series of events happened, another mild emotional episode which resulted in my applying semester abroad in college. I was placed in Innsbruck, Austria. In preparation for Austria, there was a lot for me to do. Your girl didn’t even have a passport. I often call it the year of the planner; every day was accounted for. So when I finally arrived to Austria, I adopted a “free bird” mentality. I stopped telling myself ‘No’ and adopted a more carefree approach.
During my semester some of the Americans in our exchange group organized a trip to Italy and Greece. The itinerary and accommodations were already arranged so I knew little about this sojourn. I literally paid my money and showed up.
When we finally got to Rome. I can’t explain the surrealism of if all. This was a place that I had read about, learned about, seen referenced in countless movies my Entire life. I was walking the same ground that significant figures had for millennia. I furthermore wanted to live in the now. Because … it’s FREAKING ROME!! After we saw The Colosseum, my life was made! I became a little sponge taking in all of it. The group set off to see the Trevi Fountain. I had no idea what that was, but when in Rome… (see what I did there? 😉)
We kicked it old school with a map instead of GPS, so of course we got lost. We looked for the Trevi Fountain. I looked left until I heard one of my friends on my right say “there it is”. I looked right and BAM! Trevi Fountain.
The recognition hit almost immediately. It was one of the “cool places to visit” I had printed for my vision wall. First thought : Look at God! Won’t he do it?
When I put all those things on the vision board I imagined having them ONE DAY. Probably after getting far enough in my career that I have disposable income and me and my husband and children will eventual see all these sights over a lifetime. Yet, here I was less than two years after putting up the wall and I had seen about half of my visions come true.
After I returned to the States and took another look at my frames. It hit me that I had realized more than I had intended to. The Trevi fountain was not the only place I’d visited during my semester that had been on my wall. I had been to about five places from my wall and hadn’t realized it until I was back home.
I recounted all these amazing experiences with my Uncle because I was amazed! He smugly told me “I told you so” and pressed me to do another vision board. Of course, I did…not.
I got scared of the wall. Man, the wall is powerful. Be careful what you ask the wall because you never know when it will give it to you. What do I want now? Am I ready for it? What happens if I get it? I won’t bother the wall until I’m sure of what I want.
Slowly but surely after I returned to the States, I fell back into telling myself ‘no’. I took the safe course and focused on my career and getting financially established. After a while I felt dissatisfied with the direction of my life. When I was at my limit, I decided It was time to do a wall. This time, I was more selective in what made the wall. Instead of all the things I eventually wanted in life, I put up things I wanted to happen sooner than later. Why I just didn’t do that before, is beyond me. It honestly would have saved me SO MUCH grief. I’m a work in progress. Be patient with me.
This new wall had a job that would allow me to work abroad. It had a typewriter, because I want to write. I printed lotto tickets (it’s worth a shot). I put up pictures of women that I admired. This time… it only took a year. I changed careers, I am living in New Zealand. I have read the autobiographies of several of those women and they have each impacted my life. I am writing (this blog doesn’t manifest itself). I have yet to win lotto… but it’s still early.
I encourage everybody: Get you a vision board Or a vision wall. There is POWER in the wall