Vision Boards

If the title of this post gives you the impression that I'm about to recommend building up your hopes and dreams by creating a magazine-clipping collage of things you like in the way a 13 year-old would, then you have good instincts! But listen here: I thought my dog was dying from a very terminal and unexpected cancer a couple of weeks ago that turned out to be a false alarm, so I have just come out of a grieving period where I felt like life doesn't matter. I don't dwell well. I am working on not having regrets about how I handled myself, but I will respond in the only way I know how - reverting to my childhood self whose life was nothing but bugs, cartoons, music, and a glorious lack of self-awareness.

Though I am far from the girl whose room was littered with posters and computer printouts covering the walls off of which faint remnants of Mariah Carey and Selena soundwaves surely continue to reverberate into forever, I can still picture what I think I want on those mornings when I wake up frizzy-haired, exhausted, and entirely lacking in enthusiasm for what my day of adulthood entails.

Is it not a frequently quoted adage that we don't stop playing because we grow old but that we grow old because we stop playing? Is it NOT also a commonly repeated saying that says him what smelt it dealt it? That is neither here nor there. But is it not, then, conceivable that building up one's enthusiasm for what lies ahead in the way of self-actualization could be achieved by the tried and true method of pre-teens everywhere? After all, how readily a plant will perk up with just a little water.

So, if you're continually pulling your pants up around your fupa, escaping reality with a few too many episodes of something, falling asleep early and waking up late, and generally lugging yourself around thinking, 'What's the point?' then me too! And for an act of commanding action against our insolent psyches, I propose a vision board!

For one, it's an art project and what is better for your confidence and general outlook than keeping busy with creative endeavors that require little more than your interest? The answer is Disney World, but I assume you feel crappy because you work and work and still have very little to show for it, so you probably can't afford Disney. YET. That's right. This vision board is a guaranteed ticket to Disney.*

The point here is to be able to not only assist yourself in pausing the rude, defeatist thoughts you have about yourself aside to make room for the nicer ones, but also to act as ongoing augmentation of your interest in what life can be if you work towards it. Keeping busy is, for me, a yuuuuuge necessity in keeping happy. And with that, here we go:

Here are some topics I would include in mine and how I could represent them visually:
  • Confidence - For the sake of continuing to like those who ruthlessly shoot down jokes, I would include something like a Dr.Suess quote (Psych, Facebook. psh). But what have you to lose? No one will care what you did on their death beds. Visualize this with pictures of piles of bones. YOU are the best bone. Not sure how else you might go about this. . . you're on your own here, kid.

  • Curiosity - What IS the point of life when you haven't any interest in it? What fascinates me that could keep the ol' brain turning in a way that will lead to my most predominant thought being one of survival so's I might get the chance to live to see the answers to some of life's most interesting mysteries. Perhaps I would do well to include pictoral representations of how a TV works, or styrofoam (what IS it? yes, I am puzzled by styrofoam the way a kitten is a wind-up toy), or the words 'deja vu', cuz furreal.

  • Dreams - At the ripe old age of 30, I no longer think I'm going to make it as anything more than mayyyybe a local singer. Or DO I? No, I've lost faith. But FOR GOOD? I don't know. Will report back after testing period of vision board. What I DO know is my best friend and I swore we would die if not performing in pyrotechnic musical spectaculars on MTV by 30. Uh oh! So maybe I'd use something like a clock dripping in blood to demonstrate my always-imminent mortal demise, which would emphasize that time ain't joking around and no one gives a shit if I miss a few notes in Sentimental Mood even though Ella Fitzgerald would never do that.

  • Health - for real. How about a picture of a crunchy, burnt ham? Always remember the power of taking care of yourself lest you become my Christmas dinner nightmare.

  • Presence - For this, I would use things that stop me in my tracks when I see them, like kitten boops, sunlight coming through treetops, or skylines. Beyonce performances also do this for me, but I ultimately end up feeling like a frumpy failure, so it's a mixed bag. . .

  • Excitement - I am a lucky one who is too poor to travel much, so I loooove love love airports and hotels because they mean travel. So, maybe a nice tacked on bag of peanuts or a clipping of something wonderfully bizarre and useless from SkyMall.

  • Strength - Pictures of body builders are gross. Don't do that. Something like a baby struggling to make number 2 when he obviously has not received an advisable amount of fiber or Beyonce doing a back bend but not falling over while ALSO doing a vocal run - YES!

Sometimes life is hard and there's nothing much we can do but wait for the grief to subside and feel a little better, but when you feel the slightest connection to ambition, remember: you are the skinny, dehydrated protagonist in your favorite book ever who's lost his way in the desert and maybe you're going to die there, but TRUST ME, it will be better if your panicked mind deceives you with flooded mirages. It's your responsibility to arm yourself with the sweet slow drip of hallucinogenic fantasy that will keep you going, especially when the going gets rough. You know, as a backup plan. Because you got this.

* Disney will not accept your vision board for entrance to parks. Or WILL they? They won't, but don't feel too bad. We're all poor here.


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