Rogelio de la Vega, my life coach, is the king of vision boards. He’s a character on Jane the Virgin, a telenovela actor and Jane’s father. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it yet, I am so excited for you! Seasons 1-3 are on Netflix.
A couple weeks ago I was in the mood for an art project. I had a leftover poster board from making signs for the March for Our Lives and a stack of magazines like Real Simple, Glamour, and Flow. I sat on the floor, played an episode of Anne With an E (a beautiful re-imagining of Anne of Green Gables), and started snipping.
I first considered creating a vision board this past winter. My therapist asked if I’d ever made one. I hadn’t. She didn’t have research on vision boards as a therapeutic technique, but she knew that I liked creative projects and thought it might help me visualize my thoughts about the future. Around that time I took an art class with my mom on collaging. This art form is very freeing. I don’t often think of myself as artistic (especially as the granddaughter of a prolific artist and art teacher), and the idea of drawing or painting seems stressful to me. But collaging is just cutting out other people’s pictures and words and arranging them on a surface. You can play around with colors and textures and patterns. I can do that! I know my way around a pair of scissors and a glue stick.
I had fun looking through magazine pages and seeing what phrases and images stood out to me. I clipped a quote from an interview with Daisy Ridley in Glamour: “Some people have an expectation of what they might find when they meet me, which sucks, because I’m not that thing.” I love this. She went on to say that people expect her to be fun and bubbly all the time, but she likes her quiet alone time.
In an article printed in Flow on “digital nomads” who work from their computers from around the world, I cut out the phrase, “I never want to give up the freedom I have living life this way.” That’s how I want to live—freely and honestly, without surrendering that freedom to please someone else or to pursue their happiness at the expense of my own.
I loved the process of flipping through pages and finding colors I liked, beautiful full-page images, patterns I thought were pretty. One page had a blown-up picture of a purply blue succulent, another had an illustration of a woman riding a bike through the rain, but her head above the clouds. All of these images said something to me about what I want my life to be, how I want to live it.
Maybe my board is less of a vision of how I want to be and more of a reflection of the life I’ve already been building for myself. It’s me.