How Collaging Solved All My Problems

Okay, the title is clearly clickbait, but I never thought I’d be one to say this... Vision boards ACTUALLY work. And I think I have a theory as to why. This would probably come across as common knowledge once you hear it. But watch it expressed in words. Stay with me for a moment.

Picture this: it’s the 30th of March, 2020. Toronto was still experiencing some cold and gloomy weather- a trait that I believe reflected inward. It had been 14 days since “this thing” was supposed to blow over. Flatten the curve, they said. Bored and increasingly hopeless, I wondered if this is what life would continue to look like. What’s next for me? Is my career over before it could begin?

While my mental health was already “in the shitter” to put it kindly, it did not help that I wasn’t seeing anyone and my prospects were up in the air. It did not help that I have THREE planners to manage every aspect of my life. The pages were now riddled with scratches of plans that could’ve been until they eventually morphed into blanks. I make this period sound a lot longer than it actually was, but that’s because it truly felt that way. With each ticking hour of an empty day, with nothing to reorganize, clean or do; I looked inward- to an inner child that was bored at home.

When a child throws a tantrum, you try to divert that energy with anything you can. Trust me, I’d know- I used to be a child. And as a former child myself, I can say with certainty that colourful things were distracting enough to me. I decided to pull out my magazines to find something interesting, something to recreate. And this process led me down the path of ripping every interesting sheet I found in the book. I usually like to collect magazines with pretty pictures- so this was completely unlike me. Perhaps a manic episode, but I was completely outside my body at that moment.

When you come down from the elation and aloofness of an episode like this one, there’s a good chance you’ll spiral after seeing the damage you have done. And I was about to do just that when the burnt-out lightbulb in my brain emitted one faint glimmer- a collage! And so I got down to gluing the rips together until I had something that unconsciously looked like my ideal lifestyle. It was scary to see all the things I thought I wouldn’t achieve, laid out as a reminder of my supposedly inevitable failure. I scanned it and made it my desktop and phone background anyway. Maybe, just maybe I could change something.

What followed was pretty uneventful, I think I was expecting too much- all until July. I got a callback. It was the position of the Editor in Chief at a low-level magazine. Things were looking up, the excitement was evident. I worked real hard on that interview and I gave it my all. A few days later I got an email- “we regret to inform you…” I guess I wasn’t good enough.

That was all I needed though. If they won’t hire me, I’ll hire myself. That’s when I started this platform. Although I did not have the balls to click “publish live” until months later; at least the ball was rolling. I had fulfilled one image on my vision board- the computer with my name on it- an outlet. And slowly, but surely more things started to happen. My GPA skyrocketed, I successfully went through therapy, I started freelancing, I was healing, I was growing. This isn’t to say it all worked out, my diet is still worse than I’d like, I wish I was working out more and I’m not at the MET gala. But I got more accomplished than I thought I ever would, let alone in such a short timespan.

I think it comes down to looking at your goals staring back at you every single day. A subconscious sort of manifestation. I think I was working on it without knowing it. The constant reminder was on the wall, on my laptop, on my phone- there’s no way I could ignore it. There is such power in visuals. We see thousands of images every day. I let my chosen conceptualization stay at the forefront.

I just came back from Fashion Week- an event I never thought I’d be invited to again. Or not until much later at least. But people (though few) knew my name and who I was. That was a huge deal for me. From being a nobody in 2020 to an up-and-coming fashion writer in 2021. I thank that’s enough for me to believe that vision boards work.

Don’t wait on it, grab your nearest magazine (or Pinterest board) and get collaging. Your ideal self is waiting!