I’ve been vision boarding since I lived in Chicago. For a while before I got a third roommate, we had an empty front room (closet with a window) and I would huddle in there to make art. My first vision board came during a time of deep depression and turmoil in my social life in January 2013. This was the year I would eventually leave Chicago to go to school in Texas. The vision board was orange all the time everything. It had boots meant for walking away from abusive people, trash situations, and bad habits. It had a pick-up truck, my childhood dream car (a symbol of tapping into childhood joys). December 30th, 2013, I was on my way to being a burnt orange Longhorn, brightening the chances of success in my career, and leaving behind the bad (and the good, which had given me the strength to strike out on my own) in my old home.

On December 31st, 2017, we had too many people to our tiny one-bedroom to have a very fun, very loud party. The hit of the night was a table for vision boarding, complete with a hodgepodge of magazines and glues, for our guests ambitious pleasure. Here’s what I came up with:

vision board

A rough and dirty analysis of my 2018 vision board, and how I did


Lord, it is hard for me to look at 2018. I have to take off my glasses and squint because I don’t want the full, in focus picture. It was an incredibly hard year for me personally (bad) and professionally (good). Did I take the power? In some ways, yes. I took control of our tiny space to make it a very colorful, pleasant place to live. In power struggles between me and society and me and whoever about our wedding, Sam and I won. I let my anxiety manifest in productive, artistic, just-for-me ways. I felt powerful at work, for the first time in a long time (and finished two huge projects of which I am insanely proud). I did not take the power over my depression, my physical life, or my money (?) life.


Did I go above and beyond? Professionally, yes. I performed interviews by myself, compiled all of our project data into a useful analysis, and provided a motor of positivity when things felt impossible. I earned the trust of my colleagues – okay really just the one. In my personal life, I nurtured my friendships and my family relationships in a big way, though sometimes above and beyond meant abandoning self-care.


Most of my feelings of being a modern woman have been hard-fought this year. Deciding to keep my last name; shutting down people who want to make my upcoming nuptials about tradition, themselves, or baby-making; taking time to go to therapy when I needed it; and letting myself do things that felt silly or pinterest-y, but felt right to me. In the end, it was the real people in my life that gave me the power to do these things. Friends who held my hand, figuratively and literally, as I moved through the world. These are my most successful vision boarding categories!


Where could I grow? What could I master? 2018 was a slog. One of my blog goals for myself was throwing off the yolk of Instagram, but I found that Instagram made me happy, so despite the trend in screentime monitoring (this gives me more anxiety than facebook and news twitter combined), I let it bring me joy. I tried to give up self-blame but that little bastard thrived this year! What a shiny glow it had! I did well at giving up some of my “living in the future” tick in most areas, but with a wedding coming up, this also got out of hand. I let myself have maybe three negativity spirals, down from maybe 3,000. Finally, my old friend boredom was a big mood in 2018 as it was in 2017, compounded by some of my worst financial problems in many years – but I found crafting, I found a few blogs I loved to read, and I found my love of planning.

Small goals are the way forward in 2019:

Bring people together for a very fun bachelorette party in New Orleans

Figure out what to do with all these f*cking pom poms

Frame my This Year’s Model record cover

Finish the cloth napkins for the wedding

Be there for my family by listening and offering my self-care resources

Be there for my friends by listening and being thoughtful (they have a lot of self-care resources!)

Go to therapy and /or pre-marital counseling once a month until I’m Oprah

Paint when it feels right (finish Dag’s lizard, you asshole)

Walk when it’s nice out

Advocate for my mental health

Get above ground during work once a day

Get a pedicure

Get married

Go to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver for our honeymoon and Dan and Della’s wedding

Accept kindness

Give kindness

Do one chore and drink two glasses of water when I get home from work

Don’t cry about money – money isn’t real

Curate my digital life in a way that is meaningful to me

Use our instant cameras

Make two new friends

Nurture two new friendships

Learn to make two new meal and two new baked good recipes

Make a 2019 vision board

Moisturize more of myself

Say one nice thing about my body to myself every day

Get a haircut, you ragamuffin

Do things that make me feel beautiful