My husband doesn’t make New Year’s Resolutions. None of that “setting yourself up for failure,” as he calls it. But I’ve got to have direction. Hopes. Dreams. Lists.
Years ago — more than 20 years ago now — when I was single and struggling, I read a magazine article about making Vision Boards. The idea was (do people still do this?) that your Inner Child, your subconscious self, is pre-verbal and doesn’t respond well to text. To get through to your Inner Child, you need pictures. Images. Sensory stimuli.
Dutifully, I collected some magazines, intending to cut out photos that represented what I wanted for myself. I leafed through the magazines and was inspired by nothing. Not one thing. Nada. Niente. Bupkus. I didn’t look like any of the “career gals” pictured in the glossy pages. The stuff in the ads looked boring. There wasn’t anything that looked like who I wanted to be, or what I wanted my life to be.
So I ended up writing down what I wanted in as great detail as I could manage. A car. A house of my own. Work that I loved. A life partner. Then I set the document aside (it was on a computer and I don’t know if I ever printed it out) and didn’t look at it for a long while.
Strangely, my life began to change, almost without my doing anything at all. I got a new-to-me car. My job seemed a little better. I met a guy who had all the qualities I’d asked for: intelligent, healthy, sense of humor, kindness, a hopeful outlook on life (my then-boyfriend had had a cynical, contemptuous, worm’s-eye view of the world which quickly overshadowed his handsome looks and superficial charm) and who really wanted to be with me. We planned our life together, bought a house.
Now I’m getting closer to building a career as a writer. This is the work I want to do, but I need it to be a financial support as well. And so now I’m thinking back to that long-ago document that I wrote, and I wonder: What did I do right? How did I manage to put down the words that held the seeds of the future? Was it some momentary magic, a state of mind, a quiet alignment of the stars?
I’m looking for the magic again. I hope I find it.