Thursday, September 6, 2012

A loss of vision

When I was younger, there were few things I loved more than creating a good collage. I'd pore over magazines and catalogs to find pictures I liked, then glue them onto notebooks or poster board. It's about as far as my very minimal arts-and-crafts skills go.

A few years ago, a therapist asked me to create what she calls a "Wheel of Fortune." Others may call it a vision board or a dream board. It's essentially a collage taken to a whole new, personal level.

This was one therapy homework project I actually completed. With shades of my younger self in my mind and scissors, I went through all my magazines and found words and pictures that spoke to what I really wanted in my life. I even got one of my graphic designer friends to photoshop my face onto an actress' bikini-clad body. To really visualize the things you want for your life, my therapist said, you have to actually put yourself in that situation. My Wheel of Fortune is in the shape of a heart, representing my greatest desire. Besides the bikini picture, there are pictures representing financial security, marriage and family, among others.

You're supposed to put your board in a place where you'll see it every day. Envision the life you really want. The life that's possible for you. I dutifully hung mine on my bedroom wall.

As my longtime readers will remember, it was about a year ago that I started dipping my toes back into the choppy waters of dating. This, as you know, has been done with some mixed success. And, of course, lately, it's felt more like failure.

But here's an interesting thing. The other day, I was looking for something and came across my heart-shaped Wheel of Fortune. Where was it? Shoved into the top of a cabinet. It certainly wasn't in a place I could see it--or even remember what it looked like.

As I blew off the dust, I remembered why I'd put it up there in the first place. I'd hidden it the first time a guy I was dating came over to my apartment, horrified that he'd think I was planning all these things with him. I put it away, dated other people and forgot about it.

How's that for symbolism? The entire time I've been dating, I quite literally lost sight of what I wanted. And that has definitely played itself out in my relationships. I've been willing to compromise what I want most in hopes of finding someone who will love me.

It's no coincidence, therefore, that my weight has been stagnant since last August. That I've gone through a roller coaster ride of emotions this past year or so.

My Wheel of Fortune is now back in its rightful place--hanging on the wall across from my bed. I'm going to try to keep it in sight (and mind) as much as possible.

Because I realize now that I'll never get what I want most if I can't even remember what that is.


Jane said...

OMG! This one gave me the chills! You are inspiring! "Never lose sight" is not literal with your "Wheel" on the wall. I love this. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jane Boney said...

Oops! I meant it was NOW literal! I hate typos!

LT said...

Wow. Beautiful post. Even though we talked about this, seeing it in writing really touched me. Oh, and I'll need help with my Wheel of Fortune. Know anyone? :-)

Anonymous said...

You are totally loveable and a very lucky guy will find you soon. And it will be worth the wait.

Kellynn18 said...

That was really powerful, Erika! I'm so happy that you are getting back in touch with yourself and putting your wants, needs, and desires first. That's when all the great stuff really starts coming your way. Keep up the fantastic work, and never stop believing that you deserve every darn thing on that board--and even more--because you.are.awesome. :)