I’ve always been a daydreamer.
I’ve been a faithful journal writer since I was about 12 years old and through my teenage years my journal was like a best friend. Don’t laugh, but I used to make cheesy doodley lists with colorful pens in my hardback journals of things I wanted to do when I grew up or things I wanted in the “perfect husband” someday.
When I was 12 I wrote a letter to my future self about things I hoped to accomplish, sealed it, put “do not open until 2000” and then hid it in my underwear drawer where it stayed unopened until, you guessed it, 2000!
One time I cut out pictures from magazines and made a collage representing different experiences I hoped to have. At the time they seemed so far off and unreachable: graduate from college, get my ears pierced, get married, travel outside the US.
I found those journals, letter, and collage again a few years ago and was amazed that most of the things I had dreamed about had been accomplished or received, all the way down to specific personality qualities I wanted in a husband! Funny, because at the time I didn’t think much of my lists, I was just a teenager trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted. (Except I got the eye color wrong…my list specified brown eyes, and Jared has blue. Oh, well, some details aren’t so important!)
Maybe some of the things on my lists were coincidence or maybe they weren’t as unreachable as they seemed to me as a teenager. But maybe there is real power in putting our desires in specific images. I think so anyway. I’ve heard the concept called a few different things such as a vision board or a creativity collage. If you’ve read or seen The Secret you’re probably familiar with vision boards.
The idea of a vision board is to surround yourself with images of what you want to accomplish, who you want to be, where you want to live, what you want to have, etc. It can be represented several ways such as in a collage of magazine cutouts, on a bulletin board, or pictures taped on the fridge. Putting your goals into specific images adds clarity to your goals and encourages you to think in ways that align with your goals.
A few years ago my husband and I started making vision boards during Christmas vacation in preparation for our New Year’s resolutions. I’m continually amazed at how much we’ve been able to accomplish when I look back at our old vision boards.
At the beginning of 2008 I was new to digital scrapbooking and interested in learning more about designing when I saw an ad for a designing apprenticeship contest. I thought it would be so cool to apply but I was really nervous because there is so much competition out there. Then I read a quote, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would notfail?” (Robert H. Schuller) and so I decided to go for it. The worst they could say was no, right? I worked for weeks designing several samples, finally settled on one for the application and sent it in. I got so excited about the contest that I even put an image on my vision board depicting me as the winner of the Little Dreamer Apprentice Program.
Yikes. Yeah, it was that bad.
When I heard back I hadn’t even made it to the first round of cuts. I was terribly crushed and much more disappointed than I expected. For a couple of weeks I sulked every time I looked at my vision board (where the image was firmly pasted on). Then one day I thought, ‘maybe entering the contest was just a way to give me motivation to start designing’ and so I got excited again and dove back in, started learning more about my Photoshop Elements program, scoured the internet for tutorials (there weren’t many to be found back then) and spent every free minute I could designing freebies to share on my blog.
To my amazement I received hundreds of downloads for my freebies. (Oh how I wished I had just a dollar for each one!) After several months and a few more contests (which I did well but did not win) I felt confident enough to apply to some digital stores and then started selling my designs. Theoretically. They were “for sale” in a store anyway.
I’ve moved around a bit and waffled in and out of designing over the past several months. I’ve definitely come a long way in my designs and amazingly have even sold some too! But the past several months have been pretty rough for my creativity and I have sensed a change coming. I’ve wondered about “retirement.” I’ve wondered about switching stores. I’ve wondered about whether I can keep up with designing with my three little ones.
When I saw the ad for the 2010 Little Dreamer Apprentice Program I was reminded of those early design days and the contest I had first applied to two-and-a-half years ago. I didn’t plan to enter. I didn’t even consider it really, until a couple of days before the deadline. But something told me to go for it. And so I half-heartedly did, just to see–because I have loved, respected and followed Michelle Coleman (owner of Little Dreamer Designs) fairly stalkerishly over the past couple years of my digital career and yearned for the opportunity to learn from her.
Two months and five design assignments later, it’s come to an end.
And I’m ready to make Little Dreamer Designs my new home.
Maybe it was the vision board that got me here, maybe it wasn’t. But I do know that I’m definitely a daydream believer.
I’m linking this to Works for Me Wednesday.