I finally got around to my vision board. I did one in 2019 and I wanted to do one in 2020. I don’t see it as magical. Not at all. I see it as my acknowledgement to the Universe about my focus in life, what I would like and need to accomplish. Like my vision board from last year, this one is not fancy. It’s actually pretty vanilla. I’m not a crafty kind of gal. Like last year’s, this vision board is on my computer’s screen saver. It has a few pictures of things and words. Some of them are basic themes – getting published again, hopes for becoming a best selling author, continuing my blog, working on my new house and of course, staying well during these times. Four pictures on my board, however, are very personal to me, reminders to me on how to keep on and/or succeed on this reluctant journey.
The first is a quote by Kavita Singh, A Traveler – “I am seeking answers to unspoken questions, I am seeking faith in a very doubtful mind.” It was good I waited until this eight month of the year to design my board with this quote as its center for it holds more meaning to me today than it would have earlier this year. With my mother’s death, COVID, the ever-present grief of Peter’s death, and some other personal issues that rained down on me, it seems appropriate for this quote to become my mantra in the later part of 2020. In this past month, I started to look seriously for answers about relationships, decisions, my own purpose, a life missing one half while another takes its place, and being true to who I am now, who I have become. And, while I have gained more faith in the past few months, I still hold doubts. Yes, I am more accepting of my life as it is now, but I still question everything on what has happened while I seek answers and a return to my faith. Bless my brain’s my active and ever churning mind as it seems to have kept me afloat and not let me drown in the sorrows of my soul. So I see this quote every morning as a reminder of my definition – a seeker – and I have come to welcome it.
The second image on my board which holds much meaning to me is a simple statement “I am a writer”. Too often I have shied away from saying this about myself. My insecurity whispers to me I am not good enough to admit this and I am an imposter because I make little money off of this. I feel as if it is pompous to say this aloud and fear the responses from others. It never feels comfortable saying this, and yet, I know, to the core of me, it is who I am. I have continually push myself to embrace this writer in me, attempting to ignore anyone else, the reviewers, what people may think. Deep down I know I cannot wait for anyone’s approval or recognition, or live in the fear of not receiving either. I know it has to come from within me for the purpose of growing what is already planted. The knowing is easy. The practice is hard. See, I am not the best gardener of my own being. I trying to learn though, and still have a ways to go. Part of my education is to continually see this reminder – I am a writer – when I flip open my laptop to write in order to believe it. I want to embrace my authentic self, without comparison, without waiting for affirmation from others, because to my being, to my joyful soul, I am a writer. I need to tend to this in order to bloom as one.
The third grabber in my vision board are the words “I can’t” with a pair of scissors cutting through the ‘t’ to read “I can”. When Peter died, the first thing I asked was “how am I going to live without him?”. It was a rhetorical question, one which held no real answers for me, one which I didn’t want to hear answers to. I wasn’t ready. It was too big for me to grasp how I was going to live in a world without the person who navigated it for me, who I allowed to navigate it for me. I let go of Life’s wheel long ago and Peter took it over. Now, I had to steer Life myself, with shaky hands of diminishing faith and unknown skills. I have my insecurities and I fear loosing some people along the way. I may have already lost some. People sometimes put you in a box and when you burst out, they don’t necessarily know what to do with you. Especially if you are forced out in a sudden blast of surprise. Truth be told, I have been uncomfortable in a box for some time and I don’t feel comfortable staying in it anymore. I need to find a comfort in my exit, to know I can live outside of it. And so, this image of cutting out the ‘t’ in the word ‘can’t’, reminds me every day, I am no longer the person I once was and I can slay whatever is in front of me. There is no Option B.
Finally, the forth placement on my vision board are the words “Widow Strong”. That’s what I want to be – Widow Strong. This means the acceptance of being Widow. It’s been a struggle to see myself as one. It meant having to admit the finality in Peter’s death, something my shock wouldn’t let me do. For a long time, part of me, the deceivingly protecting part, thought he would walk in the door after five o’clock, or I would see him gardening in the backyard. When I see pictures of him, my heart drops out of my being with the realization that’s where his imagine will remain – in photographs. I am a widow now. I am not part of couple. I am no longer a wife. I am a singular person with my own name on credit cards, bills, and wedding invitations. I am a widow. And that’s not going to change any time soon, if ever. So, I want to embrace that part of me, like my brown eyes and dark hair. Embrace and exercise it, strengthen it. I want to carry pride with me to have loved and been loved by an incredible man. I want to allow my peacock feathers to show when I talk about being his wife until death departed us. I want to get to know my widow identity and all that means so I can be strong, Widow Strong. It’s a powerful statement and one I need to see every day.
I finally completed my vision board yesterday. It’s nothing fancy. There are no bells and whistles, no ribbons, no meticulously placed lettering. It just lays on my computer screen with reminders of who I want to emerge as, what I need to embrace and what I have to let go in order to live my authentic life, my new life, my emerged life. And I see these reminders on my vision board every time I flip open my laptop. They serve as my strength to continue on this reluctant journey.