Six summers ago, I was sleeping in my Honda Odyssey van. I was manic and unable to pay for my mental health medications. My low-paying part-time job had me earning just enough that my Medical Assistance benefits were denied. I lived on food stamps and purchased my food with an EBT card
That Halloween, I was fortunate to move in with Lynn and Bill, a couple that has since become my dear friends. On a snowy winter day, I sat down in their kitchen and created a vision board. In the center, I placed a large, smiling sun. To its right, I glued a picture of a hefty, happy-looking, silver-haired woman in a blue cap and gown, proudly standing with her hands on her hips. Down below, I put a picture of a blue backpack with an A+ glued to it. There was also an image of a nest with golden eggs in it that I placed near the backpack
What’s on Your Vision Board?
A vision board is a fun, creative way to help you stay focused on what you want to create in your life. You can use a poster board, or an electronic format on your computer
Questions to consider before assembling your vision board
- What do I value?
- What is most important to me?
- What do I want to create in my life?
- What do I dream about?
- What goals do I want to achieve?
- What inspires me?
- What words and images speak to me?
Your vision board can have a broad focus, or you can narrow the focus to a specific theme. Once you decide on the focus of your vision board, gather words and images that speak to you. Cut and paste them to a poster board or use an electronic format. When you finish, mount your vision board where you can see it daily. Reflect on the words and images you create and take action to achieve your goals
I completed the vision board and was happy with the results. It contained things that were important to me, including my values and my vision for the future I wanted to create. I placed my vision board on my dresser where I could see it every day when I woke up
In March, I moved into a subsidized apartment. I mounted my vision board in the entryway. Every day I came home from work, I saw what was most important to me, and that little old woman in the cap and gown spoke to me. I had dreamed of returning to college for so long; now it was time to make my dream a reality
Imagine our world without personal computers, email or the internet. That was the case in 1981 when I went to college for the first time. At the age of 51, I enrolled at Metropolitan State University. Thankfully, many credits transferred, even though it had been more than 30 years since I completed a year of junior college and received an associate degree in respiratory therapy
An excerpt from Kim DeBlieck’s Memoir-in-progress
My life sounded like a bad country western song. I was divorced, my lover had left me, I had gone through bankruptcy, and now foreclosure. I had bipolar disorder and was currently depressed, out of work, and flat broke. That morning, I had handed over my keys to my beautiful suburban home to the representative from the mortgage company and left in denial about my current circumstances. It hit me hard. Where will I stay tonight? I have no place to go
I pulled an old blue backpack from my closet, registered for classes, purchased my books and swallowed my fears. Three goals have kept me focused. I envisioned holding a bachelor’s degree in my hand. I wanted to improve my writing skills. And I dreamed of writing a memoir.
I chose Metro State for its creative writing program and its focus on adult learners. Metro State is a very diverse college. While I’m frequently the oldest student in my classes, I don’t let that stop me
Writing academic papers was new to me, so I utilized the Writing Center when my first paper was due. I worked with a tutor named Jamie, and I was grateful for the help. I also scheduled meetings with my academic advisor who helped me map out my courses so I could meet my goal of graduating. My professors have also been very supportive and committed to my learning
I have taken a mix of traditional classes and online courses. The online courses have been convenient; they allow me to work from home and are flexible with my schedule.
I loved my WRIT 352 Writing Memoir and Creative Nonfiction class with Patricia Hoolihan, which is where I had the opportunity to start my memoir. I will continue to work on it in my WRIT 583 Writing Major Projects class this summer semester.
I have earned good grades, and school has been manageable with my work schedule. I take two classes every semester. Every time I receive a syllabus, I feel overwhelmed and wonder how I will ever complete the requirements of the course. Then I take a deep breath, review my goals and focus on taking it one week at a time
I currently work full time and have a nest egg saved for a condo. I will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. Getting an education is an honor and a privilege, and I discovered that it is never too late to invest in your learning
Last fall, I created a new vision board with a specific theme. It focuses on what I want to create with my memoir. It is filled with words and images that inspire me to reach my goal.
I mounted the vision board above my desk, so I can view it every day. It reminds me of how far I have come and where I’m going next