I Made a Vision Board for 2021: Part One

Let me be the first to say that I am a natural pessimist, an anxiety-ridden, serial depressive who is an enneagram 6. I’m not one for religion, overly positive mantras or crystals, but I’m willing to try just about anything at least once if it’ll improve my mental health and life. Like many others, 2020 was a rough year mentally, physically and emotionally. Fresh off the hell that was Q4 2019 (see How to Heal a Broken Millennial Heart for further understanding), 2020 was doomed from the start. It was to be a year of transition, a metamorphosis if you will. 

When 2020 started, I was at my heaviest – emotionally, physically and mentally – and the most uncomfortable in my own skin. Each day was a trial, presenting countless obstacles for my personal and professional life. However, through all of the changes and adjustments, one thing prevailed: I suddenly had time. More time than I knew what to do with. 

I began having to confront things that I’d been able to push away thanks to being busy at work or by spending time with friends. I discovered pieces of myself that I wasn’t a huge fan of and wanted to change that. Serendipitously, 2020 became the year of realization and inner growth. Now, I won’t be one of those bloggers or influencers that vomit positivity and about how great 2020 was. Don’t get me wrong, 2020 SUCKED. But through the darkness, we can find light. That’s why I wanted to make a vision board for 2021.


What is a vision board?

A vision board, sometimes referred to as a dream board, is a physical way to manifest what you want. It’s a visualization tool used to manifest or ‘visualize’ what dreams or ideas you want to project into the universe. Personally, I’m not into all that touchy-feely stuff, but again, anything is worth a try at least once. This year, I’ve learned that there is no bigger obstacle than myself. I am what creates (and thus destroys) my own happiness. I am the only one who controls that. 

What is included in a vision board?

It can be anything you want. There are a few different ways to go about building a vision board, so truly there is no wrong answer. I made two – one for general ideation (completed) and one for specific goals (in progress). I included quotes, reminders, photos, souvenirs, small tokens/gifts and stickers. Besides the cork board itself, I only purchased one magazine to cut up – otherwise everything else was just stuff I had lying around my house. This does not have to be an expensive project – but it will require some time and thought. 

How does it work?

Vision boards serve as a physical reminder for what you’re wanting to achieve. Seeing it everyday will help keep your goals or ideas at the forefront of your mind as you progress through the weeks and months. It can help to motivate you in a passive way. Rather than an obnoxious alarm on your phone or a calendar reminder, you can be met with a peaceful, self-created image that hangs on your wall as a friendly notice.


Here’s my vision board, broken into four segments: travel, healing, growth, reminders.

Top Left  – Travel 

Each year, except 2020, I plan a trip abroad. I love to travel and to help visualize that, I’ve included a photo of the airplane when I visited Scotland, a luggage tag from France in 2011, a polaroid from the condo in Marco Island and a few travel themed stickers. I hope to travel, whether a big or small trip, and remember how lucky I am to be able to do that.

Top Right – Growth

Midway through 2020, I was invited to join a personal and professional growth program through my company. I was hesitant at first, feeling that I was already at a transitional point in my life, but decided, ‘why not?’. I had nothing to lose, but so much to gain. I’ve included two acronyms to remember daily: one from the work program (S.N.A.P.) and one from the Emotional Detox book by Sherianna Boyle, MED, CAGS (C.L.E.A.N.S.E.)

Bottom Left – Healing

As mentioned in How to Heal a Broken Millennial Heart, 2019 was a shitstorm before 2020 dreamed of it. I’ve included a dream catcher from a Lakota reservation that my grandmother gifted to me, a postcard from Annecy, a fortune cookie and quotes. This section will serve as a reminder that healing is a priority throughout this year – even when it doesn’t always feel good.

Bottom Right: Reminders

The bottom right has no true theme, but just gentle reminders. The moon cycle is a reminder that everything will pass and change. The polaroid is a reminder to get out every once in a while, embrace nature and the relationships that I’ve cultivated over the last year. Lastly, the patch, simple and straightforward –  have a nice day. 

Stay tuned for part two: goals!

Finding Peace

This article is the conclusion to a journey I began years ago. I’ve shared some personal stories about domestic abuse, some destructive coping mechanisms I used, and now it is time to talk about the peace I found after it all. I kept reiterating in my previous articles how we are not the victims forever, and I stand by that to this day. I wouldn’t be where I am without these humbling experiences. I grew my own wings that my gut was trying to tell me to do for years. With the help of my friends and family and self-determination, I was able to be the woman I always knew I was.

Initially, I was scared. I had no money, no motivation, and felt like my career was in the hole, and I had to block out a lot of people in my life. But what was really happening was that I was saving money, building stronger relationships with my close friends, and truly focusing on myself for once. I found myself developing a skin routine and a forming a healthy diet. I planned my future. I went back to college and now am on a path to graduate in a year.

What also became a constant in my life was spirituality. I never had been a religious person and I’m still not. Yet, I found spirituality really explained and helped me with a lot of things that have happened in my life. We all say cliche things like “everything happens for a reason” and “there are no such things as coincidences.“ Heck, I truly believe all that now! I believe people are put into and removed from your life and it’s all apart of the journey. Some people are not meant to be along for the ride and that’s okay. I came to the conclusion that I could find peace in knowing the things I can control vs the things I cannot and should not force. I have everything I need in my life to make the difference I’ve always wanted to make.

I made a vow to not let another person, especially a man, ruin or disrupt my inner peace. Yes, there are days where that was very hard to do, but ultimately, I am happy without the stress and chaos. I truly am blessed to have gotten to know the side of a man that I never thought I’d see again. I had been given a gift in the form a gentle, kind, selfless, respectful human. My boyfriend was put into my life and I have cherished every waking moment with him. He is a significant factor that has played a huge part in my searching for peace. He helped me realize that just because I was a victim and enabler before, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again and that is such a relieving feeling to know I’m still able to love and to be loved.

For the women or men that have walked in these shoes, there is happiness and success resting on the other side of this hill. Peace is found in many forms: a loving friend’s smile, a cup of coffee in the morning, and instead of thinking about your troubling past….you think about your exciting dreams, a week secluded in the woods watching the sunset, connecting with a religion or your spirituality, starting a self care routine, or even writing about your journey and being able to appreciate the things currently around you that you never thought would come from it. We all deserve peace and you will find it.

. . .

If you or someone you know is being affected by abuse and needing support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-9474.

You are not alone.

Skincare for Mask Wear

Wearing a mask sucks but it’s necessary right now. And by necessary, I mean NECESSARY. Don’t be one of those people. Ok — I’ll step off my soapbox now.

Because of all this mask wear my skin is sufferiiiiing. Taking it off everyday feels better than taking my stupid bra off, and that’s saying a lot. Luckily, I learn lots of great info about skincare in my day job that I’m excited to share with you!

One of the main issues I’ve dealt with is how it’s causing more breakouts for people. Yes, there are many different types of acne. However, I’ve found that wearing a mask has given me a lot more issues than I normally have. Things like cystic acne, a city of tiny whiteheads, and heat bumps have set up camp all over the lower half of my face. RUDE.

I know I’m not alone! So I’m diving into some of my favorite products that have been helping my face adjust to this new normal.


First things first — cleanser. Washing your face at least once a day is crucial to maintaining a healthy skincare routine. And you MUST take your makeup off at night! This absolutely cannot be argued.

**Pro-Tip if you have to/choose to wear makeup every day: only wear it on the upper half of your face that’s not covered by the mask to prevent more bacteria from creeping into your precious pores**

Now, I have dry skin, so I normally only wash my face at night and do a quick rinse in the morning to prevent over-drying. If you’ve got more oily/combination skin, that might not be the case for you.

Either way, this is my current holy grail cleanser:

YOUTH TO THE PEOPLESuperfood Antioxidant Cleanser, $36

This gentle, fairly fragrance-free cleanser is great for makeup removal as well as being a badass every day face wash. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins C, K, and E, and more. Plus it’s alcohol free so it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dried out.


If you’re balling on a budget, I feel you. This Clean Skin Gel is an amazing cleanser + toner that also removes makeup while leaving your skin feeling nice and clean. The best part: it’s only $10!


Next I’d recommend either some type of toner or serum to apply after cleansing in the evening so your skin can soak in all that goodness overnight.

DRUNK ELEPHANT – T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum, $90

I absolutely love this stuff. It’s pretty powerful, so I only use it 2-3 times a week. It’s main focus is to resurface congested skin — but it also targets fine lines and wrinkles. I’d say a face covered by a mask all day definitely merits a serum for congested pores!


A budget-friendly alternative to this would 100% have to be Sephora’s Clarifying Serum for only $20.

It helps tame oiliness, uneven skin texture, and pores. The salicylic acid will exfoliate your skin overnight all while the hyaluronic acid moisturizes.


I could talk about skincare for ages, but I’ll end on the last step: MOISTURIZE, BITCH!

You don’t want crusty skin hanging out underneath that mask of yours. And listen up OILY-SKINNED SISTERS, you need to moisturize too! I don’t care if you think your skin oils keep you *moist* enough — that’s not the case and also that sounds gross, and you’re not gross. You just need a light-weight lotion that won’t clog your pores.

Remember, I’ve got more dry skin. For that I’d recommend:

PHILOSOPHY – Renewed Hope in A Jar Water Cream, $39

I will forever sing it’s praises. Once you rub it in, it literally melts LIKE WATER into your skin! It’s like a science project on your face.


For my loves with oilier skin, might I recommend:

OLEHENRIKSEN – C-Rush™ Vitamin C Gel Moisturizer, $46

Vitamin C lightens, brightens, and tightens your skin! This is a light gel cream that not only will keep you glowing, but also improves the look of your makeup over time.


There are plenty of other moisturizers you can choose that won’t break the bank as well. One of my most used:

SEPHORA COLLECTION – Nourishing Moisturizer, $17

This lotion smells sooOoOoOo good. It’s got avocado, marula, and rose hip seed oils included to keep you moisturized and nourished! Also, it’s good for all skin types because of the light and creamy formula.


I hope this helps! Keep in mind that a healthy skincare routine is v important all of the time, but especially right now while we’re all enduring #MaskGate.

Stay hydrated. Stay moisturized.

The Forest

She trekked, well more like stumbled, through the forest. Huffing and puffing, throwing muffled curses under each labored breath, as she aggressively swatted the deadly branches out of her warpath. She wondered if she’d ever make it to the other side, to the clearing.

Oh, the clearing.

The clearing held so much hope and promise – greener grass, a bluer lagoon, and neighbors with adequate amounts of sugar to share. To get to the clearing was to get to comfort. Once she made it through the woods, and into the shining clearing, things should be better.

They had to be better.

Lost in her thoughts, she missed a step. Her pointed boot caught under a fallen branch, one she had absentmindedly thrown in her own path, no doubt, and flat on her back she lay – staring up at the sun between the treetops. Other than letting out an exasperated breath, she remained completely still; absorbed in the view above her.

How beautiful.

It’s as if the leaves and branches themselves were sparkling images in a kaleidoscope. The more she focused on the dazzling leaves blowing in the breeze, the less anger towards the world around her she began to feel. She closed her eyes, took a long, deep breath, and embraced her pause. As she reopened her eyes, she slowly stood back up and gently began brushing the dirt from her body.

Time to get to the clearing…

She trekked, well more like floated, through the forest. A soft smile resting upon her face as she moved onward, softly wading through the lush tree branches, taking care none scratched her along the way. She wondered if this feeling of peace would be magnified once she made it to the clearing; more importantly, would this feeling be long lasting? Her moments of peace and happiness were often fleeting; her only lasting feeling was that of an insatiable hunger.

That feeling of an insatiable hunger for more…

Whatever she had, wherever she was, whoever she was with… it was never enough. It was never where she wanted to be, it was never right. Hence, the current journey to the clearing. She had read enough about the place to know this would be it; the place to fill the void in her heart, soul, and stomach. It would satiate her, hopefully even more than that.

She just had to get there first.