This week my therapist told me she thought it’d be fun and helpful if I made a vision board for 2022. I kind of balked at first because I’m not very good at arts and crafts, and, like every normal person, I want my therapist to think I’m the coolest and most talented human being in the world (which is why I’ve only shared my favorite and highly edited personal essays with her so far). But then I remembered how cute Autostraddle Editor in Chief Carmen Phillips looked when she was making her Ultimate Skeptic’s Guide to Mood Boards back in 2018, and decided to give it a go. Worst case, it’d force me to fix the printer, which my wife has been asking me to do since last tax season. Best case, I’d learn something about myself — and my cats would get some good play time with the cap from the glue stick which they would inevitably steal and turn into a hockey puck.
The immediate problem I ran into is that, two years into Long Covid, I still don’t know, from day to day, what I’m capable of accomplishing. So it’s hard to set goals, because I’m afraid I’ll fail at them because my body will act out, and then won’t I feel worse than if I never even set any goals in the first place!? And, like, how do you dream for things in the middle of a pandemic that seems like it’s never going to end? Would I like to spend more time in greenspaces? I sure would! But I’m risking it all every time I got to the laundromat, or the pharmacy, and those are absolute necessities! How do you imagine great things when you don’t have control over basically anything, not even whether or not your blood’s going to cooperate on any given day and pump itself up into your brain so you can make words! How can I daydream of bigger things when the world keeps getting smaller and smaller? Also, how do you get an A+ on an assignment you have no experience with and who even am I if I don’t get an A+?
Well, APPARENTLY, the joke’s on me because grappling with all that was the entire point of asking me to make a vision board. Working through these questions is a lot less intimidating when you’re cutting out photos of Viola Davis at the same time. My therapist guessed it would take me two hours to do a vision board. It actually took me four days. But I am very proud of it, because what I learned in the process is that there’s still plenty of things I can dream about, reach for, and try to do and feel, even when I don’t have control over almost anything.
I also learned, once again, that there is truly no limit to my gayness. Here’s my vision board for 2022. I’d love to see yours too!