Back in high school, my bedroom walls were plastered with pages from my favorite glossy magazines. Emaciated models hung over my bed. Makeup ads and tears from fashion spreads floated above my laundry basket. Over a decade later, my desktop has become my canvas, littered with countless “style,” “hair,” “apartment,” “wedding” and “affirmation” folders -- most I haven’t actually updated or opened in years.
I resorted to e-filing my fantasy homes and hairdos after a vision board I created became more of an eyesore than actual source of inspiration. Constantly bumping into the poster caused the corners to dog-ear. Some of the cutouts started to peel off -- a testament to the dollar store glue stick I had used. As for the four or five fridge magnets holding on for dear life? I watched my creation slide down the smooth surface of my refrigerator bit-by-bit, slowly plummeting to its death. It was a sad, sad sight.
The vision board allegedly dates back to the caveman days. Pictures of animals were painted in advance of a hunt and served as a visualization of a bountiful conquest. How they reached this conclusion? Your guess is as good as mine. But physicists and new movement thinkers would agree that prehistoric humans might have been on to something. Our thoughts can shape reality.
When an online course for entrepreneurs suggested I use Pinterest to create a vision board, I was hesitant to create yet another social media account. Social media had become a chore for me, albeit a strategic, career-boosting chore. It was one more laborious thing on my to-do list: Tweet three times a day. Accept friend requests from strangers. Brand. Brand. Brand!
Reluctantly, I decided to give the photo-sharing site a shoot. It took me three years to jump on the bandwagon, but now I’m totally hooked. Talk about inspiration. From what my future home will look like to my ultimate fall wardrobe, “pinning” photos of my dream, well, everything, is giving me so much life right now.
What I love most about Pinterest is that I get to completely self-indulge for those 15 or so minutes each day. This is one platform I can selfishly repost things that have nothing to do with politics, self-promotion or accepting friend requests from strangers. It's the actual me time in a "me me me" media culture.
Wedge booties? Yes, please. Faux fur vest? Why, I thought you’d never ask. Mix and match the patterns on my accent pillows? [Blushes bashfully.]
Another big bonus? The endless images of badass brown and black women. I can create and browse boards like my “Black Editors That Inspire Me” before a major meeting with a potential client -- remembering to channel the classic confidence of Pop Africana founder Oroma Elewa or the big-haired fabulousness of Wonderland fashion editor, Julia Sarr Jamois. I might never actually cross paths with these women, but I’m tipping my hats to them for paving the way for black girls that dream of taking over the media one day and for reminding us that it is possible.
My “Natural Beauties” board is full of lush fros that urge me to be patient the days I feel like shaving off my head of unruly kinks and coils. And when I need a dose of tough love to get my ass on the elliptical or some motivation to cook something other than Hamburger Helper, I open up my fitness board for quotes like, “Exercise to be fit, not skinny,” flatbread recipes, and photos of Ciara’s abs.
As I continue to write new life chapters and embark on uncharted territory, I’m certain the photos I “pin” will continue to change as I morph into the woman I want to be. But my boards keep me dreaming -- big. They give me a glimpse (literally) into what that reality might look like. Inspiration and vision boards might sound cheesy but those cavemen knew what they were doing.
Follow Kimberley on Twitter: @KimKMcLeod.