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August 1, 2020

Vision Board


It was a new year's resolution to make a vision board. During this time when I suspect we are all losing some sense of self, I felt compelled to finally complete this.

I knew I wanted it to be fairly minimal, as it's pretty easy to pare what I want and value to a few major things.

From top left working clock-wise:

Stories and images: When I was little, I had a tiny plastic yellow chair on which I placed my "prized possessions." I didn't use it as a chair (when I tried, it cracked).  It didn't serve any function other than being a display for what I loved. The rest of my room was a mess, but I neatly arranged everything on the chair. As an adult, I generally don't have many things. As anyone who's been at our place knows, much of what I own are gifts because I often don't consider buying items that might add more function or ease to my life. This desk was my friend Diana's and we kept it when she moved because I loved its antique and artsy feel, and how it's an old thing in a very modern apartment. We don't actually use it because it's rickety, but I've put all my favorite creative items on it - photo albums from when I used to print photographs, a Holga camera, all the moleskin journals I wrote obsessively in during med school (one for each clinical rotation), G's painting materials and journals, a couple envelopes from my best friend in high school with delicate lettering and stamping, a portrait of G when he did his solo JMT trip, some books whose aesthetics and languid language I love, and a box that used to be vibrantly colorful and whose backside turned blue in the sun so I rotated it in the sun until all sides matched blue. It's not so much any one thing, but a representation of how much I value words and images: capturing my own, gathering ones others create, and absorbing and sharing stories.

Sharing ice cream: I google imaged "sharing" and felt this image was pretty perfect for how I feel about sharing: the importance of giving what we have. It's not always easy to be mindful of the immensity of what I've been given, even in work where we have constant interaction with people with less, so I want a good reminder that there is nothing more to do with our gifts than to give them. A white boy sharing with a little girl of color is pretty fitting for being aware of personal privilege and the vulnerability of others. And ice cream is my favorite too.

G Looking into a Georgia O'Keefe Sky: I love this picture of G and the moment of capturing it. I've never met anyone who has given me as much space as G, who lets me have so much room for everything I hold on the surface and keep underneath. When I brought up the idea of living in New Mexico, he came with me to explore it with openness and curiosity, and I like how this comes across in this photo of him peering into a picture. I'd like to give him the same space, to be as open and sensitive to him as he is to me, to value him as a person independent of what he gives me.

Blank Space: Though I'm moderately minimalist with things, I cram a lot into my life. With people and endeavors I love, but as an introverted overthinker I could use more emptiness. I made this the center of the board, and when G saw it he asked if it represented space for more to come. I think yes, and also space for nothing and a reminder that that is okay and important.

A Cheesy Community: This photograph is a collection of name tags from my last birthday party, in which each of my friends brought a different cheese to share. So the tags have each person's name with the cheese they brought. I hold my friends very close, as individual people and as a community, and this image captures how much each one gives me and also the connection they create when they come together. It will remind me of the nourishment of friendship. And because cheese is my other favorite.

My Parents in Vietnam:  I thought a lot about how to best represent my family and what I value and want to sustain about them. I chose a photo of my parents, because everyone else I love stems from them - my brothers, nieces and nephews. But also they are what we have in common.  My brothers don't always get along, but they each love my parents more than anything, in their own ways. Growing up, they always impressed upon me how much my parents did and do for us, and it has been the driving force for everything I have and want and share.  I also want to see more of who they were before us, which is why I chose a photo from their wedding. I want to know their history and infuse my future with it. It will remind me of the privilege of coming from another culture, one that has rooted into us a faith in family and sacrifice.

Panorama from Red Rock: This is a view from my favorite place where I first climbed outside. There is so much to love about climbing, but if I had to describe it in one sentence, it would be that it gives this wide spectrum of perspective, experience and emotion. This spectrum is what I want in every part of my life, and climbing makes it very visceral and easy to see when I forget it in the midst of my day to day.

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