In my room at my parents house is a gigantic piece of cardboard that I found in a dumpster. I must've been about 11-years-old when came across it. At the same time, I collected magazines like Vogue, Architectural Digest, National Geographic. I'd look through all of them, stack them on my bookshelf, and when the pile got too big I'd go through & cut out images that I liked and make a collage.
I used that big piece of cardboard someone was throwing away & pasted all of the images that I wanted to make up my life some day. I cut out a photo of a fashionista in a pale pink ballet tutu sitting on some French decor, there was an image of a man kissing a girl in the sand, another of a girl spinning around freely in the ocean waves with a shirt that said "sunshine" on it, an Eiffel tower, travel inspired moments, floral patterns, and more. Every model or woman on the board was confident and unique - maybe with a gap in her tooth or some small imperfection that I found beautiful. I didn't know what I was doing at 11-years-old, but some would call it a "vision board." Every morning for 7 years I woke up and looked at this vision board that hung on my wall, studying each image. Now, almost 15 years later, I can say that I have lived and experienced many of those exact moments - from Paris to Bali to skinny dipping in the Hawaiian waters. I can also say that real life and the memories that I have made with people I love & what make my heart full is far better than what any photograph can capture.
I recently wrote an article for SurfGirl Magazine, one of the largest surf magazine's in Europe, about how I took a leap of faith into the unknown to follow my heart, the sea, the sun, and share it with anyone who wanted to listen. I found myself in those moments from the cardboard piece that still hangs in my teenage decorated room at my parents house, twin bed, orange painted walls and all. Since its publication, a few young girls from around the world have reached out to me, inspired to do something similar, in their own unique way and in their own due time.
When I decided to become a writer, at age 8, my one goal was to change the world & inspire others. This year, I said if I can change the life of one person, I've succeeded. I hope that these young women are cutting out photos & pasting it on their vision board so they can one day go and do and be what they dream of and do it better and bigger and more beautiful than me. Thank you SurfGirl magazine for giving me the opportunity to share my story.
Order your SurfGirl Magazine here.