From an interview with Antonietta Andreone, fashion designer
Antonietta (Anto) came from Caracas, Venezuela, to join her boyfriend – now husband – Diego, after a four year long, long-distance relationship. As a fashion designer, Anto takes the ideas in her head and brings them to life. Likewise, with her goals and aspirations: she has visualized herself into jobs she really wanted, out of jobs that weren’t right and has since imagined and realized a life in Canada. This is Anto’s story.
Ever since I was a little girl, I visualized what I really, really wanted, and I ended up getting it.
I visualized the apartment that I wanted. I visualized the furniture. I visualized the kind of life I wanted to live here, and I visualized the job I have – long before I got it. It’s not only visualizing stuff – it’s also working hard for it. But for me, it starts with visualizing and having a positive attitude – knowing that as a human being, you are basically able to do whatever you imagine. This has helped me a lot in my journey.
Imagining a life beyond Venezuela
Before I moved to Canada in 2015, my home country Venezuela, was heading into a terrible crisis. Once a rich country, the economy collapsed. It was dangerous, it was crazy – I was really depressed.
My boyfriend, Diego and I were in a long-distance relationship for four years. He had moved to Toronto to pursue his Drawing & Painting Degree at OCAD University, while I studied fashion design at Instituto de diseño Brivil Caracas.
Because of the economic situation, simple things like materials were a problem. They were either extremely expensive or more often, impossible to find. When my parents travelled to Miami I was like, “Bring me fabrics, bring me zippers, bring me buttons!”
Worse still, the basics of life were more difficult to find and impossible for most people to afford. The shelves were empty. When I was frustrated and depressed, walking through a supermarket or pharmacy and not being able to find what I wanted or needed, I would visualize myself in Toronto. I knew the stores there and I would picture myself buying everything I needed, leaving smiling, and feeling happy at how smooth it went. I would see myself making dinner for my husband and I in our apartment. Just thinking, “yeah, in the future, this is what it’s going to be like – this is what’s to come”, would help me feel more calm and relaxed.
I would visualize myself walking on the street with my phone in my hand and not feeling afraid that someone might just come up, point a gun at me and snatch my phone! I’d visualize those things, I’d live them. I’d close my eyes and really, really live the moment as if it was happening. I even imagined myself walking in a snowstorm.
“When I moved to Canada, I didn’t have half of the things that I have right now: economically, professionally, and personally. I just visualized them all – even daydreaming about them and making them happen.”
People set goals in different ways. Mine is visualization
I knew I was a good fashion designer: I went to school for it, I graduated with distinction, and I knew all my potential; I knew what I could do, and I knew I had to work hard and I had to build on experience. But first, I had to get a job. So I visualized it. I visualized myself in the office, writing emails or doing whatever, anything related to fashion.
I also knew that you couldn’t just visualize and then go to bed or rest all day and hope things come to you. No. You visualize, but you also work hard for your goal. This allows visualization to become real. So when you build your portfolio, you take your time to do that, and you build a strong resume. For example, I did my resume in the graphic program, Illustrator. That was a good way for me to actually show that I’m good at Illustrator.
If you want your goal to become reality, you must live it: live in it
Also, visualize yourself in the interview. Practice in front of the mirror, as if it’s a real interview with someone that you’ve never met. Just think about those things you’re showing, and you talk to yourself as if you were in an interview. All those things prepare you.
Before I even had an interview set up for the job I’m in now, I practiced the interview in front of the mirror. I made up questions and I answered them. I would do it in the washroom when I was doing my makeup. You don’t have to lose time.
The interview will come because you’re visualizing it, you’re working on getting it and you’re practicing for it. This practice helped me so much in my interviews. I had asked myself questions that were actually asked during those interviews. And I answered them the right way.
“Whether your goal is to find a job, gain financial freedom, get a dog or buy a car, imagine yourself in the car. That’s the way I set my goals. I imagine myself driving that car.”
Visualize what you really want, work hard and stay positive
For me, the most important tip is to never give up. Just respect that there’s time in between things, and you need time for things to be accomplished. A lot of people get desperate too soon. Everything has its moment, and you have to respect that.
By keeping a positive mindset and a positive attitude towards everything in your life, positive things will happen. So instead of saying “I can’t do this.”, I say, “I will learn to do this.” People say, “I can’t make connections.” Instead, I say, “I’ll work really hard to connect with people in Canada, in my new home.” Instead of saying, ‘I can’t find a job’, say, “I will find a job – I am going to find a job.” Eventually, you will find it. The job I’m in now, the job I really wanted – the job I set my sights on – wasn’t for me in 2016, 2017 or 2018. It was for me in 2019. So I respected that. I applied once, but I didn’t get it. I applied again, and I didn’t get it. I applied a third time, got my interview, did my presentation (which went really, really well), and I landed the job. I am now working in the office I pictured myself working in.
Visualizing might be for your journey to Canada, your career or your future finances. For example, I basically visualize myself obtaining financial freedom by the age of 40 or so. That means: obtaining some passive income (that can be achieved through mostly investing) that will cover for my living expenses without forcing me to be in an office 9 to 5 every day.
These dreams take time but they do come true
I imagined myself one day coming into Canada and joining the Canadian citizens line instead of the tourist line, and I pictured the immigration officer welcoming us home.
After a holiday visiting family in 2018, Diego and I returned to Canada for the first time as permanent residents, so we joined the line for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. When we got to the counter, the immigration officer looked at our Venezuelan passports, our PR cards, and said, “Welcome home.”