{On Following Your Dreams}

I stumbled up on this instagram photo last week (posted by Esther Freedman) as I was packing up for Portland. It really made me think. Probably because this whole subject – my “dream job” – has been a topic weighing heavily on my mind the last few months. You see, I have a wonderful job at an amazing company right now. I have an incredible team and my work is constantly changing, so there’s always something new to learn. So the question is, why would I ever doubt such a great thing?
The more I invest in my blog and my photography, the more fulfilled I feel. Getting home from a long day after a long commute might stop me from putting time into this little blog. And while sometimes I simply don’t have the time or energy, a lot of times, more times than I thought humanly possible, I hunker down late at night and find the happiest moments of my day as I connect with all of you, edit my photos and share my world with my readers through this blog and other social media sites. I really, really love this stuff. A few years ago, if you’d have asked me what my “dream job” was – or what I might be doing if I wasn’t working a steady 9-5, I wouldn’t have had an answer for you. But these days I find myself daydreaming about these passions that are so fulfilling to me and wishing I had more time to devote to them. The normal fears overcome me – there’s no way I can make the same amount of money if I switch to this full-time, what if I fail, what if it takes the fun out of it. Something happened a couple weeks ago that made me realize that I could do this full-time. I could make a career out of my passion for blogging, photography and all my other interests (fashion, cooking, baking, decorating, entertaining – the list goes on and on!).  Then stumbling upon this quote engrained it even more. Nobody is going to come and make this big of a decision for me. Nobody can tell me the future – that I’m going to be okay – that I don’t need that extra money  It’s a leap of faith. A leap of faith I’ve seen a few friends and bloggers take and have been so inspired by.
So yeah, I guess I don’t really have much of a point. This isn’t a post to announce any major change in my current situation. It’s more to put all these crazy thoughts out into the universe. While I’m not quitting my job, I am making a stronger commitment to this space and to the things I love to do. With time, maybe I’ll be ready to make that big leap of faith, too.
Have you followed your dreams and created your dream job? Have you taken a big life risk and seen it paid off? Or has it backfired? Do you feel fulfilled and blissfully happy in what you do? I’d love to hear your stories!

37 thoughts on “{On Following Your Dreams}”

  1. dude. we are in a mind meld.


    the thing is, I think, that all the options are risks. even staying in a job you don't like (not that that's your situation) is a risk because your happiness is in danger. it's good to try to arrange these thoughts, because deciding how you spend the bulk of your day is a big decision and is worth as much consideration as possible! it sounds like you're on a great track though 🙂

  2. It's great reading this… It makes me feel that I am not alone in these feelings. I Have just started a small photography business and I am constantly fearing failure, yet when I have a family shoot I feel like my dreams are coming true.
    My girlfriend sent me this quote today from Oscar Wilde “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all”
    Each step big or small towards our dreams is walking in the right direction.
    I love your blog, it's awesome and makes me want to travel back to Europe!
    Thanks for putting so much time and effort into it, it's inspiring people as far away as Sydney, Australia. Xx


  3. You are right – there has been a lot of “Follow your dreams” talks around this blog world lately and I have to admit, it's been stressing me out. You see, my dream was always to become an English teacher and I did that. I worked for 5 years and loved a lot of it but found out how much I hate all of the bureaucracy. I've always dreamt of traveling and now I've lived in Africa & Norway which has taken me more places I ever thought I'd see. Now that I'm overseas, I keep wondering, “What is my dream job?” You know, if I could do anything in the world what would I do? The answer isn't so clear anymore – it's evolving and changing as I grow and as i keep doing so many amazing things, it's resting at the back of my head as an unanswered question. I suppose in short, it stresses me out that I'm not sure what following my dreams means anymore?!

    (Sorry for the rambling.)

  4. I totally agree with you Liz! I am in my final year of university, and have been working to launch my career so that I wouldn't graduate and feel lost. I am already feeling fulfilled and although I can't take on the full-time opportunities out there because of school I know it is where I need to be to get to where I want to be. I launched my photography & renewed my blog and felt an outpour of support! From there so many opportunities have opened up, and are still unravelling. Once you put yourself out there and really like, I am going to do this! You wouldn't believe how it just starts happening. More doors open and along the way you find yourself having a career out of it without realizing because you are so fulfilled. I'm still growing and can't wait to see what happens after graduation when I can devote more time to my dreams. The key is to start anywhere, big or small to make your dream job happen.

    I can't wait to see how you grow in your journey, you are made to do beautiful, creative things Liz! Good Luck.


  5. I loved reading this. I've been kicking myself to stop wasting time in a job that pays very little and brings me zero happiness. I think life is just too short to do ANYTHING that doesn't bring us to the highest level of happiness. It takes a lot of courage to do what we truly want and sometimes we wait for the “perfect” time to make the leap but the truth is, the perfect time doesn't always come. It just takes faith! 🙂 Excited to see where your journey leads you! xo

  6. I have totally taken BIG risks in my life and followed my dreams- so happy I did- b/c the have paid off and I could not be happier!

  7. i am naturally not a risk taker–i like to play it safe. but i was doing a job i didn't like and was given a way out and i jumped at the chance. and although i haven't replaced it with anything concrete i am still so happy i did it 🙂

    you will know when the time is right and then go for it 🙂

  8. I am right there with you and your words really hit home with me. I am so blessed with the job I have now with unlimited opportunity but nothing makes me as happy as early morning photo shoots in my kitchen with my newest creations.

  9. i love this quote. i think anyone who takes the leap form a safe full-time job to do something they love is inspiring. i wish i was that brave! i always wonder how full-time bloggers make it work. i wish i knew what my dream job was, i'm still not sure!

  10. Lovely post. I don't think I've commented before, but I started following your blog a couple months ago and I'm hooked.

    I know that I feel the same way and so does everyone I know. I think it's just this time in our lives, or it could be always like that? It's funny, because when I read the quote (which is great) I thought how true it is and that you can make the typical 9-5 job that the blog world seems to hate become the dream job. It's all about your attitude. Why are you doing what you are doing? Just a few of my thoughts. There is no right or wrong answer and I know what is meant to happen will happen. 🙂

  11. I encourage you to follow your passion! I am in the same boat myself, dealing with the same lack of confidence, battle of fears, etc. I currently work at a university where I plan events, which is my passion. However, I would love to start my own event planning company and have done some on my own, but have been too scared to make that step out on my own. Prayerfully we will have some positive things to report later on in time. 🙂

  12. I am in the exact same conundrum as you are right now. I am still working my 9-5 job to pay the bills. But as soon as I get home I love diving into my new Events & Wedding planning business and building up a client base through every social media outlet. I can't wait for my dream job to be a reality and I can enjoy my work every single day. Keep doing what your doing. Making dreams come true does not happen by accident, we have to commit to making it happen!

  13. Tomorrow is my last day of work until…..who knows. But I'm going after what makes me happy, I'm creating the world I want, I'm off to travel and blog and photograph things I never thought I would. Every now and then, I let myself feel scared and a little nervous, but for the most part, I feel very peaceful about this decision and I feel so extremely excited and grateful to have someone by my side to do it with. I mean, at the end of the day, isn't that the most important thing?

    I say, go for it. Go after what makes you happy. It'll all work itself out.


  14. Yep, I totally get it. I quit my job about 3 years ago to freelance full-time, and it's taken me in so many directions, including opening an Etsy shop, selling ad space on my blog, and finding other small ways to make money (it's all about the hustle)! I think if it's something you really want to do and you have a decent financial cushion (aka 6 months of savings) to fall back on in case you need it, give it a go! I guarantee that even if it doesn't work out super well, it will be one of the best decisions you ever make because you will learn sooo much about business as well as yourself.

  15. I really love that Instagram photo. My 'dream job' is something that I think about every single day and I finally feel like I'm in a place that could get me there, or certainly very close 🙂 I actually took what I think is a pretty big life risk: I packed my bags and moved to LA from Toronto for my dream grad school program. My boyfriend, all my best friends in the world, my family and everything familiar is a 5 hour flight and a 3 hour timezone away. I have no idea what's going to happen or what could happen over the next two years but what I do know is I absolutely love living in this city and coming here is one of the best (even though one of the toughest) decisions I've ever made. It's too soon to know whether it's paid off (a slightly scary thought) because I'm only two months into my program, but I'm so happy already and that alone has made my big leap of faith worth it.

    You are so lucky to be living and working abroad with your husband in a city where you're surrounded by so much beauty. Europe is your playground! My mantra is 'everything happens for a reason and good can come of anything,' so while you're there, I say make the most of it – whatever that is 🙂

  16. I always say, with everything in my life, to take a chance because life is just too short to be left wondering.

    The positive for you is that you have a husband who can help you in all ways – emotionally and financially as you embark on a new venture. Everyone has to start from somewhere, and I think you've got a pretty stellar start so far!

    One of my new favorite quotes: “Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day.”

  17. Oh my gosh Liz.. I can totally relate to this post. In all honesty, I truly feel like there is a lot of things we have in common. I figure we're of similar age (I'm 26), I'm recently married and although we don't have kids yet, our dogs are just as important. We love to travel and to capture it all on film. And most importantly, I feel like I'm at a cross-roads in my life… I'm pretty successful in my career (by that I mean that i've been able to move up fairly quickly at my company and make a very decent living), but I just don't know if that's enough. Although the perks are great, this job is not my dream job. My passion is travel and I day dream constantly about getting into that field.. but at what cost? Am I willing to give up a great paycheck and leave this life behind? Yes and no. The risk of the unknown is so scary for an ocd planner like myself.. I'm curious to read about how this all pans out for you, and to also read about some success stories.

  18. love that quote/photo! this really hit home. thank you so much for writing about it. sometimes it just helps to get it out there and the words be in the universe…it makes us realize, wow i can do what i love…may take time to get there, but i can do it 🙂

  19. I love my job so much, and really can't see myself doing anything else. I worked hard to be a successful hairdresser, and I am completely satisfied in my career. Honestly though, I don't think I'll ever really be satisfied…in life. People who have hobbies always want to spend more time at them! I've only just started blogging, and jeez! I love it! Also, there is always something to reach for just around corner. I'm always hoping for another trip, another adventure. I just have to be grateful that I love what I do to earn money, and that it allows me to spend time/money/energy/etc on my other interests. Good luck to you! I can't wait to see where life takes you!

  20. I left my high-paying, corporate job a little over a year and a a half ago, to pursue an artistic path, something I'd always dreamed of. I started my business designing and silversmithing jewelry, and although I make far, far, FAR less than I did at my corporate job, I am so much happier. I was miserable doing something that just wasn't me, and money wasn't making me happy. I'm turning a profit, and doing something I enjoy and that will hopefully continue to grow. Life is so short…do something you're passionate about. It feels like jumping off a high-dive, but it feels so good once you do. Even if I fail at this and have to go back to a “regular” job, I'll be happy knowing I at least tried. 🙂

  21. Liz, this is exactly how i feel! It's so hard to find the right balance or the right time to transition from earning a good salary to following your dreams. because no matter what anyone says…it costs money to follow your dreams especially in the beginning. It sounds like I want to follow exactly the avenue you do 🙂 and even though I was only working in retail, it was still taking up so much of my time and energy which left me so not inspired to do anything blog or photography related. But at the same time I needed the money. Argh…catch 22. But now I feel like when I get back to London with George, I can properly focus on following my dream job and it really excites me. That's why I am like bursting to get back there and recover from this stupid surgery haha.
    I mainly just love the fact that I wouldn't even have these dreams if it weren't for blogging 🙂 xx

    P.s So wishh i could have been there in italy with you guys. Even if you were sick most of the time you poor thing! Hopefully we can plan another little trip sometime soon.

  22. I've been reading your blog and looking at your pictures for awhile now. Clearly, love them and your writing. I toy with this thought quite frequently. If you aren't capable financially to take the leap and do the “dream job”,there needs to be some fulfilling supplement. I also LOVE blogging and look forward to it. I also got certified to teach a Les Mills Body Step class this year and it totally consumes me. I would love to blog and teach fitness classes all day but unfortunately I couldn't pay bills (at this time). I enjoyed this post, for me, it forced me to be grateful that I have a job AND I also have fallen in love with other interests. While it's easier for me to say to another than keep in mind myself…we only live once!

  23. Welp, I followed my dreams and so far, it's working out pretty well. Not making very much money, hardly any money in fact, but I am happier. Much much happier. And I get to spend my days with little Ev…how lucky am I? Get it girl.

  24. Love this post! You've already heard my thoughts and personal side to this, and most importantly that i'm rooting for you !! So excited for what's ahead (:

  25. Love your post, I have thought about the same thing. What do I really want to do. I'm an ESL teacher abroad as of right now but it's a means to an end sort of job. Hopefully I'll be able to take the leap to something I love more soon!

  26. I love you SO much Liz! You know how I feel about all of this too (: Like Steph said .. begin anywhere. and you already have! You are an incredibly talented photographer. And I truly only say that when I mean it – and I do! For me, I'm so glad I went for it. It's a career I feel like I'll be able to have with kiddos. Which is one of the reasons I wanted to start it … though a bit impetuous to just begin like that. it has worked out. And the best part is being able to control how many clients I can have. // and also choose the ones that inspire me. of course, there's always taxes and bills and totally un-fun stuff but I still say it's worth it. and i've got my 5-10 year plans, and this fits with them (: So proud of you!!

  27. You can definitely follow that dream! That is what life is about right? Even though it is terrifying it will probably be the best decision you make! And I love your blog and your photos are great. You are very talented! I took a chance by quitting my full time job in CA and moving to Paris to learn pastry so I can open my own shop back home and although I still don't know if it will work out how I imagine I do know that it FEELS right and I feel so good chasing my dreams and not just talking or thinking about it 🙂 best of luck!

  28. I saw this quote recently as well and cannot tell you how much I love it. And you have just perfectly summed up exactly how I feel about all this blogging and writing~best part of the day, hands down! I had to stop writing last year to study for the Bar and it was awful, awful, awful. Thankfully, I found some inspiring new blogs that have gotten me back to it and I couldn't be more excited! (and right now…I might just be procrastinating getting ready for work by reading your old posts….)

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