In Pursuit of Bliss

,

June 12, 2015

Follow your bliss.

What does that even mean? Is it some hippie-dippy turn of phrase uttered by those who drink hemp milk & live in converted Airstreams? Okay, maybe at one point in time. But today, this is a real life wake-up call.

A few weeks ago, we chatted with another couple about changing jobs. You see, both of our households have undergone recent job changes. Why? Dissatisfaction with the current career path, and general unhappiness in the workplace. These conditions are probably normal for some — par for the course, actually. Your work is supposed to make you kinda miserable, right? Hold the phone. When a career path no longer feels like a fit, it’s OKAY to step back, recalibrate, and pursue other dreams. Heck, that’s why we’re here in the first place! If we can’t pursue work that fires us up, our personal lives will suffer. Work life & home life are not mutually exclusive. I think so many people forget that. Growing up, I was certainly surrounded by supportive family & friends. However, very few seemed joyful in their work. Now, defying all odds as a full-time creative entrepreneur, I’m surrounded by a powerful community of dreamers & doers. People who believe in chasing bliss and actually listening to that voice inside, however quiet, telling you what you’re meant to be doing. Hint: Listen to that voice.

Duluth Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

Our generation values a healthy work-life balance, which doesn’t make us lazy — it means we’re reprioritizing. It’s a longer term outlook, and a wake-up call. Before, you would go to college, get a big shiny corporate job, get married, relentlessly follow your chosen career path (whether you liked it or not), then wake up one morning with through-the-roof blood pressure levels & a dismal bill of mental heath. The philosophy being, “If you keep checking boxes, you’re doing all right.”

Our generation is changing the status quo. When I started my business fresh out of college, it was oh-so-tempting to settle into a traditional career path. However, I just didn’t see myself there. And despite others saying, “You know you can’t go full-time with photography, right?” I did it anyway. And it didn’t happen overnight. For a couple of years, I did other work on the side, I hustled, I traveled on the cheap, I saw the world & even lived in another country for awhile. Of course, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew one thing: I was saying “yes” to that voice inside. The ever-persistent one saying, “Travel. Work at that camp for a summer (or four). Go backpacking in Southeast Asia, trek to Everest Base Camp. Heck, go work in a pub in Wales for a year. Then come back & dive into your business head-first.”

I tried to reason my way out of doing these adventures.”It’s too expensive, I can’t do it, I won’t succeed.” But guess what? I did it. Sure, I made a boatload of mistakes along the way, but I learned a ton. I’m still here, thriving, and I’m better for it.

Duluth Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

The biggest excuse I hear: “Chasing your bliss is selfish. You need to do what makes other people happy. Serving others means putting yourself last.” Do you realize how unsustainable that mentality is? This is how people burn out: By saying “no” to themselves over and over again. I’m not saying you should be “Me, me, me!” all the time. Of course not. But right now I’m talking to the mamas, the givers, the dreamers — the ones who feel guilty focusing any attention on themselves. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take care of yourself. To say “yes” to that inner voice. Even if you can’t see the whole path, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and eventually you’ll see where you’re meant to be. When you’re pursuing what sets your heart on fire, only then can you serve others fully. You can create change by saying “yes” to your dreams.

Alright, fellow dreamers & doers: How are you going to chase your bliss in the next month? Share in the comments below!

1 Comment
  1. Sarah March 21, 2016, 21:30

    Bailey, I have been so encouraged by your boss girl emails recently! Thanks for being bold and sharing tips, tricks, and truth with the world. I’m stepping out into my own adventure of bliss this year and I can’t wait to see where it will take me. <3