Pursuing a dream

I've been mulling over this post for a couple weeks now, and today seems like a good day to share it.  A little peek into my head; where I've been, and where I hope to be going.
My hope in writing this is to encourage you.  I really hope this doesn't come off sounding like a 'yay me' post.

Do you have aspirations of starting a creative business? Maybe dreams of having a booth at a show or shop? Maybe you're not even sure where to begin!

Two years ago I was desperate to regain my creativity. Desperate.
As in, verging on depression. I really felt like a part of me had died, or shriveled up.
I had lost my creative mojo.  Have you ever been there?

I thought I wanted to get into home decor....somehow. I thought interior decorating was where I wanted to be. But I wasn't ready to jump into school- I felt like I should test the waters on my own before laying down a bunch of cash and then deciding I really didn't like that career.  Or maybe get back to fine art- painting.

Finally, I gave myself a kick in the butt.
I took a painting class at my local community college.

I was so excited at finishing a piece of work. I literally was grinning from ear to ear all afternoon after the class!  It's no Rembrandt, but I couldn't have been more proud. Mostly because I'd done something to get the ball rolling. And it didn't totally suck!
From there came blogging. Then my first "official" decorating job. Disaster.
 I am so glad I didn't jump into design school, because that little voice in my head that said "maybe you just like decorating for you" was true.  I took criticism too personally.  But despite that, I felt like my interests, strengths, and direction have been slowly crystallizing into my dream job over the past year.

Over the course of my life, fear has played a major roll in deciding my paths. I've let opportunities pass me by because I was too afraid. Because of that fear, I've always listened to what other people have thought I'd be really good at. But you know what? None of those suggestions were anything like what I'm doing today! And most of those suggestions were 'safe'.  Not utilizing my creativity.  One thing my dad said to me when I was in high school really stuck with me:
"Welcome to the real world, Denise."
That phrase related to me not wanting to get a job during the summer, and instead wanting to lay out by the pool.
A good knock on the head for a high school student, for sure.  But, it also stuck with me.  Being in a 'job' to pay the bills and letting go of dreaming.

I've said before that this book

...played a huge role in figuring out what I love to do and turning it into my job, my business.
One of the questions this books asks is, what activity could you do all day?
For me, I love home decor and I love to shop! I didn't know how to incorporate that initially, but these days I get to do both on a regular basis. I blog about home decor, I sell things relating to home decor, and I get to shop for it regularly! I also have a love of painting and art. I also get to incorporate that into furniture and product.

Right now I feel so fulfilled.  I am happy that I am starting to make money in a way that brings me joy.  I'm excited to get up in the morning.  Do you have something that gets you excited to get up in the morning?  What would that mean for you?
Even though I have found what I love to do, I am also like many of you.  Trying to find balance.  The next step I am looking to will hopefully alleviate some of the overload I am feeling at the moment.

This journey has been every bit a spiritual one as much as anything.  I've prayed a lot over the choices I've made.  And if anything, it has taught me to pray specifically for what you want.  I don't treat God like a genie in a bottle, but I do believe that He wants us to be happy, to use the gifts and talents He's given us, and to talk to Him.

So, again, I say if you have a dream, go for it. No one can tell you what your dream should be- only you have the capability to make that happen. Go with your gut. Ask yourself what you think about 24/7, what you are passionate about, what you would most love to do all day, every day.
Now go do it.
I promise you will feel fulfilled and happy.


  1. I read a similar book by Max Lucado, called "Life in the Sweet Spot" or something like that.

    My dream has always been to build and renovate houses. And I just bought my first property at the beach, which is a total tear-down. But at least I am moving in the direction I want to go!!

    congratulations on your business :)

  2. I'm proud of you!!! I think you are incredible and have an incredible talent. I love that you posted from your heart and are inspiring me and others.

  3. Well why not yeah for you?!!! Finding your path is something worth celebrating and being proud of. It takes guts to acknowledge the vision and strike out to pursue it. Wishing you continued success. And if you figure the balance thing out please SHARE!! Enjoy.

  4. What a GREAT Post! You just put into words how I have been feeling lately. I am working towards "living" my "dream", but all in time. Thanks for the uplifting post. I was a great reminder to be patient and all things will work out the way they are suppose to. Congrats on your success and best wishes for many more!

  5. Great job!! and I'd love it if you would haul over that little white stool with the red seat to Lakeshore Cottage...well, just think about it, k? lol

    You are a very creative lady!!!


  6. Congrats for following your Heart!!!

  7. I could take most of your post and copy and paste it onto my blog. I hated the career I did for most of the past 25 years and looking for a change, and it's hard.

    It is so, so important to follow your heart. I'm trying and it's hard because I'm the only one motivating myself to do this, and I suspect it's the same for a lot of people who want to work independently. We have to give ourselves that swift "kick in the pants"!

  8. Hi Denise

    As you can tell from the comments above, this post has really struck a chord with people.

    I am going through a similar journey on the other side of the globe. I have a degree in property (realty) but when I read the homes section of the paper, I am not interested in how much they're worth or what the return is, I'm just looking at the design and decor.

    I've also tried being a designer for others, but like you I don't like the criticism.

    I signed up to etsy a year ago so that I could create, but have been too scared to put anything on it. I think it's time to bite the bullet.

    Thank you for sharing an emotional and inspiring story with us.
    Kylie x

  9. Great post Denise! Good for you to pursue your dream. I'm in the middle of a potentially very big change to my life (all good!) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed (and praying) that it all works out.

    Take care,

  10. A great post, Denise. So glad you are finding fulfillment nowadays. My friends and I always joke about how women have "too many" choices now......we can be whatever we want to be, if we can just figure what that is out!!! Thanks for the words of encouragement.

  11. Your blog post reminds me so much of mine http://www.balancinghome.com/2011/08/whatever-wednesday-following-my-passion.html . Funny how I started this blogging thing this summer, I wouldn't say I exactly make money at it, but I love it and hope someday I will.

  12. Congratulations, Denise, for striving to find what & where your passions are and then following up.

  13. Hi Denise, glad things are going well and you are happy. Lovin your stuff (and blog)!
    Cheers Fiona

  14. Hi Denise, glad things are going well and you are happy. Lovin your stuff (and blog)!
    Cheers Fiona

  15. Hi Denise, glad things are going well and you are happy. Lovin your stuff (and blog)!
    Cheers Fiona

  16. Let me first just say your lovely post had me in tears in a beautiful way I felt your words through my heart. I have been through some sadness these past few years with the passing of my sister, and it has been a long journey home for me. Thank you for sharing your inspirational post.
    I have just found your lovely blog and now following you in hope that we can keep in touch, if you find a spare minute come and visit me one day and follow if you like, nice to find new friends. I hope you have a wonderful day.

    Always Wendy

  17. Denise, I glad you stopped by so I could find you! :)
    I wish you could come and visit the show this weekend. Nice to meet you. I will follow your adventures. Ciao Rita Mammabellarte

  18. I'm so happy to hear you're being filled and having great success.

    I'm just starting out and am quite honestly feeling like I'm losing ground in quicksand.

    My business took off as strong as I could have hoped for, but I'm working around the clock to get things going and my family is definitely taking a hit.

    Hoping for the day I can be where you are today. Thanx for the inspiration!


  19. LOVED this post, Denise! I so relate with everything you had to say...as I'm sure many of your readers do as well. Thank you for your heartfelt, inspiring words, dear friend!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  20. Denise...
    I'm glad you opened up about this in your post. So many people get to this point in their lives, including me. Being an art teacher myself, we have a saying we tell our students when things aren't going so well: Art comforts, when the world seems upside-down. I'm glad you're on your feet again! Now fly! andrea@townandprairie


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