Going Full Time Month 16

Every morning I write my daily to do list on a notepad from Rifle Paper. I figure if the list is cuter, I’m more likely to refer to it throughout the day. #logic

At the end of January I decided to, for the first time ever, make a month long to do list. I wrote down 18 goals I wanted to complete by the end of February. They were all bigger, month-long goals.

•Post 30 times to Instagram
•Pin 145 times to Pinterest
•Apply to be on two podcasts

I ended up meeting 14/18 of the goals which was kind of a big deal since some of them had been on my mental to do list for months. One of the goals was this:

•Reach out to four shops to see if they’d be interested in carrying any of your Click Bloom products.

I completed that goal and all four locations said they didn’t have any shelf space. One location however, invited me to be a part of their farm events on Wednesday nights. The idea immediately pulled me in two different directions. On the one hand, it sounded so exciting! And what else were we gonna do Wednesday nights? Why not interact with our community and maybe sell some art and pins in the process?

Then on the other hand, wasn’t I supposed to be hyper focused on my branding photography? Would people think “Wow, her photography must not be going so well if she’s starting a pop up shop.“? Because the photography side of things IS going well… so why would I not stay strictly on that road? Why wander?

The answer was laughably simple:

Because it would make me happy.

Denise Karis Photography Blog

I know myself. I know I’m endlessly curious. I know I love creating new things. I know I get my best ideas for photography from things that are not in the least bit photography related. So in order for me to keep getting those ideas, I need to keep exploring other creative paths. I know it’s easier for me to show up to something I take very seriously when I have something more lighthearted waiting for me around the corner. I know when I am too focused on my photography business, it starts to lose its sparkle. I know I don’t thrive with just one thing to dream about.

This isn’t what we’re told. We’re told to hunker down, focus, specialize, everything else is a distraction. And I get that. I get that the people who pour their all into one massive goal are more likely to reach it quickly and more likely to impress the heck out of the rest of us in the process. I get that if I spent every waking moment, every ounce of creative energy on just one thing, that thing would probably become very impressive to everyone else… but it’s hard for me to believe I wouldn’t be sick of that thing by the time all is said and done.

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Maybe this isn’t true for you. If it isn’t, girl you have the making of Taylor Swift and Michelle Obama. A warm and sincere congratulations from me to you! For those of us who work a little differently, I’m here to give you permission to lean into what makes you different. And I’m here to offer the following:

Making decisions based on how impressive you’ll look to everyone else is overrated. Making choices to build your own personal happiness is underrated.

Denise Karis Photography Blog

Raffi and I are going on our third week at Farm Nights and we are having the best time. We buy bread from Proof and snack on it at our table. We get the best hugs from the guys at MJ Chocolate Couture. We talk and laugh and dream up new things for our table and chat with the people who stop to look at our stuff. It’s like date night but instead of spending too much, we go home with extra funds! Who wouldn’t love that?

February was the month where I finally said it out loud: My dreams don’t exist to impress someone else. They’re there to help me build a life where I thrive and have more to offer the world because of it.

That was month 16, friends, to see the full archives starting at month 1, click here! 

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

Thanks to Renata Adrienne, Plush Design Studios and Content Pixie via Unsplash for the Office Style piccas! <3