Follow along on social 📱

A Labor of Love v. Soul Sucking Lifestyle

A Labor of Love v. Soul Sucking Lifestyle

Where you at, weekend?

Oh, it’s Monday? Well, this is awkward. 

Lately, I’ve had a few conversations that really left me wondering if y’all feel the same way that I do. I DESPERATELY believe in going after the exact career that tickles your brain in only the way playing to your unique strengths can. I also DESPERATELY hold dear the truth that there are no free bus rides.

Connections? Yes. Nepotism. Certainly. Prejudice. Heartbreakingly so.

These are things that you, unfortunately, cannot control. But there’s also this other weird assumption that combats the overcoming of obstacles and says there is a job out there that just brings you riches for breathing. Breathing and being cute, usually.

I really believe that is a shallow trap. And the good stuff, that is the stuff worth toughing it out for.

• • •

Yesterday, at a wedding consultation brunch (see: motivated 110% of the time to do just about anything if promised DERU Market), I went on this lengthy denunciation (sorry, beautiful couple) of the belief that dictates it is WRONG to view the thing you love doing as WORK.


“Deanna, I thought, ‘if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’, right?”



And this is what got me thinking about how A-OK it is to view your dreamjob as WORK.

I’d say, get out a pen and get in touch with your do’s and won’ts for success. Because, damn, if you’re not willing to *get finger-painted by poo for it, is it even worthwhile?

I know, okay. I’ve bleached my way back. twice.

• • •

We all have these beautiful and diverse paths which we choose to complement our strengths. I’d caution against beating yourself up if you’re desperately pursuing YOUR path or passion and you still don’t feel like you're knee-deep in a unicorn petting zoo. This whole existence is a just a giant exercise in learning how to best express yourself in this world, mate.

If you're comparing your success to other's success and you perceive this vast discrepancy which is robbing you of joy, rethink maybe what they were inspired/willing to work for (and maybe you have NOT been inspired to sacrifice) to get them to that place which you envy.

Are you in it to win it?


What you love can and will at times (many times, actually, when you first begin and know nothing) feel like a labor, but it should never feel soul-sucking.

And that’s the point of differentiation. 

• • •  

For me, yesterday was consultation meeting after meeting, a branding photoshoot, emails, calls, and an editing marathon right up until what I hoped would be the last 45 mins of my consciousness. I was planning to let the soothing sound of Leslie Knope’s voice lull me into a deep sleep, but finally an email was replied to and a project call ensued... which I took in bed around midnight. 

I was tired and I was NOT feeling particularly creative or even talkative, but babes? I werked. 

And that’s okay. It’s okay to lose sleep and skip meals and make sacrifices from time to time if you’re working towards that bigger, badder goal you’ve fallen in love with. You can't feel bad for that ish. 

We sacrifice for our children and significant others; we do that for our educations and best friends too— I believe it’s okay to give yourself the permission to say, “this is me doing my best to wrangle this beast. I love it AND I feel like I just got knocked out.”

• • •

This business has taught me enduring commitment. I'm all up in here addressing my shortcomings and swallowing my pride so many different ways from Wednesday. Choosing this life has allowed me freedom (like any good love should!) to accept myself and even to reinvent myself. 

But it has never just existed because I wanted it to. It’s been the life worth rising to the occasion for. 

• • •

I realized, not too long ago that if you don't like what you got JUST GO for the good stuff. The time is going to pass either way.

And maybe at this point you're like, but at least you don't have to answer to the man and you can play with twine and flower arrangements and work from home in your pj’s.

Yo, Pinterest makes my job look glamorous, but there is still *surprise work* around every corner. Like anything. Even the shiny models drinking smoothies are making sacrifices but just because they don’t look like your sacrifices, it makes them no less real.

I made a behind-the-scenes list of all the weird stuff that is less than glam about what I do. It’s weird and worth it FOR ME.

👻 I get high on hanging with the people I love, right? Personally replying to approximately 5 million emails+texts+messages+passing out after a 14 hour wedding photo day in summertime while all of my friends bbq and travel and climb some mountains does, in fact, take some mental fortitude.

🙀 See above, but tack-on disappointing your loved ones.

👻👻 See above above and you also have no tan.

💩👶🏻 I adore babies. *AND I’ve been pooped on by children who do not belong to me. More than once. And I’ve thrown away some favorite sweaters. Also, more than once. Is that eligible for a tax write off? I still don’t know…

⚔️ Oh! And speaking of: I like not living in prison! Taxes are hard! Learning how to run a legit business is work!

💔 I LOVE love. Clients sometimes divorce and request refunds for services or products because of a separation. To delicately navigate such a conversation like that for the first time demands heart and brainpower.

🔕 Networking with other likeminded individuals and prospective clients is endlessly rewarding. Authentically representing oneself with more resources than ever but also more noise than ever is grueling, daily work.

💁🏻 I like my outward appearance. But prospective clients scrutinize my thighs and my eyebrows in person, on social media, and on my website when deciding if I am trustworthy/talented/creative enough to do business with. 

🙈 Traveling for work is fun. Yet living out of a funky smelling suitcase is gross and off-putting.

👩🏻‍💻 Thinking is nice. The demand of this age to share your professional habits, thoughts, likes, camera settings, and underwear preferences with the world can be freaky

👹 Not having a boss is cool. So being the strictest boss you’ve ever had is jarring.

💸 And lastly, money and good sleep are pretty rad. Congratulations, you now control how much 1:1 time with those homies you get. Ready to work?

 • • •

You can't have Christmas morning every morning.

So for me, I choose to work for it.

All of it.

And, personally, that has made the sweet stuff, well, so much sweeter.

It’s like a daily reminder that I choose ALL of that because the other side of the coin is STILL so much better!

Life, I love you so much!

My Friends Double as Models

My Friends Double as Models

Secret Homework

Secret Homework