Following your true nature: diving in with eyes wide open, featuring Gabrielle Lacasse

Gabrielle Lacasse is one of those people who forges their own path. She’s not someone who plunges recklessly into the unknown, but rather considers her goals and chooses the best course of action before diving in.

Knowing how to reinvent yourself

The year is 2010. Instagram has just launched and it’s the golden age of personal blogs. Terms like influencer and content creator don’t really exist yet.

Gabrielle, a highschool teacher at the time, is looking for a creative outlet. “I was trained as a French teacher, but the realities of the education system meant I could never really teach it. I wanted to take a creative approach – put on plays, study great novels…” 

“I was assigned to special education classes instead. I enjoyed it, but teaching is a vocation. And after 5 years, I couldn’t do it anymore. I admire teachers so much, and I completely support them. But I needed something else.”

“I was one of the first people to pursue full-time content creation in Quebec and actually make a living. I made a plan to get there. I put everything in place to make sure I had enough income and enough customers, and I waited until the end of the school year to launch for real.”

“At the time, I had no children, no mortgage, and fewer responsibilities. But I would make the same decision today. I love the freedom and creativity that self-employment offers me.”

“I was one of the first people to pursue full-time content creation in Quebec and actually make a living. I made a plan to get there. I put everything in place to make sure I had enough income and enough customers, and I waited until the end of the school year to launch for real.”

“At the time, I had no children, no mortgage, and fewer responsibilities. But I would make the same decision today. I love the freedom and creativity that self-employment offers me.”

Giving yourself the opportunity to evolve

Reinvention came calling again in 2019, when Gabrielle officially decided to pursue a career in photography. “I wanted to remove myself from the center of my work. As a content creator, my subject was necessarily myself. I needed to switch that up.”

Gabrielle admits that she has a detached view of her career. “I don’t know where it comes from. Nobody around me has taken an unconventional path. Changing careers, trying new things, those things don’t scare me. I know that money is important – groceries are expensive for everyone! But the how behind earning the money that I need, that doesn’t stress me out.”

“I do have impostor syndrome sometimes – I’m a woman, it unfortunately comes with the territory. But I can’t place obstacles in front of myself. I like exploring new paths and I see nothing wrong with trying out a new career. When I have an idea, I think about it, I plan it out, I save, I’m careful. And once everything is in place, that’s when I dive in.”

Finding what fills your cup

When we asked what fires her up, Gabrielle had three answers. “A day when I’m on a shoot, a day with my daughter, and when I’m engaging with my community.”

“All of those things fulfill me in very different ways. Alternating between the three – my creative, professional, and family life – allows me to recharge my batteries. If I only had one of those three things, I’d burn out.”

One of the practices that helps Gabrielle maintain her well-being is the daily pursuit of what she calls her greater purpose. “It started with the birth of my daughter. All of a sudden, you realize you aren’t the most important person anymore. There’s something else that’s pushing you to live every day, it’s really visceral. And it pushes you to channel your energy elsewhere, to stop focusing on your fears and asking yourself too many questions.”

Adopting a personal mission

For Gabrielle, these personal missions often seem to take the form of paying particular attention to the impact of her words and the example she sets for others.

“Even though I quit teaching, I still try to educate in my own way. Dentelle Fleurs’ content focuses on fashion, decor, and lifestyle. I try, sometimes indirectly, to encourage people to make smart consumption decisions. I buy a lot secondhand, I choose sustainable pieces, I make the conscious choice to frequently repeat outfits in my photos. I want to show people that you can have a taste for luxury without going broke.”

“It’s funny, because I’ve seen threads on Reddit about how rich I am. If someone sees a picture of me and thinks that my $5 secondhand shirt cost a fortune, I’ve done my job.”

Her other mission: encouraging confidence. “Our parents weren’t raised in a generation that instilled confidence in children. It wasn’t their fault, it was the norm. They often tried to guide me down a predetermined path, but my brain doesn’t work like that. I wish I’d known earlier that there are lots of jobs out there, lots of things you can do, and that my type of intelligence has value. That you can bank on something other than academic intelligence.”

“The same thing happened when I became a mother. For a long time, I wasn’t sure if I wanted children. I wasn’t confident in my abilities. I thought that parenting skills and reflexes were innate. I didn’t understand that you learn over time, because you don’t have any other option.”

“I want my daughter to have that confidence. I always tell her that every path is open to her, that she’s good. So, when she discovers what she loves, she’ll go for it without hesitation.”

Read also

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