it’s a little over six months – almost seven, really, since my last day at work.
which is a funny thing to say because i assuredly still work. even if my boyfriend sees me still tucked into bed when he is venturing out into the cold in the morning (i’m sorry. i know that’s hard. forgive me.)
it’s hard from inside of self-employment, you guys. it is very hard. and that’s impossible to know before you head into it. you can read about it and you can be prepared for it but you cannot know it. and really, that’s alright. there is a part of dreaming where you should be dedicated to the good parts, the things that will sparkle and shine.
what it feels like from inside is this: am i doing enough for my clients? am i doing a good job, period? do i have too many clients? do i have enough clients? how do i decide what the right amount of clients is? i have other projects besides client work – when am i ever supposed to work on them? am i making enough money? what does enough money even mean? is there ever enough money? i’m not marketing myself. shit, i really should be marketing myself. i would love to do that training thing or go to that conference but its many thousands of dollars so lol. i finished a thing! i answered six emails! i get to pee and have lunch now! ugh, today is hard. am i allowed to go read a book now? i mean, that’s why i did this, right, so i’d be able to do whatever i wanted whenever i wanted? you mean that’s not how it works? i was lied to! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN, QUARTERLY TAXES?!? *gets email* oh, my client is thrilled with my work, i’m gonna go glow forever now.
so, that’s a lot. it is constant cacophony. i have no idea if it will be right for me forever – and i also imagine the shape of what i do is going to change over time – but i am enjoying the ride while i’m on it, right now.
here’s the good stuff. i was able to go see dear friends for two weeks, because i could take my work with me. i was able to go see a friend who has a six month old baby for a full day on a thursday. i do not really get up before 8 – yes i have seen all of the articles about the most productive people in the world getting up at ungodly times and i am just not interested. i have incredible freedom over my time and energy and i value that in a way that i don’t know how to describe in words.
the other good stuff is that business is really good and i am doing fine. i have not had to dig into my savings to support myself and keep up my share of my household monthly expenses. although the bouncer has been two hundred percent supportive and when we talked about all of this and potential financial instability, he offered to shore me up, i haven’t had to take advantage of that kindness and i am extraordinarily proud of that. (he did buy me a new computer, which was insanely generous). my inbox is totally full of work right now, which is sometimes intimidating but mostly amazing. i’ve been approached about big, exciting projects that scare the hell out of me, which makes me know that i should take them on.
the secret, the whole time, was that i didn’t quite believe that i could do this. i saved money as a backup plan, enough to support myself for a skint 9 months, and a solid part of me felt i would just run through it and then have to go get another job. and that might happen, someday, i know, but it hasn’t happened yet and i am mystified and thrilled and truly, for real proud of myself.
i’m also learning about a whole new world of self-care habits, and one of them is getting out of the house every day. i have what amounts to a two room apartment, with a huge bedroom and a living room/kitchen combo. the desk is in the bedroom (there is no room for it anywhere else), and your office being the same as your bedroom is not ideal, to say the least. fortunately, i live in Brooklyn where there’s no shortage of trendy coffeeshops to go and spend a few dollars on a chai and a pastry or sandwich and buckle down with some wifi.
i worked at home this morning and then, when i got hungry for lunch, i packed up and came out. I had a BLT with avocado on a croissant and when i looked around at my little table, at my three notebooks all filled with the work i have to do (and one just for my words, in case i couldn’t plug my computer in – the cover of it is the photo for this post), i was struck, as i am sometimes, with the idea that i am doing it. it is the middle of the afternoon and i’ve chosen where i want to be and what i want to be doing and i am doing this thing. i am really, actually, living this life and doing this thing and i’m grateful for every person and thing and experience that helped me get here and i am proud as hell.