Any half-sane person would anticipate that, upon quitting their perfectly good day job in order to pursue a career as a freelance anything, life would get a little more difficult. I did. But it turns out it's near impossible to fully anticipate just how mentally taxing the whole process can be. Especially if you're not, like, immediately just selling tons of work and getting mad advances for your totally genius book idea, et cetera.
Never knowing exactly when your next paycheck will come, or even how much it will be for; scrambling to pay bills on time, canceling various services to save money, being in near-constant hustle mode--that alone is exhausting.
Throw "no one will hire me for a crappy part-time job so I can at least make ends meet" into the mix and it's enough to turn even the most optimistic soul a little sour.
A friend of mine once told me that he thought there were two types of people in the word: those that just shut down in the face of adversity, small or large, and those who immediately say to themselves, "OK, how do I make this work?" and then just do. He said he thought I was the latter, and generally, perhaps somewhat egotistically, I agree.
And maybe that's why I have such a hard time coming to terms with those instances when I do let myself shut down. They don't happen often, and they don't usually announce themselves with any great fanfare. It's just, suddenly I'm missing appointments and having a hard time getting off the couch and am deeply, deeply mired down in an internal pity party that I can't seem to shake.
I've applied at something like 15 different places around town and, lo and behold the recession, no one yet is hiring--or if they are, they're getting a million applications and mine failed to rise to the top of the heap. It's rough on the ol' ego.
Fact of the matter is I've made it three months into this grand experiment and am now officially broke. It's not exactly how I planned it, and that threw me for a loop. But I woke up at the beginning of this week and simply said, "Emily, it's time to get this thing done." No more laying around feeling sorry for myself, no matter how rough things get. Because what does that accomplish? (other than a chance to catch up on episodes of The Wire)
So a word to the wise: If you're thinking of doing something similar with your life, be prepared. Make a schedule and a list of goals, large and small, and stick to it. And know that, unless you're just wildly successful from the get-go, it's likely you'll be dealing with some very low moments. Don't let them get the best of you. Frankly, it could always be worse - and the promise of something better should be enough to keep you rolling.