This beginning: the life of a freelancer


After this ending, of course, came this beginning.

This beginning, set in my bright and sunny office on a Monday that stretched long and luxuriously in front of me, a beautiful expansive landscape with which to write and breathe and think and plan and, finally, do this thing.

desk and office

I wish I could say that I ran eagerly into that big expanse and starting doing big, expanse-worthy things, really, fully, completely taking advantage of every blessed second and drop of energy that came with this new beginning.

But I didn’t.

I spent a good part of the morning drifting a bit. Wandering. Waiting for someone to tell me what to do so I could hop to and start doing. The to do items I had planned out kept pinging at me and I should have treated them like my boss, standing over my shoulder and nudging me back to work. And yet, none of them seemed right. None of those things to do seemed like the thing I should do with this time.

I wandered until just after lunch when I finally changed location. I found my focus when I gave up worrying about the worth of the thing I had chosen to focus on. Instead, I just felt good that I had focused. I had accomplished.

It’s a hustle and I am not, by nature, a hustler. It’s taking a big leap and then preparing for the next one before you’re even safely on the ground. I love leaping but I also like my recovery time. I like the moment to sit, and catch my breath, and pause long enough to let the shaking stop. The shaking that comes every time I bend my knees and prepare to launch because that is how my body reacts to the risk and processes the fear. Through shaking.

spiderweb climbing

I’ve been shaking for two weeks now and I can’t tell if it’s from all of the leaping or if I’m drinking too much coffee but I can’t seem to stop shaking. With fingers vibrating all over my keyboard, I’m typing and I’m thinking and I’m sending my words out into the ether and hoping that the ether sends a little something back.

And in between the moments of focus, I’m still wondering if I’m doing the right thing. In the small sense, I wonder this. Is this pitch the place I should spend my time today? Are these next hours in front of me the ones to spend on my book? When do I schedule in ‘grow my social media platforms’ and what are the tasks associated with that?

And in the very big sense, I wonder if I’m doing the right thing. Is this for me? Am I cut out for this? Am I going somewhere or will I look back a year from now and think myself such a fool for leaping to begin with?

And when the day is done, I feel a little strange. What have I accomplished today? What can I point to and say, yes, I did that? Did I move today, did I move forward? Am I any further today than I was yesterday?

And it’s hard.

I take a deep breath and I give up the worrying. And I focus. And I accomplish. And it’s been a good beginning. Auspiciously speaking I couldn’t have asked for more. And I’ve continued to open up and show up and I think that maybe that’s all I should expect right now. And all I should strive for.

And then I take another deep breath and I leap and I do the thing that scares me. And then I do it again. And I’m feeling kind of nauseated by it all and I wonder if being a freelancer isn’t just completely unhealthy with all the shaking and the nausea. And the reaching and the climbing and the soaring to only then fall a bit and wait and stumble. And the dizziness from the spinning and the whirling in excitement and achievement. It’s like an amusement park ride gone mad.

And it’s only just the beginning.


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