I’m been successfully employed now for 2 years. Probably doesn’t sound particularly impressive, but after 4 years of self-employment, I was pretty dead-set on never working for anyone else ever again. Today seems like a good time to read over the first post on this blog, which was written shortly after I started working here. (The best line is definitely “sitting around waiting for the email to ring”).
I’m not sure that a whole lot has changed in terms of my general opinion about freelancing. I don’t have a burning business idea waiting in the wings, nor does subcontracting for a bunch of agencies sound particularly fun. What also hasn’t changed though is the fact that I really don’t like being at the whim of someone else’s decisions. It makes me feel like a child, and I hated being a child. So to continue full time employment? Go back to freelancing? Start a business? Change careers all together?
When I was younger, I never really understood why people got into work ruts. I never understood why people were so scared of what is now called “pivoting”. I mean, I understood it intellectually, but not in my heart. I do now. It’s so easy to let stagnation take over your life. Not just in work, but in every arena. To do the same things every day, to eat the same thing, to see the same people, make the same mistakes, act the same in your relationships, be the same person. Day after day after day. It’s just easy.** It’s safe**.
The idea of a work-life as totally separate from a rest-of-your-life is a complete falsehood, and I see it so clearly in this routinized living. Every few years I feel the need to explode my life. Usually I pick one thing and leave that as a constant, and explode everything else. New house, new job, new partner (well, that will be my constant now). But I don’t like this as a way of life: living the same day after day until I’m so sick of myself that I need a radical change. What if I could make change and evolution just a part of my every day living?
I relate this to business and work because it seems to me that some people make risk-taking and challenge and change just part of who they are; and those people start businesses or move up the “ladder” or make mid-life career changes. I like to think of myself as one of these people, but I’m not so sure about that. I still don’t feel completely satisfied with what I’m doing, but I can’t really pinpoint what would make me feel like jumping out of bed in the morning. I am perhaps too scared of leaving my safe little nest. I think sometimes people like to do risky-feeling activities (*cough*mountain biking*cough*) to get that thrill in their lives, without taking any real risks.
The times in my life when I have been braver, I notice that I was braver in every arena in my life. I was able to move past stale relationships, leave dissatisfying jobs, and even just start new hobbies and meet new people. But there was always a spark that started the avalanche. Getting laid off. A lease running out. A spark that was usually external and out of my own control. In a way, that’s almost easier; not only are you forced to change, you must start over which will obviously destroy all previous routines. It’s much harder to change a routine within an existing system, by the force of your own determination.
I want to bottle my bravery so I could take a small hit of it every day. Start up idea? Bravery in a bottle?
I believe that’s known as bourbon. Probably not the best way to start your day.