I can’t believe it’s been a full year since I quit my 9-5 to work for myself. I remember on my first day of self-employment my head was swimming in a cocktail of fear and potential. I was wearing a romper with bare feet and potting plants for my office in my backyard. As I was getting my hands dirty with soil a man working for the city came by to examine the abandoned house next door. He asked me about the feral cats living in the crawl space. He then advised me to paint my detached garage and informed me that my shoulders were uneven. He told me I needed a massage and he’d be happy to give me one. I politely declined, went inside and locked the doors.
Since then, I’ve spent this year navigating the bumpy waters of freelance life – from getting clients, efficiently managing my projects, and keeping careful account of my finances to constantly pushing myself as a designer and honing my craft. I’ve gone from finding my niche designing wedding invitations to calling it quits and focusing on small business identity and design. There has been lots of stress – the kind that gently gives me the nudge I need to keep going and the bad, typically irrational, kind that leaves me in a heap of tears. There has been an equal amount of joy too – like the projects that make me excited for Monday. And of course, writing and signing my own paycheck is always fun.
I love being a designer but if I’m completely honest, when I review this last year of freelancing, I can clearly see that what sparked the most passion in my life wasn’t my career itself but sharing the journey of it. I found the most joy in documenting, designing and sharing the details of my life – from my design process to what I’m wearing and eating to the big things like the Nepal / Everest Base Camp trek. Sharing my experiences here is what makes me the happiest.
So a year later, I’m still swimming in excitement (mixed with just a little bit of anxiety) about what’s next. My shoulders are still uneven and I probably do in fact need a massage, but I feel like at least my head is on straight.