I decided last week to join this blog-post-a-day-for-seven-days
challenge, because I'm a sucker for that stuff. And, because I've learned not to break promises to myself, I feel compelled to follow through on this one.
The problem is not that I don't have ideas, or anything like that. The problem is that I have emotions and a personal life. Pesky things, no? They're always cropping up when I'm least interested in dealing with them. I've started about five different posts and finally I am here. Because I couldn't escape myself. I couldn't escape what was on my mind. I thought I could write around it, or through it, and instead I kept crashing in the same car.
And in this, I felt once again what it is I love so much about freelancing. I love that when my clients are going through their own personal issues, I have the leeway to be human to them and treat them well. I love that when I'm struggling, my clients are able to put up with it and we get through to the other side (see exhibit A: Moving cross-country.)
Freelancing gives me a chance every day to recommit to the work, to being a professional and to focusing on my clients. That even when I am dealing with something big, there's no one but me to keep the ship afloat. So I learn, day after day, how to keep the ship afloat. How to get the emails written, how to launch the sites, how to be graceful and honest in the face of trouble. How to let in some of my personal side while making sure I live up to my own professional standards.
Every day this work teaches me to embrace the reality of my and my clients' situations, good or bad. When I worked a desk job, I could hide in the menial tasks of the day or mentally blame somebody else for a bad policy. Now, it's my name on the line, and it's up to me to assess the situation and act accordingly. Some days that means I go for a mid-day rage walk, and some days that means I have a beer at 3 pm. Some days it means I write a heartfelt email and some days it means I throw myself into the work. Some days it means uncomfortable conversations and some days it means feeling relief and gratitude that my clients are generous and patient to me in return. It reminds me every day why I don't want to work for a big corporation.
We're all here, doing the best we can with what we have. And it's my job to keep making good choices, to move forward, to help my clients to the next step. And so far it's a pretty great job.