I woke up this morning with a pit in my stomach. Something bad was going to happen today — I could feel it.
Battling my motivated, business savvy self with my guilt-ridden, “I’m not where I want to be” self has lasted for about three weeks now. It’s a mean, unpredictable pattern of high highs and low lows. Some days are great days, others are average and some are serious back and forth struggles that drive me mad.
Here is an example of how my weeks have recently been panning out from a mindset perspective:
Monday — “I am living the actual dream of a freelancer, working from wherever I want to, whenever I want to. The best things in life really are free!”
Tuesday — “I am feeling so productive today. Lucky even. Someone unexpected is going to email me offering an insane amount of money for an editing project.”
Wednesday — “I’m still just writing articles? I should have written a book by now. I should be ghostwriting books for successful CEOs. Why is this taking so long?”
Thursday — “Maybe I should get back into fashion. No, that’s stupid. I’m sticking with writing. I will get through this rough patch!”
Friday — “This is just a rough patch, right? This uneasy, unsteady feeling of work and finances are sure to pass. Am I even in a rough patch? Uh, it’s Friday, I’ll unhealthily internalize this until Sunday night.”
These distressing, and quite counterintuitive feelings are sometimes triggered by factors as trivial as a snippy email reply from a client (“These need reworked. They don’t make sense”), or something more deserving of self-pity like a rejected story pitch.
Now, I am aware that I have flighty tendencies. I have menu order decision making anxiety, for crying out loud. “Granola and yogurt or avocado toast? Who seriously can make that decision in less than five minutes?”
Back to the point.
That pit in my stomach returned as I was trying to piece my fortitude back together, in which I remembered something bad was predicted to happen today — 1, because of my never failing intuition, and 2, my horoscope has been hinting at an unforeseen and unfavorable circumstance.
So, I decided to actively seek out this supposed problem before it caught me off guard. And I was already obsessing about money, per usual, so great. Let’s get whatever this is over with so I can get back to my coffee shop and finish my articles.
I drove across town to a pawn shop to see how much money I could get for a piece of jewelry that’s been sitting in my drawer for years. No big deal. This is just an errand I’m running, the sales guy may or may not give me a decent amount of cash, and I’ll be on my merry way.
As soon as I pulled up to this dirty, wholesale jewelry resale shop, a feeling of shock and disbelief came over me, beginning in my head, stopping in my stomach, and continuing all the way down to my feet, followed by a small panic attack, where I flash-backed to my 22-year-old broke, confused and lost self standing in front of Plato’s Closet with a bag full of used clothes to sell so I could go to a rooftop party that night.
“Is this seriously what my life is right now? I’m about to go into a pawn shop to barter for money because of some unexpected bills I need to pay? What the hell am I doing?”
This influx of self-doubting and self-sabotaging emotions was an unwelcome mix in the cards today. My horoscope warned me this week would be full of feelings of nostalgia, but I was hoping for more positive feels like remembering how great my hair looked in 6th grade as it was twisted in little swirls pulled back with butterfly clips. An excellent hair trend of the 2000s.
Those horribly familiar feelings of helplessness, regret, guilt, and worst of them all, powerlessness, came flooding back inside of me faster than an anxiety-induced stomach pain resulting from no probable cause whatsoever.
This is the life of a freelancer.
One day we are all, “Why yes, entrepreneur, did you say? Yes, that’s me.” And the next we’re fighting with ourselves, “Do I have to shop at Meijer instead of Whole Foods this week? Noooooooooooooooooo. Damn this late-paying client.”
When my overpriced wellness lifestyle — healthy superfoods at its core — is being threatened or compromised, that is where I draw the line.
Okay, need more income. Now — Back to motivation!
And then, part two (as I’m referring to it as) of this now unproductive afternoon occurred. I receive a text from Jake which I knew was coming: “What did I spend $33.05 on at a Chicago Sprint store?”
Oh god. I needed headphones for a conference call later that afternoon and knew I should have told him right then and there, but then I thought, “‘His’ credit card has my name on it. This is my card and I am USING it on these headphones and no one can stop me,” well-knowing I would face the consequences when I came home.
It wasn’t so much the $33.05 that was bothersome to him. It was more so it was on “his” credit card, and furthermore, I didn’t tell him about this sinful purchase.
If you’re a struggling (yet fabulous) freelancer, let’s struggle and be friends together! Email me and we will conquer this digital world side by side, one content marketing strategy at a time.
Because only we (the freelance crew) know, or at best justify our bipolar behavior as normal because today — today we are risky badasses who have proven our worth to ourselves and others. We are taking our talents where they cannot and will not be limited.
It is only by way of great adventures where we will get closer to that feeling of life fulfillment — that moment when we realize what we’re doing is serving a purpose for the greater good.
Even if that adventure comes from a purple pawn shop, we learn and get better as we go.
Thanks for reading!