My Current Blast of Irrational Terror

So, Thursday I started my new job. And Thursday night, I’m embarrassed to admit, I had a bit of a panic attack.

It really wasn’t serious, I don’t think. I was just in a situation where all kinds of thoughts were bubbling up and I didn’t have much way to diffuse them. I still don’t (while I started Thursday, the past couple days have been training so I’m not really doing anything until Monday, and most of my normal coping mechanisms aren’t really available to me today.) So to try to exorcise them, I’m going to write them out. Hopefully they’ll look as silly on screen as I think they are.

My irrational worries

It’s been about 9 months since I’ve had a standard work-for-someone-else job. So is the day-to-day grind something I’m going to be okay going back to?

Also, this job isn’t a traditional job-job; I’ll be working remotely without a lot of direct human contact. Is that going to work out?

Am I going to be okay spending as much time in my apartment looking at my computer as I’m going to be spending?

This one’s a bit nebulous. My last job… well, it put a lot of effort into breaking me. I spent most of my time arguing over things that were really really obvious and losing, because the arguments were actually about enforcing status and I was on the bottom. That put me into a situation of comfortable victimhood; there was an equilibrium, and even though it was terrible I was getting through. What if I try to recreate that terrible equilibrium because it’s what I know? (I warned you these were irrational.)

The terms of this job — salary, benefits, etc. — look good. But what if I’m wrong or missing something and in fact they’re terrible?

Or, what if I’m selling out and I get comfortable in this position and lose the motivation to create anything else that I love creating?

Hmm.

It still looks really stupid. I know that if this job doesn’t work out, the right reaction is to get another one, and the only way to create is to, you know, create. Until I get the chance to actually experience how situation is working out, though, I guess the fear will have to tumble around for a little while longer.

An Accidental Businessmen

That’s the situation in which I find myself.

I left my job in May. I had a gig lined up—a book deal. (Much more about that to come!)

I wrote the book. It was exciting and great and also kind of mundane. I had a solid plan, and followed it, and the actual writing of the book was pretty drama-free.

And then what?

I had a boss previously who was fond of telling me that everyone is in business for themselves. But now, I literally am in business for myself, seeking out new projects to work on (and get paid for).

I’m not prepared for it. I mean, I’m good at what I do (writing, editing, and miscellaneous communications stuff), but I’m not prepared for truly being in business for myself.

And that’s even okay. I’ve got some breathing room to figure things out, and at least some ideas of how to go about it. And I’ve had some success at finding freelance gigs.

On this blog, hopefully, I’ll be able to document the figuring-out-process. I’m expecting it to be a very long-term project—like a decade or more. And I’ll probably have a regular job for a good while before I finally make a go for myself. But at the very least, this is a good chance to learn the earliest lessons.

(And before long, I’ll even have stuff like contact information, so you can hire me to do things for you. Which will be good for both of us, because I’m good at doing things and I would like to do them for you.)

I’m Back

It’s been a big year.

I left my last job, and wrote a book, and now I’m unemployed with plenty of fear and plenty of opportunities. With that, I think it’s time to start things here up again.

Much more to come…

Halloween!

No writing today, just wanted to share my Halloween costume.

teabag costume

Yep, it’s a teabag. And it’s quite pathetically assembled (with Velcro to keep the structure together and construction paper “tea.” It’s also ill-fitting and nigh-impossible to get on and off! But I did add a little note on masking tape that says “Lipton” so you can tell that it’s a teabag. (There’s also a little note that says “I’m with stupid,” to eschew subtlety.)