Day 69: A kick in the pants

Hold onto your hats, folks; this might be a long one.

So as you’re probably aware by now, if you’ve read any of my posts, I’m a full-time work from home freelancer. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do; at least, in some far off capacity that I assumed would work itself out and be awesome when it did.

Funny how things work out, even if they don’t work out like you thought they would.

I was thrust into freelancing in a slightly less-than-expected way, but so far, it’s working out pretty well. The truth is, I’m a pretty solo person and I work best when I have time to think, focus and work uninterrupted. It’s why I love what I do – and simultaneously why I sometimes hate it.

Anyone who works for themselves will tell you it’s an incredibly liberating feeling. In my case, I’m lucky enough to have a supportive husband whose job allows me to explore this world even before really being ready. But the truth is, it can also be extremely lonely.

I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, she’s one of those writers.”

But in all seriousness, the transition from being a needed and important member of a team to being a sole proprietor who has to prove their value on a daily basis to new and changing clients can be rough. It is rough. It will continue to be rough.

I think in so many ways that’s why I struggle to post here; I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy when I’m having a rough day. But I’m starting to realize that if I’m going to do anyone who’s trying to strike out into freelancing any good, I have to share the ups as well as the downs. Truth be told, working for yourself ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, kids. (Yes, I’m a writer and I said ain’t. This is my blog and I’ll slang if I want to.) Sometimes it can be sad, lonely and downright hard, and you deserve to know that. But it can also be extremely rewarding, allowing you to focus your efforts where your talents lie and find happiness in what you do.

Last night, Darrell and I watched the first episode of Master Chef Junior. We sort of stumbled across it because we A) don’t have cable, B) left the TV on for the dogs when we went out to dinner and C) always leave it on Fox 19 because their morning news crew is awesome (although very weird without Sheila…but I digress).  If you missed it, let me sum it up for you: sit and watch as children half your age show you up in the kitchen … and every area of life.

Hi, my name is Ally and I have less direction, talent and sense of self than the pre-tweens on Master Chef Junior.

I couldn’t help it. I was completely in awe of these tiny little people who know exactly what they love to do and exactly what they want to do in the future. We’re not talking kids who want to be astronauts or princesses (although that may be their unmentioned back-up option); they have very realistic dreams and are very well on the path to achieving them!

Do you know what I was doing when I was 10? Playing soccer. Or chasing puppies. Or reading a book. Or playing school bus driver with my sister while mom mopped the floor. I wasn’t thinking about a future or a plan or a dream … and looking back I realize I’ve never really been a big dreamer. Call me a realist, call me what you will, but I never had big aspirations of being the best at anything, the first at anything or really even anything in particular, for that matter. I just knew I’d grow up, get a job, have a family, so on and so forth until death do us part, amen.

I realize there’s nothing really wrong with that, but I can’t help but be jealous of these driven little forces of nature. Did the judges take it a little easy on them? Maybe. But I know for a fact if I went in the kitchen and tried to whip up anything those kids did last night, it would fall a little short. So color me impressed.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. Well after Master Chef Junior … and an hour or so of other TV … Darrell and I got lost in about an hour of Jenna Marbles’ YouTube channel. This girl, who is (I think) almost exactly my age, is someone I used to think of as someone who hit the funny-on-the-internet jackpot. But recently, she posted a video (below) that makes me feel like we’re all sort of stumbling through this together. She also points out that while sometimes doing what you love can be hard, and lonely, and even sorta sad, it’s better than spending every day doing something you hate.

Kudos to you for sharing this Jenna.

Oh right – why is this post called “A kick in the pants?” Because someone I know on Facebook is starting their own 100-day challenge, and told me to get my lazy ass back to it. So here I am.

And here’s that video. Hope it brings you the same sort of odd inspiration it brought me. Sorry, not sorry, for making you lose an hour or two of your life to her channel. See you tomorrow (I promise).

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