We’ve all had those moments. Moments we’re not sure how we’re going to continue. Moments when we have no idea where our next paycheck will come from. Moments that bring us to our knees, or—in my case—to sitting on the kitchen floor, holding a chair leg, and sobbing.
I was a year and a half into my freelancing path, and I had made some mistakes along the way. But I was working hard, very hard, to build my business. Still, at this point, I was six months into no real work, living on a credit card and recovering from a back injury. I was hopeless. At my breaking point.
So I called my closest friend in town.
Chrissy left her kids with her husband and rushed over. Chrissy and I, from the outside, couldn’t seem more different. I grew up near a city, hopping on subways, and hanging out at Starbucks; Chrissy grew up Amish on a farm, manning a produce stand, and feeding her pet donkey. But we were soul friends, connecting through our faith, love of reading and writing, and nature.
When Chrissy arrived, she took my hand and pulled me up off the floor. She took me to her house where she proceeded to swiftly pluck fresh veggies from her garden. She packaged these up along with a fresh jug of water and some plates and forks. Then we were off again. It was a beautiful late-spring afternoon, getting close to dusk, and Chrissy drove down a tree-lined, one-lane road until we came to a spot large enough to park. She asked if I could grab the blanket in the back. We walked a little ways until we reached the brook, setting the blanket down on the clearing.
In this peaceful, serene setting, amidst the fresh smell of trees, the babbling brook, the fresh-picked vegetables, and the pure water, I let out the six months. The stress. The fear. My friend sat with me while I cried. When I was finished, I ate. We prayed. Sat in silence, listening to the brook. The woods grew darker, but we stayed. Talking, crying, laughing, eating. My soul and body were refreshed.
A few days later, I applied and received a six-week gig editing health articles, an intense yet well-fitting position that put me on a more secure freelancing path. I’ve been on the up and up ever since.
I can’t say I’ve done this freelancing path perfectly, and I don’t have a six-figure income, but I have learned much along the way that I’d love to share.
A natural workaholic, I moved to the country in 2009 in search of a simpler life. My father, my biggest cheerleader, had passed, and I wanted peace. Fresh air. Balance. Space to think, grieve, write.
Yet even in the country, I found my workaholic ways creeping in, and building a new business is no easy feat wherever you live…maybe perhaps a little harder when Panera Breads and Starbucks are quite far from the sleepy country town you live in with its single stoplight and hitching posts.
I want this blog to be a respite for us self-employed folks who tend toward working too hard—a babbling brook of authentic freelancing, work-from-home tips with slow down/enjoy life ideas scattered throughout like seeds that, when nourished, make this path so much richer. Because isn’t that a large part of why we chose this path? To enjoy our lives better? To have more time for those we love? To have more time for our creative pursuits? To have space to think, reflect, and live a more authentic life?
Thanks for visiting! Pour yourself some iced tea, lemonade, or your favorite beverage, and stay a while. I hope my words enrich your life in some way as my day in the woods did me. Sometimes the simplest things are the best things…