I’m so busy with work I almost didn’t notice, but sometime this week (August 22nd? 23rd?) marks the seventh anniversary (7th!) of my self-employment.
In August 2003, I left the best job I’ve ever had to stay home with my 1-year-old son, Lucas, because frankly I couldn’t hack leaving him with a nanny every day.
I think I made it all the way to the end of that generous, third “reintegration” month, working three days a week at the office and two days at home. That’s when I realized it’s not normal to cry every day you go to work. (During my morning commute, at my desk, in the bathroom, at lunch, on the way home.) Maybe a little at first—but after three months, it was starting to look less like a “difficult transition” and more like depression.
After a lot of soul searching and a hasty look at my bank account, I threw caution to the wind and quit that great job. It was the right decision for me and my son. It was the right decision for my mental health.
I left to go freelance with no freelance experience. No savings. No contacts. No babysitting. Not one tiny clue how to run a business. And it was seven years ago! Did I mention that part already?
I’ve had some really hard years. I’ve had a few spectacular years. I’ve had many, many late nights working and I’ve lost many weekends to my projects. I’ve had seasonal work with ultra-busy months and dreadfully slow months. I’ve had hundreds of days with my kids that I would not otherwise have had. I say yes to stinky projects sometimes. I am occasionally so busy I have to say no to gems.
I’m the boss. My own boss.
And while I may have a tendency to be nostalgic about those old office days, with old office friends and everything else that went with office life, I’m not sorry.
Because, when you factor in all the various pros and cons, tally all the tick marks, and weight it all up, I now have the best job I’ve ever had.