Monday, I got my first freelance check in the mail. The amount had several zeros and at least one comma. (I do try and make a passing attempt at modesty…stop laughing at me!)
I got this check in exchange for about two days’ worth of work, most of which was done at a lovely little indie coffeehouse in My City that has the good fortune to be attached to a lovely little indie record store. So during those two days, I got to drink gourmet coffee and be serenaded by Nina Simone, Bob Marley and Edith Piaf. There are, indeed, worse ways to spend two days of one’s life.
I stared at the check for a few minutes. I mean, I knew it was coming. I knew the amount. And yet…holding it in my hands, there was one thought that came to my head: “Somebody gave me money for making words.” Not for leveraging resources nor decreasing shrinkage so that the company could better position itself for new market trends. No — somebody gave me money simply for making words.
Three days ago, I got my second freelance contract. Somebody else will be paying me to fix words.
Two days ago, I took a test for a possible third contract. Again, to fix words.
Mes amies — there are people out there who want to give me money to make and fix words! This is astounding! I am all warm and giggly at the notion of not having to be a small cog in a big corporate machine, but simply being allowed to make and fix words.
Today at the hairdresser’s, I noticed on my Twitter feed that ChronicBabe put out the call for some guest bloggers. Next thing I knew, there I was with Electro-Fuscia highlights processing in my hair and e-mailing her to tell her I was interested. Fifteen minutes more, and I got the word I was in!
Of course, the downside of all this is the big looming issue of health insurance. It is one thing for a healthy person to decide to ditch the corporate monkey suit for a life of gourmet coffee and Nina Simone. Quite another for me to decide to do this.
One of the pain medications I take cannot be replaced with the generic (no longer works for me). Nor is it any cheaper for me to buy from my Canuck friends to the north. So that would be US$220 out of my pocket every month just for that one medication. Plus two more that probably would come to $100 each per month. Not something I can dismiss lightly.
On the other hand, I learned something this week. Life is more than just contributing to a company’s annual report. Doing the work you love should be more than just health insurance premiums.
Am I scared? You betcha. Anxious? Boy howdy, I tell you what. But some days, that thing we find most fearful may indeed be our most needful. Some days, life *should* be about gourmet coffee and Nina Simone.
I think I’m about to find that out.