When you seize control by freelancing, discover freedom and begin tinkering with your lifestyle, a funny thing happens. The process doesn’t end with you shirking a conventional career, it persists, and extends itself into every orifice of your wonderful existence.
It gets addictive too.
The first step is usually the lumpy process of reprogramming yourself, to drop the 9-5 routine. Things like accepting you can start late if you want to, not work on occasion and wank it off when you’re a bit snoozy – these took me a year or so to get over.
No doubt you’ll find that too.
Next, that prompted a change in my eating patterns. For years, I only ever ate at 1pm because, well, that’s lunchtime isn’t it? Colleagues ate then, so would I. My wife thought I was a maniac, waiting for the clock to spin to a certain position until I got stuck into my troff. If you’re hungry, just eat, she said with reasoned logic.
In turn, I discovered that different foods have different effects on your body and mind. I’d already cut out meat to save money when I turned freelance but I enjoyed how that improved my constitution (less blood in my shit) – the behaviour persisted. These days I’ve cut out refined sugar and carbs and my cheese box has never been sharper.
What’s happening here is, like I did, you’ll become more receptive to new ideas, new ways of thinking and doing things. Suddenly, that way you’ve always done something – maybe there are other ways of doing it? Better ways.
For example, when there’s no urgency to commute in a hurry, you walk, cycle or run – exercise becomes a means to an end, not an end in itself. No more gym purgatory.
Almost a decade on, with business ticking over nicely, I’m mindful of where I splash the spoils. If I ever enjoy a little surplus, I use it to support green energy projects, and make everyday choices to spend my money where it has the greatest benefit and the least harm.
I’ve become a hippy and I’m fucking proud of it.
When you realise the power you’ve gained, thanks to seizing control, you become more engaged in the world around you too. You poke your head above the flickering screen that once told you what to do, and notice more. I’m engaged in politics these days – something my apathetic former self would have scoffed at.
Freelancing made me start to give a shit.
It’s all connected. As you probably noticed, there’s a silky thread runs through all these discoveries and choices. How will yours hang? Who fucking knows, but it’ll probably be gilded.
All I do know is, if you stay in full-time salaried employment, your metaphorical thread will be all tattered and stinky, like the curtains round a sheep’s balloon knot.
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