Okie dokie - where did I leave off? OK, so my escape plan was forming. I was really gearing up to leave my 9-5'er and was starting to put all my ducks in a row. This included a lot of conversations with my husband. I felt like I had been building up to this moment for years. And he was probably more excited about it than I was. He was so supportive, and really helped me through the entire process, always asking me the hard questions. Having the support from family and loved ones is crucial. This decision doesn't affect only you, but obviously it affects all those around you. And it's so important that they're on the same page. The transition is a somewhat taxing one, and it's ideal to make sure all that can be smoothed out beforehand, is smoothed out.
Something I always relate to "support" is "money". Let's face it - emotional support is one thing; financial support is quite another. Money is a huge deciding factor. The first question you would probably ask yourself is: can I afford to make this move? And while I've learned to live without a lot of things (weekly manicures and shopping at lunchtime), I've realized you will need more money than you think. Money is a necessity, and working for yourself leaves no room for romanticized notions of being able to subsist on just love and grit. You can plan all you want and budget down to every penny, but life is funny, so they say.
So funny that about a week after I gave notice, my husband's company declared bankruptcy. And before my husband landed another job, our cute little Pug had to have spinal surgery and poof! It felt like my years of saving and planning evaporated. Oh yea, life can be fucking hysterical.
Anyway, at first it was fun. Every day was like a Saturday. My husband and I were really enjoying our time together, and it was during the holidays so it was good timing. But as soon as January 1, 2012 arrived we knew we had to kick ourselves into high gear. I quickly learned I needed structure to my day. I didn't need every minute accounted for, but I needed to set up daily goals. Recently, I started reading Twyla Tharp's Creative Habit and she really emphasizes the importance of ritual. A ritual that brings you into your creative space. A ritual that gets you into your routine. I'm still figuring out a ritual for myself, but she's convinced me that it's necessary. It's especially necessary if you're working from home, without a boss breathing down your neck.
It's challenging to work from home. For so long it's been my place to relax, the place where I escape work. People have the misconception that working from home is the best. And there are a lot of pros. But what people forget is that you are now WORKING from home. Essentially, I've brought all of the stress and worry into my oasis, my fortress of solitude. And it's definitely been interesting. Just recently I realized my apartment looked like a sweatshop. I had swatches blocking on the countertop. I had garments blocking on the dining table. I had boxes of yarn piling up in the "office". I try to clean it up every night, but sometimes it can't happen. You've got to be prepared to live with your work all the time. You end up thinking about it all the time, and not just because you love it, or you're working for yourself now. But because it's staring you in the face 24/7. A new oasis has to be created, and it doesn't need to be a physical space. I've taken up running again, and I'm realizing that time I'm spending by myself, free to think about whatever I want, helps me deal with it.
It's almost been a year and I'm positive I've made the right move and have zero regrets. I'm starting to think more seriously about next steps and trying to make a growth plan for myself. And all of this has led me to decide on renting some studio space. (See the "You will need more money than you think" section.) I'm excited as I've never had anything as cool as "studio space", but I'll have to reconfigure any routines I have in place.
Stay tuned for Part III!