It's wild to think that I'm coming up on my third week of self-employment. It still hasn't really registered fully in my mind. I keep thinking that I'm still on vacation, but not in the way you'd expect. It's not that I'm spending all my time partying and sleeping in (though there's definitely been a lot of sleeping in, I think because my body is still in full-stress/depression mode and still needs a bit more time to calm down from being on edge for weeks on end).
What I mean is that my mind hasn't really registered that this is my life now. That this isn't just temporary. When I get asked to make plans, whether they be work-related or not, and I keep thinking "well, I can't really put too many things on my to-do list, because I don't have much time to lay back. I need to soak up as much relaxation as possible before I have to go back to the office." I keep worrying that if I agree to do xyz, I won't have time to recuperate from the plans before having to get back to the grind.
The 9-5 life is so deeply engrained in my brain that even the concept of being able to make my own schedule hasn't really kicked in. The other day I wanted to get groceries and I thought "I can't go until 5pm" or I'll think I have to wait until Sunday to do my laundry. Why?! I don't have to adhere to the 9-5 M-F life anymore, and yet I still can't escape it.
The biggest thing, honestly, is the idea of weekends and vacations. I don't know how I'm going to create real "off time" for myself. Maybe I'll turn my phone off for a few days each month or so, so that I feel like I'm actually able to get some me time. The biggest thing about being a content creator is that if I'm not interacting, I'm losing out on money. So it's difficult to put the phone down because it could mean the difference between making my monthly goal or falling short. It's all entirely on me now, so until I can get a more solid subscriber base and don't have to hustle so hard for tips and purchased content, I'm not sure I'll have real vacations anymore.
But I guess it's true what they say - do something you love, and it won't feel like work. Maybe that's why I've had such a hard time adjusting to the idea of self-employment so far: everything I'm doing with my days is something I genuinely love and enjoy doing, so it doesn't feel like work. It doesn't feel like I'm self-employed, it just feels like I'm chilling, even though I'm working hard on creating and editing content, making promo materials, doing live streams, etc. I've put more work into my platforms the last few weeks than I have in months and yet it still doesn't feel like work. I'm so genuinely happy that I get to do this as my full-time job and so grateful for the folks who've supported me and helped make it happen. I know it won't always be easy or fun, but I'm looking forward to the future all the same. Even though it doesn't feel totally real still.