Meet your small death and birth

So far, the most important ability I have been building in my nascent freelance life is to reset myself every morning. When I wake up, I am a different person, reborn out of a small death called sleep (a concept borrowed from a friend of mine).

Resources in a freelance life, I am discovering, is similar to rain in a sub-tropical climate: You either have too much or too little. The most stable element in my life is, as everybody says, instability.

A career in an employed environment was similar to driving a car on a paved road. Sometimes it was congested and there were blocks and holes occasionally. But sometimes I could also drive on an expressway and upgrade my car. And no matter what, the road always took me somewhere to a known destination. Almost everything was paid by someone else. Of course, that “someone else” was always sitting in the back seat and telling me where to go.

A career in self-employment feels like driving my jeep in the field. The road is never flat. Sometimes I get stuck in a mud or a typhoon. I have only one vehicle and I have to maintain it myself. And nobody gives me a direction or destination. But that also means nobody is in my back seat unless I invite him or her in.

The uncertainty and lack of visibility give me a strange habit of extending whatever is happening currently into the future. This trap happens in both good and bad situations. At night I wonder what will happen if I continue this way. When a financial drought or a serious error or a disappointment occurs, I assume life will always suck. When well-paid and interesting assignments come in a row, I assume life will always work. Either way, I am trapped in the moment.

The scary part is that it is possible for me to go for days in delusion, for not having a boss or colleagues to “wake me up” by bringing changes—or more likely distracting troubles—on the table. I need to set a “wake up” alarm on my own.

Therefore, regardless of what happened during a day, I put myself into a small coffin during the night, to put all incidents into rest. In the morning, I wake up with a set of beginner’s eyes, carefully avoiding the trap that awaits me to pin me down into yesterday.

Many books are written on the subject of making ourselves excited every morning. Some even recommend that we recite what we want to carry onto the next day during our bedtime, so that we can continue our positive streak.

I am not exactly sure if I want that. One big reason I got out of employed life was to avoid repetition. Why go back into the repetitive mode, even if it promises to be continuous excitement? Also, if we create the habit of carrying the present mood onto tomorrow, doesn’t it backfire when we are having a bad day?

Twilight is our requiem and our sleep is our limbo. I guess I prefer resetting everything when I wake up and face the day as a new reality, new world.