Working from home isn’t for everyone, just like working in an office all day isn’t for everyone either. Don’t get me wrong, some days I wished I was getting up, showering, getting ready and heading out of the house to my job that I probably didn’t like. But then, later on in the day, I would realize just how lucky I am. I’m able to work whatever hours I like, while still being able to enjoy the little things that somehow get ignored while working the 40-hour work week. The hustle and bustle seems to distract us from the things that matter most.
I’ve worked since I was 16, different jobs here and there, and then one steady job for almost seven years… with other jobs in between, since of course, that seven year job didn’t pay enough. There were two different times in my life where I worked three jobs at once, yes, one was “from home” but it still took up my time after working the other two jobs. I also went to school for five of those years, two different colleges, and no degree to show for it. I can’t really blame anyone else though, I missed the deadline for my financial aid and I had no money to go back. Some days I wish I could sit in a classroom again and take in all the knowledge that I seemed to ignore back then, worrying more about going out with friends, drinking and boys. I never realized that I was actually paying for my own schooling, that one day I would have to pay back all that I had “borrowed” from the banks. But like I said, just some days. Other days I’m okay with not having my degree, because I still feel like I’m being active enough to build myself a career without having one. Maybe I would just owe even more money if I were able to go back. And there are a ton of people out there who have degrees, and no job to show for it. So I wonder sometimes, which is worse?
So now I sit here, on a Monday afternoon, at my kitchen table, writing this. While others are at work, counting down the hours to 5:00 PM. This is alright with a lot of people, and this is the way “things are supposed to be.” You’re supposed to go to college, get a job and work 5 days a week to make ends meet. Move out, buy or lease your first car (on your own) and spend most of your paycheck paying for these things, among other “important” necessities. I always ponder about this… who decided this is what we humans were supposed to do with our lives? Who started this life of ridged routine? They are probably dead now. So, why do we still need to follow these “rules of life?”
We live in a world where it is okay to give your all to your boss, your company, your family, your friends, your significant other… slowly forgetting to give to ourselves. We fill our days up with the things we are “supposed to do” while all it is doing is emptying us, hollowing us from the inside out. I am writing this to make others understand that it is okay to do what is not expected, to go off on a limb, and try something. Life is oh so short, and we will forever think we have the time to do everything we want. “One day” we always say. But to be honest, we all don’t have “one day.”
There are times I don’t feel like telling others that I work from home. Feeling as though they’ll look at me funny and judge me for probably not making enough money and being a lazy bum. This also could just be my anxiety thinking for me. But, I believe that people use harshness to conceal their envy, wishing they could remove themselves from the routine life. Just because I am not driving to work each day and sharing an office with others, does not mean I am not working. Working does not have to mean you are making money off of something, either. I work towards other things, other things that are no one else’s business but my own. My days are still fulfilled and productive, but with other things. They are filled with writing, relaxing, my dog, nature, understanding, wonder and of course, working and cleaning! I work on myself every day, because I have to. My anxious mind continuously tries to work against me and I have to fight it all day, every day. I couldn’t starve my anxiety while working in an office every day, kissing the asses of others while I was only getting worse myself. I knew that if I continued, for the money because we “need it,” that I would completely lose myself.
I turn 26 tomorrow and I have been working fully from home since July. So, a little over 2 months now. Yes, I have gotten bored and wanted to work somewhere again, but knowing myself, I knew that my indecisive mind should finally for once, not jump into something so soon. I have my entire life to make money, or do I? That’s that “one day” stuff again. But I rather miss out on the money now, and have an actual life, than miss out on my life but have a ton of money to bury myself with.
So, what have I learned?
I’ve learned to slow down time a little, since I’m always in a rush. I’ve learned that some days it is okay to do nothing… there is absolute beauty in doing nothing. They explain this in the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love” where Julia Roberts is speaking to an Italian man in Italy who stresses to her that America is filled with people who are all about money, that they never just take the time to do nothing and enjoy it.
Although I may not be where I thought I would be as I turned 26, I am trying my very best to understand that I am exactly where I need to be. I may not have a ton of savings in the bank yet and I may not have my career set up yet, but I am content knowing that I finally had the chance to write a children’s book, something I always wanted to do. Maybe I would have never had the time if I devoted myself to some empty job.
I’ve also learned that although it is extremely harder, there are natural ways to deal and cope with the things you are handed. If our minds are a bit different than others, we are quickly given something to assure they start working like everyone else’s. This is what is wrong with the world, always looking for the quick and easy way to fix something. Teach people to stop and live a little, and then maybe their anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. will slowly fade away or maybe they will have the actual strength to keep it at bay. Teach them to make more time for themselves and to ignore the opinion of others, because surely, you are the only one who knows what is best for you. The world wants people to turn into zombies who make them money, even though it could kill you. Step outside, smell the flowers, look up at the blue sky and take it all in. No matter what you decide to do, be sure it is what’s best for you – not what others tell you is best.