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My one-year freelancing anniversary!

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One year ago was the last time I got up at 7:00am to drive to the full-time job I enjoyed so much that it made me want to freelance full-time. (Lesson learned: Me and big corporations do not mix.) July 8th, 2009 was a Wednesday. I’d originally intended to give my notice on a Friday, but I got halfway through the week and just couldn’t take it anymore. Some problem I can’t remember sprung up at the beginning of the day and I started thinking, What the hell am I waiting for? So, I walked into the boss’s office and said good-bye.

I know a lot of people fantasize about doing that and imagine it as a gleeful moment of emancipation. While I was definitely happy with my decision, the actual moment of resigning was a scary swirl of emotions, like good feelings and bad feelings had collided like high pressure fronts and low pressure fronts, creating an emotional tornado. I instant-messaged my best friend at work, telling her, “OK, I’m going to do it. Wish me luck.” Then I got up and headed to the office like a walking Jell-O mold, quivering inside with the knowledge of what I was about to do.

Once you turn in that resignation letter, you’ve crossed the point of no return. I almost felt like I was about to rob a bank or break into someone’s house. I was going to commit an act I could not easily undo. Yeah, I was certain I wanted to do it, but I also knew I could be broke and unemployed a year later if things didn’t work out right. Plus, my boss was a nice guy, and I felt bad that my departure would put a strain on the department. Granted, I didn’t feel bad enough about it to stay though.

I entered the office, closed the door and stumbled through my prepared speech. My boss understood where I was coming from, even if he wasn’t thrilled to see me leave. And then, God dammit, my eyes got a little bit too full of salt water and an itty-bitty tear slinked down my cheek. Damn you, emotions! Why must you make me look weak and girly?!

Two weeks later, we had my going-away party and then I was on my own. I woke up the next day at eight o’clock, cooked some oatmeal and made some coffee, establishing a new routine, the morning ritual of a real-life freelancer. Than I got on my computer and started figuring things out. And here I am, 12 months later, still not broke! I’m happy not to be living under a bridge, especially since it’s hard to steal a wi-fi signal through concrete. I still feel a bit weird telling people I am a freelancer, as if I’m telling them I’m a traveling gypsy or a circus performer. As if they’ll say, “Really? People actually do that?” Still, it feels less strange than telling people I’m a writer, which always seems a tad pretentious to me, though I should probably get over that already.

When I look back over the past few years, I can see that the moment I really started to take charge of my life was back in 2005 when I started to lose 200 pounds. I don’t believe you have to be thin to be happy, but spending two years working towards a seemingly impossible goal and actually getting there made me feel like a lot of other stuff was possible that used to seem impossible. So, even though I’ve gained back some of the weight I lost, I haven’t lost that feeling that I can steer my life the direction I want to. I quit my job. I moved to a different town. Dunno what I’ll do next, but I know I can do it, whatever it is.

I must say, you guys have been instrumental in allowing me to establish this new lifestyle. I’ve gotten tons of referrals from people who read my blog or who I’ve met through blogging. This little blog here has let me do a lot of amazing things, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped make it happen. Big thanks to my Internet peeps!

K, now back to work.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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29 Comments

Jules • July 8, 2010 at 8:31 am

Congrats! I love reading your blog, the last few days of time-logged moving entries have been hilarious! I look forward to reading about your adventures in your new home! (and hope they’ve fixed that smoke detector already…)

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Dolores • July 8, 2010 at 9:49 am

You are so welcome. I will happily slurp up whatever entries you, uh, enter. Happy routine building in your new home and new town.

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weightlossguru • July 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

Happy Anniversary and well done for having the courage of your convictions and doing your own thing.

I wish you many more years of freelancing

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scone • July 8, 2010 at 10:51 am

Congratulations!

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Kellen • July 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

Woot woot. This entry is a prime example of why you’ll make it as a writer. It’s simple, easy to read and descriptive, but not superfluous. It’s a joy to read your work.

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schmei • July 8, 2010 at 11:09 am

Happy anniversary! Here’s to many more years of doing what you love and not living under bridges!

Also, I hope you’re settling in to your new space. The moving diary entries were hilarious.

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Amy • July 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

Congratulations! This:

“I haven’t lost that feeling that I can steer my life the direction I want to.”

is inspiring.

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Cheryl • July 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Wow! I want to do what you’ve done, and I’m working toward that now. Congrats on not going broke! You give me hope.

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Kris • July 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm

your tenacity inspires me. wish that i had just a fraction of the gumption that you do. kudos to you and your accomplishments!

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Debbi Does Dinner Healthy • July 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

So do you ever get people who say that you don’t work because you are not employed by someone? I do home daycare and I’m told all the time that I don’t actually “work”. It’s nice to be a bum and sit around the house all day isn’t it!! :-)

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Lesley • July 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I must say, that your willingness to take on new challenges and turn your life upsidedown is helping me, particularly today when there is a chance that my whole world is going to go crash. I know I can face it though.

I’ll just treat it as an adventure like you do.

Thanks PQ and good luck with your adventure.

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MB • July 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Congrats on your 1 year freelancing anniverary. I’m glad you’re not broke and living under a bridge. I’m going to celebrate your anniversary along with the 4th anniversary of my 39th birthday ;) CHEERS!

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JennC • July 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Congrats on making it one year! I am sincerely excited you’re living your dream. Chapel Hill is a lovely town and I hope you love it.

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Kyle • July 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Congratulations!

My thoughts are that the freedom is so worth it that even if you do end up broke and unemployed in another year, so what? Worth it.

And you won’t :)

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Jenny • July 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Wow! That year went quick and I’m still here :( oh well, maybe another 6 months!

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Rose • July 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

You rock. Your courage and tenacity inspire me every day.

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Betsy • July 8, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Thanks for a great post! You gave me the confidence I need – I am now a unintentionally unemployed public school teacher – laid off due to state and local budget cuts. In the past, I have been self-employed and I have big plans for my future.

If you get a chance, please visit my brand new blog at http://unintentionallyunemployed.blogspot.com – I could sure use some new blogging buddies!

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siv • July 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm

You are a writer. I originally started reading your blog because of your weight-loss journey (and have re-read the archives many times), but even though you are not writing about weight-loss anymore, I keep coming back, because you are a great writer: funny, perceptive, and always entertaining.

Your publishers will be happy to know that I intend to buy your next book, even though I don’t suffer from headaches.

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Nina • July 9, 2010 at 2:25 am

Happy Anniversary!!! It has been a very interesting year, for you and many more of us, you just happen to write yours down for us all to read and that makes you a writer and me a reader!!! You have a fun way with words and I always enjoy popping in here for a little inspiration! Keep on keepin on girl!!!

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Maris • July 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm

That was very gutsy of you. Given the current economic slump, just the idea of resigning from a corporate job is enough to give people these days an anxiety attack on the spot. Following one’s dreams in exchange for sacrificing the security blanket takes tremendous amount of courage. And you are one courageous writer, as well as a very fine one at that, too.

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JeepGirl36 • July 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm

A co-worker who reads your blog regularly forwarded this to me. I am where you were a year ago at this very minute. I am leaving my FT job and giving notice in 2 weeks and gulp…will be on my own as a freelance editor. I am glad to hear you survived your first year! And you are free!!! I can’t wait to be free. Congrats. You give me hope as I’m a little shaky in the confidence department as of late. :-) Happy Anniversary!

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Gara • July 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Congrats! What an accomplishment! A year of freelancing and a new city!

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Cynthia • July 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Reading your blog has become an almost-daily part of my routine. Thank you for being such good company and offering your gifts so readily. Best wasp-free wishes in your new home!

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AquaMarine • July 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Congratulations and don’t forget your trip to London and Paris, all on your own I might add!

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Isabelle • July 10, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Congratulations and many happy freelance returns.

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Deb • July 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

I can’t believe it’s been a year.

I admire you and all you have done….lost all that weight, kept it off, wrote books, travelled, dealt with the headache, left your job to go out on your own, and now moved far away to start another new chapter in your life.

You are an incredible lady, to be sure.

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Mom Taxi Julie • July 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Congrats on your one year anniversary!

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Vicki • July 12, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Congrats to you! I wish you man more years as a successful freelancer!

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Jane • July 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I want to do it so bad, even went to a few interviews already – hoping Photography will be my permanent gig, not admin work.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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