I Went Freelance

Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

I did it. I did the thing I’ve been envisioning for years and working nights and weekends on for months. I did the thing I’ve always said was my long-term career goal. I did my dream.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. I signed three clients in five days. I jumped into the deep end of several new projects, on top of my full-time job. Oh: I put notice in at my full-time job. I talked to my manager. I told my team.

I was more nervous to break the news to my boss than I was the time I forced myself to tell an old manager to his face that I thought he was condescending (long story). I was similarly nervous to tell my coworkers — after I hit send on my email, I tensed up so much and shook so hard my upper body was sore the next day.

Why was I so nervous? It’s not like I haven’t had plenty of stressful conversations in my life (hello, I TOLD MY MANAGER HE WAS CONDESCENDING TO HIS FACE). I can only conclude it’s because my subconscious was acknowledging the reality of the situation, while my conscious brain was too overwhelmed to process. Somewhere in there I was thinking “This is it, Cassie. You’re really, finally doing it. You’re overhauling your career — and your life.”

***

I accidentally lost seven pounds. I accidentally lived on coffee and chocolate and adrenaline for days. I’ve barely slept — I have too much work to do (and too much caffeine in my body)!

I’ve been in the weirdest emotional state. And it’s more than sleep deprivation. I’m so anxious I’m vibrating. Buzzing with electricity. Floating over my chair. I have so much responsibility now, so much to learn, and so many opportunities to screw up. It’s setting in. I’m stressed out to the max — and yet you can’t wipe the smile off my face.

I told some friends recently that this is the most stress I’ve ever been under that I’m not trying to get out of. I’m just taking it, feeling it, sort of enjoying it, pushing forward with it. (Shout out to my business-owner friend Sara, who gifted me the most perfect book at the most perfect time, and probably delayed my first nervous breakdown.) Somehow, though so much of what I’m doing feels scary and painful right now, it also feels so RIGHT. I’m simultaneously bursting with anxiety and happiness at any given moment. It’s bananas. I’m drowning. And I’m thrilled. I’m both.

***

Some people believe that repeatedly seeing the time 11:11 on the clock is a sign. They say it’s an acknowledgement of — or a prompt to acknowledge — alignment and synchronicity in your life. John and I have been seeing it constantly for about a month now. Is it because I’ve finally found my thing, and can finally stop making John crazy with my search? I’m choosing to believe yes.

I still can’t articulate precisely why I feel called to freelance, even after years of working toward it. Something in me has always pointed that direction. I’ve jotted out half-baked business plans dozens of times — it always helped me feel like I was taking action on escaping a path that wasn’t … in alignment.

***

I want to end with thank-yous, to: Lindsay, Eric, Wendy, John, Kyle, Matt, Sara, Katy, and my Nolan and Sanchez families. Thank you for encouraging me, for asking how things are going, for caring. I’m so grateful for your support.

Here I go!

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