slowing down

I thought that freelancing would mean endless days of watching daytime tv. The sofa would be forever shaped by the impression of my butt, and I would dissolve into a mush of flesh. This hasn’t happened. Perhaps, I’m still undergoing the honeymoon phase of freelancing – the freedom to sit in my favourite coffee shop at 1:45pm on Tuesday and write this, buoyed by the ecstasy of being back in the city I adore, means I’m forcing myself to be productive. Maybe it won’t last.

When I think about what I’m actually doing though, I’m not quite sure what it is. It feels like the days fly by and I have very little tangible evidence to show for it. Perhaps looking at it in minute detail will be revealing?

A day in the life of Charlotte:

7am – alarm goes off, moan, activate snooze, roll over and go back to sleep.

7:15am – second alarm goes off, snooze that too.

7:30am- third alarm, annoy Ben by having so many alarms that I fail to respond to, either persuade him to get up and make a cup of tea, or exit the warm depths of the bed to shiver downstairs and put the kettle on myself.

Here we route down into two options depending on whether or not I’m making tea. Either:

a) if not making tea, roll over and go back to sleep.

b) get up, and watch Piers Morgan arguing about something inconsequential that’s hurt his male ego on ITV.

8am- either super proactive/or still in bed.

8:30am- leaving the house for class, and hopping on my bike.

9am – depending on location, and how spritely I’m feeling on my bike, arrive for class.

9:30am – 11am- CLASS!

11am- 11.30am – Chatting, cooling down, plan hatching, making promises…

11:30am- usually snack time.

11:45am – 12:30pm – some form of additional exercise at the gym (varying between lying on a mat on my phone pretending to do pilates exercises, to running a 5k as fast as I can…)

This is my usual morning routine, and from this point onwards again we tend to find disparities in the day to day schedule. Either,

a) I visit the Jar Tree and the market to pick up some things. I cycle home, arriving back for about 1pm, place myself on the sofa and do admin (of sorts) whilst drinking copious amounts of tea until 5pm.

b) the current option for Tuesday – I head to 200 degrees to do admin (of sorts) until I head to the Dance Studio Leeds to work for the evening.

OR, Pot luck! Volunteering at Oxfam, working a shift at The Grand, buying stuff I don’t need from Homesense… watching all three Lord of the Rings and doing absolutely nothing productive.

This reminds me a bit of the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode ‘Being Frank’, in which the spin off ‘Being Charlotte’ would also start with a myopic fumble to find glasses/put in contact lenses. Admittedly the similarities end here with the absence of getting high in a bathroom, stealing rugs and getting knocked out in my routine day. Or, maybe this is the kind of escapades that I’m missing that would make the days feel more meaningful?

I was discussing with Ben and my Mum about freelancing, and I am literally establishing the business of myself from the ground zero. It’s going to take time, and I think I need to become accustomed to the notion that things will be slow and repetitive, until I hit my stride and the ball starts rolling.

I, also after January is now coming to a close, am feeling like I need to find space and slow down. I need to allot time to looking after ‘Charlotte’ and spending quality time with friends and family, which is one of the many reasons why I wanted to go freelance in the first place. I feel such a pressure when people ask me what I’m doing to gush about how I’m applying for everything and doing so many things and make it sound like I’m really busy. Chill Charlotte, it’s okay. I think we need to find a way discredit this need to be constantly busy whilst freelancing. You haven’t failed because you’re idling at the moment. Freelancing is a combination of peaks and troughs and riding that rollercoaster of freelancing is surely the most thrilling part of it. So, the moral of this story – I need to lay off myself and slow down, basically.


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