What's security? The freelance life as a divorced mom

May 28, 2018

Ever heard the expression - the Cobbler's Children go Barefoot? Yeah...that would describe my blog at the moment.

I've been doing a lot more content writing and marketing work, helping a client design a digital marketing and blog strategy and performing an SEO audit on her website.  And one of the first things I told her was - make sure you blog regularly, it's important for building readership.  As I've been building this side of my freelance business, my own site has been languishing. Oops.


These last few months have involved a LOT of change and adjustment. My co-parenting relationship has continued to deteriorate, but we're close to reaching an agreement about some issues.  I'm living in an apartment now, and loving it, but it wasn't easy to downsize!  This weekend I picked up a new bookcase and shelving unit from Craigslist and finally unpacked all my books.  That's right there are NO boxes of books in the basement, or a storage unit. 



How cute is it?!?!



My adult life has felt like an unlearning of everything that I was taught in childhood.  Or, rather, a shedding.  A leaving behind.  I don't have a full-time, 9-5 job right now and I'm not scared about it.  I chose to freelance and I'm loving it.  I went to yoga nine times last month (yes, I'm sore).  I wrote articles on my balcony, watching the river, and at a coffee shop, watching the people.  When I graduated college I went with safety and stuck with a job I hated from Day One.  No, really, I went home the first day and sobbed my eyes out.  I have had some horrific bosses, from micro-managing control freaks to sexually harassing assholes.  What I've discovered freelancing and contracting is that I need the freedom to know I can leave if I'm mistreated.  That I'm not stuck.  Given that the state of Minnesota has given me no choice about where I live, or where I chose to raise my son (and I have some upcoming pieces on the sexism in the legal system here, so stay tuned), having an area of my life I do control has mattered. 


So, what took me so long? Fear.


My dad was self-employed.  And, as I wrote about in this piece for Worthy, he didn't shield me from the realities of that life.  I may be good with money, but I think I learned about many of its downsides at too young of an age.  I've craved security most of my adult life, and yet my life's experiences have led to a slow stripping away of everything I associated with security - a boring but stable job, a house, a husband - and learning to find my security within.  It's the slow inhale and exhale during yoga.  It's confidence in my self - yes, two words.  My Self - my strength, my peace, my intelligence and resourcefulness.  It's listening as I coach a client through a problem and realizing - Hey, I know my shit! 


It's looking at everything my ex said to undermine my confidence - unlovable, unworthy, makes stupid decisions, didn't get my pre-baby body back, stuck in a dead-end job - and laughing.  How insecure does someone have to be, to spend so much time trying to tear down another person? How threatened by who and what I am? Recovery from verbal abuse is a long process, and part of the recovery is the utter disbelief, looking back, that you ever listened to them.  


There are days when I feel like I'm balancing on a tightrope.  There are still a lot of financial stressors in my life, and some days I wonder if I'll ever dig myself out.  I still wince when the legal bill comes in the mail.  But then I take a deep breath and remind myself - this, too, shall pass.  And, since I can, I go to yoga at noon.       






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