The past few weeks have really shown me what freelance is. As I end projects, hunt down current clients for content, and wonder where I will find the next check I can see the toll it takes.
Those are just the hard parts of being freelance these past 6 months, but it hasn’t been all bad. I have gotten to work with friends, do print work (something I haven’t gotten to do in a long time), have had time to focus on creating my own art, and have even gotten to design 9 shirts for Harley-Davidson. All of these benefits and achievements have put me in a really good headspace. Every time I see an email come in or get a call with new work I can feel my mood changing. It’s not because of the money, as expressed in the past. It’s just knowing I can stretch my skill set, create something, and feel useful. What I have found is that these “ups” don’t last nearly as long as the “downs” that follow me having to chase down a client so we can finish a project or when a project I thought was coming in… doesn’t.
Worse than the ups & downs is the way it affects my thought patterns and my mindset. When I am working my way through these hurdles I can feel myself not wanting to work on my own projects. I often find myself running to time wasters like video games or binging a tv show.
I don’t really know how to not allow my career to so strongly influence my mood, but I think where I need to start is in reminding myself that God provides food for the birds and he cares much more about me. I recently was reminded of this in an online Bible study, that is made up of designers. We talked about Mathew 7 and how we need to give up our self-reliance and rely on God‘s willingness to help us.
None of my worries and none of my crankiness will get me further in life, but acknowledging and pushing into the fact God will help me is what I am going to try and focus on. Being a designer provides a weird pride. I think it comes with anyone who has a job founded on creating something. This pride is what I want to remove from my mind. This pride forms an unhealthy identity. An identity easily questioned in a time of hardship.