Three weeks in and I haven’t actually achieved much more than some mild weight gain. A diet of shortbread biscuits, homemade strawberry and apple crumble, quality cellared wine and copious lashings of marbled Aussie bacon should not be held accountable. Nor should my intensive daily exercise regime of shuffling from my bed to the lounge, back to bed, over to chair, bed, lounge, floor, followed by some accidental droolage and then back to bed. In truth, I firmly believe that my weight gain is a direct consequence of climate change. Carbon made me fat! Hence I pledge my support to the labour government and their bold carbon tax plan in the hope that the new tax breaks will enable me to afford more shortbread – and a bigger bed.
My list of achievements for the last few weeks is available via gamescore. That’s a joke for the geeks…
This week I’ve had a phone conversation regarding two weeks of good work and a separate informal meet up regarding possible future work. Both did not go as well as I would have hoped. During the phone conversation I completely undersold my skills and had a mini panic attack at the idea of having to do real work again. The planned follow up phone conversation and meeting with the project leaders, which was meant to happen on Friday, never happened. My meeting with a different company was another case of underselling my awesomeness. Combined, the two instances reminded me of my first interview in London. Upon arriving in London my friends told me it would take me months to get an interview or any work. I had an interview with a great company within three weeks. This boosted my confidence and ego to stratospheric levels. Unfortunately it was all hot air and I couldn’t afford the electricity. I deflated within ten minutes and left the interview rather bewildered. But they did ask to see some further work of mine, so it wasn’t completely a lost cause. Later I emailed through what they had requested and then followed that up with a phone call. The receptionist put me through to the interviewers voicemail. After leaving a polite and professional message I put my mobile phone down on my lap and then let out an earth shatteringly loud and intensely satisfying fart. Basking in scent-de-Simon I looked down at my phone and realised that I hadn’t ended the phone call. I never heard back from them.
Freelancing is hard when you’ve been out of the game for a while. Freelancing requires you to walk into a job and perform. There is no introduction week and there is no three-month probation period. Some jobs book you for a day, and if you’re lucky, some book you for a few weeks. On the shorter jobs if you don’t smash it out of the park then you don’t get called back for more work. On the longer jobs you at least normally get a little bit more breathing room. It’s no surprise then that it’s easy to lose your confidence when you aren’t utilising your skills everyday. It’s also easy to get stuck in a cycle of doubting your skills due to an extended hiatus. And it’s especially easy to consciously reinforce that cycle of doubt and use it as an excuse to not act and to not move forward. In one sense I am struggling for the sake of struggling and causing myself grief and stress for no other reason than to cause more grief and stress.
On the flip side I need to remember that I’ve bloody well only been back in the country for three weeks. That it’s ok to take a while to collect myself and find my feet in Sydney. That it’s ok to become a hermit, grow a beard and lie around all day in my food-stained pyjamas. That it’s ok to watch an entire series of television in one sitting. And that baked beans are unreal.