Being A New Freelancer Is Super Weird

When I was seven, my grandmother told me that anything worth doing is worth doing right. And in theory, I totally agree. I lLooOVvEE the idea of doing everything right. But, as I've come into adulthood and have had to survive the tumultuous challenges of never-ending bills and overpriced tampons, I've realized that I'm actually bad at a lot of things. I'm bad at understanding and then paying my taxes, I'm bad at filling my prescriptions on time, I'm bad at brushing my teeth (I can do 40 seconds max) and I'm bad at making my bed everyday. Sorry grandma, but it turns out that a lot of things I have to do are also things that I'm subsequently terrible at.

This self-pity persona that I've adopted, for better or worse, is something that's been renting a lot of space in my mind lately. I can't seem to shake it. But, it does occasionally rotate with another persona that I've taken aboard which is labeled in bright pink neon lights "I AM AMAZING". "I AM AMAZING" is driven by a lot of pep talks that take place between me and myself in the shower.

In these moments, I cheer myself on for following my dream of living in Tel Aviv, I give myself a pat on the back for having an accountant (which is very adult, even if I never give her my monthly receipts on time) and I breath a big sigh of relief when I realize I've been in Israel alone for two years now and I've survived thus far.  More than anything, I give myself a hug for pursuing my professional ambitions, working for myself and turning my love for writing into a career.

But then, the self-pity persona comes back and whispers to me, "That's great you're happy Lena, but let's not forget that you're broke and couldn't afford to pay your rent last month!" Andddd then I'm down again. What I'm slowly learning is, this is the life of a 20-something freelancer.

I know that my priorities should be built in response to my goals, but it's hard to do that when you naturally make decisions that don't always make sense. It's not that I want to derail the journey I've set for myself, but there are certain parts of me that I just can't change. Sometimes I feel like it's okay to be like this, and other times I want to jump out a window.

For example, I'll spend ten hours straight working on my most recent work obsession,, but won't allow myself ten minutes to cook lunch. I'll spend 500 shekels on a leopard print fur jacket from Castro but literally want to die when I have to spent the same amount on a dental appointment. I'll spend 60 minutes doing my makeup but would never fathom spending 60 minutes exercising. And then I'm like "What the f**k Lena?! Get it together and stop being bad at adulthood."

I think what I'm getting at here is, doing your own thing, whether it's freelancing, or moving to a new country or doing anything that doesn't provide a clear map to success is going to be challenging as hell. And it's best to not set so many finishing lines for yourself, expect that you'll be perfect the first time around or be afraid that you'll fail. Because ultimately (with the exceptions of murdering people things of that nature) there's no point in labeling anyone's choices "good" or "bad". It just is what it is, and whatever you make of the experience is up to you. I'm choosing to forgive myself and grow from it.

So, try to be a bit more accepting. A little less harsh on yourself. A little more self-reflective instead of self-punishing. And, a little more understanding that anything worth doing doesn't need to be done right -- just doing it and learning from it is sometimes enough.