Today I went to a meeting in a local coffee shop. At 10:30am. There were plenty of people there. And I loved it. I loved being surrounded by the sounds of the expensive Italian coffee machine, the well-chosen music, the sunlight streaming through the windows to warm my skin. I loved the freedom of it, and for a brief moment I felt a pang for amount of (perceived) autonomy these cafe-types have.
I want to be meeting interesting people in a coffee shop in the middle of the day.
Actually, I want to be the interesting person that people like me come to the coffee shop to visit!
It’s not really about the coffee. Or the fact that they’re off-site during business hours. It’s about the freedom to make my own rules when it comes to work, to do the work I want to do and to decide when and where I do it. I want to live the freelance life. I want to be location independent.
This can be my life, should I want it to be. I can meet interesting people in independently owned cafes. I can collaborate with said interestings over organic, free trade milky goodness. In just the same way as I bought the original airplane ticket in 2006, I can be that person. I just have to do something to make it a reality.
There’s one theme that recurs throughout my life, and it’s fear. I can list for you all of the reasons why I should not quit my job and go into business for myself. Fear dictates this list. But life is too short to sit at a coffee table and envy those who can come here whenever they please. Businesses succeed or fail. Jobs come and go. The seasons change. Life will still move on. Even if I fail at striking out on my own — so what? Money comes and goes. I don’t have a 50 year mortgage, or kids, or any real excuse to not go for it. And as long as I have tried my hardest to make it work, I can have no regrets.
Some of my nearest and dearest believe I am throwing away all I have worked for (a stable county job with benefits, an apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the world, professional achievement) to settle for a life where it’s entirely feasible I could not make a cent. I know they’re looking out for me, and I appreciate the balance they provide in making me think through big decisions. But I don’t want to be a sour old woman wondering why I never jumped at the opportunity to live in Europe for a year, or learn to sail, or make the job of my dreams.
I’m trying to pack in as much as I can to make this life an amazing life, one in which I laugh in the face of fear and chase my dreams.
What about you?