My 14th Freelancoversary

March 19, 2014
5 mins

According to Linkedin, it’s my 14th year as a freelancer. Actually, I just started (back) as full time freelancer 12 years ago.

Some things don’t change much. These days, me and my spouse keep forgetting this and that. We simply enjoy our time, what we do, or perhaps, like what I read recently, our brains contain some unnecessary stuffs. Calendars and clocks are within reach, but I still wake up in the morning asking myself, “What day is it?” and forget again a few hours later.

How often do we go out, say downtown? During these heavy rains, possibility of getting stuck in worse traffic jam and flood is way higher. Lately I let my husband go alone to run some errands, it’s quicker and safer. Honestly, cheaper too.

Am I still being offered to work full time? Let me think. Last time was… four years ago, a relative informed me of some job opening. All I can say, it’s not even in my dream. Ever. She asked, “How old are you now? 27?” I took it as compliment, but replied, “I’m soo older than that.” Last week, a niece of ours also asked for the first time, why I don’t work as in house editor.

Talking about our niece, I just got a new lesson as aunty: parenting doesn’t stop only because the kids are graduated from college. Being young adults, they need friends in family. Not only someone to look up to, but to talk to comfortably and with whom they can be themselves. No matter how ridiculous their questions might be. No matter how surprising. I thought my nieces and nephews pay no heed to whatever we do now, but staying with us during a week, she proved me wrong.

Luckily, I was not doing anything related to “adult” books. I didn’t have to hide any material as always. But my niece put away her books and sat nicely right beside me, staring at my large monitor. I said, “You make me nervous.” She replied, “I try to read it, but you’re just too fast changing pages and scrolling.” All I could do was laugh. One day before going home, she said, “Tante, you must have trouble concentrating cause I keep talking. You don’t turn on your laptop as usual. But it’s okay, right, me here to entertain you?” I told her, what I was doing that day was totally manual. Reading print out corrections, photocopying, and so on. That’s just what happens when you run your own “office”.

It crossed my mind, though, to ask her for help. But she claimed of being very slow to type.

Other than that, I figured out some advice from a colleague. She said, many things online are truly virtual. For example, I used to be a bit disappointed to find almost no review, but it turned out that the book I’ve edited was well accepted outside. Outside means in real world. Publisher’s sale report talks a lot.

Almost unconsciously I learned new things this very year and found it amusingly refreshing. Even Mas Agus changed some ways to do his job, which is getting harder year to year I presume. Again I learn from him not to torturing myself physically and mentally, learn to listen to no matter how biting his words might be, like a dialogue below:

R: This one is terribly hard, but I’m not surrendering. Another offer like this, I’ll still go.

A: You are workaholic, don’t you know that?


Moral lesson 1: Be ready for the answer, if you talk to someone. Or ask.

Moral lesson 2: Sometimes your loved ones know you better than yourself. In my case.

Last but not least, quitting Grammar Nazi habit is evidently healthy for my family life. Nieces and nephews’ playful jokes of their fear to have an annoying dictionary-guided-aunt don’t make me proud, though I’m still like Inkheart‘s Eleanor whenever any kids around my worthy books. I learned it hard way, by having a relative with lethologica. Mas Agus needs to know for sure that he’s not married to a human auto-correct, too. I let my friends and acquaintances edit my words even in chatroom, but it’s so glad not to do it myself (I almost wrote soulagée, it’s much bigger a word).



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