Hipstercrite Life

I Am Simply Not There

Last night I woke up at 4:30AM and could not go back to sleep. I was wide awake, my brain working a mile a minute. When I used to do this earlier in the year, it was because I was afraid masked men were creeping outside my window, ready to break in. I no longer fear this though oddly enough this happened to my friend last week. Now, now I worry about if I made the right choice. If going freelance is something I can handle without going insane.

The money situation is fine. I have enough steady work to pay the bills. I’m a little concerned that I’m not able to set aside for self-employed taxes yet, but considering I paid taxes for most of the year, I don’t think I’ll have too high of an IRS bill. I’m still adjusting to not getting a paycheck every other Friday, but rather one check here, another check three weeks later, a small check a week later etc. The fear of running out of dough has definitely made me a lot stingier- which I don’t necessarily like to be.

I love everyone that I work for and they all give me complete freedom.

I have a slew of other opportunities down the pipeline, which I’m excited about, and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t burn myself out. I’m lucky to have so much work. I like being busy and I like being creative. I don’t mind working tons of hours for a job I’m passionate about and I always get my work done. I just hope that I continue to learn how to manage this freelance life better so I don’t get a huge ass and brain burnt. Even more so lately, I find myself not able to be in the moment. I’m off floating in my own head, afraid to be away from my computer and afraid to be away from my phone. I still partake in normal everyday activities, but I wonder if I’m even there. “I am simply not there,” Patrick Bateman matter-of-factly told himself in the bathroom mirror. Great, now I have turning into a serial killer to look forward to.

I’m also afraid that my brain is not able to be unique or creative anymore. Sometimes I feel like I’m on auto-pilot.

On a side note- I’m eating Kashi’s ‘Good Friends’ cereal and there are so many jokes I want to make about the cover of the box, but I can’t think of any.

And whomever invented Honeycrisp Apples should win a gold medal in apple inventing.

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  • Reply Tara Rose Stromberg November 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    You’re not the only one!

    Not sure if it makes your situation any better, though I do find it interesting that I feel the same way, and have a FULL-TIME job….that is also draining my soul, making me less creative, and neurotic to the point of an inability to socialize or function as a so-called “normal” human. Whatever that means.

    I sometimes think I’m just a ghost – that my body is just moving around doing things while I’m somewhere (possibly just nowhere) watching it go, making it turn a corner, observing it eat and talk as if it were in a movie and I was just this nervous spectator. I don’t get hurt as easily with my “wizard-behind-the-curtain” schtick. But I don’t feel anything anymore either. The only connection I have to the real world anymore is by remote control through my own self-created Golem.

    So the question is…will our lifestyles really make the difference, or is it a balance within ourselves that we must somehow strive for, regardless of the outside environment?

    All I know for sure is that I don’t want to be drawing any parallels from Patrick Bateman (or Nicholas Cage in “Vampire’s Kiss,” for that matter) any longer.

  • Reply Ashlynn R. Ivy November 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    You need to drink a cup of hot tea, followed by a bubble bath and think about everything you have done well. You are “there”… believe me. That’s why everyone can relate to your blog posts. Being “there” means being restless, feeling overwhelmed all of the time, and always floating right above the water. You are doing fine. Creativity can be like a mean little kid at times. It pushes you around, pulls your hair, but at the end of the day, it will give you a genuine hug. You should keep being wherever you are. It’s lovely and refreshing.

    • Reply hipstercrite November 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      Wow. That was like an instant morale boost right there. Thank you, Ashlynn.

  • Reply Randall November 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I feel this very much. Especially “…I’m also afraid that my brain is not able to be unique or creative anymore.” Made worse, perhaps, by the general lack of things down the pipeline for me at the moment. I just don’t feel like I have the right to be on the field with all my highly successful peers anymore.

    That sounds self-pitying, but I think I just mean to say, this feeling has little to do with position, or opportunity. That the creative fear is just something that goes along with being creative, that whatever it is that moves us, spurs us forward, might not be there tomorrow, and might not actually be there now. Because that undefinable thing is just…undefinable, unidentifiable. Especially for those of us looking for it, or hoping it’s still there, even when it feels like it’s not.

    I desperately wish I could say something more helpful, for all of us.

    • Reply hipstercrite November 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      Randall! Don’t say such things! You’re such a good writer! How are you even comparing? In what way? What is success in your mind?

      • Reply Randall November 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm

        I really appreciate the compliment, especially coming from someone whose work I believe to be so far above the bar. It means the world to hear that!

        To answer your question, there are many ways I compare and measure myself, but I think the simple answer is that I had benchmarks that have not been reached, and much that has fallen through, and that I have surrounded myself with highly talented individuals who I flatteringly [to myself] call my peers. It sets the bar very high, and I find myself so in awe of the caliber of work of so many around me that it is hard to not occasionally feel like I do not deserve to stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

        As to your last question – I am not sure what success is in my mind. It occurs to me that could well be part of the problem, though what I do know is that what I have isn’t entirely it yet.

        Me aside, I think perhaps I came across more fatalistic in that comment to you than perhaps I meant to. I just more wanted to say that it’s something that haunts us all, no matter what level we’re on, how much or how little we have going on, because we have chosen a path where we’re never entirely sure what it is that drives us forward, and we’re never entirely sure that getting what we want we’ll actually know that is what we want, or will be satisfied with it. We’re always afraid that the intangibility of being a writer isn’t an intangibility, it’s something we’ve imagined, that isn’t there, and I think in our worst moments, we are crushingly aware if we’re not feeling it there with anymore. And depressingly, I don’t know that there’s anything we can do in those moments, other than to weather them, because I am unsure if they are something that can actually be fixed.

        But I do think, personally, that just the fact that we feel this way sometimes, specifically, that this is something that you are worried about, is a sign that you do have that intangible. Worrying that you are not in the moment, that you are “not there” may in fact be the greatest indicator that you actually are, that you are not floating away, and in a weird sort of way, that absent worry could also be our greatest and most ever-present encouragement.

        • Reply Randall November 9, 2011 at 11:33 pm

          No, still not straight-forward enough. My point is, you are still unique and creative. Look how much just your short post got out of me!

  • Reply Manech November 11, 2011 at 5:38 am

    I don’t mind working tons of hours for a job I’m passionate about and I always get my work done.

    I know tons of people wish they could say that. I’m sure you’re talented enough to be in that position for a very long time. Just hold on. 🙂

    • Reply hipstercrite November 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks, Manech. I appreciate that.

  • Reply Jennifer Kley November 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Here it is…
    With freelancing you’ve “always” made the “right” choice. Here’s why: You are living your dream of freelancing, of striking out. And even IF it “fails” it was a learning experience, great and necessary. Why be tethered to a job you hate without ever trying??

    • Reply hipstercrite November 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      Can I put that on a plaque or stitch it on a pillow? Good advice, Jennifer. Thank you!

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