Recurring Nightmare

Two questions from Formspring:

Would you ever go back to working as a journalist again or do you love being a blogger?

Do you love your job? It is so different from ‘normal’ jobs.

At least once a week, sometimes more, I dream that I’m back at my old job. At first I’m confused. Why am I there? When can I go home? (Which is pretty much how I used to feel in REAL LIFE when I arrived at work, now I come to think of it.) I’m smiling and nodding at people, and all the time I’m thinking, “OK, this is weird. I’ll just stay for an hour or so, and then I’ll make my excuses and leave.” But the thing is, I can never leave. Because I’m working in the Hotel California. No, I’m joking: it’s definitely my old job. The “never leaving” bit is true, though, because as the day goes on, I suddenly remember that when I left that job, I did so on the understanding that one day I would come back for good: and clearly that day has come.

(This dream is obviously connected to the one in which I suddenly “remember” that I didn’t actually sit any exams at either university or high school, I was just somehow allowed to graduate, on the understanding that one day I would return to take the exams. The dream always begins with me realising that tomorrow I have to take a three-hour mathematics exam, having not studied maths, or, indeed, even THOUGHT about it, since I was a teenager. I’m actually breaking out into a cold sweat just thinking about this. I wish there was a way to divorce your subconscious mind. Why can I not have dreams in which I suddenly remember I’m a millionaire?)

“Amber,” I tell myself, “You’re an idiot. You could be at home right now, getting up when you want, drinking a million cups of coffee, pootling around in your dressing gown, getting paid to look at shoes on the Internet… And instead you’re here, and now that you’re here, you’ll have to keep on being here, getting up at 6am every morning, clocking in, clocking out, doing what you’re told to do rather than what you WANT to do… IDIOT.”

And then I wake up, and I AM at home, and I DO get to get up when I want, and pootle around in my dressing gown, and run my day anyway I like, and as much as I hate those dreams, I’m always kind of grateful for them, too, because they remind me how lucky I am. And trust me, I am lucky. I genuinely do love my job, and those are not words I ever thought I would type. I never expected to enjoy work. I always viewed it as something I just had to get through somehow, and while I knew there were people out there who claimed to love their jobs, I’m going to be honest: I thought those people were crazy. Or liars. Or crazy liars.

I mean, blogging was my hobby. As was, um, shopping. I used to sit at my desk and daydream about shoes one day being able to to turn a hobby into a job, but I didn’t actually expect it to happen, so when it did I spent years – literally YEARS – worrying that it would all be taken away from me, and I’d have to go back to a “normal” job again. You wouldn’t have to be Freud to work out the meaning of my recurring nightmare, hmm? I still do worry about it, actually, because I know for sure that I never want to go back. Not ever. I actually don’t think I COULD go back, even I wanted to: I’m too used to being my own boss, and working at my own pace, and not ever answering the phone to be able to adjust to the restrictions of the workplace again. Also, I’ve slowly started to phase “mornings”  and “phonecalls” out of my life, and I don’t think many employers would appreciate that.

So, no, I wouldn’t want to go to back to a “normal” job, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been tempted by the thought, not even for a second. Even when we’d just started the business, and were working round the clock to build it up and make a living from it, I didn’t ever think “You know what, I could just get a job.” I would just much rather work for myself than for someone else (even if it meant earning less money), and blogging could almost have been tailor-made for me in that it’s something I can do for myself, from home, and without having to worry about clients, and meetings and all of the other stuff that comes with so many jobs.

With all of that said, I feel I should probably add here that it IS still work. Sure, it’s work that I enjoy (for the most part), but there’s a very big difference between blogging for fun and blogging for a living, so while I think it’s about as perfect a job as I could ever hope to find, it’s not without its stresses and irritations, and some days I find myself wanting to tear my hair out in frustration, just like any other job. I think anything you HAVE to do every day can sometimes feel like a chore, and although the good points of my job outweigh the bad ones by a country mile, I still look forward to the weekend, when I don’t have to think about it for a couple of days. I think what I’m trying to say here is that while the things I write about are frivolous, and I get to write about them from the comfort of my own home, I AM still running a business, and trying to make a living, so obviously it’s not all fun.

It IS a lot of fun, though…

p.s. Some more questions have been answered here.