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.

    1. Ooh, really?! How exciting! I can honestly say that, for me, there are no downsides to working from home. I know some people who do it say that they find it a bit lonely (and I guess the fact that I have Terry here all day too makes a difference to me) or hard to motivate myself, but I absolutely love it: I can't imagine ever going back to an office now, I think it would kill me!

      (OK, actually there is one downside: the fact that people resolutely refuse to believe that I actually do any work. To this day people still call me on a Tuesday morning, say, and go, "So, what are you up today?" and then act surprised when I say, "Er, working. Like I always am at this time during the week." )

  1. It always amazes me when people say "oh I couldn't work from home, I'd get nothing done!". Sure you would, it's called fear of not being able to eat. Some people genuinely think I'm crazy for working from home for myself. My general answer to that is "say what?". I too have dreams about being back in an office, and wake up feeling pathetically grateful!

    (I do miss sick pay though. Tiny downside.)
    .-= Toni´s last blog ..Editor’s Essay: Do I Have A “Favourite” Apollo Astronaut? =-.

    1. Yeah, you'd only get nothing done if you didn't have to worry about paying the bills, in which case, well, I'd envy you!

      I also think anyone who's actually seen any daytime TV recently wouldn't use the line "Oh, I'd just end up watching TV all day!"

  2. ha! I know what you mean about daytime tv… A couple of years ago I was a freelancer and worked from home – but I was so scared of people thinking I was a skiver (and watching tv all day long) that I worked much harder and longer than I ever do for my office job. I felt like I had to prove something – partly because I think I was too young to work from home then.

    Nowadays I love the idea of it… my ideal would be to a 50/50 split. Still work for my office some days and then for myself at home the rest of the week… If only I can persuade them to still pay me at the same rate! 😉
    .-= Zoe, Conversation Pieces´s last blog ..Weddingnesday… you’re invited to a very important date =-.

  3. I reckon that, after 6 years of being self employed, I'm pretty much unemployable now. There's no way any employer would pay money to put up with me 🙂

    Sometimes it's wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-sweating-and-terrified, but mainly it's just the best feeling to look at something I've bought (and there are many, many things) and go all "independent woman" in my head 🙂

    I never wanted to rule the world, so buzzing along at my own pace makes me happy.

  4. Tell me, though, don't you miss dressing up for work? I work from home one or two days a week, and yes, I adore it and toy with the dream of working from home full-time, but I tend to slob down at home, even though I love all my heels and pretty clothes that I wear in the outside world. I think I'd miss the opportunity to dress well, to make an effort. Or do you do that all for yourself (and Terry) alone at home?

  5. Hear, hear! I'm in exactly the same place as you. I have the same scared, sweaty dreams about ending up back at my old job at the publishing house (and the school exam ones too, actually), and every day I wake up happy that I can stay home, ignore the much-hated phone and work at my own pace. I love it. I relate to the fear of it all being taken away, too … even though I've been working for myself for three years now, I still feel like someone's going to come along and say, "Hey, this isn't right – go and get a real job!" 🙂

    A xx
    .-= Andrea´s last blog ..Answers (Part Two) =-.

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