Why the rat-race isn’t for me

nine to five

I had an epiphany.

We don’t need to force ourselves in rigid square boxes and work in the traditional nine to five in order to make a viable living. In fact, nine to five is not going to make many of us happy. It’s going to have the complete opposite affect. Humans are wonderful, creative, eccentric and individual beings, and we should all be embracing our individuality in every aspect of our lives, whether it be at home with the family, at work, or in the park, at the pub… everywhere!

This may sound weird coming from someone who has successfully made a living as a freelancer for the last 9 months. Surely I figured this out long ago? Surely my path to freedom is well and truly paved?

Well, I’m going to let you into a little secret. Although from the outside this DID appear to be the case. My friends and family all regularly congratulated me about getting off the hamster wheel and living a life which truly suited me. But in truth, well, I didn’t quite believe it myself.


I didn’t actually in my heart of hearts stand fully behind my convictions.

SURE, I had the perfect lifestyle, working in the garden, from coffee shops, taking leisurely breaks whenever I pleased. And don’t get me wrong I have, and am, putting in the work. But I have realised somewhere deep down I kind of assumed this was just a phase, something would go wrong, and I’d most probably be back in an office at some point in the future.

So, how did I finally come to my epiphany? Well…. I went back to working in an office nine to five. Yes, that’s right, I CHOSE to go back to the dark side, despite having clients of my own and regular freelance work coming in. It was only a momentary lapse, honest guv… It was really just meant to be a temping job for a month whilst I prepared for my Big Trip which is starting in June (more on that later).

I thought it would make my life easier, less stressful. I’d have a paycheck coming in weekly, I wouldn’t have to worry about finding clients, it wouldn’t be taxing. So off I merrily trotted to the temping agency, and two weeks later, this very Tuesday, I found myself at the gates of an unnamed educational establishment, suited and booted and reporting for duty – sir, yes SIR *stamp foot*

And you know what, oh my goodness it was BOOOOORING! Mind-numbingly, soul-destroyingly boring. For a whole 3 days I felt my life-force which I have so carefully built up over the last 9 months flood out of me. How could I EVER have thought this would be easier?!

And then, just to hammer the point home, when I left the office yesterday, after a whole 3 days temping, I found out that they have decided to offer the job internally as of next Monday, and no longer need a temp any more. So much for my big ‘dream’ of a month of security and easy money.

But you know what? Inside, my heart actually sang with joy at this news! I was free again, to do what I love, what makes me overwhelmingly happy, and best of all what I am actually good at.

Clichéd as this sounds, everything does happen for a reason, and now I just have even more conviction that I am on the right path, come rain or shine. It will be hard at times, but hey, the other option really isn’t any easier!

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2 Responses to Why the rat-race isn’t for me

  1. I am so with you on this, and I had a remarkably similar experience. These things pop up to test us, don’t you think? I was working on a program with a short term contract and I was working part time. As a few of my other things had finished (plus the Less is More Festival was done and dusted) I figured that rather than use the extra time for a few new projects, I’d work full time until the end of the program. That way I could save the extra money and when the job came to an end I’d feel more relaxed about taking time off for the other things.

    But what I found was I was tired. I was grumpy. My time was being eaten up by long commutes. There was a lot of pressure to meet targets, which took enjoyment away from the job, and was also intensified by being there for so many hours. I had no time for fun stuff. I was losing motivation to make proper meals. I thought about all the things I wanted to be doing but couldn’t.

    For the last two weeks I actually dropped my hours, but I couldn’t shake off these feelings. It was only when the job finished, and I had my first week of freedom that I really felt normal again – and realised that I hadn’t been feeling normal at all the past few weeks. By normal, I mean happy. Excited by life. Motivated to do things. Keen to be creative. Sociable. Exactly as you said, the same happened to me…my life force had drained out of me, and now it’s coming back and I feel alive again!

    We are on the right path… : )

    • Becs says:

      That is exactly how I felt as well – normal, which I realised was actually happy! I definitely think I needed this experience to allow me to carry on 100% motivated. I’m so glad everything is working well for you too 🙂 It’s great having someone on a similar path so I can keep reminding myself this IS a viable future and not just something that happens to other people!

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