One Way? Or the Other?



Photo above, from a street corner in Montreal, where I visited last fall. You cannot tell me there is only “one way” to love cheese.

I have a friend who is contemplating taking a full-time job right now, after two years or so of freelancing. She’s done the pros and cons list, contemplated the positives (weekly paycheck! whooo) and the negatives (telling HR your grandmother died, again, to get a day off), done the pros and cons. It probably seems crazy, in these unstable economic times, to not leap on a permanent, full-time position like a lion on a wildebeest, pinning it to the ground and refusing to let go, but we come from a freelance tribe, and it’s hard to give it up – the flexibility, the challenge, and the allure of possibility, that the next client or job will be the coolest, most lucrative project ever. I can see her on the balance beam now, trying to decide which way to tip, and I desperately want her to make the right decision – the one that makes everything come out right, in the end, like a perfectly wrapped up movie.

I thought of that, and of this picture, and how frustrating it is when it seems there is only “one way” to get to where you want to be. What do you keep, and what do you shed along the way? Time? Safety? Security? Control?  I have the same issues she does – the constant concerns about money, the worry that you won’t get paid for work you’ve already done, the thought that the boring but lucrative project will eliminate the awesome cheapie someone wants you to do. Or, worse, the dread that there will be nothing but boring cheapies.

I don’t have a neat wrap up for this one, no finishing point that ties up the loose ends and rolls into the credits with cool music. I just wait and cross my fingers for her, and try not to wish in one direction or the other. She’ll find her way.

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