All Things End (A Neurodivergent And Freelancing Process Blog)
(This post first appeared on the Gamer Author on August 1, 2022)
I’ve been freelancing for the past twenty years, but only found steady success over the last few years. The past year especially has been an absolute blessing; a good friend recruited me for a technical writing position that paid well. Plus, I believed in what I was doing. It had its ups and downs, what job doesn’t, but overall this was one of the best times of my life.
Yesterday, I found out that the contract would come to an end at the end of the month.
The realization hit my wife and I hard. In retrospect, we should’ve known better. Nothing lasts forever, especially contract work. We were relatively responsible with our finances. We stayed on top of our bills, gave some away, and treated the hell out of ourselves. Cari thinks that we lost our humility, that this is karma catching up to us. I’m not sure how I feel about this.
I got an inkling a few weeks back that I should’ve re-upped some of my freelancing profiles. Usually when a job ends, it’s because I screwed it up. But this wasn’t the case; I had done everything that was asked of me and genuinely enjoyed the work. I hadn’t done anything wrong here. The money had simply ran out. That is not my fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. Now I know; when my instincts tell me something, I need to listen. If we’d prepped for this before we took our honeymoon, we wouldn’t be where we are now.
Beating myself up over it isn’t going to solve anything. In fact, it’s going to send my head to a very dark place. I’ll waste time that we don’t have right now. We’re not on dire straits at all; Cari has steady income and she managed the money we made from my freelancing really well. But my income allows us to stay comfortably in the green, so I need to be moving forward.
The first thing I’m doing is allowing myself to emotionally process. The year Cari and I got together at home allowed us to get healthy and rebuild our marriage. There is an element of sadness there, at the idea that I might have to return to traditional employment outside the home. I like being at home with my wife, and I enjoy all the time we get together. The prospect of that coming to an end is not a happy one.
Then, I’m focusing on what I can do now. I plan to spend today updating my resume. I’ve already started looking for trad work. I’m going to re-up all of my freelancing profiles and let it be known I’m looking for work. All of these things are within my control, thus this is where I choose to apply my focus.
Cari and I have already started talking about how to avoid this in the future. We’ve spoken about cutting back some of our more fun expenses (you would not believe how much coffee is in this house). We’re focusing more on traveling and possibly moving to California in a few years. This means we have to seriously buckle down on our finances, no easy thing when you live in Las Vegas. But we have our favorite restaurants, we know how much it costs to eat both cheaply or otherwise in this city, and we stay away from the strip for the most part. So we have the tools and knowledge to weather this and prep for the future.
Being neurodivergent means I’m not always able to control my emotions or what goes through my head. Finding balance is really hard some days. My head isn’t in a bad place now. I’m a little sad, but that will pass. No one knows what the future holds. The most we can do is focus on what we can control, drown out the exterior noise and keep moving forward. This is how I’ve gotten this far, and this is how we will get through this.
Thanks for reading.
Avery K. Tingle, The Gamer Author is a child and domestic abuse survivor as well as a recovering sex addict living in Las Vegas. Along with his wife, Cari, and two cats, he writes about life experiences as well as mental health and the writing process. He is also developing action/fantasy martial arts series set to release in early 2024.