Minneapolis, Arizona, Mexico, New Jersey, New York, and Boston—that’s how the rest of this year is shaping up. The itinerary, which is spread out from literally today through the end of November, includes a work trip for Eaman, a few work trips for me and some much needed time back on the East Coast to see friends and family (I haven’t been back since last June!). Most of this summer was spent zipping around for weddings, so I’m excited to get more personal traveling time this fall.
Right now Eaman and I are in Minneapolis for a conference he’s attending, and even though there won’t be much free time between helping him and getting my own work done, I’m jazzed to explore as much as I can. Thanks to Minneapolitan-turned-San Diegan Annie, I already have a list of musts and will be sure to report back with some of my favorites.
All this travel also got me thinking about this year’s work, goals and frustrations. We’re in a unique position in that Eaman and I are both working for ourselves, both starting from scratch and both working from home. It’s fun and flexible, but that also means there’s this fog of stress in the apartment that’s just hard to shake. When one of us is down, we have to boost the other up, and if both of us are down—well, you’ll probably find us eating a burrito outside El Zarape. There’s an emotional toll with this be-your-own-boss thing—assignments fall through, people don’t care about your idea, it takes forever to get paid, etc.—and many days I find myself exhausted and zombie-like not because I’ve been running around, but because I’ve been through a roller coaster of emotions.
The hardest part is trying to juggle everything: my work, helping him with his work, doing house work and taking care of Teddy*. It can be a lot and not all your friends will understand that, no, you can’t hang out as much and yes, you’d rather be alone to watch Real Housewives while eating gummy bears. The other challenge is not knowing when it’ll end. Of course I have faith that we’re both doing what we’re supposed to be doing, but this isn’t like finals week when you cram with an end in sight. We’re pretty much cramming all the time. (God, sometimes I miss those days working in an office when you’d get paid no matter what, even if you surfed Facebook most of the day.)
The good news is that I’m gaining a lot more stability in my career this year. I finally have a focus and drive that was totally absent last year and am crossing some big goals off my bucket list. I’ve been able to write for some dream magazines, and perhaps even better, I’m establishing a rhythm. That whole floating-question-mark feeling? Yeah, I did not like that. My career path has evolved into one of a city explorer, and I love that a huge part of my work involves getting the scoop on events, trying new restaurants and meeting small business owners. And thank goodness for it, because if you work from home, you understand: It’s imperative to get out and talk to other people! (I know it looks like I’m just so everywhere on Instagram, but let me tell you, it’s part of my job, too.)
So all that to say, no, life is not perfect, but I’m pretty darn grateful for the positive things that’ve come my way this year. The stress will always be there in some form—it just means we care—and having that connection to our work, that’s pretty much all we could’ve asked for in this new city of ours.
*I’m the first to admit that last year puppy Teddy was a source of stress. This year, older Teddy is a reliever of stress. Seriously don’t know what we’d do without him.