On and off (more on than off) I’ve been running my own business since 2006. I’ve never been much for formalized things, and so I’ve never really maintained an actual office for my business. It was never my idea that it was something that should grow into a massive corp, and so being just me suited me just fine.
It, however, also meant I worked from home when I wasn’t on-site with a client. And that, my friends, is a world-class grade A shitty idea.
The problem that follows with working from home is not really having clear lines of demarcation between work time and free time. The life as a freelancer is already guilt-ridden enough (should I read that new Scalzi novel, or should I not really rather be working on that new client project).
January last year I took over my first company lease. There were several reasons for this. I had moved in with the Doctor, and her flat is super tiny. Combine that with the fact that she would come home after night shifts and need to sleep, and suddenly working from home was no longer feasible. The lease was, fortunately, located in the same building as the Doctor’s flat. And so I took over the first official office space for my company, a full 80 square meters in the basement of the building.
That worked well for a while, and it was awesome to have an official home for Campground, it quickly became untenable. The offices were in an old building, and the landlord hadn’t been good with upkeep, which meant a lot of work needed to be put in to make it into a viable office space. Still, I signed the lease, with the promise from the landlord, that they would get on fixing the problems swiftly. They never did.
Frustration grew, and I have ended up terminating the lease. Instead, I have now moved into swanky offices in the heart of Copenhagen, in Jorcks Passage, where I’ve sublet some space from some old clients, Cape CPH. Things are finally looking up.
We’ve all read Dune by Frank Herbert. And if you haven’t, you should. Go do it now, I’ll wait.
In his amazing book (and the somewhat okay movie) we encounter the Bene Gesserit and their Litany Against Fear. It is recited during times of tribulation and trials, in order to clear the mind and maintain focus in situation where fear might grip the heart of our would-be hero. It goes like this …
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
But to me, fear is not the greatest mindkiller. Fear is just another face of uncertainty, and is quite often overcome be mere confrontation.
To me the greatest mindkiller is stress. I know this because I have encountered this beast quite a few times by now. And every single incident has, and is, worse than any fear I’ve ever felt (including the one time I was mugged at knifepoint). Stress creeps in, often under the radar and absolutely destroys every single productive thought in my brain. It shuts me down. It drains my energy, creativity and productivety. It effectively reduces me to a drooling mess. It’s not pretty. Trust me.
Currently this beast is riding me hard. And I’m doing my best to curtail it’s efforts to destroy me.
Today is going to be the last day where I can say that I am travelling home to Aarhus. Come monday I will once again be a resident of Copenhagen.
This has been a 13 year long adventure, with me living in Aarhus. It started, as many stories do, with a girl and ended with building a life, making amazing friends and having some really grand adventures. But as it is with all good things, eventually they end. It’s now time for a new adventure.
I’ve been with Peytz & Co for almost eight months now, and it looks like it’s going to be a long time before I start looking for work elsewhere. They’re not without their faults, but it’s been a long time before I’ve worked with so many talented developers. It’s a really good environment.
I am going to miss the amazing people, the wolves and all that Aarhus has to offer.
So … thank you, Aarhus, for this round. We’ll see each other again in the future, I’m sure.
Come friday, I’ll be flying to Sofia to attend WordCamp Europe. It’s a team trip, so we’re more than a half of Peytz’ WordPress team that’s gonna head out.
It’s gonna be my first WordCamp, and I’ve been checking out the programme. It’s chock-a-box full of good stuff, and it’s gonna be a real challenge deciding what I want to focus on.
For the past couple of months I’ve been living a life not unlike that of a nomad.
See, the job I had at a small advertising agency disappeared. The company went bust. I was out of a job. After the initial panic had settled it was time to look for something new.
In this regard I am extremely fortunate. I work in an industry where there’s almost always some sort of work to find. As such it took me a mere twelve days from the time I was laid off, to when I had a new signed contract in my hands.
The only issue was the new job was more than 300 kilometres away. Quite a bit more than what a daily commute would make room for. So here I am … crashing on friends sofas, wedging myself in with family I haven’t seen regularly for years.
I still have my flat in Aarhus. But it’s not really home anymore. Nowhere really is. I’m never in one place long enough for me to settle into a rhythm. Half the time I’m living out of a weekend bag, and the other half I’m preparing to live out of a weekend bag.
It’s been awesome and amazing. It’s also incredibly hard. The drain that comes with not having the option of shutting the door and being alone with your own thoughts for days on end really takes a toll. Add to that, that most people would probably prefer not to have vagrant living on their sofa … well, it’s a challenge.
But I like challenges, and with this one it seems that I might return home to the city where I was born. A place I haven’t lived in for over ten years. It’s a weird feeling, that scares me to some degree. I wasn’t, and am not, terribly proud of the person I was back then, and I’ve tried my hardest to change that. I think I’ve had some decent success with that, but it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a small niggling voice in the back of my head saying “what if …”.
On the other hand, I do feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut for these last few years. And I spent a lot of that time internalising what might just as well be external issues. I’ve grown more fearful of change, it’s become harder for me to make big decisions and I constantly worry about failing. Now, all of this probably just means that I am a normal human being, just like you. But I feel it’s holding me back. It didn’t use to be like this.
What I think I’m saying is that, this new experience of not really having a home anywhere has triggered something. I’m not sure what that something is yet. But it feels big. Like a new adventure. And I think it’s about time.