Turning 27

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Last Friday I turned the grand old age of 27. It got me thinking, am I where I want to be?

The truth is, currently I’m in a state of waves. One, minute you’re coasting at a steady speed and then suddenly you hit the rocks and the current gets pretty rough. Both have their pros and cons. Coasting is a pretty comfortable place to be – but it’s also when I’m at my least productive. When I’m coasting I find it harder to be motivated even though I have endless amounts of ideas I want to come to fruition. But when the current gets rough, I’m too stressed and begin to question whether freelancing is really for me.

At 27 I want to keep on coasting and having things happen at a gradual pace that I can keep up with. But I don’t want to coast and forget the reasons I do what I do. Or forget the struggle it’s been to get to where I am. Because it has not been smooth sailing in the slightest.

Does anyone else get to a point where they feel comfortable with where they’re at, but wants to progress yet can’t seem to find the motivation or inclination to make it happen? That’s coasting to me. A state of mind at 27 that I want to break out of.

When I look back at being 26, it turns out I may not have coasted as much as I thought I had.

Things I’ve achieved at 26:

  • Two freelancing panels with IPSE – Student Freelancing hosted at Nottingham Trent University and Mental Health in Freelancing at National Freelancers Day.
  • Bought a house. Something I’d been saving for since I was 16.
  • Stopped taking antidepressants for anxiety after 6 years.
  • Became an auntie for the first time. This was technically at 25, but my nephew has a huge impact on me at 26, the little charmer.
  • Taken on a few new clients, and reconnected with old ones.
  • Completed a level three qualification in management.
  • Relaunched District23. More on that to come soon (hopefully).

Really, that’s not a bad lot of things to achieve outside of my full-time job commitments. Some were business successes, others were personal, but all made 26 a pretty good year. Even if it felt like I was stuck and not progressing at a rate I wanted to, perhaps I didn’t do as bad as I thought I had.

Now, 27. What do I want to achieve in the next 12 months?

  • Get back into screen-printing my own t-shirts. It’s been a few years since I did this and I found it a much more rewarding experience.
  • Be closer to the goal of being full-time freelance at 30. This means taking on more clients. Getting bigger jobs. Constantly changing and adapting to design practice.
  • Finish the house. This is almost complete but I need to take a seat and realise that this house is now my home and it’ll always be there whether I paint a wall or not.
  • Find a better way to deal with the work/life balance – especially as mine is more work/work/ than work/life.

That’s about it for now. I’ve only been 27 a few days – I can’t have it all figured out just yet. But it’s a starting point. I’ll be interested to look back on the blog a year from now and see what else is added to the list of things I achieved.

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