Gone Rogue: The Social Downside
Let me tell you: I really love the freedom I’ve discovered working for myself. In August, I spent two weeks in California, visiting with friends and working on the side. I couldn’t imagine how this could be more ideal: I get to be wherever I want, for as long as I want, all because my work easily travels.
Before I started working for myself, I had long daydreams in my cubicle about what it would be like — meeting a friend for a long lunch, taking that 10am barre class because I could, wrapping work up at 4pm so I could have a nice long evening to myself. The reality? I work way more than 40 hours a week and oftentimes, I’m alone.
Coffee shops have been vital to my social interaction, but there are limits to the depth of conversations there. And while I am corresponding with many awesome clients during the course of the day, emails and online interactions aren’t the same as laughing with a friend or co-worker during a break.
I will also admit that I feel the solitude of my work even more since I’ve moved to a new city where I don’t know anyone.
The remedy? Getting creative.
1. I started a Desire Map book club. If you’re not familiar with Danielle LaPorte’s work, I highly recommend it. Getting clear on my core desires led me to quitting my job last April, and it’s carried me to new, unexpected places since. I’ve already met one awesome woman who I connected with as we talked a lot about how important it is to feel good about our decisions and our lives in general.
2. I’ve RSVPed to some free sessions at a local co-working space in March. Co-working spaces are becoming more popular as internet-based occupations have grown, and Roanoke is lucky enough to have three spaces. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that CoLab is the workplace-away-from-home I’ve been dreaming of. (If I were in San Francisco, I’d probably be living at Makeshift Society. New York has some kick-ass spaces as well.)
3.When I went to the World Domination Summit two years ago, I had a total “My People!” moment. I would love to find that here and build a community of creative entrepreneurs who are thinking outside the box, working for themselves, and dreaming big. This is one plan that doesn’t have all of the details worked out yet, but I’m brainstorming.
How have you met awesome new people in your city? And for those freelancers and self-employed out there, what do you do to combat the loneliness of your work?