Yes! My business (or rather me as a sole trader, which is less catchy albeit more accurate) has survived half a year. Six months since I reluctantly returned from Sweden to move into my new house/office, ready to anxiously stare at my inbox, waiting for work to come flooding in. It's all OK, actually. I even did a mini-appraisal thing earlier in the week when I had a bit of time, and I concluded that THIS:

Is NOT an accurate picture of me. I've got plans and everything for the next six months, and while I've messed some things up, it turns out that these things don't get you kicked out of the translation industry, never to return. Because, as a good socialist sole trader, I value free time just as much as cash, I've been trying to keep things balanced and not work too many late nights or weekends, which it's REALLY easy to do when your laptop's just there and you've had your eye on a nice dress from Dorothy Perkins for a while now. I've also decided not to work during Epic Holiday in Sicily next week, even though I'll be bringing the laptop. I thought about it and concluded there wasn't much point in going if I was going to sit inside working all day. I'm nervous/excited re. holiday, but I think it will be fun. I have to start packing at some point.

Although I SOUND like a proper adult in some ways, I've decided I'm not really. The fates are against me. I tried to get critical illness insurance, slightly paranoid about what I'd do if I really did get ill. The day after I applied, I got hospitalised (not with a critical illness at all, just with a thyroid that was kindly doing more than it needed to). So my cover's cancelled until my thyroid's 'under control', which amused me. I had visions of it creeping out of my neck while I was asleep and terrorising the local population. I've got a pension now, though, so maybe I can count that as another step towards becoming a proper person?

I blog openly way less often these days. A major reason for this is because I used to blog a lot about mental health, specifically my own, and now there's just not as much to say. Which is a really good thing, and a sign perhaps that if I can tread that path towards sanity, strewn with CBT and sanity snacks, others can too. In your face, anxiety. I have wobbles occasionally but overall, I'm way better, especially considering my insanity went on for many years before those in which I was actually being treated for it.

One of the major challenges over the last six months has been the social aspect of being a freelance translator, or more exactly the lack of a social aspect. I'd expected to experience it to some extent but didn't think it'd hit me so hard, given that I'm relatively people-phobic. But if obsessively playing the Sims 2 as a youth taught me anything, it's that even antisocial Sims, I mean people, need to have some kind of connection to the outside world. Otherwise their 'social' goes into the red. To start off with I set up some basic rules – I have to leave the house at least once each day, ideally more often. Then I started actively planning my free time. It used to be the case that I'd use the time after work to recharge my introvert batteries, but that's kind of reversed now – those batteries are recharging while I'm working. So I've started doing a few things after work. I'm considering volunteering, although I've not found exactly the right thing for me yet.
The most exciting thing I'm doing, in my mind, is that I AM LEARNING IRISH. I'm only two classes in, but I think I'm in love with the language. I'm not really surprised. I've been a language geek since I was about 11 and tried to teach myself Welsh, with no success. Irish, Finnish and Welsh are POSSIBLY the top three languages I want to learn most of all. And Irish has such beautifully weird grammar. It's one of those many things that I'm not allowed to talk about to other people too much, because they get too bored and I get too happy. Once I get a cat, I will be an archetypal geeky freelancer.

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