Going solo

This time next week I’ll officially become a ‘kept woman’. I can’t believe I have only five days left at work – all I can be sure of is that one of those days will start with drinks in the office, followed by hugs on the dance floor, and end with Paracetamol at dawn.

DD, having spent nearly a decade of his life at university cursed by both the gift and the guilt of avoiding study, says that the best thing about a nine-to-five job is, at five o’clock, you feel you’ve done your day’s duty and can spend the rest of the time doing whatever you like without feeling bad. For me, perhaps because I’m not as conscientious as he is, the best thing about a full-time job is having colleagues, which is also the thing I’ll miss the most when I become a freelancer in Beijing.

I’ve been lucky to have colleagues who I enjoy seeing every day. They’re always up for a laugh, open to any topic of conversation and ready for a gossip. DD starts and finishes my day and a friend can make my day, but it’s my colleagues who are the first to hear my musings on the day’s headlines or compliment me on a new pair of shoes. They’re the ones who notice when I’m having a bad day, or even just a bad hair day. They introduce me to new music, suggest what I could cook for dinner and know what websites I browse when I’m bored.

Most of all, they share my love for the job that we do, as well as my frustrations. Some of my favourite moments with my colleagues are when we’re pouring over a project together, kicking ass on a business trip or working frantically before a deadline. This also means they’ve seen me at my most stressed, my most focused and my most caffeinated – when I’m proud of a piece of work I’ve done my colleagues are the ones who really understand why.

As a freelancer, I’ll have to do everything on my own – the lunch run, the post-project celebrations, the search for the latest viral YouTube clip. I’ll have to motivate myself, critique myself and soon, inevitably, start talking to myself. If I do start muttering at my laptop screen, alone in a Beijing flat, I hope I have enough surprising opinions and tasteless jokes up my sleeve that will entertain me the way my colleagues have done every day, from nine to five and beyond.

 

Copyright © 2013 followingdrdippy

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