It might have been the healthy dose of Vitamin D I received today, but the future felt bright.

December 15th, 2013, 8pm

It was 19°C with no clouds detected. The breeze was brisk.

I’m the cat. Not the dog. You wave a stick at me I run away, not towards. That’s not entirely true. But by nature I do tend to peg my tent in the pessimism camp, as opposed to the optimism one. This is why it feels strange to be so positive about my immediate future.

I shouldn’t. Financial insecurity beckons after leaving a permanent full time role to freelance, concentrate on other writerly things and spend more time with my daughter. It’s been coming. That quiet voice in the back of my mind, which for years has been urging me to cease forcing myself into a nine-to-five existence, has finally won. Not that there is anything wrong with the nine-to-five life - I’ve done it enough times. But it doesn’t seem to work for me. Having said that, I don’t think work in general works for me. The timing isn’t perfect, but I think I’m going to be better for it.

I’ve been here before.

When I graduated from journalism school I wet my feet as a freelance reviewer for a national music magazine. My rookie status meant I got the albums nobody else wanted to review. I accumulated a lot of shit music. I recycled most of these at the local second hand record store where I cashed them in for vouchers. Though payment was the CD itself, I was happy. Long had I dreamed of doing this. Eventually the reviews grew into features, which in turn acted as business cards that got me work with newspapers and other magazines. I thrived on the insecurity, instability and hunt for a story. There was no time to be complacent. Good work perpetuated more work.

First rule of freelancing: Get on a roll. Second rule of freelancing: Never get off that roll.

But this isn’t really about freelancing. Sadly, it’s not even about spending time with my daughter, though, there will definitely be more of that. I will use some of the time, I would have spent in an office, working on a novel. Initially that sentence ended with, ”… a personal project”. But enough people would have deciphered my badly conceived code.

I’ve been here before, too, which explains my reticence to be so forthcoming. But Hi has bewitched me and for some reason I find it easy to be open and honest here.

Even though it’s a coincidence I’m extending this sketch on the first day of the new year, somehow it seems fitting. I eschew resolutions, or at the very least, verbalising them. They lose their power and I become less likely to make them happen. So, this year I’ll keep them close to my chest and do what I always do: put my head down, work hard and hope that’s good enough when experience has shown me sometimes it’s not.

This year I’ll be chasing sticks.

Peter, Cassie and Sunny said thanks.

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Aidan Rasmussen

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