Reflections on Freelancer Loneliness

Between 2014–2016 I worked a part time job 2–3 days a week to bring me income while I explored my business ventures.

It was a casual office job filled with people who were in transition after teaching — some setting up social enterprises, some launching creative careers, some just having a breather after burning out in the classroom.

To me, this job was a holding pen. As each of my colleagues got a new job, or grew their business enough to no longer need to work there, the fact that I was still there really bothered me.

I longed for the day when I would be free from this office job and could work full time on my business. That would be the absolute DREAM.

In 2016 I left that job, moved to Devon to live with my parents and worked full time on Power of Uke, the Female Founders Accelerator and Rye Laughs. As I’ve shared before it was the first time I had ever really stopped. I had evenings in for the first time in my life. Meals and baths and books to read. It was a total revelation and contrast to my 5-plans-an-evening London pace.

In Jan 2017, with my new ‘I don’t need to be busy anymore’ attitude, I moved back to London and had a year of real flow — running projects I loved, managing my own time, and even taking 5 weeks off in the summer to walk the camino. I had found this beautiful balance of work and play. I was energised, inspired and on a roll.

But when I stopped doing the Female Founders Accelerator in 2018, I started to feel pangs of sadness. Of loneliness. Boredom. I no longer had a place of work, or a ‘main thing.’ It felt like the right decision to move away from that project, but I didn’t replace it with anything.

I was working on my TEDx and doing some ukulele workshops, but it wasn’t really taking up all my time. I wasn’t busy anymore. And I kept remembering back to my office job thinking ‘isn’t this what you wanted?!’

So there was a really weird feeling of ‘I think I’ve got it really good’ but also ‘why am I so unhappy?’

I didn’t get a part time job. I didn’t want to go there. It had felt like such a long process to get to this set up.

My desire to have a sense of belonging led me to set up a lot of communities — moon groups, singing days, Tuekuleles…

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Sarah Weiler

I’m a multi-passionate TEDx speaker, writer, coach, framework-fanatic, quitting researcher & ukulelista/composer. www.sarahweiler.com // tinyletter.com/Carousel