Being a Freelancer Means…

I’ve been freelancing for the better part of 6 months now. It’s been a rocky road, filled with uncertainty. (Life!) My anxiety is through the roof; I’ve had numerous breakdowns that this year is promising to be the 2007 to my Britney Spears. Yet, I’ve accomplished more writing in the last 6 months than I have in the past 2 years. This is easily the most excited I’ve been about my career, one that has finally taken off by liberating myself from the 9 to 5 work grind. It has lent a totally new perspective as far as what being a freelancer means:

  1. $$$$$
  2. Jk more like 🤷‍♂️ (me waiting for funds to be released from Escrow)
  3. Having a sense of humor
  4. Working from home 😃
  5. Working from home 🤪
  6. Creating a dedicated workspace (setting up is easy, it’s staying dedicated that’s the hard part)
  7. Extended lunch breaks
  8. Drinking—woah it got dark there for a sec
  9. Parameters. Lots and lots of parameters.
  10. Dealing with unrealistic client expectations i.e. the first draft will be perfect 😒
  11. Giving up paycheck security for creative fulfillment
  12. No longer having a Friday
  13. Always working, even when you’re not
  14. Working twice as hard for less than minimum wage
  15. Applying for gigs every. single. day. (I often dream about submitting proposals)
  16. Not being taken seriously by your own family
  17. Enduring comments about this not being “a real job”
  18. Explaining telecommuting and gig economy about 5 times a day
  19. Falling apart, and putting yourself back together again
  20. Constantly fighting procrastination, laziness, and self-doubt
  21. Resisting the impulse to give in (thus giving your doubters the satisfaction)
  22. Discovering your conviction as a writer
  23. Having an existential crisis every week
  24. Forging a career path on your own
  25. Forging a career path on your own.

The Versatile Blogger Award

This month for me has been all about recognition. From acknowledging my influences to recognizing other bloggers, I’ve been in the mood to pay it forward instead of indulging my self-interests. With this Versatile Blogger Award being passed my way courtesy of Oh Hello, Darling, I have an excuse to do both. I’ve been honored with nominations before, but I’ve made a terrible habit of letting them slip by. Maybe this is redemption. Or maybe this is a chance for you to get to know me a little better. Surely, there’s an actual person behind all this movie talk.  Continue reading

Thoughts at 4AM

It’s hard to turn off a creative mind, even harder to turn off an anxious one. Our mind wanders in the dark, or in the dim glow of the nightlight (I’m not judging!). We toss and turn, our thoughts going on one tangent after another. Who knew a little bit of imagination could be a form of sleep deprivation. We worry about random things, hypothetical things, about the realities of tomorrow, or remain adrift in the past, fretting over stuff we can’t possibly change this instant yet that only seems to fuel the anxiety. We cuddle with our insecurities. Yes, they’re the big spoon.  Continue reading

25 Reflections at 25

  1. Fuck
  2. I’m 25 and I’ve literally accomplished nothing
  3. I’ve spent half of my life on social media and I’m learning to accept that (I’m delightful on Twitter, less so on Facebook, but I absolutely killed it on Myspace)
  4. I am in lesbians with movies
  5. I quote movies without warning. This is my curse.
  6. Sometimes that means cutting people out of your life who have no idea what you’re saying (you shouldn’t be friends with those motherfuckers to begin with)
  7. Sarcasm isn’t just a defense mechanism. It’s a way of life.
  8. To err is human. To err repeatedly means you probably had too much caffeine.
  9. Anxiety is the most effective alarm clock
  10. Student loans are a lot like drowning
  11. A Liberal Arts education was a brilliant idea! (sarcasm)
  12. Self-respect is a thing I need to work on
  13. Dating is also a thing I need to work on but let’s not get into that right now
  14. Sleep is bae
  15. Coffee is bae
  16. 25 seems like a reasonable cutoff for using the word ‘bae’
  17. Staying in on a Friday night is a thing of beauty
  18. True friendship is staying at the table long after the check is paid.
  19. Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.
  20. Things often don’t go the way as planned and that’s okay
  21. I will never accomplish all the things I set out to do and that’s okay too
  22. If someone tells you to give up on your dream, you have legal grounds to punch them in the face (Self-Respect Clause 22)
  23. You were lucky to have loved the women who came into your life. Remember that.
  24. You chose writing. Writing didn’t choose you, ergo it doesn’t owe you anything.
  25. Listing counts as writing so good job.

*If you came here for advice, I sincerely apologize

In all seriousness, I’d like to give my thanks to those who invested in me and took the time to read my blog (you could have watched another panda video and you didn’t and I appreciate your sacrifice). It’s because of you I decided to make a personal investment and purchase this domain. That’s right, Adrian Vs. The World is official now. Here’s to a new chapter of punctuated nonsense.

Shouts Into the Void

coffee2I walk into a coffee shop and I am greeted with faces obscured by phones and laptops. No one bothers to look up. Typing, the sounds of fingers endlessly typing on screens fills the room. At the counter, three baristas walk past me as they, too, fiddle with their own devices. “Excuse me?” I say, waving at each of them. This is me making my presence known in a world dominated by touchscreens. Finally, a woman acknowledges me. She takes my order and asks for my name. “Adrian,” I tell her. “Say again?” she asks. I take a deep breath, but she doesn’t hear me. She’s back on her phone. I turn around and see everyone else in line doing the same.

In a world where modern technology affords a greater sense of connectivity, we are strangely disconnected from one another. We are tiny squares in fluctuating screens, easy to scroll on by. Social media has become a platform to promote the best versions of ourselves. Our accomplishments, our engagements, our pregnancies. I myself have a Facebook, and, like so many others, I frequently post about my personal achievements, all for the sake of a systematic “like.” Clicking. Constant clicking. I am amazed by the click of a mouse. I might as well shout at everyone around me, begging to be noticed.

At the coffee shop, I ordered an iced coffee. I check my phone while I wait. After a few minutes, my order comes sliding across the counter. I can now get back home and resume my work, which consists of me staring at another, larger screen, typing the day away. I grab my drink, but I’m disappointed to see the name scribbled on the cup. “Angel,” it says. It seems the barista misheard me.

I searched my name on Google and discovered that there are over 200,000 people who share my name. One of them is a fashion designer. Another, a football player, a lawyer, a teacher. Alas, it was on the 8th page of results where I found a heartbreaking truth: I am but one Adrian in a sea of Adrians. I wondered, then, if any of them had trouble ordering a cup of coffee.

As a writer, I strive to make a name for myself. Recently, I had an article published in an online magazine, an article that came and went in less than a day. On Facebook, I got three likes. This didn’t surprise me. Months earlier, I witnessed the same thing happen to a fellow burgeoning writer. She had articles published on a similar magazine. Almost immediately came the outpour of comments like “Good job!” and “Congratulations!” More praise came her way as she went on posting more articles. One day, the comments stopped. No clicks. No likes. Her audience suddenly found her uninteresting, no longer trending. Yet, she continues to write. Most of her articles go virtually unseen. And still, she writes.

It’s not just her. We are all struggling to matter, to stay relevant. We want our voices to be heard, our stories to be remembered. Someone to notice us. The sad thing is, no matter what we do or who we become, it all comes to pass in the blink of an eye. We are but one among thousands of others who share the same name. We are a tiny photo in an archive of millions of portraits. We are little specks in an infinite universe.

In some small way, our lives do matter, even for just a moment. Our actions, our words, mere cogs in an ever-growing network of actions and words. If this is our only shot at making ourselves matter on a planet hovering in the void, then we might as well make a huge raucous. One great big shout across the universe.

It’s a new day. I walk back into same coffee shop and I am greeted with familiar phones and laptops. I head over to the counter. The barista meets my eyes for a brief second. I take a deep breath. “Adrian,” I tell her, “my name is Adrian.” She nods. I think she heard me this time.