So I’ve been through this before. The last time this happened, I was working for a big fancy-shmancy firm in D.C., commuting three hours a day, and waiting for a real assignment. (They had me working on a favor site, called the Museum of Cake, for about a month. I’d come from the corporate dot-com world, and it was hard to shift gears into baked goods from satellite broadband delivery.)
That time, I had a pretty sizable war chest saved up. I also had a rock-bottom mortgage payment, I owned my car outright, and I was looking forward to some time to work on the basement of my house, so it kind of worked out. I spent most of those two months painting, putting up drywall, running electrical, and living frugally. I didn’t have the heart to work much on the computer—in fact, I took most of that month off from the computer entirely, looking only occasionally at my email. For a lot of reasons, I was depressed and demoralized. The industry I’d claimed as my own was in steep decline in Baltimore. Most of the shops who’d flown so high were now closed down. There was noplace to look for work locally, and I’d not spent enough time in D.C. to make contacts there.
This time is very similar, but also a little different. The mortgage payment is much bigger now, but we still don’t have to make any car payments. We have an equity line of credit, which isn’t the same as having money saved, but also means we’ve got an emergency fund. I’m looking at a house which needs a monumental amount of work, and I suddenly have a lot of time to do it. This time, I’ve also been keeping busy on the side doing freelance work, so I’ve got a current portfolio to draw from.
I’m going to use this as an opportunity and try not to look at it like a curse. I’ve been wanting to switch back over to web design full-time for a while now, and also resurrect my illustration career. The only thing that’s been keeping me from doing that is a lack of time. You’ll see the progress here and over on my portfolio site (which is going to see a major overhaul in the next couple of weeks) while I make about a million lists, start drawing again, continue developing websites, and try not to freak out too much about being self-employed.