Yesterday I lost a contract I thought I had in the bag.

Today I interviewed for a job I don’t want and I got it. I start tomorrow.

I’m really tired. I’ve been working my ass off for the opportunity to work my ass off and the smallest possible reward is mine for the taking. I landed the longest hours for the least pay in the worst conditions. Not in the sense that it’s the shittiest in the world, just that out of all the possible jobs I was going for this one was the least attractive. And it’s all mine.

Being a freelancer is like being a drug addict. I am an emotional wreck basically all the time, my bowel movements are totally irregular, and I go from one terror fueled scarcity to the next. All while self-righteously attempting to justify how awful I am. I need a 12 step program for having to pay the rent.

I feel like a complete asshole for being so ungrateful to have even the meager work that I have. I made a choice to do this. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew I’d have to take shit jobs while I built up clientele and a good reputation. I’m not so arrogant as to think that this shit comes for free. I just wish I didn’t feel like every hour of doing this took five days off my life. I’m fucking drained and it seems like I’ve been taking one step forward and three steps back for so long.

Then again, this is how I tend to feel on Thursday. Another week has passed me by with no success, or at least not enough success to easy my troubled mind, and I only have one miserable day to save the farm. So far, that’s the worst it gets. Something comes in, or somebody works out and I squeak on by another month.

I never feel the contracts coming in, only the ones going out. Maybe it’s not the lack of return that’s bugging me. Maybe it’s the lack of perspective from 11:25 on a Thursday night just past the middle of the month.

As it stands, we’re set to once again barely scrape by for July. Either the same will happen in August, or I’ll get some gig that will wipe all this late night doubt away with one fell swoop… until September 17. Then it’ll be the same old contractor shame spiral.

I haven’t felt this consistently hopeful and desperate since college. When things are good, I’m a golden God. When they’re not, I’m the dumbest dummy who ever dumbed. It’s got to even out. I’ve only been at this a little over a year. It’s already better than it was last July. Last July I made no money, frequently cried in public, and I’m pretty sure I ate nothing but Target house brand snack mix for at least a week.

It’s all about baby steps.