a different view

July 11, 2014 |  Category:   life me


This is my view 2 days a week. You’ve probably seen it on Instagram if you follow me there.


So this office thing…was something that was loosely in the works for a few months now, but still a bit unexpected when it happened. Earlier in the year I’d been contemplating some moves that would potentially be a transition away from what I’ve been doing career-wise for the past 18 years. Nothing that was definitive or that held any answers to what I was going to do with my life, but enough of a shift to feel like I was finally doing something about it after years of feeling stuck.
I’m one of those people who can work perfectly fine at home, so I never thought that I would want to work in an office again. I dislike the commute and I don’t (usually) struggle with some of the issues that some freelancers have expressed can be difficult at times to deal with – namely the isolation and the lack of human interaction. I would have never thought that going to an office a few times a week would have been just the thing that I needed while dealing with my brother’s death, but I showed up 2 days after I got back from California and have been going twice a week since. It provided structure and a routine at a time when I was feeling lost and disconnected from everyone in my life, and it helped with this new anxiety of being around other people. I belonged somewhere, I had somewhere to go, and for the first time in a really long time, made me feel like I was part of a team. Although I’ve been on project teams while freelancing, I’ve been working on my own for such a long time that this was the thing I missed most. All of the newness of working in an office – the indecision of what to wear in the mornings, the commute, the lunches, sitting at a desk again, getting acclimated to excessive office AC – all of it felt fitting. I don’t feel like the same person anymore, and life without my brother is new so maybe this is why this feels right for now.
In a way I’m going back to my tech start up roots, and indeed it does sort of feel like 1999 again as far as the industry is concerned. It’s also nice to be doing something other than design, as well as working in a different industry and this is what I’ve been positioning hard for this year. I still have most of my design clients, however, and this has been the busiest 12 month stretch that I’ve ever had as a freelancer, but I’m letting go of some of the work that I don’t want to do anymore. Also, I’m a workaholic and it’s hard for me to say no, but this also means that certain plans and ideas that I’ve had for the year–personal and for the business–have been pushed aside for now and that is ok. I always seem to carry this weird guilt when I can’t get everything done. Self pressure, unrealistic expectations – whatever it is, it’s nothing new, but I’m also trying to learn from things that have happened this year. I don’t know how long the office thing or this job is going to last – another month, the rest of the year…I don’t know, but I’m just going with it for now. Nothing about this year has been predictable, but sometimes the universe does provide you with what you need. Sometimes.

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  • Anne-Marie July 11, 2014 at 3:31 am

    It does sound like a timely change. Very best of luck with it and all your plans. Thinking of you and hope you are doing as well as possible. X

  • blandine July 11, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I am so glad this is working for you! I hope this job lasts for as long as you need this structure.

  • Vicki in Michigan July 11, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I’m glad you are finding ways to accommodate to a new reality.

    Periodically reexamining what I do, and whether it’s working for me, is one of my goals……. Just because something was perfect yesterday, or last week, or last year, or when I was 40, is not necessarily an indication that it works well today……….

  • cindy July 11, 2014 at 9:11 am

    So glad to hear you found some structure to help you! And so happy to read your posts! Thanks for always letting us in just enough… you and your family are still in my thoughts…

  • Hata Trbonja July 11, 2014 at 9:19 am

    In some way, I understand. Working in an office is like being in school again. There are appropriate ways to act and things to do that help us emerge from a darkness. It gives us structure and a way to survive in society. this is the beginning of a new life for you.
    Big warm hugs!

  • Marlena July 11, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I don’t have anything super constructive to say, but just a “hey, still reading every post you write” comment, and to thank you for sharing your words.

  • Diane July 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

    beautiful description Jenna of how you have found some structure and change to guide you through these dark months….thank you as always for sharing your journey….sending hugs!

  • Lakshmi July 11, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I feel that the Universe has no choice but to give us what we need in order that we learn, grow… Agreed, the lessons sometimes are highly unpleasant but then, a few years later, they appear to be appropriate.

    I feel rather silly spouting such wisdom (sorry!) but over the past many months, the reality of this is hitting me. Not in a hard way but a very sobering one.

  • Nina July 11, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I read your blog regularly, but rarely comment…but I just felt compelled to write that my thoughts are with you and that you write so beautifully. And – words are always so insufficient in these times – but nonetheless, I’m so sorry about your brother.

  • KP July 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Two days a week is a great introduction. I just love that you listed the the indecision of what to wear in the mornings and getting acclimated to excessive office AC. I think most of us can really relate to those.

    I work well on my own too – it totally suits my true introvert personality.

  • Carolyn July 14, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I’m so sorry your brother is gone. I can’t imagine how it must feel. Sending my prayers to you.

  • Pink Ronnie July 15, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Just want to say – I really appreciate being able to read how you’re going.
    Ronnie xo

  • victoria July 18, 2014 at 4:49 am

    I’m really pleased that you’ve found something that’s helping, giving you direction, often the hardest thing to find – a point to it all.

  • Jess August 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    dear jenna,

    since a few years I read your texts and I just wanted to say that I like the way you write a lot. I don’t know anymore how I came upon your blog. it’s both: the pictures you take and the experiences you make that give me the feeling that I should have found this place. I guess it’s kind of a lucky coincidence-experience that one can make while surfing in the internet.

    thank you very much for sharing.
    Jessica (from Tübingen, Germany)