SayLinds Creative

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Design tips and freelance lifestyle blog aimed at empowering creative and professional communities. 

6 Things to Consider When Talking to Clients About Money
 

 

Talking about money is difficult, awkward, and even worse when you don't know what to charge. I've definitely struggled with this in the past, and as a result, I've worked for much less than I should have.

If you're just starting your freelance career, or you're unsure what to charge for a certain project, consider these 6 factors when talking to your clients about money.

 
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1. Industry standards

First things first, you'll want to have an idea of what others in the industry are charging. There are many ways to do this, such as a Google search or perusing through online freelance networks, but my favorite is to just ask around. Be sure to ask someone with comparable experience to you, and be prepared to work for a little less if you're just starting out. Once you bulk up your portfolio, you'll be able to charge more.

 

2. Key deliverables

Next, think about the assets that you'll be providing the client. The more assets you provide them, the more time the project will take. And once you have an idea of what to charge hourly, the amount of time you spend creating them will give you a rough estimate of the project's overall cost.

It's also a good idea to ask the client what kind of budget they have in mind. This will help you factor in how many deliverables you're willing to offer within their range.

 

3. Timeline

Does the client expect a project turnaround of a few days, weeks, or months? Typically, you can charge more for a faster turnaround. You'll also want to consider the amount of research you need to put into a project before you begin.

If you're not sure how long a project will take, you might consider using an hourly range. For example, let's say you want to make $40/hr, and the lowest you'll go is $20/hr. You suspect a project will take anywhere from 20-25 hours. So, use an $Hourly x Time equation, and round up the hours to get the closest amount in your range.

In this scenario, you'd be charging at least $500, where the lowest you'll work for ($20) is multiplied by the max time spent (25 hours). This way, if you only end up working 20hrs, you're still within your $20-40/hourly price range.

 

4. Amount of revisions/edits

You'll want to be transparent as to how many revisions/edits your project package includes. Further, be clear if you or the client will be dictating that. In many cases, clients might not be aware of what's considered a "revision". This is especially true if you're in the graphic design or illustration industries.

On the other hand, you might find yourself wanting to placate the client by making a revision anyway, despite it being outside of the scope. Stick to your guns by setting clear expectations from the beginning, and have a backup plan in the case additional revision requests do arise.

 

5. Ownership & usage

More exposure equates to more value. If you're working on a project with a bigger client, consider whether or not your assets will be global, used one time, or as a part of their brand. Additionally, will you be handing over the rights to the assets, or keeping them for yourself? Typically you can charge a little more for the client to purchase the asset from you.

 

6. Presenting a pricing model/proposal

Sometimes clients prefer to know all of their options, so it's best to present them with different scenarios. For example, if you're a photographer, you might offer one price that includes photo styling and another that doesn't.

Try out a "tiered" system, similar to the way a subscription-based service works. I personally create 3 different pricing scenarios for my clients, explicitly outlining what services each one includes.

 

How do you approach the money talk?
 

 
Time Management Tips for Creatives
 
 

Woah, did anyone else feel that? In just the blink of an eye, it's already March.

February was super busy for me. I did my taxes for the first time as a freelancer, tied up some administrative loose ends, and even traveled to Mexico!

But, being busy doesn't necessarily mean being productive.

Despite my personal life taking over, I still had to juggle client projects, and that got a little tricky. If you're struggling with time management, too, here's how I'm buckling down.

 
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Write shorter to-do lists

I used to write out super long to-do lists. Sometimes, they were over 10 tasks long! I never got to them all in one day, and ended up feeling defeated instead of organized.

Then, reality kicked in. I started writing lists of only 3 tasks, which felt much more manageable. Usually, it pertained to a client project, but sometimes it just meant sending an email.

I personally like to handwrite my to-do lists, but there are plenty of digital tools, like Asana, to help keep track of your milestones. In either case, try lessening your load to accomplish more.

 

Limit daily email use

Even after deactivating Facebook, I would instinctively type its URL into my browser bar. It took me months to break that muscle memory, and with technology literally in our pockets, there's no wonder why we default to it.

But studies show that checking your email constantly can do real damage. Now, I schedule times throughout the day to check my email: once at the beginning, middle, and end of my workday. Tools like Boomerang allow you to 'pause' your incoming email, to prevent an overflow of notifications.

 

Glorify your G-Cal

Call me a control freak, but I add everything to my Google Calendar–from my credit card bills to my yoga practice. If it's not on my calendar, it's not on my brain, and it's that much easier for me to lose track of my week.

I learned from working in the corporate world that calendars are crucial to staying on top of projects and visualizing your schedule. As a designer, part of me even nerds out on creating different color schemes between my personal, freelance, and financial calendars. The organizational opportunities are endless!

 

Dedicate your days

Similar to my to-do lists, I have a bad habit of trying to accomplish many different types of things in one day. For example, I would meet with a client, then work on a blog post, then finish up administrative tasks.

What I quickly learned was that shifting gears took a lot of effort. Where my head was going from abstract to creative to organizational, my ADD kicked in like no other, and at times, even set me back.

Now, I try to dedicate specific days to the type of task I want to accomplish. Usually, Mondays are Admin days, and I'll have 2 dedicated days for back-to-back client meetings. I still feel like I did what I needed to, but I'm spending less energy on switching between the many different hats I tend to wear.

 

What are your productivity and time-management tips?

 
Self-Care for Side Hustlers
 

In just a few days, I'll be traveling to Mexico for the first time. It'll also be my first yoga retreat, AND my first time outside the U.S!

But these past few months have been full of firsts for me. And new routines have made their way into my workweek as a result.

I've learned that sticking to a self-care regimen is just as important as staying motivated. And while I'm very excited to tune out for a week in paradise, I realize this option isn't available to everyone.

But, treating yourself in other ways can still be a priority.

This month, I'm focusing on #SelfCareForSideHustlers by sharing the self-care practices that I've found helpful, with hopes that you'll find them useful, too.
 

 

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Take breaks & eat your veggies

First and foremost, treat your body with the respect and the nourishment it deserves. This may seem like a no-brainer, but honestly it took me a while to get down.

I would spend hours at a time in front of the computer, wondering why my neck hurt. I skipped meals for the sake of finishing "just one more thing" and became confused when the quality of my work wasn't what I expected. I'd stay up way too late and feel groggy the next day, sacrificing my motivation to get a project done.

But I began to realize that prepping my meals in advance took the worry out of getting hungry mid-project. Taking breaks and sticking to a regular yoga practice mitigated the muscle pain caused by computer work. And instead of scrambling to fit all my client projects into one workday, scheduling out my content helped me get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

The point is, your body and mind rely on the care and attention you give it. Otherwise, you're the one who suffers the most.

TAKE ACTION: Start by picking at least one or two things you can do for your body a week—meal prep, meditation, exercise, etc.—and stick to it. My dear friend Laura LindaLou creates healthy, easy-to-meal-prep recipes that'll help get you through the week. And for a quick afternoon pick me up, I really enjoy Kait Hurley's #MoveandMeditate series, especially if you're working from home.

 

Set clear boundaries

Setting clear boundaries means knowing when to close your laptop and say, "that's all for now." You've already outlined better ways to treat your mind and body, so now comes the part where you actually follow through.

Developing clear boundaries can even improve other areas of your life, like balancing professional and personal relationships.

Knowing when to "call it" can give you structure by putting your mental and physical health first—which, as you already know, is paramount to your success.

TAKE ACTION: You might become more strict on what days you work and when you rest. Choose to eat your lunch away from your desk, if possible. Say "no" to posting on the weekend, and schedule client meetings during the week.

 

Create an intentional habit

With any luck, these new practices will eventually become your habits. But if you've already got a solid health plan in tact, you can still take deliberate steps to cheer yourself up.

TAKE ACTION: Pick something small that you want to do and try it every day, or at least a couple times a week. It could be as small as finding a new route home, drinking more water, or taking a walk.

 

Know when to ask for help

Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. We're all figuring this out as we go, and in my experience, creatives are always ready to provide insight about their hustle.

TAKE ACTION: Having trouble figuring out what to charge a client for a certain project? Reach out to creative communities that are doing similar work, and ask for advice. You can also seek out free or affordable resources, like YouTube or Skillshare, for introductions to the myriad of subjects relevant to you. 

 

Know when to be selfish

On the flip side, know when you need to say no. The reality is, we think a lot about other people's needs when we work with clients, making sure to meet or exceed their expectations. But there's no reason why you should stop thinking about yourself in the process.

TAKE ACTION: Sometimes it can be difficult to give ourselves permissions to do this. After a long day, going to that networking event won't be worth it if you're tired and cranky. Keep your boundaries in mind and know when to protect yourself from yourself.

 

Revisit your why

When you feel the urge to give up (and you will), revisit your why. There is a reason why freelancing was attractive to us in the first place. Either a love for the craft, ability to work for yourself, or making your own schedule are all valid reasons to continue doing what we do. But of course, there are times when we might feel like we're in a little bit over our head.

When self-doubt comes out to play, you have two choices. You can either let them take over by giving up, or push through them and keep trying. Most commonly, remembering your intentions will help you make that decision.

TAKE ACTION: Think about what motivates you. Journaling, creative mapping, or creating a mood board can help with this. Personally, I like to write encouragement on post-it notes and hide them throughout my workspace as a nice surprise when I'm getting burnt out or feeling down.

 

Switch off

Every now and again it's nice to get out of the world wide web. Did you know that recent research links excessive use of social media to many different mental health issues, including increased anxiety, depressive thoughts, and a reduced attention span? This means that the stress you're feeling during the week could simply be from scrolling through your Instagram!

TAKE ACTION: Once a week, I try to remove myself from social media by turning off my phone for a few hours to take care of things, albeit a bath or a project. On weekdays, I set a social media bedtime, shutting down all devices by 10pm. You might consider turning off notifications, or deleting apps from your phone entirely, as a method to switch off and regroup.

 
 
New Year, New Resume
 

Last month, I had the pleasure of joining Alchemy Code Lab to discuss modern resume practices with their students. Many of them were either re-entering the workforce after a long hiatus, or switching careers entirely, so it was important to highlight the current practices that'll get them noticed. 

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Here are some of those #ProfessionalProfileBuilding skills I shared:

 

Introduce yourself

If you still have an "Objective" on your resume, it's time to pull the trigger on that delete key. Modern employers obviously assume you want a job at their company, or any job for that matter, if you're applying to one.

Instead, consider showcasing an "About" section that highlights your professional interest, and a "Key Skills" area that outlines your expertise. These should be listed at the top of your resume, and depending on the job, in lieu of your Education. You'll want to keep them short and sweet—at 1-2 sentences or bulleted form—and emphasize only the skills most relevant to the position.

 

Do your research

The company will expect you to have done some internet stalking. Read their blog posts, sift through hashtags, and peruse their mission statement because guess what? They're definitely doing the same to you.

Their culture, brand, and values will resonate deeply throughout their online presence—and if it doesn't, that should tell you something, too. This information will come in handy later when you sit down to craft your resume:  Not only will you have a better idea of what they're looking for, but you'll get a peek into what kind of company you'd be working for.

You'll also realize the aspects to your experience that aren't relevant, and make more room on your resume for the good stuff (read: stuff that'll get you hired). Keep your friends close and, especially, become familiar with who might hire you.

 

Identify common values

Now that you've done your research, you should be able to interpret how the company talks about themselves and what they do. Does their personality seem cut and dry, or a little quirky? Do they consider themselves progressive, or passionate, or both?

From here, try to match that tone and language. For instance, if they seem focused on progressive thinking, consider re-phrasing your "management" experience as "innovation" and "leadership".

Likewise, if your previous experience seems irrelevant to the job, go back to your Key Skills section and pick out a few that your new employer would find desirable. Then, think about the ways you embodied that skill in your previous work. You can use that verbiage to describe the everyday job duties for that role.

I once had a client applying for a Project Management position, but his experience was in Art Gallery Curating, Customer Service, and Puppeteering (quite an unlikely combo). We successfully identified three qualifications across each job type: time management, communication, and collaboration—all valuable skills for any Project Manager to possess.

 

Keep it consistent

Attention to detail is a desirable trait in any potential employee, and your professional profile is the first giveaway as to whether or not you have it.

Make sure fonts, spacing, bolding, and colors are cohesive. Most importantly, check for typos, spelling, and grammar. I also suggest that my clients keep the order in which they're presenting information cohesive. For example, you'll almost always want to list your position first, then the employer, then the location and dates worked there. Here's an example:
 

Job TitleEmployer Name ∙ CITY, STATE ∙ Aug. 2011 - Present


In the above example, note that bolding the job title and italicizing the employer's name should be the case for every employer you list. Consider this formatting the "template" when listing out your previous experience. Not only does this demonstrate you put time and effort into your work, but it will also help the employer navigate that information you're presenting.

 

Customize & personalize

Now that you have the tools for crafting a professional profile, you'll want to rinse and repeat those steps for every job you apply to.

Each resume and cover letter you submit to a potential employer should be unique, and you may not like to hear this, but cookie-cutter resumes are a thing of the past. Companies can see right past a generic resume, and if their recruiters don't, applicant tracking systems will.

Although time-consuming, tailoring a resume and cover letter to the unique needs of each company and position will demonstrate a willingness to succeed along with a familiarity that can help you stand out from hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants. Remember that the time you put into something is directly correlated to what you get out of it—which, in this case, is hopefully a job.

 

It might seem overwhelming, but I'm here to help! Get in touch for assistance with your professional profile.

 
5 Tools to Improve Your Technological Health
 

Social media can be exhausting. Recent research links excessive use of social media to many different mental health issues, including increased anxiety, depressive thoughts, and a reduced attention span. But when 78% of the U.S. population uses social media, how do we find balance between checking up on grandma and getting lost in an endless scroll?
 

I recently returned to Facebook after a year-long hiatus, and found that a significant break was the only way I could re-evaluate my overindulgence. Feeds and timelines are designed to suck you in, sometimes keeping you there for hours (guilty). But the way you choose to react to them can, and should be, entirely up to you.


If you're struggling with sleep, distraction, or productivity issues, here are some tools and general tips for social media moderation that I've found useful, both as a professional and a human.

 
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f.lux

f.lux is an app that helps regulate the color of your computer's display to align with circadian timing. When your body's circadian rhythm is out of whack, meaning when it's not abiding by the biological process our ancestors used to determine when to wake up and when to sleep (i.e the sun), it can result in health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and fatigue. Studies also indicate that blue light specifically affects the production of melatonin, and can cause sleep issues, further disrupting your circadian rhythm.


Luckily, f.lux changes that blue-ish hue of your screen to match the time of day - so it automatically adjusts to the circadian rhythm of your surroundings, depending on where you live. Some devices now have this feature built-in, but if yours doesn't, you can download f.lux here.

 

buffer

I cringe when I see a group of people out to dinner and they're all face down in a screen. Or when they're on the bus, ignoring the city literally passing them by. Or in the street, when they're about to run into you.

Buffer can schedule those social media-worthy experiences while you live in the moment. So when #foodporn strikes, you can share it with your family before you share it on Facebook. This is really helpful if, like me, you rely on social media for a professional online presence, but also want to have a presence IRL. Try it out here.

 

Pomodone

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo, named after the tomato shaped timer he used in college. Its underlying principle is that when tasks are spaced out in increments, specifically 25 minute periods, mental agility can improve and burnout is reduced.


The PomoDone app syncs with your project management tool - Trello, Slack, or JIRA, for instance - and a timer is installed to that app. Visually, you'll see the amount of time you're spending on a task, and PomoDone can also block certain websites while you work on it. If you're finding it difficult to avoid checking Reddit ceaselessly throughout your workday, PomoDone may be the answer.

 

Deleting social apps from your phone


I know you aren't going to like this one, but it's probably the most obvious, right? We might default to checking social media when driving, in the grocery store checkout line, or in the waiting room at your therapist's office. Without availability, you might just spark a conversation with an actual human instead. If you're feeling an overload, try bringing a book with you, or leaving your feed at home when you go for a walk.
 

Setting a social media bedtime

Setting boundaries for myself has been crucial to improving my technological well-being. When Instagram feels as habitual as brushing my teeth in the morning, I knew I had to sleep with my phone across the room instead. I set a phone bedtime for 10pm. Some studies indicate that the mere presence of a device in your bed outside of sleeping hours can affect sleep patterns, further compromising the impact on your circadian rhythm and ultimately, your life. If you really want to get serious about your social media consumption, you may want to prioritize some similar boundaries of your own.
 

In what ways do you moderate your social media intake?

 

 
Forgiving Your Creative Self
 

In her book You Are A Badass, Jen Sincero  describes ways "to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life." I know, I know. It's super cliche right? She admits it too. But after a while, it gets less annoying.
 

One chapter that really matters is "Forgive or Fester." The idea is that as humans, we're pretty reluctant to experiencing pain, like when we avoid catching on fire. Except occasionally, that fire might be an emotional rage, and we watch it burn anyway. She explains that when holding onto resentments, "we pick at the emotional scabs and refuse to let the healing happen." I've personally found this sentiment to be true, and certainly when pursuing creative endeavors.
 

Like-mindedly, Julia Cameron describes what she calls the "Artist Child", referring to the early days of creation that aren't easy or pretty. In The Artist's Way she writes, "baby steps will follow and there will be falls," and I think the same goes for tantrums.
 

So now we've acknowledged this internal kid that likes fire and has a temper. How can we channel that energy to serve, instead of hurt us?
 

 
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Beginning to consider yourself an artist (or even a creative person) is a really self-promotey and vulnerable concept. Maybe you have experienced this in other moments throughout your life: being interviewed, giving a presentation, picking the restaurant for a group of five. If you could relive any position where you've put yourself on display for others, emphasizing certain parts for them to focus on, and then hope you get all the lines right, it probably doesn't feel great. Thoughts like, "why bother, I suck. No one will even like this painting!!1!" could sound familiar.
 

But at this point, you've already identified those voices as the silly child that doesn't know any better. Of course they want to light shit up and get angry when they can't, you do too!
 


The moment you decide to forgive and let your negative feelings melt away, you are on the road to freedom.
Jen Sincero, You are a Badass

If you're learning a new instrument, medium, or trying to get out of an artistic funk, you'll likely point out all the things you're not doing right before you keep doing it wrong with the band aid on. Introduce the idea of "forgiving" the Artist Child for having the tantrum in the first place, and it's easy to view those thoughts as an earlier version of you. You might also realize that:
 

It's okay to suck.


Being bad at something means that there's a pretty good chance you'll get better at it, should you stick with it.


Allowing ourselves to be unsure (read: curious) grants us the opportunity to explore our creativity without judgement.


We begin to view our creative selves as a process, as another part of growing up, and not as the end result.
 

What are some things you're trying not to suck at?

 

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Sources cited:

 
Making a Hobby Out of Getting Rid of Sh*t
 

Tidying up is hard.


Sometimes stuff sits in your closet for so long that the piles become a part of your peripheral, and you don't even notice they're there anymore. What if you need that rusty pair of pliers? What about the abandoned buttons, traveling like nomads amongst coins and bobby pins, found in your old jacket's pockets? I'll probably, definitely sew them onto that pair of tattered jeans at the bottom of my storage bin... right?
 

If, like me, you've been on a cleaning frenzy lately, it's likely you've read (or at least heard of) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. She tackles the idea of organizing, keeping, and discarding things with one simple rule of thumb: Does the object spark joy?
 

Seriously, it's that easy. If the thing makes you happy then you keep that thing. If the thing has served it's purpose in already making you happy at one point in time, you thank that thing for the joy it sparked and keep going.


What about the things that don't spark joy at all? There's no reason to hold onto things that no longer (or ever did) serve their purpose to make us happy. Why didn't anyone think of this sooner?
 

I had already employed this kind of approach when I decided to move to Portland because, like KonMari, I had to. Where the KonMari method limits us to the question "Does this item spark joy?", I was limited in other ways.


I had to consider "Will this fit in my car? Is this thing necessary?" It's surprising that most of the stuff I thought I "needed", I didn't.
 

But, this process was made even more difficult for me personally in the face of grief. Not only had I decided to move to Portland, cleaning out an entire 3 years worth of accumulated crap between 4+ roommates, but I was also dumped with my dad's stuff while helping my mom downsize. And let me tell you, anyone who has ever had to sort through the things their deceased loved ones have previously touched or cherished will understand how monumental of a task this is.


I remember laying everything out in my dining room. Every book, CD, elementary school report card, hair straightener, vase, dish, record, piece of clothing, bike accessory, kitchen item, candle. Towards the end, our house was a biohazard, and I had become, if I wasn't already, a crazed person.
 

I found myself obsessed with purging, packing little by little into boxes, sifting through carefully, thinking "sure this will fit", "this is nearly half of the books I own, it shouldn't be too heavy." "I'll definitely need a salad spinner."
 

Of course, this happened in waves. I nearly always had boxes for my friends to go through when they came over. I started blasting co-workers, social media and Craigslist, even hollering at neighbors to come over and take my stuff. Free piles were weekly if not daily occurrences, taking things out as often as I took out my trash. I also came to know Tonto, the Waverly Goodwill worker, pretty well. But the more I went through, the more I realized I STILL had too much stuff. This went on until the day that I left Maryland, abandoning wooden spoons and spatulas on my mother's front lawn.
 

With that being said, sure, there were things that I needed to replace when I got here. But for the most part, I already owned things that were special to me: two pots my mom had in her first apartment, a vintage oven mitt that I found on my 23rd birthday, my dad's hunting knife and waterproof matches, to name a few.


Now that I'm moving in with a partner, naturally there's a lot of...stuff. Not only do I have to revisit the KonMari methods, but now I have some experience under my belt.
 

I highly recommend checking out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, especially if you're looking to create space for happiness in your life. But here are a couple key tips about tidying up that I've gathered from my own experience, as well:

 
 

1. It's okay to not be ready to let go!

If you are grieving (a loved one, a relationship, a past life), it's likely you aren't in the right mindset to make big decisions about what to get rid of quite yet. This is okay.

Don't get rid of things because you feel that you have to, or because they are negative reminders of what was. That could very likely change in six months. In the midst of my own grief, I don't necessarily regret getting rid of what I did, but I do wish I had given myself more time to decide to get rid of it. Go easy, take it in waves, and don't make impulsive emotional decisions.

 
 

2. Sell, Sell, Sell

I wish I had done more yard sales. Now, when I go through my things I'm ready to give up, I take that stuff straight to Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange. I'm sure you'll be able to find your own local consignment shop that you enjoy.

I don't even care about the cash: I'm all about that store credit, which certainly helps when I find other things that spark joy.

 
 

3. Clothing Swaps

This was a regular occurrence in Baltimore that I wish I could find more of in Portland, so I put one together myself a few weeks ago. I invited friends over who brought their own things, and some didn't bring any at all.

After making careful decisions about each and every item, and attempting to sell it for store credit, this was my last resort. The best part? It's free!


What are some of your favorite methods for tidying up? How do you make room for happiness in your life?

 

Sources cited:

 
Why I'm Not Upset All My Friends Are Leaving
 

This summer I've had two good friends move away. One of them decided to embark on a completely new journey in a foreign country, and the other is continuing along a journey they've already started.
 

When your friend leaves with little to no reason, you can't really help but feel sad or worry that you won't get to use the Lush products they leave in your bathroom. You might even think that their decision is foolish, especially if they don't really have much of a plan. They may not even know if it's the right thing to do.
 

But let's face it: is there ever really a moment in our lives where we know exactly what it is we'll need or where we'll be in a year? In six months? If you can predict what kind of mental, emotional, or physical state you'll be in within that timeframe, I call bullshit.
 

We're all under this grandiose illusion that everyone follows a particular direction or chooses one path of life over another because we already know exactly how we're going to come out of it.
 

You go to college to be a teacher to make money to buy a house to support your kids and we know it's going to work out that way.
 

The truth is, no, we don't.
 

Instead, we take a gamble. We do what feels right at the time, or we do what other people think we should do, or we do nothing at all because we don't think we can. And we're completely making it up as we go.
 

Time isn't linear, and the moment you realize that, you'll see we're all on this big ball of water, bouncing off of each other and trying on different versions of ourselves until our lungs or heart or liver stop and then we're probably doing the same shit in meta-land somewhere else.
 

If you had told me a year ago that I would be living in Portland thousands of miles away from home with a steady job, a cozy apartment, and less student debt I would have woken you up from the dream you were in.
 

Or if you said that I wouldn't end up going to law school after all, my blood would boil from outlining all the ways that I'd prove you wrong.
 

I learned that my dad wouldn't be alive to watch me get married or have children or that I might not even want to get married or have children at all through actual life experience, not from the ideation of it.
 

I didn't know a single person here and I didn't look for an apartment or a job in advance. People told me it was idiotic, I was making a bad call, that I shouldn't do it. But I listened to what I felt was right for me, and now I'm the most content I've ever been.
 

That's why when Erin came to me with the news that she was moving to teach English in South Korea, I didn't feel sad. And that's why when Isaac told me he's moving to Brooklyn, I didn't try talk him out of it.
 

I'm actually happy that they're not going to be around, not because I don't enjoy their company, but because I know they're moving on with their lives for reasons that I can't and don't expect to understand.
 

So in the defense of adventurers: let's stop this guilt-tripping of people for our personal benefit, shall we? I don't care if you don't think I should've moved because of an imminent earthquake that will eventually destroy everything I love. And I don't need any warning about the influx of Portland housing prices over the next 5 years. Those things won't affect my decision-making because I also don't care that you're not brave enough to follow your own gut.
 

Instead of hassling me over what you think I should do, why don't we embrace the fact that if you're an intelligent, responsible adult, you can (and should) make your own decisions based on what feels good to you? And maybe then you'll even start making some decisions that are also good for other people.
 

I'm overwhelmingly proud that my friends continue to surprise me by pursuing new aspirations and by presenting themselves with challenges that no one else agrees with. But I'll still take a phone call every now and then.

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