The other day someone asked me what it felt like, jumping from a steady, stable day job into a fresh start as a freelancer. My answer? So far, it feels a lot like diving headfirst into a pool of freezing water, right in the middle of winter. I’ve plunged from the warm security of a full-time, corporate job into the icy cold waters of freelance — and right now, my lips are a little blue.
When you take a dive like this, it's a shock at first - of course it is. I knew that before I ever even stuck a toe in the water. But here’s what else I know: My temperature will adjust. As long as I keep swimming, my body will continue to warm. The harder I work, the more comfortable I’ll feel.
Before I know it, getting out of this pool will seem impossible. The water will seem too warm and cozy to abandon. Just lifting one hand from the deep to feel the air around me will leave my fingers frosty.
For the moment, I’m treading water. An amateurish dog-paddle and my trusty water wings are all that keep me from sinking. But pretty soon, I’ll ditch the floaties and start swimming on my own. I’ll keep at it, lap after lap, and before you know it, I’ll be swimming the 100-meter medley without ever even taking a breath.
Yes, my teeth are chattering a little right now. But it’s only a matter of time before I give Michael Phelps a real run for his money.
Blythe Jewell is a mom, wife, and freelance writer/editor based out of Austin, Texas.You can find her sometimes hilarious, always off-color, insanely unpopular blog The Bean at http://www.themusicalfruit.net/.