Ads 468x60px

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Squatting, Freelancing, And Other Existentials

Merry Belated Christmas! Hope Santa brought you tons of goodies.
I don't know about you, but I've been going insane the last few days. (Maybe it's some kind of pre-new-year jitters.) Apart from making TONS of lists: bucket list, travel list, resolutions list, shopping list, blogging list, etc., I also told you I’ve been doing research on ways to travel cheap, preferably involving making some extra cash. So far I’ve got: au pair, volunteering, teaching English, and house-sitting.

The links above lead to pretty good resources I found on the web! :)
A more radical alternative is... "squatting" in the UK. (No, it's not what you think.) It’s fascinating! Did you know that homeless people, recent graduates, and even artsy types tired of conventional living make an escape in these hippy-like communities? Squatting is when a group of people live in an abandoned property on the territory of the UK. Mostly around London… and Scotland, I think.
I have to mention here that I’ve got a very good friend who used to squat until recently. She’s a very bright girl, it’s just that she’s the typical free-loving, festival-going, hitchhiking, couch-surfing, bohemian, and overall Phoebe type. You know the type. I bet you’ve a friend like that, and don't you just love them!

So I was looking at some photos from squats. I can’t really share any of those because I’ve no right to, so I just included a general kind of image above. But I have to say, it captures the spirit. Now, squatting has been a pain in England’s hiney for a while, and until recently the police could not really arrest anyone based on that alone because it wasn’t an actual crime. That is, until September 2012. 
I think sometime in October the police arrested their first squatter!
I have to say that I don’t get why it’s such a problem. Granted, property owners can’t be too happy about someone living in their neglected property, but it’s not like the squatters won’t leave if the owners decide to renovate it or something. Squatters are always on the move anyway, like gypsies. 
I guess that’s part of the appeal: the “living on the edge” part. I get that...
But I mean, would YOU live like that? Why / why not? 
So not wanting to end up squatting, I've been looking into freelancing. Now, freelancing isn’t really my favorite thing to do. To be honest, I like to spend my free time networking, blogging, and doing my own projects: the ones I am passionate about. I need to connect with people, not just do technical stuff like writing copy or editing or blogging about stuff that doesn’t interest me. When I do that, I feel like I’m working all day long. I’ve my day job, then my online job, so when do I relax?
In the long run, I need some kind of work-play balance to stay sane. We all do!
So if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I need to fit the world to match my needs, not vice versa. Sure, we all have to compromise, we can’t always have the best job, or the best house, or the best things, or the perfect relationships. But we shouldn’t compromise with the really important things.
I have the ability to compromise, but I can’t really do a job that’s boring to me. Whatever I do, I need it to be stimulating. It might not be my favorite thing, but at least I shouldn’t hate it! Case in point: I wanted to try copy writing, so I did earlier this year. I got paid and got complimented on my kick-ass writing skills, so that was enough for a while. After that, I realized that I hated it. With a passion.
I have nothing against copy writing. It’s just not my cup of tea.
Other than that, I used to do social media and article writing work on
Then I stopped… for the same reasons I pointed out before. You should know, that site is super active and new gigs pop up every day. There are tons of editing jobs, web design jobs, facebook jobs, and generally anything you can provide on a freelance basis. My favorite ones were the editing ones. Sometimes there would be a whole book needing more work (and involving more pay) but you have to have references and experience to get the best jobs and win the “bidding wars”. 
But in the end, I think, it’s about finding things you love to do. 
It’s also about finding things that help and challenge you in various ways. It’s about growing in your field of choice, or various fields for multi-passionate crazies like me. (I know you’re out there!) 
And it's about compromise... and ninja research skills.
And it's about not ending up sleeping in a room with twenty smelly people.
Yes, I am still stuck on squatting. Can you blame me? It's like the return of the 60's!
And hey, not all squatters have it bad. Some squat in million-dollar mansions! True story.