Going back to something after you have decided to go in another direction rings so hollow. It's like when you break up with someone, then you go out again. It can never be the same or as good as it once was. That's how I have felt for the past three months. After I decided to change careers, an old client came calling. Against my wife's advice, I took this short programming gig just to save up some cash. As Glenn Frey sang, "It's the lure of easy money, it's got a very strong appeal."
While these few months have been lucrative, I have been miserable. I've never been a shiny, happy person, but my mood has darkened considerably. I don't think my wife could bear another month of me like this. Certain family members haven't helped--they insinuate that I'm doing this because I failed in my new career when in fact, I had yet to really begin.
My body has suffered, too. For the first few weeks, I maintained and even intensified my exercise regimen, but that soon went down the tubes. And while I haven't abandoned my diet completely, I'm eating larger portions more frequently, and I've gained ten pounds. Incidentally, I never considered myself to be much of a "stress eater" before. The nail-biting habit that I had kicked has returned with a vengeance, too. The thing is, my client hasn't really put me under a lot of stress--it's all coming from within. I haven't been true to myself.
The only good thing to come out of this is that it strengthens my resolve to do something else. I've been talking the talk about being a freelance copywriter long enough; it's time to walk the walk. My client wants me to come back in 2005, but I won't make this mistake a second time. Today is my last day of earning a living as a computer programmer.