It's been just over two years that I moved to Portland and started working remotely. I remember being so excited by the the thought of working from home. But as more time passes, I realize that it's not all it's cracked up to be and it's not for everyone.
Yes, it's awesome that I can literally roll out of bed and turn on my computer thus getting the maximum hours of sleep possible. It's amazing that I don't have to pay for transportation to work or spend time commuting to an office. It's incredible that I can stay in my PJ's all day if I wanted to and spend the day with Nessa by my side. It's pretty cool that I don't have to worry about buying "work" clothes and it's really nice to have the freedom to work from anywhere - my apartment, a cafe, another state. These are all really wonderful things. But I'd be lying if I said that some of it has come at a cost.
I didn't quite realize it was happening. The weekend would come and it felt weird putting a pair of jeans on because I had been wearing sweat pants all week long. Sometimes there would be days that I wouldn't even look in the mirror to see what I looked like before heading out to walk Nessa or grab a coffee from the bakery down the street. I got so comfortable sitting in my apartment, having morning shows on mute, that although I knew changing up my scenery would only benefit me, I just got lazy. The work days that I would literally not talk to anyone all day really got to me. I was in a bubble and I realized that the one thing that energized me most - connecting with people, in person - was not part of my daily work life.
Aside from the whole emotional aspect of working remotely, there's the physical one too - not taking the time to get myself together and look presentable because I really don't have to when I'm not going to see anyone. Again, this is a great thing on days when you just. don't. feel. like. it. But, it has an effect - looking your best does help to make you feel your best. When I think back to me in my early 20's working my first jobs in NYC. I was really put together (at least from what I remember). My hair was always "on point" as one of my exes always say. I would take the time every other day to blow dry it and then flat iron it. I planned my work outfits out in advance. Not only that, I would also plan out my accessories and would have certain earrings or bracelets for certain outfits. I know a lot of people accessorize and take pride in how they look each day and I think that's, in general, a good thing. And this is exactly my point - I've come so far from that.
This is especially apparent on nights like tonight when I'm packing for a trip. The idea of wearing anything that doesn't have an elastic waistband has become so foreign to me and the thought of planning out four days of actual outfits from my current wardrobe seems ridiculously time-consuming and nearly impossible. Thank goodness for technology and 21-year old cousins - I spent over an hour on FaceTime with my little cousin trying on clothes and taking in her recommendations for pants, skirts, tops, earrings, bracelets, bags, and which items were appropriate to wear at certain times of day. My bag is packed... and I'm exhausted from the whole process.
I bring up all of these emotional and physical aspects of working remotely because today I also had a conversation with my boss about staying on for another year and I know it's something I really, really need to think about carefully. My decision will affect the timing of the future of my business, whatever it may be, and will also require me to take on some kind of new perspective on working remotely. Perfect timing for a solo trip.
from a distance; without physical contact.
in the slightest degree.
About the photo: this is from my apartment's rooftop just a month or so ago. It's a reminder to me of how important it is to change up the scenery.