I Wonder What Happened To…

I haven’t been freelancing much lately. I took on a 9-5 day job that leaves less time for a side hustle. It’s fine. I wasn’t very good at collecting payment anyway and I like this job because it reliably pays me twice a month. Since winter is coming, the idea of having a roof over my head trumps the urge to freelance right now.

I like freelancing. Being my own boss, setting my own hours, picking and choosing who to work with. But I love getting paid as a freelancer. That was always the hardest part: finding paying gigs. And by “paying” I mean pays more than minimum wage. I mean really? .01 cents a word? What the hell is that? Then, if I could find a reasonably paying gig (or one that accepted my rates because I’m not cheap), I would invoice them and wait and wait and wait and wait. I usually ended up never collecting. It’s a pain in the ass to try and sue or turn it over to collections. So, I would let it go and chalk it up to the sucky side of freelancing.

Every now and then, I wonder about these people that never paid me. Did their business continue? Was it just a pipe dream? Was it all just a scam to see how much they could make me do? I’ll probably never know. I’ve chalked it up to a learning experience (which, I’m told, is priceless). Now I’m far better at picking clients. But it’s also why I have a day job.

I was out and about for said day job and saw a sign for one of my old clients (who owes me money. See? Bad at collecting) for a new location for his business. Good for him, I thought. He actually did manage to stay solvent. Bravo. I was curious how well he was doing and decided to Google him. I wasn’t going to hound him for the money. I really was curious. See, the last time I did work for him he was running said business out of his parents’ basement. Whatever. I don’t judge. It was working for him.

The first result told me he had opened a place above ground. The second result told me that not long after I fired him for non-payment (that sounds much better than I never got paid and blew him off) he was arrested. For solicitation. And running a prostitution ring out of the business in the basement of Mom and Dad.

Yikes.

I won’t go into details, but he did some time and just finished his probation a few months ago. It’s not really a sense of closure, but at least now I know why he didn’t pay me. And I’m glad he didn’t want to barter. I don’t think I’ll be chasing this payment. He’s got other things to worry about.

I’m going to take a shower now.

The Trouble with Hope

The trouble with Hope is that it’s always there. Lurking. Skulking around in the background, waiting for you to come and get it. Like when you start to wish again. To dream. To Hope. Sometimes, it doesn’t even wait for you. It just shows up. And Hope whispers in your ear, “It’s going to get better. I swear.”

The trouble with Hope is that it makes you believe that better and brighter days can happen. They will happen. Hope said it will. What’s coming up is going to make things all right again. The past can be forgotten – undone even. You can move forward and through and it’s all water under the bridge.

Hope tells you everything will be all right. Because it’s coming. It really is. You just have to Hope a little more. Believe a little more. Doesn’t matter what you do or say. You just have to Hope. Maybe you have to Hope a little harder, even. But keep Hoping because it will happen.

That’s what Hope promises. Good things are going to happen. Eventually.

But when they don’t happen, well… Is it because you didn’t Hope hard enough? You didn’t want it bad enough. Didn’t believe enough? No one can say for sure. Because Hope is a funny thing. Maybe this wasn’t the right time, Hope says. Maybe next time it will be better. Just keep Hoping.

That’s the trouble with Hope. It’s always around. Promising you something better is maybe coming up really, really soon. You just have to keep Hoping. Because eventually, you might get there. So, Hope fades into the background again, waiting, lurking, skulking. Waiting for you to wish and dream again. To Hope.