My office hours are from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. I don’t know what other twentysomethings are doing, maybe they’re drinking or living colorful love lives or sleeping or not sleeping because they are longing for something. Though I could find out on Facebook, I cannot entertain the distraction. I don’t have time to figure that out because I have work to do.
I got my first client by accident. My brother told his coworker that I was good with words; she was looking for someone to help get her memoir together. I remember the look on her face when she handed me her manuscript, an emotion-soaked compilation of stories from journals she’d kept since childhood. She trusted me to help her tell her story. I felt nervous and excited by the great task before me. You could call her my first client, but in the course of the three years that we’ve been writing and revising, she has become one of my best friends.
I am most moved by honesty. In honesty I find wisdom, which is why I fall in love with the words written in true stories and testimonies. This is my niche. I help people tell their true stories. My second official client was a friend of mine. I took great pride in helping her tell her survival story because I knew how much it meant to her. For a while I didn’t even invoice her because I didn’t know what to charge. It took a long time for me to create a client rate card, because the work that I do I enjoy doing and it doesn’t feel like work at all. It feels like living. I wouldn’t even charge if I didn’t feel like my time was valuable.
When I come home from the day-job I pick up my daughter around 5:30 or 6 p.m. from her afterschool program. Thank God for that. On a good week I’ll go to the gym once or twice, which delays dinner. Sometimes I cook, sometimes, well, most of the time we find something to eat from a fast-casual seemingly healthy place. We land on the couch at about 7/7:30 p.m. From there we have about an hour together to discuss school, friendships, do homework and catch some age-appropriate Disney channel program before we start running bathwater. No day is complete without bath time conversation. No matter what I’m doing she wants me to stop it, sit on the toilet and discuss the pink bubbles or the newest frienemy. She expects me not to hand her the towel, but to wrap her in it and hug her tight. We read most nights, then pray and I usually fall asleep next to her. This is invaluable time. I can’t put a price on these hours these days. Before I know it she’ll be out with friends, asking to go to the mall or anywhere but next to me so innocent and loveable. So honest.
So for now I work from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. or until whenever I get finished.