You may find that a lot of people around you assume certain things about you. They may expect that you have a regular paycheck. They may expect that you have an employer paid health insurance. They may expect that you won’t be available to watch a movie on a weekday afternoon, because you will be at the office. They may expect you will be willing to go to a movie on a weekend afternoon, because you will have the weekend off. They may think you are sick if you were found in bed during daytime on a weekday. They may expect you to be employed. Have you taken a walk at 3pm on a weekday and felt that you are expected to be behind a desk and not strolling through a park?
These expectations make us think that we are expected to be employed. However harboring this thought makes you blind to the bigger picture. It keeps you from imagining your life outside a 9-to-5 job.
This is especially true, if you are a kind of person who did well in studies and immediately got into a job to become financially self-reliant. After that you tried to keep employed at one job or another.
To imagine a life without a job, it’s necessary to spend some time in your life being unemployed. It feels unusual in the beginning. Sometimes frightening, because now you don’t have a safety net. But you soon realize you may not need it after all.
It has to be said that a 9-to-5 job is a commonplace ritual in our society and it has the advantages that any ritual has. It keeps you going when you are lost. Living life without a regular employment expands your horizons a lot, but soon you become aware of the void that’s beyond them. It makes you prone to periodic anxieties. You enjoy the new freedom the most when you have a favorite project to work on. But when things are not going well, feelings of loneliness and being left out are common. It takes a while to dig deeper into these anxieties and address the insecurities that are at their root. Those are the times when one morning you wake up wishing you had a ritual like everyone else you know.
However having spent last four years without a job I’m glad to be living the life with almost no restrictions, however scary it might get some times.