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Working for myself as a freelance translator has been a key factor to my becoming a responsible adult.
When I left home at 18, I just wanted to show I could hold down a job, pay my bills, and take care of my own needs. I never dreamt I’d be responsible enough to operate a one-woman business. Yet, here I stand!
My 20s were about impulsive living. I chose to live an artist’s life and move across the country to a city where I knew no one and take any work that I could find. It was great! I had colorful experiences and minimal responsibility. I simply followed the schedule managers set for me - coffee shops and restaurants and theaters - and occasionally asked for a weekend off two weeks in advance.
By 30, though, I realized I needed steady and long-term work. That was when I got my masters and honed my French skills. After that, I taught French, while I studied translation at Bellevue College. Then, when I started translating, I dove into it like any other job, only this time I created my own schedule and took work when it was available.
It only recently occurred to me that this career gave me a lot of responsibility!
If you’re thinking of being a translator, or even a freelancer in general, know that only you will make it work, no one else will do it for you. You must have determination, drive, and a good head on your shoulders. It will be worth it and will even make you a better person capable of inspiring others.