I’m a Big Kid Now…Making the Transition from Couch to Chair

Women in Tech

[Although this post isn’t specifically about how to do online marketing, some of you may be able to relate to where we often do our online marketing…]

For the past two years I’ve worked from the comfort of my comfy Jerusalem apartment. And it was awesome.

Sort of.

For those of you who haven’t seen The Oatmeal’s comic on why working from home is both awesome and horrible (warning: highly NSFW), it offers some pretty decent insight as to why my life was marginally fabulous up to this point.

It was endless loads of fun working in my jammie jams. There’s nothing I love more than working in complete and utter squalor, because I don’t have to clean up. Because I don’t have to see a single. Other. Human. Being. If I don’t want to. (Except for my poor husband, who stayed with me throughout the complete and utter degradation of my personal hygiene and social skills. Gd bless, honey.) Eating my meals on the couch. Taking naps on the couch. Basically, never, ever leaving the couch. Singing off-key in accompaniment to my music (on the couch), which I could do because I was the only one listening.

But after a few months, the awesome wore off. I was lonely. I was bored. I was growing incapable of carrying on a conversation with other human beings. Eating potato chips and cottage cheese for lunch every day started getting old. My muscles began to atrophy. (Quite literally – I actually needed physical therapy to get myself in working order again.) And the worst part was that I was comfortable. I got to set my own hours every day. I never had to leave the house. I never had to coordinate an outfit, or wear something nice to a meeting. Hell, I never had to wear the bottom half of my jammie jams.

Life wasn’t good, and it wasn’t gratifying. But it was very, very adequate. “Adequate”, however, proved to be insufficient. As I grew more unhappy, I became more open to the idea of something different than a complete lack of day-to-day socialization and general mental health. So when I was offered the opportunity to work from an office, sure, I balked. But I was also semi-excited.

At the beginning of August 2012, I started working at the illuminea office with real people. Real people who expected me to answer questions and respond to comments in real time, instead of ignoring the blinky chat until I felt like it.

I won’t lie. I spent a good quantity of time in front of the mirror at home, practicing my facial expressions, making sure they matched what I was saying. And conversing casually with my reflection. You know…small talk.

“How was your weekend?”

“How was your weekend?”

“How was your weekend?”

Slowly but surely, I began relearning the art of conversation. (And make no mistake, it is an art. Abstract though it may be…get it? Art pun!!) I started wearing real clothing. (As real as it gets in Israel…T-shirts and jeans are as dressy as it gets for a wedding, not to speak of an office.) My singing stopped, although that seems to have translated into awkward little dance moves in my swivel chair instead.

While it wasn’t exactly the easiest transition back into civilization, it was a necessary one. While I can’t exactly walk around the office bottomless, I’m feeling much more like a whole person than I have over the past 2+ years. I have to meet with clients face-to-face, and I have to formulate complete sentences – sometimes several times a day. But I’m proud to say that I’m a big kid now. (Cue inspirational music.)