I've only been working as an animator on-site for about three weeks now and I'm not sure if I'm fit to describe the life as a professional animator yet, but here's some quick thoughts about what I've noticed so far.
First of all - I love it. There's no doubt whatsoever that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. There's no big surprises so far. I wanted to get into animation because as an animator I can direct my of own shots to a certain degree and at the same time being directed by the supervisor/director - I can perform without being on stage, well hidden behind the computer screen and finally and most important, I'm never done learning. There's always tons of space for growing and there will always be something new to learn about the craft, independent of where I am or what I'm working on.
As a newbie, I feel really slow, which can be frustrating (it's normal I guess), but it forces me to always try to search for ways to do stuff faster (preferably without sacrificing quality), which is cool! At the studio I'm sharing a room with five awesome people and their feedback is really helpful, but I wish I had more time to ask them for feedback and to make corrections based on it. The supervisor's feedback is really great though and I feel that I learn something new every single day!
On the private side, I just moved into a really nice apartment here in Hannover. Soon my wife will join me, which I'm really looking forward to. It's kinda lonely here without her :)