Work life balance is bullshit.
I don’t want to balance my work and life. I want to live them both at the same time.
I don’t want a brick wall between the work week and the weekend, so that when Friday night rolls around I consider myself FREE.
That’s not freedom.
Freedom is doing work that I love, no matter the day of the week. Work that wakes me up early on a Sunday morning to take notes about the dreams I’ve been having about a new project I’m working on.
I want to live in a world where it’s OK for me to go for a long walk in the middle of the day because my brain needs a break. Or work late into the night/early in the morning because those are the hours when I am most clear.
My favorite explanation of this idea is in Elle Luna's The Crossroads of Should and Must. In the book, Elle talks about her experience in discovering that Picasso's life and work overlapped in many ways—there was no concept of “balance” between the two.
In the Picasso biography Elle references, author Arianna Huffington talks more about this blurring of lines in Picasso’s life:
The more I discovered about his life and the more I delved into his art, the more the two converged. “It’s not what an artist does that counts, but what he is,” Picasso said. But his art was so thoroughly autobiographical that what he did was what he was.
I want that messiness.
I want my teammates to truly be my friends (not just acquaintances or “work friends” that I occasionally am forced to have drinks with because we should be socializing). I want us to all support each other no matter what we’re doing; whether it has to do with work or not.
I want to know more about my teammates than just what is relevant to their work during the day. Because it’s all relevant. If someone is going through a hard time at home, I want to help shoulder their burden. I want to be able to pick up the pieces they can’t carry by themselves, and be grateful knowing that they’d do the same for me if the situation were reversed.
I think I finally found a place like the magical dreamland I am describing. I know that it won’t all be rainbows and butterflies in the future (though it feels pretty great right now), but I do know that whatever issues may crop up, we'll solve them together. We will most definitely fight/argue/debate as we grow, but it’ll be because we’re all passionate about what we’re doing. We all care deeply. About each other, and about our customers.
I’m excited to see where we go together. And I’m ready to blur the lines between life and work by putting my whole heart into both.
Anything less would be a compromise.