Is Work Life Balance Really a Thing
If I had asked myself this question a few years ago I would’ve said no, you choose one or the other.
I grew up in a household where both parents were deep behind corporate-life enemy lines. One owned a company and the other one essentially ran a company, and in Downtown Toronto of all places.
I was always told to do my best, and climb the ladder until I was satisfied with where I landed. So I did. I got an entry level job and slowly moved up the corporate ladder until I landed… somewhere.
There were no ‘easy’ days, that would imply that the work was simple and I was content with how the day went. For the most part the work was very easy, but I didn’t feel complete, satisfied or as happy as I could’ve.
Not unlike a typical job, there was no room for my life, which was confined to the evenings and weekends - where half the time I was too tired to even do anything. Hours were long, conversation was minimal and despite the location, it always seemed as though there were never nearly enough starbucks’ nearby.
To top it all off, I was an artist, a musician and writer. Which means I had a job I was barely qualified for and nowhere near my field… because people that get lucky enough to work in the arts are rare.
On the other side of the spectrum my best friend was in Europe travelling the world and living her best life. She would go through her daily routine during our weekly chats and tell me about the friends she had met along the way. Meanwhile I would tell her how much i’m working and how badly I wish I could just sit at a bar to relax without feeling compelled to look at my email.
Now I have been to Europe… a few times. However, I had never thought to look around and observe the locals. Who I always thought were tourists because they always seemed to be sitting around in cafés all day. Well guess what, they have it figured out over there, and for a split second thought about moving. It’s true, and in that moment I figured out they value this thing called work-life balance, which was a crazy concept to me because I never thought it was possible — at least not where I was.
Ever since then, I have been obsessed with this concept, and even crazier — the fact that you can actually be in control of your life.
A few more years went by and I started to go crazier and crazier with my mundane routine.
One day I was sitting at home minding my own business when I received a phone call from an old friend I hadn’t heard from in years, who told me that if I wasn’t happy I should quit wasting my time.
A few months after that, I had had enough and quit my job and moved. I started working remotely from home doing social media and writing content for a company based out of Toronto.
Let me tell you, going from corporate to that was hard as hell. I missed the daily interactions, I had to get comfortable with being myself all the time and being stuck in the same place all day long. It was really boring and I would always clean for no reason just as a distraction — which is lame.
I had to learn to treat it like a job and wake up early, make coffee, shower and get to it. Now, I love it. I am able to pop out during the day and see a friend or go to an appointment. I can work in coffee shops, I can spend more time with loved ones.
I have finally felt the freedom of work-life balance.
The wonderful thing about technology these days is that it’s possible to make a career off of this concept. If you are thinking about it, or unhappy in your routine, I suggest going for it. Whats the worst that can happen? You go back to the desk?