“In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed.” – Sid Caesar
Spent the past few weeks in NYC for work, and for the most part it was nice to be back (although even with an extended trip, I didn’t have enough time to catch up with friends…or even get one decent night’s sleep, for that matter). I can’t really complain about my professional life, though. I made a choice and have built something, with the help of others, that I am truly inspired by and passionate about. I love my work, am grateful for the flexibility that comes along with it, and am consistently excited to tackle cool projects and come up with new ideas.
At the same time, on this trip alone, I’ve also endured a few eye-opening experiences…a series of heartbreaking, frightening, and straight up unexpected events that made me question whether or not the work habits I’ve adopted are actually sustainable. Perhaps the line that exists between determination and obsession is finer than I thought?
Again, I genuinely enjoy what I do, and plan to continue on the path I’ve started to pave, without a doubt. But I think that perhaps I need to, oh, I don’t know, switch up the way I’m laying out the bricks or something like that. Because, at some point in the past year or so, without even noticing it, I went from a “work hard play hard” kind of girl to a “work hard girl” who forgot how to play. And I really like to play!
I’ll always be ambitious, disciplined and entirely too critical of myself, but I am realizing how badly I need to switch up my efforts and find some level of balance. I think that people who are able to achieve an honest and healthy work/life balance have to be the ones who’ve actually got it figured out. Obviously this is easier said than done, but amidst the chaos, deadlines, and demands, I think I am starting to grasp that taking small steps toward finding that solid spot in the ground to stand on should at least remain at the top of my daily to-do list.
I will also always be a person who cannot fully thrive without creative stimulation and engaging with others. I need to go on road trips and watch silent sunsets. I need to take midnight bike rides and to go skinny dipping in the ocean. I need conversations that could go on forever with the people I love which often times start in tears but end in uncontrollable laughter…
Yet somehow, without even noticing, I’ve completely caged the adventurer inside of me who needs to feel joy, freedom and weightlessness…who treasures what’s truly important and won’t let anything else stand in the way.
There is no way to be successful if it means losing your spirit in the process. Not for me, anyhow. But no matter how many times I fuck up, or how many wrong turns I take in the process of trying to improve my life (one that some of my nearest and dearest know little to nothing about these days, unfortunately), at least I can pat myself on the back for being honest and real. The fact that I can own up to my mistakes and stand by my word, while I work towards becoming a stronger, happier individual and a better friend are a few things that actually don’t keep me up at night. Personally, I feel this mindset to be healthier, braver and more “stable” than hiding behind a false existence filled with selfish accusations that only feed a growing superiority complex.
But, to each their own. Nobody’s perfect, after all.
Photography by Christian Veluz