” The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.” Lao-Tzu
I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a place in the world where I make a living doing something I love. There’ve been so many times at work – whether organising and planning an exciting shoot, interviewing Laura Mercier or covering a Jessie Ware gig when I’ve stopped in my tracks and thought “Holy shit, I’m getting paid to do this”.
There’s this idea that your career should be hard work and just that. That it should be a daily slog, something you spend 8 hours of your day doing but wishing you were somewhere else and something you love to complain about. I feel like this is what society expects us to feel about earning a living. There’ve been many occasions with friends when they’ve been complaining about a work project, or a colleague, or the hours (or insert any mundane negativity here), and I’ve opened my mouth to agree and share my own dull experience when I realise I have absolutely nothing to say.
I adore my job. I (although I’d never say it to their faces) also adore my many supportive, creative and incredible colleagues. I adore my manager, my place of work, and though I may not adore the commute, I certainly don’t hate it.
My work enriches my life and my job seamlessly flows into my personal interests and my personal interest flow seamlessly into my job.
I’m baffled at people who are baffled that I’ve chosen to work at 24 rather than up sticks and travel. Yes, travelling is wonderful and enlightening but so is my job. Every single day is different and exciting and unlike a lot of people my age and a few years out of university, I don’t feel pessimistic or tricked into “working for the man”.
Sophia Amoruso perfectly sums up how I feel about the working world in #GIRLBOSS;
‘As a teenager, I thought that life sucked and that my life – “oppressed” as I was by school and the suburbs – especially sucked. The ideals or anarchism were perfect for me. I believed that capitalism was the source of all greed, inequality, and destruction in the world. I though that big corporations where running the world (which I know now they do) and by supporting them, I was condoning their evil ways (which is true, but a girl’s gotta put gas in her car).
I wanted to live outside the capitalist structure, to live free and travel free, and to exist outside a nine-to-five lifestyle. I was like an old bearded hippie trapped in a teenage girl’s body. I wanted to live spontaneously and to find myself in wild places, with wild people, and have wild times. Let me remind you, I was naive enough to believe this was how I could live my life indefinitely.’
This paragraph really stuck with me. When I was fifteen I’d spend my weekends feeling superior because I read a lot and spent a lot of time alone. I’d head to central London by myself and sit in art galleries – alone – and just assume this was exactly how I was going to spend my every day adult life (when I wasn’t travelling the world. Alone). Holding down a job was never at the forefront of my mind, even though I’d spent to majority of my childhood disgustingly poor and so earning money really should have been a priority. I was stupid enough to think that all nine-to-five job involved either a mind numbing office setting or heavy lifting, neither of which excited me.
This was ten years ago so I can laugh at myself now, but I still know people at 25 who think this way. Sometimes I wish I could tell my 15 year old self that actually the world isn’t just out to get you and that there is a way to spend your life without just waiting for the weekend.
There are so many people moving into areas of work that they love. There once was a time where people would want to keep their hobbies and careers separate, but if you love something why would you not want to do it full time? Whether it’s photography, blogging, skiing (I dunno…) why would you just wait longing for the weekend to put your interests into practice?
*Massive thanks to my occasional assistant/ little sister for snapping this while I was working 💕