I’m not a work titan, I don’t work 15h a day, my mind is not globally working but I tend to fully engage with every single task at work. I jump into a blind loyalty even though work and I just met. Time does not seek me at work. “Yes” is my answer before work asks the question. Work and I are poisonous soulmates. Or we’re used to be.
You get that “work” is the keyword here.
It’s something big for most people, something bigger for a few and it’s definitely a topic you can talk about for days. I’d love to do that with you someday because there are heaps of different angles where you can start to dissect this four letter word from but what got me talking about it today is Shonda Rhimes’ very touching and almost theatrical TED Talk. For those of you who don’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scandal” or “How To Get Away With Murder”, first of all: WHAT? and second of all she is the writer
mastermind titan behind these drama series. So watch it now and let’s talk about afterwards.
I know she says “hum” a lot. A LOT. But I think the repetition does the meaning justice. She makes me feel her hum and what it means for her – or the lack of it for that matter. I used to have that as well. The exhilarating hum that infiltrated me. I was infused with it – with every task I did, with every second I worked, with every phone call I made, with every second I stayed longer, with every client conversation I had, with every challenge that came my way. It felt good because that is what makes me me. Right. Right?
“Work doesn’t work without play.” – I thought I always allowed my self enough play. We have fun at work. But fun at work doesn’t make the play. Not in her sense and not in the way I needed it. I thought that the occasional forced fun bits and pieces I snuck in to my daily work life will do the trick, recharge me, recharge my mind, recharge others. I misled myself and it took me awhile to realise that. Work is a part of you but it’s not you. It all sounds really poetical but it’s more than that. To me at least.
If you love what you do, if you work hard because you want to create something meaningful / earn money / enjoy it or …you simply love what you do, it can get tricky to not define you as just that. We live in a world where we constantly get rated by our performance, we do it ourselves. It’s all about self optimisation. Me, myself and I are a huge sucker for all of this. You won’t believe all the business “get shit done and make ideas happen” books I read. And I love it. I love to see, experience and read how people do things differently, how they organise their (business) life, how they GET SHIT DONE. I want to do that. I need to be a brand and then I know who I am. By creating that we put ourselves in a tiny box with a tag “me” on top of it. It’s hard to get out of that box when you feel the pressure to stay in there. “You are more than that” – it sounds so easy. But it’s so hard to grasp, absorb, live it.
It took a move to the end of the world and Shonda’s words to make me realise you can only feel the hum when you’re outside of that box. It’s okay to hold it on your hands and even to show it to the world if you want to but you can only do that if you are o u t s i d e o f t h e b o x.
It wasn’t the fun at work, it was the fun after work that recharged me, that made me feel the hum. My friends, my family, the conversations we had, the exchange of silences, the trust we have in each other, the help we give each other, the plays we played with each other and the yes’es we told each other. I miss that terribly. I miss that hum. I need that hum. I feel that hum with every call, every picture, every message that comes my way. It feels good because that helps me become me. I think it never really ends – the becoming. You transform all the time, it’s like a constant metamorphoses but only if you are truly outside of that box. You can love your work, you can know yourself and still become more – without pressure, without rules, without stigma.
Let’s add calm, let’s add a bigass YES for ourselves and let’s add some play to our lives so we can finally feel the real hum (again).