I'm gonna struggle to stay on topic — I can feel it. But this idea of compartmentalizing my life has really been troubling me lately. Something worth stumbling my way through in hopes that maybe there is some clarity just on the other side. For you, but also for me. Bare with me as I switch from first to third and back to first person. I am speaking to you, but also to myself and only from my own perspective.
On one hand I love the solitude and the setting of my own pace working here from the guest bedroom turned home studio. I have a large window upon which I watch our quiet little corner of the world turn. It is me with my thoughts, my music, and my imagination. No one questioning or inquiring about my work. I'm left to work out the why's and how's of my process because I love making things harder on myself. This much I'm comfortable with admitting. However, on the flip side of that rigid coin I find myself feeling alone. That's quite the obvious statement when you think about it. But no, I mean even with every opportunity to be "connected" online it is still a concerted effort I make to limit myself in communication.
But take a few good steps out of my studio and you'll find a kind of vibrancy of life that totally sets the balance for my life. What solitude and introspection I have in my studio is gone when I "close up shop" every evening and enter into family time. My 2.5 year old daughter is full of energy and wonder. My wife is eager to engage me in conversation and have me take the Dad reigns to help her our with our new little one. It's the polar opposite of life happening, two totally different environments, but all under one roof. And this is my beef - where/how do I start to come home when I'm already at home?
Computers are really good at compartmentalizing. They operate on ones and zeros. In simplest form they are glorified filing cabinets with millions of pixels and fancier hardware. But humans are not good at compartmentalizing. Sorry, correction, I am not good at compartmentalizing. Even at my best I wonder off thinking about 10 other things when I should be listening to every word coming out of my wife's mouth. I don't believe it's as easy as putting the "work" me up at 5 o' clock and putting on the "family" me. There are probably a hundred different analogies I could make to drive my point home even further, but I'll spare you. The simple truth is this:
We, humans, are unorganized organisms, totally messy and full of flaws.
My search for perfection is a dying cause. I'm dead before I even begin because it will kill me trying to be perfect. So I'm giving up the halves of me in order to be the whole me. I have to allow myself to bring the beautiful mess of family life into my work life and I have to be vulnerable to share the secrets of my work life with my family. This is the only way out. Not to segment one self into different parts, but to be a bringer of all parts to the table. Whether that's the dinner table or work table.