My life is very different now than it was a couple months ago, and it’s become even more different still. Turned on its head different, actually. This is because just weeks ago, I got on an airplane and temporarily moved to China.
Earlier this year I threw off the bonds of the traditional nine to five, and left my job at a publishing house in San Francisco to join the Weaving Influence team remotely from Los Angeles. The move and new job have been so much more than a change of place and pace, but have resulted in fundamental change of lifestyle. Not having an office I need to arrive at everyday, and not requiring a conference room to meet with my co-workers has opened up a world of flexibility in the workplace I could not have wrapped my head around without having lived it first.
I can do my job from literally anywhere. Granted, living in Shanghai came with its own set of challenges, but it’s this company’s commitment to flexibility that is allowing me to live and work all over the world, as well as being the reason I will cheerfully wake up at odd hours to make myself available to my team members. Seeing the world has been a highly valued and lifelong aspiration. All of the sudden my life doesn’t have to be work or personal, it’s all aligned now.
I can balance my life in a way that makes me feel incredibly sane. The success of my clients is very important to me, and I’ve burned the midnight oil more than once to ensure they get what they need, but my personal life and relationships are also a very high priority. Having the ability to put work on hold for a moment to help a friend in need, or to rearrange my work week to fit in activities that make me feel fulfilled on a personal level, has transformed the way I live.
I can wear all my hats at once. I am no longer a sometimes runner, sometimes girlfriend, sometimes artist, sometimes sister, trying to squeeze in time for these different facets of my life between commutes. My role as a Project Manager is now occupying the same space as my role as a friend. I am flexing a new mental muscle as I draw my own lines between where work ends and my life outside it begins–now that I no longer have an office wall to distinguish it for me. Though making the distinction is not always inherent or particularly easy, the autonomy to choose what works best for me proves that the way we work doesn’t have to be one size fits all.
Tell me something! How are you seeking flexibility in your life? What are you doing to better serve others without forgetting to serve yourself?
Kylah Frazier is a Project Manager at Weaving Influence, living and working in Los Angeles, California and sometimes Shanghai, China.