LIFE: Even Love Is Work

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!”

That’s what they say, right? Find what you love, and go out and do it, because if you do what you love, you get to skip out on this whole “work” thing, that's how it goes?

Look, whoever said this had great intentions. They meant well, and I support the general idea of this little phrase, but I’ve got a pretty big problem with it on a practical level. 

My problem is in the fact that it is yet another attempt by us to keep “work” and “love” separate. 

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But I’ve got a secret that I wish I’d learned sooner: even love is work. 

Yes, “work” and “love” are individual circles, and there are certainly plenty of things that are only work and only love, but at the intersection of these two things— where love and work overlap— is where I think career fulfillment lies.

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It’s not that I don’t think the quote about doing what you love is false, it’s just that I think it incorrectly defines both love and work

Love is some of the hardest work I’ve ever done.

Trying to make a the things I love my job— that has been a level of hard much beyond the fatigue and demands of teaching. It has been an emotional, spiritual, poking-an-open-wound kind of hard. 

Don’t get it twisted: doing what you love is most definitely work, and if you continue to jump ship or recoil back into your safe place at the first signs of “work,” you’re missing out on so many great things that only come after real, hard work.

Love is work because it means personally investing in what you do, giving the world a free shot at your, realest rawest parts, and showing up more than just physically on a daily basis. It means being emotionally present and nearly infallibly authentic as much of the time as possible. 

And if that ain’t some tough a$$ work, I don’t know what is.