Yesterday in my epic cab ride I wrote about, I asked the cabbie if it was possible to separate one's work and personal selves. This is the same topic I got to speak with Whitney Hess about at IA Summit. The short answer is: no. You can try, you can keep trying, but it's not going to work. That's something I'm now truly realizing.
If I don't allow myself to be present in all parts of my life then what am I doing, exactly? Why am I doing that? Why would I not let myself be myself at work? One of my coworkers mentioned that a coworker she deals with was surprised to learn I have a good sense of humor, for instance. It blew both of us away - it blew my coworker away and it blew me away. I pride myself on my punnery and terrible sense of humor, but the truth is that I don't let that come out at work much. My team sees that, but that's it.
So by doing that I'm not really expressing who I am, and, you know, work is a place that often gets mistaken for this weird cold emotionless realm where you're not able to show any emotion or you're not able express yourself. Unless you're angry - that usually is allowed. I think there's space for other emotions there. Exploring that is very important and understanding that denying any part of yourself at any point in your life is foolish. It's not healthy.