I’ve started this blog as I embark upon an exciting year of change. In July 2017 I left my full time teaching job in a Secondary School. It was a job I had been in for four years and a career that I had been building for seven years. But after all that time of working with teenagers and being beaten down by the system, I took a redundancy payout and walked away with no new job lined up.
Some people might say that was brave. Others might say it was stupid.
My leaving the profession came off of the back of a difficult year. My husband and I had suffered an ectopic pregnancy. I was a mess for a long time afterwards. Even before this had happened I was already finding the job hard work. My friends and I used to joke about how amazing it would be to leave the job and do something new. But none of us were seriously willing to take the plunge and leave behind job security and a steady income. But after the ectopic I started considering how much longer I could really continue in that line of work. The daily grind of teaching just didn’t cut it for me anymore. I was tired and emotional and after a lot of soul searching I finally made the decision that I wanted to leave.
Low and behold my school then began the redundancy process. Imagine my glee!
So, everyone was happy. I got to leave the job that was making me miserable. My husband got to stop listening to me moan about how much I hated my job. And we got a nice hefty pay out to fund a 3 week trip to Thailand.
When September came around, I had a sense of nervous energy. Everyone would be going back to school except me. Was I making a terrible mistake? But no. By the second of September I realised that actually I was happy with my decision. I didn’t need that job and it didn’t define who I was.
I took three months off.
(I should stress that I was incredibly fortunate to have a hugely supportive husband who was happy, and able, to pick up my slack.)
When we got back from Thailand I did a little work. (My subject was dance, so I was able to get a lot of freelance stuff.) But it was the run up to Christmas so I wasn’t too fussed on getting things sorted. I was probably working six hours a week, max. But I was running, spending more time with our dogs and I’d taken up swimming again. I was happy. For the first time in a long while.
But still something niggled in the back of my mind. Six hours a week was not a lot. Surely I would need to settle down and do something more concrete? After Christmas I began teaching again in a Secondary school. No! I hear you cry. Well, it was a Private School and it was just four hours a week, teaching a GCSE group, so my desire for money outweighed my inhibitions there. But I also started doing a lot more freelance work which began to boom. Word of mouth is really the most amazing thing, as suddenly schools and companies were passing my name around and I was finding myself with more work than I had planned on.
And then a few months ago I rediscovered another old passion.
I have been writing in some form or another since I was a child. I can remember sitting in my room writing a story about a man and a woman in a restaurant on the back of a cereal box . Don’t ask me what happened, I can’t remember! But my point is writing has always been something that I’ve loved. All through my teens and University I used to write short stories and scenes. My problem, however, has always been procrastination.
So within this blog I hope to be able to share some of the the ups and downs that I have faced so far, in this year of change. But also to document my journey as I go on to explore my writing more deeply, alongside my quest for fulfilment both in my work life and beyond.
See you soon.