I am delighted to share with you my news that after three years of being on ‘career break’ from primary school teaching to explore my career options and opportunities in the music industry, I have handed in my resignation and the security of a guaranteed teaching career is no more!
It was said to me a lot over the last few years.. “At least you have teaching to fall back on”. For me, that’s actually somewhat disrespectful to the amazing teachers out there who work at exhaustive levels every day to do the job they love. Yes, I understand it and I understand why so many people tried to ease the pressures I had put on myself by saying that but to me it was actually never really an option for me.
When I left teaching three years ago, the sensible and natural thing to do to ease the transition was to take a career break. It’s a luxury that most people don’t have and it gave me comfort and reassurance that I had a great job to ‘fall back on’. But if the truth be known, my little stubborn and determined self had already made the decision that it was going to be a departure that did not have a return journey.
I was in New York in February 2010 and it was there amongst the magnitude and excessiveness of everything, that I affirmed my decision to follow the career path that felt almost ingrained and natural to me. A part of my soul I guess you could call it.
The “how long will you give it” question that irritated me for three years now is easily and joyously answered with “I give it my life.” There never has been or ever will be an expiry date on what I have chosen to do in my life. Music is who I am now. It always was but conventional life choices and social expectations clouded my understanding of how I could make that possible for me and the skills that are individual to me.
I have had three years to learn, watch, observe and discover if I really have the nerves of steel, the hard neck or the inner strength that will carry me through the days when the music industry feels like the devil doing his best to knock me further and further into the ground. I have learned that on the days that I don’t have enough to defend that recurrent beating, I have family and friends who will help bear that force with me and when I get through it and out of it, my successes become their successes too. A career shared with those I love.
I will sign off this somewhat intense post with saying that by no means have I it all figured out, but what I have figured out is that doing what you love gives you a freedom and energy that genuinely makes the world more alive and vibrant. That freedom will always come with a lot of responsibility and care however. Keep on your toes, adapt and change where and when necessary, don’t be distracted by ego and remember you know yourself better than anyone. Always take advice but sit with it before you act on it and most importantly, share your love for what you do with as many people as possible!