Updated: Apr 27
Life in Oxfordshire is continuing to go well, I've settled into a good, balanced pattern of work and life, which has given me time to reflect on the recent past and think about the future.
I was a classroom teacher for 7 years, and there are certainly elements that I miss: the relationships you form with your class and colleagues, the creativity, the challenge... but there are also elements which I'm pleased to be away from - the 12 hour work days, the constant feeling that you're not doing enough, and the never-ending to do list.
Back in October, when I was thinking about the next step I want to take career wise when we got to Oxford, it was tempting to automatically opt for the safety of the 'known' and go for a teaching job. I felt like I was at career crossroads, confused about where I wanted to go. In my heart I knew that I was done with class teaching, keen for a new adventure, but in my head I knew it was a safe career. Which path? What about money? What's secure? What's safe?
I'm so grateful that I fought the temptation to stick with the safe option and instead stuck with my instinct for adventure. On the surface, an admin job doesn't seem the most adventurous, but for me it's a whole new world. Yes it doesn't pay as much, but it offers far more flexibility whilst demanding far less time.
And it's this flexibility which is so important. I moved into admin because, alongside earning a wage, I was also determined to carry on my fledgling singing business, based in Exeter, which requires time: time for my pupils, time to prepare, and time to do the commute! When I shared my intentions with others, most thought I was crazy - "Why do a 5 hour round trip jus to teach some singing?!?! Isn't your Oxford job enough?"
The truth - yes my Oxford job is 'enough' in the sense that it brings in the pennies, but teaching singing feeds my soul. At first, I wanted to stay in Exeter out of loyalty to my pupils - it didn't seem fair to abandon them mid-year, but then something changed. When all the other Devon-related stress vanished from my life, and Sean and I settled into a new pattern of Oxfordshire living, it started to become clear that career wise, what really makes my heart sing, is singing.
I can just imagine my 18 year old self rolling her eye - duh, of course it's singing!
Over the next few months I want to give some serious thought as to how I turn my little business into a full time career, continuing it on in Exeter but also here in Oxfordshire. Naturally my training in the Estill method will continue, but I want to identify my 'next steps' (teacher term - old habits are hard to break!), where will I take it next?
So I'm at a career crossroads, how do I make my passion into a secure living, whilst at the same time earning a living? Something to muse on, but it does feel great to finally have chosen a path. Career crossroad conquered!