A couple of years ago I graduated with an Honours Degree as a mature student. I was immensely proud of myself as it had taken many years to achieve. Years achieved while facing adversity that would have made many crumble, accept their lot and forget studying. But I wanted to do it and though my adversity started midway, I just couldn’t give it up. It was a goal and I wanted to achieve it.
All the way through I worked jobs to keep my family and my head above water and there were so many times when I wondered “What was I doing it for?” Studying doesn’t give you the guarantees in the field of your chosen study. I wondered if I’d be labelled forever by the job I was in. I was being told by negative people “What are you doing it for?” “Why are you pushing yourself?” “What are you going to do with yourself, you’re getting older now.” But I just couldn’t give it up. I just loved my subjects.
My adversity changed a lot of my initial plans as to why I was studying. It also meant I was told off by my Specialist. “No.” She said. “No studying around working and three children. It’s too much.” I ignored her. I’m glad I did.
I continued and eventually graduated and I can honestly say it was one of my proudest moments. Made more special that my children were there with me. More special knowing it had been a huge mountain to climb.
But once it was over, I felt left with a void. Still stuck in the job that had satisfied a requirement. Payment. A job that fitted around school runs, an element of flexibility which ensured I got that qualification and attended every sports day, nativity play and parents evening etc… I thank my old employers for that.
But I was so disgruntled. You see, the job, it felt like a prison sentence that I couldn’t be released from. If my circumstances had been different I could have run like the wind. I’d worked so hard, gained so much knowledge and it wasn’t being used in my job. Plus the age of my daughter and changes in circumstances and not real hands on support meant I knew it wasn’t the right time for any major career. I still needed a flexible job – career jobs and flexibility do not always go hand in hand. I had this massive fear that everything I’d done and worked hard for was for nothing. It made me quite depressed. I’d go out of the door in the morning, show up and turn up but each day – I was looking at my shoes, just getting on with it, going through the motions.
You see, work, it’s not everything but it’s a major part in life and work for me is something that must make me feel stretched not suppressed.
I looked at every work at home opportunity to see if I could gain a bigger income over less time. You see I always wanted to be a Writer but most of us know that Writing isn’t always the profession to make money in abundance. It takes time.
But the at home jobs, there were clues that felt as though they just were not the right path.
Then something hit me. I needed to leave my job but I didn’t know how. You see when you have dependents you just can’t walk out of a job. Then out of the blue one night I had this dream. I can’t describe how it felt fully. But it was a dream that I left my job and had a new job and was happy. I woke up with dread that morning. Thinking “Do I really have to go to work?” Once again, thinking how I could change it.
I went to work that day and I was given redundancy. Rather than worry. It was like the clouds had parted. Many shocked at my calm reaction. A single mother of three and walking out of the door, happy to be released. But you see. I knew it was time for change and I knew that everything I’d learned was being wasted. My wings had felt clipped, that was the moment of release.
You see, I wanted to be a Writer or a Teacher. So when I walked out of that door, I told myself that I was going to find a way to do both. Writing. It’s difficult to make an entire good income from writing but so far from the beginning of 2016 I’m doing pretty much ok in many of the Women’s mags. Lots of opinions flying out there and I’m on the readers panel for others, which means I’m paid for opinions. It was a good starting block. Not to mention my book reviewing. (I’ve not forgotten, I’ve got one in the pipeline – New Year, new start)
I’ve got a fab little job in a Museum which enables me to keep on learning and be surrounded by a subject I enjoy which is local history. I’m meeting fabulous people who are teaching me wonderful facts. I learn something new each time which was something I was lacking previous.
I’m typing for an author and I’m home tutoring English to teens.
I now realise and have the relief that my studying wasn’t wasted and flexible opportunities to fit around my circumstances that are fulfilling are out there. I just needed to get into the right environments and have the chance to find them.
I no longer feel held back by a job.
Most of us work for the need of money. But as Richard Branson says:
“Do what you love and the money will come.”