I’m coming for everything they said I couldn’t have…

When I finished at university and was starting my PGCE I knew I wanted to sing professionally alongside music teaching. I was so excited to become a teacher, and knew I had to much to offer, but I’d got used to singing every day, and was determined that this skill should be part of my every day life.

You’d think I was suggesting I become a part time pole vaulter. I cannot tell you how many people told me I was naive, “green” or just plain unrealistic to do so:

  • “your voice won’t adapt to both jobs”

  • “you won’t have time”

  • “people won’t take you seriously”

Cut to next scene, and I was happily singing and teaching. I made that commitment to myself, put my big girl pants on and made it happen. My teaching career went from strength to strength - I was a Head of Year, helping shape school policy for our pastoral care, with a final focus on our GCSE students. Life was rich and fulfilling, and I achieved a dream of being a Director of Music, creating and enacting a vision of hundreds of children celebrating music on a daily basis.

Then I had my son, and suddenly full time teaching and singing just didn’t work anymore. I loved my job, but the hours were punishing and I didn’t feel able to do any one thing well enough.

I was obsessed with parenting and motherhood and wanted to write about it. And I wanted a side hustle that lit me up. So I did a switcheroo and used my coaching skills from my leadership role at work, did some more training, and reinvented life again. I went from a full time teaching role to a brilliant part-time post. I kept my singing going. I built a blog, ran workshops, supper clubs, and worked with dozens of incredible coaching clients.

As it stands today, June 2019, in the last month I’ve mentored a teenage boy talking about neuroplasticity and music, conducted a choir, taught about film music to a bunch of 12 year olds and then sung on a film soundtrack, sung on BBC Radio 3, at the @southbankcentre, with an amazing choir of dreams @thecardinals, coached five 121 clients, run a mini-workshop, collaborated with two amazing businesses, attended some beautiful events, written many new blogs (and had lots of guest ones on the site - have you written one?)…and felt more connected than ever to my kids and to myself (and had loads of time watching Life in Pieces and drinking tea and reading books).

Perhaps this blog reads like showing off. Perhaps it reads very dull to anyone except me. Perhaps it strikes a chord with you? Perhaps you’re wondering why I’ve written it?

Because the narrative is changing. Because a new story is written. Because I believe:

  1. That you can reinvent your self - the person in charge of your choices is you

  2. That I am SO privileged (white, supported through education, supported by stable family) to be able to make these choices, with the support of an amazing husband, family and friends - but that I ask for help and expect it

  3. That I am not prepared to get in my own way - and neither should you be. If you want something new, they’ll almost certainly be obstacles. Don’t let your own feelings about yourself be one of them.

My belief I had to change was that people wouldn’t take me seriously if I did lots of different things. What’s one belief you have that you’d love to change? I’d love to know!

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