I realised that I was going to bring Whispers out of the cupboard in the last blog, but got side-tracked by events that I previously thought were inconsequential , and now realise that they were significant in the path to making the decision to leave my career as a teacher for 25 years.
During the course of 2010, I became increasingly unsettled that I was about to tick over a quarter of a century, nearly half my life, in the one career, in the one place. Of course I still dreamed of writing for a living; however, in spite of my naturally optimistic nature, I couldn't deny that the odds of that occurring were statistically stacked against me. And so I began to focus on other options, the most prominent of these being that I would run my own Bookshop/Cafe. I'm sure you can already see the inherent problems, especially in the current climate for bookstores, but I was becoming desperate and the optimist in me believed I could make it work. When the opportunity to take up the offer of free sessions with someone training to be a Life Coach occurred, I decided to give it a shot, despite my misgivings. Many things were discussed over those sessions. My Life Coach (LC) became a confidante, not of deeply personal issues, but a sounding board for my frustrations, ambitions and dreams. She was significantly younger than I was, but this became less and less of an issue for me as time went on. Although there were many things that I could write here that were said, one in particular stayed with me and, I believe, was a significant subconscious catalyst for me to make my move. LC asked me if I could recall a time when I had previously made a significant decision. What was I doing? Where was I located? etc. Immediately, I recalled sitting on the verandah of a house we were renting. The children were young and neither my partner nor I had any prospects. He, and I had become parents at seventeen (independently) and had been busy raising children. Things were tight, but I dreamed of having our own home and a good income, even though the odds were statistically stacked against me. (note repetition). And so I was sitting on the verandah, daydreaming about a brighter future. I don't remember a light-bulb moment, just getting up, looking up the number of a local high school, and enrolling in a night course to do two subjects in Year 12. I was going to be a naturopath. The decision was made. As it happens, I didn't become a naturopath. I completed the year, enrolled in a teaching institution because I would have more security and school holidays, and that decision changed our lives. As I related this to LC, I began to weep. I remembered how desperate I was, I remembered how significantly that decision changed everything, but I also remembered that the choice I made was not the one I wanted to make, even if in retrospect, it was the wisest one. LC listened patiently. Even before she said it, I knew it too. If I could do it then, I could do it now. All I really needed was the same sense of urgency. I had that too.