Well, the new adventure has started. Monday morning saw me heading back to an altogether different work, and despite numerous challenges, I survived the week 😉
Apart from a stint in a shop while I was saving up for university, my working career has been spent in the classroom. I’ve worked in big rooms too tall to reach the top display board without step-ladders, and rooms not much bigger than a glorified stock cupboard; have worked in city classrooms, seaside classrooms, and classrooms in a whole other country, but they were all still classrooms. My desk – if I had one – was always well-stocked with post-its, spare scissors, and the treasured glue sticks with lids that you put off actually giving to students, and my hours have always been long and unpredictable and tiring.
But I’ve never worked in an office. Until now.
The decision to take a break from teaching has been on my mind for a while now, and moving back across the ocean seemed like a good a time as any to commit to it. I don’t know, yet, how long that break might be; maybe a year or two, maybe forever. But it’s hard to leave the only career you’ve ever had, because you start to ask that dreaded question: What else can I do?
But I’m following Whoopi Goldberg and Rainer Maria Rilke’s advice (go watch Sister Act 2, or skip that step and read Letters to a Young Poet – either way it will be time well spent ;)) and following my heart. You see, the thing I love more than teaching is writing. But I’m not naive enough to think that I can just quit the day job and become an author overnight. I’m taking the sensible route, I suppose. And this new job is the first step along the way to the ultimate goal.
My first week at an educational publishers has been an adventure. I’ve talked to designers, become an expert on (well, not really, but goodness knows I’ve read pages and pages about) copyright, learned that capitalizing titles is an art form, proofread like a crazy person and just about perfected my comfortable sitting stance in front of two big computer screens. I’ve also learned that I’ve become so accustomed to bells to mark the time that it’s all too easy to genuinely forget to go for a lunch break. I’ve made friends, learned a ton, stretched my grammatical knowledge, and discovered a lot of new wonderful things about the world of publishing.
It hasn’t all been easy, but I have enjoyed every day. And that feeling at 5:30pm on a Friday, as you turn off your computer, sign out and head home without a bag of books to mark or planning to do, is really rather a lovely new feeling 🙂
It’s not writing, I suppose. But it is editing, of sorts. And it’s leaving me with time to write more, time to build my own website, time to watch Game of Thrones from the first series 😉 and time to relax without feeling guilty. Suffice to say, a pretty good start to the new adventure.
Oh, and there’s cake in the office every Friday. Enough said.