I’ve been teaching full time at Inner-City Arts for probably 8 years & taught my first class there ELEVEN years ago! For my “2 years max” at a variety of jobs, this is by far the longest commitment I’ve had to…well almost anything. This Monday, though, I stepped way back and am now teaching only two days a week. Everyone makes moves like this all the time, but for me it feels huge.
I could give you 500 logical reasons for doing this, but honestly–I really just needed a change and a challenge. Teaching drama has been my passion since 2000 probably (shout out to Seattle Children’s Theatre!). That’s a good 15 years of knowing pretty much exactly what I wanted to do in life. I never had that “searching” phase in my 20s. I had plenty of silly jobs in the meantime, lots of school to get better at what I did, etc–but I always knew where the passion was. It has been a huge gift in my life. To want something, to go after it, to do it with care/passion/skill & always eager to be better. And really, what a gift to find Bob Bates (co-founder) and Inner-City Arts–my vision so closely aligns with his & I feel really connected to the work we are doing.
My students were filming a documentary a couple of years ago on Bob Bates & he told the kids “I follow my creativity wherever it takes me.” That line has stayed with me ever since, and I’ve felt the need to do the same. I encourage my students to explore their creativity, take risks & try new things. Push their limits. My turn!
So, what am I doing the other days of the week? I’m developing, growing and expanding my Entertaining Adventure scavenger hunt business at the moment. I’m also taking a minute just to relax, breath & rejoice that I don’t have to put all the effort into full-time teaching that so often exhausted me and barely paid the bills.
For several years, I worried that growing tired of teaching meant all the work I had done up to this point was a waste of time or a mistake. There is such a feeling of relief and freedom now that I see my life can take a new turn, and I don’t have to pretend to be interested in a field that no longer feeds me creatively. Maybe it will again one day, but I need a break.
I don’t really make rash decisions. If anything, I think about things way too much and take action very rarely. When I do take action, it feels like a milestone. I have no idea what the next year will look like for me, but there is surprisingly little fear. It is instead a mix of relief, excitement & freedom. I booked a gig this past week, and the feeling of joy that came over me when I realized I actually had TIME to focus on it was such a great feeling.
I’m sure there will be ups and downs to this whole process, but right now I’m so ready for it.