Earlier on this evening I wrote this on my facebook wall ...
'What an odd day today has been. After more than 30 years of facilitating workshops, projects & events for very many 1000's of children & young people, my hearing impairments are such that I need to walk away from the classroom quite probably for good.
And even though I am choosing to think of it as an opportunity to try new ways of working, I had a few tears. As a freelancer, there was no golden handshake, no pension, no sick pay, no farewell party ... I just slipped out of the door and that was that.'
I left the computer to its own devices for a bit and when I came back, people had written the kindest things on my facebook wall.
2 people in particular, for whom I have great respect, left poignant messages that shifted my thinking. One, a County Manager for Outdoor Pursuits & one a Youth Worker with whom I worked delivering arts and music workshops for homeless young people and for young people who live in Safe houses.
'How dare you walk away. You have been and still are an inspiration to many! Trust me you'll be fine.'
'I second that - don't be too hasty! I'm just starting out on my journey of self employment/workshop facilitation and can wholeheartedly say that your skills, passion and experience are needed now more than ever so I really hope there's a way of continuing ... even with these difficulties you still be head and shoulders about the rest of us. You'll find a way.'
And it dawned on me in that moment that the peaceful, still quiet I need to be able to deal with my tinnitus and hyperacusis, the space I need to re-adjust to my substantial hearing loss, is a perfect environment to write about my 30 years of experience working with children and young people.
So, that's exactly what I have decided to do ... I am going to share my entire career. That way I am still making a contribution.
This has been an interesting lesson. I think it is important to remain positive and to look on the bright side of things but I also believe it is important to allow yourself time to grieve. I know full well how endings are new beginnings ... but we need time to express the full range of our feelings to be able to let go and authentically reach a bounce back. By allowing the tears, I can feel the bounce back coming ...