It was not part of a big overarching plan to move to a rural community, where we knew no one. It was an opportunity, though, for my partner to work in an international firm with potential for promotion and to travel. And me? I’m versatile. As a teacher, singer-songwriter, background actor, and writer, I can find something to do almost anywhere.
The first year was very challenging for my partner, and kind of quiet for me. I did some substitute teaching, worked on songs, tried to get accustomed to the new town. We did lots of hiking in the summer, snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. The natural beauty around us was and is wonderful.
This year, I had thought that I would get more focused on my music. There was a music blogging opportunity that arose, and I applied, thinking not much was likely to come of it. I started a Masters course in Distance and Digital Education, with the notion that – if my partner’s company were to move us – I could eventually work anywhere that I could get an internet connection. I thought maybe getting into program development would be a plan.
Then, I got a job offer for full time teaching. Culinary Arts. A bit out of my wheelhouse (I’m a Social Studies specialist with English Language Arts leanings, in my most regular job life) – but the principal wanted to develop a Café that also could serve surrounding schools the occasional hot lunch, with an expansive vision for what a Culinary Arts program could be for the school.
Well, it was a chance at getting experience in program development – kind of like jumping into the deep end in order to learn how to swim. I took the job.
I also got the music blogger job – site called Two Story Melody. I love it!
The last few months have been nuts. Doing a full time job, and music blogging, and taking a Masters course, and dealing with many and various challenges concerning home and vehicle maintenance – everything combined and all at once has been absolutely crazy.
Oh, and a short time after I was hired, I got Covid. Stayed home for a week. Couldn’t work with food for a week after that.
Also, there are 5 things wrong with my right knee, and eventually I’ll have a consult with an orthopedic surgeon. Slows me down a bit. Turns out that abusing my body, by literally throwing myself into sports that I wasn’t good at (but enjoyed playing), as a youth, has repercussions now. Who knew?
Sure, the furnace went down in winter. No biggy – we have radiant heating in the basement, and a natural gas fireplace.
Sure, I realized the day of my final major Masters assignment that it was in fact due that day – and I hadn’t worked on it. Fortunately, the superpower part of my ADHD – the hyperfocus – kicked in. It wasn’t A+ work, but it turns out it was still good. The course is done for the semester. I’m not totally crazy, though – not doing that again next semester.
And at work – besides planning and marking, the Café has to sustain itself. I think in terms of supply chain, discounts, marketing incentives, test kitchen, daily specials, work flow, business efficiencies, niche markets, safe food storage and handling, product sourcing, sales tracking… stuff that really doesn’t come up for a Social Studies teacher on a regular basis. That said, momentum is picking up. We’re doing okay.
I’m also learning a lot about the world of Career and Technology Studies, and the opportunities and flexibility that it affords students – if a person is willing to use the creative possibilities that are built into the various curricula, in order to help students find their passions and succeed.
The music blogging is a great way to step away from the daily stresses and to just take some time to listen to and think about music. It’s also given me a chance to build on my playlist, providing me with exposure to artists I may never have listened to otherwise.
It’s not that I’m quitting as a singer songwriter. I’ve even written lyrics for a few songs along the way. What I have learned, over the years, is that every truly challenging experience tends to kickstart my mind, and when I finally do have a chance to reflect – the music begins to flow anew. My guitar is set aside, but not put away.
Where will this all lead? Shucks, if I knew that, where would be the adventure? The point is not to know it, but to live it.