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[personal profile] stevieannie
That's a zen quote, but I first heard it on a song by Christine Kane.  (In fact, I've got it playing now.  If you're interested, check it out here)

It was a song, and a quote that literally knocked me for six.  When I first heard it, I was working in an abusive environment (although as a remote worker, I had it much easier than some employees), which swallowed a huge amount of time and emotional energy, leaving me with very little for my family and home life.  What time was left was spent managing a house rental business which I didn't want to be running, but had very little other choice about.  I heard this song and the first line that sucker-punched me was:

"All you need to know, is that you're free to go..."

That's a hell of a concept to internalise.  I was literally struck by the realisation that I didn't *have* to do these things that made me miserable.  Sure, I needed to earn money, but there are other jobs, surely?  Other ways to do it?

Now, I'm not advocating chucking in your job.  I didn't.  But when a re-organisation came up at work, I took the opportunity that fate presented me with.  I leapt.

And the net appeared.

The headteacher at my daughter's primary school asked me if I'd do some music teaching.  The fee he offered was equal to what I'd lost with the abusive job, for far fewer hours.  Granted, I'd spent years being associated with this school, helping out and baking for fundraising sales.  He knew I was dependable and good at what he was asking me to do.  And despite being hellishly nervous, I found out that I loved it.  If there's one thing I love as much as performing, it's teaching and facilitating.  I had no idea.  But he saw something in me that I never had.  Steven Horsley was my very unlikely, football-playing angel.

And slowly, I tore myself free of the things that made me unhappy.  Sometimes it was people, sometimes it was pasttimes and sometimes it was jobs.  I picked them off my life like scabs.  Sometimes the scabs bled.  People didn't always like the changes I made.  At least one local friend disliked the fact that I stopped being negative, and wouldn't listen to her complain about her husband anymore.  She's still in her self-destructive circle, but I'm not.

And there started being a little bit of time in which I could glimpse me again.

Into that space and time dropped some other things - my job at Bishop Grosseteste, which is a scary challenge most days, but never fails to leave me a better person. My choir leadership, too.  I've had so much joy and companionship from the people in my choir that there simply aren't words to express it.  They know.  They understand why I cry when they nail a harmony and why my kooky conducting including signs for "Holy poo, the hairs are up on the backs of my arms!".  

These are all things that I would never have done if I'd had all of the old negativity and pain in my life.

I have tremendous sympathy for people who say, "I have no free time, and I'm really unhappy..."  I've been there.  And at times, things swell up again, and I have to sit and pick at scabs afresh.

Listen to that song again, and if you are unhappy, take a look at your life.

Leap, and the net will appear...
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