I walked to work on my last day as a theatre manager really early in the morning, that magical time when the sun is rising and the streets are silent and everything looks beautiful. It was peaceful and I was listening to Band on the Run on my iPhone. I cried. I’m not sure why because I didn’t feel sad, but the tears kept coming as the sun kept rising. I guess I was crying for everything that had passed. My mind wandered back years during that short walk. It was cathartic and by the time I arrived at work I felt really good.
So I’ve done it, I’ve bailed on the arts. After almost 20 years I’ve left theatre management for a new path.
At the very start of writing my blog I wrote a post about whether I should stay in my arts job or do something different, and it’s almost what started me off on this journey of self discovery
Now I’m leaving the arts, I’ve been expecting to feel sad about it, or really regret my decision. It just hasn’t happened yet. I think my tears were simply a way of letting go of an era.
The thing is, I love being an arts professional but I haven’t been happy in my work for at least three years and the expression flogging a dead horse comes to mind. I think I was worried about being labeled a sellout for leaving the arts for a normal job, but the truth is I’ve achieved so much in my arts career And I feel like I’m at a standstill, unmotivated to achieve anything more at this stage. I’m going to do work that I feel really strongly about and will give me opportunities that I can’t get in my arts management role at the moment. It sounds crazy but I will get to flex my creative muscles more in my “normal” job then I ever did in my arts job. And being creative is more then having the status symbol of being an arts professional. It’s about who I am. My knowledge and love of the arts isn’t going to die just because I do a different job, but in truth my passion may have died completely if I stayed in a role I felt was completely thankless. In a way leaving the arts industry is the best thing I can do for my creativity.
It does feel strange though, and I suspect I may have a little identity crisis down the line. But I absolutely understand my job title doesn’t make me who I am and it certainly didn’t make me happy. Everything I do and say and believe makes me who I am. It’s really exciting to be stood at the beginning of a completely new path, can’t wait to see what comes next….