Thursday, September 1, 2016

Winds of change...

7 days from today I will be segueing back, or is it forward, into a life of freelancing. My contract at the Cultural Development Foundation is coming to a close September 30th and I have a few weeks vacation due, so that makes September 9th my last work day here.

road less traveled
Lots of mixed feelings...but mostly excitement because there are a few major reasons why I am choosing not to renew my contract - and thank goodness one is not that they said "Meh Fifi, we not taking you back" ;) 

Reason number 1) I came across an opportunity to take a 1-year's Masters Diploma in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development - it's part distance and part on-site in Turin Italy. Run by the ITC-ILO through the University of Turin...and it came with the possibility of a partial scholarship through the OAS...I got accepted and got the that begins very conveniently, on October 17th (Viv la Margewit!) 

Short story of perseverance with the application, keep in mind I did my Degree in Crafts 24 years ago...and the college - Crewe & Alsager, has been subsumed into Manchester Metropolitan University via Manchester Metropolitan Polytechnic and my course no longer exists...and I never got a transcript...and Italy requires, I mean REALLY requires a bunch of legalized, translated, Declaration of valued documents or you may as well sit counting grains of sand while you wait to be accepted cos it just ain't gonna happen...

No matter that the online application crashed on the last page the Sunday afternoon I was completing it, (yes, of course it was the last day!!! know I procrastinate!) No matter the links to the explanation of what a 'declaration of value' was wouldn't matter Google kept this secret from me despite my best searches...not sure why, but a twist of fate and test of my perseverance maybe? .... the thing is I decided if I wanted it, I would just have to persevere and make it I did and so, it did!

Do not give up. Do not sit back and will the universe to make it happen for you or pray for it - by all means do those things, but they do not work without you taking all and every action you can to forge your path!!! 

Reason number 2)
I miss the freedom of freelance...lord knows I have really appreciated the time I have spent at CDF - regular salary every month, staff camaraderie, comfortable air-conditioning ;) a chance to make a difference in the perceived value of arts and culture in Saint Lucia...and the unexpected hiatus from my creative work has actually given me the space to look at what I really enjoy, what really matters...that has been priceless. But I have long since used up my 'working double-time capacity' and so I've found I didn't have time, or energy really, to do my creative work...and I miss it is a very big part of who I am. I also miss being a trainer - yes, I've done some while here, but I miss being in the field and doing training and development work...I just do.

So there it is - I am hoping I can work out continuing some projects with CDF, but I am also moving back (and forward) to my creative work. It will be different from before: much more focus on the environment and recycling and reflecting my thoughts and feelings on life, hope, inspiration, enlightenment, peace, challenge and all that stuff.

And for those wondering if to leave the 9-5....well, you have to know what you want and make a reasonable path forward - it is not easy. I have been self-employed/freelance/micro-business for 25 years and so I can say, when you leave a job, you are leaving security, that's for sure. So know what you plan to do and work out how you will pay the bills and what you are prepared to trade has been a real challenge to review what matters, what I am prepared to let go, not let go...don't under-estimate the rigours such a move to 'freedom' entails - not in the pre-planning, nor in the execution!

So, back to what I'll be doing - I will also be writing more - not just blogging, I will certainly be doing more of this - writing about my journey and travels and more, but also working on actual books - how-to guides, insights on life and overcoming challenges. 

I'll write soon about what I believe I can offer and what I would like to have you hire me to do, also...but don't let that stop you getting in touch if you think you have something I could work on with you - I'd love to hear!