For ten years, I worked hard to educate thousands of children. I never dreamt that I would stop getting up at 6am and working until heaven knows what time at night, planning, marking, making funky, creative learning resources and so much more. I loved my job. And then, during the Easter holiday of 2013, I realised that my life was beginning to head in a very different direction.
Over the last two decades, family, local and social history has progressed from being an interest to what some might call, an obsession. Many thousands of voluntary hours have been given to organisations in the field during this time and I have become ‘a known name’ – hopefully in a good way!
Since handing my notice in with my previous employer in April 2013, my life has completely changed. I get up earlier than 6am some days and sometimes that is in a different time zone. My lectures list has expanded from two handfuls to over fifty titles as well as providing bespoke workshops, training and consultancy. More family tree presentation gifts have been completed in the last six months than in the previous entire year and I have been lectured at various high profile events across the globe on a wide variety of topics from Thankful Villages and Women at War to Child Migration to Canada and one-name (surname) and one-place (community) studies.
And now, as I sit here in New York (JFK) airport heading home to England, I realise how lucky I am. I love my job. I can travel, see the world, meet new people and train others in various aspects of family, local and social history. I am still educating people, just in a different subject.
A new world has opened up, for me. And it’s a great place.