Richard rang me last week to talk blog posts and the cow one.
Funny really that he has Ralph, Paul has Oscar and I have Cassie – all three are our dogs, not our children.
He mentioned to me that my own writing had become more measured and less aggressive, which he’s right about, simply because I’ve now stopped banging on a door that was barred to me and found a new one to open instead.
It’s taken a long time to leave that career door of teaching behind – but rattling the handle, shouting let me in to the 10 colluding bastards, was sapping my energy and making me fail to see there was a door ajar next to it, with a better path beyond.
That path has been writing – as you all know – and self-employment.
I remember from childhood that I banged on a door so violently that I broke it and hurt myself in the process and I’ve effectively been standing outside a classroom door since 2013, shouting to be let in.
Growing up on a council estate in Thorne, there were a peculiar set of rules. The house I remember most clearly was 85 Glebe Road, with a front door that led to a public open space and a back door with a fenced garden, a separate garage and small lawn.
The back door was where we were told to always enter the house.
One day though, playing on the front, I asked to be let in through that front route and was flatly refused by mother and father.
Now instead of accepting rules were rules, and I should walk round the block to the back, I worked myself into a tantrum, banging and shouting on the door, until I smashed the glass in a rage.
I think I was about seven – that age where my subconscious was finally being rounded off.
I got a good bollocking, but was let in, so felt some tiny compensation of victory, but that memory sticks with me.
In the past 4 years, I’ve stood at a career door, banging on it.
I’ve employed solicitors and barristers to expose the unfairness of these people and when I was exonerated in 2016, instead of smashing the door down again, I felt vindicated and relieved and actually decided to look elsewhere for professional and creative fulfilment.
I’ve found another door.
- One that is open.
- One where the path is inviting.
- One that makes me happy.
If you’re facing a closed or locked door in your job, I’ll give you some advice.
Instead of knocking on it, instead of asking to be let in, instead of getting support to open the door – accept it’s closed for a reason.
Find a new door – and make sure it doesn’t lead to a classroom – as that made me and others very ill.