CAREERING INTO 40!
MY MUM’S A POP STAR.
This title is actually intended to become a novel, for the time being, let me start with the first transparent blog of my Pop Star career. It’s not recommended or advised to promote being a mother / career woman until you are financially successful enough, but being a mum has been part of my journey and highlighted my childhood, my dreams and my gratitude it has given me the gumption to live life on my own terms and lead by example to my children whom I preach to all the time, you can do and be anything you want to and change your mind at any time, no rules! Just follow your heart is what I tell them.
As a parent, I witness schools leading children to believe academia is a launching pad for our careers and I guess school did that for me indirectly with reverse psychology, because even though I hated education and any academic system as a child, I was also a naturally happy person and worked hard at being so in my adult life, especially in the tough times and it is tough when school labels you an under achiever and assumes you will amount to nothing, even though you are working and trying your butt off! This naturally develops a low self esteem, depression and isolation, that most adults find it hard to shake! Therefore, I believe that a combination of my miserable school years, being told I can’t and my innate ability to return to my natural happy state and prove that I can, allowed me to follow my passions, and do what brings me joy, this is what delivered my career, rather than me delivering it.
Being a mum of 3, my eldest 2 have been asked what they want to do for a career already at the age of 13! 13 people! 13 years on the planet and you are expected to make massive choices about your future, which is daunting enough, with out the narrow career choices we are presented with at school. In her TED talks Emilie Wapnick, beautifully expresses that the reason why we might not be able to choose just one goal is that many of us are “multipotentials” meaning that we might don many hats and master them or indeed invent new ones along the way.
Emilie certainly describes my childhood school days to a T, but more than that, most schools including mine and my children’s only celebrate the A star achievers and only focus your education at school. If like me you you were blessed to have a rich and lusciously creative home life, provided by your parents, it could make you feel, as it did me, that the majority of my learning of life, through observing and being taught by my parents and joining them in their passions and learning their skills, was ignored by school. So much so, that I clearly remember my music teacher’s school report, stating – “Alexandra, can ‘barely’ clap along to a rhythm in keeping with the tempo and she just about manages to sing along to a melody with the rest of the class!” (Little did she know that I was grade 7 in piano and had passed grade 5 theory, sung and performed in choral harmonies with my mother’s Polish folk dance groups and in my father’s choirs since I had been born.
This sort of negative and blinded attention gave me a grave dislike of school, it seemed false and full of BS. I made A level choices to try to find “one career path” and continue with further education, but I was so disillusioned with the academic world and felt I had so much more to explore of life before I committed to any choices, that I dropped out in my second year. I moved out of home, found work, went travelling, made my own money while I travelled, allowed my creative impulses to take charge. This meant that I designed and created costumes. I made connections with people that had creative skills and could help make my visions a reality and through this I effortlessly became a project manager.
When, my social circle who had similar experiences all declared that they would return back to college and uni to complete their education, I was mortified! Mainly because, I was afraid of being abandoned and couldn’t remotely fathom returning with them! I had this sense that they all felt the calling to, ‘Grow up’ and I just didn’t want to. My soul searching also acknowledged the fear of losing my creative play friends. I decided that the only thing left for me to do that would enable me to ‘grow up’ was to have children of my own. After all, I had had the best training I could ever have by observing my own mother and as I was her play friend, my children could be mine.
So, one by one the children arrived and I was and am a very doting, applied and if I say so myself amazing mother! Now society might not consider mothering to be a career, which to me is outrageous, because ‘career women’ who are also mothers, employ other women to be live in nannies and house keepers. Combined, these 2 job titles pull in an average salary of £75,000! Which is nowhere close to what I as a ‘stay at home’ mother got from child maintenance. Which only magnifies the miracles I have achieved in raising 3 up standing citizens. However, with all this magnificent achievement, I still didn’t feel the sense of having ‘grown up’.
I hadn’t ever managed to pick just one career to specialise in and my pet hate was to be asked at parties, “So, what do you do?” I’ve had so many jobs, built and sold my own successful business, studied to be a teaching assistant, permaculture specialist, I’ve created and led a choir, I am a Director and secretary of a film industry firm and I perform all these duties while still managing to write, record, perform and grow my own business. So how do I answer the “what do I do” question?
I suddenly realised that my 40th was rapidly approaching and I asked myself in the manner of a school headmistress, “what have you achieved, Alexandra.” This is a summary of what I came up with:
- I have proven 16 years of commitment to my career as a mother and passed with honours!
- I have always been and still am a committed and loving daughter and sister.
- I have committed to always learning and growing from all relationships.
- I am a devoted and loving wife.
- I have explored my interest in permaculture and know i will pick it up in retirement.
- I have always followed my passion of writing and singing songs.
- I have indulged my visions of costume making and project managed their creations.
- I have explored making different genres of music with a variety of people.
- I have pursued my learning about the vastly transforming music industry, legally, and creatively.
- I have not allowed my fear of getting older stop me from living my dream.
- I am a self made pop star.
- I have always and still do work very hard at loving me. #iLoveMee
And as I career through my 40’s and live the dream life of a modern day pop star, I encourage other people to follow their passions and work hard at loving the self, especially on the days when you’ve burned the dinner, you wake up wishing you had a different life, you’re bored of the sound of your own voice, “you know where you’re going but don’t know the way” (Mee And The Band – BreadCrumbs lyrics) …
Keep exploring life, because that is the real education that fulfils and inspires us with enthusiasm, that’s what made teachers wanna teach in the first place before they lost the will to love teaching. Being an adult has got nothing to do with age, but it has everything to do with acknowledging your fear and “hearing your heart sing, do not fear the joy I bring!” (Mee And The Band – I know I am Worth it)– then doing what excites you even if it terrifies you. Don’t judge yourself by your financial success, rather measure yourself by looking at what you’ve learned and adoring the courage it took to learn it.
Let’s make sure that at the end of our lives we all have some good stories to show and tell.
Mee And The Band