This year will go down in history (or at least in my ‘One line a day’ book) as the year I decided to leave teaching to pursue a different career path. I know it might sound ridiculous as I’m only 25 and have only been in teaching for 3 years, but I had allowed myself to feel trapped in a career that was making me really unhappy. It wasn’t the kids or the staff (I had a great rapport with the students I taught and some fantastic people that I worked with) but something just wasn’t working to make teaching = happiness for me. So, it was time to make a change.

For me, this year has been full of ups and downs. There have been lots of wonderful moments, but also moments of total despair where I felt completely stressed and at a total loss for how I could cope with it. Luckily for me, I have a great support network of family and friends around me who eventually encouraged me to take steps to make a change in my lifestyle for the better and I’ve realised that keeping your mind healthy is essential for happiness. It is all too easy to get so wrapped up in feelings of what we ‘should’ be doing at a certain point in our lives or how we ‘should’ be feeling at particular moments.

It took me a very long time to have the confidence to leave my job. I felt that I was a total failure. After being that annoying friend all the way through school who when asked: “What do you want to be?” replied with absolute certainty: “An English teacher” and then following this up with a degree in English and a PGCE in Education, I was completely shocked to find that it wasn’t my dream job after all. What made the decision even harder was realising that I was actually (sorry for the big-headed comment here) really very good at it. I couldn’t understand how I could have wanted it for so long, be good at it, get great results for the students I was teaching but still wake up in the middle of the night feeling stressed out and trapped.

I was regularly finding myself half-laugh-crying at posts about it being nearly Friday and I realised I’d never been the type of person to wish away my life and wait for the weekend. I didn’t want to be that person who moaned about their job for the next 50 years, so I sat down with my boyfriend and my parents and told them what I needed to do.

I’m not going to pretend it’s been all sunshine and rainbows since then… I’ve had my share of ‘WHAT the F HAVE I DONE?’ moments but actually, the over-riding feeling I have experienced is one of pride. Pride that I took the first step towards making myself happy and pride that I had the confidence in myself to do something else.

So, my advice – if you’re in a similar position and feeling trapped in a situation that is making you unhappy – comes in the form of yet more inspirational (/ very cheesy) quotes.

  1. “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”

even if it seems completely terrifying to make the decision to leave or make a significant change in your life, you still have to do it if you want to make yourself happy. Sometimes, the moments that seem the worst actually end up leading us to the best things.

2.”Life is a journey, not a destination”

– stop thinking that the situation you’re in at the moment has to be the same forever. You don’t have to think: “when I get a house, then I’ll be happy”. Find happiness in the people around you and the relationships you have. 

3. “It’s okay to be a glow stick. Sometimes we need to break before we can shine”

– Accept that you might have to go through low patches and feelings of self-doubt and worry before you can work towards feeling happier.