I remember nearly six years ago, adjusting my New York & Co. blazer and fiddling with my handbag. Sitting in an open waiting area thinking, “I am such a fake. There is no way they will take me seriously with this job.”
Then, hearing the administrative assistant calling my name.
“OK, Mrs. Pettus, they’re ready to see you now.”
Taking a deep breath for courage and calling on all of my training from 5 years competing in pageants (remember to sit up straight, smile, don’t break eye contact and cross those ankles, Miss Shelby County!) , I stepped foot into that principal’s office and started talking about how much I wanted to teach high schoolers about television production and how I could definitely handle leading a classroom. That same afternoon, I told my news director at the local channel I worked at that I wouldn’t be renewing my contract for another three years.
Taking that first step into the classroom was another moment where I had to call on all of my prior training and experience to keep my composure. Thoughts of, “you didn’t go to school to be a teacher, you have a degree in journalism!” flew through my head. Fears of “you look like you could BE in high school, and here you are hoping to TEACH these people??” swarmed around me.
But I did it. I stepped away from a career in journalism that I had been planning on being in since I was a little girl– and into a classroom full of 14-18 year olds, all hoping to be the next YouTube sensation. And I loved it. Corny jokes and words of advice flew, as well as a few tears from behind my office door and over the lunchroom table to my mentor teachers. But I took that step.
Today, I’m taking another terrifying step.
Today, after nearly six years in public education, I’m turning in my classroom keys.
I’m pivoting AGAIN. Going in a different direction that scares me all while being the most thrilling thing I’ve ever done. It’s a move that is for my family, for my clients that I’ve come to call family, and for my creative heart.
Today, after five years of growing and building up my skills and business, I am *officially* a full-time videographer.
As I prepared to turn in my keys, I heard that same voice that spoke to me before entering the classroom. “You are really leaving a job with a state retirement to go and film weddings every weekend?” “What business do you have calling yourself a professional photographer & videographer? You went to school for journalism, not photography!”
But I’m telling that voice to just HUSH. ‘Cause I’m also hearing the voices of my amazing 2017-2018 MPV couples saying they LOVE their wedding films and that they can’t wait to have me a part of their day. I’m rejoicing with the creative entrepreneurs that I’m getting to work with, who are seeing their businesses grow and flourish through video marketing and my encouragement. And I’m seeing my little family, being better served because Momma has the energy and TIME to stop and take in the little moments, cook dinner, and laugh.
I may be leaving a 7:30-3:30 for a 24/7..but I’m so excited to see where this journey takes me.
So while this is the hardest decision to make, especially the part where I’m leaving 175+ students behind in that classroom, it is an exciting one.
I can’t wait to see what is coming next.