Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On Friday, I will resign. For 6 years, I have been the Executive Director of a non-profit music school whose mission is to provide music lessons to children from low-income families. You really couldn't create a more fulfilling job.

The children at this school pay $1 per week for their music lesson. We give them an instrument to use while they are enrolled and even buy their music books if they need us to. Our teachers are professionals, and our graduating class of 2006 went on to Harvard, Duke, NCA&T, Wake Tech, and Barton College. Not too shabby.

I've been to the White House to accept an award from Laura Bush. There have been newspaper interviews, podcast interviews, and numerous TV interviews. We get funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, our state arts council, the city, the county, and usually just about anyone else I ask for it.

This has nothing to do with me. The program is magnificent. The idea is brilliant. The need is absolutely relevant and the results scream success and value. I have said many times and say again, "It is easier to give us the money than it is to tell us no." It is true. What this school does with $25 could not be replicated by another arts organization or another service organization of which I know. The one-on-one student/teacher ratio and quality of music education offered makes our program the most important program seeking grants in this town.

Modest? Not me. I reiterate though, it's not me. Thank God it isn't, because I'm quitting. After 6 years of throwing my entire being into this school, I am tired. The responsibility of being in charge of the music education of 200 kids, a six-figure budget, 20 faculty, another staff member, and working with a volunteer Board of Directors has finally gotten to me.

I want to be a family girl.

There is my new family. And there is my old family. My parents need me more than ever. Guy needs me and Lovely needs me. And I want to have a baby.

I don't think I've ever looked at that sentence before. It seems odd to come from me. I have been an independent woman, a career minded, socially responsible, civic concerned woman. Lots of my colleagues and friends have no children.

I want to have a baby.

Let me be slightly more specific. I want to have Guy’s baby. I want to be a mommy with his daddy. I want to change the diapers of our offspring, get hardly any sleep, have sore nipples, wash 18 loads of laundry a day, and take long morning walks behind a stroller.

The beauty of being a musician is that you make up your own job. I can be a stay-at-home mom and still teach. I can teach as many or as few students as I want to. I can take as many or as few gigs as I want to. I can record, write, or do nothing as I see fit.

I am looking forward to having more time for my family and for music. Guy and I are looking forward to recording together, writing together, playing together, and just being together. I have never looked forward to the future before. I have only looked at making it through the now.

Although I am sad and scared to leave my job, I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to something new. I hope that I have accomplished enough to have made a difference while I was there.