Posted by: Marie | April 8, 2011

(531) Watching my words

Post #531
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, November 6, 2010]

So, this has been an eventful week!

I turned in my resignation at the bus barn early in the week. My boss said he was sad to see me leave because he really values me as an employee. But, he said, he was also very happy for me that my business was taking off so well despite the tough economic times. He is grateful I’m giving him about six weeks notice to find and train my replacement . . . he said he appreciates having time to plan the changes. So . . . all of that was really nice to hear from him!

I have been telling the staff at the bus barn about my plans to resign. Everyone is getting all mushy with their well wishes and I keep getting tears in my eyes. The people who work there have created a tight family of sorts. We really do help out each other and really care about what is happening with each other. I’m really going to miss spending time there! I’ve been told I can come back and have coffee with everyone every once in a while . . . and, I’ll still fill in as a sub driver when they really need me.

Photo by Martin Chen

And, speaking of piano lessons . . . one new family read on my website that I was heavily involved in the music in my church as I was growing up. I included that as a way to better demonstrate my musical background and not as a statement of my current religious/spiritual position. However, this family took it as the latter.

The dad is a local minister . . . and the kids are home-schooled. So, in our initial interview, the mom told me that she really wants to surround her kids with people who lead godly lives – implying I would be one of those godly people. When she said that, I didn’t directly respond.

I later found myself wondering if a non-response was the same as lying . . . I eventually decided not. I figured that, anyway, I do lead a godly life – maybe not a life that fits her definition of godly, but one that does fit my definition. Also, I know I can teach piano in a way that does not offend or degrade their beliefs. I can keep my beliefs out of the matter and I can allow their beliefs to come into the lesson to the extent they care to bring it in for their own edification.

Well, to make a long story short, in the weeks between the initial interview and the start of lessons, I forgot about this conversation. And, in their second lesson (which occurred this week), the topic of including religious music in the kids’ curriculum came up . . . and I mentioned that I make a point of learning about the preferences of my students when it comes to including religious material because I don’t want their selection to be limited to only that with which I am familiar. I’m willing to do this even when it involves studying material that doesn’t reflect my own preferences/beliefs

The mom got a funny look on her face . . . I guess the way I said it gave her a clue that I don’t share HER religious preferences/beliefs. She gingerly asked, “Oh, so Christian music is not included in your current personal preferences?” I got the impression she was asking as a way to make sure she didn’t step on my toes rather than as a way to pressure me into believing as she believes. Without going into detail, I answered with a simple, “No.” I saw a faint cloud roll over her face.

At first, I was puzzled. Then, I suddenly remembered our conversation that took place during the interview . . . and I realized she was now aware that I didn’t fully disclose my beliefs in the interview.


She didn’t say anything more and she didn’t give any outright indication that she was disappointed, but it did seem to subtly change the atmosphere in the room.

Oh, well. I guess . . . either they will or they won’t come back. Either way, there’s not much I can do about it now!

On a more-or-less fun note, I spent this morning at an ensemble event with one of my students. She is interested in possibly participating in the event next year . . . but, she is 14-years-old and painfully shy. She refuses to perform in front of a group.

So, I took her to observe this event so she could see it was more of a workshop than a recital. It still requires a performance in front of a small group, but the group is made up of other participants, a few teachers and a few parents.

It was a 30-minute drive from her house to the event. She spoke maybe five words during the trip – all five words were one-word answers to my five questions. I finally decided I wouldn’t push her to talk. I decided it would be okay with me if we rode in silence – since that seems to be her preference. So, we did exactly that . . . all the way there and all the way back. I decided I want her to know it is okay for her to show up in whatever way she chooses – whatever that looks like – when she is with me, even if it is uncomfortable for me.

Hmmmm . . . it was an interesting experience.

Finally, I sent my usual status email to Edward yesterday:


Hi, Edward –

I trust things are going well for you and you are enjoying this wonderful weather!

So . . . my big news this week is that I turned in my notice of resignation on Monday at the bus barn. I’ll work through to the Christmas break and then I’ll switch to a sub driver position. But, I told my boss that I’d prefer to be on the bottom of the list of sub drivers to call — most sub drivers would like more hours than they are getting so I told him to give the hours to the other drivers and I can come in when he doesn’t have anyone else. I really need the time more than I need the money, but this will keep my commercial license active and will keep my foot in the door if I need to go back to being a regular driver in the future.

I originally planned to do this a month ago but my gut was telling me the time was not right. Now, my gut says it is okay. I don’t know why the difference. Oh, well, I know it is best to follow my gut even when I don’t understand the “why’s”.

Most of the time I feel really good about this choice — and sometimes the fear of going back into that place of financial desperation hits me hard — but not too much. Mostly I’m excited about being able to focus on music-related stuff.

Also, I am amazed at how much lighter my soul has been feeling since our last session. I guess the weight of holding onto that secret was heavier than I realized. I feel a significant load has been taken off my soul. That is big.

So . . . I’ll see you Wednesday!

– Marie


Dear Marie,

Thank you for the update.

I look forward to our time together Wednesday.



  1. I hope the music teaching business is still going well.

    • It is! Yippee!! Thank you for the well-wishes!

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