A New Life Starts Here

by | 11 Oct 2015

This week has been a question. A pleasantly strange one but a question nonetheless. When people ask me, what will I say I do?

Last week I left my job at the Lyric Hammersmith: the best theatre in the world. It wasn’t just a job. For fourteen years it was my life. Last week I left my life.

New beginnings are always difficult, even the ones you’ve chosen. You have to create a new identity and it’s hard when you’re no longer sure what to say you do. I’m not going to run another theatre that would feel like having an affair. I do know I want to write more but in the world of writing I’m not even nearly there.

But this week it’s been a joy not to have to shut my laptop mid sentence to jump in the shower because I’m running late again. And to sit in park cafes on an autumnal weekday morning looking at the leaves. I’ve been to yoga (twice) and EVEN had a swim. And new adventures, post Channel Challenge, are starting to formulate within.

So back to that pleasantly strange question. Who am I now? What is it that I do? For now it will have to remain a question. But a new life starts here. That’s true.



  1. Ruth Ward

    Oh wow Jessica, I didn’t know you were thinking of leaving the Theatre? Big brave and exciting move… Been there when I left NatWest after 22 years.. We all need to earn money and that can limit our choices and timings!

    Well done you, and look forward to hearing about your next career chapter? Xxx

    Sent from my iPad


    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Thanks Ruth. Yes, it’s a big big step but the timing feels right. 14 years seems a lot, I can’t imagine what it would be like leaving after 22! A new career chapter and hopefully a new book (!) is coming and I’ll definitely keep you posted! Jessica x

  2. Stacy

    This post intrigues me! I would be very interested to read more about how you made this decision and how things continue to evolve for you. All the best!

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Thank you so much for writing and I’m happy you’re intrigued! It was a decision that I made quite a long time ago and although there is a lot that is terrifying about it, it also feels right. I loved my job and could easily have stayed but I also have other dreams and I don’t want to regret not following them. I hope you’ll stay in touch with me and my blog and follow how things evolve! Love, Jessica x

  3. clarehallcraggs

    How exciting! I hope you’re able to give yourself time and space to enjoy new things whilst you work out your next step. I went through a similar journey which became an adventure in itself recently – not via the Channel but good all the same.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Thanks so much for commenting Clare. I’ve just signed up to follow your blog which looks great so hopefully I’ll get to hear about your adventures now too. Time and space is definitely on my agenda although one week in and I don’t seem to have found any quite yet. However, I have to say Sunday nights have never felt so good! Looking forward to keeping in touch. Jessica x

  4. Alison

    Hear, hear Jessica – whatever you do you’ll do it well. Love Al

  5. Nikki

    How exciting! I only recently found your blog (I know, I know, where have I been??!) and can identify totally. I’m also in the process of leaving my wonderful but very demanding career of 17 years and starting something new.

    One of the hardest parts I’ve found of failing to have children is that when you become a mum your life is pretty much directed, or should that be catapulted, into the world of motherhood. When you don’t, nothing is quite so clear…

    I feel sometimes that I’m looking out on to a great wilderness, one that could be full of promises and excitement, but I’m really going to have to hunt them out. It would be too easy to just wander without much direction and never really find anything.

    I wish you well in everything you do, and am knowing that you will find a fantastically exciting and meaningful new path of your own. x

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      I’m delighted you found my blog, and thank you so much for making contact! I totally agree about the route not being clear – a wonderful wildnerness for sure but one that requires a lot of working at! I hope you’ve got exciting plans for your new life, I’d love to know what they are, and I wish you much joy in hunting them out! Off we go….. Jessica x

  6. Diane

    Just how I felt when I left Brighton Festival….. to some extent I lost my sense of identity as I did not have a job title, or children to give me a place in the world, but eventually you realise you don’t need one and you get on with just doing what you want to do, not worrying about how you are perceived by society. I’m sure you’ll find what you are looking for as you are one determined lady!

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Thanks Diane. I love a comment on my blog and lovely to see your name. I’m definitely looking forward to finding my new jobless, childless place in the world. Ever determined that’s true! Much love Jessica x