It’s been six days – Monday – since I surrendered to the inner guidance to leave my job.
I had been told two weeks before – way too late in the process – that I had too much income to qualify for Battery Park Apartments, the subsidized senior living apartments for which I had applied a year before. When the apartment manager looked at my income figures, she said, “Your social security income gets you right up next to our limit – you would have to quit your job.”
When I lamented on my plight on Facebook, this is a composite of what several of my friends said: “You are meant for this living situation – you know it. They are nice apartments downtown at a livable rent. The location will agree with you. You need desperately to be nesting. You need your own place. You have held up extraordinarily well considering the circumstances – seven homes in ten months – but it has worn on you even more than you know. Stop. Do this. Quit your job.”
Battery Park Apartments, downtown Asheville
When I checked the numbers carefully, my Social Security check got me right up to the allowed income – lowering my hours at Earth Fare was not an issue. At first quitting seemed just impossible. I think it’s actually the residue of all the little choices to stay in a job that is so monotonous – that has been so hard on my creativity. Again and again I have told myself, “You have to stay here. You need the money. You need to be working – stay!” Even the initial consideration that I might quit started to peel the scab off the wound. Each day I saw more and more that five to eight hours a day standing on my feet in one place repeating transaction after transaction did beat me up. I used all the creativity at my disposal to make these transactions creative – and many of them were. Some were magical. But oh it has been hard work.
I had such a deeply ingrained taboo that “You must not let go of this job”, but when the letting go happened it came so easily. Monday morning I was talking to the manager of the apartments. “Can you guarantee that if I give up my job I will then qualify for your apartments.” “Yes.” “OK, then I’ll do it – I’ll quit my job.”
I was not feeling totally ready to actually do the quitting. I had a little short list of people I wanted to talk to before I took that step. I told myself that I would talk to my boss tomorrow. But then at my afternoon break, as I was leaving my station, there Nicole was. “Oh, do it.” “Nicole, can I have a couple of minutes with you?” “Sure, right after I respond to this one call.”
Nicole was wonderful. She is a new supervisor, but she had the poise of a pro. I know she likes me a lot, I know she wouldn’t want me to leave – and so many people are leaving at the same time. But she took in the situation for just a moment after I gave her the news and then said, “I hate it that you are going – we will hate to lose you – but it’s so great that you are moving to this wonderful new living situation. I hope it all works out great for you.
So far, letting go was working great – it was, in fact, thrilling. I move in on Saturday. But I had no idea all that was to come.