Surrendering My Life To the Muse

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 5-18

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.

7 thoughts on “Surrendering My Life To the Muse

    • Monica, thanks – if I have learned one thing over the last few years, it is that I can’t accomplish anything alone and the more support the better. Your support means something to me. Thanks for it.


  1. Wow, I wish I had seen this before we talked at Jubilee this morning. Will you be in the apartment with the extra windows and great views? You and Toni so need your own space. Hoping for this to be a great time in your creative life!


    • I liked our little talk this morning. I have three big windows facing west (sunsets and mountains) and one facing north. I had been pining for a 10th floor unit which I originally was promised, with spectacular views vs. my #503 with more modest ones, but today it hit me: my somewhat skittish but otherwise perfect dog is not crazy about elevators. It’s totally feasible for us to take the stairs(her in my arms – she’s not crazy about a lot of stairs either) to and from the 5th floor – not as much the 10th.


  2. Thanks Deborah. It does to me feel very light and freeing. What’s possible now? Read last night’s post – “Surrendering my work to the Muse.” So now to move more fully into my work. Not slipping in my work at Earth Fare as much as I can get away with, but more robustly just claiming who I am and what I am meant to offer. And I think I will very quickly be making more money with on demand poetry than I have been in my two-three shifts a week at Earth Fare.


  3. Majo, you will be missed and I applaud your courage. I too, left the security of a job, in March, to find a life! It’s great and I know you will be happier! Godspeed and good luck! Perhaps we will see each othe downtown some time.


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