Louise Nayer: Guest blogger on early retirement

Louise Nayer: Guest blogger on early retirement

Louise Nayer, whom I recently met at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, agreed to guest blog for Radical Aging today. She gives us a little insight into her current work, the book Poised for Retirement: Moving from Anxiety to Zen, which was published in 2017. Before retirement, she was a professor of English at City College in San Francisco. Her 2010 book, Burned: A Memoir, was an Oprah Great Read and won the 2011 Wisconsin Library Award. She lives in San Francisco, CA. I hope you will enjoy her essay, “Leaving my job early and saving my soul.” You can learn more about Louise at www.louisenayer.com Leaving my Job Early and Saving my Soul When I was eight years old, I knew I wanted to be an artist. Maybe a dancer? I loved to twirl, studied ballet at Mrs. Tarasova’s studio, and my sister and I dressed up in clothes my mother kept in an old hamper—crinoline slips that swung from side to side, lacy tops and tiaras. We put on the music of Swan Lake on an old Victrola and danced in the living room for hours. Then I wanted to be a pianist. I loved my teacher, Mr. Diaz, a big man from Cuba. The first lesson I had with him, he said something harsh that made me cry. He told my dad, who repeated it to me, that he was being strict with my fingering because he thought I had talent. I had played on my own for a few years and developed my own, crazy fingering method. He softened, and I learned correct fingering. I went back to him for...