The Internet Connection is No Bueno

August 24, 2016

Seriously.

I’m going to have to take this blog somewhere else, I get such awful reception in the room I’m staying in, I started it in a Word doc but have transferred it over to my WordPress platform which keeps going in and out.

Story of my life.

Half the time that I am at home the internet will drop or I can’t get online or I’m standing on one foot doing the electric boogaloo trying to pick up the signal so I can post my blog.

I could go elsewhere in the house, I suppose that may be the answer at this time.

I don’t want to though, I’m all cozy in my room and I need a bit of a break from the day and the family and the stuff and things.

I know very well why I am not the woman who would ever accept an in house nanny gig, meaning a live-in.

It’s just way too hard to assert boundaries when there’s no physical space, and fuck, I have a super hard time asserting boundaries anyhow.

I tried a bit today and it didn’t go well.

Which was sort of the expectation I had all along when I have thought about what I need to ask for in my job for me to do a good job.

I actually don’t want to talk about it right now since it feels very unresolved and very not able to address it in the moment and I feel pretty stressed about it.

Stress and anxiety never really serve me and as I sit in my room in this big house out in the Sonoma country side I put into my mind all the love and support I have from my friends and know that whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.

I just don’t have much practice with conflict resolution in my work life or in my life in general.

I can’t stand conflict, let me be up front.

Conflict in my life was not typically met well.

I joked with a friend tonight that I was terrified to have conflict because I realize that I think I’m going to be beaten if I bring up an issue that I have needs around.

And.

Yes.

This is a dramatic reenactment of my childhood shit that still lingers when I least want it to.

I also know that a lot of this can be circumnavigated the more I communicate what I need.

I also know that sometimes people don’t want to hear that you have needs or aren’t interested in helping you meet them.

And that’s ok too.

This is all my stuff.

My stuff I get to work on and if it doesn’t work out, hey, there are other jobs in the sea, I’m good at what I do, I am smart, capable, loving, kind, compassionate and accommodating.

Too accommodating for my own good, as the case may be.

I’ll leave it at that.

Which yes is vague blogging, but I really don’t feel comfortable airing it out here until I know what is going to happen next for me.

As there is still conversation that needs to happen.

Anyway.

One nice thing about asking for what I need is saying what I have to have in regards to hours for the fall and being met with an affirmative yes, that is doable.

Basically what I did last year, work 35 hours a week on weeks I’m not in school and weeks when I am, 28 hours a week.

It’s enough to get by and cover my costs if I am frugal.

I also found out that I am going to have a slightly different Friday than I was expecting.

I thought I would be here in Glen Ellen with the family, but mom asked me to go back to the city early, after work on Thursday and help out by being at the house on Friday while they are still here in Glen Ellen and cooking for them so that they are set up when they get back from the summer vacation and have things ready for the boys for the first week of school.

I can totally do that!

It helps me out as much as them.

I’ll be able to return the rental car early, Thursday night, rather than trying to helter skelter it back on Friday and then get back to my house to leave with my ride share to the event.

I’ll also be done with work and in the city by 6p.m. versus leaving Glen Ellen at 6p.m. and then having to drive back with Friday traffic.

This means home by 6:30 p.m. and ready to go by 7p.m.

I e-mailed my ride and let him know that I would be ready an hour and a half earlier than I thought.

There is also a very good possibility that I will be done sooner than 6p.m., but I am going to play it safe and not promise that I will be available sooner than that.

I did indicate there was reason to believe I may be done sooner, but it all depends on how much cooking I get done and how fast the InstaCart delivery gets to the house.

If it follows like it did the last time I cooked for the family when they wanted a big supply of dinners in the freezer from me when I went to my school retreat, I’ll be done by 5p.m.

That would be the most optimal.

I would love to come home and leisurely get my organized stuff out to the front of the house and change into something appropriate for a long drive and maybe shot gun a coffee or thirteen.

I mean we will be driving all night.

But that is fine with me.

I am so eager to go.

Just have to make it through the next two days without imploding.

I know that ultimately for me this is a great growth opportunity and that there is no malicious intent on either side, and it’s also just a job.

It may be challenging to get what I need or to ask for it, but if this isn’t the right place for me to keep growing and being of service, there are other places.

And I’m grateful, I’m grateful for the conflict, I’ll probably change my mind about that tomorrow when we talk, but I know that I’m growing and that this is change and change begets change and I deserve to grow.

And to know that conflict doesn’t mean annihilation.

It just means communication of uncomfortable things.

And I don’t need to be right.

But I do need to be happy.

And that means, communication.

I just need to say what works for me.

Even if it’s not heard they way I want it to be heard, or it’s misconstrued.

I know I will be better off for having voiced it.

Here’s to having a voice.

Here’s to change.

Even when it sucks.

Especially then.

Since that typically is the time when I grow the most, benefit the most, and find even greater reserves of love in my life.

Love.

Love.

It’s all about the love.

Always has been

Always will be.

Love.

Psychodynamic Psychiatry

August 23, 2016

You soul sucking little fucker.

Geeze Louise.

I think a little bit of my brain tried to ooze its way out of my ear when I wasn’t looking.

That being said, I just killed a good portion of the reading I need to have done for my first weekend of school.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s confusing.

I have already had 8 days of school, but that was the intensive (two classes completed in one week), my semester officially begins the 2nd of September, which is why I shall be returning from the dusty dust quite a bit earlier than I want to.

Ah well.

At least I get to go.

I had another person tell me recently, thank you so much for your unsolicited advice, that I should just speak to my teacher and tell him (note him, note now I think you’re sexist, and white, and old (at least from the photo), and probably haven’t been laid in a while, oops, am I projecting?) and let him know that it was Burning Man and important to me and I would catch up on my classes soon.

A yeah.

Not so much.

My school program is an Intensive program, it’s a weekend program.

It meets five times a semester for three days and in that time I am expected to process, digest, and understand the same amount of information that the weekday students are getting in 16 weeks of class.

I can’t miss any of the first weekend.

It would be graduate school suicide.

I do have a person in my cohort who decided to take off this semester and part of that decision did indeed have to do with going to Burning Man.

I did not feel like that was any kind of option for me and I sort of wondered, partially in worry and partially in awe, that the fellow was going to do it that way.

But hey.

I can’t decide how others live their lives and I get to prioritize what works best for me.

And I get to go to both things.

Actually, there’s more than two things happening here as well.

I will also be going to the Mike Doughty Living Room show on September 1st.

I have a hankering to ask him out for a cup of coffee and shoot the shit for a little while.

I may do it just to say I did it.

I mean.

What if he said yes?

That would be fun.

But back to the school stuff.

I am proud of myself for kicking through that chunk of reading.

I did 135 pages of pretty wordy reading, it was some serious deep theoretical writing.

I also went through the beginnings of my DSM 5 Desktop reference book..

I am getting myself primed for my Psychopathology class.

Say that five time fast.

There’s two really big papers and the information is dense and I wanted to make sure that I attended to the reading before going to that thing in the desert.

Pretty much what I did last year.

Get as much reading done as possible and write all the papers that I need to before going, which will allow me to come home and de-dust and get my head on straight and have a day of rest before jumping into the fray of a three day school weekend.

The bad news was originally that the school weekend is Labor Day weekend and bah humbug, I’m supposed to be doing all the things in the desert.

Now.

My thought is.

Yay!

Labor Day weekend.

I’ll have a day off before I go back to work!

Typically I roll right from the school weekend right into the work week and there is no down time, there is only get down time, get it done time, get going time, make it happen time, don’t have enough time, what fucking time do I have to set my alarm for time, do I have enough time to do yoga time, and get my God on time, and let’s not forget blog time and sleep time and please, God, let there be some sexy time in there too.

Whew.

That’s a lot of time on my mind.

So.

Despite feeling like I am in a holding pattern this week at work in Glen Ellen.

I am grateful to have some “spare” time to throw at the reading for school.

Grateful to know that I have all my gear packed and my house neat and tidy and my bed is made with fresh sheets and the garbage went out this morning and the compost and I watered my plants, paid rent early, and all I have to do is keep showing up steady for work and being sweet and kind with the process.

And in a small aside.

I got my period!

Fuck yeah.

This makes ten in a row without my menses on playa.

Not something I want to deal with.

I swear I willed the little fucker into being just to have it over with before I hit the playa.

Even when I was cramping up a little and my back was sore, is sore, and I was like, thank you God for reminding me to pack the ibuprofen in my bag, I was also doing little mental cartwheels of joy that I don’t have to deal with it at all on playa.

One last thing to not have to pack.

The only thing I really want to get before I go is a toothbrush.

I like having a fresh guy when I get back.

I like having all the things clean and tidy and neat when I get back, a new pair of black Converse waiting in my closet and fresh set of sheets on the bed, fresh washed clothes in the closet, swept floors, and a new toothbrush.

It’s a nice way to restart the daily life of living.

I suspect that since I’m only going for four days, the shortest time I have ever gone, that a lot of those things won’t feel quite the same as they have in the past, but they will still be nice.

And that’s what I want to give myself when I get home.

Nice.

I’m sitting pretty right now.

Happy to have done so much work on my Monday.

Happy to have done all the work yesterday to be ready for the weekend.

Happy to have some sunshine too–that fog was serious this weekend in San Francisco.

Happy!

Happy!

Joy!

Joy!

T-minus four days and counting.

But who’s counting?

Heh.

All The Mother Fucking Things

August 22, 2016

I got it done.

I almost cannot believe it.

I finished the reading for my Gestalt class so I can write the paper tomorrow.

Brief aside, so early into the blog, but.

I know I’m on the right track when the last sentence of the book, involving an imaginary conversation that Fritz Perls is heaving with Freud (a dead Freud, seven years gone at that point) stirs me to tears.

I was moved.

And I am excited that I have found what I believe to be the therapy modality that I want to work with and also.

Heh.

All things Burning Man.

Gestalt and Burning Man.

Yup.

I have a desire to write my dissertation on a theory I have around Gestalt and the evolution of Burning Man, the here and nowness of things.  I am rather nascent in my explorations, but I do know that I am heading in the direction of what I want to do and I am so very happy to think about combining two different things into a project that could lead me to dissertation.

Anyway.

I get a head of myself.

Which is so not Gestalt, and so not Burning Man.

But is so easy for me to do.

In the moment, I am sitting in my pajamas, yes, before 8p.m. on a “school night” for me as I will be getting up early, early, early to drive to Sonoma for work in the morning.

I made the decision to stay here overnight and go up early so that I could wrap up any lose ends and take care of things for my imminent trip to the playa.

I cleaned the house, re-packed my clothes bin for the burn, I had a suspicion that I was not really well packed, that I may have over packed a little in fear and went through all my gear to make sure I really was going to use it or wear it.

I’ll only be out for four days and four nights.

Which means 8 outfits.

I paired down a little what I had and organized it better.

I was tempted to go back through all my bins, but when I did a mental inventory I knew that I was fine and really well set up for the event.

My camera has freshly charged batteries, I have my back up phone battery charger, I have all my tent, bedding, sleep, cook, cooler, and hair supplies.

Hello.

You know this girl is going to get her big, pink, flowered hair on.

Please.

Then I took care of business.

I paid rent early.

I don’t like to have that hanging over my head before going out there, and it feels good to be accountable.

I won’t have to worry about paying any bills when I get back, I can just ease back into my life with little thought–paid my DMV renewal on my scooter, early, but hey, the bill came in the mail, I don’t want my dusty brain to forget it when I get back, and organized my ticket, vehicle pass, and yes, I printed off my Early Arrival pass.

I have them all right here, right at my elbow, just waiting for my return on Friday night.

I’ll be leaving work by 6p.m. at the latest and returning the rental car to SFO, grabbing a car from the rental drop off to home, then my ride share will come and get me, it’s looking like 8:30 p.m. for the pick up.

We load up and drive out.

I confirmed with him via e-mail, updated him in regards to groceries and water–suggested that we not get water in SF, but rather pick it up at the SafeWay in Reno which is open 24 hours.  Less weight in the car, less gas to get us up over the Sierra’s.

He totally agreed.

I also went shopping for a few things to have at the house for when I get back.

And I’ve packed my suitcase, so recently unpacked, again for this week’s work in Glen Ellen.

All that I have left to do is dry the load of laundry in the dryer and write this blog.

Heck.

I even addressed all my Burning Man postcards and stamped them up.

I met with two ladies today and did the deal, too.

Which was super good and really grounding, they are such gifts, I am so lucky to get to work with them and share my experience, strength and hope.

My other lady did a phone check in and by the time all that was done I felt really ready for the next phase of my development.

An extraordinary thing that.

One which lead to me realizing that I had no real need to go out all willy nilly and secure further stuff and things for that thing in the desert.

That, I, in fact, had everything I needed and a little more (one white crinoline and one black crinoline), that there was no reason to stir my anxiety pot by driving around town in the VW Bug rental car.

Especially when I got the perfect parking spot in front of the house last night.

Why move it and cause myself stress to buy things I don’t really need, but think I might want.

Nah.

I got it.

I really am ready.

The few things I have left to get are just a couple of food stuffs that I want to wait until Reno to procure–some apples, one more container of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and some carrots.

As for the rest of it.

It’s done.

I am so glad I didn’t leave the neighborhood, I am so glad I took time to re-pack and re-organize and also to realize that I really am done.

It’s done.

I’m ready.

The rest of the week is to show up kind and compassionate with sweetness, tolerance, and love to work.

To write a six page Gestalt paper and to do some reading for another of my classes.

Thank you Sunday.

For being, well, easy like Sunday morning.

Giggle.

It’s been fruitful, restful, and far less stressful than I thought it would be.

Hella grateful.

Seriously.

Holy Shit

August 21, 2016

I’m packed.

I sort of want to throw up in my mouth.

It’s just stuff and things.

I told myself as I looked over the stack.

Three bins, one cooler, one tent, one camp chair, blankets, bedding, pillows.

It doesn’t sound like much.

But it makes enough of a stack that I am a little concerned about my playa ride share.

He’s got a VW Cabriolet.

He’s also picking up food for some of his camp mates plus whatever gear he has and of course water.

I keep envisioning the car already full and there’s no room for my stuff and I’ll have to leave something behind and what the fuck would that be since I have everything I need and want in those bins, clothes, crinolines, boots, tent stakes, work gloves, hammer, lantern, extra batteries, tights galore, bunny slippers, a leopard print coat for night time gamboling.

I need it all.

And I am also still on the look out for a person to bring it all back as well.

I have co-ordinated with the people who are gifting me the airplane ride home, pinch me, it’s still so surreal, and I’ll be meeting them at their camp on Wednesday of the event at noon.

So I’ll need to be all packed down and tidied up by eleven, giving me an hour to get across to them.

It shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

I’ll be camping at 5:40 and Guild with Anonymous Village.

More specifically I’ll be staying with the ladies of the Wolf Pack.

All my things will be staying there to be transported, by whom TBA, including my playa ride, which I will be loaning to a friend who’s going up with her fiancee–it’s his first burn and he doesn’t have a playa ride.

I got some lovely and sweet news today.

My ride will arrive on playa one week from today.

And.

The front fork has been fixed, my tires pumped up, pedals greased, chain greased, and, holy moly talk about service, my bicycle light batteries recharged.

I was just astounded.

Thank you Thumper!!

I have been so blessed with gifts this Burning Man and I haven’t even gotten out there yet, but it does feel like a miraculous thing, this getting out there.

I know I don’t have to worry about my stuff.

It’s all just stuff and things anyhow.

Yet.

I would be upset if it didn’t come home or it was mishandled, but ultimately as long as I get back safe and sound it doesn’t matter about the rest of it.

Sort of.

I would miss my hats and boots and utility belt, my new shoulder harness, my hair flowers and my make up box.

I would miss all my funny knee socks and silly tights.

But ultimately.

I would be ok if somethings went missing.

I repeat.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ride to the event.

Early Arrival pass.

Fluffing shifts with Media Mecca.

Dusty Family reunion.

Ride home in a Cessna!

I got the low down on that too.

Aside from the meeting the crew, pilot and one other passenger, and getting to the camp by Wednesday noon.

I’ll meet them at their camp which is 7:30 and A at noon with me, myself, and I and one small carry on bag.

They will take me to the airport, load us up and the we fly to Reno, one hour pit stop for refueling and then back into the air, final destination San Carlos airport.

I didn’t even know there’s an airport in San Carlos.

A little secret.

I didn’t even know where the fuck San Carlos was until I googled it.

Heh.

I can BART and MUNI back to my place.

It’ll take about two hours via public transport.

Possibly more.

I may opt for a car.

Not sure yet and I certainly don’t need to figure it out right now.

The plane will be picking up someone in San Carlos and turning right back around.

They could be back in Black Rock City before I even get home!

I am still in shock that I am packed.

Heh.

I still have to re-pack to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.

I have been unpacking and repacking my rolling suitcase a lot for the last couple of weeks.

One more go and then I can put it back in the close for a little while.

Such a good little suitcase, it’s been a lot of places-Paris for six months, Rome for a weekend, London for a weekend, New York for two different weekends, Florida twice to see the moms, Anchorage, Alaska, Minneapolis, Madison a couple of times I think, LA, Chicago.

The little suit case that could.

And so many other short little jaunts here and there.

I’m wondering when it’s going to lose the back wheel, it’s starting to wobble a bit, and that will be the end of her, but until then I’ll be hauling it back out for the last week of work before I go to Burning Man.

All the packing.

Whew.

But.

I really am pretty much done.

Today I got the last few things I needed for playa and a couple of household things that I have needed and went around the Haight to peruse the vintage shops and the Burning Man supply stops and you know what I bought?

Post card stamps.

Heh.

I really don’t need anything and though I tried on a bunch of stuff, there really wasn’t a thing that I wanted.

Oh, I had ideas, but they were all thwarted and I realized as I was wandering the foggy street that it was really nice to know I’m prepared and prepped and my food is waiting patiently in my fridge all nice and frozen and really, all I have to do is the next action in front of me.

And it will all happen.

Right on time.

Like it always does.

OH!

The one thing do I need to do, note to self, PRINT OF MY EARLY ARRIVAL PASS.

There.

I will remember that now.

Thanks.

And.

Good night.

xo

 

 

OMFG

August 20, 2016

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

OHMYMOTHERFUCKINGGOD.

Did I read that right?

I think I had to read the message three times because I couldn’t fucking breathe and then I was on the phone so fast it was ridiculous.

To whit.

The following (with certain bits and pieces deleted for anonymity sake) is the message I received this morning.

(This morning when I woke up mildly anxious to figure out how I was going to get off playa.)

Carmen; This is ______, T’s friend from J’s birthday (leader in _______)
 
T told me that you need a ride back from the playa Wednesday
 
We have a commercial pilot in camp, he is bringing his 3 seater personal Cessna
 
He’s flying out Wednesday to the Bay Area to pick up our camp lead’s son and he has a seat on the plane (only room for a small bag so you’d have to send your stuff home with someone else outside of our camp)
 
wanted to offer you this option as your first playa gift…. call me 123-456-7890 if you are interested ❤
Am I interested?
Oh holy sweet Jesus, of course I’m interested!
I don’t think I have ever gotten on a phone so fucking fast in my life.
It rang through and the next thing you know we are chatting like the old friends, as it turns out, old alumni!
She went to UW Madison like me, graduated a year after me, knew all the old haunts, Essen Haus, Angelic Brewing Company, and had in fact, almost not answered the phone because she thought it might be someone soliciting donations from the UW Alumni fund.
I still have my old 608 number from Wisconsin.
Hehehehe.
It was just the most astounding, amazing, over the top offer.
I can’t freaking believe it was offered, that I was given such a gift.
I’m fucking FLYING back from the Black Rock City Airport to an as of yet undisclosed Bay Area airport.
It’s a small plane, so I don’t believe it can land at SFO.
And frankly, I don’t care, I can get a bus, a train, a Lyft, a ride from so many places once I’m back in the area, I am so not worried about that part.
The only hitch is that I have to get someone to bring my gear back from playa to San Francisco.  It’s not much, but it’s stuff, tent, a few bins, a cooler, my air mattress, a folding camp chair.
I will start putting the feelers out tomorrow.
I just didn’t have the band width to do it today.
It was just a great big day all around.
I couldn’t even post it up to social media for a while because I was afraid the offer might suddenly poof!  Disappear and it was just all a figment of my very fertile imagination.
I told a few friends first.
That was fun.
The first person I told was my friend who happened to have coffee a few days back with the lady who gifted me the ride, she told me what had gone down.
They were talking all things Burning Man and my dear friend (who I happened to meet at Burning Man 9 years ago this burn!) mentioned that I was going and that I had to come back early from the event, Wednesday, to be in the city for my school program and that she had no idea how I was going to manage that.
I wasn’t doing too bad on that front, actually.
I had a friend at school offer to pick me up in Reno and get me back from there if I couldn’t find a ride, she would leave for school a day early–she commutes in from Reno–to get me.
I would just have to figure out how to get off playa, get my gear in someone’s vehicle, and manage to connect somewhere in Reno.
Tough.
But not impossible.
Then of course, the impossible happened.
When I talked with my new friend on the phone, go Badgers!  She told me the story and then said, “well, I knew how you were going to get home,” and that’s when she message me.
She was, I swear, almost as happy to gift it to me as I was to receive the gift.
Although, I feel I might have a little edge on being overwhelmingly happy with the turn of events.
Fuck me.
I’m flying home in a Cessna!
I love airplanes.
I love flying.
I secretly would love an airplane someday.
A pilot’s license would be awesome.
I have been up in airplanes before at Burning Man.
I met and befriend a gentleman who goes be Blind Pilot a few years ago and got to go up not once, but twice in his plane.
The thought of getting to fly all the way back to San Francisco is just amazing to me and feels like the chance of a lifetime.
I told a friend tonight and she freaked out a little, “wear a helmet!”
Giggles.
I’m not scared of flying.
I’m just that type of person.
And if I don’t wear a helmet when I’m riding my one speed whip around San Francisco I certainly don’t expect or plan on wearing one in a plane, regardless of how small it is.
I’m so psyched.
I’m so grateful.
I had these moments today that just blew fairy dust and sugar crystals deep, deep, deep into my heart.
Oh, Burning Man, how do I love thee.
Year ten.
Amazing, that.
It’s going to be short, just a four day shot, but my God, it’s really shaping up to be a fantastic burn.
I have some packing to do this weekend, but I’m ready for it, I have a clear schedule with few responsibilities after having canceled my date (which doesn’t mean I’m not up for a date, I just wasn’t able to quite match the schedule of the person who wanted to see me).
I do have to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.
I have the option of going on Sunday night, but I think I’m going to let myself sleep here Sunday night and just get up early and commute to work against the traffic.
It should be easier going out of the city.
Not that I’m even going to bother worrying about that.
It’s Friday.
I’m home for the weekend.
And I got a fucking FLIGHT back from the playa.
Luckiest girl in the world.
For real.

Limbo Land

August 19, 2016

At least it has a pretty moon.

I stopped my car, my cute little VW rental in powder blue, on the down slope of the road.

Sonoma Mountain Road.

To pause, stop, appreciate the beauty of the big, full, pumpkin orange moon in the sky, peeping through the trees.

I took a photograph with my phone.

Perhaps not the best way to capture that glory, but a small remembrance of the moment, a stop, a pause, push the reset button and breathe.

I’m out of town.

I’m out of my element.

I’m in Glenn Ellen.

I’m doing the travel nanny gig in the hills replete with vineyards and blackberry brambles.

It is a pretty place.

I keep using that adjective, but it is apropos.

As I drove off the property headed to Sonoma proper, the town, not the mountain road, I caromed around the corners and marveled that this was my life.

I was a little sad, I’m not quite sure why, a sweet sad song on the radio perhaps, a hint of melancholia, a wish to be with someone, other than my lonesome, but I gently reminded myself that though lonely in the moment, I am really never alone.

The sun slanted ahead of me, as it was going down in the West and I was heading East, splashing a gold liquid shine onto the trees and the hills and the dry yellow grass.

It’s drought time up here.

Has been for a while.

But even with the absence of moisture, there was no absence of beauty.

I was also deeply reminded that I am a California native.

I was born here.

And though I was raised for a good part of my life away from it, it speaks to me in murmurs and memories, it has seared itself into my being and my first senses and experiences happened here in the Golden State.

The synchronicity of it did not escape me, the almost deja vu like experience of driving in a VW Bug down twisty roads in the golden highlighted moment of the day right before dusk falls and the sun sets.

My mom’s boyfriend when I was a young girl had a VW Bug.

I have many memories of being in that little car.

Which was not so little when I recall it.

I used to ride around in the back, lying on the shelf between the back seat and the window.

They didn’t give a fuck so much then about car seats and seat belts.

I would watch the sky overhead pass and the clouds too, would impress themselves upon me, layering me with all good things, all things California.

I took many naps in the back seat of that car.

The rental car handled beautifully and hugged the corners and seemed to almost drive itself.

It took me a minute to get used to craning all the way around to make sure I was backing up well and that there were different blindspots to the vehicle than in other cars I have driven.

But.

It has begun to feel like home.

Being in that car.

Transported from this house in Glenn Ellen and back out into the world.

I did not want to return.

There was a moment, unacknowledged while in it, but there nevertheless.

I can feel it in my heart.

When I thought, I just might keep on driving.

Take it for a spin down the coast, ramble about the state, fuck the job, don’t come back, see you later, alligator.

Of course.

I did no such thing.

Rather I zoom zipped over to Sonoma to the clubhouse there and got right with God.

Brief pit stop at the Whole Foods to pick up some hair conditioner since I have run out and a couple of late season white nectarines.

One more day.

Then I’ll be back to the city for the weekend.

I canceled on a date I had for this Sunday.

Not sure I can afford the time to hang out and also, oh man.

I have to pack for that thing in the desert.

All my friends be like packing maniacs right now and I am stuck, in limbo, in Glenn Ellen, mentally going over what I have to do.

I was hoping to do a dry run on my tent, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

I’ve got bins to fill.

Clothes, gear, this and that, stuff and things.

I ordered a few more things on Amazon this past week to make sure I wouldn’t have to run around willy nilly in my last hours to gather supplies.

See I have to pack this weekend, there is no other time.

I’ll be back here, in Glenn Ellen, either Sunday evening or early Monday morning for one more work week before I go.

I’ll work up until 6p.m. on Friday, then speed on out of town, drop the rental car back at SFO, catch a hired car back home, pee, then pack my cooler and smash everything into my ride share to the playa, who’ll be picking me up at 8:30p.m.

We will be driving all night to end up on the playa Saturday morning.

I hope to get my tent and such set up before it gets too hot and then sleep through the worst of the heat.

I have evening plans.

Yeah, ahahahaha, plans at Burning Man.

But I do.

A girl friend is having a birthday party and I’m a going.

I can’t wait.

I will get dressed up.

In what?

Who the fuck knows, but dressed up I will.

And I get a head of myself.

Pull back.

Pause.

Breathe.

Because I am still here, in Glenn Ellen.

Still doing my homework and reading and keeping up with all things graduate school.

Because that’s happening too.

I have two papers to write before I leave for playa and a lot of reading to do.

Not as bad as last year, but enough.

All the things.

They will get done.

Or.

They won’t.

Either way.

I’m alright and the moon, like a quiet place to rest in the sky, my pillow of beauty to lay my cheek against, moves asunder and smooth through the night.

My heart a float.

Here and now.

Here and now.

Here.

And.

Now.

It’s A Small World

August 18, 2016

There’s a second family out here in Glenn Ellen hanging out and overnighting and they are sweet and fun and nice people.

And.

Heh.

They know a lot of my friends.

Ah Burning Man.

You get me all the time.

I just got offered a nanny gig out there for next year.

The mom was very serious about it and I told her I couldn’t quite yet commit, especially as the mom from the gig I was supposed to do this year wants me for next, but I liked her energy, this new mom and her connection and I felt a lot better engaging with her than the other mom.

Who knows.

She did ask for first option on me and I gave her a handshake affirmation.

But I think it’s great and funny they know some very good friends of mine.

I just had to laugh.

Smallest little world.

San Francisco.

Burning Man.

Nannying.

Graduate school.

All the stuff all the things.

All the things.

I ordered more of my books last night and checked over the syllabus for a couple of my classes.

I have been reading the Gestalt book that got to me late, which is hilarious, since the class ended last Sunday.

However.

I do have a paper to write on it and I feel since it’s a modality that is resonating with me that I shall finish the book and feel more competent in doing the paper.

I don’t actually think I will have a difficult time writing said paper, it’s just six pages long and I’m pretty good at knocking out the writing.

Which also feels good to know since I have decided to pursue a PhD.

Yeah.

I know.

I’m just beginning the second year of my three year Masters program and already I am thinking about what is next.

But.

It is important for me to acknowledge that I am going to go for it.

I’m happy and excited and a little bit scared.

It’s going to be a lot of money.

In the end, though, I know it will be worth it and yes.

My ego will be well pleased with  the title, Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Say that three times fast.

What cinched it for me was my Ethics professor.

She really embodies what I want to be when I grow up, well, not an Ethics professor per se, but an all around academic, an advisor, a therapist, a consultant, I mean the woman has consulted for the White House, for the state of California, she has been an expert witness at the Supreme Court level.

And she’s a riot.

And she’s smart and funny.

But most importantly.

She is of immense service in her community.

She travels, she has clients all over, she has a couple of offices, she teaches, she helps battered women and works with the prison systems, she advocates for the elderly and deals with elder abuse and my god, yes.

Yes.

I want that.

I want to be in that position where I can be that person.

Plus.

She outlined it for me in five minutes.

Sweet, simple, fast.

She told me how to accrue hours, well, not necessarily accrue them but that I don’t have to go towards the clinical side and accrue an additional 4,000 on top of the 3, 000 I have to get to sit for the boards to be licensed for the MFT certification.

Which in and of itself is a huge deal.

3,000 hours.

Sweet Jesus on a pogo stick.

That’s a lot of time.

She told me though, get my MFTI number (Marriage Family Therapy Intern) and start accruing the hours and interning and doing all the stuff and when I am close to the end of the program approach her with a dissertation.

Huh?

What?

Obviously, not a full dissertation, but the outline, the big bullet points, the basics of what I want to work on.

I have had a few ideas pop around my head and I have actually had the moment not once, but twice in class when a professor said to me, that would make a great dissertation.

I am a writer.

I can write.

I write all the time.

Why not apply that knowledge, skill, and abilities therein towards a doctoral degree?

She also gave me a good suggestion to get started.

Start a file and whenever I read an article that seems interesting, I put it in that folder.

Consistently adding and then after a little time go in and look at the things that have been catching my attention.  She told me, “you will see a pattern, it will emerge and you will find a topic and then you will write and bring it to me.”

I can do that.

She also happens to sit on the board that I would present my dissertation to.

And she told me, I can help you, I can read it over and say, more here, less there, pull this apart, look at that, and make sure it is APA formatted and just all the things.

My God.

I am really going to do it and not from the standpoint of just bettering myself and my circumstances, which it will, have a doctorate in psychology is a big fucking thing, but it will be better for my community, for the people I want to help, I will get to be of better and bigger service.

Not that the service I do now is anything to sneeze at.

It’s not.

So to have a conversation with this new mom, curious to know about me and what my goals are, I piped up a little at dinner and I think I caught her attention with an experience I shared, to have this mom ask me about my future and my goals.

It was pretty fucking cool.

And that she could see it and it appears to be something she’s also tracking towards and she knows some of my favorite San Francisco people?

It was an exciting exchange and the first time I have voiced it outside of my school intensive and a few of my closest friends in the cohort.

And my professor.

Who caught my attention to ask me a question as I was leaving the last day of class by yelling after me as I left the building.

“Hey Dr. Martines!”

Oh my god.

That was a mighty good feeling.

Mighty.

Mighty.

Mighty.

Good.

Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Yes please.

It’s Been A Day

August 17, 2016

One in which I spent too much damn time in my head.

However.

I called in the cavalry.

I amend that.

I texted in the cavalry.

I also got myself out to a little hoe down of my fellows in Sonoma and got right with God and then made some phone calls from there.

I can fall off the beam easily and have really black and white thinking.

At one point today I was ready to call it complete quits at my job.

Not because there’s something screamingly bad with my job, rather, there’s something off in me, something where my ability to speak up for myself and my needs gets lost in the shuffle and the next thing you know I’m doing a job that is not compatible with my needs and I’m a wreck.

I have to communicate.

Ugh.

No fun.

Except.

Maybe it can be, maybe I am here having this experience because I need to learn, again, how to do this thing called life, how to reconcile conflict and draw up some boundaries that are good for me and empower me.

I deserve the job I want and I can probably have it here and now as soon as I can draw upon the resources that are available to me.

My friends.

Who bolster me all the time.

I don’t see myself very well and sometimes I forget that I am a valuable asset, that I am smart and capable and worthy of my hire.

I have had this come up before.

How many times have I gotten to suss this out, many.

However, I am feeling a lot more stable in my need to articulate what I need and to ask for the compensation due the nature of the accommodating that I do for my family.

See.

I’m happy to accommodate.

But what I have discovered is that I need to be compensated, to continue being flexible and rolling with the punches and what have you, I need to get properly taken care of and I have lost my ability to speak up for what works best for me.

There is no malicious intent with my employers, god am I aware of that.

The malicious intent is within me, those things that I grew up with, the danger, and it was very real, of asking for what I needed.

I knew better than to ask for what I wanted, those things never got met and as for what I needed, I didn’t know, my needs were overwhelmed with the needs of my family.

There have been plenty of times in the past where I was asked what I wanted and I couldn’t tell you to save my life, it was so much easier for me to just ask what you wanted and roll the fuck over.

I didn’t even realize what I was doing and I did a lot of shoving down of unpalatable things to keep the balance going and to save myself from being annihilated.

That sounds extreme, but you get beaten for asking for what you need or asserting your needs, for a little while and get back to me on your stance then.

That shit stays with you.

I have done work.

I will continue to do work.

This is part of my work.

Recovery is integral and an absolute necessity.

School has been amazing.

Friends.

Oh my darling, dear, sweet, loving friends who advocate for me when I am not always so inwardly supported, have been instrumental in this.

Finding the support to take the actions that to me and my personality feel absolutely mind blowing and devastating to do has been crucial.

All the walking through the fear.

I have taken in so much love and support, especially this past week, to know that I can take the next steps to ask for what I need at the job.

And.

The best part?

I will be taken care of.

I always am.

I get to fuck it up.

I get to make a mess, I’m messy, it might be messy, I might fall on my face.

That will be ok.

Part of the process.

Part of living.

Learning and bearing witness, gently, when I can to my own process.

Really when I think about it after all the trauma, drama, and agonizing shit that happened to me it’s a fucking miracle that I am who I am, that I have what I have, that I have gotten to break out and make something of this life, that I didn’t roll over and die.

I am alive.

I am fucking resilient.

I am a living fucking testimony that you can get out and you can get better and that life is exquisite and amazing, astounding in it’s joys and astonishments.

The fawn that I startled out of the bushes today on the edge of the rental property.

The red tail hawk in the sky shrieking for its dinner.

The quails chasing through the underbrush.

The sun, warm on my face, I again turn toward the nut brown skin that is in me and glow with fire and heat.

The black berry brambles tumbling down the hill full of fruit.

The sun through the trees as it sinks golden and full with possibility as I climb Sonoma Mountain Road.

The boys, both of whom have found ways to further endear themselves to me as though sensing that tremulous moment when I was offered a job today, the mom having gotten my number through a friend at school, desperate to hire me and get the ball rolling.

Except.

I don’t want to work 50-60 hours a week and go to grad school.

No way.

No how.

In reality.

I already work that much.

My job fluctuates during the summer between 35-45 and since I started school between 28-35 hours a week.

Through in my recovery and that’s easily another 15-20 hours of my time.

I can’t even imagine trying to work more than that and go to school.

I knew that and gently thanked the woman to whom I was speaking and said thank you so much, but I can’t do the job you require.

She begged me to keep her in mind and I will, but not for me.  I also suggested an agency that she could go to.

There’s plenty of jobs out there should I fall flat asking for what I need or my needs are unable to get met at my current position.

It doesn’t mean that my needs won’t get met.

They will.

I just have to speak up for them.

And.

Big.

Deep.

Breath.

I will.

 

 

My Body Hurts

August 16, 2016

My brain hurts.

Everything hurts.

I am not sure why.

It’s not sick hurt.

It’s like I slept on my back hurt in a strange way.

But I slept like a baby, like a tired baby with hot milk in its belly.

In my own bed for the first time in eight days.

I remember putting my head on the pillow and rolling over and I was out.

I mean.

OUT.

I woke up to go to the loo at some point.

I think.

I mean, I usually do, as I like to have a cup of tea before I hit the hay, but I don’t even remember if I did, it was just an assumption.

I woke up when my alarm went off and got moving.

Now that I remember it, I did feel sore when I woke up, but I think I just shrugged it off.

And perhaps it’s tension or psycho-somatic, or who knows, I certainly don’t have to figure it out, but it is certainly there.

And there is no sleeping in my sweet, cozy, dreamy little studio tonight.

No.

I have made my return to Glen Ellen, to Stone Tree, to a week of being in Sonoma, but instead of being in Petaluma, I am at work.

The family’s vacation spot for the summer.

It’s not a bad bed and fuck, the room I have is huge, I mean, really gigantic.

Bigger than my in-law, that’s for certain.

It’s just not my bed.

I will be wrangling up some ibuprofen in a little while, after I blog and make a cup of tea and I think, yes, an episode of Mr. Robot.

I tried to do some Burning Man stuff, order a few last minute things, but I found I didn’t have the focus in me to do so.

I just paid my phone bill and that was all the online activity I could handle, no Amazon shopping for me tonight.

I made it out here ok, although there was a bit of a miscommunication between me and the mom and I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to lock up the house after letting in the housekeeper.

So I was in and around the Mission for many unnecessary hours.

That being said, I made an appearance at one of many fine church basements in the Mission and got right with God.

I figured, a week out of town, a week away from my fellows, from my favorite cafes and food and San Francisco, from my bed, my home, my things, was going to warrant a little getting steady with my emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.

I will be getting compensated for the additional money I had to spend on the rental car, which is nice, but I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with the parents about it.

The conversation happened via text this morning while I was at the house waiting for the cleaner to show up.

And today when I got there.

Well.

I was too busy catching up with the boys who wouldn’t let go of me.

Dinner was had with one leaned against me and the other in my lap, there was no removing myself.

The youngest was such a little darling, he was napping when I showed up and dad had to run to town on an errand, the older boy and mom were out, and it was just the little guy and me and the dog.

Said dog who was so happy to see me it made my heart warm and fuzzy.

When he woke up, the look on his face, incredulous joy.

“Surprise,” I said softly, touching his sweet face, and wiping his little sweaty brow.

He sleeps hot.

“Carmen!  Oh, Carmen, I missed you, I want to go pick tomatoes with you in the garden and make you a salad,” he said all warm and soft and cuddly and my god, my heart.

So much.

So much love.

He crawled into my arms and wrapped himself around me and told me how much he missed me and how much he loved me, and then he took my hand and we walked to the garden and picked tomatoes off the vine and fresh basil.

When the oldest boy got back, he proudly showed me all the places they had picked blackberries and then insisted that we go back up to the garden and pick even more tomatoes, because he too, missed me, loved me, and wanted to make me a tomato salad.

They remembered from last year.

The tomatoes were out of hand and I probably ate two or three each meal, mostly chopped up with sea salt and olive oil, black pepper, lemon balm (it’s a type of herb), oregano, and fresh basil, splash of balsamic and I am a very happy girl.

Both the boys helped me make the salad and then they both ate out of my bowl and dredged their fingers through the olive oil and vinegar and ate bites of grilled chicken off my plate and just were relentless with touching me, cuddling with me, sitting on me.

“Carmen,” the oldest boy whispered to me, “please massage my back again,” he said, then tugged on my hand, when I had stopped to take a bite of dinner.

I melted, just a little bit.

Ok.

A lot bit.

We sat chair to chair and while his brother basically licked the bowl clean, I rubbed his shoulders and told him about my graduate school adventures and the animals I saw at the institute–hawks, the deer, the does and their fawns, the jack rabbit in the grass, the ears so high and big.

I tried to get a photograph of it, it was just huge, but it loped off into the high grass before I was able to get my phone up and open to the camera.

After dinner, which began to devolve, I think the eldest has a bit of a cold he’s struggling with, I let the boys smack me with pillows.

I had a sense that though they were not necessarily mad at me, there was a need to be a little aggressive with their feelings, get out some of the consternation and energy from not getting to see each other for the two weeks I was away from them.

They had missed me and they had feelings around it and they needed to express that too, not just the snuggly love stuff, which not withstanding was divine to experience, so a pillow fight ensued.

And it was absolutely the best.

I set a timer and let them hit me with pillows for three minutes solid without defending myself or hitting them back with the couch pillows.

It was so much fun.

The giggles.

Mine and theirs.

Then, when the alarm rang, we all just collapsed in a heap on the couch and snuggled more.

I was with them far past what should have been my end of day, but I couldn’t resist catching up and re-connecting.

I’ll be here until Friday.

Drive back into SF in the evening then have the weekend in town.

I’ve got some organizing to do in regards to Burning Man, then depending on what next week looks like, I’ll be heading back to Glenn Ellen in the evening on Sunday, I think, for one more week of summer vacation travel nanny fun.

Then off to Burning Man next Friday.

Oof.

Not quite ready yet.

But not really able to do anything more tonight.

Too tired to figure it out right now.

Time for Mr. Robot, I’m into the second season now, cup of tea, apple, bed.

Night y’all.

See you on the flip.

Hello Again

August 15, 2016

My friend.

I have missed you.

I have missed my bed.

I have missed the smell of my home.

I have missed the fog.

Not really, but it certainly felt like I was being lovingly, if in a rather chilly, cold, wet way, embraced with wide open arms.

My heart blew open a little wider as I saw the Golden Gate Bridge after coming out the other side of the Robin Williams tunnel.

Which I had not been through since it had been re-named and it gave me a pang of sorrow still at the loss of the man to this community, here in the Bay and all over the world, I suppose, but especially here.

Then the sweep and the swoop of the Industrial Orange painted bridge and the wallops of fog blowing in.

I reached into my bag and pulled out my cardigan and glad was I that I had remembered to put it in with my bag before leaving the school retreat in Petaluma.

Which, fyi, is not a retreat.

I got a chuckle from a message I received while I was crossing over the bridge in regards to how was my weekend of getting seaweed wraps and mud baths.

Ha.

I repeat.

It’s not a fucking retreat people.

My friend who gave me a ride back from the “retreat” said, “I just tell people it’s an intensive,” he added, “retreat means spa time to every one.”

And granted.

This year was certainly easier than last year.

For a number of reasons.

Amongst which, probably the top was that I know my cohort and I’m close to them and I have some really awesome and amazing friends, two of whom I got to bunk with for the eight days and it was so nice, really, awesome, to get to spend the week with them.

To check in, to chat, to snuggle, to walk hand in hand with my girls.

It was fucking fabulous.

It was also really nice to get re-connected to a lot of the cohort and also to make new friends, strengthen bonds and deepen friendships that have begun to bloom.

I had some intense, amazing, awe inspiring, very eye opening experiences and I have now a stronger sense of what I want and what I need from the program and also for myself in general, from life, from my heart, and I feel an easiness and grace that I did not have quite so much before going into the retreat.

Er.

Intensive.

I mean.

Really.

9:15a.m. to 9:15p.m. every day.

Except today, we got out early at 4:15p.m.

Yes.

Of course I had breaks for meals and tea and wanders, short, but sweet through the garden and a couple of times in the hot tub.

Yeah.

There’s a great big hot tub there, I think the most crowded I saw it was about twenty people.

The effort for me, though, felt like a lot to get in and out and shower and dress and undress and sometimes, most times, I just skipped it.

But.

I did socialize more, I hung out more, I connected more with the cohort and I feel stronger for it, more supported.

I had some work stuff come up and I got to work through it and do some stuff for myself that I’m not sure I could have done on my own.

Sometimes I just need a friend to help me write an e-mail, or tell me it is not just ok, but really important to ask for what I need.

There will be some conversations with my bosses tomorrow.

It’s been a strain and I’m not really through it yet and honest to God, I’m too tired to think about it or do anything about it right now, but it basically comes down to proper compensation for the accommodations I am doing for the family.

In a nutshell, renting the car for the trip was a bit of a shit show despite the help I got in regards to getting the car rented.

It all worked out and I’ll be driving for the next two weeks an adorable light blue VW Beetle.

It is so stinking cute it’s sort of hard to even describe it.

The gentleman at the car rental place was so sweet with me and totally helped me out, I was having a bit of a melt down.  The original rental was through Enterprise, my boss had made the reservation.

But guess what?

They don’t take debit cards.

I was hyperventilating at the desk.

Tired.

I was so tired.

Gestalt’ed out from all the work at school and in class and all the processing, jesus fuck there’s a lot of fucking processing in this program.

Sometimes it took every bit of me to not shout, shut the fuck up!

Enough fucking processing people.

But.

I didn’t and I learned to soften and ease up and let go and work, I mean really work, on judgements and projections and all sorts of super psychological stuff.

Stuff.

Yeah.

Real technical I am.

I also laughed my ass off, slight aside, when I got home to find the book for the class that I was taking all this past week had finally showed up.

A day late, and a dollar short, as they say.

But I’ll be taking it to Glen Ellen in my spiffy little blue Bug, I still have to write a final paper for the class.  The other class I took the final exam in yesterday, Ethics, and I got 100%.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Back at the car rental desk and trying to not cry, I might have put my head down on the desk, or maybe I just thought about it, I asked, what other companies there were at SFO and if I could rent from and have them cancel the car I was supposed to take to Glenn Ellen.

There was such a place!

I dashed down to flights of stairs, bombed through the queue and got the sweetest guy, who was so accommodating and helpful and dropped a huge amount of money on my debit card to rent the car.

It was obscene.

I don’t want to think about it.

And.

Then I thought about how I get to learn to value myself more and my time more and how lucky am I that even before I am a therapist, even before I go for my PhD, because, oh yes, that is happening, more on that later, I get to learn how to set boundaries, ask for what I want and practice conflict and repair.

I have to ask for my time to be compensated.

I have to set some boundaries and what ever happens, no matter how uncomfortable, I just need to go for it, because I can’t handle the the transgressions on my time and energy any more.

Oh.

And yes, I’m in the market for a new job.

I think that it’s time to return to babies and families that work out of the house.

I need some simplicity and a returning to the land of baby sounds really delightful.

Big, fat, delicious baby naps.

So I can read, and start preparing for my next steps in my academic career.

Like, um, the PhD track I’m going to be on.

Yes, yes indeed.

Dr. Martines.

Has a mighty nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

I like it anyway.

And I’m happy.

Oh so happy.

To get to do all the things.

REALLY.

All the things.

 


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