The Jig Is Up

February 7, 2016

This is not what I wanted to hear from my person.

In fact, there was a lot I wasn’t expecting to hear from my person today and boy howdy, was it affecting and effective.

She pointed some things out to me as I watched my toes curl and uncurl in the warm sand.

At least I was in a sunny place to hear the news.

We met at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club and walked from 46th and Judah out to the beach.

Every once in a while I need to stop and remind myself how lucky I am that I get to live here, literally steps away from the ocean, from the sand, the sun, the surf.

It was beautiful.

I was surprised by the number of people out at the beach.

Which I shouldn’t be, when it’s nice, the city shows up.

I was rather expecting that it would be quiet, all folks hailing towards the great sport ball thing downtown.

That was not the case, however, there were lots of folks out at the beach and we took a moment to find the right spot, a bright vantage over the beach, the sun sparkling on the water, the surfers out past the break.

I had a moment, spoken out loud and quickly acknowledged as bullshit, of thinking, how come I’m not out there, in the surf, surfing?

I am just not good enough, strong enough, fast enough, I’m not doing enough.

I am not enough.

And.

I am fucking pissed off.

Angry.

I was surprised to have it named.

She named it, I recognized it, and yeah, there it is.

Fire.

Lighting my face.

I’m fucking mad.

Well.

Hello.

I had no fucking clue.

But once it was out of the bag, well, a lot more came out too.

“I noticed it the last time we met and I think it’s been going on for a while now,” she said.

Uh.

Yeah.

Fuck.

I mean I know I have been feeling uncomfortable and I know I push myself really hard.

“You need to lighten up,” she said.

Ugh.

Yes.

“It’s about happy, joyous, and free, you can’t bludgeon yourself into joy.”

Um.

Ok.

Fuck.

“Listen, these are good tears, these are not like the crying you were doing when we first started working together,” she added.

Yes.

This is very true.

I was in a painful spot then and this is more an uncomfortable place.

And I forget how I can get used to being uncomfortable, there’s a kind of, sick, yes, but known, comfort in it.

Except that I cannot sustain it like I used to and I don’t enjoy it and oh yeah.

It doesn’t fucking work.

EVER.

So.

We did some reading.

And man, I mean, come on, I have read this before, but it hit me so squarely, so right on target, like on a completely different level, I was blown wide open.

And yes, the woo woo, sunshine God shone down on me and I felt lifted.

My eyes raised and I watched a surfer catch a bomb and ride through a bright tunnel of water, the curve never quite catching up to him, it fell and he drifted over the top and into the valley, a trough of water, only to re-emerge and float over the next wave behind it.

It was a beautiful moment.

A pod of surfers out in the bright water.

The sun on my face.

My heart open.

My brain balking right and left at the suggestions I was hearing.

“You’re going to balk,” she said, “I know it, but I’m going to suggest it anyway.”

I thought, I’m not going to balk.

I balked.

Fuck.

I balked hard.

I’m still sort of balking.

Not really.

But I want to.

I don’t want to take the suggestion and the thing is, it’s a great suggestion and one that has been nibbling away at me for a while now, one that I know in my heart I need to do.

I need to.

It’s been suggested to me by my physical therapist, my therapist, my psychiatrist, my primary care doctor.

I could increase the list.

But basically what was suggested, what I know I should be doing, because what I am doing now is not quite cutting it, I need to exercise.

Ugh.

I so don’t even want to write that.

“You need to get some of the anger out,” she said, “get into your body, you push yourself so hard and you’re always thinking and you’re in your brain, you need to get into your body.”

This suggestion had been handed down from another woman, in my lineage, who had noted my antsy, angsty self a few weeks ago and she passed it along to my person, who passed it on to me, up in the dunes, down by the beach, girl get your exercise on.

I guess so.

“Swimming, dancing, yoga, take a class, three times a week, you’ve got two weeks to explore it and get back to me, and yes, I know you’re busy, but this is going to be really helpful for you,” she said and then added, “I was in the same place at the same time as you and it saved my ass.”

I know she’s right.

My shrink and my therapist had suggested it to me as a natural way to combat the depression and anxiety that I was suffering from, suffer from if I’m not careful about my diet and exercise.

And.

Yes.

I do ride my bicycle.

A lot.

But it’s not the same and I have known it’s not the same for a while now.

I’m not getting enough of it, it’s too easy, it’s infrequent, if ever, that I’m breaking a sweat or working, I’m just traveling, here to there, and often times, in my head, rather than in the present moment.

“That wall your friend was talking about, that will come down too,” she added.

Oh.

That would be nice.

I do want that wall to come down.

I do want to be approachable.

And I do want to lighten up.

I finished the reading with her, took my leave and met another lady at my house.

I shared what was happening and then made some suggestions, booking time down the road for our next meeting.

Then.

Lunch out side.

And a trip to the Haight where I bought some shoes.

Yes.

Yes, I did.

And I played pinball at Free Gold Watch.

And went to the Citrus Club for dinner–boiled edamame with sea salt, jasmine tea, and hot and sour shrimp soup with tofu instead of noodles.

So very good.

I then scooted up to Noe Valley and saw some folks I haven’t seen in a while.

I checked the fuck in.

I got accountable.

I shared my discomfort, in a general way, and I shared my solution.

And after I gave my number out to a few women I met.

It was a good day.

Even when the jig is up.

And it definitely is.

I am ok.

I am loved.

And I definitely took a giant step towards lightening up.

Hello joy.

It’s nice to see you again.

Let’s get reacquainted.

And.

Let’s get sweaty.

Bring On The Paper

February 6, 2016

Writing.

Just kidding.

Well, sort of.

I got home to my new printer!

Yay.

I was not expecting to get it so fast, and I am grateful to have it, I have one class this semester that requires me to turn in papers that are actually printed in hard copy versus e-mailing to the professor.

Interestingly, the final paper is an e-mailed paper, but that’s probably because it’s due after the last weekend of classes.

The timing on my printer arriving is nice.

I was planning on writing my first paper of the semester this weekend after listening to an inventory on Sunday.

The inventory was cancelled.

And suddenly I have all day to write my paper on Sunday.

It certainly will not take the entire day.

It’s a three to five page paper.

I expect to have it done rather quick.

However.

It’s the first class that I have that is requiring all papers to be formal in APA style.

Not looking forward to doing that bit, but I have started reviewing the reading for the paper and have a solid idea what I am going to be writing about as well as having made a few preliminary notes and marked some pages that I will probably use for quoted material from the text books for the class.

So despite the APA formatting, I do expect to have it done fairly fast and I will have a printed dry run on the paper.

I’m super grateful to have the new printer.

I won’t have to ask my employer to print anything out for me again and I like the autonomy of taking care of myself.

I also like that it was delivered to my door and I don’t have to monkey about on my scooter with it.

I had debated going to Best Buy or Office Depot to get the printer and in the end it was just so much easier to order it online from Amazon.

And, like I said, super quick.

I had another box too, in the hallway, and yes, my first pair of shoes has arrived.

My new polka dot Converse.

Heh.

Which reminds me that I have been directed to be a bit frivolous with my tax return, to have some fun with it.

I’ve got a date to go down to the beach tomorrow at 12:45 p.m., sit in the sand, say some prayers, let go a few things, meet with my person, do the deal, that sort of thing.

Then a ladybug coming over to my place at 2p.m.

Then.

Nada.

Sunshine.

Free time.

Frivolity.

I’m thinking maybe a trip to do some clothes shopping in the Haight?

A bowl of soup at the Citrus Club?

I haven’t been there in a minute.

I remember the first time I had lunch there with a friend and how I devoured a bowl of wasabi peas and had the cleanest sinuses for days.

I don’t actually get the noodle soup.

I ask them to substitute tofu for the noodles and it’s like getting a nice double hit of protein.

I should check and see if there’s any good movies out.

I got a nice weekend.

The weather is going to be good.

Close to 70!

And since it’s Super Bowl weekend I suspect that the beach won’t actually be that crowded.

I’ll need to do my standard prep stuff for the week–grocery shopping, cooking, some laundry, etc.

And a little extra since next weekend is a school weekend, I’ll need to cook a little more than I generally do.  My food prep usually lasts a week, when I’m in school I have to do an extra three days of cooking.

But.

There is time.

There is room.

There is money, too, for frivolity.

I suspect I want to be a bit spontaneous.

Be open to surprise.

Be open to being flexible.

Perhaps it’s the Spring like weather, the trees blooming, the blossoms, the new buds, the smell of warmer weather, the sun being out just a little longer every day.

I feel very alive and ready for passion and movement and experiences.

I want to embrace newness and change.

I want to be open to things happening.

I don’t know what it is, but I do know that the old ways don’t work for me and when I am tossing in my bed, last night, an hour and a half after I had gone to bed, lights out, music off, phone off, I was still awake, still ruminating, still a rumble with thoughts, it’s time to let myself gently off the hook and try to let something else occur.

I kept finding myself going back to the same old sets of things that I do and I recognized every time that my mind drifted off that I was trying to change things that I had no control over.

So.

Tonight when I was riding home and suddenly found myself talking it out, like talking it out loud, I knew that it was time to let it all go again and how fortuitous that I get to do just that tomorrow.

I’ll give it over to the sea.

I let it go.

Who knows.

I could pick it up again, those thoughts and doubts and circular thinking.

But.

I think I will at least get a day of reprieve.

And that’s all that I need to live.

A daily reprieve.

The rest will happen, whatever the rest is, I get my life.

This life.

To live.

I get this life to live.

What a spectacular thing to know.

Full of light and frivolity, sexiness, fun, music, love, sunshine.

And just a little bit of glitter.

Because it’s better that way.

Trust me.

 

Unbox This!

February 5, 2016

The reverence in which I just unboxed a ream of paper made me wish I had been video taped.

I was all excited as I saw the box in the hallway when I got home from work tonight and I thought, boy, I could use a little pick me up after the busy day I had at work.

Grandparent visit.

That’s all I’ll say.

Thank God tomorrow is Friday.

Anyway.

I wheeled home, a perfectly temped night, a fast whiz through the park, the smell, dark, rich, fragrant, trees and earth and coolness, the sharp, delicious smell of wood fire burning down at the beach drifting towards me.

I looked up.

Saw Orion in the sky.

Remembered nights, compiled upon one another in a stack of memory Tarot cards, a shuffling of images, heart rendered soft with the sweetness of that unrequited love, that night on the beach there, that hand in my hand on the sea wall, the fall of the red moon into the sea, the lift of the stars above my head.

I thought of all the times I had stared up silent and alone in the awe of the stars, the press of the night on my heart, the alone of not being alone and the loveliness of the sky after just slipping off my bicycle and turning off the flashing lights on my handlebars.

I smiled at the stars, stuck the key in the garage door, wheeled in the bicycle.

I opened up the door to the hallway and there was the box.

Ooh!

Look.

My shoes!

My new Sam Edelman, I bought them with my State Tax Return, shoes.

Oh goody.

Maybe I’ll wear them this weekend.

It’s supposed to be nice.

I started thinking about what dress I should wear and I picked up the box, heavy, satisfying, the weight a sweet promise of eclectic colored pedicures and walks in the sunshine.

I got a pair of “flatform” sandals.

A retro wood platform with leather toe and ankle straps.

Super cute.

The Bentlee by Sam Edelman.

I mean.

Serious cuteness.

I delayed a little.

I put the box on the table and turned on the lights, lit the candles, cued up some music.

I am in a nostalgic music phase and am listening to Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Surferbus.

It always reminds me of a particular boyfriend and one summer day coming into our room at the house and I didn’t know he was home, he must have come in after me, and I had the album playing loudly in the bedroom.

It was the song, Jody Sings.

The sun was slanting through the elm trees and dappling the wood floor.

I was in a long skirt, one that I had salvaged from a house dress of my mom’s, I wish I still had it, it was the perfect A-line skirt and it spun so well, I always felt so pretty when I wore it.

A long A-line skirt, a navy blue leotard, my hair down, my feet bare, the sunlight warm on the wood floors, Jody Sings playing on the tape deck player, one, two, three, I’m on my knees, Jody sings, I get high, when she rings, clouds roll by, Jody sings, I get high, when she rings clouds roll by.

Lucky one.

I am two.

Yes, I am.

Lucky three, oheee

The one for me.

One, two, three, I’m on my knees.

On my knees.

On my knees.

On my knees.

Please.

Baby, please, baby please.

I remember swaying my hips and the skirt flaring out above my knees and the sun playing on the fabric, I felt soft and sweet and sensuous.

I spun on my toes and stopped mid spin when I saw my boyfriend leaning in the doorway watching me.

His eyes aglow.

It is something.

To have someone look at you like that.

Wow.

I just had the most intense rush of emotion remembering that.

It was a hard, horrible relationship at the end, but I forget, sometimes, not always, the sweetness of the early part, the mixed tapes and the rides on the back of his motorcycle, the picnics at Picnic Point, the long nights talking until dawn, the realization that this was my person and I was his and then the realization that I was so, so, so stuck.

Ah.

Perspective.

I called it, recently, as I recall, the one night stand that became a five year relationship.

I don’t do that anymore.

Not that I have been horribly successful with romantic relationships over the past decade.

Although, truth be told, I found the One long ago, me.

And that was a divine discovery.

“Go, be frivolous!” He texted me today after my check in about my finances and some residual fear that was still trying to hang on to, even though I did some inventory around it last night before I went to bed.

He’s right, though.

He usually is.

I’m excited to be frivolous, in case you were wondering.

I found another pair of Fluevog’s I’m pretty raring to get and another pair of sneakers, I’ve had my eye on them for a bit and they’d be super good for work and also cute, which is important.

I also did my spending plan for February and tallied all my expenses for January.

I figured out what I need to put into savings and what I am allowed to spend on myself.

I’m going to have fun.

I’ll keep you updated.

Especially since I did not get the shoes tonight.

Ha.

Nope.

As I said.

The sacred cutting open of the brown cardboard box did not reveal a fancy box full of adorable platform sandals.

I reverently removed the plastic bubble wrap and said, “what the fuck?”

Oh!

Bwahahahaha.

It’s my paper for my new printer.

Well.

I guess I’m ready to write my Clinical Relationship paper now.

Ha.

Hopefully the shoes will come in time for the weekend.

And if not.

I’m sure I will find something else to bring me joy.

I have a heart full of it.

I plan on keeping it that way.

It doesn’t have to come in a box in the mail.

I have an unlimited source of it whenever I look inside myself.

Right.

There.

Hello.

Love.

Nice to see you again.

Let’s have fun this weekend.

Ok?

 

 

Home Again

February 3, 2016

Home again.

Jiggedy jig.

Damn.

That was a fast, full day.

I don’t quite know how it is already 10:15 p.m. and I just got in a little while ago.

Feels like I just started.

Some days are like that, full, busy, no time to stop and think and ponder.

I just got up and did the day.

Which was fueled by 9 1/2 hours of sleep.

I do not usually sleep that much, but last night I had a whopper of a head ache.

Not a migraine, no, but a serious headache.

Actually, I can’t remember the last time I had a migraine, used to get them all the damn time, stress induced, primarily.

Horrid things.

I may have had one some time in this past year, but I don’t recall.

Anyway.

I was surprised to have the head ache last night, especially after I took some ibuprofen when I got home and it was still around.

I went to bed an hour earlier than I would have on the normal and slept the entire time.

Well.

I got up once to use the bathroom, when Nature calls, I have to answer that phone.

I slept all the way until my alarm went off.

I gave myself permission to stay put and to ease up on myself.

“Well, that’s what happens when we are processing a lot of emotional stuff,” she said to me on Saturday when I expressed that I had been sleeping more than usual.

Not a ton more.

But anywhere from a half hour to a full hour more some nights.

I’m not questioning it, it’s just what it is, and if I need to be sleeping more and can, since I am pretty caught up with my homework, then I am more than ok with it.

I haven’t heard back from my Applied Spirituality class as to whether or not my proposal is going to fly with the professor.

If I am a go for the proposal I am planning on hitting Flax before work either Thursday or Friday.

Get in an artist date before work, get some coloring books, pick up some more colored pencils, get some stickers.

I am also contemplating making Valentines Day cards for my cohort at school.

I think that would be a fun and sweet project to do.

Who doesn’t like getting a Valentine’s Day card?

The oldest boy has been working on his for days now with his folks.

He gets so excited about the wording and the exact message that must be expressed, I have seen him take a half hour to do one card.

They are pretty labor intensive.

I remember the first time I made Valentine’s Day cards for school mates.

4th grade.

Mrs. Begen’s class.

To this day, she might be my favorite teacher.

She was the woman who taught me the difference between they’re, their, and there.

She also helped me figure out desert versus dessert.

She had a reading program and that was where I realized I was such a good reader.

I read more books than anyone else in the class and every time I hit a certain mark or number for having read a book I got to pick up a free book from the library.

That’s how I discovered Anne of Green Gables.

Pivotal literature for me as a girl.

Mrs. Begen had us take a whole day and we decorated a paper sack with cut out shapes and hearts.

I remember how impressed she was with my little paper bag.

I had made a caterpillar from a bunch of little hearts all cut out and stuck to each other, antennae with little hearts on the ends and little, tiny, heart feet at the bottom.

I loved art class in school until I discovered I wasn’t as good as I thought.

I wish I had allowed myself the joy of art class a little longer.

I did actually go back to it as a senior in high school and I took an art class in undergraduate when I was trying to figure out if I wanted to pursue photography as a medium and possible career.

That didn’t happen.

And that art class was one of the hardest classes I ever took as an undergraduate.

I also remember that my first assignment I got a C- and I was infuriated.

I don’t know how I did it, although I remember spending a lot of time on all the projects thereafter, but I managed to get an A in the class.

It was an experience.

I digress.

Paul Ripp!

That’s where I was going.

My first little classroom boy crush.

Paul Ripp.

Tall, white, hazel/gold eyes, brown shaggy hair, big smile.

I was pretty crushed out and he was the recipient of my first secret admirer Valentines Day card.

I suspect that Tammy told him it was me.

He was always sweet to me but not available.

It wasn’t until high school, sophomore year, that I did another secret admirer Valentines Day.

This time it was carnations.

Red ones.

To Henry Hall.

Later I found out Henry knew it was me.

Of course he did.

We actually became good friends, still are, although I don’t have a lot of contact with him and there’s good reasons for that, unrequited love fantasies die hard, but they do die.

Thank God.

Henry kept a letter I had snuck into his locker the next year, junior year, of school, in the fall, wherein I declared I was in love with him.

I saw it once in his wallet, he pulled it out and showed it to me.

Years later, drunk, at The Angelic Brewing Company.

He told me he was in love with me too.

Although that wording was never bantered back about, having been said in an apparent black out.

We were toasted that night, I do remember that.

I also remember that it was the beginning of the end for the five year relationship I was in.

I knew that I never felt the kinds of feelings for my partner that I felt for Henry and it was wrong to deny it and despite believing, knowing, really, that we would never get together, I also knew I had to leave my ex.

I did a few weeks later and that is another story for another blog another time.

Valentines Day.

Hearts and love and candy and wildly inappropriate expectations about needing other people to fulfill my love needs.

I saw a card the other day and I laughed out loud when I read it.

“Buy your own damn flowers.”

I had just done that.

A good reminder.

Be my own damn Valentine.

I got the dress!

That’s for sure.

Anyway.

It was a day.

And now.

The day is done.

I am grateful for it all.

All the experiences, heart aches, adventures, Valentines, the kisses, the missed opportunities, the ill timed, star crossed love, it all smacks of God and when I move through I move closer to what I am supposed to be and whom I am supposed to be with.

I don’t need to figure it out.

Figure it out is not a slogan.

I just need to take care of myself.

Do my recovery.

And the rest will follow.

Valentine or no Valentine.

God’s got me covered.

Go, Have Fun!

February 2, 2016

That’s what you’re supposed to do!

She encouraged me over the phone today as I checked in with my principle, spiritual, not that I checked in with the principal.

Heh.

I told her about putting some folks in the God box (pink bunny) and letting them go and how that felt and surrender being my principle and the next thing you know she’s suggesting I have fun today.

Geez lady.

Don’t you know I have work to do?

But, actually, I am ahead of the curve for work, school work that is.

Yes.

I do have a paper that will be due for the next set of weekend classes, but I have a weekend before that.

I am done with all the reading and today before I went to work I sent in my Applied Spirituality proposal with my ideas about deepening my spiritual life.

I outlined ideas, I reported what I do now, I even said I had been experiencing some consternation about how to put more into my day.

I think fun is a spiritual principle and it did cross my mind today as I was reflecting on how nice it is to spend time with friends.

I miss my friends and I have seen my isolating tendencies peeking out at me.

I am grateful to be making friends at school and I am grateful my darling friend came out to the beach yesterday, even though it was a challenge for her to get to me, she did and it was sweeter for the effort made.

She suggested we do a day trip too at some point.

I’m going to have that free time coming up, not that she can do anything during the week, she’ll be at work, but maybe a weekend day.

It’s nice to think about.

So much to think about and really, not so much.

My head hurts from the thinking.

I don’t need to figure anything out today.

Just go with the flow and show up.

Which I did.

I had a great bike ride in and out, the weather was lovely, albeit a bit chillier than I was expecting riding home.

The park tonight was dark and fragrant.

A pine had been cut down somewhere along the way and it was such a good smell.

I took a deep breath in and sighed with delight, then looked up, and gasped at the nearness and brightness of the stars.

I could have just reached up and pulled them down from the sky.

When I was seated, a little while later, looking at fairy lights on the floor of a room I spent an hour in this evening, I was reminded of something else that had been asked of me.

“Share about it, in a general way, and put it out there,” she told me this past Saturday.

So.

I did, my eyes focused on the little twinkling lights and the haze of the tenderness and vulnerability I have felt myself in.

It was good to get it out and it was also good to get it off my chest.

Even in a vague way.

Even here, frankly, I’m being vague.

However, I have work to do around it and work  I shall.

I’ll be meeting my person again this Saturday, early in the afternoon about 12:45 p.m. at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club and we shall walk together to the beach and do some work out there and then I will have a couple weeks to write a big inventory.

There are not a lot of folks on it.

Only a couple, really, and one of them I can already see down the road.

Ugh.

I am going to have to make an amends.

Hell.

I suppose for every person I put on that list I will have to amend my behavior.

And that’s ok.

I’m not there yet.

I am in the vulnerable, fuck me, school stuff is bringing up stuff, is challenging, having to process what I am reading and learn and also, sometimes the learning is going to bring stuff up.

I repeat.

That’s ok.

I saw a good friend of mine tonight and he gave me a big hug and I expressed what was going on and he gave me another hug and I said, “and it’s ok, it’s ok to be vulnerable, and it’s ok to have feelings, I have a solution, and I get to experience this, it’s ok to be uncomfortable, it’s not going to kill me.”

It won’t kill me.

However.

I have to do the work.

Ease.

And in the easing into it, I can see my life becoming richer and sweeter and warmer with each passing day.

I am lucky.

I am.

I know what to do and although I don’t always like taking suggestions, it feels so much better when I do, and once I am out of the way, well, wonderful things happen, like having fun.

I had fun at work today.

I had fun with the mom.

I had fun with the boys.

I had fun with the dog.

I cooked a lot.

There’s an imminent grandparent visit happening, they’ll be here Thursday, and there’s lots to do before hand, but it’s nice to have purpose and things to fill my day.

I’m not sure how the fun is going to continue manifesting, but I hope that it will, I could definitely use some more.

I want to be open and available.

I have the time since I am ahead of the game plan with my homework.

I can probably go out and do some things Friday or Saturday.

I am going to allow myself the vulnerability to take suggestions and to be open to new experiences.

Who knows what could happen?

I can feel myself getting excited.

Maybe I should put fun in the God box.

There’s an idea!

The fun will happen.

And if you have ideas, seriously, let me know.

I’m all ears.

I’m Done!

February 1, 2016

I finished all the reading for my next weekend of classes.

One weekend ahead of time.

I am absurdly pleased.

I just closed my Ethics and Family Law textbook and shelved it along with everything else that I read this weekend.

I do have a proposal that I did not get to, but whatever.

I have all week to do it and it’s a proposal, not a formal paper.

I have had some time to think about what I want to accomplish with it and I do believe I am going to do the meditative coloring.

I also thought about doing a guided meditation, I haven’t done a lot of sitting meditation, enough to know I can comfortably sit for fifteen minutes without bother.

I remember the first time I sat for three minutes.

I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin.

I thought I might leap out of my chair or rip my own hair out.

I was that uncomfortable sitting still in my body, in my own space, with my own thoughts to occupy me.

I thought my brain might actually eat me alive.

I have come a long way baby.

I can sit for up to an hour and have done so on a few occasions.

I have had years where I did a sitting meditation, in addition to my writing meditation, but I have to be upfront about that, it wasn’t more than a ten minute sit, often times just five minutes and I did it because the person I was working with insisted I do it as a requirement to work with her.

I wasn’t opposed.

I am not now.

But.

I think the coloring is a nice way to go about it.

I tried some last night to get the hang of it and it was nice.

I actually got some freedom from the rapidity of my brain and it was nice to get lost in between the lines and let go and play with color and just enjoy doing something that didn’t require me to think.

I plan on being up front with my professor and outlining what I currently do.

I thought, briefly about with holding some aspects of my spiritual practice so that I could “implement” it back in and go from there.

Some might call this efficient.

However, it felt a little like cheating for me and I couldn’t quite square the principle of honesty behind that action.

I prefer to be honest with my professor, to even go so far as to say that I have had resentments and needed to work them out, that, already, is spiritual progress for me.

I recognized that it was with myself that lay the problem, not with my professor, he’s not doing it wrong, he’s just not doing it the way I think, or better, thought, it should be done.

Anyway.

That’s all I have to do.

Write and send a one page proposal, outlining what I am going to do to deepen my spiritual practice.

Due by this Friday.

I’ll probably ruminate on it a little bit more then type something up before work tomorrow.

Just to have it out of the way.

I don’t have to start the actual practice of it until February 12th.

Which is also when my first paper is due.

I plan on working on that next weekend.  I will probably review the readings for the class, it was dense, really dense and not well written.  If the author used “implicit” one more time in a chapter to give gravitas to what he was writing I was going to look him up and suggest some creative writing workshops for him to expand his vocabulary.

It really is a pleasant feeling, though, to have all the reading done.

I also got to see my girl friend from my cohort.

She rode her bicycle out and I was grateful to get to show her my home space and we went for coffee and toast at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club and then down for a walk on the beach.

It was deliriously windy out and the beach was fairly deserted.

It was like being sandblasted.

We did not stay long, but she got a taste of the glory of the beach and vowed to come back soon, although by a better bicycle route than the one Google Maps gave her.

Oof.

Any other city it probably makes sense, but in San Francisco, negotiating the hillier parts of the city, there really is a way to get from here to there and it does not involve riding the coastline.

When she told me her route I got sympathetic leg pain just thinking about it.

I have done some similar things when I was newly on my bicycle and found out the hard way how to navigate around the hillier districts.

The SFBC (San Francisco Bicycle Coalition) map is probably the best one to use for navigation, as it shows grades of streets on hills.

One block over can really make a huge difference.

Going up Polk to the Marina is a lot easier than going up Van Ness.

And probably much safer too.

I digress.

We had a great time.

No homework was really accomplished, although we did go over a couple of things on the syllabus for the next weekend and talked about the school, the program, and of course, our other classmates.

But mostly.

About ourselves.

It was sweet and I feel a strong connection and bond to her.

Partially because she really does see me and also sees me in a way, that although I don’t find flattering and sometimes I get upset with myself, I do have a vast amount of acceptance about, that being that I am in desperate need to control my environment.

“It’s a safety thing for you,” she said in her sweet, lilting, French accent, “I totally get it, and I see how often you do it, with everything in your environment.”

I have had lovers mess up the pillows on my bed to make me squirm or a friend purposely mess up a section of literature I have just set out on a table.

I have seen it, consciously, more and more as I accept myself more and more and learn, not always gracefully, to let go of the reigns and have new experiences.

I really do want them and I recognize, I must recognize, how brave I am.

I didn’t fold up, I didn’t collapse, I kept trying.

Sometimes doing things that I didn’t know better, stratagems that I learned growing up, self-defense mechanisms that worked really well at the time and then stopped, even though I continued to employ them.

I see things with a lot more clarity.

The writing daily has helped, the praying, the spiritual practices I employ.

My recovery.

Oh, all the wonderful things I get to do in the act of getting back to that place where I am allowed to be vulnerable, soft, sweet, and not in control.

Tender.

I opened the door.

I let in my friend.

I experienced intimacy.

And I got my reading done for school.

Winning.

Faith Is The Wheelbarrow

January 31, 2016

That carries hope across the high wire.

This is how I see it, I explained to her over coffee at Tart to Tart.

It was good to see her, it’s been a few weeks.

Plenty of check ins, but no face to face meetings and it was nice to be held accountable, to show up, to be an adult.

I’m adult’ing all over the place.

Who’s done with her reading?

Me.

That’s who.

Well, almost done.

I still have my Ethics and Family Law class to finish, but in the last week, culminating in today, I have read ALL of my readings for my next set of classes for Psychodynamics, Multi-Cultural Counseling and the Family, and The Clinical Relationship.

I just finished a little while ago and to celebrate turned on some music–I can’t read with music in the background, even pleasure reading (unless I’m in a cafe, then somehow I am able to drown out the noise, and interestingly, I am doing it right now, I like to listen to music when I am blogging–never when I writing my morning pages, but almost always when I do my blog.  The brain is a fascinating thing.) becomes too much with music playing.

I also opened up my Fantastic Cities coloring book that a dear friend and ladybug gave me a few weeks ago.

I did some coloring and it felt good; I’m exploring it as a meditative spiritual practice.

Some preparation for my Applied Spirituality class proposal.

The proposal is due the 5th of this upcoming month.

Which sounds like all the time in the world, but is actually next Friday and since the weekends is when I do my writing for school (weekdays I read before work, which is how i am done with the majority of my reading, a consistent effort to read a half hour to an hour before work every day, plus the morning pages and my morning routine, you could say I have a job to do before I do my job.) I want to have it done tomorrow.

The proposal is something I can work on when I meet up to study with my friend.

I am excited to see her and also give a little tour of the neighborhood, despite living in San Francisco for a little bit now, she has not see the Outer Sunset.

We’re going to meet up after lunch.

I figure she’s got to have a tour of the house, it feels vulnerable and scary and wonderful all at the same time to show someone my home.

I feel it’s quite a reflection of myself and a look into my secret, well, not so secret, I do so often wear it on my sleeve, heart.

It’s the epicenter of my personality that’s for sure.

My room always has been.

My sister told me once that she used to sneak into my room when we were in high school and she would lay on my bed and look at my stuff.

I wonder what she saw.

I feel like my home is warm and inviting, like me, and sweet, like me.

Ha.

I know how that sounds.

But that is what my person called me today.

Sweet and warm.

I don’t believe I have ever heard her use those words to describe me and I felt tears pooling in my eyes when she said it.

I had just finished reading her my list of what God is.

(EVERYTHING)

Here is the list, with a few things edited for the sake of anonymity, that divine spiritual principal that is at the center of everything I am and do:

-Love

-Light, sunshine, warmth

-Apples

-Restful sleep

-The Ocean

-The smell of jasmine at night

-Daisies

-Summer time, sundresses, wearing my hair down long

-Poetry

-Burning Man

-Shadrach

-Being held, holding someone’s hand

-Plum trees blooming in spring

-Art, museums, getting art high

-Paris, travel, gardens, cafes

-Recovery, service

-Coffee, friends, tea, tattoos

-Having curly hair, beauty

-Fun, pinball, coloring

-Self-care, hot showers, walks on the beach

-Kissing, romantic love, good sex

-The smell of sweat

-Salt on my food

-My scooter, my bicycle

-Perspective

-Stickers, collage, art magazines

-Photography

-Blue skies

-Surrender, letting go, forgiveness

-School, reading, flexibility

-Serendipity, getting out of the way, being taken care of

-Family, school friends, children I have nannied

-Bunny rabbits

-Writing, blogging, morning pages

-Music and dancing

-More and more and more love

-Good pens and Claire Fontaine notebooks

It was a good list to make and reminds me of others I have done.

“What a sweet, warm, beautiful list, there are so many women I work with who wouldn’t be able to see what you see, how freeing it is, there’s that too, that sense of freedom, joy, you have it,” she leaned toward me, “the feel of paper under your hand, is that what you said?”

Yes, it is indeed what I said and she knew the notebooks I was talking about and how I wish I had gotten a couple more while I was in Paris.

“They sell them at Flax!” She exclaimed.

They do, although not the same kind that I like, they also have an online shop and that may be where I indulge myself a little when I get my tax return.

But, I digress.

Warm and sweet.

I’m now describing my tea.

Haha.

Perhaps that is why, I’m full of hot tea, spicy, sweet tea.

Or.

Maybe, I’ve just kept showing up and doing the work and letting myself be seen more and more, even when I resist, even when I thought, but did not act, about canceling on my school friend.  Instead, I shared my crazy and told my person.

“Oh, she said that to you?” My person said, “well, she sees you–the real you, that’s what you’re afraid of.”

Yup.

As desperately as I want to be seen, and believe me, I do, I do, I do.

I also get scared by the thought of intimacy, of being seen into, of being vulnerable, I don’t want to be hurt.

But if I sequester myself I won’t get to continue to enjoy the benefits that being open hearted and vulnerable have brought me.

And I like those benefits.

They are so good.

Freedom from the bondage of self being just one of many.

So tomorrow.

I show up, which should not really be all that hard since my friend is coming to me, and I show myself for who I am and I let another person in.

I am grateful for this ever widening circle of friends.

Love.

And.

Life.

It is all so damn good.

I mean.

Really.

REALLY.

Good.

I Love It When You Hold Me

January 30, 2016

He whispered and held my arm tight, kissing my hand.

My heart just broke wide open.

Careful kid.

I’m hormonal.

“Carmen, you’re going to put me to bed tonight?” The three year old asked me.

“Yes,” I said, “mommy and daddy are at a school function.”

“I love it when you put me to bed,” he said and hugged me.

I love it too.

Despite it being Friday.

Despite it being the end of the week and the end of the day.

I love it too.

The boys were very sweet today and we had a lot of time together, it rained, so mostly indoors and mostly coloring and building train tracks.

I would have happily gone out for a walk with them, but neither of them were inclined to put on rain boots and rain coats and stomp outside in puddles.

I always loved a good puddle stomp when I was a kid.

Warm summer rainstorms in the Midwest might be one of the best things ever.

Perhaps only second to snuggling down with a sweet boy.

“Sing me a song,” he whispered.

I obliged.

“Hold me,” he tugged my arm, “snuggle down with me.”

Ah kid.

You really are a wonder and I really felt my heart grow fifteen sizes too big for my chest.

Human contact is so important, being held, being touched.

I do it pretty unconsciously with the boys, rubbing their backs, holding their hands, letting them clamber up in my lap, rest their warm bodies against mine, little pack animals.

I feel a little sad with it sometimes.

Sometimes I want to be the one being held.

But there is a comfort to know that I am being taken care of.

I know that pretty intrinsically.

And being maudlin is not a help.

Just the sound of the rain, the sound of the beating child’s heart, feeling it bloom and fade under the palm of my hand, the soft rise and fall of the chest, the warm breath, and the slow fall into sleep.

So close your eyes close as I fall asleep.

There is something so delicious about being held when falling asleep.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

I haven’t had the experience recently, my memories sustain me.

My own sense of love and purpose lifts me.

Even when I catch myself falling into sadness I know that I am held and that is good enough, the knowing is good enough.

And the ability, the capacity to love and love another, no matter what the reciprocation, is a tremendous gift.

I used to think that there was not enough love, not enough, anyway for me.

Now I know that there is an ever widening, continuously deepening, ocean, with swells of love that I will get to cast my small little seed pod of a boat upon.

I imagine a curled leaf.

A dandelion lion fluff of seeds as my sail.

An acorn cup.

A tiny wisp of love floating like eiderdown over the tides.

Excuse me while I wipe the speck from my eye.

No that is not a tear.

Ha.

Ah.

So it goes.

Another Friday night and I ain’t got nobody/I got some money ‘cuz I just got paid.

There is that.

Pay day.

Pay the rent day.

Little low on funds, but not bad.

Rent and utilities all covered for February and I should be getting a disbursement from my student loans by February 10th.

I also should have my tax return pretty quick.

I got a new pair of shoes in my sights.

Everything else is pretty on point, no need to shell out any money.

I may get some clothes when the tax return hits and the rest of it I think I shall sock away for my trip to New York in May.

And potentially another small trip, again, depending on what the family’s needs are and whether or not I am taking vacation pay for the time they are away or I am doing household stuff for them while they are away.

I’ve juggled a couple of ideas in my head, but nothing so far as stuck.

I will probably end up staying here and doing the infamous “staycation.”

Which means, I’ll probably do homework.

Ha.

Speaking of.

I do have a confirmed lunch date and study session with a friend from school for this Sunday.

Tomorrow I meet with my person and hang out in the Inner Sunset for a bit.

Grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, doing the deal.

Pretty mellow day.

Pretty mellow weekend.

I’m thinking about making gumbo tomorrow night.

Other than that I don’t have anything going on.

This, I am told, is not a bad thing.

I know this.

But sometimes the brain gets going and the judgement machine gets turned on and I wonder what the fuck I am doing working on a Friday night and cooking on a Saturday and doing homework on a Sunday.

What fucking fun am I?

Or.

I think, hmm, look, all this lovely time, an expanse to lavish myself with self-care and love and good food, with rest, and nurturing.

I get to see a friend on Sunday and I get to see my person tomorrow.

I’m getting a manicure.

I’m getting on my scooter, the weather is supposed to lift, and I am excited to ride her around a bit.

I’m keeping up with my homework so I won’t be overwhelmed for my next weekend of classes.

I’m doing just fine.

The house is quiet.

The boys are asleep.

The rain falls in the back yard dropping down on the palmetto leaves and splashing on the flagstones.

The moon rises behind the clouds.

I sit in the throne room in my heart and wait.

 

I do not have to know for what.

Or whom.

I await.

I do not have to know.

I just know.

 

 

Slow Slide

January 29, 2016

Into the weekend.

I’m working a long day tomorrow.

Dinner benefit for the boys school, mom and dad out late.

Not horribly late, but late.

Then the weekend.

Where there’s not much planned.

Meet with my person and get my eyebrows waxed.

And of course.

The homework, the reading, the wearing my big girl pants and keeping on top of what is happening for my masters program.

I got a text from one of my cohort asking if I wanted to do a study group this weekend.

Uh.

No.

I said yes anyway.

I said yes to take a counter intuitive action.

I said yes, because I wanted to say no.

And I wanted to say no after I had just written about feeling a little isolated again and how I am just going to have to walk through this experience–graduate school–and that it’s not forever and I can be flexible and it will be ok.

Then my friend texts and I’m all like.

Ugh.

Not interested.

What is that?

I basically complain I don’t have anyone to spend time with this weekend, someone says, hey lets hang, and despite having a really open schedule, two of my ladybugs aren’t meeting with me either, I balk.

That is the nature of my disease.

Let’s get her out of the middle of the pack, isolate her a little, make her feel completely alone and see what she does.

Maybe she’ll start up her Okstupid profile.

Nope.

Maybe she’ll eat some ice cream.

Nope.

Might as well just stick a gun in my mouth.

Maybe, instead, I’ll take the opposite action and do something where I am engaged with my community, my friends, my graduate school program.

I don’t actually think we’ll study all that much.

In fact.

I would probably get more done on my own, and not have to haul all my books around town, but.

I’ll get to see my friend outside of class time and hang out.

She also sent me a link for a show to go to in March.

I don’t know the artist, but my friend has great taste in music and it sounds really good.

Some sort of Latin/Jazz/Fusion/Brazilian music.

Sounds super sexy.

It’s not on a school weekend.

It could be a possible date.

I want to make sure that I am still getting out and doing things.

Not that working full time and going to graduate school full time are not doing things.

But.

You know.

Life outside of those things.

Dancing, movies, shows, meals with friends.

I don’t want to spend my life saying, I’ll be happy when…

I graduate from graduate school.

Or.

I get all 3,000 hours needed to get licensed.

Or.

When I am in a romantic relationship.

Or.

When I have the right pair of shoes.

Anything.

I can get wrapped up in it not being good enough exactly the way that it is.

And then I get isolated.

So, I’m grateful I said yes to my friend; however, I think I may ask her to come towards me.

She lives close to Super Bowl city idiocy.

I don’t want to be anywhere near that part of town until it’s dismantled.

Thank God my next school weekend is the following weekend.

I won’t have to be anywhere near the chaos.

I’m sure I’ll still feel the effects of the strange village of idiots being in my town, but hopefully it won’t ripple all the way out here in the Outer Sunset.

In other words.

(Thoughts)

I have been wondering about the week following my next week at school.

I’ll have Monday the 15th off for the holiday.

Which is nice since I have an engagement the evening before, yup, this lady will indeed be on a date with about 100 gay men in the Castro, and five lipstick lesbian, two straight guys who could pass as gay and seven homeless people.

Such shall be my Valentines Day.

It’s probably a good thing I got asked to be somewhere that night and do a little service.

I hope my new dress, finally the right size, from ModCloth will have arrived.

Nothing says sharing my experience, strength and hope like sashaying around in a sweet heart neck line, A-line flair skirt, and crinoline.

I mean.

Come on.

It’s Valentine’s Day.

I got to dress up.

Maybe I’ll even wear heels.

Frankly, I like to think my recovery looks hella hot.

Excuse me.

My ego took over that last line.

I’m not upset about being a single lady on Valentines Day.

(There’s still time! You got two and half weeks!)

I’m happy with myself and my life and I have a feeling that the less I focus on dating the more magic will happen.

In fact, I am considering not even writing about it as a topic any longer.

Not that I have a date on the horizon, but maybe all the focus I have put on it over the years has actually taken me out of being in the present, where the fun is, where the magic is, where I am exactly who I am supposed to be at any given moment.

I mean.

I don’t know that I would have wanted to date me five, six years ago when I started writing this blog, there was still a lot of messy going on.

Not to say that I don’t get messy or have things to clean up or work on.

I do.

It’s just not about self-improvement anymore.

It’s not about having the right clothes or the perfect shade of blond hair.

Although I might.

It’s not about having a better body or brain or job.

It’s about being happy in my skin, with the person I am.

I am lovely.

I really am.

And I deserve to acknowledge that, I think I reflect a lot of love to other people, but not always enough to myself.

Which reminds me.

I will probably have most of the week off after Valentines Day.

The family is going to be on vacation in Hawaii.

I may have a few projects at the house, but I may also have a lot of spare time.

Day trip?

Spa day?

Train ride somewhere?

Over night camping trip?

I don’t know.

But I will think of something.

I will have gotten my student loan disbursement and since I filed my taxes early, I could possibly have that as well.

A little trip to LA?

I don’t know.

I’ll find out soon what the family expects from me, I may just end up staying here, but getting a lot of stuff done, doctors visit, optometrist, dentist, some clothes shopping, maybe an appointment with my advisor at school.

And definitely time with friends.

If you’re around that week, February 15th-21st, let me know.

I feel an adventure, or six, brewing.

And I am saying yes to it.

Right.

Now.

Let’s get together!

 


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