Archive for February, 2015

Hello Friday

February 28, 2015

Nice to meet you.

Made it through the week.

Now to deal with the weekend.

I mean, my weekend may be just as busy, if not busier than the week.

That’s how it goes sometimes.

To keep myself mellow and serene at work I often times have to cram a certain amount of activity into my weekends.

I’m used to it, but I have an extra thing I am doing this weekend and I am feeling a little out of control of my time and how I am managing it.

I am reminded that if I am trying to manage it, I have no control.

Ain’t that the truth.

I almost picked up an extra gig this weekend taking care of a little guy that I used to nanny and I really had to think about it.

I also really had to eat dinner before making any decision, which for me is phenomenal progress.

Pause.

Feed myself.

Then make decision.

Don’t react.

RESPOND.

Ah.

That.

That’s good.

I didn’t have dinner with the boys tonight, it was the five-year old’s birthday today and there was much mayhem.

Cookies at school, trips to Coit Tower and the stair ways around Telegraph Hill looking for the wild parrots.

We actually saw a few, but the winds were so high today that I didn’t think there was any hope to see the parrots.  That we actually saw four of them was awesome.

I think the parents were more excited than the boys were.

It was lovely to climb the stairs though, and to go to the top of Coit Tower, which in my 12 years of being in San Francisco, I have never done.

In fact, I realized it’s been at least ten years since I had been up to Coit Tower.

The view was spectacular and I would recommend it to any tourist that was traveling to the city.

Coit Tower View

View from top Coit Tower

The five-year old birthday boy even got to press the elevator button going down from the 14th floor to the bottom.

It was a sweet little adventure.

I am ever so grateful to get to work for this family, who was all ears about my interview from yesterday and so supportive of my continuing goals.

I am still in awe that I applied, let alone got this far in, on one hand it’s no big deal, they want my money, right?

On the other, I had to apply, I had to do some writing, I had to inventory, I had to pray, I had to get the fuck out-of-the-way.

“Congratulations!” A friend said to me tonight upon hearing my news.

“I haven’t gotten in yet,” I smiled, “I won’t know until next week, but I will know by this time Friday, I’ll keep you posted.”

He smiled at me and repeated, “congratulations, I know you got in.”

It’s nice to have folks cheering for me.

And there’s years of work yet to do.

But I know that I can.

I can keep showing up and doing it.

Although I have to watch it, be balanced, not get too sucked into work, I ate my dinner tonight after leaving the pizza party, cupcake, chocolate extravaganza of birthday dinners, and sat quietly for a minute as my mind roved through the various ways I might be able to help out and do a little three-hour gig for my previous employers.

I just couldn’t fathom it.

And so I responded.

I am busy.

I have things to do and places to go and a workshop to run in Noe Valley.

I also know I have to take some down time this weekend or I will not be a good nanny next week, and I need to relax as well as deal with grocery shopping and cooking if I can.

I will be away from my normal routine tomorrow and I am not sure how I am going to do what I need to do, just as far as grocery shopping goes.

My scooter is not a viable option since I discovered what the issue is with it, so I’ll be taking public transit into Noe Valley early tomorrow and I thought, am I going to be stuck up in the Valley all day?

I may be.

I might have to spend the down time I do have away from the house, it makes no sense for me to do the work shop tomorrow then leave and come back to the Outer Sunset to go back to Noe Valley in the evening.

I suspect I will be spending some extra time at Starbucks with a book.

Which is not a bad way to spend some down time.

I’ll pick up a few groceries at Whole Foods.

And perhaps I will swing into Elsa’s Spa and take a hot tub over for an hour in the afternoon.

It’s been years since I have been to Elsa’s.

It’s not really a spa in the sense of the word that I imagine spa, it’s more like 70s athletic hot tubs, but they’re outside and you can get one for an hour for a pretty decent rate, plus there’s a shower and it’s nice to relax in the space.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen.

I know what I have to show up for and I know I will be taking public transit.

I thought about bicycling, but after a day of climbing the stairs up and down Telegraph Hill, a week of chasing small boys all over the parks, and a windy bicycle commute after a week of bicycle commutes, I figure I could use a break.

Besides.

It might also rain.

No thanks.

I just feel like being cozy.

I am glad I was able to clear a little time for myself tomorrow.

I might not have a date this weekend, but I can still be nice to myself and part of that is balancing work with down time.

I have to do both.

And with that.

Hello weekend.

Let’s be friends.

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Nailed It!

February 27, 2015

“Yeah you did.”

The text response to my update on my graduate school interview.

I nailed it.

Nailed it.

Nailed it.

Ahem.

I’m feeling pretty good about that.

I won’t know for about another week, but it feels like a done deal, it really does, it didn’t hurt that one of the faculty members came up to me afterward and said, “I want to talk to you about something, stay if you have a few minutes to chat.”

Turns out she feels that I am a perfect candidate for the Diversity Scholarship the school provides.

Hell yes.

Give me the money.

So I can give the school the money.

I don’t care what you call it, just so long as I don’t have to take out more than I need to in financial aid.

I’m ahead of the curve on that one, two of the other candidates, four of us total in the group that interviewed, hadn’t applied yet for financial aid.

The interview was group style, four of us, three of them.

It was approximately an hour-long and I got there well in advance of the start time.

Enough time to grab an iced Americano in the cafe and to sit and chat with one of the other candidates for the program.

Turns out we know each other through friends of friends.

That was a nice discovery.

At first I felt that I was putting my foot in my mouth, but by the end of it, I felt that I had acquitted myself really well and I left floating on a cloud.

The interview also did something for me which I wasn’t expecting, it dispelled for me any doubts I had about the program and whether or not it was a good fit for me.

It’s a little granola, it’s a little crunchy, its experiantial learning, but after doing a couple exercises to show the panel what I would bring to the program and to the cohort, I felt like I would be able to fit in and I felt that it was going to help me grow as well.

In fact, I found myself welling up a little during one of the exercises and the emotional response surprised me, but it was also a good feeling, I think I was afraid that I am a little jaded.

That these crunchy granola, Californian types with their hippie ideology were not going to accept me.

Thing is, I’m a hippy in disguise, so uh, I fit in fine.

Like a really good interview, I left feeling that I was the right fit for the program and that it was the right fit for me.

It reminded me a little of my doubt around working with my current family, I had some reservations about working with children that were already into toddler stage and beyond and what that would look like, would I like it, would I be good at it.

And it turns out I love my job.

And they love me.

I felt pretty at home at my job once I got past my own prejudices about what the job was going to be like.

I believe the same thing happened for me in the interview.

I realized that I needed to be interviewing the school just as much as it needed to interview me.

We both needed to make sure we would be a good fit.

I’m pretty sure I’ve met my match.

I will know in approximately a week, the panel advisor assured us that we would have an answer by next week and she also gave me the dates of the week-long retreat.

August 9th-16th.

How freaking handy is that?

Well, it happens to fall in between Burning Man and the week in August that the family takes to go to Sonoma.

One week of scheduling down!

I will be able to work for the family in Sonoma, and ironic, paradox, is it odd or is it God, the retreat will also be in Marin–Petaluma to be exact.

The center is called The Institute of Noetic Sciences and yup, looks like a hippy hold out, but you know what?

I’m down with it.

Petaluma is gorgeous and the weather will be great and it will be just what I need to have under my belt before heading into a week of nannying for the family in Glen Ellen.

Then Burning Man?

I think it’s possible.

I didn’t get the exact dates for the beginning of the semester, we’ll be e-mailed that, but I was told the last weekend in August.

Burning Man is August 30th through September 7th.

Now if I get into the program, I will, that would mean I wouldn’t be able to go pre-event, I’d have to be in the city to go to school, and I would miss the first day or two of the event.

But.

I could go.

So.

Buy a ticket?

Go as a tourist?

Really do Burning Man instead of doing Working Man?

I dunno?

Maybe.

Yes.

Yes.

I could do that.

I’m going to hold off on making those plans for a moment.

I still have to find out about whether or not I got into the program.

Upon affirmation that I have I will need to pay $300 as a good faith payment to secure my spot in the cohort.

This money will be slotted towards my tuition.

Then I will get together with the financial aid officer at the school and find out what kind of student loans I can get.

The school has received my information from my FAFSA forms and they have a SAR for me–Student Aid Report–which lets them know what I can contribute personally to my tuition and what I will need to receive to go to the program.

I believe, I really do, I have been writing affirmations for months now, that I will receive the money.

I will apply to the Diversity Scholarship at the school and I will do the next steps to do the next steps.

This is only the beginning, but a beginning has been made and I am over the moon that this is moving forward.

It astounds me how smoothly things happen when I get out-of-the-way and let the Universe lead me to better things then I think I want.

I accept the abundance and love and prosperity that God wants for me.

I’m going to need it!

Tuition’s about $30,000 a year.

But the investment, me, well, I’m fucking worth it.

And I think the department thinks so too.

I’ll let you know as soon as I hear.

One more step in my journey of a thousand miles.

 

Dress Like An Adult

February 26, 2015

And like that.

I’ll be taking a car into work.

I am not going to go into my graduate school interview in Converse and toting a messenger bag.

I will need to bring an extra sack to carry my Converse in, I’ll still be working a half day at work, but I will change out my shoes when I show up at the school.

I will be taking a car into work and then another to the school.

I’m not fucking around.

I don’t care the cost.

I mean, all things considered, $30,000 a year, what’s a few more bucks for an Uber.  Might as well blow my cash while I still have some, like I have even a tenth of that in my savings (but at least there’s something in my savings), before I get hit with the tuition bill.

Because I will.

Have to pay tuition, that is.

Because I am getting in.

That is all.

And I will be dressed like an adult.

I spoke with a dear friend earlier today while having the boys out at the park in the late afternoon about how to go in and whether I should ride my bicycle to work, and you know, just fretting about the small stuff.

There’s a part of me that thinks, I could show up messy and slightly unprofessional, but why?

Why not show up like this is important to me.

I can dress like an adult.

I can.

Damn it.

I don’t have professional clothes, I never really have had a profession that requires tidy clothes, I mean, yeah when I was doing restaurant work, I had a uniform.

But professional clothes?

Not so much.

I do have some good jeans, dressy ones from Banana Republic and a nice blouse and camisole, I’ll do my hair up tidy like, sport out my new frames, and wear a pair of heels.

I have a jean jacket that will pass for my coat.

That’s really something that I don’t have–a decent jacket.

But my jean jacket is nice, and tailored and it will do.

I could also go with a pair of really nice black cords I have, but then I don’t have a jacket at all that will work with the heels.

I have two pairs of platform sandals and two pairs of wedge sandals.

None of them are appropriate.

But.

I do have one nice pair of Chinese Laundry Mary Janes in a taupe color that will pass for nice shoes and they look great with the jeans and when I put them on I felt more grown up.

I don’t often feel like an adult, truth be told, I still feel a lot like a big kid.

Which is, I am certain, part of what makes me so relatable to children.

I do sometimes wonder what it would look like to dress like an adult, but for the time being, I’m just working the jeans and the leggings.

Fortunately for me, I live in San Francisco and that is more than passable for women.

I don’t even really come across as a professional nanny half the time, but I am colorful and that I believe works in my favor.

I also can recognize that anxiety about my clothes comes from a very long history of not having enough money, especially when I was growing up, of not having the right clothes or outfit or shoes, or things that fit or were attractive.

I fed into the negative by also being a heavy-set girl.

The internet was not around and plus size clothing was not a thing.

I cannot tell you how welcome Lane Bryant was to me at one point in my life; and how, at another point in my life, I was grew out of Lane Bryant, but I went the opposite direction and down sized, literally, myself right out of their clothes.

I could still use some help dressing, but it’s not because my options are limited to size.

They may still be a bit limited due to budget, but that is slowly changing as well.

When I look at my closet there’s more options than there has been in a long while.

I could still use some help and I can see where I could have some nicer things, but really, I am so grateful I have what I have.

I’m clothed, I have a roof over my head, I have a job to go to, I have a bicycle, I have the option to take a car into work, I have a Vespa.

A Vespa that has been diagnosed!!

I may not say this correct, I had a gentleman swing by this evening and lend me a hand and I asked him tell me a few times what was wrong with it so I could repeat it to the mechanic: the “Pep cock” is broken in the fuel tank and needs to be fixed and there’s probably something clogging the carburetor.

Awesome.

I have no idea what that means, well, a little, it means that the fuel is not really getting to the engine, which is why it’s been dying all the time.

So when I get a moment to think about something other than the interview tomorrow, I will call the mechanic who put the new engine on the Vespa, and let him know what is happening and that I will need to drop it off for help.

It turns out Vespa San Francisco doesn’t do any work on vintage Vespa scooters.

Oh well.

Either that or I take it to Barry at the Scooter Center.

I’ll probably take it up to Chris Ward in the Tender Nob, next to my salon, Solid Gold, and get my hair done, kill two birds with one stone.

I’ll call up the motorcycle tow guy and tow the scooter up to Chris, he’s the one who put the new engine in it for my friend before he sold it to me, and have him fix it and pop out the little dent in the front fender.

Then maybe I’ll go on a ride or fifteen.

Glad to be finally growing up.

And dressing like it too.

Wish me luck!

I’ll be keeping you posted.

In style.

Grown up like.

Carmen, You Are A

February 25, 2015

Rockstar.

Why thank you.

It did take some rock star maneuvering to get through today, but I made it through.

The mom paid me the compliment.

The grandmother told me I was amazing.

The almost, in three days, five-year old told me he loved me.

The dog kissed my face.

The two and a half-year old had his Meow Meow hug me, his little white cat that is now grey from dirt and love.

Validation.

So nice to meet you.

It is lovely to be so appreciated at work and it’s nice to be busy.

Not too busy, I could use a little more down time then this week has afforded me, but the grandparents leave tomorrow and I have a half day on Thursday, so I can interview for the graduate school program, and things will roll right along.

The upside to being busy is that I don’t have time to be bored.

I am almost always doing something.

“Can I help?”  The grandmother asked as I started unpacking the bags from the market and getting the things for dinner arranged.

“No, but thank you,” I said.

Not because I probably couldn’t use the help, but because it actually, often times ends up being a hinderance to the preparation.

I don’t think in a linear manner.

I try, but often get distracted, and often find short cuts, and often have fifteen things happening at one time.

In the span of an hour and a half I prepped snacks for pre-school pick up for the oldest boy–thermos of milk, strawberries, hulled and sliced, clementines, peeled and sectioned, two small Fuji apples, cored, sliced, sprinkled with cinnamon, box of whole wheat crackers in a little container.

The kid likes having options.

Then I roasted cauliflower for dinner, made a marinade for salmon I had bought at BiRite (two pounds wild Alaskan salmon marinated in olive oil, Meyer lemon juice and zest, one lime, sea salt, fresh chopped flat head parsley, garlic, fresh pepper, thyme, and a little basil), big tossed salad for the whole family, and sushi rice in the rice cooker.

I did a lot of other things too, laundry, clean up, dishes, but I don’t think of it anymore, I just do it.

I just had my five month anniversary with the family and I would say it’s going well.

The almost five-year old celebrated his birthday tonight with his grandparents who fly out tomorrow afternoon.

I was grateful to not have to be a party to bed time.

It was hard enough wrangling the two monkeys after a couple of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes from Mission Mini’s.

It was like a sugar bomb went off in both their brains.

As I stood in the middle of it, watching the dynamic of the family I thought how lucky I was for my job.

And for the experience it’s providing me.

“You are so far ahead of anyone coming into the program,” a friend told me Saturday night, “leaps and bounds, you’ll do fine at the interview and they will take you into the program.”

It’s nice to hear.

Again, validation, affirmation, I am good, I do a good job.

But it was better to have it sink in, from my head to my heart, down to my gut.

I know she’s right.

I have had eight years being at the center of many a family.

I have done my field research to be a MFT, Marriage and Family Therapist.

In spades.

I have seen family’s that blew me away with their love and others that blew me away with their neurosis.

All of them have been instrumental in my own personal growth.

Learning how to communicate without being passive aggressive or manipulative.

When a kid whines, it’s hard to tolerate and there’s a wheedling aggressive manipulation happening.

If I make you uncomfortable, you will fold and I will get what I want.

I can’t handle it much better in adults.

It’s subtler, but really it boils down to the same thing.

And those families I haven’t stayed employed with long.

I have learned about self-care, how to prepare myself for the job and stay serene in my own persona and core.

I have learned to meditate at work, in the middle of the day when there’s a nap time happening.

I don’t always get to, but when I am, the magic is palpable.

I see what happens when families eat junk versus good food.

Or when miscommunication happens or feelings get hurt.

I see that we are all, all of us, me especially, human and I make mistakes.

I see also that I get to make mistakes and that’s part of learning.

“No!  I want you to draw it,” the oldest boy told me, “I can’t do it as well.”

“You will one day, and not so far off,” I replied.  “Just try, you don’t have to be perfect, it takes patience and practice and repetition, you have to start somewhere, here’s a great place.”

He picked up the crayon and drew outside the lines, smashing bright colors all over the page, “it’s my favorite color!”

Yellow.

Or gold.

“Just try, you are safe, I won’t drop you,” I told the youngest boy yesterday at swim lessons.

“I’m scared, I’m afraid,” he said.

“I have you, I won’t drop you, you are safe, and you can be afraid, fear is ok, but you still get to try, come on, you can do it, jump!” I smiled and lifted him up into the air and the splashed down into the water.

“See!” I hugged him and his wet arms wrapped around me and he smiled back wet eyed and beautiful.

I’m going to nail that interview.

I’m going to graduate school.

This is happening.

Never thought being a nanny would lead me anywhere, it was just something to do until the right thing came along.

Who knew it was the thing that would provide me with the foundation to do that right thing when the time came.

Life.

Full of wonderful surprises.

And sweet validation.

Thank you!

The grandma and grandpa said for the photos.

Thank you, you are a super hero, the dad said.

Thank you! The mom called out to me as I walked out the door.

You are very welcome.

See you tomorrow.

I have some more research to do.

Long Legs

February 24, 2015

Long day.

“Look at your legs!” The kid passing by me on his fixie shouted.

“Thanks, I’m twice your age, I don’t think I can keep up,” I shouted back.

He had whipped past me and gone up the right side of the flow of cars crossing Market Street at Church.

I, having discovered, weeks ago during my commute, that unless there’s a MUNI train screaming behind me, to take the far left lane that is specifically only MUNI and taxis–thereby avoiding the commuting traffic at Church and Market and also the drivers turning in and out of SafeWay.

“What the fuck?” The kid saw me angle left and whip around the N-Judah that was waiting to cross over to Duboce.  “How did you do that?!  Sneaky lady!”

I laughed.

I got to have some tricks up my sleeves.

“You’re not twice my age, no way,” the kid replied.

He was right.

I’m 42 and he was 32.

Still.

That’s ten years and I worked a 9 hour day today.

My 42-year-old legs, though lovely to look upon whilst riding my one speed from the Mission to the Outer Sunset, were tired.

Monday’s are always a busy day, a long day, full of stuff and things and work, work, work.

But today there was the extra hectic of a grandparent visit, construction happening at the house and the house next door, visits from out-of-town friends, and swimming lessons.

Whew.

I was never once alone in the house.

Or at the park, grandparent’s tagged along on the outing in the morning.

Fortunately I have gotten used to interacting with a lot of people while working for this family and I feel like I can roll with the punches.

I generally keep a pretty good demeanor and keep myself occupied.

It does, however, mean I was unable to take phone calls, make phone calls or really respond to texts messages during the day.

I realized that I hadn’t talked to anyone outside of work until 6:30 p.m. tonight when I rolled up into the Inner Sunset.

I was grateful to sit and be quiet though, sometimes that’s all I need, I don’t need to check in, I just need to claim my seat and sit.

Then pedal my bicycle on out towards the beach and the smell of the ocean.

Monday’s always go by quick, I tell myself this when I am eating my morning oatmeal and drinking my coffee, waiting for the caffeine to hit while I write my morning pages.

I was writing this morning about how I feel a little stuck on the dating front, I exhausted my list of guys and I haven’t met anyone new online that is a good match and well, what now?

I had a friend suggest I go perform, or try to perform, at the Moth tomorrow night at Public Works.

I was tempted.

I even came up with a few ideas about a piece.

The topic?

Heartbreak.

Heh.

I thought I could tell a story about red flags.

And there’s some funny ones that have come up for me and I probably could tell a five-minute story on them.

Truth though.

I’m tired thinking about it.

I have a long week this week with the grandparents in town at work, and the graduate school interview on Thursday, and the scooter getting checked out on Wednesday night after work, and stuff and things that I normally do, plus a workshop that I agree to run on Saturday.

I mean.

Sitting here at my table this morning sipping coffee and my whole week is mapped out and I wonder, well, fuck, the next thing I know it’s going to be next Monday and the whole thing will start-up again.

I felt exhausted even before starting.

I shook it off.

I had a really lovely, relaxing, mellow day yesterday and I bank rolled that into today, keeping my spirits up, not getting involved in drama, doing my job, keeping my side of the street clean, and going to do my commitment.

That leaves little time in my day to write out an extra piece and practice it.

Anyway, the contemplation process was short and sweet.

Not this time.

I can and will make time to do things, I will, I thought, I have to, if I’m going to date I definitely have to.

There’s a balance and I know it can be struck.

But I am, really, fresh out of ideas for the dating thing.

Y’all have any suggestions throw them my way.

The best thing I can think is to not isolate, and yes, I know that going and doing something like the Moth would be a great social event to check out, I just find it a serious challenge to add extra things onto my week day evenings.

I will though.

If I have to.

I’m willing to do the work, but right now, I don’t even know what that is.

I like myself, natch.

I take good care of myself.

I try to look cute when I leave the house for work, you never know when someone might be looking, at the “those legs” or that hair.

Or the glasses.

I got a lot of compliments on the frames today.

I am quite pleased with them.

They are outside my box, and yet, a perfect fit for me.

So how to get outside the dating box?

I tried Tinder and that was just nasty.

I’m not having much luck on OkCupid.

Unless you count offers in Scranton.

Sorry dude.

I don’t want to date outside of San Francisco, let alone outside of California.

I asked out the ten.

I did get two dates out of that.

So cool.

But what next?

I really would like to just magically get asked out.

Ah.

Magical thinking.

Fucks me every time.

I used to have magical thinking around my weight.

Turns out I had to have a huge bottom around it, get broken down, and find spiritual help outside my own brain.

Basically, I had to do a lot of work.

I did the same with my finances.

I had to do a lot of work to get out debt, stay out of debt, and live prosperously (thanks Jerrold Mundis).

I know the same is applicable to dating.

“You know what’s been nice about this graduate school deal,” she told me on the phone yesterday, “it’s not fast and wild and crazy, it’s been a slow, serene process, where you’ve taken things a step at a time and let go of the results the entire time.  It’s been pretty amazing to watch it all unfold.”

I know that’s a correct assessment.

Those things worth having are worth working for.

I don’t mind doing the work.

That’s not the conundrum.

I don’t know what the work is anymore.

So, this week, unless I get some stellar suggestions about dating.

I’m going to focus on taking care of myself and doing the things that I need to do for graduate school and doing my job at work.

As well as doing the deal.

Which is a non-negotiable deal.

The dating will probably happen like every thing else.

When I am not paying attention to it.

I’ll get popped on the head, or in the heart.

And I’ll be off on another adventure.

Such is life.

My life anyway.

Slow Down

February 23, 2015

That was my thematic for this weekend and it was fully achieved today.

I feel rested.

I feel serene.

I feel soothed.

I feel tasty.

I mean, really I do.

I smell like a dream.

I was given a pot of organic chocolate and honey face mask.

It was a fright to put on and I dare say I was tempted to lick my own face, I can’t remember the last time I had that much chocolate around my mouth (although not literally in it), and I don’t think I wanted any one to see me after doing it, but yeah.

I had a spa day.

Loads of tea.

Outdoor meditation in the back yard sitting in the sun.

Hour long walk on the beach.

I waded in the waves and was pleased to wipe salt off my skin later in the day.

I was tempted to post photographs of my toes, golden brown, basking in the sand, the sun, the surf.

But I didn’t actually take any photographs of myself today or of my doings, even when I was tempted to Instagram my lunch, I mean really it was bucolic today.

I sat in the big white-painted wood Adirondack chair in the back yard, I padded about in flip-flops all day long, I put on sunscreen, I ate strawberries warmed by the sun.

I bought myself flowers last night and they opened this morning, I feel like that, an opening flower.

I remember once being told to let myself blossom, to let myself bloom, to not force the growth, that there is beauty in the unfolding and opening of the petals.

I have a tendency towards urgency.

I want to have it all right now and right away and more, faster, more, did you hear what I said?

I want to rip the petals away from the bud and force the bloom.

I was watering my orchids today, they are in a dormant stage and not flowering and there were some parts that I thought about pruning of the plants and then I thought, nope, don’t force nature, let her do her thing.

I watered them and tended to my gigantic spider plant and lazed about my studio enjoying the golden creamy light that falls through the back door.

I wasn’t slothful today.

I was just slow.

I was present and open and allowed myself to be tender and breathe.

I also sat and bore witness to another woman for three hours this afternoon after my walk down by the sea and my lunch out in the pack patio.

I knew I need to be grounded and serene and still.

“You are so serene,” she said to me last Sunday in awe of how far I have come, “it was the most zen like share I have ever heard.”

I don’t know so much about zen.

But I have allowed myself to be slower at times, to not run so fast, to not be that moving target.

Allowing myself to be hit with love, to have emotions, to experience life, to have bittersweet moments wrapped up in the glory of the day and wanting to share it with someone, but also knowing that I was sharing it with someone.

Myself.

I am a pretty good date.

Flowers, lunch al fresco, long walks on the beach, a day at the “spa,” I mean really, what woman doesn’t want those things.

Or man for what it’s worth.

I will have a full week.

I will work an extra hour for the family, I will be going to my graduate school interview, I will be doing the deal, meeting people, speaking at a workshop, writing, blogging, living, moving, shaking.

I tell myself it’s ok to take the down time, to soften and reflect and relax.

Hell.

I read a book today and a magazine.

I lay in the long slanting sun of late afternoon and watched the sun kiss the tops of the houses behind the back yard fence and lounged with my book.

I didn’t even really cook today.

That’s something I like to do on a Sunday, but I wasn’t sure how long I would be listening, so I just kept my food simple, lots of raw veggies and homemade humus, organic hard-boiled eggs with fresh pepper and sea salt, and left over beans and rice with chicken I made the last week.

I did roast some vegetables too.

But that was the extent of my cooking.

One cast iron pan with cauliflower, garlic, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and parsnips, roasted off in the oven while I caught up with my housemate and drank tea in her kitchen.

I can feel a slight kiss of morose as the weekend winds down and I wish to berate myself for being in my pajamas before 8 p.m.

But that’s what I do after taking a long hot shower and washing off raw cocoa organic mud mask from my face.

Douse myself in coconut butter body lotion and put on the pajamas.

Write my blog.

And yes.

I will be going to bed early.

10:30p.m.

Who is this person?

Aside from someone who likes to get 8 hours of sleep, I will be up at 6:30 a.m. to do my deal before work.

I even let myself off the hook around dating this weekend.

I feel it’s sufficient what I did over the weekend to compel someone to ask me out.

I am going to be a glowing ball of gorgeousness after all the pampering, my skin a little tan from all the sunshine, and super hydrated from all the tea.

My smile happy and big.

I took good care of myself this weekend.

So that I can take good care of those that I care for this week.

It all comes around.

But it starts with me.

It may make for a less than dramatic blog post.

However, it gives me the jazz to do all the things that do make my blog, my life, me, interesting.

Even a superhero needs a nap once in a while.

And me.

Well, I’m just a worker amongst workers.

I hung up my cape next to my beach towel and wore flip-flops all day.

I think I’m going to go put some coconut hair mousse on my curls.

And call it a day.

My super sensory spa Sunday.

Now concludes.

 

You Are Right

February 22, 2015

I am wrong.

I found this business card in my wallet today and I propped it up on my dining room/kitchen table/desk spot and every time I have sat down for a meal or to balance my check book, to pick up a book, or to write in my notebook, I see the card.

Right

Right vs Happy

 

You are almost always right and I am almost always wrong.

I have a skewed sense of perspective and need help.

All the time.

I don’t find this statement offending, far from it, there’s comfort in the face of being wrong.

I can be right.

I have been told.

Or.

I can be happy.

I would so much rather be happy.

In that vein I have made some moves to amend some behaviors.

One of which was to send a text to a friend last night who was going to help me with my scooter.

I had been told to do otherwise and yet, here I am courting someone’s help, who yes, it was offered, and yes it is appreciated, but no, said person doesn’t happen to have any experience with vintage Vespa’s.

Plus, the only reason I was asking for his help was to avoid paying to have it looked at.

That’s an amend.

Paying my way.

Being self-supporting.

There is asking for the generosity of my friends and accepting help when I need it, which I often do and I have had to rely on people all throughout my life, especially in the last ten years, for help in all kinds of awkward situations.

But that’s life.

Awkward.

I need help.

I don’t like asking for it.

However.

There is also the reverse wherein I don’t do something out of fear that I won’t be able to handle the financial ramifications of getting something fixed.

I have a clock, a beautiful antique clock that I bought a flea market in Paris when I was visiting in 2007 that worked when I bought it, but about four years ago stopped.

I have been to petrified to have it looked at–I can’t afford to fix that, its going cost too much.

So it’s become a decoration on my wall.

Like my scooter has become, a decoration in the entry way to my studio.

I have been afraid of the scooter costing too much to repair, despite knowing that it probably won’t be.

So I found myself accepting help out of fear of financial insufficiency.

The date I went on last night, well, that was eye-opening, and for whatever reason I was able to hear what he was saying, suggested I take it in to his friend at Vespa SF.

Novel fucking idea.

Take my vintage 1965 Vespa to a place that um, yeah, specializes in Vespa’s.

Ha.

I texted my friend who had offered his help after the date and said, thank you, but no thank you, I’m taking it to the mechanic.

Side bar.

I slept with this friend over a year ago and it was suggested that after clearing up a little on my side of the street that I perhaps not hang out with him.

I took care of returning something of his and was prepared to do just that, but we had such a nice time hanging out after his stuff was got out of my garage that it was a great idea, yeah, he can come over and help me with the scooter.

Then I realized.

Wait.

I’m dating, new people, new guys, not hanging out with guys that it didn’t work out with.

That’s an amend too.

I’m supposed to walk away from the shut door, not that I can’t see my friend, but maybe right now, as it’s been suggested, not hanging out is a good idea.

So.

Yeah.

I cancelled.

And what do you know.

The guy I went out with last night, who is mechanically inclined as well, and yes, used to own a similar Vespa, texts me and says, let me look at it before you take it in to the mechanic.

Awesome.

Come on over baby and look at my Vespa.

Ahem.

I think there’s some adjusting that needs doing.

Ha.

Ah, I amuse myself.

Anyway, so he’s going to swing by and help me get it running, then I’m going to take it to the mechanic anyway, I want to get the fender popped out and that will have to come off to be done.

Changing behavior.

Not reaching out to my ex boyfriend when I have missed him.

Wishing him, instead, love and light every time I hear a motorcycle go by instead.

Not reaching out to my old friend who I said goodbye to last Sunday.

I really want to check in on him and see how he’s doing, but it’s not my place and I can’t.

Showing up for the relationships that are opening up around me and really getting connected with my community right now is what I need to be doing.

I can’t help an active heroin addict.

I can’t.

I can love him with all my heart, but I can’t see him while he’s using, it’s just too much and it sucks, but that’s how it is.

Someone suggested that losing my friendship may be construed as a consequence of his using and he may need to see that, otherwise I’m getting in the way of him having the experience he needs to.

Hard changing my behaviors.

Hard amending my life long habits.

Loyalty to people who aren’t healthy to me.

I’m the one who needs to change.

Not him.

He can use or not use.

It’s not my business.

My business is within the circle of my arms.

And my heart.

I shared tonight about an amends to my grandmother that I have been dancing around.

Basically, it’s to go to see her in Chula Vista.

The harm is not one that’s obvious, I didn’t steal from her, but I haven’t actively shown up for her in my life, and she’s the last grandma I have.

I don’t want to regret not having contact with her.

And there’s so much about my family that I don’t know.

So much of my father’s past and childhood, my ancestry, I know I look a lot more like my father’s side of the family than my mom’s, but that’s not a relationship, that’s just an observation.

I have done a lot of inventory, writing, therapy, and what all around the trauma and abuse that happened to me when I was a child and I know that this will help me, that I need to reconnect with my grandmother and not shut the door on the past, but move away from peeking through the cracks.

I need to show up and let go all at the same time.

“You need to go and hold her hand and look into her eyes,” he said to me.

Yup.

I may not get resolution, but I don’t need it so much.

I have acceptance, which though not approval is an adequate substitution for me, of what happened to me and the work that I have done there is tremendous.

I want my family back.

All pieces.

All parts.

I want to be whole.

This feels like the last big amend that I need to do.

I have flirted around looking at a plane ticket for the last couple of weeks, but keep saying, I’ll get it when…

Then I heard what I need this evening to finally have that key of willingness turn and click and I came home and wrote an e-mail to my grandmother and asked if she would like a visit and when would be a good time to come down and see her.

Just the relief that I got from sending the e-mail was affirming.

This.

Then.

The next frontier.

Dating is lovely.

But family.

Family is really where it’s at for me.

And I suspect, know, that it will be the key to the dating.

Clearing up the past to move on forward to the future I am destined to live.

Being clear and present for the right now.

So I can be with the right one.

Which is me.

In case you were wondering.

 

I Look Like A Graduate

February 21, 2015

School student.

That is what just went through my mind.

I got my new glasses in the mail.

Thanks Optical Underground!

I went into get the frames on Monday, and it’s Friday and they are here in my house, on my face, looking fierce.

Looking smart.

Looking, like, well, a sassy, graduate school, hipster (I hate to admit it, but they are hipster frames).

Fuck.

I look the part, I am the part, I am going to be a fucking graduate school student.

Blows me away.

The glasses are sort of funky, dark forest green, hand-made by RVS, expensive looking, with brown stems and a slightly oversize feel to them.

They are statement pieces.

I am wearing statement glasses.

It’s nice to have splurged on a new pair of glasses.

I’m seeing things different all over.

Like.

I went on another first date tonight, one which I had almost talked myself out of–we’re not going to have anything in common–but fortunately did not.

We have plenty in common.

Friends, tattoos, we both bicycle commute, about the same amount of time hanging out in church basements, he’s an artist, I’m a writer.

It was good times.

I had fun and we didn’t run out of things to talk about.

We closed the cafe.

Not that we were out super late, 11p.m. but it’s fun to do that, get into a conversational groove and close down the place you are hanging out in.

I would say the only drawback that I can see is that we are both really busy people

That’s what happens to people like us, we get fucking busy.

Life gets bigger and there’s just more and more stuff to do.

We both agreed that there was something more to talk about and I said I would like to hang out if he would, and he said, I’ve got your number.

Indeed.

He’s also tall.

A plus.

And grounded, like solid in his shit, and has a job and is self-supporting, and smart.

Good times.

This dating thing is not so bad.

Although I can talk myself out of it real quick.

It is work and I do get tired of thinking about it and praying about it and writing about it and doing the asking.

“What are you doing asking guys out?” My friend said tonight as he sat next to me checking in about his relationship with his girlfriend.

“I don’t get asked out,” I said.

“Your beauty intimidates guys,” he replied, “if I wasn’t seeing someone I would ask you out, I absolutely would, you radiate love and kindness, and you really are stunning.”

I was flattered, it was nice to hear.

I hope to radiate love and kindness, that’s what it’s about anyway, I believe.

And what girl doesn’t like to hear that she’s beautiful?

Hello.

And.

I felt cute today, in my mohair suit.

Or my leopard print leggings as the case may be.

That was the outfit for today at work and it transitioned well from day to-night.

Ha.

I did want to look cute for my date, but I like looking cute in general and I love my leopard print leggings, especially since I have been doing a lot of bicycling and my legs, well, they look tidy in some leopard print.

All fashion bases covered.

I am ready for my interview on Thursday.

However, I don’t want to not enjoy my weekend thinking about Thursday, it will come when it comes and I will be fine.

“You are so in, you are so charming and affable and you probably interview like a dream,” she said to me last night as I called to check in with her.

I feel like compliments have just been falling out of the sky.

Thanks folks.

I do feel quite confident about it and now that I have my new statement, eclectic, sassy glasses, I am ready for the next step in the process.

In its own way, though I am not subscribing to a costume or a persona, it’s nice to look the part.

I feel like I fit in all of a sudden, even though I am not in yet, I feel like a graduate school girl.

It’s rather exciting.

I like how my life is unfolding.

It’s been a hard at times, the break up was more challenging than I thought it would be and there are times I still miss the guy, and there are times when I think of him, but that’s to be expected.

Mostly.

I don’t though.

Mostly.

I’m moving on.

I have moved on.

And though I wasn’t wont to say it at the time, I do remember having a pause in my thoughts, in my heart, when I thought, will this relationship be able to sustain itself with me in graduate school?

I didn’t believe it would.

In fact, he even said the same thing at one point, early on, about already losing me to school when I had mentioned that my intentions were to pursue a Master’s degree.

I suggested we live in the present moment and not worry about it, but it was on the table and I did think about it and I think he did too.

I had one long-term relationship that fell apart when I went after my undergraduate degree.

Granted there was plenty of wrong in the relationship, but he was upset as all get out when I went back to school.

He did too, needless to say, after we broke up, but I think, no, I know, that whomever I date, and I will be in  a relationship again, now that I know that I can do it, I will keep at it, I will have to be with someone who supports me intellectually as well as emotionally and spiritually.

He’s got to be a match for me mentally.

I don’t care so much what he looks like, the two guys I went on dates with this week are widely different in their looks.

Although there has to be some attraction on the physical level, it really has to be a good mental match and yeah, he’s got to have some smarts and creative juice.

Because I do.

Anywho.

This sassy soon to be graduate student is going to call it a night and get off her blog.

There’s sleep to be had and I suspect.

More dates in my near future.

I’ll be sitting pretty in my new eyewear.

Just wait and see.

Work, Work, Work

February 20, 2015

Work it out.

And I’m not talking about work.

Although it’s been a hell of a week at work.

Ski week.

Ayup.

Private schools in San Francisco have what’s commonly called ski week–Tahoe anyone?

My boys don’t ski, although the family does take a week in the summer to go to Tahoe.

Nope.

My boys have been with me all week, keeping me busy.

I thought to myself tonight that perhaps I should not schedule any more dates after I am done with work.

That I should go on dates when I have a chance to be fresh and relaxed and mellow and can show up with some sparkle.

I have another first date tomorrow and I am trying  to figure out the cute for date and works for work outfit.

You know, a day to-night sort of deal.

I’m not horribly concerned, my date will be arriving via bicycle, as will I.

My date and I will both be coming from work.

And that’s the work I am thinking about, the work of giving myself time to date and to be available.

It is really easy for me to book myself in.

For instance, I have nothing.

And I mean nothing (ok, well, a commitment Saturday night, but other than that) happening on Saturday.

I really want to schedule some stuff in that time.

I was hoping for another date, either another first date with someone or a second date with someone.

Or.

I don’t know.

Something.

As my week is ending and my weekend fast approaches, I feel compelled to have it all figured out.

More work than I need to give myself.

The illusion of control.

If I know what’s happening, I can control the outcome and manipulate my situation to my best advantage.

Or so my brain tells me.

Shut up brain.

A little free time is good.

Who knows what may happen.

I did think tonight, when I was riding my bike home from my Thursday night commitment, that it would be so nice if the guy I’m going out with tomorrow hit it off and I don’t have to think about asking anyone else out.

I’m a bit tired of it.

I haven’t asked anyone out all this week.

I realized I was coasting along on the fact that I asked out 8 guys last week.

And scheduled two dates for this week.

After tomorrow’s date there is nothing lined up and oh no.

I mean, really, in the scheme of it all, no big shakes, but I feel that I want to keep the momentum going.

It’s just.

Well, it’s a lot of work.

I know that it will pay off.

I just don’t know when and sometimes a girl gets tired doing all the asking.

Hey you.

Yeah you!

You want to ask me out?

Do it.

I mean, I have fucking blinders on anyway, half the time I have no idea if you like me or not anyway, so if you’ve been waiting around wondering if you’re on the list, just cut to the chase and ask.

Because I’m in no place to say no.

I’m throwing it all at the wall.

I’m not desperate.

Really.

I just realized that I like being in a relationship.

I do.

I make a pretty good girl friend.

Even though I wasn’t the right girl friend for the last guy.

And I like the company.

And you know, sex is nice, and kissing, and uh, stuff.

Ha.

Oh.

Fuck me.

I think what happens for me is that at some point or another I try to find the magic bullet.

That thing that is going to work, that combination of asking out, following suggestions, doing the online dating world, Facecrack messaging, etc, that I will figure it out.

And poof!

Boyfriend.

I mean, it’s no different from any other time I have tried to put myself out there as sexy, single, available for dating, smart, fun, great in bed.

Fuck.

My blog is now an over stated want ad for a partner.

Heh.

I’m happy to say I have some humor around this and also, that I am willing to try to change and do different things.

I don’t think I will ever figure it out, dating, life, love, friends, family, recovery, any of it.

Really, it’s all a lot of work and I just have to do it.

The good things, they take effort.

I mean I didn’t lose all that weight by wishing on a star.

I radically changed my diet and lifestyle.

No sugar.

No flour.

No fried foods.

Organic foods.

Bicycling four to six days a week.

Yeah.

That was not a magic pill.

That was some hard fucking work.

And it’s paid off.

So, I’m going to have to do some more work with dating.

And then with school.

Woohoo.

I am still a little in shock that the day has been set for the interview.

A week from today.

I cleared it with work and I will go in for a half day, leaving at 2 p.m. to make sure I get there on time and have a few minutes to sit still, breathe, say a prayer in a bathroom stall, re-apply my lipstick, and nail the interview.

I know I can do it.

Why?

Because I don’t shirk at doing the work.

I’m not about to change that now.

So when a wave of fatigue washes over me, I can surrender to it, and know that this too shall pass, that I am just here playing the role assigned and that God really does want me to be with one fine man.

Seeing as how I am one fine woman.

I will show up tomorrow at work and do my job.

Then I will show up for my life and do the work that leads to the relationship.

It doesn’t have to be with this man or the man I dated last night or the one I haven’t asked out yet, but I will.

I don’t have to know.

I just have to do.

Thinking about it is not the solution.

Acting is.

Here’s to doing the work.

It’s worth it.

I am worth it.

You Seem Really Happy

February 19, 2015

That’s always a positive response on a first date.

Yup.

Knocked one out of the cafe.

Park, seems, so, cliché, but cafe, where we sat, drinking tea and hanging out, feels about right.

He asked me later if I was going to blog about it.

Of course I am.

Not about him.

But about the date, why yes.

If it pertains to my life, then I am blogging about it.

That’s what I do.

I do have boundaries and I try to be discreet and I do my best to not involve other people; it’s taken some practice and I haven’t always been the best at it, but I do leave others out.

Especially should they be in my circle of people.

I will say I had a nice time, there was laughter, we have some things in common, he has nice blue eyes, I could see myself having another date, there was a connection, and dare I say a little chemistry.

That’s nice.

He bought my tea and got there early.

I appreciate that.

The small things count.

I like my door being opened, I like having a tea waiting for me, or flowers, or a thoughtful gesture, it means that it means something.

I got half way through my day and I have to admit, going on a date was the last thing on my mind, it was there, the thought, the anticipation, but by the time I was half way through the work day I was wondering if I was going to get out of it alive.

Let alone have any sass or sparkle for a first date.

But it feels like it went well and we acknowledged that there was more to explore there and mutually agreed to another date.

Nothing has been set up.

If he wants to see me further, he knows my number.

And enough about me that a second date shouldn’t be too difficult to negotiate.

We also talked about the fact that we are dating.

Though we are both looking for monogamous relationships, yay!  We are both seeing other people, we both have dates set up for this weekend with other folks.

I received a few texts this morning at the park while I was still in the early part of my day and didn’t know that I was going to be run over with the demands of potty training, nap time melt downs, things getting thrown in restaurants, and the general melee that just sometimes happens with little boys.

It was a nice moment to get the texts from the other gentleman I’ll be seeing this Friday.

We caught up over the weekend, he was out-of-town in the East Coast and in the crazy weather, and confirmed that we would be meeting this Friday for tea at a cafe in the Church and Market area.

Excellent.

I’m really doing this dating thing.

It’s happening.

I also responded to an OkStupid ask and said I would be up for a coffee date with a gentleman from Alameda.

Which is sort of breaking my date only in the city rule.

I had one gentleman in San Jose ask me out and get a little pushy about it.

I just don’t see sustaining a relationship with someone who has to commute to date.

There’s more than enough fish in the sea here in San Francisco.

But the guy on OkStupid had one of the best, if not the best profiles I have ever seen.  We are also an 89% match, which is a huge plus, and he’s tall-6’5″.

Mama can wear her heels out dancing.

Thank you very much.

So I said yes to a coffee with him as well, although we have set nothing up yet.

Life.

It is happening.

What else is happening?

Oh yeah.

This.

Hello Carmen,

You are scheduled for an interview on Thursday February 26th at 3pm in room 210.

This message was in my inbox when I got back from my evening out tonight.

I have a date to interview for the cohort at CIIS for the Masters program in Integral Counseling Psychology.

Yikes.

This is happening.

I mean, this is really happening.

I told my employer this week, yesterday, now that I think of it, that I was going to be interviewing soon and would let them know when.

Next Thursday.

Holy crow.

I am very grateful I got my shit together and applied for student financial aid last week.

It feels like it’s moving along.

I’m going to be going to graduate school.

Who is this person?

I mean, yeah, I have wanted to go to graduate school for a while, there’s something about having a Master’s that appeals to my ego in a hard-core way.

But I never, not once, suspected that it would be to get a Masters so that I could be a therapist.

Huh?

Aren’t I the one that needs therapy?

Ha.

I suspect that will be part of the program as well.

A week from tomorrow.

Wow.

Makes dating seem like no big deal.

Which I feel like is the point of asking as many guys as I have and trying new things and putting myself out there, do it so much that it becomes no big deal.

“You need to date a bunch of guys, five or six, all at the same time,” was the suggestion.

Now in my mind, which is diseased, let me not forget that, I hear, “you need to sleep with five or six guys all at the same time.”

Well.

Um.

Not at exactly the same time, but you know what I mean.

I have this thing where I am used to just seeing one person at a time, not actively dating a bunch and finding who works out and who doesn’t.

I have an idea, an old one, that I have to be loyal to the person I am on a date with, see it all the way through, and if it works, fantastic!

And if it doesn’t, wait until it’s completely obvious and then move on to the next guy.

Turns out I don’t have to do this.

I really don’t know what actions I have to do or take or how many dates it takes to get to the middle of the Tootsie Roll Pop, but I am willing to try things that are outside my bag, my small bag, of dating tricks.

And oh yes, have fun.

If it’s not fun, than it’s not worth doing.

Light, easy, no getting caught up in expectations.

Just show up and see what happens.

I suspect my interview will be much the same next Thursday.

Eek!

I really am doing this.

All in baby.

Graduate school, dating, life.

That’s how I roll.


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