Archive for February, 2017

Hello Monday

February 28, 2017

Let’s be friends.

Today was not a bad day to start the week.

It was sunny.

Hello.

No rain.

So grateful to ride my scooter to and from work, such a gift.

I heard someone complaining, “yeah, it’s sunny, but it’s freezing.”

Shut the fuck up bitch.

It’s NOT raining.

I will take sunny and cold over rain any damn day.

Grateful the drought is finally over, but I think we are amply replenished and the weather can just give it a rest for a minute.

Plus.

I had a really nice leisurely morning with no homework.

I got it done this past weekend, the reading, so my normal go to reading time I spent on doing some extra personal writing and yes, I cleaned the house before I left for work, clean bathroom, clean kitchen, swept the floors.

It was super nice to come home to.

I came home to some nice roast chicken dinner too.

Very glad I had done the food prep this weekend, it was super easy to come home, peel a couple of carrots to nosh on and heat up my turmeric and garlic brown rice and a roast chicken breast and have a hot, homemade dinner.

I love self-care.

I’ve gotten better and better at it.

From going to the dentist and paying for it all up front.

To paying my rent and utilities early for March.

To going to yoga.

To having extra boxes of my favorite tea in the house.

To lighting up the candles when I get home.

It really helps me to be able to navigate the world with kindness and love when I have first taken care of myself.

And I needed that good self-care today.

Both my charges were home.

I had expected that they would be in school, ski week vacation is over and school is back in.

But.

It was grandma’s last day before flying back home so both of the older kids stayed home to see her off.

We had a very sweet day.

Built a Lego model, colored, watched a Cat in The Hat video, and read a lot of books.

I also cooked lunch and dinner for them.

I love cooking.

It is such a nice thing that it is part of my job.

Tonight for dinner I made sautéed ground chicken with onions and garlic in a rosemary infused bechamel sauce and served it over penne pasta.   I made a side of regular mac and cheese, albeit the fancy kind for the kids, as well as maple and soy glazed Julienne carrots and zucchini.

“Carmen!  You are the best cooker ever!” My little lady charge told me, “it is so yummy!”

She likes to sit with me when I have my lunch and nibble whatever I’m having as well as her own meals.

It’s rather endearing.

“More of the corn,” she told me today with these big saucer blue eyes full of merriment and mischievousness.

I was eating a bowl of homemade chicken soup with brown rice and vegetables.

“I’ll have a carrot now,” she said next, pointing to the one in the bowl she wanted.

I just laughed and spooned it into her mouth.

When I got home tonight after work and doing the deal over at 7th and Irving, I had a very kind text message from the dad too, saying basically how grateful he was to come home from a hard day at work to a really nice dinner.

That too makes my day.

I don’t need to be validated, but damn, it is nice to get it, especially from new employers.

I really am quite happy to be with them and so grateful to be in an environment where I feel like I’m totally being of service and also that I am really appreciated for my skills and the job I do.

Usefulness makes for happiness.

I am happy.

I am happy too that I spent some time before work crunching my numbers and saw quite clearly that despite the unexpected out go of the money for the dental stuff, I will be quite fine this upcoming month.

My costs will be covered and I shouldn’t have any problems with making ends meet.

It helps that I have some cash in savings, so I don’t feel stressed out.

I put 3/4s of my tax return straight into savings.

So even though it feels like I don’t have any money, I in fact, do.

I just don’t want to touch it.

I have one savings account that is for travel and I have one that is the meager beginnings of a prudent reserve.

Plus.

The month of March, five weeks.

So I’ll get a little extra there and although I’m not big on working extra hours past 40, I will one week in March as the dad will be on a business trip and I’m going to help out the family more that week.

I’m not quite sure what that looks like, but I said I would help and I am happy to do so.

A lot of that comes from feeling on top of my school work and my next action steps around my practicum placement and my internship.

I have a workshop that I will be attending the next weekend of school to acquire all the paperwork and take the next steps and then that following week I’ll be going to my supervisor with the paperwork and starting the next phase of the practicum.

So exciting.

There are lots of things happening.

But I don’t feel overwhelmed and I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I just keep showing up day-to-day.

Taking whatever next action is in front of me and letting go of the results.

Because the results are not mine anyway.

They never have been.

I can’t control the outcome of anything.

I can just take some simple actions and love myself for trying.

That’s it.

Pretty damn simple.

It is.

Seriously.

 

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Done And Done

February 27, 2017

Well.

Not quite done.

But done enough.

I mean.

I have done enough.

I am enough.

I am ahead of the schedule.

I finished all my reading for the next weekend of classes today and I wrote my Trauma paper.

A little 5 page ditty rounding out around 1,500 words.

Thank you and done with that.

I still have a Couples Therapy mid-term to write, but I have the next weekend to do it.

I really just wanted to attend to the reading and to getting my Trauma paper written today.

Of course.

I was a little thrown of course by the dental work that happened yesterday, but I have found myself more and more recovered from it as the day has gone one.

My jaw is still a bit achy from being held open for so long, but even that is fading and I don’t really notice it like I did this morning when I woke up.

I got up.

Went to yoga.

Did the shower, the breakfast, the getting dressed and made up and the communicating with my friend whom I had to cancel on last night.

We had made plans to meet today and watch a movie that we need to write on for our Couples Therapy class.

However.

She was concerned about me and I wasn’t certain how I was going to navigate through the day, so when she cancelled for me, I have to say I did feel some relief.

It just opened up my day to being able to take care of some self-care things and to do the reading and the paper writing that I wanted to address today.

I did not, however, cancel my lunch plans to go see my friend in North Beach and have lunch with him and his wife.

I thought about it for a minute, but after I made it through yoga and a hot shower, I felt good enough to commit to going and I really did not want to cancel on plans that had been made over a month ago.

It was so good to see him and it was great to have lunch at, for me, a new spot in North Beach.

Cafe Puccini.

Up on Columbus Avenue.

I got to park my scooter and I had brought my camera with me and happy to have done so.

I got some nice shots of the neighborhood and the Coppola building, which is one of my favorites in San Francisco and one of the first cafes I had an espresso in, an espresso Romano with a twist of lemon peel, after an aged port on a visit to the city back in 2000.

We had a nice reunion and chatted, art, architecture, life, Venice, The Biennale, where he has shown significant work, and of course, Burning Man.

He will be making his third pilgrimage, I my 11th.

He already has tickets.

I await the nod from the box office in regards to getting a low-income ticket.

I sure as fuck hope that happens after spending $1375 on my teeth yesterday.

And thank God, just an aside, that I had the money, that I had done my taxes early and gotten a refund, that I had gotten dental insurance, that I took care of it, I’m super grateful, despite how uncomfortable I was, I am, hella grateful.

We had a great lunch, capped by espresso drinks and an invitation to take a tour to their home!

I was so excited.

It was totally unexpected and since my plans with my friend from school had been cancelled I was able to walk back, and up, up, up, the hill, to their amazing abode.

All the art.

Oh.

It was so good.

God.

How I do love me some art.

And the views.

Extraordinary.

I’d post some photographs, but I already did that on my other blog.

You can check them out here.

I got the grand tour.

I was so grateful and happy, happy, especially that I had remembered to bring my camera.

I can take a damn good photo on my Iphone, but nothing quite beats having my camera.

It felt good to post the blog too, my little photography side project, http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com I don’t take out my camera as often as I would like, you know, full-time grad school, full time recovery, full time work, but I am grateful whenever I can get it together to take a few shots and edit them and pop them up on the blog.

Feels good.

It felt good too, to cruise back through the city and take the scenic route, getting home and locking up my scooter literally as a rain shower started.

Glad for that, getting off the road before the rain.

And.

For having some extra time at the house.

I did some food prep.

Made homemade chicken soup with brown rice and vegetables.

And.

Homemade jambalaya.

I have food for the week and a little extra stocked in the freezer.

I like to make a tiny bit more than I need for the week so when my school weekend rolls around I don’t have to stress about food prep, I can just pull something from the freezer and go.

After a fat and sassy bowl of chicken, rice, Andouille sausage, tomatoes, spices, and shrimp, I got down to it.

I washed the dishes.

Made some tea.

And then I wrote.

I knocked out the Trauma paper, proofed it, edited it, tightened it up a bit and printed it off.

Then.

I finished all my reading for Couples Therapy.

And like that.

I am done with my homework for the week.

It feels so good.

I had a super productive day and I got to see art and have good food and talk about Burning Man, one of my favortie topics every to talk about, dontcha know, and get to take photographs of one of the most beautiful places in the world, San Francisco.

Who’s a lucky girl?

I am, that’s who.

Luckiest girl in the world.

OW

February 26, 2017

Fuck that hurt.

That hurt more than I expected.

Hurt my face.

Face still hurts.

Hours later, my jaw is aching from having a weird rubber thingamabob in my mouth for too long.

No.

I was not at a sex play party.

I was at the dentist.

Yes.

I finally went.

Ten years later.

Pro tip.

When they say get a cleaning every six months.

Listen.

Walk through the fear, just go.

I am smacking myself for letting it lapse so long.

I can only beat myself up for so long though, I haven’t had dental insurance and it’s a pretty penny to get dental work done and you know, I have things to do, places to go, people to see, I’m busy.

Too busy.

But when my teeth felt.

Well.

Achey.

I guess is the word.

Back in December I made the decision to go back to the dentist and I used part of my Christmas bonus to buy dental insurance for the year.

It became activated in February, so as soon as I had the card I made the appointment and my dentist has Saturday hours, and voila, there I am sitting in a chair at Sunset Premier Dental at 4 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon listening to a child screaming.

This does not bode well, I can see in hindsight.

AND.

I do not joke, I thought I was hearing things, I really did, I thought, ladybug you are just anxious, they are not talking about you.

They were talking in rapid fire Chinese, Mandarin I believe, and occasionally in between the crying and the screaming of the little girl I could swear I heard my name, “Carmen” being spoken.

Turns out the little girl was named Carmen.

I was hearing things right.

The dental assistant was very sweet and kind and did my ex-rays, then I sat for a while, looking at flower decals on the wall and owls and clouds and soft pastel paintings, listening with half an ear to the easy listening on the radio.

I now will have Huey Lewis and The News imprinted in my mental memory of the dentist visit.

The dentist was super kind Chinese man, Vincent Leung, D.D.S. who made many nice jokes and patted me on my shoulder a lot and also, yes, I am not joking, wiped tears, the continual stream of tears, off my face as I cried in the chair with the big rubber block thing holding open my jaw.

He did the initial exam and looked over the ex-rays and then went and consulted on another client while the nurse came back, or dental assistant, not sure what the difference is exactly, to inform me that yes, my insurance did cover a good amount of the necessary care, but, I would still need to cover some out-of-pocket costs and she explained that I had to have some fillings, Doctor Leung had joked that I had a smattering of “baby cavities” and also, fuck me.

Gum Disease.

I have heard of it but I did not know what it was really.

The doctor came back, showed me my ex-rays, pointed out the baby cavities then pointed out what was happening with my gums, why ten years of not getting my teeth regularly cleaned was not the best idea for me, even with brushing three times a day and flossing once a day, for real, that’s my routine, my gums were receding and if I let it go too long I was going to start losing teeth.

Fuck no.

Do the damn cleaning and scrape the teeth, underneath the gum line.

The sound it made.

Like tiny high-powered squirrel robots screaming in my mouth.

Getting to that point though I skip the worst part.

The part that was the hardest to bear, the part that had me crying and scared and shook up.

Yes, it was painful.

Even though I was numbed out.

It was the pain of the numbing out that shook me up.

First, the local anesthesia.

So much of it and the taste, and then I ended up swallowing some and oh my god, so grateful I had a decent lunch, if I had gone in on an empty stomach I would have thrown up on nice Doctor Vincent.

Second.

I have not been on anything, nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, since I got sober.

Nothing.

NOTHING.

No pain relievers, no prescribed meds, I have not had any surgeries, although I have had some challenges, hello severe ankle sprain two years ago that still bothers me, but nothing stronger than ibuprofen in twelve years.

I had a physical reaction to the anesthesia and it felt awful to have something in my body, intrusive and I shook a bit and I got super cold and shivery.

Then the injections of Novocaine, super long thin scary needles, had my eyes shut, but still, super long thin scary needles, and even with the local, it still hurt to get the injections, the needle had to hit bone before it could be pulled out.

Six times.

Six injections.

I was destroyed.

Tears rolling down my face.

The doctor kept patting my shoulder and gently dabbing my closed eyes with tissues.

Probably not the doctor now that I think of it, the assistant, but yes, much was made of me crying.

I just oozed and leaked tears the entire time.

And prayed.

I prayed a lot.

I said the Serenity Prayer over and over and over again.

So many times.

I had a cute thought in there at one point.

“God wants me to have sexy teeth.”

Yup.

I thought that.

Made me smile on the inside.

I couldn’t smile for hours after, it was so disconcerting.

I had so much Novocaine in my face my ears had numbed out.

I am not kidding.

Afterwards I was told I needed to come back, I am going to need to come back for a while on the regular and get the deep cleanings.

The good news is that the biggest part of it was dealt with today and the maintenance cleaning though frequent, I have another appointment in May, it will only be $70 and not $1350 as today’s visit was.

Thank fucking God.

And I had the money in my account.

Thank God for that too.

I paid rent yesterday and bought groceries and after that I still had a good lump in my account for whatever today was going to cost.

I have $350 left in my checking account.

But.

Hey.

My teeth are hella clean, sexy and super fucking white.

And soon available for making out.

As soon as my jaw stops hurting.

Grateful it wasn’t worse, I didn’t have any teeth extractions, I don’t need a root canal, I don’t need crowns.

It was scary and hard to sit through, but I made it through and although the Novocaine was wildly uncomfortable and the injection process was painful, I got through.

I lived to tell my tale.

I will be able to do it again and I will know going into it.

It wasn’t exactly the Saturday I had planned.

But.

I am grateful for getting through with it, for showing up, and for taking care of it.

It could have been so much worse.

Frankly I’m not sure I could have handled much worse.

Grateful beyond words that I didn’t have to.

Seriously.

Unexpected Free Time

February 25, 2017

Not a lot.

But.

Oh my God.

More than enough.

I got a text this morning from the mom saying, hey you worked such a long day yesterday, come in an hour late and we’ll probably let you go an hour early.

Grandma visit.

At first I was annoyed.

I had plans!

Then I was flustered.

Shit.

I could have made plans.

I could have snuck in a yoga class this morning.

Then.

I got over myself.

Get grateful you boob!

You just got two hours knocked off your work day, be happy.

I did some extra writing.

I made a cafe au lait and read another two articles in my Couples Therapy reader–in fact, I’m only two articles away from being completely done with all my reading for the next weekend of classes.

I am super psyched for that.

I took it leisurely getting ready for work and I had a nice shower and really, my hair was on point today, I had a hella good hair day.

And when I got into work I found out that since the grandma was going to be leaving on Monday she wanted to spend extra time with the kiddos and take them on a special trip to the toy store.

Grandma, toy store, extra time with the kiddos=getting off not one hour early, but two!

“Happy Friday,” the mom said, “if you can just fold up the rest of the laundry and take these things up to the dry cleaners, you can go early, I don’t think we’ll be back from the toy store before you would be leaving anyhow, you don’t need to futz around here and twiddle your thumbs.”

“Really?” I asked.

I mean.

Yes, please and thank you, but also really, I haven’t had this much leeway in my job in some time and I realize that although I loved the family I was working for a lot, those boys, oh those sweet boys, I was under a great deal more stress to constantly be doing something.

I had to put up a lot of boundaries around taking breaks and having down time, or time to eat my food.

Not so at this job.

They are just the bees knees.

And the mom and I had a very sweet talk today about the whole process and how happy they are to have me.

I mean.

Really happy.

And I am really happy to have them.

It feels like such a good fit.

Granted I know the honey moon period will pass, issues arise, conflicts happen, but over all, wow, wow, wow, just such a great job for me.

The gaggle of baby, mama, brother, sister, and grandma headed off to pillage the toy store and I happily futzed about the house making sure everything was in order and tidy and putting away the laundry.  I did a double, triple check on things, then headed out to Noe Valley to drop off some dry cleaning for them, and killing two birds with one stone, I also dropped off some mending I needed done on my two favorite cardigans.

Then I asked for direction.

Where to next?

I had a thought about running downtown to go shop at Gap, but realized that wasn’t necessary, I didn’t have to put myself through going downtown to use the coupon that I had.

In fact, right before starting to write this blog, I just went online and applied it at the online store, basically saving $70 on my order.

I got the same dress I am currently wearing, one of the causal interview dressed I bought, in a different color (mom made a really outstanding point to me today as the baby had a huge whoopsie down the back of her shirt, pants, and yes, all over the floor, that I should have a back up set of clothes for having at the house in case such a thing happens, hence another dress like the one I’ve got on) and a racer back maxi that I was thinking, oh, yes, Paris in Spring, with a pair of sandals.

So.

Instead of going downtown into the madness, I just took the roads up and over Twin Peaks and headed to the Inner Sunset.

A quick run to the bank.

Then.

A manicure.

It was really nice to do that.

Just sit back, read a trashy magazine and get my nails done.

Such a little pleasure.

Then I took myself out for some carnitas, because, carnitas, hello.

Afterward a nice cafe au lait, decaf thank you, and I made sure it was decaf, and some fellowship with a friend from the neighborhood before doing the deal.

It was good to catch up and it’s nice to know people in my neighborhood.

I am officially a Sunset person I think, it’s been three and a half years of living out here now, I think I can call myself a part of the Sunset for sure.

After getting right with God I hopped on the scooter and made the executive decision to do my grocery shopping for the weekend.

It may rain tomorrow, already put the cover on my scooter, and I just figured, get it out-of-the-way.

And like that.

I did.

I also paid rent today for March and signed up for two yoga classes this weekend.

Fuck.

It feels good to be on top of things.

Plus.

I touched base with my supervisor at my internship and we set up a time for me to come in and fill out all the paperwork and talk about next steps.

I’ll be doing that in March, after my next weekend of classes.

So, although, yes, I do have a full weekend, it’s not so full since I got some errands done unexpectedly and let myself skip out on needlessly going downtown to make myself crazy in the shopping district.

No thanks.

I’ll take a nice mellow night in and yoga in the morning instead.

I’ve got a meet up with a lady to do some reading and then my dentist appointment at 4p.m.

Fingers crossed.

It’s been awhile, but happy to be addressing it.

Then a small dinner party in Noe Valley with some ladies in my cohort and a T.A. from the summer session of classes at the beginning of the school year.

Feels like a nice way to start the weekend.

I’m ready.

Happy Friday!

The Perfect Dress

February 24, 2017

Almost.

But not quite

So freaking close, but I was afraid to force the zipper.

Just in that one spot.

Ah well.

I’m not returning it though.

I don’t often buy clothes off Etsy pretty much because it’s hand-made often and you can’t tell, but I fell for the dress and it’s gorgeous and it fits perfectly, except I need like a 1/2 an inch in the back for the zipper, right below my bust line, pretty much the widest place except for my shoulders.

I’ll just have it taken out a tiny bit.

I’m otherwise quite happily pleased with it and had a sudden moment of realizing I was going to wear it to Paris.

It really screams Paris in Spring.

It’s a replica of a Marilyn Monroe polka dot sundress in light blue with four tiers of layered flounce and sassiness.

It’s gorgeous.

I found it while I was looking for hair accessories.

Aforementioned blog about celebrating my getting time off to go to Burning Man from work.

While bopping about in the retro vintage pin-up rockabilly accessories I came across it.

I was like.

Oh my.

Yes.

I want that and I want that bad.

And.

It must have been fated.

Because the shop has “taken a break.”

I was hunting around trying to find the link to the Etsy shop and finally landed it and the shop has closed!

There is one other seller on Etsy making the dress.

Exact same dress.

Exact same measurements, in fact, aside from a slightly different woman modeling the dress, it could be the exact same seller.

Except.

Holy shit.

THREE times the price.

I got the dress I ordered for $89.99 plus shipping and tax.

This dress.

Total was like $104.

The other site has it listed for $325 (I found a couple off Google in the upper $200s)

Yeah.

Um.

No.

It’s a great dress but not for three hundred dollars.

Quite happy I found the dress the way I did and now knowing what I know about the shop not even existing anymore I will definitely be keeping the dress and just getting it altered a tiny bit.

There would have been a time when I was devastated to not fit into the dress.

But seriously.

I have a lovely, capable, beautiful body.

So what I have a broader back, I am strong.

I was not happy the zipper didn’t get through that one sticky spot, damn it fits so well everywhere but there, but I wasn’t sad either.

That’s progress.

I ran into a fellow tonight after doing the deal with my person and having dinner at Crepevine on Church and Market, and he did a double take, “you’ve lost so much weight!”

I realized later that I hadn’t seen him since about 2009 when I was depressed, hiding in my room, binge reading Twilight, yes I said Twilight, fuck off, and binge eating bowls of popcorn, pints of ice-cream and sacks of donuts from the Jelly Donut on Van Ness and 24th Street.

It was bad, bad, bad, Bad News Bears, bad.

I was miserable.

I finally broke through the silence and reached out and got help and since that point I’ve never really looked back.

No.

My body is not all that and a loaf of sliced bread.

But then again, why would it be, I don’t eat bread.

Heh.

But it is mine.

Mine to care for, comfort, nourish, and attend to.

And that is a gift.

My body has taken a beating for me for a long time, physically and spiritually and mentally too.

It has never lived up to my high expectations, even when I was a super low weight, before I evened out and got less compulsive about my restrictions in my diet, even then, pounds lighter, I wasn’t happy, I wanted more, better, faster, thinner, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Grateful today for the beautiful body God has given me to walk around in.

Grateful that I get to care for it and be perfect with it and not be bothered if the zipper doesn’t go all the way up.

It will.

Grateful too that although my first thought was, oh, I’ll lose some weight and it will fit in a few weeks, it was quickly supplanted by, fuck that, just get it tailored to fit you, it only needs a small adjustment, I don’t need to make myself crazy to fit into any piece of clothing.

I am not my pants size.

I cannot.

Will not.

Measure my life by my in-seam, bust size or waist line.

I am so much more than the sum of my whole.

And I am not stupid.

I am beautiful.

God please help me to see what you want me to see and to let go of what I can.

I can let go of this for sure.

Yes, yes I can.

Please and thank you.

Any one know a good tailor?

Seriously.

 

Help Me

February 23, 2017

To see what I need to see.

And let go of what I can.

I have had this on a loop in my head all day.

Help me to see what I need to see and to let go of what I can.

I close my eyes.

I open them.

I see leaves scuffling by along the pavement.

I see a tree, tender and green with new growth against the luminescent blue sky.

A man drives by in a delivery van, smiles and waves.

I feel the sun on my face.

It is warm.

Very simple these things.

I don’t have to exert myself so much.

I don’t have to force things or make things happen.

Things have their own damn schedule and time frame.

God’s timing is perfect.

I did a big inventory over the weekend and it is still resonating with me.

I basically inventoried the institution of being single.

Yeah.

I know.

No biggie.

Hahahahahaha.

I told my person I only had one resentment and that it was about myself, as per usual, I’m thinking about myself.

And when I told her it was because I was single she suggested that I look at the inventory differently, that I inventory the institution of being single.

Ooh.

I like that.

I am resentful at the institution of being single because.

I don’t feel like I’m enough.

I am broken.

I feel jealous of other people.

I am less than.

I am lonely.

I have to do everything by myself.

I feel like people are pitying me.

I feel angry.

I feel entitled.

Yeah.

Nothing to unpack there.

Fuck me.

Affects everything about me.

I can see my selfishness really well in holding onto this, so much so, playing the victim, holding on to self-pity, being less than, loads of moral inferiority.

And the funny thing is that when I realized that when I think people pity me, that means I think people are thinking about me.

So not true.

Oh my God.

I am not just all that and a loaf of bread.

I mean.

I’m a pretty decent, kind, loving, human being, but most people are not going around thinking about me and my dating dilemmas.

I mean.

Holy shit.

Selfish much?

God damn.

And of course I’m seeking self-esteem, and more self-pity, it’s a self-pity party, I mean, didn’t you get the invite?  I’m also definitely seeking control, and to be the director.

“Stop exerting yourself more!” She told me, “You’re still a work in progress, God’s timing is perfect.”

Heaving a big sigh of relief at that one.

The dishonesty part was easy for me to see too, that I control my life, ahahahahah, that’s a joke.

And the fear is awful basic–abandonment, never being in a romantic relationship, dying alone, unlovable.

Then she asked me something that I had never even thought about, “where have you been inconsiderate in regards to this resentment?”

Oh.

I’ve been inconsiderate?

Shit.

I have been inconsiderate.

I had my eyes opened in a big way.

Where have I been inconsiderate?

In denying someone my company, my higher power wants me to be happy.

Damn.

I mean.

I never, ever thought of it that way, that I’m denying someone the pleasure of my company.

Fuck.

So this week I have said yes to a dinner party with classmates and a former teaching assistant.

I have said yes to working on a class project with someone in my cohort.

I have a lunch date with my friend and art patron from Burning Man on Sunday in North Beach.

I have said yes to those people who want my company and who have asked for it.

I have not chased after experiences or people who aren’t interested in me.

I said yes to camping at Run Free Camp for Burning Man because the head of the camp asked me to join them this year.

“Go where the love is,” a friend of mine often reminds me.

Yes.

That.

God, please help me to see what I need to see and to let go of what I can.

Help me to stop trying so hard to try so hard.

I felt lighter today, to tell the truth.

Maybe because the rain lifted and the sun came out.

Maybe I just feel things shifting and I am more and more accepting of who and what I am.

That I am not broken, I don’t need fixing, that everything is working out in my favor, that I have done the work and I don’t have to constantly be grinding.

I mean.

That being said, when time does permit, I do need to keep on homework tip.

I did well today.

I finished all my Community Mental Health Reading and I got a good chunk of Couples Therapy kicked through.  I have finished the Trauma reading too and I have the idea for my Trauma reflection paper sketched out in my head, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or so to kick out.

I’ll do it in between doing the deal with a lady and my dentist appointment on Saturday.

Leaving me Saturday evening to have a dinner party with school mates and a weekend where I am not wondering about the drama show, the horror story, the fright that I try to entice myself with, the Carmen show.

“You’re the director, main character, scriptwriter, casting agent, staging crew, lighting, I mean, you are doing it all, just stop exerting yourself so much, stop,” she finished.

I laughed.

I cried.

I let it the fuck go.

Oh.

I may pick up the show again, but for the moment I have stopped trying to revise the script and make it into something other than the awesome reality of my beautiful life.

I am a beautiful creature.

Lovable and worthy of love.

You don’t pity me.

I don’t need to pity me.

God please help me see what you want me to see and to let go of what I can.

Seriously.

I am done.

Over it.

All yours.

Ready to stop being inconsiderate.

So much so.

Little Boxes

February 22, 2017

In the hallway.

I got my first little small packages of joyful celebration in the mail today.

Yeah.

When I discovered that I had gotten the time off request for Burning Man from work I made some celebratory purchases on-line.

I couldn’t help myself.

I got some hair flowers.

Heh.

Yes.

And some glitter barrettes.

Because.

Hello.

Sparkle pony.

I had a host of hair flowers.

Like.

A lot.

Really.

From all over, from places I have traveled too, a hair flower from a wig shop in Brooklyn, to a hair piece from Magazine Street in New Orleans, to barrettes I have gotten in Paris.

But.

After the lice apocalypse over Thanksgiving.

I got rid of them all.

I know.

I know.

I could have quarantined them or something.

But I was in a frenzy.

When they comb through your hair and it takes four people, FOUR, three hours to get through all of it and they can’t and won’t guarantee that they got them all, in fact, they did not, and I had two more treatments, when you go home and firebomb your house and put everything and anything that is fabric in the wash, thereby blowing the fuse to the washing machine because you’ve overloaded it, and you throw away your brush, all my hair accessories went the fuck out to the trash.

It was such a horrendous and horrific experience.

I just couldn’t fathom ever putting that stuff in my hair again, even if it meant starting over completely from square one with some basic hair elastics and bobby pins.

Part of me thought.

Well.

Hell.

Maybe that part of my life is over.

You know.

The one where I play the part of the girl with the flower in her hair.

Maybe she needs to grow up.

Yeah.

That lasted all of a few seconds the minute I found out I could go to the event.

I was online buying hair shit like nobody’s business.

I will say this year I won’t be dying my hair any funky colors.

Been there.

Done that.

I’m good with just going with my natural shade of brown and quite happy to augment my hair with accessories versus hair dye.

So.

Yes.

Some fabric roses.

A yellow satin one and a dark red velvet one.

Some daisy hair clips.

Pink and white.

Little, like tiny miniature daisies that you see growing in the outfield of baseball diamonds.

And.

Yes.

Glitter barrettes in pink, teal, and silver.

Because.

Glitter.

See aforementioned sparkle pony.

I may have some other things arriving too.

Ahem.

Yes.

I did.

I went ahead and ordered a jackalope headpiece.

Yes.

It was expensive.

Yes.

I don’t care.

Yes.

I got a tax return.

I am fucking going to embrace it.

A friend at the event last year had a pair of horns with flowers that really were sweet and she loaned them to me for a night and a day and I wore the fuck out of them.

I have been ogling a pair of jackalope bunny ears and horns on Etsy for three years now.

I got the news about getting the time off and I went to the site and I bought them.

In fact.

I totally splurged and bought a bigger set then I had originally been looking at.

It can’t be called an impulse buy if I’ve been thinking about buying them for three years.

Or so I rationalized the purchase.

Check them out.

Here.

God.

I am such a dork.

And.

Nope.

I don’t give a flying fuck what you think.

I am happy.

And they are fabulous.

The artist is going to make the ears in candy floss pink and use cream flowers for the headband.

I also asked that she incorporate some daisies into the piece.

Since.

Favorite flowers, yo.

I’m stupid psyched to see them.

I should get them sometime in March.

Plenty of time to co-ordinate outfits before the Burn.

Heh.

I also reached out to a camp today about camping with them.

I really liked where I camped last year.

But.

I want to try something new.

Not too new.

I know plenty of folks where I asked to camp and the head of the camp is a dear friend of mine and someone with whom I experienced my first burn with when he and I were both affiliated with another camp.

Then he split off from that camp and started his own and I was always working and camping with whomever I was working for.

But.

NOT WORKING.

No.

Not working this year.

I have vowed to myself that I am going to Burning Man.

I am going to participate and help out wherever I camp.

But.

I am not working the event.

No nannying.

No fluffing.

No nothing.

Just me and a spiritual experience out in deep playa.

Aka.

Make out session.

Hahahahaha.

Sleeping in whenever I want.

(If I can manage a shad structure over my tent this year, it gets hot early and there was little sleeping past 7 a.m. in my tent last year)

Staying up late.

Not being tied to anyone else’s scheduled.

Free to play.

Free to wear flowers in my hair.

And jackalope horns.

Because why the fuck not.

I’m an artist.

I get to express and dress as I want.

Not to impress anyone.

No.

But because it makes me happy to do so.

I love playing dress up.

Putting up my hair.

Putting on make up.

I’m just going to go and play playa princess all fucking week-long.

So help me God.

I deserve to put myself first for a turn.

And.

Like that.

I just got word back from the head of the camp, that I am indeed invited and welcome to camp with them.

I’ll be at Camp Run Free this year kids.

Seems quite apropos.

Does it not?

 

 

Why, Yes, That Is Correct

February 21, 2017

I am making chicken and rice soup with vegetables right now.

Yes.

At 9 p.m. at night with terrible and gusty winds.

Chicken soup is super homey and I felt in need of throwing together a pot.

Plus.

I had the time.

And.

It doesn’t take too much time.

I have it down to a science and since I roasted a chicken yesterday I figured I would whip up some soup when I got home and had dinner.

The soup will be done in less than a half hour.

I’ll freeze some and can the rest.

Lunch and dinner for the week.

Easy to just grab a Mason jar of chicken soup with rice and head out the door.

I normally would make the soup on the same night I roast the chicken, but I hung out with a friend yesterday in the afternoon and had coffee.

I am practicing reaching out to people and connecting when I feel lonely.

It was a perfect afternoon jaunt over to the Richmond side of the park, up to Balboa and 38th.

We went to La Promenade Cafe across the street from the Balboa Theater.

It’s a great neighborhood cafe with lots of tables and nooks and crannies and couches.

It was surprisingly packed yesterday with students and laptops, but also with gamers.

I didn’t even recognize most of what people were playing, but I felt happy to be in the midst of the energy and to see people connect with one another face to face.

Rather than Facebook to Facebook.

Speaking of ye olde social media.

I had someone send me a friend request yesterday who I had unfriended a few months back for good reason and at the suggestion of my person and I also blocked his phone number and deleted his number in my phone.

Space was made and taken.

I was surprised to get the request.

Then.

Not so surprised.

And.

Then.

Surprised that I considered accepting it.

But.

In the end.

Yes.

I deleted it.

There was a reason, there is a reason, and no contact is still the best thing for me with said gentleman.

That being said.

I was happy to have made the decision to do something, even such a small thing, as deleting the request, instead of hemming, hawing re-accepting and going back into the crazy.

Sometimes I turn down crazy town road and I see that great big pothole (man-hole) that I have fallen into before and I am so tempted.

I won’t fall in this time, just watch!

Sure Lucy.

How about I just don’t try to kick that ball today?

It felt really good to take contrary action and to not engage.

Healthy like.

Sane.

Different.

I like it.

Then today when I logged into all things interwebs and was checking through I noticed that although I had deleted the friend request it showed up that said person was following my public posts.

Hmm.

I’m not so sure I want that.

I haven’t ever really thought about my privacy on Facebook.

I don’t publish political stuff on my page, in fact, any time I am tagged in a political post I remove that tag and delete it on my timeline.

Don’t post shit to my page.

Please.

And thank you.

I don’t give a fuck if our political leanings are the same, I don’t want to think about politics when I’m on social media.

Anyway.

I logged into privacy settings and holy shit.

I might as well have let the whole world know what was going on or not going on with me.

Everything was set to public.

I cannot fathom how or when I did that.

Unless I just wasn’t paying attention.

So.

I made it all private.

I figure this is good timing for me anyway.

I’ll be starting practicum soon and I should make sure my social media stuff isn’t accessible to people whom I’m not friends with.

I don’t post racy pictures of myself.

I find that kind of tacky.

That’s just my judgement.

But.

My personal stuff is my personal stuff.

And.

I have been “found” by a few guys on Tinder when I was on Tinder.

I am not on it.

Haven’t been on it for a bit now.

I took it off my phone but once in a while I would notice that I was getting hits on Instagram that seemed to be coming from Tinder.

So I got the app again on my phone and checked it out.

Sure enough.

I had to delete my account through the app before I could actually be off it.

It didn’t matter that I didn’t have it on my phone.

It was still “live” out there in the world.

Creepy.

So.

Deleted that.

Buh bye.

I’m so not opposed to sex.

I love sex.

But.

I am opposed to that particular app and I realize that yes, I prefer some intimacy, emotional, intellectual, yes, even spiritual, before I want to drop my knickers.

Like if someone from my friends group on Facebook did want to ask me out on a date, I would be down.

But.

For someone to find me on Tinder, photostalk me through Instagram, find me on Facebook and then message me, um.

NOT INTERESTED.

That particular scenario has happened three times.

I don’t expect it will again.

Boundaries.

I need to have them.

I have had nebulous, porous, wobbly boundaries, and it just ends up biting me on the ass.

Every time.

Better boundaries make for better relationships.

This is what I am learning.

Good skill to have.

I am sure I’ll waffle again, but I’m getting better and better and the change feels good and I am not watching the horror show of my own dramatic script writing.

Nope.

I’m changing the channel and getting right into the what is right in front of me, moment.

Reality is so much better than fantasy.

Fantasy feels safer.

But in the end.

For me.

It’s isolation.

And for me to isolate is to die.

I’ll pass, thanks.

Here’s to living in the present.

The gift I’m given every day.

Grateful for that.

Seriously.

 

No More Tattoos

February 20, 2017

There.

I mean.

I don’t know that I can say no more tattoos, tattoos I think will continue to happen, but.

No more tattoos there.

Specifically on my collar-bone.

Whoooee getting my touch up today was not intolerable, but I had some dread going back in, which is fairly unusual for me in getting work done.

Especially with something so small, but the location and the thinness of the skin over the collar-bone, really was, well not excruciating, but challenging for sure.

I have an idea for a tattoo I’d like to get next year but aside from that I have no other tattoo plans in sight.

In fact.

I was thinking that the one I get next year may be it for a good while.

Then again.

A lady can change her mind.

It’s just that I am not feeling the need for more ink.

Granted.

I’ll probably get to Paris in May and go to Abraxas and want a tattoo.

I do like me a tattoo as a souvenir of my travels.

I have two from Paris and one I got in New York.

The rest of my work has been gotten here in San Francisco.

I have had one primary artist.

Barnaby Williams.

He is currently at Tiger’s Blood in Alameda.

I first went to Barnaby when he was the owner of Mom’s in the Haight.

I had made an appointment to get a dragon tattoo from Barnaby.

I walked into the shop into a huge bear hug from the man and big mournful eyes.

“Hey,” he said quietly, “how ya doin’?”

I teared up.

“I’m ok, but um, I don’t want to do the dragon tattoo anymore,” I said, eyes blurred and starting to sniffle, “I want to get a memorial instead.”

He nodded.

Sat down and drew out the tattoo for me.

Two white French Tulips.

(Shadrach’s favorite flowers)

And the last line of the elegy that Dylan Thomas wrote for his father.

Until I die/He will not leave my side.

It was written in beautiful calligraphic script.

The flowers he outlined and used white ink on, white does not traditionally stick very well, but it seems to have weathered the test of time.

I have had the tattoo for 9.5 years and it still looks bright and fresh.

It was the biggest piece I had gotten up until that point.

The other two were small, a cover up on my left shoulder of my name in flames, a cover up that Barnaby later covered  up with a dragon, classic little known tattoo–the cover up of the cover up.

In the end, so far.

Barnaby has done two dragons on me, both left arm and right arm, and a beautiful pink Jackalope surrounded by French Marguerite daisies, my favorite flowers.

I have had work done as well.

By Ross K. Jones out of Idle Hand on Haight Street.

Although when I got tattooed by Ross he was out of a warehouse space in the SOMA before warehouse spaces in the SOMA were at a premium.

Ross tattooed my first set of stars.

Seven stars for seven years of sobriety.

To this day I can say that Ross has one of the gentlest approaches and best bedside manner of any tattoo artist I have had.

I have one tattoo from a guest Chinese tattoo artist at Abraxas in Paris when I was there last year at Christmas, his name was Bin and we “talked” via Google translator.

He did the Reve (pop a circumflex over the “e” in reve and you get “dream” in French) piece on my chest plate.

Despite the area being a thinner place of skin, he was fast, smooth, efficient, gentle, it was quite a bit less painful than I thought it was going to be.

Barnaby has done one star as well–he did number 10, which was a bit bigger than my other ones and I had him do an homage to Van Gough’s Starry Night painting, but I asked him to use yellow and pink in the tattoo (thereby balancing the pink of the other stars that I had and complementing the sky blue ones I have as well).

Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed on Polk Street, has done two of my stars.

Number 11, which I had him do as a black star to homage David Bowie’s passing last year and also my 11th year in recovery.

And.

This current new star, star number 12.

Which is a soft pastel blue with black outline.

I like my tattoos.

They tell me a story.

They are beautiful art pieces.

I am connected to each in memorable ways and each has meaning to me.

They needn’t tell anyone’s story but my own.

I often forget I have them and will be startled occasionally when someone references them.

In Paris it was challenging, albeit not so much the last time I was there since it was winter, when I have shown off a lot of tattoos.

There are plenty of shops and plenty of people with tattoos in Paris, it’s become quite a bit more acceptable, but I have gotten some stares, tell you what.

Especially at the swimming pool or just walking the streets or going through the Metro stations.

I forget about them too, living in San Francisco.

It seems like everyone has one.

But some, well, some are better than others and I can tell the jail tats from the gang tats from the home-made gun tats and the sleeves of suddenly wealthy dot-com kids who made it big in the 90s to the hipster tattoos and throw back retro vintage Sailor Jerry tattoo art that is so popular today with the Millennials.

I was getting tattooed and pierced long before it was popular.

I don’t care about the time line on it, it’s just an observation.

I am grateful though, that I have had such great artists in my tattoo history.

I am proud of my ink.

Sometimes it is a mask to hide behind.

Sometimes it is a shield.

You cannot hurt me I have done the hurting already.

Sometimes it is art.

It is beauty.

The narrative of my recovery and the sheltering sky storms brewed up in my psyche.

Just another indelible way I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m serious.

Courtesy of Mat Moreno out of Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn.

I have a heart tattoo with cherry blossoms on my left inner arm.

Heh.

 

 

Today Was A

February 19, 2017

Fuck yeah kind of day.

I was chilled most of the day, but I did look cute.

Although perhaps a little on the shivery side.

I wasn’t expecting to be out all day long and I just never made it back to the house once I was out and about.

I sort of know better, but oh well, that’s all I really have to complain about, I was a little cold today, and now that I am home, a hot mug of tea next to me, the heater turned on and my candles all lit up, oh yes, and some nice Saint Germaine de Pres on the radio cube, yes, I said radio cube, it’s like a trip toy for rave kids candy flipping, but I’ve had it for years and years and it really does work–an old IHome cube.

I have had it forever and it’s been to many a Burning Man.

Not this year though, nothing that I will have to hook up to electricity, I won’t be working the event so very doubtful I will have access to any sort of power hook up like I have in the past.

I digress.

Burning Man was not today, although it did come up in conversation a few times.

I am pretty dorked out that I get to go again.

Anyway.

I did go to things today.

I went to yoga.

I am glad I did, although, yes, I had a moment or two when I didn’t want to and it’s hard to get back on the horse, but I did.

I wasn’t able to go at all last weekend since I was in class all day and it’s hard, I see how fast I can lose the benefits of the practice, but hey, I went, and it was enough.

I am enough.

There it is again.

Hello.

Yes, I repeat, I am enough.

After yoga, a quick hot shower, a yummy hot breakfast and a tasty coconut/almond milk latte.

Living the high life.

Then.

I gratefully accepted the reprieve in the rain, it cleared today, but shall be back the next few days, and I uncovered my scooter and rode it up to 7th and Irving.

I met my person at Tart to Tart and embarked on some inventory.

We did some reading.

I did some writing.

I did some crying.

Damn it.

But.

Such good crying and also a lot of laughing, sometimes seeing how my foibles are impeding my journey just makes me laugh and how I think and how it does not serve.

Oh.

Does my thinking, NOT serve.

So.

I got some amazing perspective and some really good suggestions.

And.

Yes.

That’s right.

I took them.

I ran with them all day.

Guess what?

I had a fucking fabulous day.

FABULOUS.

I went and had a mani/pedi after and got my eyebrows wrangled.

Then I took myself out to lunch at Marnee Thai–duck breast curry with plantains.

Holy Mother of God.

So freaking good.

I did a little shopping after that at Ambiance.

I actually took a friend’s suggestion around self-care.

Well.

Close.

My friend had suggested I go get a massage.

I went to a hot tub instead.

It was bliss.

So good to get a soak and let all the kinks get worked out.

Then a scooter ride over to Turk and Divisadero to hang out with my fellows and do the deal.

I even fucking fellowshipped after and discovered a new place for food that I had not been to in the neighborhood.

Hung out.

Socialized.

Ate hella good food and let my hair down.

I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and I was able to nip the isolation blues in the bud.

Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

I could have bailed on the fellowship, I had food at the house, but I really craved some company tonight and I am so much the better for just hanging the fuck out with my people.

They are like no other.

Yeah.

I know.

I am biased.

But.

I do know a special and amazing group of people.

They’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs.

I felt a lot more a part of and I want to continue making that effort.

I shared with a friend tonight that it really can be a challenge to navigate doing grad school work and work and recovery and socializing.

I isolate sometimes because I am scared.

But.

Also.

Because, um, yeah, I have hundreds of pages of reading to do and papers to write.

I may not get to the paper I was going to write today.

And I’m just fine with that.

I have time and my time was so much better spent letting myself be of and in the world.

I rather like my San Franciscan world.

Sure.

It’s not the same city it used to be, it’s changed, but then again, so have I.

Change happens.

Change is the only reliable thing that is consistent.

I can try to control things and I am a sucker for routine, but once in a while I need to break out of it, evolve and see what comes of that action.

I may go back to where I was, all up in my head, but i have a solution that works.

I mean.

Fuck.

It works.

I am so grateful for that.

So much so it’s sort of stupid.

Don’t care if I’m a dork about that too.

Something lovely about my gratitude.

Something lovely about not having it all be on my time, my schedule and my way.

God has perfect timing.

Perfect love.

And wants me to be happy.

I can stop trying so hard to make things happen and just let them happen.

I don’t have to watch the horror show in my head.

I’m pretty bored with the characters and the casting is awful, and really it’s over dramatic, fear filled, and unrealistic.

Reality is so much more sexy.

And I certainly had a sexy day today.

Yes.

Yes.

I did.


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