Archive for May, 2017

Get It

May 31, 2017

Up early.

Out the door.

Off to meet with the supervisor.

Tired.

Caffeinated.

But still a bit tired.

Although by the time I left my supervisor I was jazzed up.

I’ll soon be seeing my first client.

We talked a lot about the frame and how it is held and how it is broken and all the communications, both verbal and physical, that are spoken in a session.

I’m nervous, I’d be stupid if I wasn’t, but I’m also excited and ultimately.

I’m ready.

I am at the “let’s get this party started” phase.

Tomorrow morning I have phone interview/orientation to do with the assistant director of my internship, go over all the paperwork and make sure all the ‘t’s are crossed and all the ‘i’s dotted.

I am a little over how it’s eating into my schedule, but that’s only going to get bigger, the schedule that is.

I’ll be going up to 41 hours a week at my job once school lets out.

I sat down today and figured out my schedule with the mom for the summer.

11-6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.

9-6p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays.

The extra hours I will get paid in cash.

Which I hella appreciate.

And it will be a struggle and I will be tired and I will lean on the coffee and I’ll be ok.

I will have days off and time to play and get my ya ya’s out.

I have to.

I can’t be a therapist and always be grinding.

There has to be fun in the mix.

I am balancing things alright at the moment and not living in the future.

There is no God there, only fear and anxiety and a loud voice telling me in doomed tones that it will all go to shit and how dare you strive like this.

But fuck that.

I am showing up.

Right here.

Right now.

For whatever shows up.

As long as I treat myself well and I am accountable, transparent and honest with all the people in my life than I’m ok, I have to continue practicing spiritual principles at all times.

Now is not the time to let up on my practice.

It’s time to lean into it.

I have a new lady I get to work with starting tomorrow, I’m re-committing to a Saturday meeting I haven’t been to in a month–school and travel–and making sure my foundation is firm as fuck.

That’s the way to do it, throw myself into the deep end and swim.

I’ve always been a good swimmer and if I just remember to take the next stroke instead of worrying about swimming the last leg of the Medley 500 I’ll be fine.

Not that I ever swam the last leg, I was always the butterflyer.

I miss swimming a bit.

I have been gently wondering about getting back into the pool.

How much more can I smash into my schedule?

And perhaps it’s not smashing another thing in, but seeing if I can make room for another activity.

I seem to find out as the moments unfurl, bright and clean and shining like sun light flashing off the waves at noon.

Not that the sun has been much out.

Hello San Francisco summer.

Cold and foggy and having me consider buying another sweatshirt.

I really don’t need another, but I feel like I need a more professional coat.

I got some great new shoes yesterday.

I neglected to mention that in last nights blog.

I decided to really girl up my solo artist girl date by hitting the John Fluevog store on Grant Avenue and blowing my entire wardrobe allowance for the month of June on a pair of shoes.

But damn.

They are both sexy and fucking comfortable.

And.

Not too sexy.

Funky.

Cool.

Good therapist shoes, you know for a therapist who might be throwing some I’ve got tattoos action.

It’s a platform Mary Jane.

It’s superb.

I wore them yesterday out of the shop.

They are perfect and I’m happy to use my new career as an excuse to buy myself some shoes.

Hell.

I will use just about anything as an excuse to buy some shoes.

If they fit and look sexy I usually buy them, even if it means that they sit and languish in my closet for months, if not years.

I have a pair of leopard print platforms, Michael Kors, that I bought right after my ex-boyfriend broke up with me.

I was in Macy’s and there they were and they were on sale and they looked hella sexy and well, shit.

I had to.

I have never worn them out of the house.

Ha.

But they are in my closet and I have hopes to wear them.

I do.

I love me some shoes.

I love dressing up.

I haven’t always had the money to dress the way I want, but I am hella creative and I have some really nice compliments on my style, which can be very street, but I have been trying to tone it down a little as I approach having clients in therapy and what that looks like.

To be my fully authentic self, but also not too out there that I can’t be related to.

I believe being myself is important, but I have many sides to myself and not all of them need to be on display for my clients.

That being said.

I do have aspirations to upscale the wardrobe over some time.

I like to be a little edgy, a little funky, but I want to be refined and classy too.

I am not stupid or blind and I know I can pull sexy off quite easily, its my body shape, I’m curvy, it’s my hair, I have a lot it’s big and curly, maybe it’s my mouth.

“Carmen, you know, you’re mouth just screams blowjob,” my best friend in Wisconsin told me one night after having a few pints after hours at work.

I smacked her.

But she wasn’t wrong.

I want to tamp that down a touch and have some nice refined pieces in my closet.

I’ll find my way.

I am not worried.

And.

I suspect.

I will have a lot of fun doing it.

Oh yeah.

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Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

I mean, I didn’t get up until 9:15 a.m.

So sleeping in, especially considering that I am up three hours earlier tomorrow so that I can meet with my supervisor–whom I would have met with today but it was a holiday.

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

I went to a yoga class that I used to be able to go before I started my current nanny gig.

I had lunch with my favorite, most loved person in the entire world.

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

I got to have lunch with the person I hold in the highest esteem, who loves me unconditionally, who sees me, who supports me without question, who witnesses everything I do, who helps me see when I am self-sabotaging, and how to change that and be better and stronger and sweeter and softer and live my life to the fullest full definition of happy, joyous and free.

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

We met at Souvla on Divisadero and had great big salads and talked and got totally caught up and I revealed myself and there was no shying away from me or judging, only complete sunshine and love.

I am beyond grateful for this man in my life, I wouldn’t have the life I have without him.

He is a human, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting him on a pedestal, he shows me how to be more human myself, more vulnerable, more willing to show up and more present in the moment when I do.

He is the greatest gift and I do not know what I would do without him.

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

We travel in a similar way, carry on only, get situated, go get connected with fellows and then walk and see and witness and art and churches and more art and museums and cafes and sitting still next to each other and also knowing that we both are self-sufficient travelers, that neither of us is afraid to say, give me space, I want to do a wander on my own or nap or whatever.

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

We are talking about going to Barcelona together and maybe taking the TGV to Paris or Marseille, probably Paris as we have friends there too and I will need very much to see my Parisian girlfriend and her new family.

Next May.

When I graduate from my Masters of Psychology program, a grand European tour with my mentor, I couldn’t really think of a better gift, his company means so much to me.

So.

Yeah.

Lunch was fucking fabulous and we also dished and laughed and I talked about needing to set firm boundaries around any extra nanny work that may try to weasel its way in when my employers are away in July.

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

I wanted to catch the last day of the Matisse/Diebenkorn show.

Of course.

It was sold out, even as a member of the MOMA I couldn’t get in to see it.

And truth be told, I don’t really care a fig for Matisse, and I’ve seen so much of his work in Paris that I didn’t feel that I was missing out.

I could have my girl date with myself just fine wandering around all the other galleries without having to stand in the huge, and I do mean HUGE, line that was queued up for the show.

I strolled through the second floor galleries and got acquainted again with one of my favorite artists in the museum–Clyfford Still–1906-1980.  I adore his work, there is one painting especially that always gets me and I did my stare in awe and wonder at it for a good fair amount of time before taking myself for a cafe au lait at the Sight Glass cafe on the 3rd floor of the museum.

I sat and dreamily dreamed and people watched while sipping my coffee–days off always included cafe breaks and nursing a coffee while people watching.

Then I hit the Larry Sultan photography exhibit, which was extraordinary.

And.

Since everyone was in line for the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, the gallery was practically empty.

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

Then having some time and seeing that the sun had decided to cut through the fog and make an appearance, I strolled through Yerba Buena Gardens, and yes, got another coffee, this time iced, and planted myself on the sheltered terrace of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sipped ice coffee and watched the clouds scut through the sky.

I am always so overwhelmed and grateful for the gardens and the art and the fountains and though the skyline has changed dramatically in the fifteen years I have been in San Francisco, there is still all this familiarity for the place I was sitting in.

How many times had I gone through that park high or drunk?

Smoking cigarettes and slamming extra caffeine to keep up with the high-end dining restaurant that I worked at, Hawthorne Lane, how many times had I caught cabs in front of the Metreon to go to my dealers or to have myself carried to the End Up or 1015 or some underground party.

So many times.

And the dread and the terror that was just below the surface of my skin, beating my heart with fear as I walked the paths through the garden to work, short cutting on my way to the restaurant to work a double to make up for all the money I blew on blow.

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

Coiffed, sweetly dressed, yellow silk flower in my hair, expensive shoes on my feet, Hobo purse in my lap, having just left an exquisite show at the MOMA, I sit happy and serene, joyous and free, in that same space, quietly and consistently showing up to make amends to the area and to assuage that damage I did to myself.

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

I have to say I will always keep striving to find them.

Grateful for sunshine, clarity, serenity, communicating my needs, being emotionally transparent.

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

Life is more than fair, you know, if it were fair, I’d be dead.

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

The Not A Date

May 29, 2017

Date.

I mean.

Fuck.

I thought it was a date.

But.

In the end it just seemed to be hanging out as friends.

Note to self.

Clarify.

44 fucking years old and still learning how to communicate.

Ah well.

I had a nice time going to the Summer of Love exhibit and my friend was a good friend, just not the experience I thought I was having.

I didn’t have expectations about it, in fact, when he’d asked me out I was surprised, but I had said yes, trying to keep my word, promising that I would date, I would try.

I am tired of trying.

I am tired of dating.

I don’t want to do it.

And yet.

Here I am trying.

Frustrated pacing the walls of my head, the walls of my room, and just trying each moment to be as honest and upfront as I can.

I can’t have what I want.

I get what I need.

Isn’t that the trope?

Learning, always this learning, this experiencing and I’m not mad or curious or, what resigned, resigned isn’t the right word either.

Acceptance tastes like it.

Humility, most likely that, a tasty snack, a tidbit of humility, mmmm, here, wait, have another helping.

I made my friend feel bad, well, take that back, I’m not that powerful, I can’t claim to be responsible for anyone’s feelings, but I was surprised at the laissez-faire approach to us hanging out together, which clued me into it not being a date.

I expected to be picked up at noon.

I was picked up at 1:45p.m.

UGH.

I have a life, I have things to do, I am important, don’t you know who I am, I don’t want to go on this date.

Oh.

Hahahahhaahahahahahaha.

Joke’s on you lady.

It’s not a date.

My brain.

Oh how it likes to tell me some stories.

I have another “date” tomorrow, but let me tell you, I bet it’s just to have coffee and go do the deal.

It’s not a date either.

Clarity.

I have to ask for clarity.

I have to know that I am beautiful and worthy, that my time is valuable, that I am worth making the attempt for.

I fucking deserve to be courted.

I mean.

That’s what I believe, but maybe that’s a fallacy too, an expectation that I am to be pursued in a certain way by a certain type of man, it just doesn’t seem, after many years of trying to figure this out, ahhaha, ugh, I have not done it any favors, my romantic state or lack there of.

I am still just bumble fucking along.

I get to change.

That’s the only thing I can do.

I can change.

Or not.

I mean.

What is wrong with my life?

Do I need to be in a romantic relationship?

Throat strangles with sadness writing last line, note to self, write about that tomorrow morning.

Fuck.

I wrote a lot this morning.

Eight pages?

Yes.

Eight.

Just wrote and wrote and wrote.

Had a nice breakfast, drank some good coffee, wrote, and waited for the date not date to show up.

And the thing that happened is that I got work done that I needed to do.

So.

A gift, the tardiness of another, my powerlessness over others and their actions held true.

What can I do, how can I use my time and not be mad, not be pissed at my friend who was just taking care of stuff that he had to do.

I set up my voicemail for my internship.

I activated my e-mail account.

I set up my phone line.

I read through the employee hand book.

I discovered I have to also pay to get liability insurance, another unknown out-of-pocket school cost, which makes sense, but was a cost I wasn’t expecting.

Anyway.

I’ll be getting a little bit of money back from the financial aid I applied for, most of it goes to paying for my practicum supervisor, but I’ll get a smidgen that will help with my out-of-pocket therapy costs and this insurance and whatever else comes up.

I still have secrets thoughts and desires about getting out-of-town sometime during the three weeks my family I nanny for will be traveling.

I have a $480 ticket voucher and if I hold steady with my expenditures I might be able to pull off a short vacation, four or five days, somewhere the airlines fly.

I had been thinking San Juan Puerto Rico as a friend does a lot of business there, but I’m not sure I can make Puerto Rico work, maybe.

I don’t know.

I do know I have to use the voucher by October.

I also don’t know when I will get the opportunity outside the three weeks in July.

I guess that’s what bothered me the most.

Having set time aside to go on a date, ok, not a date, I wanted it to go my way, on my schedule, so that I could do all the other things I was going to do, like I totally fucking skipped yoga to get ready.

Note to self.

Don’t do that.

Gratefully.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I’m not working and I will go to yoga in the morning and then to lunch with my person and dump my stupid emotional juju ass baggage about dating and being stupid and annoyed with myself and get it off my chest and then go on another date not date for coffee and laugh at myself.

LOUDLY.

Because I am funny and my little plans and designs get nowhere.

Show up, be of service, stop thinking about myself.

And life will be just fine.

It already is.

I have fucking luxury problems.

Dating is a total luxury problem, I am alive, sober, housed, clothed, fed.

In other words, totally fucking taken care of.

So what?

I have problems in areas I used to never have.

I am lucky.

I am graced.

I am happy, motherfucking free, and joyous.

Most of the time.

And when I am sad or in self-pity or whatever it is, I’m more important than you and your agenda and needs, I see that I am not in humility and gratitude and I can change.

I can awaken.

I can say.

How may I serve, how may I help.

And take the motherfucking focus off myself.

That usually does the trick.

So me and my luxury problems are going to have a nice fucking day tomorrow going to yoga, getting to go to lunch with one of my most loved humans in the entire world, coffee with a friend, a gathering of fellows, some get right with God, and that’s my day.

Or not.

I can’t make plans to save my life.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I certainly don’t.

Obviously.

 

Cherries In A Bowl

May 28, 2017

My hair disheveled in the sunlight.

Sound of Chopin in the walls a susurration of hummingbird wings.

Flight of fancy.

Figurative.

Literal.

Light on the face of the moon.

Light in the eye of the blue storm.

Revery.

Summer grass.

Uncut, thick, lush, warm from sunlight.

Kisses like thunder building behind storm clouds.

July skies.

Pressing down.

Burdened with the knowledge of connection.

I sabotage myself.

Cherry flesh on my tongue.

Swallow the pit.

I always swallow the pit.

There in the spot of my stomach.

A fluttering.

And the light slanted down across the road and I am on his motorcycle.

A child.

Girl child.

Wild haired and windblown.

Sitting in front of my father on his motorcycle.

He steers with one arm wrapped around my waist and the other on the handlebar.

We fly like blown dander.

The flotsam and jetsam of cotton tree bloom thick in the air.

The slant of sun.

The press of sky.

The road unfurled underneath the wheels.

This moment.

Always.

Golden.

Memory like a savage at my throat.

Kissed me mercilessly.

Devouring every good intention.

Sentimental journey of devotion to the shrine of the past perfect father.

Welling sorrow on my face.

Heart, as per usual, on my sleeve.

Parting such sweet sorrow.

Abyss of longing.

Flying into that darknight.

The rush of falling only to be caught and pressed back and still and held.

There.

That undoing.

Stars flung out, scattershot like dust motes.

Freckled love on the bridge of my nose.

Asunder.

Lovelorn.

Forlorn.

Trampled by my own heart.

Fledgling girl.

Wet winged with love.

Fly away.

Into that sea of fireflies.

There, in the high grass.

Burgeoning.

Slender necks of snapdragon flowers.

Sweet coral pink and pale creamsicle throats.

The thumb of Eros pressed against the padded

Softness of my tender mouth.

Kisslet.

Kissling.

Kissed foundling.

Buried in the pillow of my cheek.

And.

Just.

There.

In tousled gold.

The sun spray on your face.

And.

The barely soft whispering word.

My longing to be heard.

 

Wanted Woman

May 27, 2017

It’s nice to be wanted.

It really is.

It’s nice to be pursued.

It’s nice to be courted.

But.

To a point.

Today I was asked to nanny by four different people.

Four.

Three separate families apart from the one I work for, and all from the same spot.

I was a little overwhelmed by it, I was also very tentative about saying anything about my availability.

What availability?

I mean.

Yikes.

One mom who asked has asked before and it has always felt a little like I was getting manipulated into doing something even though I was fairly closed mouth about being able to do anything, I also feel like I must be circumspect and respect that the families are all after one thing, that which will work well for them and their children.

And I know from over a decade of being a nanny that it’s hard to find a good fit for your child, I am asked for referrals all the time.

All the time.

It takes a lot of showing up to be good.

And.

I have a lot to give, but let’s be honest.

There is only so much Carmen-nanny to go around.

Word has gotten out that my family will be gone for a few weeks in July and that I might be helping out my previous family.

And it’s true.

My current family will be leaving for a few weeks, but my internship won’t be going anywhere.

And yes.

I did tell my previous family I would love to help them out with a date night, I miss the boys and it would be sweet to have a night with them.

But.

I am in no place to suddenly pick up a lot of hours.

I will say, though, it is flattering.

I also got to see the another family I briefly worked for end of last year and get a lot of hugs and how are you’s and catch up.

Part of me wants to say yes, of course I will help, I love your kids, I like you.

But.

I love me to.

And Carmen has needs.

I want to make sure my needs are getting met before I go off and make promises to help when I will just get resentful.

No.

I don’t want my summer to be a resentful making time.

I would rather do a lot of yoga, hang out with friends, go on dates, get some extra hours in at my internship and maybe take a long weekend somewhere.

Maybe not even all that far away.

Somewhere by the sea.

Somewhere closer by then Paris.

Somewhere I just lay around in a big hotel bed for a weekend.

I still have my flight voucher for $480 to use before October.

And.

I just had a moment today, not a big one, but a kind of soft warning bell, oh hey, don’t forget, you’re also going to Burning Man and I haven’t done any prep around that.

I still need to replace my playa bike.

I need to find a ride there and back as well.

I have some supplies that I need to replace, a battery charged air pump for my blow up mattress, and of course since I’m not working at all this event I will need to probably procure another cooler for a longer run on my food and figure out a shade structure.

I didn’t have a shade structure last year, I figured, four days in and out, I’ll deal, but this year I’ll be there for the full event and I want to be in a nice space for myself.

Also.

Since school starts for me the weekend prior to Burning Man starting, literally my fall school semester will start and I will leave class and head straight to the playa.

That night.

If not that afternoon.

Depending on who I ride with.

Anyone want to give me a ride to Burning Man this year?

Yeah, seriously, hit me up.

I suppose I will put my name on the ride share board again and see if that pans anything out.

I don’t have to know all the details yet, but there’s planning that needs to be done for that and May is almost over, June will be really rolling into being at my internship and taking clients and July, the family is gone for three weeks.

That three weeks feels like the golden times.

I could not work at all.

I am getting paid for the time the family is away.

I could just do my internship and hide from all forms of nannying.

I don’t want to let myself get bogged down in helping out too many people.

Even if all I do is yoga and take long walks on the beach, just some good solid self-care.

Ah.

I am done with the worrying.

Tomorrow has a lot going on and I want to get up early and go to yoga, stretch out as much as possible and get in my body, meeting with my person at Tart to Tart, grocery shopping–the cupboards are pretty bare, and a dentist appointment to deal with before I try to figure out what July looks like.

I have today.

I got through the week, the jet lag seems to have faded off.

I got to see some friends and fellows tonight.

I had a great day at work.

I was pursued and though I couldn’t respond in the manner that was being asked after, I gave no promises as to my availability, only confirmed that the family will be out for a few weeks in July, I could thank those that asked after me.

And.

I can appreciate that I am appreciated.

That people want me to work for them.

That I am wanted is a gift.

A gift that I do not take lightly.

So with much gratitude.

I bid adieu to Friday and hello to my three-day weekend!

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

I’m A Psychotherapist!

May 26, 2017

Holy shit.

“And there you go,” he said to me, wrapping up our first training session, “now when someone asks you what you do you can say, ‘I’m a psychotherapist’ because, now you are officially.”

I repeat.

Holy shit.

Psychotherapists swear, right?

I sure as fuck hope so.

Granted.

I don’t think I’ll be swearing in my first session with my first client, I don’t very much that I will ever be swearing in a session with a client, then again, one never knows.

Still.

Holy shit!

I’m a psychotherapist.

I had my first day of training at my internship tonight.

It wasn’t very long, mostly just a sit down to debrief about what the next steps are for, we met for an hour and I got my training packet, and my room assignments and we hashed out a schedule for me.

Which is pretty much what I thought it would be when I was looking at it yesterday.

The only difference is that my group supervision training won’t be as long as I thought and I don’t think I’ll be taking any clients that day, which is Saturday, so Saturdays, starting next week I’ll be at the space training from 2-4p.m.

They will be starting me slowly, but I will be seeing my first client in less than two weeks.

I will go back next week and do a tour of the facility, get my key card, my set of keys, go over the protocols on how to buzz clients into the building and do a bunch more paperwork.

Fuck.

The paperwork, there is just so much of it.

However.

I understand the need for it and I just have to do a little bit for right now.

Mostly I have to get acquainted with my training packet and also set up a separate time to meet with another supervisor, the assistant director at the internship, who will officially process my paperwork.

In between now and next Thursday I have to do that and I have to set up my e-mail and my voicemail message.

Then next Saturday I will begin my group training and supervision.

And.

The following Tuesday.

Yes.

I will have my first client!

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017.

That will be my first official day as a psychotherapist.

Not today.

But.

Man.

It felt good to hear my supervisor say that.

You can say you’re a psychotherapist now.

Such a lovely thing to hear.

All this work.

So much work.

And still so much more to come.

But.

It’s lead here.

One small baby step at a time.

My supervisor also told me that he had a client in mind for me already who’s been on the waiting list waiting for a therapist like me.

A therapist like me.

Whoa.

This.

This is happening.

I left my supervisor, popped into the bathroom, took care of bio needs and then washed up, grinning like a banshee in the mirror, “I’m a psychotherapist!”

Then.

I stuck my hand in my pocket and squashed a ball of wax cheese in my hand.

Ha.

I’m still a nanny.

Snacks are in my pockets, anyone want a Baby Belle?

I’ve a long way to go before I give up being a nanny.

Years and years.

“I was sad, I thought, well, it made me cry,” he told me, in his sweet little voice, a little distant and soft.

“What made you cry?”  I asked him, stroking his soft blond hair.

“Well, I thought, maybe you weren’t going to be my nanny anymore,” he said looking out the window of the train.

“Oh!  When I was on vacation, when I went to Paris?” I asked him, my heart melting.

“No, not that, no, I had this awful thought that when school was done you’d be done too, like my favorite teacher who I won’t get to see again when school stops for summer,” he corrected my assumption.

“Oh!  Sugar, I won’t be leaving, I will be with you all summer, in fact, I will be with you for a really long time.”

“Really?” He asked me, brightening.

“Yes, really,” I ruffled his hair again and kissed his forehead, “I promise.”

“A long time!?  Like twenty years?  Like!  Oh! I know! You could be my kid’s nanny, I mean, you might be old, but you won’t be too old, that would be perfect!”

I laughed.

He called out to his sister and said, “Carmen can nanny for you too when you have kids!”

They started to conspire with each other and plan on who they were going to get married to and when they’d each have babies and where they would live and what they would do for jobs, which wouldn’t matter, so long as they had me.

Ok, now.

Maybe I’ll be a nanny for a few more years yet, but I am also a psychotherapist, in training, in one more week of training, then I start with my first client.

And it won’t be twenty more years of being a nanny, no not at all.

The time it will go.

The time it always does.

But until it passes.

I am grateful for my sweet, darling charges, and all the love they bring into my life.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ahem.

I mean.

Luckiest psychotherapist in the world.

Yes.

That.

 

No, Not Yet

May 25, 2017

I’m not ready.

And.

It doesn’t matter.

Because.

Tomorrow I start my internship.

Fuck me.

I am still jet lagged, I still keep waking up too early and then rolling around in bed in a half dream state, fantasies and revery keeping me company, but not compelling rest.

So, I got up, sprung up, got ready to go, cleaned my house, striped the bed, washed everything, sheets, pillowcases, duvet cover, swept the floors, swiffered the fuck out of everything, dusted, tidied, wrote, had coffee and still had time before heading to work.

When I got to work I had a full tilt boogie sort of day and I utterly forgot that I had agreed to stay an hour later.

Ugh.

Four o’clock the jet lag hit, would be 1 a.m. in Paris, makes total sense, and I have another coffee and rally and do the nanny dance and I am helpful, but my God, tired.

I had so hoped to be out of it at this point.

I am making myself stay up a little later tonight, even though I am tired, to balance myself back out.

I wasn’t incompacitated, I was just softly out of it.

I got home later than I wanted threw a half assed dinner together as I didn’t have enough time to really heat up the dinner I had planned, and ran back out the door to my Wednesday night commitment.

In between all the coming and going and work and doing the deal I checked my e-mail, maybe mid to late afternoon, I had my phone all day, but not much access to it, I had the baby a lot today at work and the mom worked from home today, then the 7-year-old and the four-year old and the cooking dinner (brown butter poached chicken breasts with tarragon and herbe de Provence, pan sauteed asparagus and zucchini with roasted garlic, quinoa fusili with parmesan and olive oil, baby spinach and strawberry salad with red wine balsamic and crushed almonds) and helping put the kids to bed and nighttime routine and story time and toothbrushing and snuggles and hugs and wait, didn’t I have a big important e-mail to look at?

I did.

And I just can’t even process the e-mail.

I have to be at work early tomorrow.

ARGH.

I can’t hate on it though, the mom gave me Monday off to recuperate and I just get to suck it up and show up and it will be ok.

I just start my internship tomorrow and that was what the e-mail was about.

My key codes, my telephone extension, my keys, my e-mail address.

Holy shit.

People.

I have an office, a key card, key codes, keys, e-mail address.

I am going to be seeing clients.

In my own office.

Starting tomorrow.

Ok.

That’s not true, tomorrow I start, but I won’t have a client, I will have a training and a sit down and a schedule that will be mapped out.

I glanced at the e-mail, I couldn’t give it my full attention at work, there was too much to do, and I didn’t have time to look at it in between getting home from work, throwing some food in my mouth and hustling back out the door.

I just know the gist of it, a new e-mail for clients to get a hold of me, a phone number and extension to my office, that I will get a set of keys and a key card to get into the building.

I will sit down with my supervisor a half hour after I get done with work and hash out my training schedule and when I will start seeing clients.

I know that next Saturday, not this Saturday, I have it off, thank God, I will start my group supervision training although I don’t know exactly what it will entail.

Originally my supervisor broke it down like this: M, TU, 6:30-9p.m. Thurs, Frid, 6:30-9pm. Saturday 2pm-7pm.  I am hoping, however, to get out of Saturdays a little earlier than 7p.m.  Either that or start a little earlier.

I will be switching up my work hours soon too, the kids will be finishing up school in two weeks.

I will start going in earlier and I will work an extra hour, so I will be fully 40 hours instead of the 35 I am now.

And.

Breathe.

And focus on this moment.

I am listening to The Orb.

I am drinking hot Bengal Spice tea.

My house is clean and I get to crawl into fresh sheets.

There is nothing like getting completely naked and slipping into clean, soft, cotton sheets.

Exquisite.

Fresh sheets always make my gratitude list.

I have my candles lit.

There is just this moment, this now, there is nothing wrong, nowhere to go.

Well.

In the next hour I will be going to bed.

But.

I have done all that I possibly could today and I won’t beat myself up for not being able to look at all the details in the three big welcome abroad e-mails I got from my internship.

I will review them in the morning when I have my breakfast and coffee.

After I good full night sleep.

I feel easier for just having written all this out and for knowing that I made it through today and that as long as I take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time, doing the best I can in each moment, then I am taken care of.

I always have been.

God has not brought me this far to be dropped on my ass now.

Suit up.

Show up.

And it will all be fine.

And I have a nice weekend planned.

I’ll do the deal, meet with my people, hang with friends, go to yoga, go to the DeYoung on Sunday and catch the Summer of Love exhibit.

And now.

A spot more tea.

A bit more music.

A winding down.

Brush my teeth, wash my face, tell myself a sweet bedtime story about love and wrap my arms above my head, close my eyes, face in the soft pillow, head turned towards where the moon will set in the morning.

Good night.

Sweetest dreams my friends.

Sweetest dreams.

It’s Awful Nice

May 24, 2017

To be missed.

It was obvious that I was missed.

I got so much love at my job today, it really was something else.

From the appreciations I got from the mom for the work I do, to the little ladybug running to meet me when I picked her up at school, to the oldest boy leaning his head against me and just hugging me, and letting me kiss him.

The little girl couldn’t stop kissing me and telling me how much she missed me and that she wasn’t ever going to be mean to me and that she loved me, very much, very, very, very much.

Nothing like having a warm, soft paw in your hand all day and soft sweet kisses–when we walked home from school she insisted on holding my hand the entire time and would kiss it constantly.

I was utterly charmed.

It was a long day, but I mustered through and probably drank a lot more coffee than I should, but I made it and actually don’t feel too jet lagged at this point.

I still woke up too early, and found myself so sacked out last night that I could barely check in with the folks I needed to check in with, but I did get a good night’s sleep.

And a good hot shower in the morning, lots of writing, big mug of coffee and getting myself organized before heading out to work helped a lot.

I also got a few errands run before I headed into work, including mailing my mom a package–I hadn’t been able to send out her Mother’s Day gift before I left for Paris.

I got to get lots of face to face time with the mom at work and we talked about summer schedule, the kids schedule, work, travel, and my internship, which starts on Thursday.

I will have a busy week, but I also will have Monday off next week, it’s a holiday, and I’m super happy for that.

I know that I am busy, that life will be busy, that life is full, but there are moments of reprieve, idyllic hours when the unexpected and sweet happens, the hand in mine, the press of lips against my skin, a kiss bestowed upon me, a sowing of love.

“Carmen, you need to sleep over soon!” She said to me, tugging my hand again and again, “and bring me more stickers.”

I laughed.

I also made them dinner and the kids got their favorites, alphabet pasta with cheese and butter for the oldest boy and alphabet pasta soup with carrots in chicken broth for the little lady, I bounced about while the mom ate–slightly fancier stuff for the parent dinner–sautéed asparagus in olive oil and garlic, bechamel sauce over grass-fed seared beef, quinoa pasta with butter and parmesan, mixed greens salad–with the baby, who’s bright happy smile met mine many times today, I felt he recognized me and it was wonderful to get his big smiles.

It’s nice to be appreciated and I felt that in spades today.

When I went to leave the little lady jumped up from her chair at the dinner table and hollered “NO!”

But I told her I would be back soon and that we would have more adventures tomorrow and she can’t wait, “cuz I have a dentist appointment tomorrow!”

Dentists are a lot more fun then they were in my day.

I have a dentist appointment on Saturday, I am not nearly as excited as my charge, not by far, of course I’ll be getting novocaine shot into my gum line instead of a big red balloon, so that may be why.

And while my little charge was chatting excitedly, her older brother said, soft and under his breath, but audible to me, “but I get you when she’s at the dentist, we get to be all by ourselves, I get you for me.”

Aw!

Love buttons.

I felt adored today.

Not just appreciated, but adored and that is a damn fine way to feel, especially at work.

I am grateful for the family and all that I get to do for them.

It’s so much easier to be present and available when I am appreciated and then I just want to do an even better job.

That’s how I am.

It makes having to work full-time while I am doing school and my internship and all the other things, so much easier.

It really does.

It’s work, don’t get me wrong, I do a lot for the family, but it is also a joy and I am beyond grateful for them.

And for my life.

It is rich and varied and so full of unexpected happiness I am constantly surprised and joyful in my person.

In my tired, still slightly jet lagged but yes, very happy, person.

I think I’ll have the jet lagged licked by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest.

I have an appreciation for it though, everything seems dreamy and surreal, the fog, the soft coolness on my skin, the music I have been listening to, the hot showers and the warmth of my bed when I crawl into it at night.

Dreamy and swaddled in.

Softened and bending.

Surrendered to the woozy and the swoon.

The drowsed light and the refracted love notes of jazz.

Cocooning me in succor.

Baby, sweet baby.

Slumber drifting on the swell of moon rising in the night.

Ghostships of desire.

Latent and laden.

Tipsy in the cusp of dawn.

The cashmere softness of pre-sunrise and smoked grey of early morning.

Plush with promise.

And.

Smocked velvet kisses.

Hello Jet Lag

May 23, 2017

Sigh.

I knew it would happen and so it has.

Hopefully it will wear off by the time I start my internship on Thursday.

Today I had the day “off” so to speak.

But I was still up at 6 a.m.

I had to go and meet with my off site supervisor this morning and do all the things to get that going and though it was a good meeting, it was surreal.

Everything has felt a bit surreal.

Which is generally how it is for a few days until I can re-adjust to my time zone.

I didn’t do a whole lot else today, to tell the truth, I needed to have the down time and it was a great pleasure to not have any obligations other than to go to the market and get some groceries.

The cupboard was bare.

I didn’t have it in me to make a big run to Safeway, so just to the corner co-op and lots of fruit and some coffee, almond milk, sparkling water.

Just enough to get me going and sustain me for a few days.

I have plenty of food prepped for my work week so I didn’t have to cook today, nor did I have any inclination to do anything but stay in bed most the day.

I even had delivery.

I cannot remember the last time that I had delivery.

I mean.

It’s been years.

But I didn’t want to leave my cozy little nest and so I didn’t.

And it was good.

I did get laundry done and I did get some basic scheduling stuff taken care of.

I did also get out this early evening, I knew I needed to go and do the deal and get that in under my belt and I am so glad I did, ran into some folks I haven’t seen in a while.

I ate left over delivery for dinner, did a few e-mails related to my internship and now, some Debussy to listen to and a little blogging.

Tomorrow I go back to work and I am actually looking forward to it.

I have missed the family.

I am also excited to give my charges their gifts.

I sent them postcards from Paris, but I also wanted to get them something.

The oldest I got a sweet book on how to draw from the Musee D’Orsay gift shop and library.

The younger girl I got a night-light from one of my favorite stores in the Marais, Fleux.

But not just a night-light, a unicorn night light.

She has a thing for magic unicorns and who doesn’t want a unicorn nightlight?

I mean.

I do.

Heh.

I already have a bunny night-light, also from Fleux that I got myself years ago on another Paris vacation I took.

It was a lot of fun to tell my supervisor today about my Paris trip, he asked me what the highlights were.

I had to run down the experience of seeing the amazing Japanese painting that caught my heart in the Orangerie, also, the sweet woman who sold me my cashmere wrap the last night I was there, all the fellows I got to see from when I was living there, and writing my morning pages on the deck of the houseboat.

I like my supervisor a lot and although I did not want to get up so early to go and meet with him, I found myself surprised when our hour was up, there was so much to talk about, not just about Paris, but about psychology and seeing clients and the ways of getting my child/family hours that I hadn’t thought about.

Not for right now.

But eventually I will have to address that, there are many different kinds of therapy interactions and iterations that I will have to accrue hours for, some solo therapy hours, supervision hours, group supervision, Couple therapy, Family therapy, child therapy.

All of it will come together, I am sure, one small step at a time and as I have described to a number of friends, this next year of the experience is going to be tough, a grind, so to speak, a juggling act of making sure I can get my internship hours covered, work attended to, recovery done, and who knows, once in a while do something social.

Things are very much on the cusp of big change.

But all I have to do is show up for this moment, just this one, and do the best I can in this moment to be gentle with myself and anyone else that I may interact with.

Today was a good day.

Wonderful really.

And though I am absolutely jet lagged.

I will get through this.

Another early bed time for me and a cup of tea.

Fingers crossed it will be worked out by mid to end week.

As for now.

Good night friends.

Sweetest of sweet dreams.

No Rest For The Wicked

May 22, 2017

But.

I am going to try.

I am zonked.

It’s been a long day.

It started at 5 a.m. today, yesterday?  I don’t even know, what day is it?

Yes.

Sunday.

And yes.

I already have my alarm set for the morning.

I have to get up early and go meet with my supervisor.

My internship starts this week.

I’ve the meeting tomorrow and then training starts on Thursday.

And.

You know.

Work.

And um.

Hello.

Jet lag.

Current Paris time is 4:53 a.m.

That means, 24 hours ago I was just about to get up and finish my packing.

And it was a great big last day of a last day.

One last morning of having coffee on the houseboat and then off to Clingancourt.

Which I almost bailed on.

Crowds cause me some anxiety.

My friend I went with pretty much noticed that ASAP.

“You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to,” I was told, and I knew that, but I also wanted to make the effort.

I’d never made it in to Clingancourt before, I had only gone one other time and it was closed.

I wandered around and took street art photography.

The thing about the market is that it’s in not the prettiest neighborhood, lots of low-income housing tenements, it’s just at the Periphery of the city, so it can get quite a bit sketchy, it’s a haven for pick pockets, and there’s a lot of dingy, trashiness to it, plus there was a lot of construction going on.

However, once you make it into the actual market, it’s great.

It’s just getting through shark infested waters.

I’m bad with pushy tourist scam artists and crowds and what feels very edgy and compromised.

I also recognize that I am sensitive and it takes a lot of work for me to shut out that kind of lifestyle and edge.

I used to do it pretty damn well, but truth be told I haven’t had walls up that high in a bit and it felt exhausting and I was a little ashamed that I wasn’t able to keep it better together, apologizing to my friend too much for how I was dealing and it just left an uneasy taste in my mouth.

But.

I did have fun in the market itself, I saw some beautiful things and actually bartered a little bit with a vendor and got 10 Euro knocked off a pair of vintage earrings.

Scoring them for 20 Euro instead of the 30 Euro listed.

Great deal.

Especially considering that the other pair of earrings I had seen that I was very drawn to were 1750 Euro!

Of course they were, but my god, so gorgeous.

I also had a sweet chat with the woman running the stall and it felt nice to be able to at least tell her that I was so grateful for her time showing me her beautiful jewelry and I felt pretty damn good about remembering the word for earrings in French.

The longer I was there the more came back, although when I got tired, which was often, I don’t think I actually ever got a big full eight hours of sleep, I would lapse in the quality of my French.

Still.

Overall.

I think I did pretty good.

And though Clingancourt was a challenge for me, I can say, I did it, and I also got a very cool poster, a 1955 Scandal sheet, that I was able to score for 10 Euro.

Felt fun to do that.

Although I ended up missing seeing a few people I had hoped to catch up with, after I got back from the market I was too zonked out to try to do anything else.

I sat on the prow of the houseboat and I wrote awhile in my journal and just enjoyed the hell out of the sun.

Super grateful that my last day in Paris was sunny.

Not as warm as I might have liked, but really nice.

And.

After I got packed and sorted a friend and I went out to grab a bite to eat and I decided to get dressed up a little for my last night in Paris and wear my earrings and put my hair up and if only for that I am super glad I went to Clingancourt, my earrings were such fun to wear.

It was lovely to take one last walk along the Seine, to see all the folks lined up at the Musee D’Orsay, to window shop a little, and oh God, yes, get one last little souvenir for stuffing into my suitcase.

Or, as the case may be, for wearing around my shoulders.

I picked up a gorgeous black cashmere (my first cashmere) wrap from this beautiful little shop.

I met the owner and chatted and she called me out as being an artist and then showed me the book her little sister had just gotten published and then told me about Nice and Picasso and Miro and art and al the artists that used to come through their home–the photograph of the book her sister wrote is the woman as a young girl with Pablo Picasso making faces at her.

It was super sweet and she asked me for my information so she could follow my blog.

Which frankly was an interesting moment, when she asked if I was an artist and I am, I’m a writer, a poet, a dreamer, an arranger of colors and sounds and atmospheres in myself, but when someone asks me if I am an artist I always seem to have a moment where I pause and think, no, no, not me.

I’m not really an artist.

But.

I am.

I write poetry and once in a while it is good.

And once in a while I will write a blog that makes me think, yes, I got it, that was art, that was beauty.

But do I paint or draw, no, not so much, do I make music, nope, although I do aspire to be lyrical in my writings.

Nevertheless I gave her my blog address and for a moment I was again a woman artist in Paris, talking art with another artist in a beautiful shop full of soft, delicious things to touch and wrap around me.

It was a comfort on the plane to have the cashmere wrap and I don’t doubt that I will wear it often.

Sensual and soft, warm and engulfing.

All the lovely things.

And now.

My darlings, my dears.

It is time for rest.

I must be up early and I have been going for 24 hours.

Good night my dears.

From a very.

Very.

Grateful.

And.

Lucky girl.


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