Archive for May, 2018

Sometimes

May 30, 2018

It’s nice to get mail.

Sometimes it’s really, really, really nice to get mail.

Especially from the IRS.

Holy shit.

I got home today, as per usual, a little tense, a little upset, a little in bafflement, as I have been over the last few days since I was told that I needed to move out, to a few items of mail.

One was a very sweet and unexpected card from my grandmother with a $20 bill congratulating me on graduation.

So sweet.

The other from the aforementioned IRS.

And it looked like a check.

But.

I already got back my tax returns, both state and federal, and I filed electronically so the returns were sent directly to my bank.

What was this check looking thing?

Could it possibly be?

Could it really be?

I was almost afraid to open it.

I had a thought, but my thoughts are not always the nicest to me, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Cue an earlier thought, that I sort of joked about, but not really to my boss that it was ok, me getting asked to move out, because I have a tent, and I can hang out on the beach.

My boss laughed, but she was horrified to hear my news and also very supportive, there will be no beach for me necessary.

I can stay in the spare room that is currently the kids play room if worst came to worst.

Such a kind offer.

And one I hopefully will not have to take up, but it’s always good to know that I can.

I did once before when I was in transition, stay with employers, actually, former employers, who were remarkably generous and let me stay in their attic room with private bathroom and yes, with both my cats, while I was waiting to get into my next place.

Nothing says worst nightmare to me than homeless with cats, but in a sense that was exactly what I was.

I used to say I was in transition, but it was a transition that was horrendously uncomfortable, especially at seven years of sobriety.

I used to beat myself up about that, homeless with that much sober time, but it was just God preparing me, winnowing down the unnecessary things in my life, so that when the time came a few months later when the opportunity to move to Paris was presented to me, I was able to go without much thought about stuff and things.

I didn’t have much.

I don’t now when I look around.

The only furnishing in my studio that is mine is my bed.

That’s it.

The chaise, end tables, chairs, kitchen table, bookshelf, all my landlady’s furniture.

She’s a realtor and I believe they were used for staging at some point.

Anyway.

I won’t have much to move when I move, just the bed and the things hanging on the wall, the clothes hanging in my closet, and my kitchen stuff.

I could very easily move and do it quite efficiently.

It’s just a matter of finding a place to move to.

I began slowly putting out more feelers today.

I got a tip on an in-law on Silver Terrace, but out of my price range at $2,000.

I figure I will be comfortable spending $1500.

And if I have to I could go as high as $1800.

But that would be super freaking tight.

And I know this sounds crazy, but whatever, I have a feeling it won’t be that expensive, I do have a feeling the right thing will come and it will be what I can afford.

I told my therapist today how scared I have been and upset and angry and how it’s been hard to fall asleep because my brain will attack me with horrifying scenarios about not finding a place to live or not being able to afford what I find.

So.

Last night I said, enough brain, knock it off.

I can’t live in a future where there is no God.

God is right here.

Right the fuck now.

I am being taken care of.

I have paid for June rent.

I only have to be concerned with today.

Stop with the future tripping.

And if you have to think about the future, think about it with faith.

Magic.

God.

Love.

Abundance.

Light.

Envision where you want to live.

Think about what it looks like, really get into the details.

Hard wood floors, light, oh man, give me some light, I have been living in my little cave for almost five years, I could use a god damn window.

High ceilings.

Or at least higher than they are now.

I have low ceilings.

A nice kitchen, a gas range, a washer and dryer on site.

A place to park.

A big closet or two.

I mean.

A bathtub!

Oh.

Fuck wouldn’t that be nice?

Ruminate on the nice things, not on the bad things, see it, visualize it.

It will come.

It will!

I don’t know what exactly will happen next, I have to go to the SF Tenants Union on Saturday and do the drop in counseling.

Until that point all that I can do is what I have been doing.

Reaching out quietly to friends, avoiding social media, but just texting a friend here and there and asking them to keep ears open.

And practicing staying in the moment.

Where there is nothing wrong.

And.

There is only a little envelope to open from the IRS.

So open it.

I had put away all my stuff from my day out and about and put away my groceries, and I was heating up my dinner when I opened the card from my grandmother.

I left the envelope from the IRS alone.

But I really wondered.

If.

Well.

Could it possibly be?

And.

OH.

OH.

OH!

It was!

It was!

It was!

It was my refund from 2014!

2014!

In January of 2015 I did my taxes early and I did not have all my paperwork, I didn’t realize this until after I had filed.

I received some paperwork a month later and realized that I had fucked up my taxes and that I actually was due a bigger return than what I had filed for.

So.

I filed an amendment with the paperwork that I had left out and sent it in.

I never heard anything back.

I don’t know what I was expecting.

But.

Well.

I was hoping for something.

I sort of forgot about it after a while.

Although it would peek up above the surface of my unconsciousness every year after when I was filing and I would remember to make sure that I had all my necessary paperwork available to me before filing.

Certainly didn’t want to make that mistake again.

And there it was.

My fucking amendment refund check from 2014!

I laughed out loud with joy.

I’m going to be ok!

I mean.

I know I’m going to be ok.

But now I can stop stressing about the money I wanted to have for my traveling this summer.

I was afraid that I would find a place and have to use up my travel savings to put down a deposit to move into a new place and then have nothing left to travel with.

Maybe I would have to break out that credit card I got months ago but have never used.

Maybe not!

Not when I got a check from out of the blue for.

Wait for it.

Like you haven’t this entire blog.

Heh.

$2,126.34!

Boom.

Can you say happy?

I can!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking free to travel about the country.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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What Day of The Week

May 29, 2018

Is it?

Holidays are funny.

I don’t typically have Monday’s off.

It does not feel at all like a Monday, but it didn’t quite feel like any other day of the week either.

I didn’t have to go to work and I didn’t see clients.

Instead I got to sleep in.

I had signed up for a yoga class and did not end up going.

Two days of back to back yoga after a long absence made for one sore lady this morning.

I figured it would be better to let my muscles take the day off too.

I took a nice long hot shower and washed my hair.

I was about to get my lazy breakfast on with coffee when I got a startling text message from the Air BnB host in New York who I have, or I should say had, a reservation with.

She had cancelled the reservation.

Apparently the city of New York and its zoning did not allow her to rent out the unit and had alerted Air BnB and they forced her to take it off the site.

No more reservation for me.

I got an immediate refund.

Which was nice.

I had to make another reservation!

I spent the majority of the late morning scrolling through the available places.

I decided.

Just a few minutes ago.

On a place in Brooklyn.

Bed-stuy.

Or Bedford-Stuyvesant as it’s better known as.

The house is on Lafayette Avenue and is a big beautiful brownstone.

Exposed bricks.

Modern kitchen.

Full bath.

FULL BATH.

The bathtub looks as big as my bathroom.

I think I may have just booked it for the bathroom.

It’s a big place and I probably don’t need that much space, but fuck it, it only cost a little more than the place in Harlem I was going to be staying at and it’s much bigger and prettier, in my opinion.

I like the idea too of being completely in the house.

It’s not a room in a hosts house.

It’s the whole house.

Once in a while a lady has to splurge.

I’m super grateful for it.

I think I will have fun and I like Brooklyn.

It’s on the edge of Bed-stuy, close to Bushwick, it’s got a nice hip, up and coming neighborhood feel to it.

Ok.

Really it’s gritty and urban, but also hipster cool.

So there will be bodegas and some edgy areas, but whatever.

I’m not really afraid of all that.

What I really wanted was a nice, clean, big place to stay, and the town house was just remodeled.

I almost don’t really care what neighborhood I’m in.

Well.

Almost.

I didn’t want to stay in Hoboken or Queens.

I did not want to stay in Jersey.

I wanted to be close enough to cool shit, but not so close that I was going to pay an arm and a leg to stay in the Village or Chelsea or Soho.

I can take the train to those spots.

I’m happy.

And in a way, the whole not getting the Air Bnb where I had originally booked reminded me today of my current situation with being asked to move out.

I thought I was in the perfect spot for what needs to happen next in my life.

But.

It appears that I am not.

Instead of getting scared, which has happened, I am not unaware of the enormously expensive renters market in San Francisco, I am attempting to be in acceptance and faith.

Faith.

The opposite of fear.

Faith, that thing that lends itself to me when I think I have walked into a corner.

Faith is what I had when I made the leap and moved to Paris.

Faith is all I had when I returned from Paris broke with only $10 in my pocket and a couple of part-time nanny gigs.

Five years later.

I am in the highest paying nanny job I have ever had.

I have just graduated with my Master’s Degree in Psychology.

I have just recently bought a car.

I have gotten a private practice internship.

I have great love in my life.

I have a life.

I have things.

Sure.

I’m afraid that I will lose these things.

But when I think that I had to leave Paris and come back to San Francisco and I knew not where I was going to live, I least expected it to be the Outer Sunset.

Really, the Outer Sunset?

I’m a Mission kid.

But no more.

Now, I shit you not, I am looking almost exclusively at places in the Outer Sunset.

I want to have a place to park my car for one.

And two, well, it’s been almost five years of me living out here.

It feels like home.

Even if it’s a little bit uncomfortable to be in my current home right now.

San Francisco is home.

And I don’t want to be anywhere else.

This is where it’s at for me.

Although I keep hearing from friends who are planning on leaving.

My tattoo artist today, a friend I’ve known for years and years, did a touch up on my heart tattoo, and admitted that even though he’s San Francisco born and bred, he and his partner are looking to leave.

Chico.

Ugh.

Not for me.

Frankly the Outer Sunset, a hinterland of nothingness when I moved to San Francisco almost 16 years ago, is fucking Shangri La in comparison to Chico.

I just know I will be taken care of.

I just do.

I will find a place.

Or.

A place will find me.

I must have faith, take small actions, and just live each twenty-four hours to the best of my ability.

I think I will be happily surprised.

I believe more will be revealed.

I believe that I am not being dropped.

I am being carried to the perfect place.

The absolute perfect place.

Bank on it.

 

 

90 Days

May 28, 2018

A lot can happen in 90 days.

This is what I tell myself.

A lot can actually happen in a few hours, in a few minutes, in an unexpected conversation with ones landlady.

Oh my God.

I have been asked to move.

I don’t know exactly what to do yet, or whom to share this information with.

I will admit I had an impulse to post up all over social media, but I restrained myself.

I think I was in shock.

I still am a bit, truth be told.

Yesterday though, I was definitely in shock, disbelief, horror, I was freaked out, I cried in supervision when I had to do my check in, I probably should not have been riding my scooter, but in a way it might have been the best thing since I had to focus fiercely on the road for a half hour.

I rode my scooter into supervision yesterday because of the huge Carnival festival that happens in the Mission every year Memorial Day weekend.

It’s a gigantic party and it’s a huge, huge, huge parade.

Where my internship is located at was a designated area of the Mission that was to be part of the route and there was no parking anywhere to be had, I knew this ahead of time and planned on taking my scooter.

I had no idea I would be riding to my group supervision with the information I had just gotten.

I had been actually excited to go to supervision, see the therapists who have watched me over this past year as I have grown comfortable with becoming a therapist and seeing clients there, and share with them the achievement of having graduated.

All that, however, was eclipsed by the bombshell my landlady dropped on me.

She told me she wanted me to move out.

That she had been planning on talking to me about it for a few weeks, but didn’t want to “spoil” my graduation weekend and stress me out.

Thanks.

You stressed me out anyway.

I find it really interesting that I had decided to pay my rent a week and a half early for next month too, I usually do pay early, by at least a few days, but something compelled me to do it earlier than usual and I believe I may have sensed something in the air.

A few weeks ago my landlady had the property inspected as she was planning on doing a re-financing of the house, “I’ll finally get that window in the studio,” is what I thought.

That, apparently was not what she thought.

Oh, there’s going to be a window, but it’s not for me.

She told me that she was originally going to give me thirty days, then I had paid rent for this upcoming month, like I said, I like to pay it in advance, and since it might take me a little while to find a place that she thought she’d give me 60, no, 90 days to move out.

That now that I was done with school, I got into a PhD program you rotten whore, oops, did I say that? She was happy to have “helped” support me through the Masters program by letting me live here.

Helped?

I have helped you lady pants, like, I pay the rent.

I pay utilities.

I am a model tenant.

I pay rent in advance.

I have ever since I moved in.

I take the trash out, I keep my studio clean, clean, clean.

I am sober, no partying down in my little den.

I don’t smoke.

I am a fucking full-time nanny who has a part-time internship and I, until recently, also attended grad school full time.

Meaning.

I’m not around all that fucking much.

Who could ask for a better fucking tenant?

Oh.

And I don’t have any pets and I don’t complain about the dog that you got a year ago that barks and whines and cries and then gets yelled at for barking and whining and crying.

I don’t know what is worse.

The barking or the yelling at the dog to stop barking.

Considering the year of great noise I should get a goddamn discount of the rent.

Ugh.

Anyway.

I took in what she was saying and let her do the talking, I was in shock and also trying really hard to smile and nod and not say anything to just listen, to absorb information.

I was also in my scooter jacket about to get on my scooter and go ride across town to my internship, I couldn’t process what was happening.

Which was probably a good thing, I didn’t get argumentative, I didn’t freak out on her.

I did find a silent, hot core of anger later, but more about that at another time.

She explained that she’d gotten her re-financement and was going to be doing a major remodel on her house, ripping out the kitchen and the bathroom in her unit, putting in a deck, building another in-law in the back yard, pulling out the kitchen in my unit and making it a one bedroom with a bath (and maybe a hot plate), and that she needed me to move out so that she could move into my unit while the remodel was being done on her unit.

I quietly congratulated her on the refinance and asked again about the move out date, September 1st, the 15th at the latest, she needed to know as soon as possible when I was going to move out so that she could get all of her contractors lined up and ready to go.

Oh.

Ok.

Glad to hear that you need me to hustle.

Good information.

I’m only deep diving into the most expensive city to live in for rentals in the United States with a dearth of options, where closets get rented as studios, and people curtain off living rooms for extra bedrooms, where adults live in dorms with shared bathrooms and communal spaces that are marketed towards tech kids in the FiDi and Mission districts.

Sure.

No problem.

Let me get right on that.

I decided to cry instead when I got to supervision.

Oh!

And hey, she also noted, you can pay your last months rent from your deposit if that helps you consolidate your cash to get into a new place.

Hmmm.

Thanks.

I think.

Don’t you owe me the deposit back with interest, isn’t that what you told me when I moved in, “I’ll be putting this in an account that will gather interest and I’ll give you the deposit plus the interest when you move out, just make sure you give me a 30 day notice.”

See.

This is where it gets tricky for me.

I never signed a lease.

I live in an illegal in-law unit.

It has a kitchen with a full size working gas range and a full size refrigerator, but no window and no ventilation.

I cook and open up the back door to ventilate.

I am also pretty damn certain that she didn’t pull permits to do the work on the in-law when it was remodeled, but I’m not 100% certain.

What I am certain of, however, is that in her nice, sweet, off-handed way she was manipulating me into thinking I was getting a deal and that she was being kind to me.

Oh, and you don’t have to pay for July’s rent either.

And while that’s a lovely offer, I think that you, madam, are not within your rights to push me out, at least not without a written notice, or some sort of compensation.

So.

I got myself onto the San Francisco Tenants Union webpage.

They have open drop in hours and I will be going to get myself some counseling to see what my rights are.

I may not have a signed contract, I may not have a lease, but I had a verbal agreement and over four and a half years of cashed checks with “June rent and utilities” written into the memo.

I have a paper trail.

And I know I have rights.

I just don’t know exactly what they are.

But I will.

And when I do.

Watch out.

I am mad and I am not going to be manipulated into rolling over.

I am going to move.

That is going to happen.

But I am going to do it in a way that advocates for my rights.

I am not going to get pushed out.

So.

Yeah.

If you hear of anything for rent in San Francisco.

Not Berkeley or Oakland or in the East Bay or over in Marin.

IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Do me a favor and let me know.

Thanks!

 

 

Happy

May 26, 2018

It struck me as I was folding clothes and looking at my nice clean studio.

I’m happy.

I’m really happy.

My Master’s program is complete and I have graduated.

I made it through the week unscathed.

I had a light client load.

Two cancellations tonight meant I got to go to the Inner Sunset and do the deal and run into folks I haven’t seen in a while and get my head on straight.

My boss gave me flowers for all the extra help I did this week.

And honestly, it didn’t feel like it was all that extra, but I do not mind at all being appreciated.

I love flowers.

I wrote out thank you notes to the folks that gave me graduation presents and stuck them in the mail.

I did laundry.

I went grocery shopping.

I signed up for two yoga classes this weekend.

I have plans to hang out with my best friend this weekend.

Life is really good.

I feel so content right now.

Very full of gratitude.

I even have a course of action for the reflux.

I went to the GI this week to do a follow-up with him from the endoscopy I had last week, as well as the results from the swallow test and the Ph wire test.

Never, ever, ever want to do that wire test again.

NEVER.

Gah.

It was bad.

Anyway.

Yes, I have reflux, but not apparently as bad as I think it is, I know that sounds weird, but the levels of reflux the test came back with were low.

I don’t have ulcers.

I don’t have cancer.

I didn’t have any damage to my esophagus.

I have a small hiatal hernia, which can cause some reflux.

But.

What the GI told me was that he suspects I got an infection months ago that damaged the nerves in my esophagus.

So a course of medication has been prescribed and I take three of the tiniest pills I have ever seen at night before bed as they may cause drowsiness.

I checked and double checked that the pills were non-habit forming or narcotic, and got great big negatives to the question.

They will, however, take some time to kick in.

And get this.

It’s an anti-depressant!

How freaking weird is that?

However, the dosage I’m taking is super small, wouldn’t affect mood at the dose I’m taking it and it isn’t very often used any more for depression as there are apparently more medications out there that work better.

But.

It also happens to work on the reflux.

According to Wikipedia: Desipramine at very low doses is also used to help reduce the pain associated with functional dyspepsia.

Reflux, ulcers, gastroenteritis.

Which is what the GI said I had, there was evidence of gastroenteritis from the endoscopy, infection of the stomach, symptoms are flu-like, including diarrhea, fever, chills, abdominal pain.

I know exactly when this happened.

It caught me way off guard and I had woken up in the middle of the night with a fever, cramps, bad, bad, bad diarrhea, I was hot and cold and it was horrendous.

I thought I had food poisoning.

It might have been, but this makes more sense.

Especially since the reflux seemed to kick in a little after that incident.

Anyway.

The GI said what happens is the nerves in the esophagus get damaged and then everything is more sensitive.

So.

The low dosage of Desipramine is supposed to lessen the pain and also help the nerves regenerate and heal.

Fingers crossed.

I so much want to be back to normal.

I have had light reflux the last few days, but nothing full-blown.

I have a touch right now.

But I am hopeful that it will pass.

I have signed up for a yoga class tomorrow morning and also one for Sunday morning.

I am ready to get back into it.

Albeit nervous.

It’s been a couple of months and my attendance prior to that was thin as I was so busy with school and any time I had bad reflux I was skipping.

I am hopeful that this solution will work out and that I will feel better.

I am super freaking grateful that there was no damage to my esophagus, no cancer, no ulcers.

I have faith that my body will repair and regenerate.

And I also hope that after a three-month course of the medication I can be clear of it.

I am a touch leery of some of the side affects, which seem to be mostly from using it in much higher doses for depression, but still, I don’t like taking stuff, it makes me a little nervous.

Then again.

I have hated being in the pain I have been in.

I’m very grateful to have addressed it and thankful that there is something that I can do.

So all in all.

Content.

Serene.

And yes.

Happy.

Even joyous.

And most definitely.

Free.

 

When Did You

May 25, 2018

Fall in love with me?

I asked you.

Recently.

I mean.

I know when.

Or whereabouts.

I remember.

Yet.

I needed to hear you say it.

The pause as you thought, all the memories of our first “I love you’s,” tumbled in between the breath of your response and the beat of my heart.

“When you started writing me poetry.”

My heart stopped.

I knew.

And yet.

I was not expecting quite that response.

For days now.

Poems, pieces and bits and images, meander through my head.

I must write him another poem.

I must.

I want him to still love me.

I know you do.

(please don’t fall out of love with me)

What do you want to do?

I asked.

You paused.

“Keep on kissing you and making you happy.”

My love.

You make me so happy.

It’s been such a journey and it’s not over yet.

Has just barely begun.

That first I love you an inscription.

A quote.

The beginning of the preface.

Let alone the first chapter of a book.

Our story.

Well.

The narrative, all pink and purple blush, like a Victorian house at sunset with newspaper hearts strung across the front porch, Valentine paper dolls hands entwined, it marches on.

I did not burn down the house.

Thank God.

No.

I did not.

Not at all.

Even when I tried to break up with you.

And I did try.

You just wouldn’t let me.

Or I wouldn’t let me.

Or God wouldn’t let me.

“You never really broke up with him.”

My therapist.

A wise woman with knowing eyes, told me recently.

I never really did.

I could not disentangle the threads of you in the woof of me.

I never wanted to.

I never want to.

I want to be touching noses with you like kittens do for always.

I want to be in the crook of your arm forever.

It is home.

And when you are away.

I am homesick.

I get homesick for you so fast.

I miss you now.

Even though we were just talking.

I was thinking about you as I drove home, down towards the gloaming sunset and grey blue haze hovering over the twilight ocean.

Thinking about you and the poem I wanted to write you.

The love beating in my heart an infinity bracelet of desire and longing that has no end.

Thinking about you so hard.

That.

You.

Call.

You felt it.

You knew.

You know me.

I am known by you.

This means everything.

I have known and know great love.

You are my greatest love.

My moon.

I will watch for you again through the back window of my studio tonight as I lay down to sleep.

Waiting.

For.

When you fall from the sky and shine your love light on my face.

I will lay dreaming.

Dreams about.

Serenading.

The mermaids to the beach.

Each to each.

Waiting.

Waiting again.

For you.

Your embrace, the dunes, the sea, the warm husk of your breath on my neck.

And the oft-repeated, as you wish, whispered into the shell of my ear.

My love I never could cut asunder.

My only wish to be now and always.

Your.

Babygirl.

 

 

 

 

A Little Up

May 22, 2018

A little down.

Seeking equilibrium.

I got some sleep.

So that was good.

But.

I had a couple very odd e-mails today, one from my internship and one from my school that put me a little off kilter.

And made me realize that I am pretty much done with my internship.

Oh.

I’m not about to quit on my clients.

But.

I am not taking on any more new clients.

And I am taking off this coming Monday for the holiday.

I have it off from work and I figured I should take the day off from clients too.

Take it easy.

Sleep in.

Do a yoga class.

My reflux seems to have died back down again and I’m hoping for a renewal of energy to get my butt back to classes this weekend.

A three-day weekend of yoga sounds like just the thing to do it.

I also have a somewhat odd week this week, and not having a schedule that I normally have may have had something to do with the just a little off-balance feeling today.

I will not be seeing clients tomorrow like I normally do, I’ll be heading over to San Rafael to do the deal and some sharing about this and that and recovery.

A long day, and an early start on Wednesday.

Ack.

But.

Also.

A short day on Wednesday, which is really lovely.

I have my GI’s follow-up appointment to discuss the things that were found on my endoscopy and hopefully they will have the rest of the labs and test results back by then.

Figure out what has been going on and address it.

Not having it for a few days has been really lovely.

I want to not have it ever again!

Whatever needs to be done there I am taking the doctor’s orders.

And then I have the rest of the day off, the mom figured it wasn’t worthwhile for me to come back into work.

Very grateful for that!

So yeah, a little up, a little down, but finding that as I have just eaten some dinner and got some laundry working in the wash and settled in for the night that I am finding my way back to some semblance of balance.

Of course.

I do have to acknowledge there’s been a tremendous amount of transition in my life these last few weeks what with finishing school, getting all the things ready for graduation, graduating, the party, work, clients, etc.

Oh yeah.

And my mom visiting.

Nothing like a parental visit to throw my routine in an uproar.

Not that it was a bad visit, it was just some things to add into my schedule that was already pretty packed.

I’m sure that once the week proceeds I’ll find my feet again and be fine.

A bumpy Monday is not the most unusual after a highly activating weekend with big emotions and events.

Maybe I just had a kiss of the Monday blues.

Back to the grind.

Back to the routine.

I found myself not wanting to go to work.

And I love the family I work for.

I think I needed a day off from my celebrations.

Time to breathe.

Slow down.

Pause.

Reflect and just be.

I am a busy lady.

But that’s been coming up for me more and more.

Making sure that I don’t over extend myself, not take on too much, not push too hard.

Definitely not take on more clients right now.

I’m ok with a steady seven.

I want to keep them through the summer and I have officially decided that I will leave my current internship completely.

Even if it means having fewer clients for a while.

Which I don’t think will last very long.

I am fairly certain that I will be up and running with the same amount of clients very quickly.

And.

If things roll smoothly, either cutting back a little at my nanny job or going part-time there as I establish my clientele.

There’s a few days when the office would be available for me earlier in the afternoon and I thought, wouldn’t that be nice, do a half day nannying, then do the other half as a paid therapist?

Of course I’ll most likely be starting out with nights and weekends.

But I can sense that the day clients and the early afternoon clients will not be that far off.

And so when I think of the small, petty irritations I had regarding my current internship, I reminded myself that it was temporary, a part of the path that I am on, and that I will soon be done with it, it was never supposed to be a forever thing and I can hang in there for a little while longer.

I can also leave if I want.

I could take the rest of the summer off if I wanted and not see any clients until I start at the private practice internship.

I don’t think that’s the best idea for me, I do need to continue to accrue hours and the experience of being an active therapist is something that I think will help me become more prepared for this next phase of development.

That being said.

I’m not going to be shy about taking time off if I need it.

Or taking vacation days.

Like Monday.

So happy I get a three-day weekend!

Over the moon.

Ok Monday.

We friends?

I’m ready for the rest of the week now.

Thanks!

Made It Through

May 21, 2018

The weekend.

I graduated!

Pretty spectacular.

Grateful for the pomp of it and also, well, grateful that it’s done too.

It was a lot of work getting ready for it and I could use a little break from all the hullaballoo.

Granted.

All the ceremony was lovely and I was glad that I attended even if the walk across stage happened so quickly, it was an important walk for me to make.

It was nice to have my mom there too, we haven’t seen each other in a few years and it was good to reconnect.

I’m ready to reconnect to my regular schedule though.

It was nice to have the time off to do the special things, and the not so special, the endoscopy and that damn wire test took up some time and mental space, I got a text from the doctor’s office today that my lab results are in and that I will discuss them with the doctor on Wednesday.

Note to self, make sure to tell the mom at work.

Back to work tomorrow.

Although since I don’t have supervision in the morning, it will be a late start for me.

So I get to gently wind down this weekend of festivities.

The graduation party was fabulous.

Though a bit breezy.

A lot of people didn’t come out to it due to weather being cold and windy, but those folks who did brave the conditions really had my heart.

And my best friend who set up the whole she-bang, man, I am so grateful for all that work.

Throwing parties is work, especially when it’s an offsite event on the beach.

Especially when it was freaking Bay to Breakers today!

They had the whole parking lot cordoned off for the event.

Bay to Breakers is a notorious drinking run that starts at the Bay and ends at the “breakers” at Ocean Beach.

Had I known that it was today I would never have done my party at the beach.

I had to park my car at SafeWay and walk a couple blocks, not horrible, but when the time came for breaking things down and getting things back, it was a bit daunting.

Fortunately I had some great helpers and the one good thing about Bay to Breakers having all their gear set up in the parking lot was that there were gigantic lights put up everywhere, the beach was bright as day.

I had some worry about having enough day light to break everything down, but the lights from the parking lot saved the day.

It was still a bit of a hassle getting things off the beach, but the crew that was left at the end of the party were great and helped me by sitting on my stuff and waiting until I had gotten my car and I was able to get everything in and back to my house.

And.

I am very proud of myself for this.

I unpacked everything and put it all away.

Including throwing all the beach blankets into the wash and putting away all the sodas and sparkling waters that did not get drank.

There were a lot of left overs.

As I said quite a few people didn’t show, but the sweet company of those that did kept me warm on the cold beach and I was happy to celebrate.

I even wore my cap and gown for a little while.

Until the wind blew off my cap and I got too cold.

But like a good San Franciscan, I had two back up layers, a sweatshirt and a jean jacket, plus fingerless gloves and an infinity scarf.

I just bundled right up.

Plus there was the fire and dancing to stay warm and a couple of times hopping into the tent that was good wind protection and actually felt warm.

The family I work for even came.

All the kids had hot dogs and s’mores and they were super sweet and the family gave me a crazy nice graduation gift.

I got some amazing gifts.

I am so grateful for the expressions of love and affection I received this weekend.

I really am.

It was also nice to be witnessed and seen.

To have the acknowledgement of all the work I have done in the last three years meant quite a lot.

There’s still plenty of work to go.

I suspect there will always be work to do.

But.

I am going to take this moment and really let it all soak in.

The flowers in vases all around my house, from my best friend, my mom, my boss, my mentor, help me to see how much I am loved and appreciated.

The beautiful gifts I got.

The sweet cards.

The drawings from my little five-year old charge.

The hugs.

Even the congratulations from strangers as I was walking down the street in my cap and gown with my arms full of flowers, felt really good to get.

Acknowledgement.

Hard work.

Achievement.

And a moment or two to bask in it.

I found parking really quickly when I got to Hayes Valley, there’s always one spot I check first, I used to park there almost all the time when I was going to solo supervision, and sure enough, it was open.

It’s tight, but my car’s small and I just barely fit.

Because I didn’t have to look for parking I had an extra twenty minutes before I had to be at the theater.

I stopped at Arlequin to get a latte.

I sat outside and sipped the hot coffee and really looked at the street and the people walking around and as I realized that I was sitting next door to Absinthe, Arlequin is their sister property, a more casual, but still upscale cafe, to Absinthe’s fancy French pedigree.

Sipping a latte, in my cap, about to walk the stage at the Nourse Theater, and get my Master’s Degree, quietly reflecting on how far I had come.

Absinthe was my first job in sobriety.

I got hired there 19 days after I got sober.

I sure have come a long fucking way since waiting tables there I though.

I smiled.

And as I sipped the last of my latte a busser from Absinthe came dashing over.

“Did you graduate today?”  He asked.

“I’m about to, I head over to the theater as soon as I finish my coffee,” I said and smiled.

“I’m so proud of you!” He said, he grinned.

I grinned.

It was a moment.

It surely was.

In a weekend filled with so many of them.

Of pure unremitting gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

It’s Almost Time

May 19, 2018

I literally just watched a video on how to put on my cap and gown for tomorrow’s commencement.

I sort of had to.

I have tried on the whole outfit once, but forgot how to put on the hood, which as a Master’s Degree recipient you don’t actually wear.

As a doctoral student when I graduate they will place the hood on your head, but for the Master’s you just wear it draped over your shoulders.

When I first tried it on I put the hood on backwards and I looked like I was a priest.

The cap and gown are black and my Master’s hood is gold with navy.

I ahem, actually got my nails done to match my hood.

I know.

I know.

Hush.

I don’t think I will often rock gold glitter nails, but you know, once in a lifetime when I get to walk the stage and accept my Master’s Degree I think gold glitter is appropriate.

hahahaha.

I will be a professional and have the nail polish removed by the time I see clients on Monday.

But I did have fun at the nail salon picking out the color, I saw it and I was like, oh snap, I can totally match my graduation gown.

I also had fun getting the damn wire removed from my nose today.

I did not write my blog last night as I was horrendously uncomfortable.

I had my endoscopy yesterday and they did a test that required me to wear a wire for twenty-four hours and record when I ate, drank, or slept, it measured the Ph level of the acid reflux when I had it.

Although, to tell you the truth and a bit to my annoyance, I did not have any reflux yesterday!

But there was nothing to do but wear the damn thing, I wasn’t going to take it out.

I had trepidations about sleeping, I was hooked up to this little machine all night long and I was afraid if I rolled over in my sleep that I would knock the box on the floor and it would pull the wire out of my nose.

Very grateful that did not happen.

And extremely grateful that when I went back today to the GI lab at Sutter on Buchanan that a nurse took it out in less than two seconds.

She asked me how the experience was and I reported I had been pretty uncomfortable with it.

It hurt my throat where it was laying and I lost my voice a tiny bit and it constantly tickled my nose, I had a slightly runny nose all night and all day until I had the wire taken out, I also sneezed a lot.

Nevertheless it’s done and then I was able to go over to the Inner Sunset and meet my mom.

My mom that I haven’t seen in four years.

Oh.

We keep in touch, but she lives in Florida and I live in California and what with work and school and internship, life, etc, four years.

It’s very sweet that she and her partner have come out to see me walk.

I can tell she is very proud.

We had coffees and tea and caught up and then went and met up with some of my fellows in the neighborhood for an hour and then we had dinner at Marnee Thai at 9th and Irving.

They were very happy with the food.

I was happy too.

It was nice to share my school experiences and it was nice to introduce them to some of the folks in my fellowship.

I felt pretty grateful.

And.

Tomorrow I walk.

I’m actually doing it.

I’m actually walking.

I’m graduating.

I’m still not 100% sure what I’m wearing, but I have some ideas and I will have plenty of time in the morning to work all of that out.

I’ll probably leave the house around 12:15/12:30p.m.

The commencement ceremony is being held at The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

I have to be there at 1:15p.m.

There’s a dress rehearsal for the graduating classes at 1:30p.m.

They will open the doors to the theater at 2:15p.m. and the ceremony begins at 3p.m. lasting until 5p.m.

I’m going to have to bring some lunch or a snack with me.

Then.

Off to the beach!

Super excited about the party.

Although a bit bummed about how chilly it’s been today, and looks like it will be for tomorrow, cool, overcast, breezy, cold, got to wear layers for sure.

I usually wear leggings under my dresses here in the city, San Francisco is mercurial with its micro-climates, but I’m thinking I may also want to stash a pair of tennis shoes in my trunk and some cozy socks, so that once I finish with the formalities of the graduation ceremony I can hop into some kicks for the beach.

I plan on driving straight from the event to the party.

I have a feeling some of my guests are going to be there early, like the family I nanny for, since they have kids, and I want to make sure I get out there when guests start arriving.

Plus.

Well.

Bonfire.

I do love a good beach bonfire and I haven’t had one in quite some time.

It feels fitting to have the celebration with a big fire and a sunset at the beach, despite the coolness of the weather, it will be fun, I’m going to pack a scarf in my car too.

I should just have a bag of warm things in the car at all times anyway.

Anyway.

Enough about the weather.

It’s time to wind down so I can be ready for tomorrow!

So.

So.

So.

Excited!

An Unexpected Gift.

May 16, 2018

Time.

It wasn’t a lot.

But.

It felt tremendous.

The mom today at work expressed that should I not want to come in tomorrow early to take the baby to music class I was off the hook.

She’s very aware of the stress of the next few days for me and stated that if I wanted to rest or work on my party or just take a slow start that I should.

I thanked her.

And.

I didn’t take her up on it right away.

I decided to think about it.

I left work and headed into my internship.

I received a very sweet text from her reiterating how she really wanted to let me know that should I need anything that I was family and that she is my friend.

Not my boss.

I mean.

She still is my boss, but she’s become a friend.

And an ally.

I am very grateful that I work for her, yet there is still a part of me that was hesitant to take the offer and I think she knew that I wanted to and thus the follow-up text after I had left.

I decided to do it, but I had clients to attend to and that came first, I would respond after my client sessions and see how I felt.

Then!

My second client told me that they would need to leave early, by a half hour, we basically only did a half session, the client paid for the full, and I got to count the full hour of client time.

And I got an extra half hour in my evening!

It felt so luxurious.

I immediately responded to the text from my boss and said, thank you for the sweet sentiments that they really meant something to me (they really do) and that after some consideration I was going to take her up on the offer.

It felt so good.

Especially after the therapy session I had today.

Buckets of tears.

1/2 box of Kleenex, I swear, the ball of tissue I tossed at the end of the session was huge.

I was crying before I got there.

I spilled the beans and got constant, continuous, kind support.

I got resourced.

I felt a lot better.

I made some connections that have never quite made with the help of my therapist and I shared some information with her that only a few people now, and that I had actually thought I had told her before.

Child hood trauma stuff that has gotten poked by recent chains of events.

It felt really good, and hard, awful, painful, to talk about anger and how it has been hard to forgive and when I had the kind of reactions I did today in session I wondered out loud whether I had really ever forgiven the acts or the people involved at all.

My person also reflected to me that I had a lot of rage.

I have rage?

I was shook for a moment.

Then I realized.

Yeah.

I do.

I have some motherfucking rage.

I expressed some of that in therapy today, that I have so much self-awareness after having done a three-year intensive Master’s of Psychology program that I get infuriated at times thinking of all the things I had to overcome to just get by.

I was livid.

I cried heaps.

I also noted that I thought the things I dealt with were normal for so long.

Not necessarily that other people were experiencing the same things as I, nor did I want anyone to, but that this was just how it was in my life.

Spending three years reading how trauma affects the brain the parasympathetic nervous system, flight, fight, or freeze, anyone?  How abuse and neglect stunt children, how harder it is, so much harder, for those kids to get ahead, to succeed, to live happily ever after.

There is no happily ever after.

And.

Life is not fair.

But there is happiness and joy and freedom and grace and love.

Thank God for love.

And thank God I didn’t give up on finding my way towards loving myself.

I had to have it modeled to me in my adulthood and it’s taken years for me to implement things.

I still have a horrendous time asking for help, but I am getting better.

Or.

That my needs are valid.

Or that I’m allowed to have needs.

Eye roll.

It took as long as it took and I’m ok with that.

I’m in acceptance that my past was what it was.

That doesn’t mean approval.

Fuck that.

No.

It just means that I can acknowledge that it happened and that allows me to move on.

Granted.

Sometimes the pot gets stirred and I’m using boxes of tissues up and crying my heart out.

But I got to cry my heart out and I got tremendous support.

My therapist is out of office next week and has mentioned several times that since this is such a big transition for me, graduation, getting a private practice internship, my mom coming to visit, the endoscopy on Thursday, that she would be fine staying in contact while she’s away.

Meaning I can reach out and call or email her.

After today’s session, she stopped and said, I’m going to contact you over the weekend and check in.

I was blown away.

And grateful.

I don’t even care if she does or not.

Just that the offer is there.

And like the offer my boss made me, it felt like being seen and loved and held exactly where I am with exactly what I need.

Getting an extra hour of sleep in time for tomorrow!

 

Earthquake

May 15, 2018

Screaming child.

Long day.

Kid home from school.

Reflux from hell.

No response from messages sent out earlier.

(No response is a response)

Crazy drivers.

And still.

A pretty good day.

Although I had a moment.

The screaming child was hard to handle.

I almost, not really, but I thought about it, knocked on the office at my internship to say please be quiet, but not really my business and I was just hella grateful I wasn’t doing therapy with the child.

I mean.

The child was fucking angry.

Screaming so loud that I could still hear him when I was in my office down the hall with the door shut.

I cannot imagine what the clients in other therapy sessions on the floor must have been thinking.

Grateful that my first client cancelled and by the time my second client showed up the child was done and out of session and off to scream elsewhere.

The earthquake also startled me.

I didn’t realize it was an earthquake until I got home and saw it posted all over social media.

I thought a truck had hit the building.

It was disquieting.

And then my client came and fuck.

Wow.

Intense session.

Took me a minute to get grounded.

Like maybe an hour now.

I also needed to eat.

I just had dinner and that’s helping.

My head was aching from the reflux and even though I didn’t feel hungry I knew that I was.

So some food and I’m feeling a bit more in my body and a bit less like I’m going to disassociate.

It was also a long day at work.

The middle child, the little lady, was home sick from school.

She wasn’t sick.

I adore this child but she will not hesitate to use the I’m sick thing to stay home.

The mom knew it too, after an hour or two of being at home it was pretty evident.

I wanted to suggest that she just pop her right back into class, but instead, I got out the colors and we did lots of drawings and I made her lots of snacks and she talked to me a bunch about how she’s going to miss me and how she’s sad about it.

The family will be gone for five weeks and she was feeling sad about not seeing me for that much time.

I will miss them too.

Although I am very, very, very happy for the down time.

The mom was sweet today with me too and asked me what I wanted for graduation and then she added, “I know you won’t tell me, so I’m not sure why I’m asking, but if there’s anything you need please let me know.”

She’s right.

I wouldn’t tell her.

It doesn’t feel right to ask for something from my boss for graduation.

I think it’s astoundingly kind that she wants to give me anything.

My needs are minimal.

And met.

Although I was feeling stressed about getting someone to come and get me from my endoscopy, it got covered.

I doubt that’s the kind of gift she meant.

I wanted to blithely respond, “cash.”

Or.

“Make a payment on my student loan,” but that didn’t seem appropriate either.

So I made a joke and then the baby was crying for something and the conversation ended.

It’s sweet that they want to give me something and I’m honored that they’re going to come to the party in the first place.

Speaking of.

I got the rest of the bevvies for the party and one more pack of hotdogs and buns.

I now feel set for food and beverage and I’m quite happy that all those things are procured.

I was going to do another shopping run tomorrow in between work and therapy but then the mom reminded me that the oldest boys class is doing a beach clean up at Ocean Beach.

Yes.

That’s right.

I will be leaving my house, by Ocean Beach, to go to therapy in the morning in Noe Valley, and then driving right back to Ocean Beach.

To?

Exactly.

Right where I am having my party on Saturday.

It’s rather hilarious.

I’m not annoyed about the extra driving, the mom paid for my gas money, I just would have liked to have had the time between therapy and work that I normally have.

Instead I’ll be driving.

Oh well.

It’ll be nice to be out by the beach with the baby.

So.

When I realized my late client was not responding to the offer that I had made about taking the earlier session, remember first client cancelled, I realized that the client wasn’t going to come in until their regular time and I had an extra hour between work and seeing the client.

I was able to pop to the grocery store and get the rest of the supplies!

That was nice.

A busy day, a full day, a bit of an unexpected day.

But a good day.

Hell.

It was always going to be a good day.

I mean.

The morning was pretty awesome.

I TURNED IN MY LAST TWO PIECES OF PAPERWORK TO CIIS!

I’m done.

All the “t’s” are crossed.

All the “i’s” are dotted.

Every form, every piece of paper, every evaluation, every application, my therapy verification forms, the site evaluations I did as well as my evaluations from my supervisors, my verification of face to face client hours, all of it.

ALL OF IT.

Is turned in.

I am done.

 

 


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