Archive for the ‘Acting’ Category

Someone Loves You Very Much

December 6, 2017

She said to me and gave me a big hug, “such beautiful flowers!  I saw them backstage.”

I smiled.

I am loved.

I feel pretty astounded right now.

As I sit in the quiet of my home after a very nerve filled night, did that all really just happen?

Surrounded by love, engulfed in love, friends came out, unexpected classmates came out, hell, one of my professors came out.

I wonder if I can get extra credit for doing the lecture?

I jest.

Sort of.

I got there right at 4 p.m.

Literally found parking a quarter of a block away.

How the hell that happened I don’t know, but it was magic, just like the rest of the night.

Surreal.

Overwhelming.

Wonderful magic.

There were flowers waiting for me when I arrived.

I felt so special, so touched, so very loved.

I got a chance to connect and talk with all the performers, to get up on stage early, to feel what it was like to wear a wireless microphone and have something clipped to the back of my dress.

Very glad I wore a cardigan to hide the battery pack, that was serendipitous.

I got to get good and nervous.

I got to practice breathing.

And praying.

I did that a lot.

A couple of times in the bathroom in the green room and then again kneeling down by a couch when everyone was in the wings, just to get centered, just to ask that I carry the message, not my mess, that I be of service, that I let whatever was going to come out happen and not get in the way of it.

I was so pleasantly surprised by the community that came out.

The show, as predicted, sold out, and at one point there was a line of hopefuls sprawling out from the door.

I think everyone got in who wanted to get in, but I was far from that area, having had time to connect with friends I retired to the back stage to calm down and drink water.

I could not eat.

In fact.

I didn’t eat dinner until I got home a little while ago.

I just didn’t have it in me and I didn’t want to have food get my stomach upset.

I ate a banana before showing up and that really did tide me over quite well.

The nerves made it impossible to have any appetite.

I was told later that my nerves did not show at all.

And I know that to be the truth because when I got on stage they completely dissolved.

It really helped to be under the lights.

I couldn’t see a single face in the audience, I could barely see the balcony seating area, it was all just a melding of lights and laughter and voices.

I got to tell my story and it felt pretty damn good.

I added to the narrative I wrote.

I subtracted.

I got into it.

I haven’t really a good clue what I said.

But I apparently invited the entire audience to come to my graduation in May.

OMG.

I didn’t remember doing that until afterwards when a woman came up to me and asked to hug me and said, “I want to come to your graduation!”

I was like, oh snap, I did do that.

I met so many lovely people.

I was told so many lovely things.

It seems almost too much to even tell you what was told.

I wish you could have been there.

I really do.

I’m still pretty jazzed up from the experience and I’m not really sure how I am going to wind down.

Some hot tea I suppose.

Writing this always helps.

“You are such a writer!” One of my friends told me after, “you tell such a good story, it’s just so obvious that you write.”

That was a compliment.

I do like to tell a story.

I have told a few.

I am sure I will tell a few more.

I was asked, “what’s next?”

I don’t know.

I have to nanny in the morning?

I was asked to keep doing the storytelling, to do something else, to perform.

“We put you in this spot for a reason,” one of the producers told me as I was waiting in the wings, getting reading to descend the steps and go up on the stage.  “We wanted to build a crescendo, we really believe you are going to pull it all together, you got this.”

I think I did.

It was divine.

And it was more than me, as it usually is when I get out of my own way, I just got to become a vehicle for the words and the story flowed and I was happy telling it and excited and sad and oh so grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

I got asked about my blog.

I told folks the name, but I don’t think anyone will really find it.

Since I’ve gone off social media with it, it barely registers.

And that’s ok.

I thought about that a little tonight.

There were times when I wanted something big and important and fascinating from this blog–money, fame, applause, who knows, but something that would make me renown and also pay my rent.

Or buy me a house.

You know.

But that didn’t happen.

If anything, the reverse did.

It became a vehicle for something small and special and unique and sweet and mine.

Also, yours, really, it’s yours too.

Do you know how much you inspire me?

You do.

I love you.

I so do.

Perhaps I imagined you out beyond the footlights, a smile on your face, happy listening, to my little story.

Maybe you laughed a little.

And maybe in some small little way.

I got to be closer to you.

To another.

To this love and song and poetry that carries me forward.

An on ending stream of gratitude and grace.

Yes.

Grace.

And.

Happiness.

Joyfulness.

Freedom.

And love.

OH.

Yes.

That.

The love

So much love for you.

So much.

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Tomorrow’s The Big Night

December 5, 2017

And I wish I had not seen the video of my dress rehearsal, but there it is.

I don’t like how I look and it is uncomfortable to watch.

My shit.

I know that.

I have a different sense of how I look and I felt, ugh, just not pretty or attractive or engaging.

Oh.

I know that isn’t true, it’s just a feeling, a way to not acknowledge the work I have done to be where I am, but it’s there.

So, hey, negative self-esteem, nice to see you too.

Although, let’s be fucking honest here, no one should shoot video from below a woman’s face, fuck people, who doesn’t know this in the age of selfies?

I was like, oh look, double chin.

And I’m wearing a fucking flannel and messy pigtails.

I could cry.

I’m vain and I feel like I look heavy and it just wasn’t what I wanted to see on my phone before heading in to see my clients.

That is a request from the producers of the show to share my video montage that they made on social media.

But.

Hey.

Anything for a good cause.

And it is.

I don’t have to be the most attractive thing on the fucking planet, or in town, and there’s no way I’m going to be any of those things anyway.

But.

I can be myself, messy, flawed, thick.

It’s who I am.

I am no svelte lady, I get to walk around in this body and keep getting to be grateful for it.

Sigh.

I’m going to get up early.

I’m going to shower.

I’ll do some nice make up and put on a pretty dress and I will not give a fuck what the negative talk is in my head about how I look on video.

It’s just how I look and the damn thing will be done and I will move on with the rest of my life.

Really.

I loved the experience of hearing my friend’s talk and how beautifully he talked about our experience and the hug we exchanged and I’ll remember that, not how I looked fat in my pink flannel Gap shirt that I now want to burn and never wear again.

Gah.

I guess I have some more body image work to do.

Sigh.

I know I’m being a baby, I know I am.

There’s nothing wrong with me.

I just don’t like how I look on video.

I would hazard that there aren’t a lot of folks outside of movie stars that do like how they look on video, it’s weird to see oneself in a different light.

And I am grateful I get to do this and I’ve practiced a lot and I think I have a good talk.

It certainly elicits emotions.

I think that’s the most important thing, that I share my soul a little bit, that I’m vulnerable that I am honest.

That is my beauty.

That is where I shine.

And frankly I wasn’t shining on the video.

Oh.

It’s not bad, it’s just not what I want to portray.

I don’t like it when I know I’m being video taped either, I feel awkward.

It’s the same when I’m having a photo taken.

I can take a great fucking selfie, I know my angles, but fuck someone else taking my photo and the results make me want to gag.

I felt the same way when I did the photo shoot to get the head shot for the event, fat and unattractive.

Old news, old story, just another old way to beat myself up for not being what everyone else in this society wants to be.

I am heavier than I want to be, thanks grad school and practicum, I don’t get to work out as much as I used to and I haven’t bicycle commuted in a couple of years, sitting on my ass reading and writing papers has put a few pounds on me.

But not that much!

So.

I know it’s my head and it’s a way to try to self-sabotage something that will bring me joy to do.

I don’t want to ruin the damn thing before I even get on stage.

Fuck the cameras.

Fuck the image bullshit.

Show up.

Put on my best dress.

Put on some lipstick.

And shine.

I know I can shine.

I know it when it comes over me and suddenly words are just falling out of my mouth and I am moving in this marvelous sea of love and it feels extraordinary.

That’s what I want.

That’s how I am.

And I need to shake this shit off now.

I do not want to be in fucking tears the day of the show.

I look like shit when I cry, thanks getting old, my eyes can’t hide tears very well.

Plus.

I have fucking therapy in the morning.

I warned my therapist that I did not want to be crying in my next session when I left her office last week, I don’t want to have cry face.

I’ll bring my make up bag just in case.

Ugh.

I am being a baby.

I knew I wasn’t going to like the video before I even saw it.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I will not compare and despair.

I will fucking not.

I am just fucking fine the way I am and  I will change again next week.

Change is always happening.

Few more grey hairs on my head.

More laugh wrinkles around my eyes.

I don’t know that people are going to remember how I looked, what I hope is that they remember how they feel after I have shared.

That is what is important.

The message.

Not the medium.

The medium is vain.

I wish to carry the message and that’s all.

That’s it.

Just be my authentic self and let that bring happiness.

That’s all that matters.

In the end, really, that’s the most important thing.

Share my joy.

Not my vanity.

And.

Just.

Be.

 

My beautiful self.

You’re A Natural!

November 19, 2017

He said.

And his wife added, “have you done this before?  Even my kids were riveted, they didn’t even look on their phones!”

I will take that, especially since it was coming from local rap legend Big Rich.

He’s going to be one of the people sharing a lecture at “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

I met him today and another of the speakers.

We did a rehearsal at Project Level, which is a place for kids in the Fillmore to make music, it’s Big Rich’s personal project.

He’ll be the finale of the show and he’ll be doing a freestyle version of his famous ode to San Francisco.

There will also be the Design Principle at Form4 Architecture, John Marx, my patron, and friend, who will be speaking on his experience with kindness.

There will be a woman talking about her eating disorder and how she dealt with it.

There will be a secular Muslim woman who decided to go back to her roots and start to wear the hijab again and what that experience is like for her in todays political climate.

Another man who is deaf will share his experience being normalized by his family and forced to act like he could hear growing up.  He’s now big in tech.

There will be a man in a wheelchair who is paralyzed from the neck down.  He experienced a car accident at the age of 19 that paralyzed him.  He’s now finishing a Master’s degree in Engineering at Berkeley and he designs machines and technology to help people who need assisted living mechanisms.

And me.

Little old me.

I’ll be speaking about my running away to San Francisco, finding myself in the party scene, losing it all and getting it back and how it happened.

Or something to that effect.

I was super happy to do the rehearsal today, albeit a bit nervous, to perform in a small group in front of people I really don’t know, but I went to the bathroom and did a little praying and got right with myself and asked to carry the message, to be a conduit and, well to not fuck it up.

And I did pretty damn good.

If I do say so myself.

I did forget one part of the lecture, but remembered it half-way through and was able to join it into the material without too much distraction.  No one noticed but me and one of the producers who had seen the narrative and I had practiced three times in front of her the lecture this past Monday.

Otherwise it was seamless.

And both the producers had tears on their face when I finished.

That felt good to see, that emotional connection was made and I was able to do the entire lecture in the time permitted.

I feel really positive about it.

I was linked to the page today and sent invites out to folks.

Come by if you’re in town!

It’s going to be interesting as well as the venue will be hosting a private Christmas party for the owner of Uber, who will be having Kaskade play.

I mean.

Fuck.

Kaskade’s playing Bill Graham at the end of December which is a gigantic show, the capaacity there is 8,500.  And. He’s going to be at the same event I’m going to be at?

Um.

Ok.

That’s going to be a party.

Seriously.

I just checked The Chapel’s website and so far nothing’s been posted about that date, but the tickets for the lecture series are available through EventBrite.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Good grief.

I’m really excited to get to be a part of this experience and super grateful that I get to show up in front of friends and community and just really tell my story, some of the dramatic parts of it, anyway.

And getting to share it with not just people in my recovery community, but friends from Burning Man, former employers, school mates and even one of my professors is going to come!

It means a lot.

And in other news.

I decided to not freak out and not try to cram all my 3,000 hours into the next three years.

After a really insightful group supervision today at my internship I got a lot of super good information about the process of tracking my hours and to take the damn pressure off myself.

Instead of trying to cram every single hour I can into my week, I’m going to relax, to let things happen, to accept that I could, although I probably won’t, take the full 6 years the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) allows one to take after graduation.

I would rather be a little slower, slow down, enjoy my life, enjoy the process, to the best of my ability while I’m still working full-time, and just let the hours accrue without having to be anxious about getting them all in the next three years.

I just switched over to the “new” BBS standards on track my hours.

And yes, I “lost” some hours, but ultimately, I believe, I gave myself some breathing space and some allowance to have a life.

Getting all 3,000 hours in the next three years would mean doubling, at the very least, my current client load.

Going from 8 to 16 a week.

It would be a lot for me to carry 16 clients a week and work full-time.

A fucking lot.

And that’s what I was entertaining in my head without really looking at it.

I brought it up in group supervision and got some very sound advice and suggestions from the group, especially from the two interns who went through the same program I am in at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies), so yup, I changed over and I have to say, I feel really positive about it.

It’s like taking an unnecessary pressure off myself that I didn’t even realize I was laboring under.

I want to get my hours as fast as I can, don’t get me wrong, but I also, at least currently, have to work full-time to support myself living in San Francisco.

Unless that changes, I don’t need to kill myself trying to get the hours.

I don’t want the next three years to be a miserable grind.

Especially as I’m also considering applying to one of the PhD programs at the school.

I do like how Dr.  would sound after my name.

Oh yes.

But.

I also have discovered that I am really good at academia and I have had a tremendous amount of growth, personal growth, by being in the masters program, I think that I would enjoy getting my PhD and really letting myself go for it all.

I mean.

Why not?

It’s just a few more student loans.

Ha.

Got The Shot

November 17, 2017

Thank God.

For a minute today, and oh did I get to practice acceptance, I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to get the shot, but I did.

I did.

The shot I’m referring to is the professional photograph that the producers of People Who Usually Don’t Lecture requested.

They want a photograph for publicity purposes.

Eek.

Publicity.

Scary and kind of cool all at the same time.

I sent them a photo I had taken of myself mid-summer, but they requested I send them a photograph that wasn’t taken on my phone.

Sigh.

I’m pretty damn good at taking a selfie, I’m not sure what that implies about me, narcissist, vain, self-involved, maybe, but I do know my angles when it comes to taking my own photo.

I usually take a lot and from certain angles.

I know my best side.

But fuck.

When it’s someone else taking my picture I’m horrible.

Weird ass smile, wrinkled forehead, strange faces, odd ball angles, I manage to look much heavier than I am, I have no clue what to look at where to focus and I’m goofy.

Thank goodness for my dear friend who took time out of her very busy day to help me.

At first I felt like it just wasn’t going to happen, she had a lot going on and I felt a tad guilty about asking her to spend time doing something pro bono, but she told me to get my butt to her studio in the Mission and we got the job done.

I sprung for lunch and got take out from FarmHouse.

And I must say, slight aside, fucking good food.

Really good.

I was impressed.

And I just had the Tom Kha Soup with chicken and some brown rice, but fuck, it was delicious and might be the best Tom Kha I’ve had in the city.

I will be going back, if the soup was that freaking good I’m sure the rest of the food is.

Plus I really liked the decor and it had a warm, vibrant feeling to it.

Anyway.

I picked up lunch and we got a chance to connect and I gave her the down low on life and school and all the things.

So good to reconnect.

And to get the shot.

Yes.

A lot of them were absolute duds.

Not her fault, nope, me and my self-conscious posing.

But we got there and I’m super happy with the resulting photograph.

I’m not sure how many she took, but probably close to a 100 frames.

Which we narrowed down to 16 shots, then six and finally two.

I sent the two off to the producers and I’m done.

Well.

With this part of the process anyway.

I still, obviously, have to do the lecture, but the photograph was a stress that I wasn’t expecting.

Gratefully my friends studio is close to my internship, I wasn’t on my scooter today with the rain, no thank you, and I didn’t have to travel far from her spot to where I needed to be next.

I had a bunch of time in between the photo shoot and my client, so I popped into a cafe and did two hours of reading.  I finished my Jungian Dream Work reading for the semester and got a good bit into my Transpersonal reading.

That felt great.

And I had done a good hour of homework before I headed out the door to do the photo shoot.

I finished almost all my CBT reading, which is good as I have a webinar I have to attend on Sunday.

I also finished all my reading for my Drug and Alcohol class.

So for Jungian Dream Work and for Drug and Alcohol I could actually start writing the final papers for the class if I wanted to.

That also is a nice feeling.

I feel like I won’t start the writing for that yet, I want to focus on getting the rest of my reading done for my other classes and finishing the online components for the classes that have that requirement.

There’s still so much to do, but having made a big jump into the material today, I feel like I will be able to address all the reading by the end of the weekend.

Even with seeing three clients tomorrow and having to go in before my group supervision on Saturday to do a rehearsal for the People Who Usually Don’t Lecture folks.

It will be the first rehearsal with all the people who are speaking.

There are seven of us.

I’m super curious.

I know one of the participants, it was his story that had a bit of our relationship in it that piqued the producers into wanting to meet with me.

It will be great to see him and hear his piece.

I’ve read a good bit of it, it’s a great piece.

I’m certain that the caliber of speakers is going to be quite high.

I have rehearsed my piece once a night since writing it.

I don’t want to let down the producers.

And, well, it’s a fun thing to be participating in, and it’s not school related or work related or client related.

Although.

Ha.

I do talk about all those things in my lecture–work, school, my internship–just with a much different slant than I typically think about my life.

It’s my story and I know it really well, but they, the producers, had me sharpen certain things and I’m eager to do the work to be polished and participate in the project.

It feels like an honor to have been included.

I don’t want to let anyone down.

So it was really with much gratitude and happiness that the photo turned out so well.

Super grateful.

Super excited.

And ready to focus on the next thing in front of me.

Lots of life, lots of school work, and no little love.

So much love.

Grateful to focus on that too.

Beyond my ability to write about it.

But something I read earlier really summed it up, so perhaps I will end on a little quote from my Jungian Dream Work class reading.

“I falter before the task of finding the language which might adequately express the incalculable paradoxes of love.”

C. G. Jung

Big Day

November 7, 2017

I got to work and walked in and sighed.

I already had a super busy day and I was tired before I even walked into the door at work.

Not in a bad way, just in a sort of thrown into unexpected places way and reflecting on what had transpired in the time before I got to work.

Super intense meeting with my supervisor and a lot of deep work around a specific client, who I saw this evening and got to apply all the things that I had worked on with my supervisor.

Which was really fulfilling and also a little exhausting.

And exhilarating too.

I felt like I was really being a good therapist and that my client was making some amazing headway.

I feel better and better the more I get to see my clients and learn about them and those that show up consistently and let me bear witnesses to their growth is really an amazing thing to witness.

At times exhausting, the work is challenging, but as I expressed to my boss today I am so grateful for it.

I didn’t even see my boss until after 4p.m. today, I was at work at the house, picking up my charge from school, and she was off and running her Monday as well.

I think we were both pretty tired from the day, but it was good to connect with her.

She’s great to work for and super flexible with my schedule.

Which is good since I’ll be going in late one more time next Monday.

I’ve been asked to come in again next week to work further on the lecture series, “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

The women that are running the project have a certain vision and they have produced so many of this lecture series they really have a clarity about what needs to come across and what resonates with the audience.

So.

Although all the work I did on the narrative was not for naught, ugh, I still am going to have to re-write it.

I could heavily edit what I wrote, but I think a fresh rewrite with the direction they want from me will make it a far stronger piece.

I have a very clear idea what they want and I know how to write it and I have the opening line in my head so I know where it will go.

Sometimes, most times, all I need is that opening line or thought, the idea opens the door, I walk in and then I start describing what I see, it’s like walking into a warm room with a rag hook rug on the wood floor, a fire burning in a stove, a rocking chair with a soft throw on the arm and a pillow against the back.

I just need to settle into that chair and write what I see on the walls, tell the story in the pictures I see.

There I am running away from home to San Francisco at the ripe age of 29.

What happens.

Here’s a snap shot of DNA Lounge.

Here’s a picture of me in the back patio of The End Up after having been up all weekend.

All the things and crazy dark adventures, a Polaroid on a push pin board.

That time I made out with my best friends boss at The Elbow Room in the photo booth.

And forgot that I had a strip of photos of us kissing.

It fell out of my wallet when I was looking for something, and my friend picked it up.

“Oh my God!  You made out with STEVE!  YOU MADE OUT WITH MY BOSS?!  He’s gay!”

He wasn’t that gay that night.

Here’s another one of a night at Bruno’s on Mission Street, all dressed up for Halloween and getting ready for a night out on the town when my dealer calls and hey, he just got out of 850 Bryant (the jail here in San Francisco) and how much do I want?

Well.

Fuck.

I’ll start with three grams and go from there.

Hung over.

Cracked out.

Dancing at strange parties with strange people and all the misadventures there of.

The producers wanted a little more of the nitty-gritty of my using and then what happened.

I had put too much of an ellipses in the narrative and it made it seem like I did a line of blow and then suddenly got sober.

They wanted to hear more about the despair.

Because.

Well.

Drama.

It gets your attention, and it provides the vehicle to show how far I’ve come, the things I went through, and who I am.

They also wanted me to talk a little bit more about my nannying.

And what it means to work with children.

“Oh, I think I know what you mean,” I said to the woman speaking to me, “that I get to give the kind of love to a child that I never had for myself growing up.”

She teared up.

Yes.

That.

Let me pull your heartstrings.

Let me show you how resilient I am.

It’s not necessarily a drama play, it’s what really happened, but I have ten minutes to cover all the things and they wanted to sharpen certain points for power, so that it lands with the audience and connects them to me and my story.

Whew.

That’s just going to have to sit on the back burner for a little while and percolate.

I have a full client load this week, therapy tomorrow morning before work, group supervision mid-week, when I normally don’t have it until Saturday–but I’ll be in class Saturday so I have to do it this Wednesday, and yeah, that, school, it’s a school weekend.

No wonder I walked into work and already felt exhausted.

Sigh.

It won’t be that bad.

It’s not that bad.

And I am grateful I get to do this project, it is nice to be wanted, it’s nice to know that I have been chosen because I have something powerful to share and that I am someone who knows how deliver a story.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

But the re-write has got to wait until Sunday after I get out of class, I just don’t see getting to it before then.

I still have reading for class I need to attend to, and well, the week full of stuff.

Grateful that I have pockets of respite and some lovely things planned too, that have nothing to do with work and school and clients.

A girl needs a little fun too.

Especially when there’s so much else to attend to.

I need to let myself let loose a little too.

All work and no play makes me a very dull girl.

And I’m so not dull.

Seriously.

You Look Good!

August 20, 2017

He said to me after giving me a great big hug, “where you been, I’ve missed you?”

Interning, working, getting ready for school, prepping for Burning Man.

Oh the list of stuff.

“You like?” I said, and stepped back to let him admire my look, “I therapized today, so I was dressing for the occasion.”

“I love,” he said, then continued, “you were what?”

I told him I had clients today, I had group supervision, I wanted to dress the part, the therapist part that is, I want to look like a professional.

“You look good! It’s totally working for you,” he finished, “glad you made it tonight.”

And so was I.

And I was happy that I made an impression.

Maybe it’s just me, but I really want to give an air of being a professional, I want to be respected  and I want to set a tone for my clients, I’m not super serious and I’m not uptight, I am warm and friendly and empathetic, but I also want to send a clear message.

I am an authority and I am going to dress like one.

On the other hand.

Holy fucking shit.

Some of the people who work with me are not as concerned with their appearance.

Or their body smells.

Fuck my mother.

It was a shock today to walk into my office and be overwhelmed and I mean, overwhelmed, with the smell of rotting socks and foul shoes.

The intern before me had done a session with his client in his socks.

Granted.

I sort of understand, it was a child client, I will happily get down on the floor with a child, I will, getting on a child’s level is crucial, I would and have done sessions sitting on the floor with a kid.

I have never taken off my shoes for a session with a kid, but hey, sure I could, if I felt that it was of service to the session.

But.

Fuck.

Not if my feet smell like bad molding cheese.

God damn.

I am not over exaggerating, even if I have a tendency toward the dramatic, I am not being dramatic, it was bad.

So bad that an hour later when my group supervisor and the rest of the interns coming in for our 2p.m. session, noticed it, complained and opened the windows wider.

I shared with one of the interns about why it smelled that way and that the room also had not been vacated on time, the therapist had gone over with his client.

I was livid.

I had the room assigned to me and I had a consult waiting in the hallway.

I understand that I am working in a community mental health facility, but fuck, people, professionalism.

PLEASE.

There is something therapeutic about what I am modeling for my clients by showing up on time, by presenting a clean persona, by having a nice outfit on.

I don’t have to be dressed to the nines, but I present nicely.

I mean, I am a professional nanny during the day, I run around with a four-year old and a seven-year old and I am constantly juggling a baby–which is great, I joke often that I am emitting baby smell which has to be a therapeutic smell if there ever was one–who sometimes burps up milk or mashed carrot on me.

But.

I have back up clothes at work.

I have nanny shoes.

I have therapy shoes.

I bring in my nice clothes, I change, I put on my therapy shoes, I tidy my hair, I make sure that there’s no burp residue on me, I refresh my lipstick before I hop on my scooter and zip to my internship after my day job has ended.

I pull it together.

Ugh.

I am done ranting.

I guess I have just been taken by surprise a few times by the lackadaisical attitude of some of the interns.

I take what I am doing so fucking seriously, I want to be good.

I mean.

Really good.

I am proud of what I have accomplished and it feels good to give it acknowledgement.

I had hot pink hair when I started my Masters of Psychology program.

I have a lot of tattoos.

A lot.

And.

I dressed flamboyantly, glittery makeup, big flowers in my hair.

A little faux queen if you will.

Big hair.

Big personality.

And I love that about myself, that I can pull out a fabulous costume from my closet and do it up, but I remember quite distinctly when I began the process of interviewing for practicum that I wanted to present a bit more polished.

I went and got a good hair cut.

I went back to my natural color.

I hadn’t been my “natural” hair color in god only knows how many years.

Purple, magenta, green, blue, yellow, hot pink, cotton candy pink, rainbow sherbert, name a color I had it.

I stopped painting my nails super dark colors.

Oh.

I still do now and again, but I tend towards a neutral manicure now.

I toned down my clothes, I got some good clean, easy dresses from the Gap and a couple from Asos, that I could layer with a classic black cardigan.

I softened my makeup.

I almost never wear winged eyeliner anymore and I don’t wear glitter.

Well.

Maybe a tiny bit of sparkle, but it’s so subtle now, you might not notice it at all.

I stopped wearing flowers in my hair.

I still have them.

I will wear them at Burning Man.

I will have a wild hair parade everyday out there, I will wear flowers and ribbons and hats and fascinators and I will have fabulous makeup and flamboyant dresses.

I will wear fucking antlers on my head.

See if I won’t.

But.

Not when I have a session with a client.

I like this refined me.

It feels adult.

I like wearing heels and nice button down shirts and expensive jeans and soft, clean makeup, I still wear hoops, but not the super gigantic ones anymore.

Oh.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an attractive woman and I have unique features and my hair is always going to be wild, but it’s just wild brown curls now not hot pink curls, and well, the tattoos, they will always be there and there will probably be another one or two add to the mix.

I am never not going to be noticeable.

But fuck me.

I will be professional.

And that’s my business.

I don’t have to judge how others do it, even though, shit, half this blog was all about judging mister stinky feet and the sloppy ass interns in t-shirts and dirty jeans, but I do get to process it out here.

So that when I interact with them.

I can be professional.

Because.

I am.

I am a psychotherapist.

And I will dress like it because it pleases me to do so.

So there.

Ha.

Mystified

April 15, 2017

And over it.

I have had so many suggestions about dating.

“You have to ask for what you want,” a friend said.

Yes.

I fucking get that and when I do, I still don’t get what I want.

I’m not bitter, but befuddled.

I had a guy friend break down the whole “we should hang out sometime,” as a really weak way of asking a girl out and that it’s quite prevalent in the dating culture.

Well.

Good to know.

So.

When complaining, yes, I do complain, I am not a fucking saint, if I was I wouldn’t need y’all and I still need you, despite my weak protestations, to another friend, I was told, “you have to get clarification.”

Ask the person when do you want to hang out.

So.

I did.

And.

Well.

NOTHING.

I got the intuition, I know you’re interested, I can see it in your eyes, you’ve got some mojo I’ve got some mojo, let’s get together and have some fun.

He gave me his number.

He said, “call me,” in fact, he repeated it twice.

I said I would.

I, in fact did.

No response.

I started to second guess the whole thing in hindsight today, but then I rethought it again, it’s not my issue.

I got clarity.

That’s all.

I called.

I left a message, I said, “let’s nail down a time to have a coffee date,” and truth be told, I probably bumble fucked my way through it.

Not even a text back.

Dude.

Hahahaha.

I just wrote “dud,” before correcting it to dude, but maybe dud was not quite the Freudian slip I thought it was.

Dud.

Drawing a blank, dum dum bullet, faulty switch.

It’s you not me.

I insist.

I know you find me attractive, I’ve known since I first met you and when I saw you yesterday and we slipped right back into the easy, intellectual banter that I have come to hallmark our few conversations, I could feel it.

I gave you my phone.

You put your phone number in it.

Granted.

I had asked for a speaking engagement, it’s not like you were putting your phone number in my phone because we were going to get it on later that evening.

No.

I asked you to do service.

And you said yes.

And I said super.

And that was about it.

Until.

You caught up with me a little later and we conversed, and conversed, and conversed, until the room was empty and everyone was walking out the door.

That’s when you opened the door to the phone call and said, “we should really get together, hang out, talk, call me, really, call me.”

I replied “I would love to hang out.”

Now.

Maybe this is where I fucked it up.

Maybe, the friend who gave the advice about guys motives when they say “hang out” was not an ask for a date and I should have clarified immediately.

But.

I went from the gut, the feeling, the look in your eyes.

Because I’m gullible sometimes.

But.

I’m not stupid.

I also have a lot of experience now seeing when men are attracted to me and nothing happens and then years later I find out they were attracted to me and that I was right.

I’m right.

You’re attracted to me, you weren’t asking for a friend hang out, I know it.

Grr.

I don’t know which one of my guy friends to slap.

And then.

I think.

Ah, fuck it, I killed the fantasy, which in the end is always so super valuable.

He didn’t call back.

No response is a response and it’s about as good and obvious as a flat-out no.

And frankly.

I’m fucking proud of myself for sacking up and calling him.

I didn’t text.

I called.

I left a message.

It may have been awkward, but I did it.

I took action.

I remind myself, that the results are not mine and I have no regrets.

I wouldn’t change the sequence of events to “I wish I hadn’t bothered to call,” because I am so super glad that I did.

I mean.

Good for you, girlfriend, another one out-of-the-way between you and whomever is next.

I’m really ready for next.

I’m not actively searching, no, I’m just ready.

That’s all.

I’m happy about that, that I’m not looking, I’m not trying to get on some new dating app, although the brain flirts with it once in a while, no, I’m just ready, available.

I’m proud of myself.

I keep trying.

That says something.

Sure.

I experience frustration and sure, this is a thing, this thing I keep writing about, but believe that all is not for naught, that there is learning here, that I have to keep changing and growing and loving myself for who I am.

I really am not looking for a completion.

I complete myself and I won’t be complete until I die.

I am excited to keep growing and changing and loving and trying new stuff.

Life is fucking amazing and awesome and I’ve come so far and have so much further to go.

Yet.

I long for someone to walk along with, carrying a conversation with, have fun with, connect with.

It is natural to want to partner up, it doesn’t mean I know how to do it, or am upset with myself for being single nor am I in self-pity.

My life is good and my growth, astounding.

I just find myself a bit bewildered.

It is my growing edge.

The not knowing.

And also the ok with the not knowing.

I like to say I like surprises.

But that’s a fucking lie.

I do like anticipation.

But not surprises.

Perhaps this is God’s way of getting me ready for a surprise I will really cotton to.

Who knows.

I obviously don’t.

Getting down with the unknown.

Throwing my own dance party to a soundtrack that is in another language.

God’s time.

God’s will.

Not mine.

Sigh.

Ha.

Oh, resignation, look at you.

Or shall I say instead.

Surrender.

Over and over and over again.

Powerless over it all.

Fucking all of it.

Help me God.

Seriously.

Softly Resigned

April 7, 2017

I am so up past my bedtime.

Well.

In three minutes, I will be up past my bedtime.

For a school weekend start.

But.

I had such a lovely meal with one of my dearest friends from school that I really don’t care that I will be tired tomorrow.

Sure.

I could skip writing my blog and throw myself into bed, I could skip my cup of tea and my apple at the end of the day with a little bit of a video, but I don’t believe that I would actually go to sleep.

I would toss and turn and the days events, though not earth-shaking, would spend too much time in my brain getting sorted.

I would rather take the time to unwind and put away my laundry and pack my lunch and dinner and make sure my school books and notebooks are ready to go.

I am a good school girl.

I recieved an e-mail earlier from one of my professors saying I was a “prized student” that I have “intellectual rigor” and a few other choice bon mots which are almost too kind to print here.

I was asking said professor for therapist referral as I need to have therapy in order to graduate my program.

Suffice to say, I am happy with my choice and grateful that I have started moving forward with her.

Never the less it was a great kindness for my teacher to get back to me and tell me how she had really thought about who might work for me and my creative sensibilities, empathy, and caring, and the other nice things I wrote above.

I was so freaking touched.

I am still.

I am actually quite intrigued by the people she recommended and I might try to reach out to them as well, though, truth be told, I am feeling I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Regardless.

I will be thanking her when I see her tomorrow morning.

And I will quietly bask in the glow of her compliments.

I will also not give to much of a fuck about showing up tomorrow perfectly prepared.

I mean.

I am prepared, I have done all the reading and then some, but I am sort of over the semester, I am tired, the getting the internship stuff worked out took up so much time and effort that I don’t have much focus on the school material.

One of my classes I still feel very much engaged with, Trauma, but my other two, I’m just not feeling excited about, I did the prep work, I know what I’m bringing, but it’s not excitement, it is rather a sort of trudging, just get through the class which can be tiring to do.

Ah well.

In reality.

It’s always the same way, the night before a weekend of classes, trying to have it all organized and work out so that I can show up and be in maximum learning capabilities.

That’s just how I am.

I am trying to be easier on myself and to relax a little more and take opportunities, like I did tonight, to see my friends and to not take it all so damn seriously.

Not take myself so damn seriously.

And acknowledge.

Today was day eleven in a row of work.

I have not had a day off in eleven days and now I’m about to go into 29 hours of school in the next three days.

I am tired thinking about it.

So a little laissez faire attitude seems pretty much on point.

Just showing up will be the important thing.

It always is, the showing up.

I get a lot of things done by just doing that.

Show up to work.

Show up to the page.

Show up to school.

Show up for my recovery.

Actions.

Not thinking.

Acting.

Acting as if.

Taking action.

Doing the next thing in front of me and not putting so much emphasis on the big picture.

The big picture is made out of tiny, minute to minute, moment to moment, lights of brightness, like a pointillist painting, each tiny action an exquisite moment of beauty in a huge masterwork of art.

I remember the first time I saw a Georges Seurat painting in real life and how enormous it was.

All the detail.

So much that was attended to.

A Sunday On La Grand Jatte.

The picnic painting with the woman holding the black parasol the picnickers in the grass, the minute attention to light and how it plays on figures, the colors and the shifting movement created by the small dabs of paint.

Extraordinary.

I think of that.

My life as an exquisite corpse of moments brought before me in this now, in this reality, showing me all the hows and ways and minute actions that I took to get from point “a” to point “b”.

If I were to look at the overarching thematic maybe I could get it.

But I would get lost in the details, stuck in the bend of an elbow in the curl of a cowlick, in the shape of a leaf on a tree, in getting just the right color on her cheek.

I can’t focus on the big things.

I have goals, yes, of course, but I have to take them in tiny, small, manageable little bits.

I can’t do the whole painting in one session.

Nor can I live my life from that perspective.

I rather choose to see the infinite beauty in the every day actions that I constantly take that add up to me, this magnum opus.

Just.

A.

Small.

Tour de force.

And like that.

I am ready for the next action in front of me.

Tea.

Apple.

Bed.

Sweet dreams my loves.

Sweetest dreams.

 

Carmen

March 5, 2017

That is an unusual name.

My driver said to me before dropping me off.

“Yes,” I replied, “I am lucky to have it.”

I am too.

I love my name and there are days I feel like I live up to it and there are days when it takes on its own persona, its own life and I’m a little like, hey, who the hell are you?

Sort of like my blog.

I am not all here, no, I’m not.

There are things I don’t write about and there are things I do write about.

Which is just how it is.

I have learned over the years of writing to keep the focus on me and I have a strong tendency to want to wrap up whatever I’m writing with something pithy, with some solution, with some sort of aha moment.

I had a sort of aha moment today where I just wanted to scoop my brain out of my head and throw it out into the rain.

I was struggling in yoga.

I just wasn’t feeling it, it was a substitute teacher and she had a different way of doing things, and different isn’t bad, though my head may try to tell me that it is, it’s just different, that’s all, and I can struggle getting someone else’s routine down.

I wasn’t doing a lot of compare and despair but I was a little and I felt sort of janky and jangly and out of my element and as I was lying in the final pose, corpse pose, yeah, that was definitely me after class today, dead, but alive, my brain hadn’t rested much, churning out the good time music and the chaos, I began to obsess about how I wasn’t doing enough yoga and that I had to figure out how to do more yoga.

All this while doing yoga.

BRAIN.

Please.

Can you stop.

Please.

You’re killing me smalls.

Seriously.

At least I was able to find the humor in it.

It was funny and so typical of what my head does, I had to laugh.

Especially when I shared it later today with my person.

We met at Tart to Tart, did some reading, I got a good check in, some suggestions and felt a lot better about my kookoo brain than I had before I walked in.

Then I met with another lady and felt better after that.

And I ended up skipping on getting my nails done and just headed home on the train.

Which was nice, facilitated having a phone call with a dear friend of mine that I have been out of touch with.

Which led to making plans to see said friend.

Super grateful for that.

And a slow day here at the house thereafter.

I did a tiny bit of grocery shopping at the co-op and did some preliminary scouting work on my mid-term paper that I have to write tomorrow for my Couples Therapy class.

But.

I was just not in a mood or place to do any homework.

I now what I have to do tomorrow and I’m going to get it done, but today, I just couldn’t muster the energy to do it.

My friend and I had talked about how lonely school can be and how hard it is to balance full-time work with full time school and full time recovery.

And it is.

It is a lot.

And I miss my friend.

And I miss socializing.

So when we talked I could see my calendar in my head and I double checked, and yes, there, a day where we can meet and hang out and catch up.

I also let myself off the hook to do anything super productive today, just to let myself have a chill day, especially after the trauma of going to the dentist last Saturday.

So.

I bought myself some flowers at the store and I did some art.

Just messed around with my colored pencils for a while, but it was nice, listening to jazz, John Coltrane, listening to the rain all outside, listening to the scratch of the pencil on the paper.

Soothing.

And when the time was time I ordered a car and headed out to 1100 Divisadero and hung out with an hour in a room with some fellows.

Then.

Yes.

I did it.

I fellowshipped.

I was uncomfortable, I always am at the beginning of it, then I got into it and I felt more connected and it was nice, I don’t always know how to act in social gatherings and I can still be really awkward, but I am working it out and better awkward with friends, burgeoning friends, than cozy and alone.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being alone.

But I can get alone too often.

And I need to be social, I am a social creature, I am a human with needs for connection.

I can just get in my way sometimes and get too caught up in trying to figure out when I can get to do more yoga.

Which is me trying to figure it out, trying to manipulate, trying to control and manage my life, which I have proven over and over and over to myself that I am not the best management team for myself.

Yet.

I still try.

My brain is a pushy little beast.

I have some great respect for that tenacity, but sometimes the tenaciousness of it is wearing.

And like I said, when I’m doing yoga while trying to figure out how to do more yoga I know that it is too meta for me and not in a good way.

I am in my will and when I’m there, well, I’m watching the horror show.

I got to practice changing the channel today and it was pretty damn good.

Reality.

It really is the best show in town.

Seriously.

 

Thanks

March 1, 2017

But no thanks.

I said it out loud.

I tossed the item that has been sitting in my closet for months now into the trash and I brushed off my hands.

Done.

And.

Done.

Yesterday evening I ran into a former lover.

I hadn’t seen him in months.

Someone I had some passion with, but also some one I had some issues with and eventually ended up saying, to myself and to others, enough is enough, this is not working for me.

I unfriended said person on Facecrack and I deleted his numbers in my phone and I blocked the numbers and then.

Well.

I let him go.

Which was good.

I had plenty of other things to distract me with and he wasn’t in a place and I wasn’t either.

As much as I might have tried to kid myself I had done too much personal work to know that it was going nowhere and I was just going to get more and more annoyed with myself if I continued to play into the situation.

I had to have help seeing that.

I normally do.

So when I found myself, last night when I got home, contemplating not telling the person that I do work with about having run into the lover, well, I knew my motives were no good.

“You’re only as sick as your secrets,” and “your secrets will take you out,” both rang in my head pretty much right away.

I picked up the phone.

I called my person.

I left a message.

I did some inventory and e-mailed it off.

I go at a resounding let’s meet tonight answer from my person this morning and a text from the old lover this morning.

Hahaha.

Ah.

For fucks sake.

The ex-lover was texting to offer me some help with my scooter.

But the thing is.

It didn’t feel like it was about my scooter.

Oh.

Maybe.

But.

REALLY.

When I looked at myself, when I wrote out what was going on in my brain, oh, my motives were no good, they were all a twitter and all gossipy and all what will it feel like to hop on the back of his cycle and go for a ride.

And stop it.

Oh no you don’t.

Lady pants.

Just because you want to rev your engines does not mean this is the man to rev them with.

In fact, you emphatically said you wouldn’t with him again.

So stop it.

And there was no emergency, no need to engage, no need to return the text, I could wait until after work, I could wait until I met my person at Church Street Cafe.

I could tell the tale, the hello’s and how you doing’s at the spot last night, I could talk about the offer to fix something that really has no need to get fixed (a cosmetic fix on my scooter from when it got hit) and I could talk about the titillation and I could be honest.

And.

Yes.

I took the suggestion to respond to the ex-lover with a “Hey, thank you, but I’ve got it taken care of.”

Or something to that effect.

I don’t think I was quite that verbose.

Then.

With a tiny bit of hand holding, even though I knew I would all along, I deleted the text, deleted the number and blocked the number on my phone.

Done and done.

I am ready to be dating and loving with someone and I am so in need of getting some kissing in, but I don’t need to be going backwards.

I deserve to be treated well.

And I have to start with myself on that, I knew this guy was not the one, but there was a bit of a dance and it was fun to be pursued and god damn he was handsome, but, there wasn’t enough there, not enough for my heart, not enough for my brain, and the sex was nice, but let me be honest, not that great.

Certainly not great enough to go stir the crazy pot again.

I am so grateful that I stopped before heading down the street with the big man-hole that I tend to fall into and I stopped to look, to ponder, and instead of going down the road alone, I called and talked to someone else, and said, I won’t go down the road until you can meet with me and we can talk about it and if I go down that road, I’ll have a hand to hold.

But.

You know.

That road has been closed for repairs.

Big old road block.

Dead end sign.

The bridge is out.

Take the other route, you’ll be better served.

When I saw my person walk in through the door at the cafe I knew, hell, I knew as soon as I left a voicemail last night, yup, I won’t be seeing the ex again and I won’t be accepting any help with my scooter.

I want that foot board fixed I can take it to the shop where I bought it.

When I got home this evening I fished the box with the part out of my closet and I threw it away.

I don’t need anything in my house that will tempt me to continue down that closed road.

There’s a brighter way through for me.

There’s a fun way, a happy way, a way in which I can honor who I am and that I get to be treated better than I was.

I deserve the best.

I am grateful that I can “act as if” and know that yeah, sure, it might have been fun for a minute or two with the ex, but ultimately it would have been fun with problems and eventually just problems.

I got to skip through all that.

And now I’m clear for take off.

Easy skies.

Bright blue.

Open to possibilities.

Not obsessed with a relationship that did not work for me or trying to figure out how to make it work for me now.

Nope.

Ready and available for the man who is ready and available for me.

No distractions.

Thanks.

But, really.

No, thanks.

 


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