Archive for the ‘Acting’ Category

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.

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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.

 

Today Was A

February 19, 2017

Fuck yeah kind of day.

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

Although perhaps a little on the shivery side.

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

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

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

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

I digress.

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

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

Anyway.

I did go to things today.

I went to yoga.

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

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

I am enough.

There it is again.

Hello.

Yes, I repeat, I am enough.

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

Living the high life.

Then.

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

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

We did some reading.

I did some writing.

I did some crying.

Damn it.

But.

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

Oh.

Does my thinking, NOT serve.

So.

I got some amazing perspective and some really good suggestions.

And.

Yes.

That’s right.

I took them.

I ran with them all day.

Guess what?

I had a fucking fabulous day.

FABULOUS.

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

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

Holy Mother of God.

So freaking good.

I did a little shopping after that at Ambiance.

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

Well.

Close.

My friend had suggested I go get a massage.

I went to a hot tub instead.

It was bliss.

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

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

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

Hung out.

Socialized.

Ate hella good food and let my hair down.

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

Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

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

They are like no other.

Yeah.

I know.

I am biased.

But.

I do know a special and amazing group of people.

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

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

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

I isolate sometimes because I am scared.

But.

Also.

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

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

And I’m just fine with that.

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

I rather like my San Franciscan world.

Sure.

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

Change happens.

Change is the only reliable thing that is consistent.

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

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

I mean.

Fuck.

It works.

I am so grateful for that.

So much so it’s sort of stupid.

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

Something lovely about my gratitude.

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

God has perfect timing.

Perfect love.

And wants me to be happy.

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

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

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

Reality is so much more sexy.

And I certainly had a sexy day today.

Yes.

Yes.

I did.

Faith Is The Wheelbarrow

January 31, 2016

That carries hope across the high wire.

This is how I see it, I explained to her over coffee at Tart to Tart.

It was good to see her, it’s been a few weeks.

Plenty of check ins, but no face to face meetings and it was nice to be held accountable, to show up, to be an adult.

I’m adult’ing all over the place.

Who’s done with her reading?

Me.

That’s who.

Well, almost done.

I still have my Ethics and Family Law class to finish, but in the last week, culminating in today, I have read ALL of my readings for my next set of classes for Psychodynamics, Multi-Cultural Counseling and the Family, and The Clinical Relationship.

I just finished a little while ago and to celebrate turned on some music–I can’t read with music in the background, even pleasure reading (unless I’m in a cafe, then somehow I am able to drown out the noise, and interestingly, I am doing it right now, I like to listen to music when I am blogging–never when I writing my morning pages, but almost always when I do my blog.  The brain is a fascinating thing.) becomes too much with music playing.

I also opened up my Fantastic Cities coloring book that a dear friend and ladybug gave me a few weeks ago.

I did some coloring and it felt good; I’m exploring it as a meditative spiritual practice.

Some preparation for my Applied Spirituality class proposal.

The proposal is due the 5th of this upcoming month.

Which sounds like all the time in the world, but is actually next Friday and since the weekends is when I do my writing for school (weekdays I read before work, which is how i am done with the majority of my reading, a consistent effort to read a half hour to an hour before work every day, plus the morning pages and my morning routine, you could say I have a job to do before I do my job.) I want to have it done tomorrow.

The proposal is something I can work on when I meet up to study with my friend.

I am excited to see her and also give a little tour of the neighborhood, despite living in San Francisco for a little bit now, she has not see the Outer Sunset.

We’re going to meet up after lunch.

I figure she’s got to have a tour of the house, it feels vulnerable and scary and wonderful all at the same time to show someone my home.

I feel it’s quite a reflection of myself and a look into my secret, well, not so secret, I do so often wear it on my sleeve, heart.

It’s the epicenter of my personality that’s for sure.

My room always has been.

My sister told me once that she used to sneak into my room when we were in high school and she would lay on my bed and look at my stuff.

I wonder what she saw.

I feel like my home is warm and inviting, like me, and sweet, like me.

Ha.

I know how that sounds.

But that is what my person called me today.

Sweet and warm.

I don’t believe I have ever heard her use those words to describe me and I felt tears pooling in my eyes when she said it.

I had just finished reading her my list of what God is.

(EVERYTHING)

Here is the list, with a few things edited for the sake of anonymity, that divine spiritual principal that is at the center of everything I am and do:

-Love

-Light, sunshine, warmth

-Apples

-Restful sleep

-The Ocean

-The smell of jasmine at night

-Daisies

-Summer time, sundresses, wearing my hair down long

-Poetry

-Burning Man

-Shadrach

-Being held, holding someone’s hand

-Plum trees blooming in spring

-Art, museums, getting art high

-Paris, travel, gardens, cafes

-Recovery, service

-Coffee, friends, tea, tattoos

-Having curly hair, beauty

-Fun, pinball, coloring

-Self-care, hot showers, walks on the beach

-Kissing, romantic love, good sex

-The smell of sweat

-Salt on my food

-My scooter, my bicycle

-Perspective

-Stickers, collage, art magazines

-Photography

-Blue skies

-Surrender, letting go, forgiveness

-School, reading, flexibility

-Serendipity, getting out of the way, being taken care of

-Family, school friends, children I have nannied

-Bunny rabbits

-Writing, blogging, morning pages

-Music and dancing

-More and more and more love

-Good pens and Claire Fontaine notebooks

It was a good list to make and reminds me of others I have done.

“What a sweet, warm, beautiful list, there are so many women I work with who wouldn’t be able to see what you see, how freeing it is, there’s that too, that sense of freedom, joy, you have it,” she leaned toward me, “the feel of paper under your hand, is that what you said?”

Yes, it is indeed what I said and she knew the notebooks I was talking about and how I wish I had gotten a couple more while I was in Paris.

“They sell them at Flax!” She exclaimed.

They do, although not the same kind that I like, they also have an online shop and that may be where I indulge myself a little when I get my tax return.

But, I digress.

Warm and sweet.

I’m now describing my tea.

Haha.

Perhaps that is why, I’m full of hot tea, spicy, sweet tea.

Or.

Maybe, I’ve just kept showing up and doing the work and letting myself be seen more and more, even when I resist, even when I thought, but did not act, about canceling on my school friend.  Instead, I shared my crazy and told my person.

“Oh, she said that to you?” My person said, “well, she sees you–the real you, that’s what you’re afraid of.”

Yup.

As desperately as I want to be seen, and believe me, I do, I do, I do.

I also get scared by the thought of intimacy, of being seen into, of being vulnerable, I don’t want to be hurt.

But if I sequester myself I won’t get to continue to enjoy the benefits that being open hearted and vulnerable have brought me.

And I like those benefits.

They are so good.

Freedom from the bondage of self being just one of many.

So tomorrow.

I show up, which should not really be all that hard since my friend is coming to me, and I show myself for who I am and I let another person in.

I am grateful for this ever widening circle of friends.

Love.

And.

Life.

It is all so damn good.

I mean.

Really.

REALLY.

Good.


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