Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

When You Feel Heartbroken

December 14, 2017

And you don’t know what to do.

You write.

You cry a bit.

You put on Wooden Heart’s Listener album and sing along to torch songs.

About crows and whiskey and prayers that aren’t heard.

But God hears the prayers.

He just doesn’t always give you the answers you want to hear.

You think about dying.

But you don’t die.

You put on a brave face and tell yourself that the pain is alright.

That’s how you grow.

Isn’t it.

Pain.

And I don’t want to die.

I still have so much living to do.

Maybe I just want to crawl into bed and cry into my pillows.

Fall asleep with tears rolling down my face and stare at the dark ceiling.

And wonder about the next door neighbor and the piano jazz that sometimes seeps out the windows of the ramshackle house at odd hours.

And maybe while I’m crying I’ll think about integrity and honesty and pain.

Because maybe you forgot what the pain feels like.

Well.

Until you feel the pain again.

And the surprise of it.

As though the past haunting hurt was just a whisper of how it feels now.

And maybe I’m not supposed to remember how it hurts.

Because then maybe I wouldn’t dare to love again.

Or love now.

I know I’m alive.

I know because it hurts.

And every moment of silence sinks me deeper.

The deep blue of Halsman’s Marilyn Monroe.

The old faded blue Christmas tree lights.

The blue ribbon on the package under the boughs.

Sinking me down.

So I write.

To process it all.

To not sink and stay sunk.

And I cry, soft, wicked slow, tears melting and wet.

Crumpled up and bent over and crying.

And maybe that’s ok.

It’s not, not ok.

It’s just a feeling.

It will pass.

Right?

Every season of grief has a meaning.

I just wish it wasn’t at Christmas time.

The baffled cheeriness of my battered heart.

Listening to Charlie Brown Christmas during the afternoon.

Watching the high blue sky and thinking of you.

Driving in my car so alive, so bouyant, so happy, so grateful.

To end the day in tears and confused and forsook.

I forsake myself, haven’t I?

Haunted by the last kiss you placed on my mouth.

Did you really tell me to scotch guard my shoes?

Were those your last words?

Because there’s no more to say, nothing left to say?

We all have the same holes in our heart.

Maybe I’ll just walk down to the sea and watch the meteor shower.

The sea can wash away the pain.

The sea can have it.

I won’t die from a broken heart.

It just feels that way.

That’s all.

 

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Slowing Down

December 13, 2017

Not having any school stress hanging over me has really mellowed me out.

I got to debrief with my therapist about it all and the lecture and all the things love and relationship and work and family today.

It really amazed me to see that it was just one week ago today that I was on a stage giving a lecture in front of 100s of people.

It feels like it was last year.

There was so much that happened after the lecture that I quite lost sight of the fact that I had done it.

Even though I have had a number of people clamor for the video of it.

It has not been posted up yet and I’m rather loathe to watch it anyhow.

I don’t need to see myself, I was there, I know how it felt.

Even my therapist wants to see it!

My therapist went to the same school I’m in now and did the same program and had some of the same teachers.

It’s always a good feeling of commiseration with her about my life and school and all the things.

It’s almost as though we are contemporaries, friends.

We had a good session and there was much to process.

There always is.

And then off to work.

I went in early to help the family and got to spend an unexpectedly sweet day with the baby.

He’s almost a year now and it’s coming close to time to renew my contract with the family.

I’m very happy with them and they are happy with me.

It’s a mutual appreciation society.

Seriously.

The dad today said he didn’t know how they’d still be alive without me.

That was super sweet to hear.

It’s a trip though, working for a family with three kids, three really changes the dynamic, it’s a flat-out hustle sometimes and there is not a lot of down time.

There is always something for me to do.

Always.

I don’t mind, it’s good to stay busy.

Although not too busy.

The parents had asked if there was a day in the upcoming weeks that I might be able to help with an overnight and I gave them a night when I could and as it turns out that night doesn’t work and well, I have to say that I wasn’t really upset about that.

I don’t have solid plans to do anything on the days I have off, but I sort of like that I have some time off to do with what I will.

My therapist asked me about Christmas and what it was like for me and whew boy that opened up a lot of fodder.

I realized very much that the last few Christmases have been really hard on me and she was encouraging me to do something sweet for myself, a yoga retreat, a little road trip in my new car, something personal and kind and I will add, for myself, cheerful.

I often spend Christmas alone and I can get melancholic about it.

Last Christmas I was navigating through some personal landmines that surprised me but in hindsight needed to happen and helped me grow exponentially.

Nothing like pain to prompt some spiritual growth.

The year before I was with someone in Paris who couldn’t really be with me and that felt like throwing my heart on a bonfire and roasting marshmallows over it.

Burnt and crisp and super painful.

I’d rather not have a painful Christmas this year.

Soft and gentle and loving and I really want to let myself not freak out about it.

I don’t want to compare and despair.

Maybe the road trip to Stinson on Christmas Day, pack a picnic, go to the beach, have bonfire, collect shells, reflect on my life and what I want in the new year.

Or down to Santa Cruz and go to Bridges State Park for the Monarch migration happening now.

I tried to go one year with a boyfriend and yes, we made it, but so late in the day that the monarchs weren’t flying.

I might try to give that another shot.

I should also get my MOMA on.

I have a membership and haven’t been in months, now that I’m on break from school it’s definitely time to go again.

I also want very much to see the Klimt exhibit at the Legion of Honor.

I love Klimt.

That is a must do.

I will also do a movie at the movie theater.

Last year I went to La La Land on Christmas day for a matinée at Kabuki Theaters and then I took myself out to sushi.

It was super cold on my scooter and I felt pretty miserable riding around.

Not going to be a problem with year with having a car.

I’ll be taking her tomorrow.

The last two days I’ve been on my scooter to avoid the morning rush traffic and get to supervision and today to therapy, before work and then to my internship on time.

I haven’t those obligations tomorrow.

I’ll be taking my car.

I really love having that car.

Yeah.

The more I think about it the more I think a mini road trip will do me good.

Even if it’s just across the bridge.

Oh!

I could do a ferry ride too.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve I caught the last ferry to Sausalito, I got off the boat, walked to a coffee shop, bought a coffee and walked right back onto the ferry.

I got to see the city at night all lit up in Christmas lights.

It was stunning.

I got a lot of really gorgeous photographs from that little jaunt.

And of course.

I’ll find somewhere to go do the deal and get right with God, always that, especially during this time.

Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely.

Nope.

There will be many ways to keep it merry and bright.

Heck.

I can just sit and contemplate my Christmas tree and watch Holiday Inn.

I love me some Bing Crosby.

I do.

 

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.

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.

The Moon In The Avocado Tree

December 2, 2017

Reminds me of you.

I sit.

Reflect.

Stare.

Dream.

The sky.

I watch the stars and think of little cable cars.

A movie scene.

Holding your hand.

Climbing the hills of the city.

Trying to get closer to the sky.

Trying to be closer to you.

So.

I wait for you.

Here.

While you are there.

So far away.

My eyes prickle with tears that do not fall.

My heart aches with yearning, longing, wistful wanting.

To hear your voice in my ear on the phone.

My ear aches for your breath to be there against it.

Instead of pressed to the machine carrying your voice.

Through the airways I hear you and long to wrap myself around you.

I miss you.

Oh.

I do.

So much.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Listen, can you hear it, the music, we dance slowly to.

And the afterglow of your

Last kiss on my mouth.

Which flutters awake and brushes me tender.

I need your kisses.

I need them so.

Counting down the minutes and moments until I am in your embrace again.

My face flushed with unbearable heat when I was cold today.

Thinking of you.

Then hearing your voice, husky and warm filled with its own kind of longing.

I still shudder thinking of how we came together.

That we are still together.

That I get to be with you, just not as soon as I want to be, right now.

Soon  you say.

Though.

It.

Is.

Not.

Soon enough.

Never soon enough.

Until you are here and I am smashed with your love.

And when I think of us.

I am in awe.

That this all came about.

You and I.

Some divine design.

Sacred and profound.

Lustful and chemical.

Chimerical.

I could never have imagined this.

Us.

Together.

Though apart.

For the moment.

Thus.

I swear, with all the softness of a dreamy mouth, to keep you close.

Though you are afar.

You are right here.

Ensconced.

In my heart.

At least this is what I tell myself.

While I watch the moon.

Drifting through the avocado tree.

 

 

 

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

Nailed It

November 14, 2017

So, so, so happy.

I went into the third meeting of “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” in between meeting with my supervisor this morning and going to work.

Yesterday I completely rewrote the piece I had given them last week.

I didn’t even use the old narrative.

I wrote a completely new piece.

And.

They  loved it.

Loved.

Thank God.

I wasn’t sure I had it in me to do another rewrite or edit, I was feeling pretty damn done with it, but I am so glad I took the time yesterday and wrote a new piece instead of trying to make the other work, I took their suggestions and wrote the piece from the perspective they were looking for.

And.

Well.

Shit.

Taking suggestions, it works.

The piece drew tears.

There was emotional resonance, there was power, I spoke with clarity, humor, strength, and though I didn’t mention the word resilience once, I think it was clear throughout the piece that it was there.

And although I did bring in the word gratitude, it really wasn’t until the end and it tied the piece up.

I read it straight off the computer once.

Then.

I was asked to read it off script.

I was not expecting that and it took me a minute to get into it.

They left the computer screen up for me so that I could go to the piece if I got lost, but haha, the screen went blank and into screen saver mode after the first minute and I just rolled with it.

“That was amazing, you actually verbatim recited a number of sentences!”

Yeah.

I have a pretty good memory.

Granted.

It’s also my story and I have told it a few times, hundreds, in different rooms and spaces, so I know it pretty well, but this was this first iteration of the story and it was told from a very different perspective than I typically tell it.

I’m grateful that it landed so well, that it resonated emotionally, that it was exactly what they were looking for and then some.

Especially since I have another rehearsal to go to this week, on Saturday in the morning.

I’ll be meeting all the folks who are lecturing, there are 7 of us.

It’s from 10a.m.-?

I just need to be out by 1:30p.m. so I can make it to my group supervision.

I also need to get them a photo for the promotions.

They will begin promoting it next week.

Eek.

The tickets will be $25 and they expect to sell out.

Wow.

The venue space holds 180 people.

That’s a few folks.

Mark your calendar, Tuesday, December 5th, at 7p.m. at The Chapel on Valencia Street at 19th.

Woot.

They will also be video recording it and it will be edited and posted to YouTube.

EEK.

My first time on that forum.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Holy shit Batman, fashion crisis.

I hadn’t even thought of that until now.

Not going to worry about it now, I’m sure something fabulous will fall out of my closet, and I have great shoes, I’ll be fine.

It will be interesting though, I’ll be working that day, in fact, I’ll need to get out of work an hour early, they want the lecturers there at 5:30p.m.

Doors at 7p.m.

I usually work until 6p.m.

I’ll be coming straight from nanny land.

Hmmm.

I should bring a second outfit to work, back up clothes, or I can just wear beater clothes and get dressed up before I leave for the gig.

My goodness.

So much to think about and not to mention all the other things on my plate.

The producer actually thanked me for taking the time to do this project with them.

I am so flattered.

Really I am.

It feels like such a privilege to get to share my story.

And I realized today that though I’m a bit immune to my story, its my story, I know it pretty damn well, it’s still a good story.

As well as, I’m a good speaker.

“You have it, you’re a star,” my dear French friend told me once, after I had gotten up in front of a bunch of folks at our second year school retreat and recited some of my poetry, “you command attention, you have it, that je ne s’ais quoi, you have it, you’r a star.”

I’ll never forget that she said that and she’s not wrong, it wasn’t just my friend being nice, I know that I do have a way of being able to command and step up and present.

I haven’t a clue where it came from, but I know that I can recognize that it began to be crafted when I was in 6th grade.

We had public speaking for part of the class and everyone had to do presentations and get dressed up and we were video taped and it was a big, big, big deal.

I remember how well I was nervous, but when I talked, it didn’t come out, in fact, no one knew, I also didn’t know what the hell to do until the last-minute and I ended up pulling something completely out of my ass and did a speech on pencils.

I got an “A.”

I watched that video later, my teacher used it in a demo to show what I did well, and I was amazed to see how calmly I stood there and talked, and I knew how I felt, and what it felt like to get up there and do it and it was intense, but there was no telling that when I spoke.

It’s been like that ever since and, well, practice, lots of practice, and something, something else, I don’t know how to say it, but when I’m in the right space, I just channel it, I’m not really in control, it’s more like I’m a mouthpiece and what needs to be said is just coming through.

It’s an amazing feeling to experience.

If I try to analyze it or control it, it goes, but if I step into it, take a big deep breath, focus and let go, well, fuck, it’s marvelous.

I’ve got to practice some this week, but I have to say, I feel really good about it and now that I have the narrative where it needs to be I’m just going to print it off and read it once a night until the performance.

I won’t have it memorized, but it will be known in my brain and I will be comfortable being off script.

Hell.

I pulled it off twice today.

I think I got this.

Yeah.

I do.

I got this!

 

And. End Scene

November 13, 2017

I made it!

I got through the school weekend.

Only one more left in the semester.

Holy shit.

Very excited about that.

Although not at all excited about the extraordinary amount of work I will have to produce for the last weekend of classes.

Four papers.

One final group presentation.

Plus wrapping all my online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) webinars and assignments and doing all the work for my online Child and Elder Abuse class.

Whew.

It’s a lot.

But.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I did have a moment today, though.

I was pretty wiped out by the class, a lot of emotional content for me was coming up, shocker that, go get a degree in psychology and watch the stuff surface, and I really couldn’t even decide what the hell I was going to do with the day.

I had some ideas.

Maybe I’d go shopping.

But.

I’m trying to hold out from purchasing anything as it looks like I’m getting quite close to actually putting down money on a car.

My application for a car loan was approved and I can go into the Fiat dealership in Berkeley and get the Fiat 500 Pop that I’ve been eyeing.

It seems surreal that it’s actually happening.

I even transferred the money out of my savings account today.

I am not sure exactly when I’m going to go and get the car, the dealership actually offered to deliver it to me!

But I want to go into the dealership and go with a friend and make sure I’m doing all the things correct.

I have never bought a new car before so it’s all completely outside the scope of my experience.

Anyway.

Clothes shopping, though tempting, did not seem like the best idea.

I vacillated between rushing out and getting over to the Mission by 12:15 p.m. to do the deal, or just taking it easy and seeing where God wanted me to go.

Rushing is not what I wanted to do and so I meandered towards the Inner Sunset.

I realized I was super hungry and though I needed to do grocery shopping and I could just make food when I got home, I was too distracted and it felt like too much and when a friend in cohort asked what I was doing for self-care today, it struck me that I had no good answer for her.

“Maybe yoga?” I replied.

And it struck me that maybe I wanted to treat myself a little.

So.

I went to Marnee Thai in the Inner Sunset and got my favorite dish there–banana curry with duck and brown rice and a big mug of tea.

It was perfect.

And I did do some clothes window shopping and even tried on a few things, but didn’t buy anything.

Instead.

I went and got a manicure and perused a trashy magazine.

I got a decaf, yes, I’m that person, past a certain point in the afternoon I go decaf, cafe au lait at Tart To Tart and finally did my numbers from my spending plan for October and then did a spending plan for November.

After that.

I went grocery shopping after and that felt very good and proactive.

I did some work around the house and attended to a few small things and did some food prep.

Then.

Yup.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I re-wrote the narrative completely for the “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” folks.

I meet with them again tomorrow in between supervision in the early morning and work.

I think I had been dreading doing that work and not having an idea of how to get it going, but as I finished balancing my check book and I was sitting by my computer, I just did it.

I just kicked it the fuck out.

Then when I finished it I realized I could make the 6:15 p.m. restorative yoga class at my studio.

Yippee!

I scurried into my yoga gear and walked over, getting nice and settled in as they dimmed the lights and light the studio with candles.

So pretty.

So relaxing.

Such a nice gift to give to myself.

An hour and fifteen minutes later I came home, made a hot dinner and proofed my narrative.

I just sent it out a few minutes before starting my blog.

Super fucking happy.

I’m going to go take a shower and chill out.

Fuck yeah.

 

Oh.

And here’s the piece in its entirety, I may still change it, but well, I thought you’d might like to read it.

Enjoy.

 

Running Away From Myself

I ran away from home to San Francisco. I was 29 years old. I had just graduated from college with my undergrad degree in English Literature, which would translate to a career of asking “wilt thou like fries with that?” I had also just gotten a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, and I had won an award for a manuscript of my poems from the UW Madison Book Store. I was on my way. I was going to be the next great American novelist. I had a plan.

I was going to find myself in San Francisco. A friend later told me that she was quite concerned for me, one does not find themselves by moving across country in their two door Honda Accord with all their possessions and a two month sublet in the Mission District. I, however, was convinced that I needed to move to San Francisco, it was home, Madison, was not. I never considered it to be running away from myself. I just thought I was getting the hell away from the craziness of my family.

I was running away from my mom who was smoking crack, from my sister who was shooting crystal meth with dirty rigs, from my homeless father, who would spare change for beer money outside the brewing company I was the manager at. I had been to San Francisco to visit a friend the year prior and knew it was where I wanted to be. I moved here Labor Day weekend of 2002. I had a blast. I drank, I danced, I partied, I went to clubs, I cut lines at 1015 and DNA Lounge, and one day did blow in the bathroom with a friend, maybe it was the Mezzanine or the bar at The W Hotel. I had arrived! I made so many new friends my phone could barely handle all the numbers. I was having the time of my life.

Then I started to have repercussions from all the partying. Drugs are like that, fun, fun with problems, then just fucking problems. The problems led to me getting really creative with my money, stashing it in my bra or sock or back left pocket of my pants so I wouldn’t spend it on coke. But inevitably, after a few drinks, I would call my dealer. And the money ran out, really, really, fast. I was gregarious and the life of the party, and as a dear friend told me later, “just because you didn’t go to prom in high school doesn’t meant that you get to be the prom queen now.”

Yet, I kept going. I got ominous warnings from my friends, I got warnings at work, and I pissed off my roommate for bringing the after party back from the clubs at 4 a.m. I accidentally did a line of meth in the bathroom at the End Up one night, with a new friend who I thought was giving me cocaine and two days later found myself still awake deconstructing Laura Croft in a trailer in Brisbane where my new best friend was making banana walnut pancakes in the kitchen.

I still don’t know how I got home. I started making deals with myself. Don’t drink tonight; I noticed I was quick to call my dealer after a beer. But didn’t you see how hard my job was, what assholes I was working with, and how much my feet hurt? It had nothing to do with the three grams of blow I did the night before while dancing at DNA Lounge in platform Steve Madden heels, no, it had to do with the head manager at my restaurant giving me a shitty section where I had to run all night long to serve my tables.

Things spun out of control. Faster and faster. One night I was just going to go home and a friend convinced me to grab a bottle of wine from the restaurant and go back to her place. A bum outside her door spare changed us as we were going into her apartment, I gave him a cigarette. Hours later when I left, he was still there and he offered me some crack cocaine. Of course I smoked it. And twelve hours later I found myself hiding on a piece of cardboard between parked cars on Minna Street smoking rock with a homeless man who was angling for me to become his girlfriend.   It had to stop. It had to.

I tried a number of ways to control and enjoy my drinking and using, but things just never took. No matter what I did. I lost that fine dining restaurant job, I lost friends, and I lost a lot of dignity. I left a $500 a month rent controlled room in a large Victorian house in the Mission for a room on Potrero and 25th for more than twice the rent. I figured I wouldn’t spend my money on cocaine if my rent were more expensive. I was wrong, was I ever wrong. I remember waking up one morning for a lunch shift and wondering what I had done the night before and when it finally came to me as I was getting out of a cab in front of work I was so overwhelmed I leapt out, and ran and vomited in the bushes before going in for my shift.

Finally, on January 10th, possibly the 11th of 2005, I hit the bottom that would change my life. I went to the restaurant I used to work at to see a friend, I wasn’t going to drink. Nope. I wasn’t, but the bartender put up my regular, a double dirty martini on the rocks with extra olives and a pint of Sierra Nevada. I drank a sip of the beer and called my dealer. I rang a friend, he met me out, and we went all over the city and at one point ended up at my house. He left his drugs with me, “you won’t do them will you?” He asked as he left. I did them. I stole from my friend and in that moment I made the decision, I was done, I don’t know why stealing a few grams of coke from a friend was how I smashed into my bottom, but it was. I made a cry for help. And it was answered.

It came from unexpected places. I thought I was just going to go to rehab. Instead I got introduced to a community and an amazing fellowship, and I drank a lot of coffee, a lot, I still do. Twelve years and some change later, notice my star tattoos? One for every year I’ve been sober, I still don’t know how the magic all happened, I am grateful beyond belief that it has. I get to do and be someone I never even knew I wanted to be. I am a nanny, I’ve been one for over a decade, I get to give children the kind of love and attention I missed getting as a child. I’m also a third year graduate student in psychology, I go to a full time graduate program on the weekends at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) which is located on Mission and 10th in the SOMA. The back of the building abuts Minna Street.

That same street where I gave a homeless man a cigarette, and he smoked me out with crack, I was once again twelve years later. I will never forget coming out of my Psychodynamics class at the end of the semester, holding a paper I had just gotten an A+ on and hopping on my scooter to go home. As I pulled out, I heard the roll of a lighter be flicked and the inhale of breath, there was a girl, a young woman, hair up in a messy bun, eyes downcast, smoking crack on a piece of cardboard between two parked cars. She was I and I was she. I can never, not now, not ever, express the tremendous gratitude I felt in me at the moment. As I zoomed off on my scooter, from my grad school program to my little studio by the sea. I was no longer running away from myself. I was just going home.

Speak To Me

November 12, 2017

Of the desire in my psyche.

As I try to move.

Closer to you.

Binding my heart.

Against the heart place in your body.

Interconnected.

Landed in heat.

Transcending my day to day human life.

You have given me access to energy.

Star energy.

Dream energy.

Love energy.

The chemistry of love ignites within me–

Binding me with bright prisms of light.

Blinding me to all else.

But.

Your souls depth calling me home.

Descending me into vulnerability.

And.

Embuing my life with purpose.

Through the feeling of love for you.

Sublime you.

My kissling.

My burnished butterfly wing.

My sacred crow calls and whisperings.

Leveling me with your divinity.

Archetype of my heart.

Reflected in your heart.

Transcending my needs.

And.

Glorifying me.

Connecting me to this blue

Incantation of you.

You.

My tether point.

 

 

Bless you my darling.

May the angels of dawn.

Kiss you.

While.

You lay dreaming.


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