Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

So Very Pleased

September 23, 2018

I got a lot done today.

I hung all my artwork in my new home.

I got my new couch delivered and my new chair and they were quickly assembled and they got here ahead of schedule, which was so awesome as it made it possible for me to not only attend a Zoom session for school, but also get to my group supervision on time.

Effectively making it possible for me to even take enough time to do some much-needed personal grooming and pampering, I went and got a mani/pedi and my eyebrows waxed.

And no, I didn’t glaze out with some trash magazines but actually did homework reading.

My books go where ever I go.

That has become mandatory.

Even if I don’t think I will have time, I’m bringing them along.

One at a time I will get through the reading.

There is so very much.

And though a part of me really wanted to do more homework tonight when I got home from doing the deal, I realized that I needed to finish as much of my unpacking as I could.

I just needed to feel settled completely in my home.

I am pretty damn close.

Hanging all my artwork really felt good.

So too blasting some French House music.

My place is sound proofed, plus the landlord is away camping this weekend.

So I didn’t have any compunctions about using a hammer at 9p.m. at night and hanging up my art.

It feels so nice to look at my space.

My couch is freaking perfect, so to the chair and the pillows I got really work nicely, I almost didn’t get them when I was at the store and I even had a moment when I packed them up and I was going to return them, but something made me stop and I am so glad I did, they work really well and look hella cool.

I’m very happy with my couch.

And tomorrow I will get my coffee table, end tables, and bedside tables set up.

I actually hired a woman from Task Rabbit to do it.

I figured it was worth it to not frustrate myself for hours.

I will instead spend a great deal of time tomorrow studying and doing homework.

I have to.

My work week will be full on again as the mom is back from her work travels and I will have the baby full-time again, I may have some time to do readings, but I won’t have time to do writing, which is what I was doing a lot of in the early afternoons before I headed out to pick up the big kids from school.

So tomorrow is definitely a full day of study.

I have one ladybug coming over to do work for an hour and I’ll get out and do the deal, but other than that, I can’t do anything but the work.

Well.

Probably some laundry.

I will want to do that, but I’ll bring homework with me for sure.

It will be my first time going to a laundry mat in years and though I am not excited about that, I am quite happy with how my home has come together and it feels very good to be here.

There are still some things that need to happen for me to entirely settle in, I haven’t gotten a dresser yet and I still have some clothes in a big garment box, but for the most part the space is nicely curated and it feels like me and it feels fun and polished and warm and sweet.

Once it’s all set up I’ll post a few photos.

I really do love the fact that I got myself a pink velvet couch.

Pink is not my favorite color, but I do like it and the couch is just so very me.

A sort of vintage 1970s Paris couch.

It’s the best.

Yeah.

I am very happy in my new home.

It’s also quite a space of reflection for me, to see how far I have come in the last few years.

When I think about how I moved back from Paris with $10 and what I have now, it’s really astounding how much can change in five years.

I got my Master’s degree, I’m working on my PhD,  I went through a buyout (a San Francisco rite of passage now it seems), I found a wonderful new place to live, I have had the most intense romantic love of my life happen, I have traveled back to Paris three times since I moved back, as well as going to New York three times, New Orleans, Burning Man five times, D.C., Atlanta, and L.A.  I bought a scooter, sold the scooter, bought a new car.

I never thought I would actually buy a new car, and holy shit, I did.

I’m starting a private practice internship.

I am fucking living life.

And yeah.

It does get overwhelming at times, but I have a primary purpose and I’m sticking to that.

The PhD is an amazing gift to get to do, but ultimately, it is not the endpoint for my life, although I know it’s going to consume a good bit of my life for a while, it is not my omega point.

Love is.

Deep love.

Loving myself to the best of my abilities and spreading that love as far out into the world as I can.

And now that my home base is almost secure and safe and settled.

I feel that I will be able to do so with even more veracity and courage.

I am in a good place.

It is a challenge.

There are challenges.

No lie.

But I am in a good place.

And I vow to love as hard as I can from this place as I can.

I promise.

Really.

I do.

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I’m In!

September 19, 2018

And I’m writing this blog from my brand new kitchen table.

First new table kitchen table I have ever bought.

Ever.

I was reflecting on that earlier, I bought a new car last year, who am I?

I am very lucky.

Blessed really.

I just discovered someone who I knew really well as a child has passed of alcoholism.

My heart went out to her and the family, although to say it surprised me, it did not, just that I hadn’t known and she passed last year.

I am so grateful to be alive and having this experience.

Next time I tell myself that I am overwhelmed with school and work and the whole internship thing, I will remind myself that I am alive and for that I am beyond grateful.

Way beyond.

I am also moved into my new home.

I haven’t written my blog in days, or my morning pages either, not since Sunday Morning I think and I’m not sure when I blogged last but it’s been a few days.

Sunday was a flat-out run.

I was up early at 6a.m. to get myself ready and over to Alameda for a three-hour training for my new internship.

My God that shit is happening fast.

I have to get keys to my new office, close down my current client file (aside, another client is coming with!) and start-up my website, get a Square reader, get a phone number and get going.

I start with my new internship on October 1st.

Less than two weeks away, in fact, I see my first client two weeks from today in my new office.

Whew.

But I’m already ahead of myself.

Sunday.

A long three-hour training, then a dash back to the city and putting the rest of my stuff in boxes to move.

I had a dear friend come over Saturday in the afternoon and he basically just bossed me around and took apart my bed frame for me.  By the way, I needed the bossing around, I was so anxious that I kept getting distracted off task and he would get me right back on.  I was horrendously grateful for him.

Sunday I had another dear friend come over with his truck and help me move and he was a doll and put my bed frame back together again.

I actually got it all moved out and spent my first night here Saturday.

It was heaven to be in a bed, I’d slept on the floor (well, the mattress on the floor) the night before so I was really happy to be in a properly made up bed.

And I cannot tell you how nice it is to sit at a table tonight.

The last two days I have eaten breakfast and dinner sitting on the floor.

Which is fun now and again, I suppose, like a little indoor picnic, but I am so happy I have a new table.

A big table, a pretty table, a table that will do twofold work, my dining area and my work area, where I will be doing a lot of writing and very soon.

I have already actually written my first paper of the semester.

On Sunday.

Sitting on the floor.

I mean.

Fuck.

I moved out completely and I wrote a paper and I did a three hour training earlier in the day.

It was hard to make myself sit down and do it, I was so tired from the moving, but I had to, it was due at midnight.  I turned it in at 10:58 p.m.

And I just read my comments back and I did really well.

In fact, my TA gave me a huge thumbs up because I also put in a poem as part of the paper, a poem that was inspired by the time I was at the intensive and was also pertinent to the material that I was writing about.  I didn’t just use the poem to take up space.

I find this funny and endearing about myself, that I think that someone might think, oh, she’s cheating by using a poem to fluff up the word count on her paper, but most people who I know are intimidated by poetry and would prefer to just write the paper.

That’s not true either.

Most people I know aren’t interested in writing papers.

I, apparently am.

Although I still get good and nervous.

And that two-week thing?  When I start my internship, that is also the due date of my first big paper, an 8-10 pager.

So I have lots going on in the up coming weeks.

Getting the rest of my house together.

I have my couch (yippee!) getting delivered on Saturday along with the chair that goes with it, I have to set up the coffee table that was delivered a few days ago, I need a book-case and a dresser.

But I also unpacked, like I said, nearly everything, stored all my Burning Man things and notebooks and books that I’m not using in the basement, set up my shoe rack, hung curtains, assembled a rolling garment cart (my closet is small) and have set up my entire kitchen.

The only thing that is not sitting so well with me is that it’s cold in here.

I didn’t realize until my first night that there is no heat in the unit.

This has happened before, and it’s not a big deal, I’ve lived other places without heat, but I don’t want to live too long here without it, it’s cold out here by the beach at night.

So I ordered a space heater and that should be here in the next couple of days.

I’m just so happy to be sitting at my pretty table, listening to music, not worried about the noise, because my place is sound proofed, not that I’m loud, but you know, writing.

I have missed writing my blog.

I have a lot of things to do the rest of the week but I am feeling a lot better about it all sussing itself out, getting myself into my new place was the biggest thing and it’s done now.

I just have to go back and clean my old in-law, which I will do tomorrow after work and then on Thursday I will be returning the keys and getting the other half of the buyout money.

So happy this is almost at a close.

Ready to move into the next phase of my development.

I better be.

It’s just hurtling its way towards me.

Seriously.

Speed of motherfucking light.

I Have To Stop

September 14, 2018

Falling down.

Twice.

Twice in the last two days I have fallen down.

At my new place.

I’ve been going too fast, and I’m really aware of it, but shit, I don’t need to fall down anymore.

I bruised my hand tonight and last night I split open my left knee and bruised both of them badly.

But.

I didn’t sprain an ankle, and I could have either time.

Last night I had time in between my work and my normal Wednesday night commitment to run out to Bed, Bath and Beyond.

My studio that I’ve been living in has pretty much been furnished.

Down to towels and the compost bin.

So I have realized that I needed to get things to make my new home, well, homey.

Like bath rugs and towels and a compost bin, and a shoe rack.

Although I got a rack yesterday, it just doesn’t work for my new closet.

That was how I wiped out yesterday.

I was carrying the shoe rack into my place and completely missed a step going into it.

I smashed on my knees and for just a brief moment I thought I might have banged my left ankle, the one that I so badly injured a few years back.

I mean.

The ankle has never really felt fully healed and I’ve re-sprained it once, so I was scared and breathless in a heap on the floor slowly rotating my ankle in both directions.

I was ok.

I mean.

I wasn’t ok, exactly, I discovered later that I had cut through skin on my left knee, but I was pretty adrenalized and didn’t feel it.

I discovered it when my leggings stuck to my knee from the dried blood.

Tonight I wiped out as I had another load of things from Bed, Bath, and Beyond in my car to deliver, and I slipped on the freshly waxed floor.

I knew I was going to fast, I had my car double parked with the flashers on and I just wanted to get in and out.

So as I drove away I knew, I need to slow down.

I need to breathe.

I am anxious about this final push, moving is hard, it’s stressful, I don’t have as much time to devote to it as I would like.

Although every day I have been doing something.

Today I returned the shoe rack and replaced it with one that would work and I bought curtains, a curtain rod, and a shower curtain, as well as some pillows.

I also took over a bin of stuff from the house this morning.

I figured if I was going over to get the shoe rack to return it I should not go empty-handed, so one large box traveled with me.

I have also organized everything Burning Man in the garage, my tent, my bins, my camping stuff, even though a part of me was like, trash it, you’re never going back, you have five years of PhD to deal with, you aren’t going back forever…I couldn’t quite do it, so it will go into storage.

My new landlord acknowledged that there really wasn’t much storage space built into the studio so he is allowing me to store things in the basement.

I packed a couple of boxes of notebook and journals and books and my Burning Man stuff, my picnic basket, and some blankets and got it all out to the garage.

On one hand I haven’t that much more stuff, on the other, my brain is just hollering at me, move, move, move!

I’m trying to strike a balance.

As I am also trying to get homework done for school.

I have managed to do a little reading at work, but not as much as I was hoping, then again, I have to cut myself some slack, I really am doing every possible thing I could do.

I got my online bank account set up for Grateful Heart today too, so that was an accomplishment.

I am tired though.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour, but tossed and turned a lot before falling asleep and I woke up an hour and half before my alarm went off.

I just got up.

I figured, grab the shoe rack, return stuff, get more stuff, go to work.

And I did.

Plus I had a client tonight.

I really am doing as much as I possibly can.

I cleared up most of Saturday and only now have group supervision to go to.

I can’t miss that as much as I might like to.

So I hope to get a lot of it taken care of on Saturday.

I am in contact with a friend who may be able to help out with a truck either Saturday or Sunday.

I think I am going to have to break down my bed, I have been contemplating how I was going to move it and I think that part of it will have to be unscrewed.

It’s an Ikea frame, so there are 1,001 parts to it, but I think if I can just remove the head-board, I can do it in two parts.

I’m not sure what day it’s going to happen, but I’m leaning towards doing it on Sunday.

I think I’m going to need to sleep over here on Saturday night as I have another orientation in Alameda for my new internship.

That’s from 10a.m. until 1:30p.m.

So it makes sense to keep the bed here until Sunday.

If my friend’s truck is only available on Saturday then I will just move a bunch of boxes and my bicycle.

I’ll use the Lugg app to get my bed out on Sunday.

Then I’ll be coming back next Saturday to clean the studio up and make sure nothing’s left and hand over the keys.

As stressful as this has been I am grateful for this little studio by the sea, it’s been a good home to me, and, I am also ready to move the heck on.

I can’t wait to get my new place set up.

Did I mention how many windows it has?

Seven!

Whirlwind

September 12, 2018

It has been a busy couple of days and it’s just Tuesday.

I’ve been running around and cramming the extra stuff in.

Today it was therapy before work and a long day at work juggling new school schedules and dentist appointments, followed by seeing a couple of clients.

And last night it was a late night as I was busy….

SIGNING A LEASE ON MY NEW APARTMENT!

Oh my God.

I have a home.

I am so fucking happy.

I cannot even begin to express it.

I went over to my new home after seeing clients last night, so I was literally signing my lease at 9:30 p.m. at night, I hadn’t even gone home yet, but it was the time we could connect, so it was the time to sign.

I have a home.

God.

I love saying that.

And it really feels like it’s mine.

I mean.

The moment I saw the ad it felt like where I was supposed to be.

And it all fell into place so nicely.

It was like knocking over dominoes.

I am very happy to report that I will still be by the beach, even closer than I am here and I’m pretty close here.

My new home is at 48th and Balboa.

So, just on the other side of Golden Gate Park.

The ocean is literally a block and a half away, from my place now its three blocks.

And the commute is only one minute longer than my commute now.

I am very, very, very happy.

So happy.

That when I got home I packed a box.

I have packed three boxes now.

I’m actually not sure I can muster the energy to pack more tonight.

I am pretty pooped.

I was also so giddy about getting to be in my new home that I ordered a new couch and a new chair online.

The same couch that I had found the night I saw the ad and began decorating in my head.

I have gotten a few more things for the house as well.

My house is not exactly a house, per se, but it is my home and I am so over the moon at how lovely it is.

All brand new appliances.

Gorgeous hard wood floors.

500ft.

Which is quite big for a studio in-law.

My current in-law, though I don’t know the footage exactly, is 12 x 15.

My new in-law is 19×20!

Much bigger.

Oh yeah.

And loads of windows.

Seven to be exact and a sliding glass door out to my deck.

My deck.

Oh my god.

I have a deck.

Adirondack chairs here I come.

Bring on the hammock.

Bring on the studying in the sun.

Oh, I know, not always, it will get just as damn foggy on the other side of the park as it does here, but when it is pretty, like it has been the last couple of days, it is glorious.

And I honored what I said.

I paid the damage deposit and six months of rent in advance.

I don’t think I have ever written a check for that large of an amount before.

I don’t have to pay rent until March of 2019.

Yay!

I will also get the other half of the buyout monies when I turn in the key, so I have some extra dosh to throw at furnishing the place.

I literally have nothing.

Aside from my bed.

I have a nice bed.

But everything in my studio was staging stuff from my landlady, I basically have been living in a furnished studio for the past five years.

I am starting from scratch.

And don’t get me wrong, the furnishings here have been sweet, but they’ve never been quite 100% me.

I get to pick what I want.

Like, heh. I ordered a pink couch.

I know!

PINK.

But its gorgeous, it was $1000 less if I ordered on-line versus trying to find something comparable in San Francisco that I could just walk into a furniture store and buy.

It made sense to get it and I got a matching chair.

The line is called the Matrix and it’s by Article.

It’s done in a soft velvet rose and its circa 1970 Paris.

Mid Century Modern.

The chair matches.

I was in heaven when I ordered it, a tiny bit anxious about pulling the trigger, but really excited when I did.

I want to create a beautiful home for myself.

I plan on being there for a while.

I mean, I don’t want to have to move again while I am working on this PhD.

I signed a year lease which will go to a month to month after a year.

The landlord was looking for a long-term tenant and I assured him that I am such a person, that I really could see myself there for five years, as long as it took to do the PhD and that I didn’t want the stress of having to move during my program again.

I want to hunker down in a pretty little, heh, not so little, space and surround myself with nice things.

Not crazy nice, but you know, sweet things.

I deserve them.

I work so fucking hard.

And I’m not home that much, I want my home to be pretty and sweet, accommodating and warm, welcoming, nourishing, safe.

I have my own separate entrance, no more going in through the garage, and I decided today that I am not going to wait until next weekend to move.

I am doing it this weekend.

I had thought I would push it off, but I realized as soon as I packed on box that it was on.

I cancelled the few plans I could cancel, I still have to go to my orientation for my new internship on Sunday but I cleared everything after that and I managed to clear one commitment off on Saturday, although I still have to go to group supervision as well.

I am hopeful that I can pack the majority of my stuff on Saturday and then move it all on Sunday.

I sent my notice into the lawyer, haven’t heard back yet, but gave myself until the 23rd of the month.

I figure I’ll move this weekend and whatever I can’t get to I will wrap up with next weekend and then clean the studio.

I have changed my address for the post office, updated my address for my bank, and I have ordered a couple of things for the house to be delivered to my new address–laundry hamper and a compost bin.

I will try to get some furniture Saturday if I can.

I don’t want to order a kitchen table on-line, I want to get something sooner and I figure that I can pop into Stuff on Valencia Street or Harrington’s and get a good used table and chairs and maybe a few other odds and ends.

I can’t wait to get out of here.

I’m grateful for what the last five years has been.

But.

I’m more grateful to get to move into something better.

Much.

Much.

Much.

Better.

Bits And Pieces

September 7, 2018

I’m slowly working things out.

I’ve not altogether gotten a rhythm with my school stuff, but then again, hey, you know, it’s Thursday and the intensive ended on Tuesday and every day since, including Tuesday, I have read something for a class, highlighted something, watched a full length video of a Harvard professor on the nature of knowledge in the age of the internet, plotted my calendar, downloaded and though I have not figured it out completely, started using an app called Mendeley, which allows me to import a pdf file to their site, save it and highlight it, thus alleviating some of my anxiety about really liking to highlight what I read, but not having been able to when I read something online.

I was tipped off to the program by a woman in my cohort who is super into tech.

I am super into grateful right now.

The work load for school is heavy and I am seeing where I can be as creative as possible with my hours.

Even today, I read for 8 minutes before leaving the house to work.

I really haven’t worked any time into my morning routine for homework or the like, but I know from my Master’s degree work that any time I have to spare I can read a few pages.

I mean, I knocked out five pages and that’s five pages less of the thousands I am going to have to read this semester.

I just have to keep taking tiny bites when ever I can so that when I do have the time to devote to the work I am not overwhelmed by the enormity of it.

I also have some grace periods coming up that I had forgotten about, but was wonderfully reminded about at work today.

The mom is going out-of-town for ten days and the baby is going with her.

Which means I won’t have my usual morning nanny routine.

Add to that, the big kids are back in school next week.

Finally.

Tomorrow is their last day of summer vacation, so to celebrate we will be going back over to Marin for a day of swimming and sunshine in San Rafael.

I am definitely down for some sunshine.

Frankly I have been a bit bummed that the fog is still here.

I don’t recall it lasting into September before.

I want my god damn San Francisco summer.

September and October, at least until about mid October, are usually really nice and warm and sunny.

Not this year.

Not yet anyway.

So a day trip to Marin seems just the right way to end the week with the family.

And next week what with the kids back in school and mom traveling I won’t have any responsibilities at the house, as far as childcare, until I do school pick up at 3p.m.

I’m scheduled to come in at 11 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 10 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

First.

I won’t have to come in early at all next week.

Today, for instance I came in at 9:30a.m. to do the mom a favor.

I will have a straight across the board 11 a.m. start all next week.

Which means I could actually sneak in a half hour or so of extra reading in the mornings before work, note to self.

And since I won’t have childcare duties at the house I can also do work there.

Granted.

I will have responsibilities, I’m not just the nanny, I’m the household assistant and I’m often, four days out of the week on average, the dinner cook.

I will most likely be doing all the cooking for the family next week and lunch prep for the kids as well as any grocery shopping that needs to be done.

The mom is super proactive and there’s already deliveries from Good Eggs and Rainbow Foods and BiRite Market lined up.

I probably won’t have to do much grocery shopping, although I can, I have access to a credit card if I need to buy anything.

And there will be laundry and clean up.

I know what the house turns to when the mom is out-of-town.

So yeah, cleaning a bit more, but I should be able, from past experience, get it all done in the first hour to hour and a half that I am there.

Which means I should also be able to get in about and hour and a half to two hours every day reading.

I am really hoping I can knock some stuff out-of-the-way.  I’ll bring my readings, my laptop, and anything else that I need to get as far ahead as I can.  Any postings that I can do, I will do.

Plus, one of my classes has a lot of videos to watch–lectures mostly, but a few other things, that I could watch at work too.

I plan on getting as much out of that work week as I can.

I also have had a few client cancellations in the next two weeks, not a lot, but some hours have opened and I know what I will be doing with them.

I feel like this is how it will go for me.

I will have pockets of time open when I need them and I will be able to get the work done.

I am also starting to think about the Spring semester.

I am thinking that I am going to ask off from Fridays at work, starting in January.

I will make more money seeing clients on Fridays and if I don’t fill up my whole day with clients I will fill it up with studying.

I will of course need to make money, but I suspect that the money is really not going to be an issue, I’m being taken care of, I really am.

So what’s next is to nail down a place.

I saw a studio yesterday and it was no bueno, totally overpriced, and I was way underwhelmed, plus it was dark and didn’t get much light being an interior unit on the bottom of the house.

Saturday, after I go over to Berkeley and deal with some administrative work for my new internship I will come back to the city and hit a couple of open houses.

I have pretty much decided to get out of here as soon as possible.

I want quiet and low-key, I have too much on the line this first semester and I want to get out before the really big papers start looming.

I want to be in my own place and settled.

So I figure if either place looks good, both I can afford, and both have amenities I need, like laundry on site and um, hahaha, windows, I will make the offer to pay more than just the first months rent and damage.

I figure throw all of the buy out money to get into a place right at them.

Fuck mincing around.

So, fingers crossed, by this Saturday I have a place.

Yeah.

I’m juggling a lot.

But I feel like I can breathe today with the realization that it all works out.

It always has.

I am being carried.

I absolutely am.

I.

Am.

Graced.

Back Home

September 5, 2018

With a huge stack of books and notebooks and pages and pages and pages of syllabi.

Oh my God.

What have I fucking done?

I went from feeling pretty good about it all to feeling super overwhelmed after my last class.

The irony being that it was the class I figured I was going to enjoy the most.

Of course, with some perspective, I still think I am going to enjoy it the most, but I am awash in the anxiety of having to produce the work.

There is a lot of work.

Yesterday’s class blew me out of the water at the intensive.

I really liked the professor.

In fact, I am quite fond of him as he swooped in one morning seeing me sitting by myself at breakfast and made me join his table at the intensive.

We had a great talk.

He loves Paris.

I love Paris.

We are now friends.

Plus, he has had an extraordinary life, three marriages, multiple degrees, Harvard, Brown, CIIS, somewhere else I forget.

Of course he has a PhD as well.

And a lot of papers that he’s written and he seems to be the co-collaborator of the way the course work is designed.

First of all.

Let me say that I had some, well, not exactly contempt, but a little wiggle of worry that because my PhD is an “online” program, that it would not be academically rigorous.

Fuck my life.

Academic rigor galore.

In fact, as one second year told me, she thinks that we actually do more work than a traditional PhD program and I think she’s right.

Second.

I was in the dark a little about the length.

I had this idea that the program is only two years long.

The course work is only two years long.

Then there’s methodology, the comprehensive exams, research, the writing, the proposal and the defense of said proposal.

The course work will be four semesters.

Then I can expect at least another four more semesters of work to finish the dissertation.

Which means two more years.

And the professor made it very clear that the fastest anyone could possible do the whole shebang was 4.5 years.

What I heard from most of the people in the program was that if I did the course work and stayed the course with my research, readings, writing, methods, etc, that it would take in total about 5 years.

So.

It’s no different from any other doctoral program with the exception of the majority of the coursework is submitted online and that a large component of all my classes is to interact and engage with the learning community on-line.

There are 30 of us in the cohort split into two sections.

There are three classes.

Introduction to Transformative Society; Self, Society, and Transformation; and Creative Inquiry: Scholarship for the 21st Century.

I am the only student from San Francisco, though the school is located in San Francisco.

There were a lot of students from the East Coast, New York mainly, I think six of my fellows were from New York, one from up state New York.

One from London, a University Professor of Psychoanalytics and Psychodynamics.

One student from Hong Kong.

One student from Oakland.

Another from somewhere in the East Bay, a few from up North, somewhere in Canada, I totally forget now, another from D.C.

The woman from D.C. was also an MFT and teaches as well at university level, specifically Art Therapy and Play Therapy for adults, she was super sweet and insisted I call her if I have any questions about marketing or setting up my private practice internship.

Said internship that although I took materials with me to work on I did absolutely no work on at all, I was so immersed in the classroom experience and the work at the intensive.  And I read a lot while I was there on my breaks, as much as I could without totally isolating myself in my room.

Anyway, a lot of high-caliber, smart people.

Majority of them women, which was very, very cool.

Grateful to be part of some smart, intelligent, driven women.

Very grateful.

One of whom came up to me with a piece of paper today in a notebook that she was keeping to show to our future selves, our name with Dr. in front of it.

I was more than happy to write mine down.

Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Fuck that looks good.

And now I can stop giving myself grief that I maybe was in an “easy” PhD program because it was two years and online.

Silly rabbit.

It is not easy at all.

The great thing that I realized though, after having a bit of panic and overwhelm when I was in my Creative Inquiry class yesterday, is that the material is not beyond me.

I understand the concepts, they make sense.

Oh sure, a lot of the material is new to me, I haven’t studied these things before, but I have been reading academic papers and books now at a higher level of understanding for the last three years and the materials are not cowing me.

Nope.

Not at all.

That was a nice realization for me to make.

What was causing the panic was the number of deliverables that I must have for Creative Inquiry.

8 papers.

8!

And though some of them are short, I have a couple that are not, and two that are quite big.

Plus I have to get published.

Are you fucking kidding me.

I have to actually publish a review of a scholarly journal.

Holy shit.

Now.

I am excited.

But yesterday I was just overwhelmed.

What the fuck?  I remember thinking I have to get something published too as a requirement of the course, Jesus, plus, oh, great, thanks, I also found out that I have another book to read, in addition to the books already lined up for the course, I had to pick one of four others that were presented.

Let me say this.

I will not be going anywhere without carrying a book or an article to read.

That’s why I got overwhelmed, 8 papers for this class, three for Self and Society, and one big whopper for Intro to Transformative Studies.

Plus weekly discussions and comments and interactions with my cohort.

I worked a lot on my calendar yesterday and I’m not 100% certain, but it looks like I will have to read two to three books per week to get through all the material.

Well, not quite, more like 2.5 per week.

Plus the articles, many of them big, long, academic papers of over 30 pages, and every class has three or four of these a week.

So yeah.

The material doesn’t scare me, it’s just getting the time to do it.

I’m not sure what’s going to have to go out of my schedule, but somethings definitely are.

Maybe a few less blogs a week.

Maybe.

I’ll let you know.

For now, I’m just happy I’m home and all my stuff is put away and I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

Very happy for that.

Very.

 

In The Right Place

September 3, 2018

And if there were any doubts about my PhD program, they were all erased today.

Replaced by a feeling of knowing, really knowing that I am in the right place, at the right time, in the right program, with a cohort of people who I am really beginning to like and  respect.

I had my second full day of classes and the class today really (and when I say class let me say that one class was six hours, with a meal break in between, these are not your standard “classes” that are 50 minutes long) brought it home for me.

The first part of the class was really a sort of getting to know you exercise that took a bit longer than I was ready for and made me squirm a little bit as some folks began to go over time, but it was a good way to hear more about the folks in my cohort, and that was nice.

But.

It was the next part of the class, when the professor introduced to us the realities of the work and how the course was set up, the readings, and what he hoped to accomplish that would allow us to do our dissertations and get through to the final doctoral degree.

He expressed what we were going to do and how we would get there and I could see al the ideas that have been percolating in my head start to coalesce.

I had gotten really good feedback from the Dean of the school when I interviewed with her, she had never heard of anyone covering the topic I want to do and that excited me.

But that was back in February, March?

Back when I was still in my Masters program.

And I still have had the idea, still have had the interest in pursuing it.

But here.

At the intensive, it suddenly felt alive and very, very real.

The course work is no fucking joke.

I am going to be reading until my eyes bleed.

However

The cool thing is that I won’t have to write as many papers as I did for my Masters program.

Of course, there will be the dissertation and God only knows how long that will end up being.

God willing it will become a book.

I mean.

I really could see the culmination of the effort not just netting me the PhD, but also getting to work on putting out a book.

I’m really excited about it and my fellows in the cohort have been asking me questions and really into my inquiry.

Makes me happy.

After we had our lunch break and came back to class for the second half of the six-hour class, I was ready to dive in.

I had a nice lunch break and had gone for a little walk to get some fresh air and a coffee and sat down at the beach for a little while, got some salt spray on my face and some sun and felt refreshed and ready to jump back into the material.

Material that I was excited by, work that I am looking forward to doing.

Oh.

I’m a touched overwhelmed too, won’t lie about that, the reading load is really quite heavy, but if I consistently read, every day, as much as I can, I will get through it.

And that the writing is far less substantive heartens me.

I will have to have a big online presence, which will be a little new for me, but I have done it before with a couple of my former classes, so it’s not a completely new experience, it will just have to be something that I am consistent with.

There is going to be a lot of me working on this for a long time.

I’m grateful though, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do the work and I’m grateful to be excited and I’m grateful for the talk I had with my professor after class ended.

I went up to him and thanked him for presenting the class how he did and I told him that he had assuaged the last tiny feelings of why wasn’t I just going for a PhD in Psychology versus doing a PhD in Transformative Studies.

He asked after my inquiry and I told him what I was thinking about and he got excited.

HE GOT EXCITED!

For a tenured core faculty professor who has published over 50 articles and written I don’t know how many books, but more than one, he published his first when he was just 30, and he speaks five fucking languages, for this professor to be excited by my idea was really such a great feeling.

I think I floated away from the classroom.

I mean.

I am tired.

It’s been a lot of showing up, being present, paying attention, taking copious notes, reading, although not as much as I did yesterday, I tried to connect more with the cohort today and hung out with my fellows and talk, but I still did read, and being out of my comfort zone, in a new environment, yeah.

Tired.

But good tired.

And tired happy.

Tired that there’s going to be so much.

But also tired with a purpose.

I have a purpose, there’s an end goal and the program is exquisitely designed to get me to that finishing point.

In fact.

As far as PhD programs go, they have one of the highest success rates of programs in the United States for actually getting PhD students all the way through the process to the doctoral degree.

Most programs see 30% drop out in the first year.

So seeing the mechanics of how it works and what I have to do to get there and how thoughtfully it was all laid out.

Well.

It made me smile.

It really did.

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Here All Week

August 31, 2018

Checked in, un packed and decently settled into my room at the Best Western Lighthouse in Pacifica.

So far the good news, aside from the fact that I was assigned a room that faces the ocean, I mean, I am literally right there, the sound of the waves is fantastic, is that my room-mate hasn’t shown up yet.

I wouldn’t mind enjoying the view by myself.

IMG_E4789

It’s a pretty nice view.

The hotel is not great shakes but being so close to Rockaway Beach is quite nice.

If I ever get the chance to walk down on the beach and not just sit through lectures and classes.

It’s a full tilt boogie kind of schedule.

Tonight was fairly easy, an orientation, lots of meeting the professors and administrative staff, getting to know a few of the students, there was a really sweet getting to know you sort of exercise that I made myself get into and that felt good, I connected with a couple of the second year students and it was nice to meet them.

I also talked to a woman who is volunteering over the weekend to help out with the intensive who just graduated in May from the PhD program and she did the two-year track, which is the one I am doing.

There is a three-year track as well, but I want to do it all in two years.

I want to be done with it in the next two years, five years of consecutive grad school is enough for me, I don’t need to add onto it.

Nor do I need to add onto my student loans either, they will be big enough by the time I am done with the program.

After the orientation we had dinner and I was happily surprised by the food, I was a little leery coming into the hotel, I didn’t think that it was going to be all that great, but the dinner was actually quite nice.

Although apparently gluten-free, which I specified for my diet while I was here, means vegetarian.

Not a real problem, but I did tell the kitchen I was not vegetarian, I could eat meat, so hopefully I will get some protein into my diet over the time I’m here.

I can always get out and implement too, although I would prefer not to, I’m paying for all of this, it comes out of my tuition bill.

I just also received an e-mail that my excess funds will be disbursed in three to four business days.

As tomorrow is Friday I won’t see how much I got back until next week, probably a couple of days after Labor Day.

But it’s good to know that there were excess funds.

I was hoping that would happen.

And fuck.

I just checked my student account.

It’s not as much as I thought it would be.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least it covered all my tuition and my intensive costs.

I’ll be getting back a fat $300 after it’s all said and done.

I was hoping for a couple of thousand, but again, grateful, my tuition costs got covered.

Originally my financial aid package was shy about three thousand dollars and I had to take out another loan to be able to cover it all.

Very grateful I was able to get it covered and also, good to know that I won’t have anything really extra for house hunting.

Not that I’m too worried about that.

I will have enough.

And it seems that I will get through this program too.

It will be a lot of work, but I’m used to a lot of work and really, as I wrote last night, I wasn’t feeling too anxious about coming here.

Although I did feel some as I was driving down from the Outer Sunset.

But I’m not sure if it was anxiety about school or just about life in general.

So many transitions are happening for me right now.

I’m wrapping up my first internship at the end of September, I formally “resigned” today in an e-mail.

My group supervisor knew I was going, but no one outside of that group had been alerted.

I did my due diligence and I am glad for that as there are a few administrative things I will need to do.

And of course.

There are all the things I need to do for the upcoming internship.

I am still hoping that I can take advantage of some of the time here, when I’m not sure after having seen the schedule, for doing some of that work.

There is the housing transition happening.

The almighty not knowing where the heck I’m going to live.

I did get a response back on a studio in the Richmond, which isn’t my first choice, but the price, the windows, the hard wood floors, the full size kitchen, a bathtub, laundry on site, and the fact that I would actually have a parking spot in a garage (that I don’t have to pay extra for!  It comes with the studio), made me reach out.

I will hopefully get a viewing when I get back to San Francisco and it’s available now, so I could, it is foreseeable, be in a new place soon.

And then there’s just the transition of becoming single again, the loss of my love, the not knowing exactly how all that is going to fall out.

As I drove here from San Francisco I was met with this tremendous wall of fog.

Fog so thick and opaque that I literally could not see the ocean that was right alongside me as I drove.

I was driving into the unknown.

Literally and figuratively.

I don’t know how all these things are going to shake out.

I just know that they will, all this change is leading me somewhere and I don’t have to know where it is, I just have to take those tiny little actions right in front of me.

I just have to see the next curve in the road to turn the wheel.

And trust, that I will get there safely.

And all will be well.

It always is.

One Thing At A Time

August 17, 2018

I was quite firm with myself this morning, there is only so much I can do in one day and I’m doing all I can.

With some grace, I might add.

“You’re doing amazing,” my person said to me on the phone as I was driving to work.

Aside.

God damn do I like being able to make phone calls from my car’s system.

And listen to music.

And be warm.

And yeah, I like my car.

Anyway.

I had called on my way to do a check in as I noticed a touch of anxiety in myself regarding what I can do and what I am not able to get to and if I’m doing enough and hey, whoa, slow down, I’m doing enough.

I am doing more than enough.

Truth be told.

I work a lot.

I work at work.

I work with my clients after work at my internship.

I am working to set up the parameters of my next internship.

Cue many back and forth emails with my former professor about sussing out what times and days I can use the office to see clients and what rent.

Rent has not yet been decided upon and I am nervous about it, but I know it’s just another hurdle to jump and if I catch my toe and stumble, it will be ok.

I put out a number and I haven’t heard back yet.

I sort of went with what my gut said was reasonable and I’m hoping that she’ll feel the same.

And if she doesn’t, if I need to pay more in rent, I will, I am not worried about making rent.

Not yet anyway, I’m sure that anxiety will poke its little head up once I am further along in the process.

I have also been carrying around the handbook that I was given at the orientation but I haven’t had a spare moment to read it.

I haven’t had many spare moments at all.

Which is why the touch of anxiety this morning.

What the fuck is it going to look like when I start my PhD program in two weeks?

I mean.

I have a feeling for what it will be, similar to doing my Master’s degree is what I presume, but also probably a little more work.

I ordered seven more books last night and hopefully I won’t have to order any more.

Some of the books I ordered won’t get here before the intensive starts, fingers crossed I won’t have needed to have read from any of them.

I did manage today, I see this as a huge win, though it was just a small action, to get one of my syllabi printed off and I noted that there is are a few mandatory readings that need to be done before the intensive that don’t include any of the books I ordered, but rather papers and online readings.

Which is nice, I can read them now rather than wait for a text-book to get delivered.

I didn’t have time to print off all my syllabi and I didn’t want to make myself feel rotten about it either, rather, just be happy that I took the small action of looking up the class, downloading the syllabus and printing it off.

Aside.

I am still so very glad that I invested in a printer my second year of my Master’s program.

So much is done online, but I still print off a lot of stuff and it’s super helpful to have printed copies of my syllabi, I really do better with paper copy than things online.

Speaking of online.

I also, in terms of the new internship, am going to have to set up a website for myself.

I have never designed a website and I have no clue how, but I know that there are many out there online that will have a simple plug and play sort of aspect.

They will already be formatted and all I have to do is add content.

Although there is the desire to ask friends to help me here, I know a few website designers, I really don’t want to pay and all my friends are professionals.

Maybe when I get licenced I’ll go with a designer, until then I will be doing it the “old-fashioned” way, ie, by myself.

So there’s that, plus business cards, plus getting another email address set up, just for my practice, plus a new signature for said practice that not only includes who I am and what I do, put also my supervisor’s information as well as Grateful Heart Therapy and then a general disclaimer about confidentiality.

There are so many details!

I know, though, that once the details all get ironed out, everything will fall neatly into place and it will be just getting comfortable in my new office.

I do hope to have all the transitioned out by October 1st.

That first week I want to be seeing clients in my new office space.

And of course.

Speaking of all the transitions.

The move.

It will have to be done by October 31st.

I haven’t yet found a place, but I am feeling ok about that, the right place will come, I am taking plenty of actions and letting people know.

I’ve spent enough time on craigslist to have a really good idea what the market looks like and what I think I can get.

So far it still looks like I will be living on my own, but I am going to remain open to the idea of room mates if it a really good fit.

Yeah.

So much stuff.

Of course I might feel a touch overwhelmed.

I was also telling my person how I felt last night with the break up and how I have been walking through the feelings and letting them happen as best I can.

“You really are doing just amazing, you are walking through so much, you are showing up,” he said again, reiterating it so I would really let it sink in.

And as long as I stayed sober today, and I did, it’s all ok.

Nothing is wrong.

There are a lot of things happening.

But as I have been told again and again, I’m not being given more than I can handle.

Grateful my capacities have grown!


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