Archive for the ‘Insights’ Category

Tiny Pockets of Perfect

October 20, 2017

Little precious moment of complete and utter luminosity in my day.

Small things but grand, full of beauty and quiet happiness.

An hour before work with my favorite person in the world having coffee.

Getting a car downtown to meet the family I nanny for and the baby falling asleep in the carrier, I sat and watched the children playing and was warm and snuggled up in a corner and basically got to be still for an hour and a half.

Oh.

I suppose that is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for someone like me, who often moves fast, slowing down is a grand luxury.

Going slow on my scooter and missing the rain that happened.

Although the streets were slick when I went into my internship, they had dried by the time I left and I got home safe and dry.

The best leftovers from a dinner I made last night for my best friend.

Delicious and it reminded me of our time together.

Time that is precious and valuable to me.

Human connection.

Love.

Having a client consult cancel on me and having a full hour to do homework reading and the best, the text is really interesting.

I was a little concerned when I saw that I had to read a 184 pages of a book for just that one class for my next weekend of classes, but the book is quite compelling and I knocked out 58 pages in the hour that I had with no client.

A really good session with another client to end my evening.

And now.

Some Yo Yo Ma playing Beethoven.

I’ll take it.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Oh sure.

It’s still a full day, but it’s payday, which is nice, not that I’m spending any money on anything right now, I am trying to squirrel away for a new car next month, but it’s still nice and I worked over time for the family and when that happens I get it in cash instead of taxed, which is a nice bonus.

So I’ll use that for my “fun” money for the next week.

I’ll work 9 hours tomorrow at work and then take two clients afterward.

But then the weekend.

Yes, I will have group supervision on Saturday and I will also have to sit through an additional hour of supervision since my solo supervisor was away on vacation, but it will feel like a day off, this Saturday.

A day to get in a yoga class, to go do the deal, to not be too pressured to perform.

Group supervision really is just marking time and I don’t have to get highly present for it.

Solo supervision is another thing entirely and that will feel like work, but it will be just an hour.

Then.

Maybe a manicure, maybe a coffee in a cafe, maybe some stickers.

Heh.

I do like my stickers and I discovered a small stash of stickers from Paris this morning when I was doing my Morning Pages.

I had thought I was all out.

It was nice to find a few more.

I have tons of notebooks still from Paris, but yes, the sticker supply is fast dwindling.

I will need to re-up soon.

I am such a girl sometimes, but I’m alright with indulging my inner child, she didn’t get much indulgence growing up and sometimes, hahahahaahaha, I’m writing this sentence and out of the corner of my eye I note my fashionable bunny slippers, I need to indulge her.

Hence stickers and um, ha, bunny slippers.

I did not have slippers growing up.

Hell.

I didn’t have slippers as an adult for a very long time, but man, when I finally indulged, happiness!

Especially now that the seasons are fully turning and it’s getting chilly out there.

I was a touch overdressed on my scooter today, thinking it was going to be colder than it was, but the days grow short, the nights grow long, and the temperatures have dropped.

And now the rain.

A touch of melancholy.

A soft stirring of sadness.

And I remember that I am allowed to hold more than one or two or three emotions.

I can hold many.

Even the painful ones that hide in the pretty ones.

Tender and sad and soft and sweet and let myself have them so they don’t stay stuck.

I can get stuck sometimes and the words don’t come out right and I feel tongue-tied.

All of that too.

Even in the starred days, in the ways that light affects me and the pulling at my heart as it wanders far above in the night sky.

Sings to me this lullaby.

Loss and sorrow and surrender and unmitigated love and struggle and joy all of it.

Perfect in my imperfections, still making mistakes and growing.

Pain, the touch stone of spiritual growth, I remind myself.

The way that I can see all the loveliness and feel all the joy because I have experienced the other side and have something to compare it to.

I made myself sad without meaning too.

And left adrift in my melancholy I will listen again to the sound of the cello, winsome and low against the piano and the story it tells me slides inside my heart and falls like the soft rain outside my door onto my face.

I am not always good at this.

Being human.

But I am always, oh so very.

Very.

Human.

Which is perhaps.

The most perfect of all.

Perhaps.

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Bye Bye

October 17, 2017

Faceplant.

I took Facebook off my phone today.

It gave me a great big scary warning about losing content and I was like, what the fuck ever.

Let me lose political arguments.

Terror.

Sniping.

Ugliness.

Trauma.

Policy intrigue.

And frankly a great big suck of my time.

I was on Facebook a bit more than I typically am via my phone today as the baby was sick and the only way to nap was to get him in the carrier and rock him until he could sleep.

It took a while and the screaming was tremendous, mostly just because the poor little guy was exhausted, he has croup.

In fact.

All my little monkeys have it.

Thanks to some kids who came to school sick last week and it spread like wildfire.

So today I had two boys, both who were sick and not so happy.

I did get to have them out in the world today as I helped the mom with some errands and for a very sweet hour I had the baby napping in the stroller and my big guy curled up on my lap telling me stories while he nibbled a pastry from Arizmendi bakery.

I got sunshine on my face, good snuggles, and sweet connection.

So.

When we got back to the house and I had the baby again I ended up being on my phone a bit, but the more I was on it, the more annoyed I got.

I have been contemplating taking myself off Facebook entirely, since the current administration and even a bit before it, I was beginning to have a lot of negative feelings about the forum.

First of all.

It’s extraordinarily challenging, I find, to see horror story after horror story, the fires in Sonoma and Napa, the mass gun shooting in Vegas, the hurricane in Puerto Rico, to name just a few, all the celebrity and musician deaths, deaths in my community and fellowship, the suicide at Burning Man, Jesus fuck, all of it and more, and then see Facebook selling me shit.

I am at once terrorized by the horror show of the world and then I am being sold some period panties, or a dress or high heels or what the fuck?

I can’t take in both information.

I can’t want to look at a pair of shoes and then feel extraordinary guilt that I can buy a pair of shoes when people in Puerto Rico haven’t had electricity for a month.

I can’t see story after story after story of women who have been raped and sexually assaulted and then see an ad for a dating site.

Fuck off.

It’s too much.

So.

When I found myself being disturbed, I put down my phone and I focused on what was happening right there in the moment.

I looked at the room I was in.

I felt the weight of the baby on my chest, his warmth and heaviness.

And then I closed my eyes.

Oh.

Why.

This is lovely!

I meditated and then.

Yes.

It happened.

I fell asleep!

I had what I like to call “naptation.”

It’s the best ever.

I couldn’t have slept more than ten minutes, a nap snack if you will, but wow, I felt so much better and refreshed and not irate at the world and upset.

I was present.

It was pretty damn nice.

Then.

Later at my office when I went into see my clients I realized that looking at social media tends to destabilize me and there have been more than a few incidents when I will be idly flipping through Facebook and see something disturbing and then I’m lost in la la land and minutes fly by and I’ve been sucked in and I’m upset now.

Well, fuck me, that’s not how I want to hold my therapy frame.

No.

I want to be calm and serene and ready and empathic to whatever my client brings in, not whatever algorithm Facebook has my feed on.

Fuck that.

So.

I deleted it off my phone.

Yes.

I do still have an account.

And I did not delete the messenger app.

I actually use that more often than one would think, especially with my classmates.

And, irony, school is one of the reasons I won’t get rid of it entirely, my cohort has a closed private group where we facilitate conversations about school and I have found the connection really important.

Facebook still has some things that I want to keep and there are friends and family that are out-of-town that I like to keep in touch with.

But.

No more on my phone.

I don’t like it and I don’t like how often I can be pulled out of the moment, out of the present, and away into something else.

I want to be present for what or whom is in front of me.

I remember when I realized that I could turn off the volume on my phone when I went to bed and not be woken up by a beep or ping or tweet.

I haven’t put my phone in night mode, except once accidentally, that was hilarious, yet, but I am close to doing that as well.

No interruptions.

Just pure sweet sleep.

I also try very hard to turn off my phone and put it away when I am with someone, I don’t like how distracting it is.

As I lean in more to being a therapist as I see what works for me and how I can better show up for friends, for those I love, for my fellowship and my clients, I lean further and further away from social media.

It was such a lot of fun, but it stopped being fun a long time ago.

When I stopped posting my blog to social media I noticed a distinct shift in how I use it and I have to say, I really don’t need the validation of people commenting on my blog from Facebook.

I missed it for a little while, but what I realized, what I have always known, is that the process of writing is what is important.

If someone gets something from what I write, well, huzzah, but ultimately, it is for me and I am grateful for that, that I kept it up and that I continue to do so and I can give a fuck about Facebook.

I think it will get along very well without me.

Probably won’t notice at all that I am gone.

And that is fine with me.

I don’t mind living under the radar.

That’s where the interesting stuff happens most of the time anyway.

Seriously.

Bach Cello Sonata No.1

October 11, 2017

In G.

And 5 and 6 as well.

Yo Yo Ma.

That is what I am listening to.

It was an intense day and I feel it slowly easing out of my body and sliding to the floor in a big puddle.

I could slide to the floor in a big puddle.

When I need to calm down and unwind I like to listen to this in particular.

It is sweet and I find it wistful, God I miss playing the cello.

There’s a spot about 1:50 into the first sonata and I can feel the bow in my hand, I can see my fingers striding over the neck of the cello and I can feel it between my legs.

I can get weepy thinking about it.

One would suppose that I would be past it, this yearning, but somethings stay with me a long time.

I don’t know that I ever really got over the loss of playing cello.

And I have had it suggested too many times to count that maybe I pick it up again.

I think.

Yes!

Let me do that.

In what fucking time?

I could give up writing in the morning.

I could play music for my morning spiritual fix.

I could not buy a car and buy a cello.

I could go over to Roland Feller and blow my heart out on a cello.

Roland Feller is the luthier for the San Francisco Symphony.

I went once, with a friend who worked out of the Burning Man offices when I was nannying there many years ago now.

He is a professional cello player and gigs about and plays with the San Jose Orchestra.

He gave me lessons for a while and one day took me to Roland Feller.

I would have never known that there was a luthier there.

It is an extraordinary nondescript house next to the Popeye’s Chicken on Divisadero Street.

There is no signage.

You have to make an appointment.

There is a gate and a call box and it looks like some cheap apartment, well, it’s in San Francisco so it’s probably not cheap, but the door opens into this gold mine of classical music instruments.

Violins.

Violas.

Stand up Bass.

Cellos.

Oh and the cellos.

I played a few different ones and I remember one in particular, it was luscious, the sound so rich, so vibrant, it made me quiver with delight.

My friend teased me a little that I was passionate and looked as though I might be having the sexy thoughts.

I had never had a cello quite that caliber ever before in my hands.

It was exquisite.

And one day.

Well.

I have written on this topic before, I will have another cello.

I’m not there yet.

But one day.

And in the mean time.

Well.

I have my Yo Yo Ma and I have Bach.

And Debussy.

And Chopin.

Oh the Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor.

Oof.

So good.

The Bach is my favorite, but that Chopin is glorious too, passionate and brash and stupendous.

I love that I love classical music.

I don’t look the type.

Except, well, maybe that’s not true.

I feel like I might look the type, that there’s a brazen woman cellist in my heart.

Maybe she smashes herself on her music like I smash myself with my poetry.

Maybe one day the two will get back together again.

I don’t expect that I will ever be great, I never was great, but I had heart, yes, I had great big heart and I knew it and so did my most ardent supporter–my orchestra conductor, Mister Ziegler.

Where ever you are, you meant something to me that few teachers do.

He supported me, he was honest with me, he argued for me.

He brought in my mom and my step father, the fuck (egad, maybe I need yet another inventory on the man, christ), and sat them down and tried, oh how hard he tried, to convince them to not let me quit cello.

Quitting cello was not my idea.

It was my stepfathers idea.

We didn’t have enough money and my parents, god I can’t even say that, the man was never a fucking parent to me, he was a violent misogynistic sociopath, but not a parent, had bought a house in Windsor, outside the school system I was in at the time I was playing cello.

There was no thought of a tutor, I had one actually, that my conductor had arranged with the school and I was given said tutoring for free, but to move away from the school system I would lose that.

And the school that was closest to me, the one that I would attend, DeForest, well, they didn’t have an orchestra.

Oh sure.

They had band.

But no orchestra.

They had cut the funding for the orchestra.

You should see the football stadium though, a work of art that.

Anyway.

My conductor tried to argue that my parents continuing my tutoring or that I commute in to Madison for school and still stay with the cello.

Nope.

There were words, there was fire, I could see how hard my conductor was trying to get through to my parents.

My stepfather hated me playing.

He hated me practicing.

I got lost in the cello, I wasn’t there, I was gone, gone, gone, and he wanted me present and not in my fantasy world.

He also did not like that I read as much as I did, I shit you not.

What fucking parent doesn’t want their children to read?

When I was punished some of the worst punishments were being denied those things that I loved most.

Books and my cello.

Cello was first to go.

“Put it away and go clean the bathtub,” he said.

The the books were taken.

I don’t know what I did, I mean, I have absolutely no recollection of what I had done to deserve the grounding to my room one weekend, but he was diabolical.

I had no problem being grounded to my room, fine with me, I won’t have to look at you.

I’ll read, thank you very much.

But.

Oh my fucking god, the man had removed every single book I had in my room, everything was gone, it was stripped.

Thank God I had one underneath the mattress of my bed.

Fucking stashed my back up drugs thank you very much.

So.

It wasn’t much of a surprise, after the cello was taken and my stepfather and my mom left the orchestra room with me sadly in tow, that once we moved to Windsor I was to be denied academic access as well.

“She’s too proud, she needs to be humbled, she’s not allowed to do it,” he told my mom, who had tried in her own way to get him to give his permission to sway him.

I was trailing behind in the snow walking down Windsor Road in the middle of a cold ass night listening to them argue about me and the invitation I had been given to join an advanced English class-accelerated and an accelerated math class.

I didn’t care so much about the math, irony, I was actually able to attend that, I think my mom might have had a hook up or something with the math teacher now that I look back, but the English was resolutely denied.

I can feel rage in my chest when I think about that.

“Too proud, she’s just too fucking proud.”

And maybe I was.

Pride goeth before the fall.

I have been humbled in many ways, but I still like my books and I still love listening to cello.

And I am beyond proud of how I grew and became the woman I am today.

Despite the horrendous odds against me growing up.

I got out.

And you can’t put me down.

Nope.

I will not be ground down.

I will thrive.

I am thriving.

I am alive.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

And yes.

Proud.

 

 

 

 

I Like Being A

October 7, 2017

Therapist.

I said it out loud in my empty office as I put my last client’s file away and locked the cabinet.

Then I laughed.

It’s true.

I do.

It was a good night.

Good sessions.

And it’s Friday.

So that’s always a bonus.

This was my first week running at full steam.

Eight clients=eight sessions.

Plus.

One hour of solo supervision.

Two hours of group supervision, which technically is tomorrow.

And.

One hour of my own therapy.

And so, this is what it feels like.

At the end of the week, to shut the file drawer and say that “I like being a therapist,” well, it feels really good.

Miraculous almost.

That I’m putting in the hours and I’m finding what I am doing fulfilling.

It feels really fucking good, who am I kidding.

I’m not sure like is a strong enough word.

Although, I’m not sure a stronger word is there to replace it, love seems too committed, there’s a lot of stuff that I find challenging and there’s a learning curve and I have loads of challenges.

But.

Then again.

It may become love, I certainly love my clients.

In an empathetic therapeutic way.

What I am hearing, from my clients now, too, is that they are hearing me, there is a symbiosis, a back a forth, there is a relationship that is being created.

All my clients are rebooked for their next sessions.

Oh.

I won’t meet with all eight next week, I have a client on vacation, but that client has rescheduled.

And when clients have to reschedule I am being asked if they can make up the time.

That is so validating I can hardly bear it.

I feel like I am doing a good job.

And yes, there is a better job I am sure that I could do, but considering where I am at in my burgeoning career I’m doing pretty damn good.

I’m also making sure that I follow what I speak.

That I do what I suggest or reflect back to my clients.

Granted.

I did not tell any of my clients to go home and slide into a pair of bunny slippers, which I just did and damn it feels good.

But I do make self-care suggestions and that is what I got to do when I came home.

Open mail.

I don’t ever leave mail to be un-opened, I learned a long time ago when I first got into recovery how important it was to respond to my mail.

And.

Yes.

It was a bill.

For my scooter insurance.

And.

I have paid it.

That’s another thing that I was taught, pay your bills within 24 hours of receiving them.

I usually pay it immediately, I don’t even let 24 hours lapse, I get the bill I pay the bill.

Then I balance my checkbook so that I know exactly to the penny what I can spend.

That feels good to know that, to know exactly how much is in my account and what I can do with that money.

Then, after paying my bill.

I did my laundry.

I put fresh sheets on my bed this morning and wanted to wash all my linens and do a few loads of laundry, lots of nice fresh towels and sheets, thank you very much.

And.

I don’t want to have to think about doing laundry over the weekend, I just want the weekend to be mine

Oh my God.

Yes.

I made it to the weekend.

Sweet.

I am so happy.

So excited.

I have been looking forward to the weekend for a while now, let me tell you, it’s going to be fucking amazing, I just know it.

After laundry I opened up my package, I got my light box.

I haven’t set it up yet, but I have it and I’m happy that I was proactive, the light fades so fast and it used to be that I was riding my scooter home into the sunset, now I’m still riding into The Sunset, but it’s dark.

I live in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco if that above made no sense.

I amuse the hell out of myself.

And digress much?

After package opening, bill paying, folding laundry, and getting myself sorted I made myself a nice hot dinner, roasted chicken and brown rice with peas and corn.

So freaking good.

I was hungry and nothing like a nice hot meal at the end of a long week and a long day.

I am very happy to say that I am doing what I would suggest to anyone I work with.

Self-care.

It’s so where it’s at.

I can’t help anyone at all unless I can take care of myself first.

But when I do, watch out!

I am able to do so much.

It’s amazing.

This, my blog, also counts as self-care, the writing a practice that never fails to sustain and fulfill me, allowing me to process emotions and thoughts and work through whatever needs to be worked through, I get it all out here and my head is clear.

I go to bed with a clear conscious and not a lot of chatter.

Oh.

There’s occasionally noise in there, but the other thing about my long day, well, I generally fall asleep pretty quick and that’s nice too.

When I am tired the last thing I need is a racing brain.

I like quiet.

And yes, there are things I think about, lovely things, but I feel like I am holding them next to me, sleeping with my arm wrapped about them in a loving way.

I awoke this morning early.

I had to pee.

Happens.

I tend to drink tea before going to bed it’s a ritual and it too calms me down and mellows me out, warms me up and makes me sleepy and cozy.

I like being cozy.

So.

I generally do get up once in the night to use the bathroom.

And oh!

The moon!

It was full, so full, amazing, bright white light shining through the blinds on my back studio door.

So powerful.

When I woke up proper, it was still there, just at the horizon, riding low in the pinks and soft lavender of early sunrise, just over the ocean.

I stood and stared at it and welcomed it.

I felt blessed in seeing the beauty and it reminding me of love.

How I can see it, acknowledge it, hold it, and be so aware of its beauty.

It made for quite the start to my day.

And now, here at the end, as I’m sleepy and warm, I suspect, it will carry me through my night and into the light of a brand new day.

Saturday.

Oh how I have been waiting for you my friend.

Stupid with excitement.

And no little love.

Nope

October 5, 2017

My homework is not done.

I have been hoping to have time to read all week at work and I have had the baby non-stop.

Which is great, but no down time.

The baby also really likes napping on me.

Which I love, my God, I love it, but no reading is happening.

Instead.

I find myself sitting and looking at things.

Yes.

Some of those things are social media.

But mostly.

I find myself looking at nature.

Today he napped on me up at Douglas park.

The grounds crew for SF Parks and Rec had just gone through and mowed the grass.

It was a gorgeous high, tight, bright blue sky kind of San Francisco day.

The park is on top of the city way up in the hills towards Diamond Heights on Douglas at Clipper.

It’s flat, but surrounded by a steep cliff and towering trees.

I stood in the open field of grass gently rubbing the baby’s back and humming to him and looking at the grass.

When was the last time I sat, well stood really, and looked at grass?

It was gorgeous.

So green.

And wet.

There was dew and the sunlight sparkled and the sky was blue, blue, blue, and the air smelled so good and I was alone with the baby in a field of grass surrounded by sky and trees.

Who the fuck gives a good god damn about school work.

It will get done when it needs to get done.

Being with the baby is actually the kind of break that I need when I let myself acknowledge it.

He slows me down, I have to be very present and then once he’s asleep, which today took a bit, he’s also teething, so yeah, the bad part of trying to get a baby to sleep who’s teething.

Screaming.

A screaming baby strapped to one’s chest is not the most relaxing thing.

I over heard someone say once, “I’d rather have a bomb strapped to my chest, at least it would be quiet.”

But then.

The exquisite relief when he stops crying, when he lays his heavy warm head on my chest and sighs really big and just drops into the sleep, secure, safe, held.

It is bliss.

And I got to have the experience twice today.

Once at Douglas park and once at the home.

When he naps on me at the house I tend to sequester myself in a corner of the house where the mom won’t be so that she has a moment to be baby free and work on her own work for a while.

Today I was in the play room.

For a while I was on the back porch, next to the gigantic avocado tree, overlooking the city, which still strikes me with its loveliness, which still floors me with its beauty and that I still get to live here.

Such a huge gift.

May I always.

I love to travel.

But having San Francisco as my home is so important to me.

I have created such a life for myself here I cannot imagine making it elsewhere.

And you know.

I did try.

Paris.

But here, San Francisco, is home and I had left my heart here and back I came and the city opened wide its arms and said welcome back, prodigal daughter, now don’t do that again.

And I know its crazy and techy and millienially and weird and there are places where kombucha is on tap and there are lots of Tesla’s on the road and privilege and segregation and racism, covert, and more privilege and holy shit the rent and the cost of anything.

But.

Oh.

The beauty.

The houses, the bay, the bridges, the islands, the restaurants, the smell of delicious things being made everywhere, the farmers markets in all the neighborhoods, the Victorians, the colorful paint, the fog, Ocean Beach, Sea Cliff, The MOMA, The Legion of Honor, The DeYoung.

The smell of eucalyptus.

The sound of fog horns in the morning.

Riding my scooter up and over Laguna Honda and onto Clipper Street today, the view, my god, I live in a literal movie set.

It is magic.

And it is where I feel myself, who I am with no apology, with pink pom poms on my shoes, or a flower in my hair, not that I wear them so much anymore since I have been taking clients, but I still have them, and the art, the street art in particular, I love it, so, so, so much.

And coffee.

Oh coffee.

So much good coffee.

So much.

I am a spoiled brat.

I love my city, I love San Francisco, I love that I go to school here, that I live here, that I chose it as much as it chose me.

I know plenty of people who have had to move away and I have gotten to stay and it boggles the mind sometimes.

I make less than the median income.

Way less.

Like I make half the median income.

But.

I make it work and I don’t feel deprived.

I mean.

I bought prosciutto today at a new butcher shop in Noe Valley.

And duck sausages.

I eat organic foods and I have a scooter.

I have a job, I get to go to graduate school, I have music, a Macbook Air, I have an Iphone.

I have.

Better yet.

Better than stuff and things.

I have happiness.

I have joy.

I have freedom.

I have perspective.

I am of service.

I am loved.

And that.

More than anything.

Means more than anything.

I have love.

Love.

I have you.

Committed Monogamous

October 4, 2017

Relationships are dangerous.

Oh holy fucking shit.

That’s it.

It only took 44 plus years.

And one scary, traumatizing, controlling partner to ruin me for traditional dating.

Not that I think that traditional dating is the answer.

There is no answer.

There is no right.

There is no wrong.

There is only the feeling of love and I don’t have a particular expectation around how I find that love or let myself have that love.

Oh.

I suppose I have definitely introjected the idea that I need to be married to be a whole person, to be enough, that I am somehow not lovable unless married.

And then.

There is the other, not so conscious thing that has been happening for me for over past eighteen years.

I say eighteen years because that is when I broke up with the one man I was in a significant long-term relationship.

We were together for five years.

We probably shouldn’t have been together for more than five minutes, but I’m not going to judge that young very lost, very sad, very fearful woman.

I didn’t know better and I got sucked in.

I got suckered in by my own naive ideas about what love was and how to be in a relationship.

What the fuck did I know about being in a relationship that had any kind of sustainability at the age of 21?

Especially when I look at where I had been the few years prior to the start of the relationship.

Homeless.

Helping out with my sister and her daughter and her first husband.

Helping out my mom, my dad, anyone who fucking asked because I only had this idea that if people needed me I had some sort of value.

That I might be enough, when I felt, although it was not acknowledged, I couldn’t acknowledge it to myself until I had two, almost three years sober, that I didn’t love myself.

That I had no idea how to do it because the love I had been shown was so deadly that I couldn’t escape it fast enough.

In fantasy, in sci-fi books, in chocolate bars, in music, in school, in the backyard of the house in Windsor, in crushing on “unattainable” boys who weren’t interested in me.

It was safer that way.

I found ways to fill that hole of loss of love.

Food became a big one.

Taking care of other people, that was great, focus on someone else and don’t think about myself, my needs, my wants, my desires.

I mean.

I wasn’t allowed to have needs, wants desires, so why even bother?

I would only be disappointed.

I came into my therapy session today talking about the weather, the turn of seasons into Fall, that I was being proactive, that I had purchased a light box to deal with the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) that I have a history of experiencing.

I segued into a being proud of myself moment for acknowledging that yes, I could have gone to a 7 a.m. yoga class today, but then I would have been crazy pressured to make my therapy session, I would have gotten a quick fast shower, but no coffee, no breakfast, and just barely slapping some make up on and well, I like my makeup.

Not to mention my morning latte and bowl of oatmeal.

Plus I also knew that I wanted to be available for a phone call and if I went to yoga, I’d get less sleep, not eat, no coffee, and miss a phone call from a very important person.

I woke up this morning and reset my alarm, I knew I wasn’t going to yoga and I knew it was the thing to do.

I had my nice breakfast, I had my nice latte, I put on my makeup.

I do remember thinking to myself, heck, I could wear eyeliner today, but therapy.

I mean.

I do have a tendency to cry.

Then I thought, fuck, life is wonderful, what do I have to cry about?

But.

I trusted my gut.

Yeah, I still wore blue eye shadow, it was tasteful, I swear, but I didn’t give myself the winged black kohl liner look that would have put the vavoom on my makeup.

I restrained myself just in case I might cry.

Guess what?

I cried.

My therapist and I were talking about relationships, marriage, family and then I was talking about my ex.

I was talking about five years of living with an addict who was super controlling, although I had no idea at the time.

I talked about what it was like when I decided to break up with him and what happened.

I talked about how he hit me.

I talked about how he knew that I had been hit as a child and it was my boundary, and how he broke it.

I talked about being scared.

I talked about how he stalked me for two years before I could finally pull the trigger and call the cops.

I didn’t talk about the nightmares, but, ugh, they were awful.

I did talk about the police being called and that there were messages on my machine and how not even after listening to a half of the first one the police were ordering a restraining order on my ex.

We went to court after the initial one was filed.

My ex stood in court and asked for the longest one he could get

He knew himself.

He knew he would keep haunting me if he didn’t ask for the longest restraining order he could get.

It was for two years.

We saw each other about two weeks after it expired.

We had one last 24 hours of trying to make something work that was never meant to work.

I said my goodbye.

I was moving to California.

We spoke one last time when his grandmother died.

I had helped with her when she was becoming to senile to help herself.

I will never forget giving her a bath and her tiny frail little body and how she just sat in the tub and let me bathe her and wash her hair.

He thought I should know.

A lot of emotions came up as I talked to my therapist.

How I didn’t want to tell her about how he spit on me in front of my friends, in the face, because I was leaving him.

I will never forget the shocked look on my best friends husbands face, he was frozen in active disbelief of what was happening.

Another friends’ boyfriend intervened.

We drove back to my house with my ex tailing us like an insane man.

My friend’s husband managed to lose him and we took a circuitous way back to my house and, yes, I literally threw clothes into garbage bags and ran back to my friend’s car.

It was January.

It was cold.

I was heart-broken, lost, and in shock.

“Committed monogamous relationships are dangerous for you,” my therapist said with distinct clarity.

I had expressed that I hadn’t really been in a long-term relationship since I had left my ex.

And then she flipped the frame.

And then she gave me the most beautiful perspective.

She told me how it was something a lot of people did, they replicated the same relationships they grew up.

My father, alcoholic, violent.

My stepfather, misogynist, violent, I always remember the blood on the floor from the broken back window of the kitchen in Windsor when my mother had locked him out and he broke the window with his bare fist and turned the lock, the look of his hand, that image is frozen in my brain, bloodied grasping for the lock and turning it, how we ran out the front door and spent the night at my grandparents.

How we went back the next day.

The years of terror that followed that I wouldn’t let myself see as terrorizing.

Of course committed monogamous relationships are dangerous.

Jesus Fuck did you see what happened to my mom?

Did you see what happened to me the one time I get into a long-term relationship.

Not to mention the three-month crazy man I dated when I was 19 who introduced me to crack cocaine and threatened to kill me in a drug induced delusional state.

But who’s counting.

Then she gave me the gift.

She showed me that I had done the best I could to keep myself safe, that I had rules and bylaws  and ways of keeping myself so busy that I couldn’t date.

I spent the last fifteen years trying to figure it out and she went and did it in a session.

Oh.

Of course.

I did a lot of the work too, and she’s right, I did keep myself protected, but I also acknowledge that after a while it stopped working and I longed for a different experience.

And I’m having one and I’m amazed at my life and I’m ok with the fact that I spent so much time and effort taking care of that small little girl who kept being put in dangerous situations through efforts to maintain a “committed monogamous relationship.”

But.

Well.

I’ve grown up.

And emotional intimacy, though still a frightening area, is not the scary thing that I thought it was, it is sweet and sacred and amazing.

I had to go what I went through and I’m not sorry for it.

I am so grateful for getting out, that’s all, that I got out, that I grew, that I changed, it took years and so much work.

So much work.

But.

Fuck.

Worth it.

So worth all of it.

My therapist went over time with me today, it was the first time ever I had talked about the relationship in therapy and I touched into the terror and fear and pain that I was so busy keeping at bay, she brought me back.

She made sure I was back in the present.

She let me talk about the love in my life, the resources I have, my resiliency and that I wasn’t that person anymore, and that I had done an amazing job at taking care of myself.

She urged self-care and tender compassion for myself today.

I think I did ok.

I showed up at work and I showed up for my clients.

And I bought chocolate persimmons today at the market after I got out of my session.

I love persimmons.

I love myself.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

I am enough.

God damn.

Am I ever.

I fucking did it.

 

It’s Got To Be

October 2, 2017

Good enough.

Because I am about done and my brain is tell me I could have done more, I should have done more.

But really.

Fuck off brain.

I got done what I needed to do and then some.

Yoga.

Meeting with a lady bug and working on inventory for an hour.

Three loads of laundry

Cleaned the house, scoured the bathroom, took all the trash out, swept, vacuumed, swiffer’ed.

I know, swiffer is not a verb, but you know what I mean.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked two different meals.

I made a spicy andouille and chicken soup with vegetables and corn and brown rice.

I canned up three jars and I froze three other containers of it.

I’m starting to stockpile meals for the next school weekend, every time I can I will freeze a little something to have for my school weekend.

Inevitably I have a lunch out with a friend in the cohort, much more so this semester than any other, I suspect since I’m in my last year with my cohort and making an effort to be connecting with my friends.

So food’s been made.

And I also roasted a chicken while I was doing my CBT webinar class tonight.

Plus a pot of brown rice with peas and corn.

I’ve got food for the week and then some.

And yet, I didn’t get enough done?

What ever.

Read an article for my Jungian Dream Work class and realized that I was pretty much caught up with all the material except for one article, I should be able to knock that out pretty quick, I might, maybe, even go back and read it before I go to bed tonight.

The CBT webinar kind of took it out of me though and I had to recuperate after wrapping it up.

Which meant eating some of said roasted chicken and brown rice with peas and corn.

It was delicious.

Then I put on a mixed tape and got my fucking good time on.

I needed to get a release.

Ahem.

Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Giggle.

Anyway.

I did do plenty today.

Made some phone calls.

Stayed connected with my people.

I did plenty.

Plus.

I mean.

It is my day off.

It’s ok to “slow down” a little.

And I’m feeling better.

Although this morning I was sorely wrong about takin my antibiotic when I did.

I’m supposed to take it four times a day, I still have one more to take tonight, around my meal times–breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack.

But.

I don’t like doing yoga with food in my belly.

And I still felt like I had some food from my little snack last night in my body, I thought, I should take it now, since I won’t actually have breakfast until 11a.m. or so, yoga and then a shower.

WRONG.

Not a fun yoga class, my tummy was super upset the entire time.

I got through the class though and the sweating was good and I’m glad I went, just note to self, take the antibiotics with food please.

I haven’t really had any sharp pain in my tooth today, so I’m hoping that between the ibuprofen I’ve been taking and taking the antibiotic that I’m doing ok.

Which is good as it will be a full week.

Supervision tomorrow, work, two clients.

Therapy Tuesday, work, two clients.

Wednesday is my short day, “just” work, and then seeing some fellows in the hood up at the Sunset Youth Services.

Thursday is work and two clients.

Friday is going into work an hour early to help my boss and two clients.

Saturday is group supervision.

And that’s my week.

I am sure wonderful things will happen during the week, it’s not always grinding and making things happen.

There are moments of sweetness and lightness, laughter, seeing the amazing beauty in my life, being grateful for all the love I have.

I have so much.

It astounds.

And.

It’s October!

How did that happen?

I noticed that the sunset was pretty early tonight.

I did something proactive for myself that I’ve been thinking about for over a year, ever since one of my professors mentioned that she had one.

I got a SAD lamp for my house.

I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in my early twenties.

It wasn’t until my early thirties that I got the Adult Child of an Alcoholic, PTSD, Depression, and clinical Anxiety diagnoses.

Add Alcohol Use disorder.

And.

Cocaine Use Disorder.

Look ’em up, there in the DSM V.

Anyway.

It has been recommended by more than one trained professional that I get a light box.

They’re expensive.

But I said fuck it.

I got one today.

The Northern Light 10,000 Lux Boxlite.

I got it off Amazon, so it was a tiny bit cheaper than the one from the website, but yeah, I dropped a couple hundred.

I don’t get much natural light in my room and I noticed it a lot today since I was inside a lot doing work on the house and homework and meeting with the lady.

I had a bout of low-grade depression last winter, not much, certainly not enough for me to go back on antidepressants, and I almost didn’t realize it until it was just about past.

I also was having a very hard time resolving myself with leaving the boys that I had nannied for two and a half years and transitioning to starting a new job with a new family.

Compound that with some family of origin stress and I was definitely on the depressed end of things.

So.

I am going to be proactive and do good self-care.

If the dentist thing taught me anything I need to really be on my self-care.

It is important.

I am someone a lot of folks depend on and I want to be dependable and I want to be able to be present at work, for my clients, for the people I love in my life.

I’m worth the investment.

As they are.

Just trying to give myself more love so that I may love others as much as I possibly can.

So I choose to replenish myself and make sure I get enough “sunlight” this winter.

I will have more to give.

And there’s so much I want to give.

So much.

 

So, So, So

September 28, 2017

Tired.

Like wiped out.

Of course I got up today at 4:30 a.m. so that might be a part of it.

But.

I also realized that I haven’t had a day off in, what, ten days?

I always forget that about mid-week after a weekend of classes.

Oh yeah, I didn’t have any days off because I was in school over the weekend.

Which means I worked my full-time job, went to therapy, went to group supervision, went to solo supervision, and saw 8 clients last week, then I had a full weekend of classes.

And come Monday I went right back to work, solo supervision, therapy, clients, etc.

I have two more days of work, two more days of clients, group supervision on Saturday and a CBT webinar I have to do on Sunday.

Sunday is shaping up to not be much of a day off, but I will have some down time.

Which will likely be filled with school work, but I will also try to slide in a yoga class or two during the weekend and god, I so need a mani/pedi and face waxing.

Yeah.

I said face.

I’m this close to getting electrolysis.

It’s a luxury expense, but then I think about the money I spend to have it done and I could have probably already have paid for it ten times over.

Some things feel like luxury.

Some things I don’t think about dropping money on.

I see a gift for someone that I know they will like.

And money is not a problem.

I have it.

Yesterday, for instance, I totally was only getting my charge some stickers.

I mean, rainbow stickers, maybe a couple of horses and some hearts, but nothing over a couple of dollars.

I also had an ulterior motive, I wanted to pick up a card for my best friend whom I miss awful bad and so being close to Serendipity in the Mission I decided, heck, kill two birds with one stone.

Get my charge some stickers and pick up a card.

Except.

Ha.

She saw a stuffed unicorn with rainbow mane and tail and it was over.

I mean.

It was magnetic, the girl just went straight to a basket of unicorn stuffies and grabbed hers right out.

“_______________ I want this one!”

And then she did it.

She turned the eyes on me.

I have never had her do that to me before.

My god.

The child has some power.

I took the unicorn and looked at the price tag.

I could afford it, in fact I had taken some money out earlier in the day when I was shopping up at Whole Foods in Noe Valley, and I had almost exactly what the unicorn cost.

I got it for her.

The happiness in her face.

I will never forget that look.

I also had to take a picture, those big, sweet, melty eyes and how she held that unicorn, oh my gosh.

And then today.

I was in early, early to help out the parents who need me to do a drop off to the school and she brought the unicorn in to be her quiet time nap cuddle toy.

I was beyond thrilled.

It felt very special that she had to have it with her and I’m so grateful I got her something that she loves so much.

The mom was telling me how much it means to them that their kids get a long with me so well, that they had actually been looking for a nanny for over a year when they found me and they are very happy with me.

We’ve booked ourselves out all the way through the school year.

Which means basically that I have a job for as long as I need.

My contract will end on January 1st of this year.

I have no doubts at all that we will be renewing and at that time I will ask for a cost of living raise.

San Francisco has not gotten any cheaper to live in and I am so getting a car.

That came up yesterday in my therapy session, what it means to have a car, the last time I had a car, to rent it or own it, my finances, how I can navigate getting one.

My therapist said, “having a car in this profession is a deep kind of self-care.”

And the moment she said it I knew how true that was, to be able to come and go on my schedule, to not be seeing clients wet from having ridden my scooter from my day job to my internship in the rain, to not be riding in risky weather.

Getting a car is a deep movement into self-care for me.

I’m ready to do it.

I have to figure out time, of course, it feels like it just slips through my fingers, but I think that the week and a half that my family is away for Thanksgiving will be a good time to do it.

Mid-November.

I may have to deal with some rain before that time and I can take cars.

If time opens up for me before that I will do so, if not, I’ll mark November 16th as the day I want to have my new car by.

That’s a the Thursday before Thanksgiving and my family will be flying out the evening before on their vacation.

I’ll have a day off during the middle of the week when it’s not too busy, not a Saturday at 2p.m. when everyone in the world is out looking at cars.

That’s the current thought around that.

And it’s exciting.

I got a portion of my financial aid released to me, a few more dollars into my savings account and I’m in need of some clothing staples, and maybe one nice new dress, and the rest will be earmarked toward the car.

I’m really going to do this.

And I’ll make sure I’m well rested for it, not going to the dealership tired.

Oof.

Anyway.

I’m starting to ramble and I just want a hot tea, a pear, and a snippet of a video.

Then off to bed.

My bed looks so good right now.

I cannot wait to crawl under the covers.

Seriously.

It’s going to be good.

So.

So.

So.

Good.

It’s A Matter Of Safety

September 20, 2017

He said to me on the phone.

Sigh.

I know he’s right.

He also said, “I feel it in my bones, it’s going to be a heavy rain season again.”

Ugh.

Yeah.

It feels like that to me too.

And so.

The ruminating has been happening around getting myself a car.

I have some hesitation.

Money.

But.

I also have.

For the first time in 13 years, a credit card.

And.

I have a desire to not be wet.

I don’t want to be wet at work from riding my bicycle in the rain.

I did that for ten years commuting around the city, every rainy season, months of being wet and cold.

Then not quite two years ago, in November, I bought a scooter.

It’s been revelatory.

It has gotten me all over the city faster and quicker and easier than hill climbing on my one speed.

It has saved me a lot of time.

It also has given me small heart attacks as I have to be super aggressive in my riding and also super defensive.

It’s like I have to be a mind reader on the road.

I’m not as visible, people don’t look, cars merge without checking, I’m on a scooter and I’m not as noticeable as a car.

I know when I’m in someone’s blind spot and that makes me feel freaked out, I do my best to stay far away from that.

Don’t get me started on Uber and Lyft drivers, especially the ones that don’t live in the city.

And.

The rain.

Last year I took a lot of cars during the rainy season.

That could still be an option for me.

Although I hate waiting for them and I don’t like the car share, although I opt for it most often when I do take a car.

I do like staying dry though.

And I was nervous about riding to Glen Park on my scooter when it rained.

I take Lincoln Avenue from 46th to 7th, up 7th Avenue until it becomes Laguna Honda, then I cut over towards Diamond Heights and take a bunch of little roads up and over.

The hills can be steep and slippery and I have had moments when the fog has been super dense where the roads are slick and I’ve slipped.

I haven’t gone down.

But I have felt that horrible slide of my back wheel on wet paint.

That’s what freaks me out the most and when there was that big rain and thunderstorm I was not a happy camper coming home on my scooter.

I know I would be safer in a car.

And.

Well, dryer.

It’s a big change for me, and even though it could be a great change, I get nervous, will I have enough?

And I think I do.

I mean.

Yes, the money I have in savings is ear marked for travel and yes, the reason, a big part of why I have money in savings is from my student loans.

So.

On one hand I fucking owe that money back to Sally Mae anyhow.

What would it look like if I got a car?

Cons.

Taxes, license, insurance.

Cons.

Parking.

Although, I could swing it.

And here’s why–I live in the Outer Sunset, it’s still a challenge to park out here but it’s not the Mission.

Also.

I work in Glen Park and the street that my family lives on who I nanny for is not a horribly busy street.  It doesn’t have parking restrictions, no hourly restraints, just a no parking the 2nd Friday of the month for Street cleaning.  And the street cleaning hours are typically over by the time I get to work.

There’s plenty of street parking at work.

And.

By the time I get to my internship, most days, business hours are over and there’s parking on the block that my internship is on.

So.

In actuality, the parking, though an issue, is not as bad as it would be elsewhere in the city.

Cons.

It might take longer to get to work.

I lane split on my scooter.

Hell.

I speed on my scooter.

Not a lot, but enough, usually it’s to get me out in front of traffic so that I’m moving in the clear.

One can’t lane split in a car, even if it’s a tiny car.

I’m thinking Fiat at the moment.

Which is a smaller car, but not as small as a scooter.

So.

If I took the car to work or to my internship I would probably have to pad extra time into my commute.

Not impossible, just a small draw back.

Con.

The cost of gas will be higher, insurance will go up, maintenance on the car will be more than for my scooter.

Ok.

Now.

The Pros.

I wouldn’t be wet at work, or cold.

I wouldn’t worry about the slippery roads.

Visibility would be much, much, much better.

Riding in a helmet that fogs up or gets rain splatter on it makes visibility super hard, there are no windshield wipers on my helmet.

It would be a huge pro to not have to ride in the rain or the cold for that matter, the wind chill on my scooter when the temperatures go down in the winter is no joke, I get fucking cold.

Pro.

I could go over the bridges, I can’t go over any of the bridges on my scooter.

I could go to Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Muir Woods, Mt. Tam, the East Bay.

I could take road trips.

Man.

I love a good road trip.

I mean.

Bring that shit on.

Pro.

More independence, be able to carry more groceries home from the store, and music.

Music is definitely a pro, I can’t listen to music on my scooter.

Oh.

I suppose I could.

If I wanted to die.

Pro.

I could carry home my own Christmas tree instead of taking a taxi or shouldering it back to my house.

Pro.

I would feel safer getting into a car at night.

The neighborhood my internship is in is a bit sketchy, 18th and Treat, it’s pretty active during the day, lots of businesses and action going on, but at night, it gets a bit torrid.

I’ve had two times when I felt a bit exposed getting on my scooter, once where I was approached.

A car would feel more secure.

Pro.

Adulting.

It’s an adult thing, having a car, I sort of like the idea of it, I like the idea of driving, it’s been a long time.

Fifteen years, in fact, since I owned a car, maybe it’s time for a change.

And yes.

Change, even good change, is scary, so I might have to juggle all this stuff in my brain for a bit, but I know this much, I didn’t like hearing how my person wrapped up the “I might want to lease a car conversation” I had with him this afternoon.

“Well, doll, it’s only a matter of time,” he said and paused, meaning, I’m going to be hit on my scooter.  “I rather like the idea of you being in a car, you’re doing more and more and you’re on your scooter so much, really, it is only a matter of time.”

Um.

NO.

Knock on some motherfucking wood.

Felt like a black cat walked over my grave when he said that.

I shivered.

Ok.

Ok.

It’s time.

Not to get hit, thank you very much.

But.

Yeah.

I think.

It might just be time.

To yes.

Get a car.

The pros outweigh the cons.

I can’t even believe I’m writing this.

But yeah.

I think I want a car.

Who knew!?

Homework

September 17, 2017

What homework?

Fuck me.

I am not ready for it yet, but I know I have to get my good girl study habits into action.

Especially since I ran into one of my professors today at my internship.

At least she could sympathize with me about my “plight.”

Full time work, full-time grad school, practicum 10-15 hours a week.

But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t expect my paper to not be on time.

I got a message from her about it and also, thank God, a question from one of my fellows in the cohort asking about a test that I had not registered in my brain that um, I have to take tomorrow.

FUCK.

Doesn’t my school know I have a life?

I mean.

Seriously.

Ugh.

And I do have a plan, of course I do and I will get my homework done and I’m not so worried about it.

I always get it done and I am very aware of how efficiently I am able to read and write.

Thank God, again and again and again, for my daily writing practice.

I have two papers to write tomorrow and the test to take for my CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) class.

Plus.

A fuck ton of reading.

I had thought I might get to some of my reading today, but between just some general housekeeping that I really needed to do, laundry and letting myself take it relatively easy this morning, relatively is a relative statement, I did a 80 minute yoga class, took a shower, made breakfast, wrote for thirty minutes, put fresh sheets on the bed, did two loads of laundry, took out trash and recycling, e-mailed clients, paid bills, juggled schedules, I didn’t have quite as much time this morning to attend to reading and I didn’t really want to push it.

I threw my reading in my bag along with lunch and hit up my internship.

Two hours of group supervision and then a couples consult and then I had nothing left in me.

I didn’t want to do homework, I just wanted to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I thought I might have stayed an hour or so at my office and just knock out some reading, but I decided that what I really needed was a little personal down time and I went and got a manicure.

It was perfect.

A phone call with my best friend.

A flip through a trashy magazine.

And some electric blue fingernails.

And well.

Now.

Now I feel ready to tackle the homework.

But.

Not tonight.

Nope.

I am going to continue to let myself enjoy my evening and have a relaxing night.

No homework, no anxiety.

A little care taking of me.

A little slowing down.

I have plenty to do tomorrow.

It’s true.

I’ll go to yoga and do breakfast and write here at the house.

I have a lady coming over at 1pm to do some work and doing of the deal.

Then a coffee date with a friend.

Then the homework.

And I bet I will get my CBT homework done between my breakfast and meeting with my first person at 1 p.m.

I also have to do a little grocery shopping and I will need to do food prep.

I am also banking on having some extra time at work to do the reading that I need to do.

The mom is out-of-town with the baby, I won’t have my normal morning routine with my youngest charge.

Oh.

There will still be plenty to do and in some instances some extra work, but I won’t have active charges until 2:15p.m. every day.

I’ll be at the house and make wicked fast work of whatever household things I need to deal with and then give myself at least an hour if not two of reading.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I know how full my life can get and it may seem untenable and challenging and too much, but it won’t be like this always.

And I have winnowed out some things, for instance I was unregistered over the weekend for the ALC ride, my bicycle rep still tried to talk me into doing it, but I gracefully turned it down and that’s one less thing on my plate.

I am going to acknowledge that yes, my calendar is still hella full, but I know time will coalesce and things will happen that allow me to have fun and not take myself or my situation so damn serious.

A client will cancel, I’ll get out of work early, some circumstance will arise and I will have a surprise gift of time.

It always happens.

I’m super grateful for that too.

I’ll get through this year.

I’ll get my Masters degree.

I’ve always wanted one.

I’ll have achieved one more step toward my career goal.

I don’t have to do it all tomorrow.

Or tonight for that matter.

I did enough today.

I am enough.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

I affirm myself.

I am capable and strong and I have such lovely people in my life.

I do.

I do.

I am blessed beyond words.

So very blessed.

 


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