Archive for the ‘Ocean Beach’ Category

Did It

February 5, 2018

I wasn’t sure there for a moment, but I got it done.

I wrote my big paper that was due today in the middle of a full day, and just now finished editing it and sent it out.

10 pages.

3,759 words.

Hello.

It wasn’t a hard paper to write, the words came fast and furious and there was much I could have written about but did not.

The paper, at least this portion of it, was very self-reflexive, I was really writing about my own experiences in school and showing where and when I learned and what was valuable to me.

There have been so many things that I couldn’t even begin to touch upon them all.

And since I have a way with words, words way with I have, I wasn’t too hard pressed to just let them come  out.

Still.

I have to say I was impressed.

It may have been the fastest I have written and the biggest quantity of work I have done in a one day go of it.

The paper will eventually be thirty pages, but if the rest of the paper goes as swimmingly I don’t think that it will be too challenging to do the rest.

Heck.

I only have to do twenty more pages.

I have an option of not writing the full thirty, I could instead write a 12-14 page paper and do a live website.

I was going to do the website and the short paper, but at this point, fuck it, I figure I’ll just save that headache, building a website, for another day.

Hell.

I’ll probably ask a friend to build one for me.

I know little about building a website and though I’m sure it’s not difficult, I don’t want to stress about it.

If I can knock out ten pages as quickly as I did today I won’t have a problem just doing the big paper.

I also had just a fabulous day, I’m quite certain that there was something in the air that helped me to get the writing done.

I did get up quite early.

I was having a dream and in the dream there was very loud classical music playing, it sounded baroque, perhaps it was Bach, and I was doing pirouettes in a huge ball gown through an enormous ball room that was framed by these huge windows, so high, leaded glass and arched, and the floor was parquet and there were trees outside the windows through which this golden green dappled light flooded the room and splashed off my flying dress and my hair whirling around me.

I swear it was how loudly the music was playing in the dream that woke me up.

I awoke and it was dark, pre-dawn dark, I looked at my phone and it was 6:07 a.m.

Sigh.

My alarm would go off in eight minutes, so I might as well get up.

I got up put on my yoga clothes, made my bed, drank some water, prayed and did my morning routine, then set off to Java Beach with a couple of blankets in a beach bag.

My friend was already at the cafe and it was so good to connect.

Really good.

We got coffees and then walked to the beach.

We found a great spot in the dunes, pulled out the blankets, spread them on the sand and sat and talked and watched the moon set over the Pacific ocean, the surfer’s up doing their dawn patrol, the ship on the horizon pulling closer and closer to eventually sail somulent and slow under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The sun rose behind us and lit the sky with rosy pinks and striations of mauve and light purples.

It was warmer than I expected.

The company was fantastic and I got re-acquainted with my friend whom it felt like I hadn’t seen in years, though it was just a few weeks ago.

So much can happen in a few weeks.

We caught up and drank coffee and got sand every where and it was good.

The best.

The best.

The best.

And someone had a bonfire down the beach and the smell of it intoxicated my heart and reminded me of the night so many years ago when my mom and her boyfriend scooped up my sister and I and took us to the beach at night and we built a bonfire on the shore.

I collected shells in the morning and then we went to a little roadside cafe for breakfast.

It may be one of my favorite, if not my favorite, of my earliest memories.

And to have that same smell, morning ocean smell entwined with the drifting smell of bonfire, oh, it made the company that more exquisite.

How lucky I am to have the people in my life I do.

So.

Very.

Lucky.

Then yoga class at 9a.m.

And it was a fantastic class.

The instructor was great and I did something today that I have never done before in yoga, I had a fully extended stretch sitting on the mat, feet forward, arms in front of me, bending at the waist, flat back, hands wrapped around my feet and yes, I was able to touch my forehead to my knees.

I have never done that.

I have always wanted to be that flexible and there it was, the stretch happened today and it felt glorious, to be in my skin, in my body, and stretched out.

Afterward the hottest shower I could stand and breakfast, coffee, morning pages.

I wrote a lot of morning pages today too, just trying to capture all the things I saw and felt at the beach, the intermingling of memories and how they became big and miraculous and full of love, sublime.

And of course.

I had to clean the house.

Because.

Um.

Yeah.

I had a big fat paper to write, so best scrub, vacuum, cook, do laundry, and dust.

Fuck, I even washed the rugs in the bathroom.

Then I just said, enough, get to it.

And I got to it.

Super grateful I got done what needed to be done today.

It was a big push.

But.

Well.

When your day starts out as lovely as mine did.

Anything is possible.

Anything.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

February 3, 2018

The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

COMMENCEMENT!

The date is set, the place has been set, now I just need to get through the next four months of school.

My God.

It is actually going to happen.

I am going to graduate in May!

I’ve never been to the Nourse Theater, but it looks lovely.

I had, for some reason, thought it would be at the Palace of Fine Arts, I seemed to recall having seen photos from a previous cohort’s graduation, but it’s not there and though I love the Palace, I’m happy the commencement ceremonies will be held close to my school.

It feels right somehow.

I’ve a few ideas for what I want to do to celebrate, definitely toss the hat up into the air.

Which reminds me I think I’m going to have to purchase a cap and gown.

An expense I really don’t fucking want to deal with since well I’ll only be wearing it once, but I don’t believe the school rents them.

What I have heard from a few people in my group supervision at my internship, is that folks from previous cohorts may lend them out.

Unfortunately both the people in my group supervision who graduated last year from my same program are a lot shorter than me.

Like, a lot, I wouldn’t be able to fit in a cap and gown that either of them wore.

I’ll suck it up, just one more expense that I wasn’t counting on when I applied to the program.

Like the $5,000 I will have spent on a licenced therapist while I’m in the program.

I love my therapist though, she’s great, also a graduate from the same program that I am in, and I do get her sliding scale fee, $120 an hour, since she knows I’m a student and my school requires that I see a licenced MFT while I’m in practicum.

At first it was really hard to think about spending that kind of money once a week, but having been with her now for 33 sessions, I track them on my Track My Hours BBS app, I can say with not one doubt in my head that it’s been so worth it.

Having an outlet, having support, having a place to explore whatever I’ve been going through while I’ve been in practicum has been such a huge help.

I have worked around a lot of family of origin trauma’s, incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence in my family system, with my father, with my step-father, a five-year relationship that went sour and led to being a statistic on domestic violence, my alcohol and drug use, and abuse and subsequent journey into recovery.

It still amazes me that I am sober, that I didn’t do a rehab or a recovery house.

The thought of having to do that scares the living shit out of me, I see a lot of folks in and out of recovery houses and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there.

Perhaps an introduction to a solution, definitely a clean and safe place off the streets, but so often the folks I see from those places don’t seem to have much hope.

Then again, my own perception is probably skewed.

Anyway.

Therapy.

My therapist.

So fucking glad to work with her.

I have worked on self-esteem issues, self-advocacy, self-care, setting boundaries.

I have worked through transference and counter transferences with my clients.

Frankly such a relief to have that as an outlet.

I had a couple of back to back days of intense client sessions.

Really good, don’t get me wrong, but super intense.

Grateful that I get to show up for my clients and be a good therapist.

At least I think I’m good.

The feedback has been good, both from my supervisors and from my clients, but my God, there’s always so much more to learn.

And then there’s all the learning that I have done.

All the work that I have done over the last two and a half years, so much work, so much processing, so much learning, so many articles and books and videos, so, so, so many fucking papers, so much practice, so much showing up, being vulnerable, leaning into the vulnerability and growing.

Painful growth and glorious growth and heartbreaking growth.

I can’t wait to graduate.

The ritual is important for me.

I know it will probably be boring as hell, but there is something here that needs to be done for me, an enactment, the crossing of the stage, the flipping the tassel on my cap from one side to the other, to signify that I have graduated.

I need that ceremony.

It feels very important to me to acknowledge the rite of passage.

And I want to have a party.

I really, really do.

I really have thought quite a bit about having it at Ocean Beach, a bonfire, blankets in the sand, some snacks, I don’t really care about food, but some cold bevvies in a cooler, all non-alcoholic thank you.

I think it would be easier for me to facilitate than making reservations for a big dinner party somewhere.

It’s not so much the food that’s important, it’s the people.

I see a big bundle of balloons on the beach, a bonfire, and a bunch of folks standing around and hanging out, simple, easy, sweet.

The only drawback to Ocean Beach is that the beach doesn’t really have bathrooms, there are port-a-potties, but that’s it.

Then again, like I can’t handle that, how many times have I gone to Burning Man?

Heh.

I did have it suggested that I have it at my house, and there’s some appeal there and also not, I can’t decide.  I could have a fire in the back yard, there’s a fire pit, there are tables and chairs and the yard is big enough to accommodate plenty of folks, and there’s a bathroom.

I’d probably need to clear it with the landlady, but I can’t think that she would say no.

There’s also a grill I could use.

I just get a little edgy about having people come in and out of my house, but then again, it could be sweet.

Oh, so many things to plan.

But not right yet.

Not right now.

Now is time for sleep.

It’s been a long week.

Grateful that I made it through.

Grateful for all the love in my life.

So.

Deeply.

Deeply.

Grateful.

For all the love.

 

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2018

I really haven’t any resolutions to share with you.

I prefer to just treat each day like it’s a new day instead of having expectations that I need to change or get better or perfect something.

I need to grow a little everyday and not try to cram a bunch of resolutions into my day and think that I’m going to change over night.

Little bits by little bits.

Baby steps, baby.

And I took some nice ones today.

I got out of bed.

I know.

Crazy.

I really wanted to stay in bed and in fact, did sleep past the point I would normally get up.

My brain was trying to hijack my body though and convince me that I didn’t need to go to yoga.

I needed to go to yoga.

It, my brain, almost won out, but I have smart feet and I also have inborn knowledge from having done enough yoga that I always feel better after a class, even if it’s with not my favorite instructor at the studio.

Which is the excuse that I used the day before to not go, but really, I assure you I had gotten plenty of exercise the previous twelve hours to not feel upset about missing a class and I think that I needed the extra sleep yesterday.

Today, not so much, and I knew that I would not be happy with myself if I skipped yoga two days in a row during a time that I could be going to yoga.

I can’t typically make it to classes during the week, work and my internship conflict, so I’m a weekend warrior.

To not go on both Saturday and Sunday would have been sacrilege.

So I got my happy ass out of bed and into my yoga clothes and I stayed in them for a long time.

It was a great class, I was really surprised, maybe not having any expectations that I would enjoy the class I actually did.

I came home thinking that I wanted to go on a bike ride too, the bike ride had been running around in my head for a few days now that I think on it, and I figured I could actually make it a nice physical day for myself, maybe even go back to the late yoga class.

It’s a restorative yoga class, so it wouldn’t have been like a big effort, although I didn’t end up going, something else came up.

But.

I did go on the bike ride!

It was great and in fact, I might let myself go on another tomorrow.

I was supposed to meet with a ladybug today, but she had to cancel, so after a good check in via phone, I pulled my bike out and pumped air into the tires, grabbed my messenger bag, a water bottle and my bike locks, in case I wanted to stop anywhere I could lock up my bike.

I rode out from the house down 46th to Sloat, then up to Great Highway, up past the zoo a bit, and then stopped right before the hill to gaze at the ocean for a while and snap a quick photo of my bicycle, she is a pretty, pretty thing, before I headed back down Great Highway, riding past my turn off to Fulton Ave, the up to 47th and around the park for awhile, around the soccer fields and the back side of the Beach Chalet, I went past the archery fields and eventually popped back out onto Lincoln Ave at Chain of Lakes, back down to 46th, then two blocks back to the house.

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It was smashing.

I am so glad I did it.

Aside from the exercise it also felt really meditative and I reflected over and over again how amazing it is that I live somewhere so beautiful, that I literally am blocks away from Ocean Beach, that I get to ride my bicycle around a world-renowned park, that I get to live here in San Francisco.

It is a huge gift.

After the bike ride I had a late lunch and then made some chicken soup.

I’ll be visiting my person tomorrow, he just had a hip replacement surgery, and I wanted to bring him some more chicken soup, he’s gone through the two big Mason jars I gave him right before the surgery.

I’ll be heading is way by 1 p.m. and we’ll go for an easy walk around the block.

Like literally.

Just around the block.

And maybe a few minutes of hang out time.

I don’t think he’s got the energy for big visits, but he wants to see my face and I, his.

It will be good to see him.

I’m also going to hit up another yoga class tomorrow.

It’s nice to have a Monday off and the studio is open.

That will make three yoga classes over the weekend and a bike ride.

Not bad.

Especially for someone who is  loath to exercise.

I generally like it once I’m doing it and I know how important it is to move my body, but my brain is a sabotaging machine.

Anyway.

I signed up for the 10 a.m. yoga class and I’ll see my person at 1p.m.

Other than that I have no New Year’s Day plans.

Doing the deal somewhere and chilling out with my new book.

NEW BOOK!

That’s not a psychology book.

I know.

Crazy.

I went up to Blackbird Books, the new book store in my hood next to Trouble Coffee, and splurged on the new Jennifer Eagen book, Manhattan Beach, I’m going to indulge my literary self and not read any psychology for at least a week.

So freaking sexy.

I may just spend most of tomorrow lazing on the chaise lounge after I get back from helping out my person and just read.

Such luxury.

And that’s it, that’s my New Year’s Day plans.

To chill the fuck out.

The year is going to be full and amazing, hello, I’ll be graduating, going to Paris, and starting  PhD program, traveling to D.C., and who knows what else will happen, seeing many clients and nanny’ing up a storm.

Wishing you and yours the Happiest of New Years!

Big love from the city by the Bay.

May the year bring you so much love and joy.

So much.

Well, I Almost Did It

December 25, 2017

Not cry that is.

But, sucker for nostalgia, lonely hearts, and Elvis Christmas carols.

I caved and cried a bit.

Christmas Eve alone.

Which is ok.

Really it is.

I’ve had plenty of special this Christmas season.

And I won’t be alone tomorrow.

I’ll be going to the East Bay to meet a friend and see her new place and go out to a movie matinée and a meal.

It will be sweet and the traffic will be easy.

I wasn’t completely lonesome today.

Sometimes being alone is just perfect and needed.

Lonely and alone are two very different things.

I was alone most of the day, although I did get out and do things.

I went to yoga, and it was a great class.

I left feeling so good and literally said out loud, “I have to figure out how to do this more often.”

The yoga studio is super close to me, but my schedule, shocker, conflicts with many of the classes.

I wish that had some early morning week day classes, but so far there’s just one, a 7 a.m. on Tuesdays that just recently started.

I haven’t gone yet as my therapy appointment is a 9:30 a.m. cross town in Noe Valley on Tuesdays.

I figure I could actually do the class if I set myself up right the night before, bring breakfast with me and coffee and have it at work, skip doing the majority of my morning routine, and cram in a yoga class before therapy.

I just haven’t tried it yet.

This Tuesday, however, I don’t have therapy, my therapist is away for the holiday, and I have been thinking that I will go to the 7 a.m. class and see what the timing is like.

A sort of dry run.

I’m not expected into work until 11a.m. so I’ll have plenty of time to do the class and do my morning routine.

I may even get a Friday morning yoga class in this week too, my family will be out-of-town for a long weekend and I have all day Friday off.  I haven’t booked in anything yet though, holding out to see what will arise.

Something will I am sure.

So, yes, yoga today and hot shower and hot latte and hot breakfast and lots of writing.

The lady bug I was supposed to meet with cancelled so I took myself to the Inner Sunset, got a cafe au lait and went to the nail salon.

Manicure.

Pedicure.

Eyebrows.

Lovely.

I wanted to go to Marnee Thai for a late lunch and was surprised to find them closed.

So I headed back home and had a really nice bowl of soup.

I noodled around a little here at the house and knew I should get out otherwise I might catch a case of the sads.

So I stuck a chicken in the oven to roast for dinner and some Japanese sweet potatoes and set off for Ocean Beach.

I saw a few Christmas tragedies happening, a drunken Santa Claus that I had seen stumble into the Fireside Bar on Irving and 7th which is right next door to the nail salon I go to, tumble off the MUNI and bumble his way across the street with “Santa Baby” playing loudly on a boom box and totter into Pittsburgh’s bar.

Which has most of the neon blown out in the sign so it just says “urgh’s.”

How I think that Santa must have felt.

I had seen one other tragic Christmas moment at the nail salon.

A woman walked in looking for a highlighter brush for a hair dye kit.

She was pretty glazed, Valium or something of the sort, and she knocked over a bunch of salon merchandise and then literally sat down on the floor in front of the accessories and mumbled how was she going to do her highlights before the Christmas dinner had to be cooked?

Yikes.

Merry Christmas lady.

But.

For the most part, it wasn’t a bad day, really, just quiet, like I said, and I managed to sneak into Java Beach and get the last cafe au lait of the day before they closed down for the night.

Decaf, I mean, really I like my coffee, but I try to not have caffeine after four p.m.

Then.

I strolled down to the beach.

The sun had already set, but the twilight was so pretty.

I took a lot of photos.

I love, love, love, the new phone camera.

It really takes some nice shots.

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The above is not the best shot, it’s a little fuzzy, but the camera does this “live” photo thing that is pretty amazing, it shows my facial movement as I line up the shot and it’s really cool to see it, plus the filters are exquisite.

I liked the filter on this one.

The beach was super quiet and it wasn’t quite as cold as I thought it would be.

I walked for a bit and enjoyed it immensely.

Then I came back to the house and pulled a perfectly roasted chicken out of the oven and had myself a damn fine meal.

I headed back out planning on doing a meet up with my fellows over at the Palace of Fine Arts, but only found folks meandering around the parking lot.

Apparently the facility had forgotten to alert them that the building would be closed for the holiday.

So I said hi to a few folks and then went for one more walk.

The Palace is pretty special and at night it really shines.

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The Christmas lights on the houses around the park too were just beautiful and though I didn’t have the night I was expecting it was a nice walk.

I queued up the Elvis Christmas album in the car and drove back to the Outer Sunset.

And yes.

Sigh.

I did tear up a little bit, but you know, the writing, this little blog, it helps me put things into perspective and I’m not so sad anymore.

Rather.

Just grateful as all get out that I have so much in my life.

Merry Christmas Eve!

May all your Christmas wishes be granted.

 

A Day Off

July 10, 2017

To remember.

Nothing striking or out of the ordinary.

But just a lovely day.

A sweet day.

A day when the fog actually lifted and I saw some sunshine, surprisingly late in the day too, it cleared off around 6:30p.m. and was clear all the way through to sunset.

Albeit chilly, it was such a welcome reprieve from the constant summer fog that I made up my mind right quick to get out into that sunshine and eat it up.

I deserved a sunshiny walk on the beach.

I did a lot today.

Laundry, grocery shopping, cooked two separate meals, both lunch and dinner so that I would have plenty of food prepped for the week and then some to toss in the freezer.

I made a sort of jambalaya, my own edited version, with shredded roast chicken, shrimp, Andouille sausage, pork, corn, black olives, onion, garlic, brown rice, crushed tomatoes.

Super yummy and I froze 3/4s of it.

I ate a big bowl for lunch, put a couple of containers in the fridge for meals and I also roasted a chicken for dinner–I happily ate salt and pepper roasted chicken with tarragon butter and brown rice that I seasoned with turmeric, Spike, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper–savory rice.

I love cooking and I love having a full fridge at the beginning of the week so I don’t have to squeeze in a shopping trip to the store when I am in the middle of a full tilt boogie schedule.

I also went to yoga and got my sweat on, super challenging class, I fell in one of the poses.

Splat!

On my belly and just laughed out loud.

So I feel, so what?

I tried the pose.

I am certain I will fall again, as long as I can laugh at myself, though, then I’m ok.

When I start taking myself to seriously then I know I am in trouble.

I met with a lady as well and did the deal and read and talked and fuck.

It was so good.

I called my person and had a good long check in.

I called a friend who’s going through a hard time and suffering a big loss.

I had a really nice and connected day.

I also took a car over to Cheap Pete’s and picked up my two prints that I brought back from Paris.

I am super happy with the way they turned out and I spent some time re-arranging the art on my walls to accommodate the new pieces.

I don’t have much space, but I think I arranged things well and I’m very pleased with the additions to my collection.

Very pleased.

I really do like my home.

It does feel like an extension of me, of my personality.

It is tiny, but it’s me and I am grateful for all the things I have and all the ways I get to express myself.

I also like that wherever I look there is something pretty to rest my eyes on.

This is my sanctuary and I adore it.

Sure.

I want more space.

But that will come when it comes.

I am experiencing this deepening of faith in places I never knew I needed to have deepened, seeing experiences and suddenly have the knowledge that though I did not know it at the time, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Seeing what I needed to see.

And being seen.

Regardless of my ignorance.

I was seen.

And all the things that have led me here were all the experiences I need to have.

So being in this little in-law at the edge of the city, by the edge of the sea, for whatever length of time I am supposed to be is quite fine by me.

I am happy.

I am warm.

My home is sweet and I have precious memories of every foot of it that make me smile when I least expect it.

I have been smiling a lot recently.

I repeat.

I am very happy.

And yes.

Life is full.

But I had such a restful day.

Yes, I did do a lot, but I found all sorts of down time too.

I read a little bit from a novel, novel that, reading something that is not psychology related, a John Updike novel I had gotten last year for my birthday.

My birthday is in December.

Ahem.

I don’t have much down time for pleasure reading, and sometimes I feel that I shouldn’t even, but in the end it was too delicious to not.

I also read a few more letters in the book of Chopin’s Letters that were sweet and nostalgia inducing.

I love the old language used, laced with bits of French.

Lines that caught my attention I underlined and starred, the turn of a phrase that I found enchanting or a sentiment that I echoed and felt stir me.

“I kiss you heartily.  Remember me as I remember you.”

And this.

“I wrote it only to arouse a pleasurable emotion, such as greetings usually produce.”

How often have I written something just for the pleasurable emotion of the writing?

So often.

And.

“I press you to my lips and say goodbye till we meet.”

And.

“Give me a kiss, My Life.”

I love how he capitalized “My Life,” how important the person to whom he is writing becomes as I read the letter.

I sat in the sun on my back porch and read these letters and glowed.

Then.

Yes.

I decided it was time for a walk on the beach and it was as I had hoped.

Deserted.

The all day long fog and chilly breezy had deterred most of the city from even bothering with going out to the beach.

I saw one tourist family picnicking.

A father and son in wetsuits with boogie boards.

A couple walking a dog.

A paddle boarder out in the surf.

And me.

There was no one there.

Me, the sand, the ocean, God.

It was beautiful.

I walked the surf, rolled my jeans up, they are still a little damp hours later where a high tide splashed me, stuck my flip-flops in my basket bag and collected seashells.

Yes.

I did.

I collected shells.

Shush.

That’s the kind of girl I am.

I write poetry and collect sea shells and I am just fine with that.

I get to be many, many, many things.

And now that my well is replenished.

I will go back to being a nanny and a therapist.

The week is full.

But full in a good way.

Thank you Sunday for your gifts.

I feel that Monday and I shall be great friends just from the beautiful reprieve I had today and all the things I got to do to take care of myself.

Luckiest damn girl in the world.

Seriously.

Two Down

April 30, 2017

One to go.

I finished my Trauma paper today.

It was a big deal.

I am super happy and grateful it’s done and I’m also glad to let the material rest, it was challenging material, traumatic stuff you might say, and I am happy to let it be for a while.

I will still have to go back and dip back into the material as I will give a presentation of my paper in the class next weekend.

I can handle that, oh, I’m sure I will cry, it was a day for tears.

But also a day for laughter and much joy.

I just got back from a big dinner get together and fellowshipping and I am so awful glad I went, it was just the perfect break from homework and I got to be connected to people and see people and talk to people.

Like.

Real live people, not just social media interactions.

I also got asked out on a date!

I was not expecting that.

And yes.

I have a date for tomorrow.

That will definitely give me incentive to write my last paper.

I am also speaking at a spot at 6p.m.

I will have my paper done by 5:30 p.m.

That was the promise I made to myself.

So when I was asked I was actually able to say that I could go to dinner tomorrow night after my service commitment, because I already knew that I would have my last paper written by the time I went to cover the commitment at 6p.m.

And now I damn well better.

I don’t want to have a paper dangling over my head.

It’s interesting.

I could tell immediately that he was attracted to me and I was intrigued, and also a tiny bit cautious.

I don’t date guys in early recovery, sort of rule of thumb and sometimes when I meet a guy whom I haven’t seen around before I get cautious.

Turns out he’s from out-of-town.

But not so far from out-of-town that he’s untenable to date.

San Rafael.

That’s not too bad and actually it’s an easier bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, for someone to navigate from to me as I’m so far in the Outer Sunset.

Just blocks from the beach.

The beach that I didn’t think I was going to get to go to and was feeling a little sad about that today when I walked out the door to yoga this morning.

It was glorious today.

When it’s warm in the Outer Sunset at 8:45 a.m. it’s going to be a nice day at the beach.

I was happy to get to yoga, so I had no thoughts about also trying to squeeze in beach time, I had the paper to write and I also had to meet a couple of ladies at Tart to Tart from noon until 2p.m.

I was glad to be out in the sun but had no beach expectations.

I got back to the house at 2:30 made some lunch, sat outside on the back patio and soaked up some rays and then sat down and cranked out my paper.

I was done by five p.m.

I started the writing at 3p.m.

Thank God for the time that I had this week at work, I had all the material ready and it was just a matter of following the guidelines for the paper and writing it.

I wrote an eight page, 2,300 word paper.

I was done by 5p.m.

It was still sunny and I didn’t have to be to the spot until 7p.m.

I decided to walk down to the beach and get some sand under my toes.

I threw on my flip-flops, grabbed a bottle of water and had a glorious 45 minutes of chill time, then walked up to Trouble Coffee and grabbed a treat cafe au lait.

I sat outside in the parklet and enjoyed the feeling of being done with my paper and knowing I was going to go see some friends tonight and hang out and go out to dinner.

I got the paper done, I got to go to the beach, and I got asked on a date.

Fucking not bad for a Saturday.

“Have fun, be flexible,” she admonished me.

This happens a lot recently when I meet with my person and she’s right, I can get buried in the doing and the going and the moving and the shaking and I can and do get isolated.

It felt so good to be with my people tonight.

And.

Yes.

Flirting with someone certainly did not hurt.

He actually asked for my number before going out to fellowship, so that made fellowship even more titillating.

I felt very alive.

I still do.

I am grateful that I get to do the work that is going to help me be a good therapist, but also have a full, well-rounded, happy life, is also a huge part of being a good therapist.

I get to model a good life, a life that I would advocate for my clients, I get to lead my own happy life, and being connected to others is a huge deal for me.

Grateful to get to balance it all out and rather awed that it worked out so well today.

Oh sure.

I had some anxiety.

I had some push back on sitting down and doing the work.

But.

I have my routine.

I said my prayers.

I did it anyway.

And two hours and eight pages later I was gleefully printing off my final paper for Trauma class.

It was an accomplishment.

I also couldn’t have done the work that fast if I hadn’t already done so much of the background work on the paper.

The same kind of work that I did for the paper that I will write tomorrow.

I have hella incentive now.

I’m up to yoga in the morning, back here, shower, breakfast, morning pages, then I’ll plunge in.

I hope to have four to five pages done by lunch time.

I’ll take a lunch break and then kick the rest of it out by 5p.m.

Just like today.

And I’ll celebrate by doing some service.

Going out to dinner.

And.

Making out after.

I can’t eat sugar, but that doesn’t mean a girl doesn’t like something sweet once in a while.

Heh.

God Damn

April 28, 2017

I got a lot of shit done today.

I am, in fact, still getting shit done.

I am cooking a pot of chicken soup as I blog.

I am trying to do some peremptory food preparation for the next weekend of school so that this Saturday and Sunday I can give my full attention to the papers that I have to write.

Speaking of writing papers.

I got a lot of my Trauma paper mapped out.

I have four pages of notes and references from four different sources all set up and notated.

In fact.

I laughed at myself when I was finished listening to the podcast for the second time (in full, a couple of the segments I listened to three or four times) and I had all my paper notes and references complied.

Fuck.

I have a 10 page paper with all the work I complied today.

The paper is 5-7 pages.

I will have more than enough material to cut a fine suit from.

I am actually excited about writing the paper, I have such a clear idea of what needs to be done, I thought about writing it tonight, however, I wanted to wait until I had a clear swath of time.

And I like to have my down time when I get home.

Of course that down time tonight includes a couple of loads of laundry and making homemade chicken soup with veggies and brown rice, but it’s not writing and focusing in a scholarly way.

I am awful proud of taking the time to do the work that needed to get done though for the paper, I spent a great deal of my breaks this week working on the Trauma material.

I will be ready to pop out that paper Saturday and then turn my full attention to the Community Mental Health project that I need to do on Sunday.

I will work on that all day Sunday, nothing else planned, on the books or off, for that matter.

Tomorrow at work during my break I will go over my Community Mental Health notes and the half hour interview I did with the program that I am writing on.

I will basically do the same thing that I did for my Trauma paper, map it out, make notes, post-it note my notes, and go back over the reading material that I am going to utilize for my paper.

I’ll provide my frame-work for the paper and then be able to sit down on Sunday and write it.

That one is 8-10 pages.

I feel like it should be the other way around, my Trauma paper has so much richness to it and so much to explore, it should be the bigger paper, but I don’t make the rules, things might be different if I did.

Ha.

I’m super grateful that it’s coming together.

As I get closer and closer to my Paris trip.

Today to incentivize myself I wore my Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick that my dear French friend gave me as a birthday present.

Nothing like getting a gift bag of Chanel makeup for a birthday.

It was such a lovely gift.

Part of me, a very large part of me, is so thrilled that I will be wearing Chanel makeup on my trip, I know it’s silly, but Chanel products are above my paygrade, so when I got them, I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.

The first time I went to Paris I discovered Sephora.

Oh my god.

I wasn’t able to get myself much, I was there on the slimmest of budgets.

I remember I actually got my sister a lipstick, as they had a brand that was the same as her name, although slightly different spelling, and I got myself a set of red barrettes.

I loved those barrettes so much.

Today, when I put on the red lipstick it reminded me of those hair clips and I realized, yes, that’s definitely a souvenir I will let myself get when I am in Paris, hair clips.

Maybe some red ones like the ones I got my first time there.

It seems surreal that I will be going back.

I remember when the woman I was working with in Paris told me that it was going to be ok that I moved back home to San Francisco, that Paris would always be there, that I could come back and make another go of it.

I’m so grateful that I had my time living there and I can contrast it with the life that I built and then re-built here.

I have it really good.

Oh.

Sure.

I make half the median income that the city recommends to get by and I am taking out student loans for therapy, hahaha, but ultimately, my life is really rich.

REALLY.

Abundant.

It’s gorgeous.

I have so much.

I have an amazing job.

I have a great therapist.

I have an internship.

I get to go to graduate school in San Francisco.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I get to write every day.

What writer doesn’t long for that?

Every day.

I get to live a recovered, full, useful life.

I get to travel.

I get to go to Burning Man.

I get to ride a scooter to work.

I get free parking when I’m there.

I have laundry in the garage, I get to wash my clothes for free.

I have chicken soup cooking on the stove and hot sheets in the dryer.

I am listening to amazing music on my Macbook Air.

I have a lot.

I have happiness.

I have self-esteem.

I do estimable acts, that helps.

I have red lipstick.

I have pretty perfume.

I have love.

I have friends, family, chosen and of origin, I have my cohort.

I have Ocean Beach a hop, skip, and jump away.

I have beautiful tattoos.

I have poetry.

I have abundance, joy, happiness, freedom.

I have.

All the things.

All the things.

 

I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Swim Suits

April 3, 2017

And sun hats.

I pretty much lived in those two things all day.

And my sundress.

And some flip-flops.

Pretty nice weather.

Beach weather.

Building sand castle weather.

Wading in the waves with bright yellow plastic buckets to scoop cold salty water for building more sand castles.

I worked today and it did feel a little strange, but I rolled with it, to have my family come out to me.

The mom wanted a day at the beach and was super kind to suggest that we just meet in my neighborhood instead of having me commute in and then we could all head to Ocean Beach together.

Again my start today was later than the noon start we had talked about.

And that was fine.

I got some more homework done.

I couldn’t go to yoga.

I tried.

I signed up online.

I set my alarm.

But.

When it went off there was just no way, I was exhausted.

Exhausted.

I gave myself another hour of sleep on my alarm and rolled back over, I was out, there was no brain activity, no rumbling early morning ruminating, I was dead to the world.

Even an hour later I could have slept more.

I figured I was just tired from the long week, even though my days weren’t full days this weekend, it’s still work on the weekend and not much rest for the wicked.

Not that I’ve been wicked.

Maybe a tiny bit naughty.

In my thoughts, people, not in my actions.

I wouldn’t mind being a little naughty in my actions it just wasn’t on the menu today.

Fortunately I had enough time this morning to wake up slow, to enjoy my breakfast, to have a big creamy unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte and take some time to write my morning pages and sort out my day.

I did some homework, some grocery shopping, and a little food organization and prep before the family got to me.

We met at my house and I suggested where they could park, down on La Playa and Judah, and I walked down to Java Beach Cafe to meet with them and help them carry all the goodies to the beach.

It was very sweet to be with them.

We had a picnic in the dunes.

We dug holes, collected shells and sticks, and dashed in and out of the water.

I was super grateful for the straw fedora I had grabbed at Other Avenues when I had grabbed some groceries earlier in the day.

And the sunblock.

It was a sunblock kind of day at the beach.

It isn’t often that the weather at the beach cooperates.

There was a moment when a bit of fog and mist rolled in, but it didn’t stick and it was really a nice day for being at the beach, sunny, but not too hot.

I was with the family until about 5 p.m.

Then I came back here, roasted a chicken, made some soup, and decided I needed to get right with God.

Hopped on my scooter and took a ride up to Quintara and 20th and got some recovery on.

Back home, hot tea, my fedora hung up in the closet, grateful for the day and the service and yes, grateful that tomorrow is Monday, I made it through the work weekend.

My schedule will go back to its regular hours tomorrow and I’m good with that, I want to get back into my routine before school gets going next weekend.

Four days of work, three days of school.

Then two days off.

I’m going to hang out with a friend on Monday and I have a therapy session on Tuesday, but other than that, nothing.

I’ll get to yoga, make up for this weekend.

I just couldn’t do it, my body was really sore from yesterday’s class and I have a stress injury in my left shoulder that flared up, I’m going to not beat myself up for not getting in today, the fact that I went and did the deal is enough.

Fuck.

The fact that I worked is enough.

I did enough today.

The days are a bit of a blur, I will admit that, they keep rolling along into each other.

The sunrise.

The sunset.

The routine of my days measured out in cups of tea, words scrawled into notebooks with black ink pens, the shift of my heart as I hear the birds sing in the morning and the spill of golden sunlight through the back door of my studio.

I felt like I was moving through honey soften time this afternoon when I got back.

Just to sit outside, shaded up under my fedora, the sun freckling through the straw brim when I tilted my head back, still in sun warmed air, ravens perched on chimney tops, silhouetted against the bluer than blue California sky, my feet up on the wrought iron chair, to be still, I got my break, I got my refresh and though I worked today I was able to have a measure of quiet in my own skin time too.

I need these breaks.

I need to sit still and watch the sky.

To feel the big heavy imprint of azure press itself into my heart, to be glossed in sun, it is glorious beyond my reckoning.

I’ll change out of my swim suit and sundress soon.

My fedora has been hung up for another day.

But.

I may give myself a few more moments in my garb to appreciate the beautiful place that I live, Outer Sunset, Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California.

My home sweet home.

Luckiest girl in the world.

So.

Damn.

Lucky.

Growing Up

February 8, 2017

Moving on.

Letting go of the things that don’t serve me.

Letting go of ways and means of being that I have been.

Shedding.

Fuck.

It feels really good.

I had to have a little hand holding tonight as I took some suggestions regarding my personal life and relationships.

“No body treats you like that,” he said to me, “and I will not stand here and let you be treated like that, now unfriend.”

BAM.

I sent a message and let go of the results.

I changed.

Like that.

It has taken years to get to this point and to let go, of this old idea that I somehow need to give you more than me, that I am not enough, that I have to buy your love, respect, or that I need to give you something for you to be my friend, lover, partner.

Nope.

I am enough and I deserve to be treated well.

I stood up for myself.

Not by myself, though, I had to have some hand holding.

I had gotten the suggestion this evening and it matched up with how I was feeling, even though I was afraid to take the action required, I knew, deep within me, that it was the thing to do.

And.

I realized that I can’t do it alone.

I needed his help.

“Wait, can I just do this now, with you here, I don’t know if I can do it when I get home,” I said.  I mean.  I knew I would, but I knew it would be easier for me to do it with my person there sitting across the table, warm, supporting, holding me through the process of letting go and moving on.

There is no there there.

“I expect to get blow back from this,” I said as I sent out the message and then took the next suggestion and cleaned some house.

“Doesn’t matter, you did your part, you cleaned your side of the street, how the other person responds doesn’t matter,” he said.

He took my hands and held them as I shed a few tears, took a deep breath and did the next action in front of me.

The relief of standing up for myself, asking for what I want, and really I do not have any expectations that the want will be met at all, none, nada, in fact, and that somehow made it easier and harder at the same time.

But let go I did.

And I realized I just made a huge amount of room for what will work in my life, for friendships, relationships, jobs, school, for letting in the love and going where the love is and being happier in my person and with myself.

Such stunning relief.

Let go.

Move on.

With love.

With unconditional regard for others and what they need to do to grow and be.

It’s not my business.

 

My business.

Is.

Me.

 

What works best, how will I grow, how may I serve, what does that look like.

I left my person with such deep gratitude and love.

I have grown so much since working with him and I have such respect for the work.

It awes me.

And I change.

It is good.

It is so good.

I am so excited for what this year is going to bring.

The travel I get to do.

I’m planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Another to Anchorage.

One to Portland.

And.

Of course.

Burning Man.

Yes.

I know.

I am working full-time and going to school full time and I will be interning.

How the hell am I going to pull it off?

I don’t know.

But get pulled off it will.

I am thinking that I may camp somewhere new this year, my dear friend from my first camp that split off and started his own invited me to camp with them this year.

Go where the love is.

Go where I am wanted and appreciated.

And.

Don’t go to work.

I have worked every year.

I have paid my dues.

Maybe.

Just maybe go this year and don’t work, oh, I know, I’ll help out, wherever I am camped, that is what I do, but on my terms and not tied to anyone, not tied to a scheduled, not leashed to a job.

Just a camp.

Just a spot to put up my tent and be.

Just me.

Just the playa.

Just Burning Man.

That’s such a lovely thought.

A goal.

My year is already so littered with love and goodness, travel, art, school, friends, getting to be in San Francisco, getting my practicum placement, getting to be an intern, getting to start helping clients and accruing the hours toward my license.

And it’s just the beginning of February.

And.

It is just the beginning.

This thirteenth year of being in recovery is going to blow the top off.

I can feel it.

I am expanding.

My heart growing.

I am shedding old skin and stepping out new.

It feels extraordinary and freeing and magical.

Alive.

And let me not forget.

I am also going to Paris in May.

I mean.

My life is extraordinary.

I am so grateful I keep showing up, suiting up, doing the damn deal, living by spiritual principles.

I’m not a saint.

I’m going to fuck up.

But that too is a gift and an opportunity to grow more.

All this growth.

I am graced to get to do it.

It can be a struggle.

Or it can be a surrender.

Today.

It was melting surrender, a washing away, a saying goodbye, a letting go, with the rain sluicing down the gutters and the fog prowling on soft cat feet, as I listened to Bon Entendeur streaming from my headphones as the N-Judah barreled its way down towards Ocean Beach, I looked at my reflection across the way in the mirrored window of the train.

I smiled.

So much joy.

Such simple shifts.

And boom.

A giant leap forward in my life and in my recovery.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Seriously.

It’s going to be fucking amazing.

AMAZING.


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