Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ 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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You’ve Done Enough

February 2, 2018

Crying.

He said to me on the phone tonight as I was driving home from my internship.

I had called up my person to confirm our meeting for this Sunday and to discuss some things that I wanted to do and to basically tell on myself.

He made some suggestions and listened to me and gave me a different perspective than I had and then he said the aforementioned you’re done crying.

God damn that sounded good.

I would really like to be done crying.

I could use a fucking break from it.

And I don’t think I cried today, but I know I teared up a few times.

The crying could have happened but I didn’t quite go there.

I was grateful for the reprieve, truth be told.

It’s been exhausting going through this.

I had expressed how I thought my D.C. trip might be a vale of tears and I was told to have fun, to enjoy myself, to let myself have a good time, that I was allowed to.

That I don’t have to do any more fucking processing.

Or sharing.

I’m done.

I can keep to my work and keep to my recovery and do the things that I need to do for my own self care, but I don’t have to continually process this, I have been in grief for two and a half weeks.

I need a break.

And I know that grief does not have a timeline, that the expression of sorrow is not linear.

It will come.

It will go.

But.

I don’t have to court it and what I was thinking about doing may have been courting the grief.

So I won’t be doing those actions and I am forever grateful for the perspective of another and the wisdom of some one who has great clarity and can see me well for who I am and who advocates for me the best things.

I don’t always advocate the best things for myself.

But.

Man.

I am fucking trying.

I am doing the heavy lifting.

I swear.

I am doing things I never thought I could do, or even thought. that I would do a few months ago.

I don’t think I really entertained the thought of the actions that I so recently took, maybe a tiny peek at them, but most of the time no, I really did not see what happened coming.

I mean.

It certainly felt like a shock to me.

And the aftershocks have been pretty heavy.

It really shook my world and changed who I am.

I believe.

In a very deep, very meaningful way.

I am proud of myself for doing the opposite of what I wanted in the belief that by asking for what I want I would be better off.

Even if I didn’t get what I wanted.

And.

Hey.

Guess what?

I didn’t get what I wanted.

Nope, not at all.

But.

The results weren’t mine, I reckon the results of the actions I take really are never mine, they’re for God, the actions are what are important.

I took very contrary actions for myself.

I did something that I am still a little in awe of.

It was so hard.

It was scary.

It was unfathomable sadness.

And I still did it.

I also don’t know what the final outcome of it all will be.

I don’t have to know.

I just know I did for myself something different and new in hopes of lessening the pain that I was in spiritually, emotionally, hell, even physically.

I won’t say that I was going against my principles, or better nature, but I was doing something very outside my comfort zone and I think I was a bit like the proverbial boy whistling in the dark, nothing’s the matter, all’s good, I’m grand.

But I wasn’t and when it all came crashing down on me I realized how much I wasn’t good with my situation despite how much I didn’t want to change, I had to change.

Nothing changes unless something changes.

I made some change.

Good grief, did I ever.

Oh, all the things I get to keep working on.

So fucking many things.

But for now, I can say, let me rest for a moment.

Let me take a break from the crying, let me surrender that pain up and let it go, I don’t need to suffer, I don’t need to wallow, I can acknowledge that yes, I am still sad and fucking heartbroken, but I don’t have to dig around in it and dredge up more grief.

I can accept that I have done the work and I can rest for a moment.

Yes, there is no actual resting on my laurels, so to speak, but there is an acknowledgement of work done and that perhaps it is alright for me to call a time out from the emotional upheaval of the past few weeks and seek a little serenity for myself in all of it.

I feel that’s fair.

And should I need to cry again, that’s fine too.

It’s just ok for me to not do it today and acknowledge that the heavy lifting is done.

As my dear friend in Paris mentioned to me, “the worst is done.”

Sigh.

Yes.

The worst is done.

That makes me sad to write, in a resigned melancholic way, but also aware that the hardest thing I had to do has been done.

I grow from here.

I change.

I allow myself to heal.

I am gentle and kind and loving to myself and to others and I get the fuck out of my own way, to the best of my ability, one day at a time.

One moment at a time.

One breath at a time.

And everything will be alright.

I just know it.

Because.

Well.

It already is.

 

 

Contempt

February 1, 2018

Prior to investigation.

Sometimes I don’t even know I have contempt for a situation until it happens.

Then, when it does, I’m incredulous, like, wait, what, oh no, this is completely different from I thought and I am an asshole.

Yoga for example.

A lot of contempt.

But fuck.

It’s a good work out, my body feels better when I do it, and my mind clears out.

But for a very long time I looked at it as privileged white women spiritually bypassing to look hot in skimpy clothes and post pretty pictures of themselves on Instagram.

I sweat a lot when I do yoga, I also swear, and there is nothing pretty about it.

And.

Oh yes.

Sometimes I even cry.

Heart openers will get me, I don’t even know some of the poses are heart openers until after I’ve been doing them and then the instructor says something and I’m like, oh, that was it, that was a heart opener.

Sometimes I think my heart can’t get much more open, but God seems to have other plans and my heart gets stretched out some more and I’m left wallowing around in pain again.

Which it was pointed out to me this evening, is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I actually told the person to fuck off.

I was super defensive and super tender and super vulnerable all at the same time and then I disclosed what has been happening, in general terms, and started crying.

Ugh.

I just didn’t want to be that person crying over something like this and the truth is.

I am that person crying over a heartbreak and a loss and I’m grieving and I’m so super fucking sad it breaks me sometimes and I just lose it.

And then.

I pull it back together, pony up, wipe my face, slap some lotion on myself, tears are drying out my skin like nobody’s business, and I get back on with the daily deal of living and doing the deal.

It’s not easy.

Sometimes I just want to crawl under the covers and weep until I pass out.

I haven’t really stopped crying for the last two and a half weeks.

Two weeks ago I had the conversation that would change it all.

Two.

I was thinking about that as I walked home alone and got cat called by some guy at the 7-ll on the corner who told me I was beautiful and had great hair.

Thanks.

I am having a good hair day, but I’m not really interested in telling you my name.

In fact, when he asked, I replied, “going home alone,” and kept walking.

I’m not into dudes that hang outside 7-11’s with open containers of booze.

I wasn’t when I was drinking, I’m certainly not the fuck now.

But yeah, my mind, preoccupied when I realized it was two weeks ago today that I had the beginnings of the conversation that would lead me to where I am now.

I hadn’t seen it coming, and it seems I should have.

Should, would, could, all the ways I can shit on myself.

I should have done this, I could have done, that, I would have, but.

Excuses and ways to blame myself and hurt myself and wallow in victimization.

I take responsibility for my actions and I feel their effects.

It has not been easy to do what I did and I feel like I’m dying half the time.

I am also doing something I have never done before so I have absolutely no idea how to do it.

I rely on the council of others, and pray a lot, and cry, and try to be nice to myself and try to not just smash my head on my table.

Like if I could have figured it out, made things work, I would have.

But.

I don’t know how to do that, I didn’t then, I don’t now.

I have a sense that I have to be honest, in a deeper way then I have ever been with myself.

I have an idea that the pain has not stopped, that it will in fact, continue for a little while yet.

It’s like settling in for a long winter, this season of grief.

When you let go of the thing you love most, the person you love most to choose to do something different, it’s going to hurt.

At least.

That’s been my experience.

It’s hurting.

It hurts.

It hurts so bad I can barely write this.

And yet.

I do.

I keep showing up to this damn stupid page as if it will make it better.

Kiss it and make it better.

Please.

I suspect that there is something here, though, a process, that helps mitigate the pain of the situation, a way through.

Just like she told me, “there is no way through but through.”

I just have to feel everything.

It’s a gift.

These feelings.

I may not always believe that when I am doubled over crying into my hands, but when the tears slow a little and I have a modicum of space, I know that I can appreciate the pain, that I can see the richness there, the beauty of it, the deep knowledge of how hard I love and was loved.

Am loved.

Do still love.

Still love.

I am still in love.

God.

That hurts.

That just screams at me.

I had to stop there for a moment, fresh tears to wipe from my face, a tightening in my chest, the feeling of not being able to breathe, the fear of losing the best thing that I have ever experienced and knowing that I made the decision to do so.

I did it.

I am responsible.

I needed something different than what was being offered.

And though I couldn’t come to it fast enough or in a tidy way, in a linear, logical, marked out intellectual way, I got there, I got to a place where it stopped working for me.

And when I did I saw what was not working I couldn’t deny it any longer.

Although, fuck I tried.

I had to change.

And.

I did.

I made the decision.

I will live with the repercussions for the rest of my life.

Good and bad.

They are mine.

I have no regrets.

I loved fucking hard and passionately and deeply.

I have nary a regret and I don’t think that I ever will.

I just have a lot of sorrow to keep working through.

And more tears to cry.

Always those.

Always those.

So.

Many

Tears.

Listening To Johnny Thunders

January 21, 2018

Great big kiss and trying.

Fuck.

I am trying to not cry.

I just feel floored right now.

I don’t know how to talk, how to discourse, how the fuck to write.

I am in so much pain I cannot breathe.

And when I do it is just to cry some more.

Great big ugly cries.

Stupid in public in the school cafeteria crying at lunch with my best girlfriend.

What is this?

Highschool?

Can’t be.

Despite the high color emotions I never would have been able to born this pain.

It feels like something has been ripped out of my body.

As though some piece of my soul has been torn out and dragged away.

Eaten by the heart monster.

Came for me in the night and ripped me to shreds.

Opened up my chest pulled out all my organs and crammed them in its mouth.

I have walked around all day feeling like an open wound.

I don’t know how to express the pain and i don’t know how to get away from it.

It comes and goes in waves.

Big rolling thunders of it.

When I am least expecting it.

Kneeling and saying my prayers and smash.

Knocked over, bowled over, thrown over, tossed onto the floor, if I wasn’t already on my knees I would have fallen.

Peeling a hard-boiled egg and there, out of the blue, another blast of it and I’m bent over at the waist with silent cries careening out of my mouth, I don’t know how I ate today, except out of habit and ritual.

I still didn’t finish my full lunch.

Too busy sobbing on the proverbial shoulder of a friend.

Grief.

Eaten alive and spat out and stepped on and smashed down.

And sad.

Just so damn sad.

Then to top it off, I got out of school to go to the dentist and have my permanent crown put in.

The process wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t horrible either.

I was told to not eat anything hard for the rest of the day, soft foods, and take it easy.

Sure.

Ugly cry face, just take it easy, no worries, go read some school work since you got out of the dentist chair quickly.

Go ugly cry in private for a little while instead of underneath the blue sky watching pigeons wheel in circles above the SafeWay on Noriega.

I read a couple of chapters that will be covered in class tomorrow and a fifteen page article on research methods.

Scintillating.

Not bored to tears.

But you know.

Close.

Always just there.

On the edge of tears.

“You want something to cry about, I’ll give you something to cry about,” my mother used to say to me and then give me something to cry about.

Funny how that happens.

God took away one pain and gave me another.

The Novocaine wore off my dental procedure and holy mother of God.

Pain.

Not insufferable pain, not going to crush my heart pain.

What heart?

It’s been broken, pulled apart, torn asunder.

You think I exaggerate.

I do not.

I have not experienced this level of emotional pain in well.

Ever?

I can’t even fathom it.

It just goes and goes.

I know that it will pass, “this too shall pass,” they say.

They say it a lot, make it happen faster please.

But the emotional pain took a back burner for a while to the physical pain.

Boy howdy, that was a neat trick.

Ugh.

And I think I’m running a fever in response to the pain level.

I should just take the stomach upset that will likely occur and eat some ibuprofen.

I will say the tooth pain is not as excruciating as it was when the Novocaine wore off, so I’m hoping I can suck it up and get through it.

Suck it up.

Buck up.

Grow up.

And all I want to do is fall down on the ground and cry like a baby.

All over again.

I think I am dehydrated from crying so much.

I shit you not.

I should Google it.

Can one get dehydrated from crying too much?

Is it possible?

It is.

Well, look at that.

Thanks Google.

Google also let me know that crying is good for you.

Well, duh, Google, I fucking know that.

Crying relieves emotional stress, lets your body detox by releasing stressful chemicals that your body produces during times of emotional duress.

I had a therapist who used to tell me that tears were a sign of pain leaving the body.

I suppose so.

I had a lot of fucking pain leave me today, but there’s just so much there, I wonder when I will be done with it.

It’s lessened as the day has gone on, but I have to admit, I’m in tears now thinking about how sad this week has been and how hard the last day has been to navigate and how it hurts when someone I love hurts.

God.

It hurts.

And then I hurt and I am.

Well.

Fuck.

I am just a wreck.

Tear spatters on my glasses.

Dried tears on my face.

Streaks of salt on the on the panels of my face a window of grief a story of loss and longing for something that is out of my reach.

Like a child crying for the moon.

Did you see the moon rise tonight?

So beautiful.

Although not as enchanting as the orange glimmering thing that floated on the horizon when I saw it out the car window last night heading towards the sea.

“Oh!  The moon!” I exclaimed and I felt that pain in my heart beating, pushing at my ribcage, trying to burst through.

I could only contain it for so long.

The sadness.

The tears.

“This better be worth it God,” I cried out last night and then just prayed harder, take care of the one I love, please, just take care of my love.”

Please.

That’s all I can ask.

That’s all I can do.

Pray and cry and let the pain wash through me until it is spent and I am just a rag doll washed up on the beach of sorrow.

Waiting for the light of dawn to illuminate me and my shattered skein of sorrow.

Tears on my pillow and the light of a new day washing pearl grey through my back door window and the aspect of going through my day without you haunting the periphery of what is left of my heart.

 

*This blog was postponed from being posted by an hour because I started to cry again.*

End blog.

 

 

Birthday Weekend Wrap Up

January 15, 2018

It was good.

So good.

I mean.

Super sweet and special, and full of so much love.

And dancing.

And hugs.

And love.

I know, I mentioned that already, but it was just a lovely weekend.

I mean.

Not all of it.

Going over the bridge yesterday, the Bay Bridge, the traffic was so bad I had a moment of why the fuck am I going to Oakland to do this party?

But it was worth it.

So worth it.

I had such a lovely time and got to see folks that I haven’t seen in a while and hear great music and dance and giggle and laugh.

I laughed a lot.

I felt very happy, joyous, free.

It was spectacular.

I still feel like that and also a wee tiny bit emotional, not a lot, but a tiny bit, I was surprised just a few moments ago when I was up in the Castro Most Holy Redeemer to find myself having the anticipation and anxiety of getting a little round metal chip with the Roman numerals ten and three ones on it.

Thirteen

Thirteen years.

It still astounds me.

It felt really, really, really special.

I saw folks there that saw me when I first came in, who helped me and talked to me and bought me coffees and bummed me cigarettes and made suggestions about what to do and shared their experience, strength, hope with me, in such strong graceful ways that their message still stays with me.

Show up.

Suit up.

Be of service.

Say yes.

And extraordinary things will happen.

It is astounding how many things have happened for me.

I had an inkling that this past year was going to be a big one, I remember writing about it in a blog that would have been around this time last year, feeling that it would be fortuitous, that big, big, big things were happening.

My God.

Did the big things happen.

They really did.

I am not the same woman who turned twelve, I have grown so much this past year and really walked through some things that I had no idea I was going to get to experience.

I am so loved.

So blessed.

Graced.

And grateful.

I cannot imagine how, but I feel that this year moving forward will be much the same–full of excitement, growth, travel, love, adventure.

School.

Graduating from one program.

Starting another.

Work of course, internship, of course, recovery, the big of course.

Travel.

I will go to Paris to see my best friend there, although I don’t have set dates yet, I’m still waiting for my work to sort itself out as far as their holiday, summer, travel.

I may be going with them for part of it.

And I want to do other little trips too.

Fun things.

Weekends out of the city.

New places to go and experience.

I feel abundant.

Expansive.

I feel that my capacity for love has grown and opened wide my heart so much.

I have all these images of things  and words and endearments in my head, I am suffused with this feeling of love and I am so happy for it.

My love.

So happy.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be beyond anything I have yet to experience.

It’s a wondrous thing to have faith and be taken care of and show up and really live.

I mean.

Passionately live.

I am so alive.

I am so lucky to be alive.

Frankly.

I should be dead.

Or.

Just scraping along the gutter, in the filth and the muck, trying to make beautiful things and failing.

I have made so many beautiful things since I started this journey thirteen years ago.

Poetry.

Photographs.

Friendships.

Love.

I have made huge leaps of faith.

I have made decisions that I didn’t even know I could make.

I have made music, or collaborated in making music.

I have been in a film.

I have made my way into foreign countries, sat in cafes under many different skies, and scribbled away in so many notebooks I lost count long ago.

I have ridden bicycles all over the place.

San Francisco to LA.

Oakland to Berkeley.

The Outer Sunset to the Outer Mission.

Over the Golden Gate bridge numerous times, down into Sausalito and over to Tiburon, and one memorable day, up to the top of Mt. Tam.

And in Paris.

Nothing says amazing adventure like bringing your own bicycle to the city of Lights and taking a ride down the Champs Elysees.

Although.

Truth be told I only did that a few times.

The Champs Elysees is cobblestone and that was not a pleasant ride but fuck, it was fun to do it a couple of times and say that I had.

Or past the Eiffel Tower.

I did that ride a lot on Sundays.

I have ridden my bike at Burning Man too, not the same bike, but one that I loved for many years, ridden off into many a dusty sunset to dance at the edge of the desert and sing with joy at the heavens.

I have gotten up in front of people and performed my poetry.

Spoken word in Paris at Le Chat Noir.

In the downtown office of Form4 Architecture for their principle architect.

On stage at The Elbow Room and in the studio of Sunshine Jones.

I have done plenty of mundane, every day, simple, day-to-day things too.

Often times, more often than not, with gratitude for just getting to stay in San Francisco.

That’s some kind of miracle, that I still get to live here.

The miracles are innumerable, the gifts astounding.

I can only keep it by giving it away.

The paradox that I love.

Here out by the sea, in my little studio, listening to jazz, writing to you and letting you know about my day and how important you are to me.

So important.

I am overblown with gratitude.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Thank you for thirteen years.

It’s been freaking amazing.

Just A Tiny Bit

January 13, 2018

Surreal.

I turn 13 in an hour and a half.

I have already received a few congratulations and warm sweet gifts, my god, the thoughtfulness of some people astounds me, though my anniversary is not until tomorrow.

I am grateful that I have this time to reflect and think and be in a place of gratitude and warmth and all wrapped up for the week.

It’s been a week.

I’ve plenty to do tomorrow, but I suspect that it will be done with much joy and laughter and hopefully, no little grace.

My morning will be a typical Saturday morning, yoga and shower and breakfast and coffee and writing.

Then I’m hoping to squeeze in a manicure before I have to go to group supervision at 2 p.m.

Something snazzy and flashy and definitely glittery.

Giggle.

I treated myself to a dress from Modcloth that’s super fun,

It’s also super simple and a bit basic, which is good, I wanted a comfy dress to dance in.

It’s pretty much a little black dress with a scoop neck and a skater skirt.

And.

Glitter.

Heh.

I also allowed myself to pick up some glitter fishnets, because, sparkle.

And thirteen years, thirteen years of working it out and doing the deal and showing up and being of service, well, that deserves some fucking glitter, at least so I think.

I had wanted to wear some fabulous shoes but I also want to dance, so my pink velvet Tretorns will have to do, I think they will go perfectly with a glittery dress and fishnets.

Sexy, but hella comfy.

I’ll wear some heels when I go meet my person in the Castro for dinner on Sunday.

Fancy shoes are great for sit down meals, maybe not the best for hours of dancing.

I mean.

I used to do that, a long, long time ago, when my knees were younger and I had a lot of extra chemicals coursing through my veins to keep me going and ignore the painful, numbed out feet I was mashing into the floor as I stomped along to the music long into the night.

Or.

The next morning.

It’s funny.

I’ll be up much past my bedtime, the party goes until 1 a.m. and as one of the hosts I know I will feel responsible to make sure it all goes off well.

I’m not super excited about coming back from Oakland at bar time, but it looks like that will be happening.

At least I got my FasTrak in the mail and I won’t have to pay cash at the toll bridge.

It should be a pretty quick commute back.

Sunday I do have plans, but they’re all spaced out and I should be able to take naps intermittently throughout the day if so needed.

I don’t care in the end.

A girl only turns thirteen once.

Knock on wood.

I don’t have any reservations made for future drinking or using, but I am quite humbly aware that I have been given a gift and that I need to keep passing it along.

I have seen people drift away and they usually don’t drift into wonderful waters.

I have never had a relapse in my recovery and I certainly don’t want one.

I feel really fortunate to have what I have, the community I am in, the resiliency I have been gifted with, the fellowship, my friends, the love that surrounds me.

So.

Yeah.

I’ll be up a little late tomorrow night, but it’s so well worth it.

It’s been an amazing year when I look back.

New relationships.

Vast amounts of love.

Entering my third and final year of my Master’s program.

Starting at my practicum site and seeing clients.

A new job.

A new car.

Travel to Burning Man and Paris.

Therapy.

Internal growth.

So much of that.

Holy mother of God.

So much spiritual work.

All gifts.

I could never have suspected thirteen years ago when I reached out for help the life I would get to have.

It doesn’t even make sense.

I couldn’t imagine the places I would go or the adventures I would have.

So many adventures.

So much travel.

More travel please.

Friends, art, writing.

Oh. My. God.

The amount of writing, I mean I talked about writing before I got sober and I wrote some poetry and I tried my hand a few things, but I never had a real writing practice, I just talked about it a lot.

A LOT.

The book I was going to write, the poetry, the essays, la, la, la, la, la.

All vacuous words spouted from the vapid drunk girl at the end of the bar.

Now.

Well, I can surely tell a story, and I might hold you hostage to it, but I don’t talk about things I’m going to do for hours on end.

I actually do them.

I show up.

I suit up.

And I’m thrilled beyond words that I have a baker’s dozen of years to substantiate that.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Fuck yeah I am.

Unfortunately

January 7, 2018

That’s not covered by your insurance.

My dentist told me this morning.

Ugh.

I sat in the chair and thought to myself, maybe I misheard him, maybe I didn’t hear that right, I mean, he speaks mostly Chinese, which I find oddly comforting, I don’t need to know what he is talking about to his assistant, but I’m pretty sure I had heard what I had heard.

Fingers crossed, please, tell me I didn’t hear what I heard.

Sigh.

But.

I had.

“Crack,” he’d said to the assistant in between poking and prodding and checking my teeth.

I was just in for a routine cleaning this morning.

I had all intents on going to the 10:30 a.m. yoga at the studio on my block and then meandering into my group supervision at 2p.m.

The supervision happened.

Yoga, well, yoga did not.

Nope.

Instead I was under the drill all morning.

My dentist took a picture of my tooth and showed me the crack.

I was surprised by how big it was and also that I hadn’t had any pain to indicate that there was a crack in my tooth.

Which was a really good thing.

No pain meant that it was probably fairly recent.

It had to have happened within the last three months, it wasn’t there the last time I went to the dentist, and it probably had occurred more recently than that.

Certainly nothing came to mind.

Nothing that I remember eating and doing any damage to my teeth.

“It’s not grinding your teeth while you sleep,” he said, answering a question I was just about to pose, “there’s not indication from any of your other teeth that you grind them while you sleep.”

Well, that’s good news.

“You eat anything crunchy?” He asked.

“Nuts?” I said, I do like raw almonds with my apple as a snack.

“Nuts, no good, nuts bad for teeth, you no more eat nuts unless you want to pay me big bucks and keep me in my mortgage,” he chuckled.

“Um no, I do not want to come back for another cracked tooth, I’ll lay off the nuts,” I replied.

Irony.

I kept thinking about my night-time snack, a couple of end of season super ripe and delicious persimmons and some raw walnuts.

Sigh.

No snack tonight.

I’ll still have my tea though.

I was really surprised by the photo and super glad that my dentist had caught it and he explained that I was lucky if there was no pain it meant the damage was manageable and that I would not have to have a root canal.

Fuck yes.

But.

I would have to get a crown.

And thus ensued the “your insurance doesn’t cover this,” discussion I had with my dentist.

Like I said, not really the conversation anyone wants to have on a Saturday morning, but I also knew when he started telling me about the differences between what my insurance would cover, it wasn’t going to cover the full amount, it would have still be $825 out-of-pocket, versus the better quality crown that the dentist was recommending, at $1200, I just sucked it up, made the decision to take good care of myself and signed the paperwork for the better product.

I was asked if I could start the work today and of course I said yes, bye, bye yoga class, and I went out and plugged the meter for parking another two hours and went back into the office, used the bathroom, prayed a bunch, came out signed off the paperwork and got ready to get injected with Novocaine.

He gave me a local, but I still felt the prick of the needle.

Ugh.

I hate needles.

I hate shots, hate, hate, hate.

The second injection was horrible, the local anesthesia hadn’t quite numbed me out in the second location, that one just plain good and hurt.

I sucked it up though, what was I going to do?

And then the dentist went to fucking town.

My god.

I will just say that smell of my tooth being ground down was overwhelming.

Not a pleasant smell, the drill, not a pleasant sound.

The taste of blood in mouth, horrifying.

I just breathed and prayed and breathed and prayed.

I had my mouth wedged open with some sort of device, that also sucks, frankly, it hurt my jaw keeping it open so long and my face felt tender for hours.

As of right now, I am happy to report, that the pain is really ok.

It’s there, sensitive now and again, a dull throb, but it’s doable.

And I have been able to eat.

They did a bunch of molds to get the fit right and then they did the temporary crown.

The permanent one takes two weeks to be ready.

I have to be cautious with the temporary one, nothing crunchy, and no gum.

I can handle that.

And two weeks from today I’ll go in and my dentist will give me the permanent crown.

I am assuming it will mean more Novocaine, but I’ve got two weeks until it happens.

I’m a baby around dental stuff, but at least I showed up and I did do the work and I paid for it all in full at the end of the session, I could have put it off until the permanent crown gets put in, but I figured I had the money in my account, just pay the damn thing.

And for that I am grateful.

I had the money.

I didn’t always have the money.

A little while ago a dental bill for $1285 would have floored me.  It was not pleasant, I will say that, and I did go through a spurt of brief financial anxiety, but I’m ok, I really am.

And so grateful I chose well and chose to take care of myself and my mouth.

There was a homeless man on the sidewalk sleeping when I came out to climb into my new car and go home and make myself a fancy espresso drink with expensive organic coffee beans.

I have it really fucking good.

I have no money problems.

Fuck.

I don’t have problems.

I just have opportunities to learn.

And.

To be stupid grateful at how good my life is.

It really is.

Graduation Application

January 5, 2018

Holy fuck.

It’s happening.

I mean.

It’s been happening for years now, when I think about it, the getting to graduation bit.

But.

Whoa.

It’s really happening now.

I got a notification from my cohort’s student representative with the program that the deadline for the application to graduate is February 1st.

I have two more weeks before I’m heading back into the first weekend of classes for my last semester and I have to be on this shit in a major way.

There are quite a few hoops to jump through,

I am a tiny bit surprised that there is so much paperwork that has to be done, and at the same time, not at all surprised, the school is small and there often times seems to be a lot of unnecessary hoop jumping on the part of the students.

This is not something new.

So good information to have as I navigate the next couple of weeks before the semester begins, because I will also have another application due in February.

The application to the PhD program through the Transformative Psychology program.

That application is due at the end of the month.

The application to graduate from my Masters in Counseling Psychology will be due the 1st of the month.

Nicely bookending my weekend of classes and all the other things that I need to take care of to get through the month.

Plus.

I am going on a trip in February to the East Coast.

Holy bats.

February is going to be a big fucking month.

And although it’s only January 4th I can feel that this month is going to fly by.

This week certainly has, I was like, wait, what, tomorrow’s Friday?

How the hell did that happen so quick?

Back to clients, back to work, holidays over, get yourself busy.

Gratefully this week really was an easing in.

I didn’t have my solo supervision, that revs back up on Monday, just my therapy this week, and I also did not carry my full load of clients.

I’ve had three this week so far, two of those session were tonight, and I will have a phone session tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

My last client of the week cancelled.

So I will actually get out in time to do the deal.

Maybe I’ll pop over to Our Lady of Safeway and get right with God.

It’s been a hot second since I’ve been in that neck of the woods.

I’ve a full day Saturday, dentist appointment at 9 a.m., hoping to get out with just a quick cleaning and get back to my neighborhood in time to go to yoga, then a shower, some late breakfast, and getting over to group supervision in the afternoon from 2-4p.m.

I’ll have a lull in between, maybe time to get a manicure.

I’ll hit my spot at 7pm in the NOPA and call it a Saturday.

Sunday I do have a ladybug coming over to do some work and I’m looking forward to that for sure.

Of course, I’ll want to get in a yoga class, and perhaps another bike ride, I really enjoyed doing that.

If the weather holds.

It’s been raining a fuck of a lot the last couple days and it looks like there’s still some more in the upcoming days.

So grateful for my car.

Really, so much.

Especially coming home tonight when the sky just sort of opened up out of nowhere, to not be on my scooter in the rain, such a blessing.

Anyway.

Sunday may be the day to kick out the graduation application.

I do want to get it out-of-the-way fairly quickly.

I don’t want it looming over me during the school weekend, especially as I will be occupied getting into my class routine.

Plus.

I will want to have the rest of the time to work on my application for the PhD program.

Which reminds me.

I need to talk to my advisor, who just so happens to be the head of my department, about getting a letter of recommendation from him.

The PhD program requires that one of my letters come from my academic advisor.

I don’t believe it will be too hard to get a good letter from him, he was one of my first teachers in the program, I had him my first semester, he admires me, he has asked me to help advise others regarding writing academically and he’s asked after my experience with teachers in the program and some interesting internal conflicts my cohort has gone through.

I really like him and he likes me and he’s been a great advocate of mine.

I have to make an appointment to meet with him ASAP.

I’m going to be talking to the Dean from the Transformative Psychology department on Monday, I want to line up my advisor for the following week when I’ll be heading into my first weekend of the semester.

But.

First.

A little fun.

And.

Oh.

A tiny bit of pain too.

I have my anniversary in 9 days and a dance party to go to–the fun.

And.

Yes.

A thirteenth star tattoo to get–the pain.

I’ll be heading into see Danny Boy at Let it Bleed on Polk Street on the afternoon of my anniversary after I get out of my group supervision.

Danny Boy’s done the last three stars for me.

I’m planning a pink one this go around, a small’ish one, on the right side of my neck, above the big black star that I got, my 11th year, which also happened to fall right after David Bowie’s death–Bowie was sober and his last album was Black Star–seemed quite apropos.

I’m excited.

There’s some big stuff happening.

Anniversary, graduation application, PhD application, life, love, doing the deal, work, clients.

All the things.

All of them.

First Payment!

January 4, 2018

And I made it a double.

Just because.

I just did my first payment on my car loan for my new car.

There was some confusion regarding what I needed to do and I was a bit perturbed today that I had to make a lot of time to email back and forth with the sales person at the dealership to figure out what to do.

For some reason, and I don’t believe it’s because they wanted me to have a free car, I was never sent the bank information regarding my car loan repayment.

I knew from reading over the paperwork that my first payment was due tomorrow, 1/4/18.

I sent the dealership a message on 12/3/17 to make sure that I was ready to go and it being the holidays and all, which is why I’m assuming things slipped through the cracks, that I should have it set up before the new year.

I was assured the paperwork was being sent out to me, but I never received anything and right around New Year’s Eve I realized that hmm, I still haven’t gotten my loan paperwork.

Three e-mails later and it’s now the 3rd and the payment’s due tomorrow and what the fuck?

I was getting snippy and I ended up taking a big deep breath at work and resending an e-mail apologizing for being short, saying that I felt a little dropped and was concerned that I was not going to get the information needed to pay the loan payment and I had to laugh at myself, really laugh.

Because.

There was a time when this would have not been a concern, not a worry, not a blip on my radar.

A. I would never have bought a new car, I would have been doing too much blow to be able to afford a new car.

B. If I had somehow finagled a new car, it would be their fault that I didn’t pay the payment on time and I would have played the victim card.

Nope.

Instead.

I just made my last e-mail a simple one of, hey, forgive my shortness in my prior e-mail, I’m concerned and want to make sure the payment is made, please advise.

And.

That worked.

The salesperson apparently, which of course, makes total sense, has nothing to do with the loan company and it was the dealership itself that dropped the ball getting me the paperwork.

Which is odd, as I did get my plates and registration.

And so she, my salesperson, found out where the loan was being held and got a hold of the number for the bank and forwarded that on to me and as of a few minutes ago I made my first payment.

It felt very nice.

I made a double payment and I am going to try to do that as often as possible.

I want to always pay more on the loan than I need to.

I would love to pay it off faster than the financing on it.

Less interest and I just like taking care of my bills in a timely manner.

I could have actually put a little bit more on it, but I also have been advised to have a year’s worth of payments in my prudent reserve, so I have that and if anything should happen, I’m ok.

I’m not too worried though.

I just got a nice raise at work, 5% thank you very much.

And I should get a good tax return.

Plus.

I won’t have to start paying back my student loans if I transition right into the PhD program at school.

I’ll take the summer off from school, but as it’s just three months, I won’t have to start payments on my loans for school.

If I took off more than six months I would.

So it’s important for me to apply for this fall to get into the PhD program.

I want to anyway, I want to keep my momentum going, I want to be in the habit of school and classes and keeping one foot steady in front of the other.

I see a lot of folks take time off from school and it just gets drawn out further and further.

I prefer to get it all in now, line up my ducks, knock ’em down, getter done.

I’d like to pay off my car by the time I get my PhD.

I think that’s entirely possible.

Paying off the car within three years.

At the rate I’m supposed to pay it off it would be done in 2023.

But if I make double payments, well, that’s half the time and it would put me around 2020, same time I’d be graduating with my PhD.

It will helpful as well to have the car loan paid off before I have to start paying off the student loans.

Anyway.

Numbers and money and time.

I’m just really grateful I didn’t have to ride my scooter in the rain today.

I’m super grateful I got to listen to music going to work and coming home.

I’m über grateful that I found good parking in my neighborhood.

And very, very, very happy I made my first payment a double payment and that I got it in on time and I was nice to the salesperson.

Patience, tolerance, kindliness, and love.

That’s what I want this year to be about.

Oh, yes.

It’s definitely.

All.

About.

The.

Love.

And I Will Be Driving

January 2, 2018

All week.

No scooter for me that I can see for the next six to seven days.

Rain.

Loads of rain in the forecast.

Tomorrow it looks like it went from forecasted rain to just overcast, but I think I will take my car anyway, just in case and because I really like driving it.

I reflected on that as I was helping my person run a little errand from his house, I got to spend a really lovely afternoon with him catching up, checking in, and doing the deal.

He’s doing really well, but gets tired fast.

We did a walk around the block after chatting for an hour and a half and then an errand to the bank, he was done in by the time I got him back to his house.

A very sweet little abode up in the upper part of Noe Valley at Caesar Chavez and I think 27th.

He’s been there for twenty years.

A gorgeous little one bedroom with the sweetest view.

I joked that I wanted it when he dies.

“Girleen, you’ll be with someone long before then and you and your man will want more space than I have here.”

He made a good point, it would be cramped for two people, but I have to say I had a little apartment envy considering it’s a little more than twice the size of my studio and he pays much less than I pay and he has windows, so many windows, hella jealous of the light, but super grateful he’s in a really good spot.

Anyway.

It was good to get face to face time.

We do a lot of phone check ins, I might call him every day, just leaving a message to touch base, and at least once a week we do a longer check in, and then we meet when my schedule allows, once his hip is fully healed there will be more regular face to face meetings.

I’m super grateful for him, he helps me so much with my perspective and my way of being in the world and he is a marvelous witness to my journey, he’s family really.

I have told him that should I get married he would be the person giving me away.

He’s the only man who I could fathom walking me down an aisle.

He sees me and for that I am graced.

I’ve been working with him now for about four years and he’s seen me through a lot.

I did not have much more on my plate today than seeing him.

I got up, after sleeping in, last time I’ll be sleeping in for a while, and went to yoga.

I didn’t have to bargain too hard with my brain to go and I had a good work out.

I really do want to get in more yoga classes, I realized today that going three days over the long weekend really made a difference, I could tell how different my body felt and some poses were much easier with just another day of practice thrown into the mix.

I could sneak into the 7 a.m. yoga class tomorrow, it would end by 8:15 a.m.

I’d have to fly home, shower, and dress lickety split and be on the road by 8:45/9 a.m.

I have therapy at 9:30 a.m. in Noe Valley before work.

Yes.

It all starts back up tomorrow.

Work, therapy, seeing clients.

It’s not a full week with clients, I still have a few that are out-of-town, so it will be a nice easing back into the week.

What will be nice is that the kids will be back in school, which means a little less frenzy at the house in the mornings and some solo work with just the baby.

Back to work tomorrow.

Back to therapy.

It will be good.

I feel like I have come through an interesting time with the holidays.

And I’m grateful for the experiences I got to have, I learned a lot about myself, my expectations, and what I need in my life and what love means to me and how to work on cultivating that in my life.

I am loved.

And I’m not unaware of it.

I am grace with it.

It is like a sun halo on my heart.

A field of eider-down puffs and late afternoon light strained through honey.

This love that catches at my heart like breezes through summer trees.

I am adorned with it.

I got to see it very clearly today in my chat with my person and I am once again awed by all that I have.

Gratitude in spades, gratitude for my life, my experiences, for getting to be the woman I am, for what I have.

It’s not conventional, my life, and fuck, you know, I’m grateful for that too.

I believe I live a more passionate and alive life than most and I wouldn’t trade it for some one else’s trumped-up ideas of stability.

I have so very much.

And I am so very alive.

I am also grateful that I took care of my house today and got myself ready for the week.

I took down the Christmas tree, wrapping up all the ornaments, rolling up the lights, taking down the Christmas cards, packing things away.

All done for another year.

It was the right time to do it and I’m glad I didn’t leave the tree up longer, although for a minute my heart was just not into dismantling it.

I have some very sweet memories of my time with said Christmas tree this year and wrapping up all the ornaments and putting them in my Christmas box really highlighted the holiday I got to have that was similar and completely dissimilar to any other Christmas I have had.

So many lovely memories.

Nestled into tissue paper and carefully tucked away in my precious box of ornaments.

And today is the first day of a new year.

So much is going to happen.

I can feel it.

A pricking in my fingers.

A tingling in my bones.

Electricity in my blood.

This year is going to blow the lid off.

Just you wait.

It’s going to be a hell of a year.

Watch me.


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