Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

One More Week

August 12, 2019

Of freedom.

From school.

Which is fucking hilarious as I carted around two gigantic text books today on the off chance of being somewhere I was going to read.

I learned to always carry my books with me, because inevitably the day will come when I don’t, (this past Saturday) when a client no shows and I have down time to read.

Or I’m at work and unexpectedly get time to read.

I probably won’t at all be able to do that at work tomorrow, I just don’t see it happening, but sometimes it does and as my time is super precious I use whatever I can get.

I have finished one of my text books for the fall semester and started in on another one and I am simultaneously reviewing a few articles for the class I will be guest lecturing on the 21st of September and reading a book for that class as well.

I did question myself a little about that today as I sat in a training in Berkeley for my agency, what am I doing teaching a class too this semester?!

But, I feel it’s good for me to do and I’m excited for the topic and the few people, outside of school, I have run it by, really like listening to me talk about it.

I find that encouraging, if someone who doesn’t have a background in psychology finds it fascinating, those who are pursuing the Master’s degree should like it too.

Or so I hope.

Regardless of whether they do or not,  I am learning as I prepare to teach.

Which is always how it goes.

Want to learn something on a deeper level?

Teach it.

I have had that experience over and over and over again.

And I’m grateful to get to go before an incoming Master’s cohort who are just beginning their journey and say here I am, in my second year of a PhD program, as a licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with a burgeoning private practice.

I get to model what they can become and that’s really a sweet gift to give back.

I didn’t know how much work it was going to be and I’m pretty glad I didn’t, I did know I was right where I was supposed to be and I want to share all the things that I have gotten to learn over the past few years.

An hour and a half lecture will not encapsulate that, but it should be enough time to lecture on Reverie, which I find totally fascinating.

Reverie is something that happens in sessions where daydreams, wayward thoughts, fantasies, visions, intuitions, come to the therapist.

The first time it happened to me in a session, a dyad at school with a classmate, I got spooked.

I thought I had drifted off.

But there was something so potent about it, the image that came to mind, that I mentioned it to my professor who then told me that I had experienced  reverie and that it was clinically significant.

We discussed what I saw, how it was clinically relevant, and how to make an intervention around it.

It was fascinating.

It still is and there’s lots to talk about, and I won’t bore you with it at this time, since I don’t know that you’re really here to listen to me practice my lecture in Psychodynamics.

Heh.

Who knows why you’re here anyway.

I don’t.

I mean.

This blog has been dark for almost two years now, maybe actually it has been a little more than two years.

I don’t link it to social media.

I don’t post it anywhere.

This is just me noodling away at my keyboard.

There are perhaps of handful of folks that still follow me out there who know me, but most of the people that read this have no idea who I am.

Once in a while it gets read a whole bunch and I’ll be curious who has discovered it and why is it so fascinating.

Recently it was getting a ton of reads in, of all places, Hong Kong.

No idea why.

But for a few days, on and off for the last couple of months, literally hundreds of my blogs were being read in Hong Kong.

That was kind of cool to see.

I don’t know how many blogs I’m going to get out before the semester starts, I’ll be starting with some new clients this week and trying to get some homework done before the intensive.

One of my classes doesn’t have the syllabus up yet, which always makes me nervous, but the other two do and there is going to be some major work and a lot of reading to do this semester just for these two classes.

But.

I am not going to stop blogging.

Especially since I am going to actually try to incorporate my blog into a “Work In Progress” assignment for my class in Arts Based Research.

I know that I won’t be able to do a blog a day like I still managed to do with my Master’s degree.

That became really evident I am sure when my blogs took a total nose dive once I began my PhD and started building up my private practice.

The blog took such a hit.

But.

I have never stopped writing and I’m going to keep sending out these little missives to the Universe whenever I can.

It helps me to keep my writing chops and it helps me process all the things.

Like not speaking or being in contact with my ex and what that feels like.

Good and super hard all at the same time and scary and sad.

Or thinking about the time I was in Cuba, just recently and had an overwhelming spiritual experience at a Catholic church where Santoria is practiced.

Floods of tears, praying on my knees, and asking for forgiveness in front of a black Madonna.

Or when I was walking the cobblestone streets of Old Havana with my hair up, a long white dress on, a bright turquoise parasol protecting me from the sun and the feeling of awe in wonder at who I get to be in this life and where I get to go.

And.

Where I get to go home to.

San Francisco.

I am still here.

Hanging on at the edge of the city.

The ledge of the Western seaboard.

Two blocks from the Ocean.

The moon rise and the the dark breach of universe turning above me.

I am so fucking grateful to be alive.

It’s ok that I got my heart broke.

It’s ok that my rent’s ridiculous.

It’s ok that I’m still a nanny.

I get to do all these miraculous things.

It’s ok that I’m busy with my PhD and nervous to teach the class.

I get to do all these things.

Because.

I am graced.

Happy.

Joyous.

And so very.

Very.

Very.

Free.

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A Girl

February 25, 2019

And her books.

I just looked at the gigantic stack of books on my desk/kitchen table and laughed.

Hands up.

You are surrounded.

I should give up the idea of my table really being at all for dining.

Although I do eat breakfast at it every morning, it really is a repository for my books and notebooks and handbooks and readers and pens and my new white board with all its definitions that I am trying to make myself read as often as possible.

I really am in PhD land.

I mean.

You, dear, gentle reader, most likely already know that.

I went from a daily blogger to a weekly blogger, at best.

I actually am uncertain when the last time I wrote a blog was.

Maybe when I was headed out to DC for the weekend last week?

There is so much work that my schooling demands right now that I hardly have time for anything else.

Which, I guess, is good.

It’s something I get to be grateful for.

As.

Ugh.

I broke up with my boyfriend today.

It’s not the first time we have broken up, first time was last January and man, that might have been the worst pain I have felt in sobriety.

Including the time my best friend died.

It was so painful that when I wrote about it I had people reach out to me to see if I was ok.

I know that the language I was using was liken to someone dying and it certainly felt like I was dying.

It’s a kind of pain I’m not about to wish upon anyone.

We reconciled, after a few hits and misses sometime in February or March.

Then we tried it again, with variations, trying to figure out the best way forward.

We had success, we had setbacks, we tried not seeing each other, we tried just hanging out, we would spontaneously erupt into passionate embrace if we were any place semi alone.

We stopped again.

We started again.

We tried being just friends.

We cried.

A LOT.

Fuck did we both cry.

We went to New York in July and had a marvelous, terrifyingly amazing, soul rending romantic and heartbreaking time.

We decided to give it a break and let each other gently go.

I to Paris, he to his other pursuits and work and stuff and things.

He had things to work on.

I had things to do.

Through all the tumult we have loved each other.

We are the loves of each others life, soul mates, the ONE.

And.

We haven’t been able to be completely together.

For reasons I just cannot articulate right now.

I just can’t.

Maybe one day.

Just not this day.

When we left each other in New York it was amidst many a tear and then I headed off to Paris.

We “practiced” not being in contact with each other.

It was excruciating.

My best girlfriend in Paris convinced me I had to stop, I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t helping him by standing by waiting for him to do the work necessary for us to really have a go at being in a relationship to each other.

I decided in Paris that she was right and it was over.

And it was.

For a little while.

We decided again on no contact, except sending each other mail.

I have a heart-shaped box full of mail, including the Valentines Day card he gave me last week with the most adorable pair of silver unicorn earrings anyone has every seen.

I’m his special unicorn.

And you can just fuck off if you snorted through your nose at that.

We’ve always believed the other person is magic.

Our love has felt like that.

Today he told me that after being with me he finally understands all love songs.  That he has a secret decoder ring, me and our experience being together (and apart and together and apart), that all love songs make sense now.

God.

I might start crying.

I have been on and off all day.

Makes it challenging to read the stack of reading for school, but I also am proud to say I muddled through more than one might expect considering the circumstances.

I just want to put my head down, have a good cry, and write a lot of painful poetry.

But.

I soldiered on, met with ladies, did readings, did the deal, did my laundry, roasted a chicken, read for hours, wrote discussion posts for school, responded to discussion posts from school and took down all the photographs of us together that I had up in the house.

Sigh.

So.

Yeah.

We mailed each other love letters and cards and kept in contact that way, romantic, sad, sweet, painful, loving, all the things.

It certainly made shopping for stationary fun and stamps and I can’t tell you how often my heart skipped a beat when I saw mail in my mailbox.

We had agreed after I came back from Paris in July that he had things to work on and that it would be best to not connect until February.

But things happened.

Deaths.

Not really my place to talk about, but I reached out and we reconnected and well, fuck, one things leads to another doesn’t it?

Back in it again for December, my birthday, Christmas, oh the pretty, pretty gifts we gave each other and the love oh, god damn it the love.

I got more tattoos.

He got more tattoos.

We talked.

A lot.

We started texting again, making plans to see each other.

I tried to internally change my point of view of what I needed in the relationship.

We took off the holidays from discussing the relationship and where it was going or not going and just loved on each other as much as school/work/travel/business demands could be met.

We decided to go on a trip.

We went to DC last week.

It was lovely and sad and sweet and hard.

And.

We started the process again of saying goodbye.

We did.

Then we didn’t.

Then we came back.

And this Tuesday.

Insert therapy here.

Mine, my own therapy, not me being a therapist, and I shared about it all, my therapist has been in on everything since the beginning, and she said simply, “your needs are not being met.”

I broke down into tears.

It was true.

They were not.

“It’s not working,” I said and sobbed.

Though there is no lack of love.

My God.

The love.

I just cannot express how much love we have for each other.

We can’t be together right now the way things are.

So.

We made plans to see each other and cleared a lot of time and talked and cried and listened to Bach cello sonatas and held each other and made love one last time and looked into each others eyes and said goodbye.

It was the most kind, gentle, sweet, tender, sad, SAD, break up.

Full of spiritual principles and honesty.

It was excruciating.

Heartbreaking.

But.

Oh.

So.

Beautiful.

And there.

Cue the tears.

Oh my fucking God this hurts.

Not as bad as the first time.

But still.

Awful bad.

I know I am a going to be ok, but right now, I just want to curl up in bed and not do another thing.

I will grieve, I will be sad.

I will let myself have the experience of the loss and I will let go.

Gracefully and grateful.

I have never had love like this before.

All else was a facade.

I don’t know that I ever will again.

I just know I am beyond grateful for the experience, despite the pain.

The pain lets me know how meaningful it was.

REALLY.

Meaningful.

I gave him my copy of The Princess Bride as he left.

I had bought it last February on a trip we took together and over the course of a couple of months I read it to him, on that trip–his head in my lap, and then I recorded myself in the subsequent weeks reading the chapters so he could listen to it on business trips.

His favorite character was Fezzik.

No wonder he’s the love of my life.

Now.

Forgive me.

I must go and cry for a little while.

Sweet dreams my love, know that I will always love you.

Always.

Always.

Always.

Your, baby girl.

What Would You Buy

January 8, 2019

With one dollar?

He asked me to write it down on the note card.

Then he asked what would I buy if I won $10, then $100.

Then $1,000.00

And $1,000,000.00

And also.

$10,000,000.00

My friend had talked me into buying a couple of lottery tickets right before New Years, he always does around New Years and at first I balked.

“You’re one of those people,” my friend told me, we were just leaving Reno.  She had been working at a casino in Wisconsin and was driving cross-country with me to help me move to San Francisco from Madison.

“What do you mean?  I’m one of ‘those’ people,” I asked, but you know in my head I think I sort of knew.

“You’re one of those people that they warn us about at the casino,” she finished.

“Really?  Come on, how can you tell after twenty minutes of me playing slots?”  I asked skeptical, but as I mentioned, perhaps there was a little inkling of knowing what she meant.

She broke it down and yup, I pretty much qualified as one of those people.

I still do.

Which is why I’m pretty careful about not gambling, playing the lottery, buying scratcher cards, going to Reno or Vegas for a fun weekend of playing slots.

Nope.

Something inside gets a little wacky.

Gambling can easily become an addiction and I found out later in life that my mom had a gambling addiction in addition to a few other things.

Some things run in the blood.

So when my friend was like, hey just buy a lotto ticket, its tradition, I balked at first.

Then.

He explained himself and I thought, ok, maybe.

I bought two.

I didn’t win.

But for a day or two occasionally I would think about what I would do if I did win.

Pay off my student loans.

And my best friend’s student loans and probably a few friends in my Masters degree cohort too.

I would definitely quit working, as a nanny, I’d still work as a therapist, I think its important to give back and I’m a good therapist, and I think that having something constructive to do is important.

I would travel a ton.

I would go to Paris and take the Belmond Simplon-Orient Express from Paris to Venice.

And I would upgrade to the suite, which is 3,500 Euro for one way.

God it’s a pretty train, all art deco and fancy and stuff.

Then Venice.

Which I have always wanted to go to and have not made it there yet.

I would get skin reduction surgery for the excess skin I have from my weight loss.

I would buy some pretty clothes.

I would buy a flat in Paris.

I would buy a house in San Francisco.

I would buy a house in San Francisco.

I’m going to buy a house in San Francisco.

I have been writing an affirmation now for a few years every morning in my writing that goes something like this, “I own my own home in San Francisco.”

It really has seemed a bit of a pipe dream, even though I had someone tell me to look them up when I entered my Master’s program when I was ready to buy a house.

She was assuming I would eventually come into a decent amount of salary becoming a therapist.

I’m not quite there, but I am beginning to taste the reality of it.

I actually think I can buy a house.

I really do.

Even here.

In the most expensive market in the United States.

This feeling is pretty new to me, only having happened in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday I had  a huge resentment surface around my current landlord.

There is a gigantic water leak in my hallway entry, a leak that was not just drip, dripping, but literally soaking the hallway to my studio.

Granted.

There is not an actual leak in my studio, it’s dry, but the hallway from the entry door to the studio is sopping wet and my landlord happens to be a contractor, I was aghast when it happened a couple of weeks ago and even more so yesterday and the day before.

I got angry about it.

It’s pretty obvious that he’s not doing a thing about it and it’s rather disgusting to walk through.

That and I’m pretty sure, though I haven’t quite figured out what the correct amount is, that he’s overcharging me utilities.

I made a call to the Tenant’s Union last night to go over a few things–like I don’t have a heater in the studio, which I found out was illegal, and it’s been super cold.  I bought out-of-pocket a space heater, but it doesn’t seem much of a solution and apparently my using it is blowing up the utility bill.

Something smacks weird in all this and add-on to a few drunken loud parties, pot smoke in the garage leaking into my bathroom, and some domestic fights that I have heard and I had pretty much made the decision yesterday that I was going to honor my lease but after it was up, get the hell out.

It’s just not quite the right fit.

It’s better than what I had and I will be honest I looked past one red flag that I probably shouldn’t have.

I did some inventory around it and discussed it in detail last night before doing the deal up in the Castro.

One thing that came out is that I have been practicing faith around my finances instead of fear, I have for a few weeks now.

The buy out monies that I pre-paid the first six months of rent will run out in February and I will have to pay rent out of my pocket and I’ve been concerned.

Afterall.

It is $1,000 more than what I was paying.

So I have been doing contrary actions.

Tipping more when I get a coffee or going out to eat, and I’m a good tipper (once service industry, and I did it for two decades, always service industry), giving a little more when asked, paying my bills early, making a car payment when one isn’t yet due, etc.

Believing that I will have enough and acting as thought there is more money coming in.

Yeah, I was miffed about the utility bill and my landlord saying I owed more, I mean, dude, you owe me a heater in my unit, you should pay the fucking bill, is what I wanted to say, but I also did restraint of tongue and pen and text and figured it would be much better to talk with the Tenant’s Union before I talk with my landlord.

I just paid the bill, wrote a check, and I also said, I’m still going to use the space heater.

The studio is god damn cold.

It’s winter.

It’s been a cold winter for San Francisco and the unit is not insulated, so even when it warms up it doesn’t hold it for very long.

Anyway.

After I got my anger out and had a good talk and then listened to a good talk, I said I was going to have the faith that I didn’t have to actually look for a shitty place, I will be able to afford something better.

Then my person said, “why don’t you just buy a house?”

I was like, Jesus, you’re right!

I am going to buy a house.

The lottery ticket, like I said didn’t yield a win, but it did put the desire to be a homeowner square in my face and I have thought for a long time that I might be crazy, but somehow I was going to end up owning a house in SF.

San Francisco has a Below Market Housing lotto for new homes that are built to accommodate those in the city that can’t afford to buy market rate houses.

I have to attend six hours of workshops and do a 1 on 1 counseling session before I can enter the lottery, but once that’s done, I can apply to every listing that goes up.

Guess who signed up for their first workshop last night?

Yeah.

That’s right.

And I have this feeling.

I really do.

I am going to buy a house.

And it’s not that far away.

I can feel it.

Seriously.

 

Today I Ate

December 25, 2018

An entire book.

I mean.

I consumed it.

I chopped it up and snorted it down like it was some sort of happy drug.

I haven’t read fiction in so long it was an aphrodisiac.

I still feel a little high.

I did just like I said I would and I slept in this morning.

I woke up at 9:45 a.m.!

Holy Toledo.

I cannot remember the last time I slept that late.  I mean, maybe the ARTumnal Airpusher after party silent dance rave I went to in November, but even the day after coming home from a night of carousing and dancing I was still up by 8:30a.m.

I think.

So this morning was nuts.

I believe it was partially, at least this is my excuse, not that I need one, that it was so clouded over.

Dark and stormy.

Grey and misty and wet.

True San Francisco winter weather, not exactly rain, but mist and wind and rainy and all-pervasive.

San Francisco rain doesn’t really always come straight down, it seems to enwrap you and get everything soaked.

Without directly raining all that much.

So I slept in.

I might have even slept longer were it not for the siren song of my bladder yelling out about the big mug of tea I had before I went to bed last night.

I got up and was leisurely.

Like in a major way.

I think it was 11:30a.m. before I actually sat down for breakfast.

A phone call from my best friend was partially the reason, but mostly, I was just going slow and easy.

I enjoyed my late breakfast and wrote a ton.

A lot.

It was lovely.

And though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I did know I was going to need to make a run to the grocery store and maybe see what was playing at the Balboa Theater, which is just up the road from me.

Unfortunately I’d already seen one of the movies and the other I am planning on seeing tomorrow.

But.

La Promenade Cafe was open and so I took my book and settled into a big leather arm-chair by the front window and sank into my story.

I bought this book last summer, a few weeks before I was to start my fall intensive for school.

A day before I got my first text-book in the mail for said intensive.

I only read a few of the stories, it’s a collection of shorts from A.M. Holmes called Days of Awe.

I really like her work, I’ve only read her novels and was happy to find that the shorts were just as compelling and in a way very interwoven, so it felt like I was reading a novel in a way.

I read at the cafe and listened to music and people watched and thought how nice it was to actually be in a cafe in my new neighborhood.

The first time since I’ve moved here since mid-September that I actually did something other than laundry in the neighborhood.

It felt a little like getting settled.

I did another first today too, this one may surprise you, although it shouldn’t considering how busy I keep myself.

I went for a walk around my neighborhood!

Yeah.

I know.

I really haven’t done any walking, unless it was from my car to the house or from the house to my car.

I had gotten back from the cafe, unloaded my groceries, roasted a chicken, made a late lunch, sat on my couch, watched the rain, ate brown butter brussels sprouts and hot roast chicken and listened to Coleman Hawkins.

It was delicious.

The food.

The music.

The rain on the windows.

It felt outside of time, I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was, Sunday, Monday, it all blended together.

My tree looked pretty, I lit candles, it was so cozy.

Then the sun burst out for a few minutes and I thought I should go for a sunset walk.

I quickly bundled up, there was only a few minutes before the sun was going to set, and I walked out the door on 48th and down Balboa towards the sea.

As I got closer, I realized that there was a path that I hadn’t seen before and what do you know, it’s actually a little park!

Sutro Dunes!

I had no idea.

Sweet little wood slat path along the base of the grass and flower covered dunes.

In the twilight it was deeply moving and full of divinity.

It felt really good to just do a little stretch around the neighborhood, to see the Cliff House hanging like an ornament over the ocean, to smell the fresh washed air, to just be.

I am pretty lucky when I think about it.

I live by the ocean.

It is literally a block away from my house.

Although I don’t get down to it as much as I would like, it is always a solace to me and I see it every day when I leave in the morning.

I always say hello.

I am in perpetual awe of its beauty.

And I am not often home at sunset to ponder it.

It was a really lovely little gift to me.

I got back to the house right before the rain began again and settled back on my couch, my first day of really sitting on my couch too!

My first day really using my coffee table like a coffee table.

I drank a second homemade cafe au lait, so decadent to have two in one day at my house, and I read more of the book until I left to go do the deal up at 7th and Irving.

Which was also just marvelous.

Ran into some much-loved fellows and heard exactly what I needed to hear.

Came home, heated up dinner.

And yes.

Yes I did.

I ate the rest of the book.

I read 288 pages today.

It was not a chore.

It was the best feeling.

And guess what?

One of my text books for the next semester did come in the mail today.

I did not read it.

I was tempted.

But I realized, did I want to leave the A.M. Holmes until next summer?

Or was it actually ok to let myself have Christmas Eve without homework?

It was ok.

And it was so lovely.

Exactly the kind of day off that will sustain me for many weeks as I marshal my way forward towards this next milestone of learning and life.

Gratitude this Christmas for all the gifts in my life.

There are so many.

The best, I dare say, may be my relationship with myself and the life I have been given.

Grace.

That’s what it is.

Grace.

I have been blessed.

And may you be as well.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all.

A.

Very.

Good.

Night.

A Time I Will Never Forget

September 1, 2018

I am appropriating your words again, my love.

You renamed something of ours.

It was appropriate.

The re-naming.

I approved.

I responded.

I know.

No contact.

I don’t know that you saw it.

But.

I hope that you did.

And I said.

“Nor will I, my love.”

Nor will I.

I can’t forget that time, our time.

The city we were in.

The heat.

The warmth of you next to me on the stoop in Brooklyn.

Our picnic that I put together.

The way the day’s sun had warmed the cement, the call of the birds settling in the trees.

The same birds that would awaken us in the morn.

They seemed to call to me.

Here.

Now.

Be with him.

And I gave myself to you.

I have no regrets.

In the giving I was given to.

The sacred radicalism of our love.

The driver the night before as we came over the bridge from one borough to the next.

She asked us if we were married.

We weren’t.

But you know.

We were.

We are.

Married and joined in some other way.

I felt betrothed to you.

I still do.

I write about that sometimes.

I haven’t told you that.

I still write your name, in its fullness, in my morning pages, and that I am married to the great love of my life.

Then.

Yes.

I list all the places we will travel to.

Places we have already been.

But will need to go back and reclaim.

And places that we will go to.

And make them ours.

Today I was in such a place.

Out by the sea.

Rockaway Beach.

It is not a particularly luxurious spot.

There is something rough and redneck about it.

And yet.

As I ate my three egg omelet at the table in the cafe while I watched the ocean come in and go out, I could not stop thinking of you.

I could see us in the hotel room where I am staying.

Alone.

My room-mate never showed for the intensive.

I could see you and I here.

Together.

Then in the cafe later, having a very late breakfast, drinking too much coffee, making plans to build bonfires at the beach.

Telling each other stories from our rebellious youth.

I could see your face across the way.

So real.

I teared up.

I cried over my three egg with cheese and bacon omelet.

Then.

Damn the music sometimes.

One of the songs that you put on my dance card came over the sound system.

REALLY?

I thought.

Really.

Now.

In this moment.

Right now as I am figuring out the tip for the waitress.

She wasn’t great but she’s my waitress and she’s going to get at least 20%.

Once a waitress.

Always a waitress.

And that song.

Not even a recognizable Elvis song, or an obvious heartbreak song.

Just something to dance to.

Remember.

When you made me that playlist.

And we went to the beach.

It wasn’t the best time at the beach.

I think we actually fought.

But we made up.

We always made up.

I wish we were making up now.

Instead of being nostalgic for another time.

A past time.

A memory that grows, though not distant, removed.

I miss you baby.

I wish I was making more memories with you instead of trying to reconcile not being with you.

I wish I was writing you poetry that you would actually read.

I wish you had been next to me, not just at the cafe.

But at the beach.

I saw the plume of a whale spout.

Then a humpbacked breached.

I gasped a loud and reached for your hand.

I almost fell off the damn rock I was sitting on.

Reaching for something that is not there.

Grief.

Yes.

Grief.

For a time I will never forget.

For a man I will always want.

For a love that is not mine to have.

But.

I had it anyway.

And no one can take that away from me.

Not anyone.

Now.

Or.

Ever.

It’s Still Light Out!

June 20, 2018

Yes.

I know it’s Day Light Savings and we’re just a few days away from the longest day of the year, but that’s not it.

Both my clients cancelled tonight.

Both.

And then the boss let me go a half hour early.

Not only was I able to go hit up the spot and get my God on, I actually got home and have eaten dinner and it’s still light out!

I cannot remember the last time I have been home this early.

It’s nice.

It’s a little weird, but nice.

And since I do have to get up early tomorrow for another early start at work, I’m ok with it.

I briefly flirted with the idea of going to yoga class.

But it seemed better to have dinner earlier than to wait until 9p.m.

Which is what would have happened had I done the yoga.

And I knew who the teacher was today, I had checked the schedule and I noted the instructor, who isn’t bad, but also, well, isn’t good either.

Another instructor I might have decided to do it, but this guy, well, home and an early dinner and some relaxing sounded about right.

Grateful for a mellow week so far.

I’ve only had one client this week, when typically I would be in the middle of my fourth session of the week right now.

I have three clients left to see this week and no one tomorrow.

It feels like I got a little mini-break in the middle of my work week.

This makes me laugh.

Just working a full-time work week feels like an easy week.

I’ll also be putting in a little over time, but really, it does feel really quite relaxed.

Just thinking ahead to that mystical far off, well, maybe not so far off, but still a few years out, when I just get to be a therapist for work and don’t have to juggle full-time nannying along with my internship.

When that happens I will happily put some of the things in my life that I have not had much of back in.

More doing the deal.

More fellowshipping.

More yoga, or some sort of exercise.

But for right now, I am content.

I’m not upset that this is where my life’s at, I’ve been working really hard for the last three years to get to this point.

I still have two to three years before I’ll be fully licenced.

By which time I will have taken my boards, all the tests that I will have to take to get there, plus I will have finished my PhD program.

I haven’t any real clue how much work that is going to be, but I suspect it will be similar to what the load was when I was getting my Master’s degree.

There is a part of me that hopes that I can cut back on the nannying by June or July of next year.

There is a part of me that hopes I’ll be done with it completely, but I am not sure if that’s a for sure thing.

I would need to carry a lot of clients.

I will get there though.

And I do think that I could possibly get there before I am licensed.

I know  of people who have had full-time client loads as interns.

It’s doable.

I just have to make enough money.

I feel that what will happen is going to be gradual.

Come January, when my contract is up with the family I may say, hey, let me cut down to four days a week or three, then pick up clients full-time on those days.

I have discussed it a little with the mom, but not in detail.

Fact is.

I don’t know how it’s going to look, I can only speculate.

I do know that I have a date to meet with my new supervisor on July 11th and fingers crossed I will have my AMFT # by that point.

I have started to watch the mail.

I’ve been watching the mail for a minute now, actually.

I haven’t gotten my SF Tenant’s Union hand book yet and I’m wondering where it’s at.

I need to write my landlady that letter and it would be helpful to have the handbook.

I probably don’t need it to do the letter, but there’s a part of me that wants to have the extra support as I’m writing the letter to make sure that I have the pertinent details listed.

My therapist and I talked about it a bunch today.

It’s good to have that support.

I won’t see her for a couple of weeks what with my upcoming trip to New York about to happen.

That letter will be sent before I fly out.

I’m sure I will have  much to cover in our next session.

I reflected on that today.

Life keeps showing up.

Things keep happening.

My therapist and I had briefly discussed what it would be like for me moving forward and how she could support me and whether or not I go down to therapy every other week.

But fuck.

Things happen.

Graduation.

My mom’s visit.

Travel.

Relationships.

Work.

The 90 day move out bomb.

I don’t think that now is the time to cut back on the therapy.

It’s super helpful.

Super helpful.

And, well, I like having the resource too for other aspects of my life.

There are things that I don’t talk about with the majority of other people in my life that my therapist gets to hear and it’s such a gift to have that outlet.

It’s nice to, that I get to also give that gift to another.

Even if it’s a light week for me.

I am still showing up for my clients.

Partially just by living my life to its utmost fullest.

With love.

And boundless gratitude.

No matter how life shows up.

It’s life.

I’m alive.

It’s all good.

Emotional Attachment

June 12, 2018

I woke up a tiny bit off.

Not a lot, but just enough to notice.

I felt a little flat.

Sometimes when I feel this way it’s because I am trying to avoid feeling anything.

So I disassociate a little, go about my day, do my things, make my bed, get dressed and do my hair, make breakfast, get lunch ready for work, look at my calendar, make coffee.

You know.

Routine.

I can check out a little in my routine.

But.

It all came clear when I peeped social media.

Oh hi there.

I wasn’t expecting to see that.

But.

I should have.

I have been sensing it in the air.

I thought about it a couple of days ago.

There’s a birthday coming up, isn’t there?

And yes.

Thanks social media.

There it was on Facebook.

Hi papa.

Happy birthday.

Today you turned 69.

Sigh.

I haven’t seen my father since he was in a coma over four years ago.

I ceded responsibility for his health to the State of Alaska.

I sat by his side for four days and cried and talked and held his hand.

I wrote him a long card that I had bought at a gift shop in the Anchorage Museum a friend had taken me to one afternoon.

“Enough, you’ve had enough time in the hospital, come out, get some air, let’s do something not related to the hospital and the ICU.”

I found a really cool card with raven totems on it.

I bought it for my dad.

I left all my information in it.

My phone number.

My address.

My email.

I said I loved him and hoped he was going to get better and be safe and be happy and get healthy.

I told him I forgave him.

I’m actually not sure I wrote that in the letter, but I told him that.

And I asked him to forgive me.

He wasn’t always the best dad.

I wasn’t always the best daughter.

And I let him go.

My last  night there before getting on the plane the nurses encouraged me to talk to him more, that thought that he might wake up to my voice.

He never did.

I waited until I couldn’t wait any longer, I had to come back to San Francisco, I had to go back to work.

I had to take care of myself.

I kissed him on the cheek.

I was surprised by the warmth of his face and the softness of his skin under my lips.

My eyes welled up with tears and I left.

He woke up about a week later.

On my birthday of all days.

I saw it was the number of the hospital in Anchorage.

I answered.

It was one of my dad’s nurses, “your father’s awake and he wants to talk to you.”

“Hi ___________________ I said softly, I call my father by his first name.  A psychological defense of distancing that I learned at a very young age.  My father ceased being papa when I was six although there were a few scattered times in my adolescence that my father reclaimed the moniker, he’s always been known to me by his first name.

He said, “my balls itch and the nurse won’t let me scratch them.”

Sigh.

Happy birthday.

That really wasn’t what I wanted to hear from my dad, but then again he was awake and that was something else.

He’d been in the coma for two weeks.

Then he cawed at me.

“Caw! Caw!”

Like a crow.

Like a raven.

I teared up.

He’d gotten my letter and either he’d read it or someone read it to him.

He understood and he was letting me know that he’d gotten the message.

I felt big crashing waves of emotions.

And then.

The nurse had to get him off the phone, for he kept trying to take off the bandages around his skull where the craniotomy had happened to relieve the brain swelling he’d had as a result of the accident he was in.

And accident that was propelled and fueled by his alcoholism.

Those were the last words I got from my dad.

I wondered about him today.

I felt a similar feeling last year around this time.

An urge to reach out.

An urge to connect.

I tried a cell phone number that I thought might work.

It was disconnected.

Just like I was.

Detached.

Removed.

Far, far, far away.

I checked in with my person today, I told on myself about my father’s birthday and some guilt and shame that was coming up.

I got lovely perspective and calm soothing words and an invitation instead to get a candle for my father and light it and that it be a scented candle, a smell that I like.

And when I smelled it I would send a little prayer up to God for my father.

I lit that candle tonight when I got home.

Kona coffee scented.

Seems apropos.

My father was born in Hawaii.

I miss you papa and I hope you are well and happy and content.

I won’t reach out further.

There is too much illness and disease and dysfunction there for me to get involved in an emotional imbroglio.

Rather.

Today.

I reached out to those who are my chosen family, friends that have seen me through rough stuff with my parents, friends who love me.

I called an old friend from Wisconsin from my undergrad days.

I got a hold of a friend of mine from high school.

And I reached out to my two best girlfriends from my graduated school program.

Then I loved hard at work.

“I think we are all emotionally attached to you,” the mom said, so sweet, with such tenderness and vulnerability.

I am a soothing presence in their lives and that was sweet to hear and much appreciated.

I got to help put the baby down for a nap when he was super upset.

I got to hug the little lady and make her all sorts of her favorite foods.

And.

Oh.

The oldest boy just crawled right up into my lap today at the dinner table.

He wasn’t feeling well and he just wanted me to hold him and scratch his back.

He put his head on my chest and asked me to sing him a lullaby.

It was the most heartbreakingly sweet thing ever.

Having this eight year old boy curled up on me listening to me sing “Hush Little Baby.”

My family of origin may not be the family I wanted to have in my life.

And I’m ok with that.

They did the best they could.

Besides

I have such amazing family in my life.

My family of choice.

And for that I am beyond grateful.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

 

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.

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.


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