Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

It’s Late

October 30, 2017

But not really.

It just feels like it is.

I had a half lazy day, half busy day, and a “I was half way out of it day,” at one point from going to bed so late last night.

2:30 a.m.

I cannot remember the last time I went to bed at that hour.

I had gone out dancing with a dear girlfriend.

We met up in the city at Brenda’s Meat and Three where I had wrapped up a delicious dinner with my person, cheese grits with shrimp, bacon and tomato.

My God.

It was so good, I could have licked the bowl.

The server laughed when I said that, and added, “I’ve seen it happen.”

I do not doubt it.

I once licked a plate at a meal out with friends, but I suspect I was a little tipsy when I did it.

The grits were just that good.

I will be having them again.

And I got a lot of compliments on my costume

I went as a sugar skull from Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

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It was my first time trying to do the makeup.

I think I did pretty good, all things considered.

The place that I stop at, Ulta Beauty over by the Nordstrom Rack and Trader Joes shopping area, was out of Halloween face paint.

I was like.

Seriously?

You guys are a freaking makeup store!

It’s three days before Halloween and you’re already sold out?

What the heck!

But.

I’m a clever girl.

First I asked what the lightest foundation that they had in the store was.

I’m brown-skinned enough that a very light foundation is going to look close to white on my skin.

Then I got a finishing powder that was tinted with green to pull any redness from my face and then another that was a translucent white powder.

Then I pillage the NYX cheap makeup.

Big white eyeliner, big black eyeliner, a pink one, a turquoise one, and a liquid eyeliner in lilac with glitter.

And I found a really cool blue lip gloss that was matte and had glitter in it.

I have no idea when I’m ever going to use this make up again.

But the end result, though not professional caliber, well, I thought, was pretty damn good.

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I actually got a lot of compliments last night, both at Brenda’s and at the dance.

My friend also had a great costume, she was a Hip Hop Zombie.

Which was apropos as we were going to the Time Travelers Ball in Oakland.

Great music, lots of old hip hop, lots of funk, so early electronic, old 80s and late 70s movies playing on the wall, great light system, a small fire in the courtyard, in a portable fire pit.

I ran into a few folks, from, yes, of all places, Burning Man.

I didn’t recognize the woman at all who came up and squealed at me, and how she recognized me with all that makeup on, I have no idea, but she did.

It was a good time.

And.

Heh.

Although I did not make the top three prizes in the costume contest, I did win an honorable mention and was given back my entrance fee and an open bar tab.

Which for me was hilarious to contemplate.

I had a La Croix.

It was tasty.

Heh.

And.

I had fun and I danced a lot, so much so that I was afraid I was going to break a sweat and my make up was going to slide off my face.

It stuck though.

It stuck really well, it took a lot of make up removing wipes and washing my face to get it off, in fact, I didn’t get all the white eyeliner off, man I tried, but I gave up the ghost at some point.

I was also up late as it was 9 hours a head in Paris and my best girl friend from school sent me a message on What’s App about having a Face Time session and I just said, fuck it, it is super hard for us to co-ordinate our time, so screw it, yes, I had a Face Time session this morning around 1:45 a.m.

It was so good to see her face and hear her voice.

Oh, how I miss her.

We got caught up and talked about all the things and made some tentative plans to see each other in the new year.

She may be coming back for a training and I’m pretty sure I’ll be in Europe in July and I’m going to make sure I go up to Paris and spend time with her.

I was in tears when I got off the call, it was super hard to hang up.

But man, it was late.

And I had lunch date that I wanted to be ready for.

I was going to sleep 8 hours, I was.

I set my alarm for 10:30 a.m., which is unheard of for me, but I figured, I can skip yoga, I got a workout dancing, and I want a full nights sleep.

of course.

I was up at 8:30 a.m.

Which is why it feels late right now when it’s not really.

I’m glad for it though, I did a ton of writing and I had a leisurely breakfast and a quick phone call with my best friend and plans to connect later.

Which was sweet.

So sweet.

And then off across town to Mario’s on Columbus and Union.

I hadn’t been there before, but it was classic, pure North Beach Italian Cafe and bar.

It was so good to see my friend and we chatted about all things art and kindness and words and poetry and talked about Burning Man, since that’s where we met three years ago, and projects, and life.

I am enthralled with that aspect of my life, that sometimes, out of nowhere, because I am moved to connect with someone, a new relationship happens.

It startles me every time.

It was like that with my best girl in Paris, we were sitting next to each other, an empty seat between us, at the first year retreat for our school.

And we turned to each other and we’ve never turned away.

The loveliness of it still astounds.

The people in my life who I love, who I consider my family, my loves, my friends, I am so, so lucky to know.

Beyond lucky.

Graced.

I am graced.

And tired.

Just saying.

I got a lot of other stuff done today too, grocery shopping, lots of cooking, lots of homework.

But really.

It was the connecting with my friends, with my people, with my loves, that made the most impact on my today.

An hour-long phone conversation sitting on a bench in the sunlight (the only sunlight that I got to see, man was it cold and foggy today) at Washington Square Park.

The confirmation of love.

The power of poetry.

The great gifts of kindness.

The art of being human.

It gets me every time.

Every time.

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Halloween

October 28, 2017

It’s going to be interesting.

I agreed to go out with some girlfriends to Oakland.

I am fucking crazy.

But.

Well.

Dancing.

Friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Fellowship.

Costumes.

Which sound great, but on my ride home from my internship tonight the shit show of traffic that is already happening and the crazy, San Francisco likes it some Halloween, the crazy is already on.

Tuesday is Halloween.

But everyone is out celebrating this weekend.

So.

Today when I was feeling all sorts of sassy, before the week caught up with me and bitch slapped me and stomped all over me, christ almighty I was drained when I left work to go to my internship–I worked overtime at my day job this week, I was all worn the fuck out and thought, I am nuts to want to go out tomorrow.

It’s going to be crazy town.

I mean it already is crazy town.

It’s just going to be more of it.

And how am I going to juggle the costume?

I sort of have an idea.

I was thinking I could do a sugar skull.

I don’t have all the right makeup to do it, but I could probably pick it up.

The thing is coordination with my girlfriend and where she’s going to be in the city and where I will be in the city.

I’ve got my internship from 1p.m.-5:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Yeah.

I was not expecting that, but then again, I did say I was open for consults this Saturday, so there it is, I am no victim, I volunteered for it.

I also had a client cancel this week and a few cancel next week, as Halloween is on a Tuesday–both clients cancelled that night, so I was eager to make up some of the hours.

It just puts a little crunch on coming home and getting ready and going back out again.

I have 7pm plans in the NOPA to do the deal and afterward my person and I are going to get dinner at Brenda’s Meat and Three on Divisadero.

I figure we’ll be wrapping up dinner around 9:30p.m.

My friend wants to get over to Oakland around 10p.m. for the Halloween dance.

A lot of folks in my community will be there, so it’s good fun, but I just feel a tiny bit pressured.

Then again.

Dress up?

Makeup?

Dancing?

Girlfriends?

Um, yeah.

That actually sounds good.

So I am going to make the effort, I am going to try not to be the old lady who is going to bed early on a weekend night since she’s fucking drained from the week, I’m going to rally.

I am sure I will have a good time.

And then I can say with all honesty that I did something for the holiday.

I haven’t celebrated it in a while.

The last time I went out on Halloween was with this same friend and a bunch of other folks, I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts and my date went as a character from Game of Thrones.

I was nervous as all hell to have a Halloween dance date and it was weird and as it turns out, it was so not a good match, but I went out and had some dancing with my girlfriend and she and her boyfriend actually won the fucking costume contest!

They dressed up as Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction and they actually did the fucking dance on the stage.

It was brilliant.

I do recall that the music at said dance rather sucked, but it was fun to hang with my friends.

That was what, three years ago?

Yeah.

I suppose it’s about time I did something on Halloween.

I know I didn’t dress up last year, I’m sure I could have, I’m sure there was a party or five I could have gone to, but grad school, that’s been the thematic for the last two and a half years, I want to, but um, homework.

And yes.

Sure.

I have some, I have plenty.

But.

I want to play dress up.

I want to be social.

So I’m pretty sure I will go, even though it felt like too much effort to even think about after I got out of work tonight.

I have other Halloween things on the mind.

I have an interview on Halloween.

No.

Not for a job.

I love my job.

I’m not looking for another.

Unless it will help me get hours for my MFT licence and pays better than what I make now.

I suspect that won’t actually happen until I graduate.

Anyway.

No.

I was asked by a group that do this thing called “People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

It’s not a Ted talk, it’s not about big ideas, but about rather about unique life experiences and personal life journeys.

I was referred to it by a very dear friend of mine.

Said friend with whom I get to enjoy a lunch in North Beach on Sunday and catch up on all the things.

My friend did a lecture for these folks and in his discussion he brought up a poetry project that I did in collaboration with him a couple of years ago, my first semester in graduate school.

They were intrigued and asked if he’d forward my e-mail, they were interested in hearing my story.

It seems they have been doing this series in Tel Aviv now for three years and are taking the series to a global platform.

I was really flattered to be considered and I messaged with the director, I think he’s the director, of the project today.

And set up a time to go and interview with them on Halloween.

I am super excited to do it.

Of course I am.

I like to talk about myself.

Who doesn’t?

But I also like to share about how I have gotten through struggles, hardship, overcome difficulties, thrived and been resilient, how I have said yes to things, and therefore lived in Paris with my tattoo artist, flown to Rome to spend a weekend with a woman I had met in Paris at dinner, gone to London to spend Christmas Eve with a barely known acquaintance, gone to Burning Man 11 times, written thousands, yes thousands of blogs (2,286 to be exact, plus a few hundred more that I either scrubbed or archived off the site), how I met a woman in New Orleans and she collected me as an artist and took me to lunch and drove me all over New Orleans one afternoon, how I meet people, connect, talk, like the man in Green Point Brooklyn who’s sculpture I was so admiring of that he came out and talked to me and before you know it I have a private showing of his studio and the promise that when I could afford one of his pieces he would be happy to recreate my favorite one he had in his studio and ship it to me, (Doug Beube, his stuff is extraordinary) how I am a nanny, how I have worked with kids for over a decade, including nannying at 7 Burning Man events.  Or my most recent adventure, working full-time while interning part-time and going to graduate school full time.

Yeah.

That.

No biggie.

Or my spiritual life.

Which is the penultimate reason why I can do all of the above.

Regardless.

I have things to talk about.

I’m intrigued, and flattered, and more than a touched humbled that someone who I respect and admire referred me to this group of people.

It feels like a big deal.

And.

Some nice validation of who I am and what I do on a daily basis to do all the things.

So.

Yeah.

I will rally tomorrow and get my Halloween on.

I said yes, didn’t I?

And when I say yes.

Well.

Magical things happens.

They

Always.

Do.

 

Almost There

October 6, 2017

Almost to the weekend.

So close I can taste it.

I am ready.

I am so ready.

It’s been a long week, not horrible, just long.

I’ve seen my therapist, had a huge aha moment with her, felt some things get inwardly re-arranged and they’re still settling.

I saw my supervisor and we had an amazing session.

I have seen six clients this week.

I have two more to see tomorrow.

I have worked full days at work.

I have one more to go.

One more.

Then.

Saturday.

OH.

How I have been dreaming about you.

It just can’t get to me fast enough.

And the week has gone by pretty quick, for which I am grateful.

Sometimes anticipation of an event can make the time getting there super painful.

Exquisite pain.

“It’s almost Christmas!” My little girl charge said twirling around in her ballet leotard and tutu.

I hate to break it to you kiddo, but it’s the first week in October, it’s going to be a minute.

Despite, yes, ugh, seeing the first Christmas decorations up at Nordstrom’s Rack last weekend when I went to do some clothing shopping.

I mean, sure, they had some Halloween stuff up too, but really the bulk of it was Christmas stuff.

I was a touch horrified.

Let me enjoy the autumn please.

Let me have my Halloween.

“What are you going to be for Halloween?” My oldest boy charge asked me.

He was not satisfied with my response of “a nanny.”

“Come on!” He demanded.

“Um, a grad student?” I smiled.

“No!” He said, literally stomping his foot.

“What about a psychotherapist?” I added, trying not to chuckle too much at his expense, he was so serious.

“That’s not a costume!” He opened his eyes really big and huffed out air from his cheeks.

I don’t have a costume, although I could pull off a pin-up girl really easily, I have a couple of dresses that are retro pin-up.

But pin-up might be, um, well, a tad sexy for my nanny day job.

I might wear of Day of the Dead skull print dress.

It’s also a touch on the pin-up side, but I can down play the make up and hair, and make it cute instead of sexy.

Child appropriate.

I won’t see my therapist that day, she’ll be out of town, but I will have clients, at least I think I will have one, I have to double-check, it feels like one of them recently cancelled for that day, but I can’t remember off the top of my head.

So.

Whatever I do wear needs to translate to going in to my internship and seeing clients.

I get a head of myself.

It’s not Halloween yet.

Nor is it Christmas.

I am just anticipating my weekend.

And that’s enough.

I’m almost done with my antibiotics too.

Which is nice, they upset my tummy a bit.

I have one more day and then done with them.

I still have had intermittent tooth pain, but I’m dealing.

Just taking ibuprofen and trying to stay hydrated.

I feel like drinking more water is always helpful, no matter what.

I hope the pain passes.

I had it come on pretty bad yesterday at the end of the work day and it was distracting at my internship, then I woke up this morning and nothing.

A bit of pain in the late afternoon today, but end of day at work was doable.

It’s been not so hot over the past week.

I do hope it passes.

If it continues or gets worse I’m just going to suck it up and make another appointment and let my dentist poke around in there some more.

Not excited for that.

So.

Hey tooth fairy.

Cut this lady a little slack.

The dentist didn’t see any cavities, nothing showed up on the x-ray, so stop hounding me for a tooth, I ain’t got one to give.

Anyway.

Who cars about my teeth when the weekend is almost here.

I’m not excited, really, ha.

I have to also remember, in all the excitement to book my ticket for travel.

I need to book by October 15th.

Which means I should do it this weekend as next weekend, October 13th-15th, is a school weekend.

I am happy that I can still use the ticket and book flight.

It’s nice to look forward to travel.

Even if I won’t necessarily take it for a little while.

I will still get to take it and I won’t be throwing $435 down the drain.

I have wasted plenty of money on lesser things, but travel is sacred to me.

I love to get on a plane and go.

Oh.

I always want to come back home, but I do like to go somewhere new and explore it, sometimes I also want to go to somewhere I know.

I will always have a lech to travel to Paris, always.

It is familiar and still foreign enough and though I have been many times, there always is something new to see.

I almost found myself applying for a two month artist in residency for next year.

But then.

Haha.

I remember, um, you might be in school those two months.

Not going to happen.

It’s a prestigious fellowship.

It’s two months rent and $1,000 a month to support your time plus travel expenses.

Nothing to sneeze at.

I applied for it once, I think that’s why I got the notice in my e-mail today.

But I had to laugh after I took a minute to realize, of course I can’t go for two months to Paris in 2018 since I’m in school and have other really important obligations, but I laughed at the photo the fellowship was using as an enticement.

It was two people romantic and laughing in the sun on a bridge near Pont Neuf.

Which is a gorgeous and magical.

But the fellowship is for February and March.

Which are not sunny months at all.

AT ALL.

They are dark and cold and dreary and wet and rainy.

That photo definetly taken in summer or late spring.

Not way it was FEBRUARY.

Also it’s why, I bet, they do the fellowship at that time because it’s probably the least traveled time to go to Paris, thus cheaper, than any other time, maybe August, which is when the city basically shuts down in the heat and everybody leaves to go on vacation.

It was a lovely fantasy, though, to indulge in for a minute.

But really.

My time needs to be focused here.

Here is where it’s at.

All the things.

And Friday.

Hello weekend.

I have waited so long for you.

I can taste your nearness and it is maddening.

Seriously.

 

Three Quarters

September 24, 2017

And then some.

Through my second weekend of the school semester.

Third year of my program.

One day of classes tomorrow.

And it’s a short day, I’ll be out by noon.

Very happy for that.

I almost forgot that I won’t really have a day off until next Sunday since I’m in school all weekend, I saw a client yesterday, in addition to being in class, and today was a great big full day, 9a.m.-8p.m.

Sometimes I come out of it in a bit of a daze.

I didn’t so much tonight.

The fresh air helped.

The beautiful crescent moon in the sky lured me home and I had many thoughts and much dreaminess over take me.

And then I was home.

It was as though today was a dream.

Albeit a full one of learning.

The school weekends are not as difficult as they have been over the last two years, partially because I am in internship, I am seeing clients, I’m doing the therapy, I am a therapist.

So the school stuff seems almost, but not quite, irrelevant.

I am constantly learning more and I feel a softening in myself around a lot of it and a trusting, a much greater trusting, of my intuition than I have ever had.

This is a nice space to be in.

I remember how exhausted I was after my first weekend of school my first semester, first year, I was obliterated, I would get home in a daze and slowly shed the day and pack my lunch for the next day and fall the fuck out exhausted.

I remember how much my brain hurt.

I feel like I am still learning and the learning is richer, fuller, deeper, but it doesn’t quite wear me out as much as it did before.

I think my capacity for taking in new information as grown.

Or perhaps I have just assimilated it all in my brain.

Either way, yes, I am tired, but not blasted to smithereens.

I can see being up for a little while, I can see having a snack, I can see writing my blog and not feeling as though my brains are leaking out my ears.

And yes.

I am a little bummed that I don’t have tomorrow off, I mean, who really wants to be in school on a Sunday?

Especially with it being glorious Indian Summer in San Francisco.

But.

I am hopeful that I will get to have some enjoyment.

I’ll be done by noon and I was thinking I might hit up some fellows in the Mission around 12:15p.m., hang out, get right with God, and then have the rest of the day to I don’t know, do my nails, eat a nice lunch, and then all the maintenance stuff that needs to be done–grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, at home.

I don’t plan on making it a big crazy day, just some mellow self-care.

Which is always needed during school weekends.

I went out to lunch today with a couple of my friends in the cohort and got caught up.

I have invites to Miami and Nevada, to Paris.

I like these things.

My friend joked she knew how busy I am, but one day she was going to get me to come to her home in Nevada.

Maybe if I get that car I’ve been contemplating.

That could be a possibility.

And.

One of my other friend’s lives in Miami and she’s always telling me I have a spot to stay.

I haven’t been to Miami since I was 19.

And I was homeless.

Not really a trip that I want to replicate.

Or experience.

I would like to have a new relationship with Miami, see it through my friend’s eyes, check out the food, the art, the beaches.

And of course, Paris is often on my mind since my darling friend moved back.

I miss her so much at school sometimes, it’s hard.

I am thinking since I withdrew from doing the ALC ride that I might want to do a trip to celebrate my graduation from the Masters program in late May, Barcelona for a few days and Paris for a little bit.

Not sure yet what that might look like, but it’s definitely up there in my head.

Fuck.

God damn it.

That reminds me.

I have to call Sun Country and find out if I need to use that ticket that I have from my cancelled Christmas trip to Minneapolis last winter.

I vaguely remember that I either have to book travel by the time I bought it, I had a year to use it, and of course, I haven’t used it.

I just don’t recall if I have to use it, ie travel, by the time I bought the ticket, which I think was mid-October of last year, or if I just have to book the ticket to travel by that time.

I need to call and find out ASAP.

I mean.

It’s coming up on the last week of September.

I may only have three weeks to use that thing or be out the money.

I suspect I may be out the money.

Which I will live with.

I was sad that I had to cancel those travel plans last year add in a Thanksgiving with head lice–cancelled travel plans for that too, a birthday party where the venue failed to alert me they were going to be renting space out to a private corporate party (Free Gold Watch), so there was not a party, although there was a nice brunch with folks in Cole Valley, and a Christmas that I spent pretty much alone and sitting in a movie theater watching a movie on my own, well it was not the holidays I thought I was going to have.

Truth be told.

The holidays have been wonky for me for a while.

And I’m smart enough to know to not hang any kind of expectations on them.

I do want to find out about the ticket.

I mean.

I may just figure out a way to fly somewhere for a few days.

It’s not like I have vacation time to take at work.

I don’t know.

It’s probably a lost cause, but at least I need to look into it.

Anyway.

This rambling blog is showing me that perhaps I am a tiny bit tired after all.

One more day to go.

Almost there.

So close.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Huge Relief

September 10, 2017

To change my mind.

To see where I was taking on too much.

To apologize and make an amends to a friend.

To get honest with my person and with myself.

To see where my priorities lie.

To let go.

To surrender.

Such relief.

I have been grappling with something for a few weeks now and I suspect that recent events in my life, like letting go of the idea that I have to go to Burning Man every year for the rest of my life and that I always have to be working toward something, coalesced this afternoon as I rode my scooter into my internship.

I don’t want to do the Aids Life Cycle Ride.

Let me clarify.

If I wasn’t working 40 hours a week, interning 15 hours, and going to graduate school full-time I would be totally down with doing the ride.

But.

I realized.

I am working so hard already and to commit to another commitment seems fool hardy, prideful, and unrealistic.

I like to believe that I am superhuman.

“You don’t have to be Super Carmen,” my person told me, “Carmen is good enough.”

Fuck me.

I forget that all the time.

As if I am not constantly trying to self-improve, do better, live harder, go bigger, I am not enough.

And.

Good fucking grief.

I am enough.

I also realized that I had self-sabotaged myself by committing to do something that would make me re-arrange my already super full schedule and in effect make it so I would not have any days off.

NONE.

Yes, that’s right, I would be working full-time, seven days a week, for the next 10 months.

Fuck that.

I deserve to let myself have a little down time.

To love and be loved.

To not go crazy in my last year of my Masters program.

I mean.

I’m still working six days a week, I’m not slacking.

I rode my scooter to my internship and thought, it’s ok to change my mind, it’s ok to see where I bit off too much and it’s alright to acknowledge that maybe I knew this all along.

That maybe I didn’t buy the road bike when I had the chance because I really knew I didn’t want to do the ride.

I think I was setting myself up to give myself an out.

I had run into my friend who convinced me to ride again a week before I went to Burning Man and his talks about doing training rides made me feel nauseous.

How the hell was I going to fit it in?

I started to consciously let myself know that maybe, just maybe, it would be ok if I changed my mind.

I actually think going to Burning Man really helped me with that.

I realized there, at the event, on a very deep level, that I work really hard to work really hard on my vacations.

Maybe.

Just maybe.

Instead of busting my ass, granted for an amazing cause, and I don’t regret the $95 I dropped to register, it’s a gift that I wouldn’t ask back if I could have it back, to bust my ass on my vacation.

Maybe.

I might want to actually have a vacation.

Like.

Lay on a beach.

Or.

Sit in a fucking cafe and read a book, people watch, drink coffee at ridiculous hours and not worry about getting up at the crack of dawn to ride 100+ miles and then come back from a seven-day ride, for which I would be using my vacation time, to go right back to work.

I mean.

Maybe I want a real vacation.

And.

Then.

When I said it out loud, when I got on the phone with my person, I got to my internship a little early simply so I could have time to talk with my person, I felt the biggest most amazing relief.

I knew in that instant that it was the right decision for me.

“Honestly, doll, I’m relieved to hear you say this, I was wondering when you were going to come to this realization.”

OH my god.

I love that he doesn’t judge me, that he didn’t tell me to not do it, that he let me have my process, and then to have it reflected back to me with honesty, well, that was that.

I’m not doing the Aids ride.

And I am ok with it.

We talked a lot about things happening in my life and I shared about a great deal of joyful things and it was so good to catch up.

I also talked about doing a trip for my graduation.

What that might look like.

Barcelona.

Paris, maybe L’Ile de Re, where my friend has a family home, off the West Coast of France, especially since she was such an important part of my first two years in the program.

That it might be really nice to see her and celebrate the accomplishment.

She was also the person who has said time and again how much I would like Barcelona.

In fact.

My savings account, I have two, one is my prudent reserve, and the second, my travel savings, is called Barcelona.

Not “going to Burning Man” again next year.

Not “doing the Aids LifeCycle ride and spending over three thousand dollars on a bicycle, gear, and who knows how many countless hours on the training.”

NOPE.

It’s named, “Barcelona,” because when my friend mentioned how I should go I thought, that would make a great graduation trip.

So maybe instead of sabotaging my dream with stuffing in more than I can handle, it’s ok to admit I made a mistake.

I told my friend tonight face to face and sat down and talked to him.

He totally got it, and then he added, “I totally honey potted you into agreeing, you know I did, don’t feel bad that you can’t, it’s ok.”

It’s ok.

Sigh.

Fuck.

Thank you.

I apologized again and hugged him and that was that.

I need to apologize to the three people who donated and then I think I’m clear.

I’ll also contact my ride representative and rescind the ride number, the ride will fill up and someone else will get to ride in my stead.

And.

I also contacted my assistant director, who is in charge of scheduling my clients and said, I need to not take clients on Saturdays.  I can do a consult now and then, but no clients.

At least for this semester.

I feel a lot better.

Much clearer.

Much cleaner.

And so relieved to be just regular old Carmen.

Super Carmen gets to put her cape back in the closet for at least today.

Thank God.

It needs a dry cleaning anyhow.

Ha.

Reunion

September 6, 2017

And it was good.

She ran to me with the biggest smile on her face and threw herself into my arms.

Good thing I was ready for her or I would have been bowled over.

I picked her up and snuggled her in for a great big hug.

“I asked _______________ what the best part of school was,” the mom told me today, “and she replied, ‘getting picked up!'”

And so pick her up I did.

She was so happy to see me and I was so happy to see her.

I got to get her early from school and she and I had 45 minutes to kill before her brother got out of his class, so we went to get special treats from Bi-Rite.

Bagels and plums and boxes of milk with straws.

Bubbly water.

She likes it as much as I do so now I always get two bottles or she’ll drink all of mine and then burp at me and laugh.

God I love this child.

I love all the children I have gotten to work with, and I am always surprised to find that there is more love in me to hold and to give.

This family, though, they are special, and I am so blessed to get to work for them.

I got to talk to the mom about Burning Man and show off my photos.

I got to snuggle with my little lady and hold hands, I mean, there was no shortage of holding hands, she was literally on top of me from the first minute I picked her up from school.

I got to have marvelous conversations with the oldest boy and also I made him his favorite dinner.

Roast chicken.

“OOOOOOH,” he said, when he saw that I had a chicken in the pan on the counter, “roasty chicken!!”

I almost had to tell him not to touch it since it wasn’t cooked yet, it was pretty adorable.

And I got the sweetest text later in the day when I was at my internship after work, the dad sent me a message saying welcome back and thank you so much for the roast chicken and cauliflower, it was so good.

There were many “o’s” in the “so” part, it was pretty damn cute.

I made my salt and pepper roast chicken and then topped it with tarragon brown butter and I roasted off cauliflower with coconut oil, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt.

All sorts of yum.

The baby even seemed excited to see me.

It was a warm and sweet and kind welcome back.

I am super lucky to have this family and it feels like they think they are super lucky to have me.

It’s a mutual thing.

And it’s a short week at work, which is a nice thing to.

Helps to get me acclimated to being there again and helps to ease the transition into the next few weeks which will be busy weeks for the family.

I’m grateful for them, the job, the environment, the freedom to be myself.

I realize more and more how important it is to be my authentic self.

In work, in relationships, in my internship, at school.

I also realized that I don’t need Burning Man to do that any more.

That I have fully embraced my authenticity, that I live an out loud, passionate, committed, loving life.

I don’t have to run off to that thing in the desert to find expression for myself and who I am.

And thus.

I feel.

I may be saying goodbye to Burning Man.

I had a sweet burn, I had wonderful talks with many a lady out there and I feel like I deepened some relationships that I didn’t even know I was needing to deepen.

But the fact is I am not searching for anything or anyone and I don’t have to work so hard to work so hard to enjoy a vacation.

Maybe, just maybe, I want to go somewhere with a hot shower.

Maybe I want to lay on the beach.

Maybe I want to be pampered and not have to do a ton of work and organizing and fretting and figuring it out.

My God.

The amount of mental free space I currently have for not trying to figure out how to get to and from the event is mind-blowing.

I have so many other things that I would rather focus my time, attention, energy, and love on.

So.

Yes.

I believe this last burn was my swan song.

Ironic that I saw nothing burn.

I spent my time writing, getting blown up in dust storms, connecting with ladies I love, hanging out at camp and talking with people in my community.

It was perfect and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I feel that I have been asking Burning Man to give me something for years.

And that expectation only hindered me and my growth.

Having finally seen that.

Well.

It doesn’t feel like I need to go so badly anymore.

Next year I’ve got the Aids Life Cycle ride.

And.

And!

AND!!

Graduation from my Masters in Psychology program.

The school has set a tentative commencement date.

Saturday, May 19th.

I can’t wait.

It’s going to be epic.

You should come.

Seriously!

Because you probably won’t see me at that thing in the desert next year.

Might as well catch me when I let my mortar board sail into the air with joy.

It’s going to be great.

It’s going to be amazing.

Because.

Well.

My life already is.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Luckiest damn girl.

 

Getting Into A Groove

September 5, 2017

It took a minute.

It was slow going at first.

I still felt a bit sluggish and slow.

I slept late.

I went to bed fairly early and slept super hard.

I went to yoga and that helped a great deal.

I was stiff and needed to shake the rest of the dust out of my body.

My nose was still tender and I was a bit congested, but by the time the class ended I had sweat up a storm and my breathing was clear and clean.

It felt great to get into the class and I was super happy to find out that my favorite yoga teacher had moved back, I knew he was going to be visiting from out-of-town some holiday weekends, so I just thought, oh my God, he’s on the schedule, you got to go.

And it turns out he’ll be a permanent fixture again, which I am super grateful for.

His classes are hard, but hard in a really good way.

I have had very emotionally clearing classes with him and today it was just clearing the rest of the Burning Man out of my system.

I got back into my routine, a tiny bit, got some grocery shopping done, small run to the market in my neighborhood, I returned a ton of internship e-mails and did some scheduling stuff with clients.

I did lots of writing.

I had a super sweet engaging phone call with my best friend.

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

So damn lucky.

And then.

Yes.

I did.

I got into my homework for the next school weekend.

I outlined what I need to read.

I did some reading.

I went over my syllabi.

I also wrote out a homework assignment and turned it in.

Super grateful I took the time to open up my school stuff and check in with my syllabi as I discovered the assignment for my Cognitive Behavioral class was due tomorrow.

“Oh fuck!” I said out loud.

Followed by a “damn it!”

Then I just sucked it up and got into it.

I had the time and I let myself dive into it.

I had plans to meet my person up in the Castro and I needed to run a few quick little errands before meeting with him.

So I read and did homework until I had to leave and yes, I got the assignment written and turned in.

Grateful for that.

I also did some writing for my Jungian Dream class that was good to work on.

And I got a tentative date for the commencement ceremony.

May 19th.

I like having a goal to shoot for.

It helps me to see what I am moving toward.

Although I don’t want to live in the future, it’s nice to have a carrot.

Graduation.

Ooh.

Man.

It just sounds really good.

I still have the majority of the year to get through, but it goes fast.

I know from experience.

It does go fast.

The time it whips by.

It does help that I have a full schedule, that makes the time go by.

And that I have things that I look forward to, people I get to see, snippets of sweetness that keep me moving forward.

Before I headed out to Burning Man I sat down with my employer and mapped out the year, well, not quite, we mapped out until my last weekend of school.

The school calendar for my charges was given to her, so we just went through each month and some days I’ll be going in a little early to help out with the brood when there’s a parent/teacher conference, or a bit of vacation for the kids.

I’m going to get out a little early this Friday, for example, as the family is taking a long weekend.

And.

In November, oh yes, I’m getting a ten-day stretch while they are away for a long vacation around Thanksgiving.

They’re European and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

I’m super stoked.

I figure I’ll do lots of homework and maybe a kind of staycation.

No need to figure it out now, just something to keep on the back burner.

Things really do seem to be flowing well for me, keeping the personal life balanced with the recovery life and work life and school life.

Yes.

It is a lot.

But not having Burning Man prep on my mind and being done with that chapter seems to have freed up a great deal of mental space for me and now that I have readjusted to being back in San Francisco I feel ready for whatever comes next.

I suspect it will be marvelous.

My life is not boring, let me tell you.

It’s full of passion and dreams and love and it blows my mind how much I have been given and that I can be of service here in the community and my fellowship is simply grace.

The love that I get to experience fills me and I feel expanded and buoyant with it.

Awed.

Amazed.

Astonished

I am wonderstruck with love.

How did I get so lucky?

I don’t need to know the answer, only that I am and grateful and not taking anything in my life for granted.

Alive.

So very alive.

There is so much yet to experience and do and feel and go.

I was chatting with my person tonight over a big salad, salads are very appealing right now after a week in the dusty dust, about moving on from Burning Man, that maybe I don’t go next year.

That maybe there are other places to travel to.

I have been doing a list of places in my affirmations and I think anyone of them may be a better alternative.

They all have showers, that’s for sure.

And though I adore the event and everything that I have gotten from going, maybe it’s time for a new adventure.

11 burns is nothing to sneeze at.

Even with a nose full of dust.

Anyway.

Enough Burning Man.

It’s time to move on.

At least for right now.

I have much more important things to focus on.

It’s going to be a good week.

I can feel it in my bones.

Seriously.

Bring it on.

 

 

Hello Again

September 4, 2017

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

I have missed my little blog, I have.

I got back from Burning Man last night.

I am back a day early and I cannot be more grateful for it.

I needed to get back, I was missing my world.

I also wasn’t wanting to sit in any kind of exodus line, the last time I had tried to leave on Sunday morning I ended up being in line for almost four hours.

Four hours on playa.

Four hours to go three miles.

No fucking thank you.

And I had to be back by today to give myself enough time to recuperate and unpack and unwind.

And.

Um.

Shower.

Holy Mary, mother of God.

Fuck me.

That shower was something else.

A spiritual experience for sure.

I knew when I heard that the temperature was going to rise and peak out on Sunday that I wanted to come back Saturday.

I didn’t need to see the Man burn.

I have seen it burn ten times.

I wanted to get home without a shit ton of traffic.

I asked the woman who I had traveled with to the event if she would be amenable to leaving a day early and she was quite down for it.

And in given that there was a death last night at the burn I am extraordinarily grateful that one, I did not witness it.  And two, that I had left before the event turned morbid.

Death happens.

But I am relieved that I did not witness it.

I had a very different burn than I have in the past.

First, of course, because I was not working it.

I had to laugh, even when I tried to pick up a volunteer shift at Artica slinging ice, I got turned down, they had more volunteers than they needed.

Every time that I thought I might have worked, it was pushed down and away.

I spent a lot of time sitting in Center Camp Cafe writing.

I sent lots of cards and post cards off and I did a lot of journaling.

I hung out at my camp with the ladies of the Nest, a sweet group of women that I have known for years and witnessed their growth into extraordinary beings.

It was super sweet to have such a girl centric time.

I wasn’t on the prowl for the playa boyfriend.

I didn’t need to look for anything.

I have everything I want.

I went dancing twice.

Once in camp, an amazing dj came and played at our potluck dinner for the camp.

The music was the best I had experienced in years at the event.

I danced hard for two hours.

Happy in my body and light on my feet.

Although, the knees felt a little rough the next day.

I got to know a few folks in my San Francisco fellowship whom I have known for years but not really connected with.

I went on bike rides with the posse.

I got caught in dust storms unlike anything I have experienced before.

Prior years I was always working very close to my accommodations and they included access to trailers.

A dust storm would spring up and I would be hiding out in a trailer.

A huge dust storm came up and I was obliterated in it.fullsizeoutput_ed1

The “clean” spot on my face was where my dust mask was.

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I mean, you can’t even tell I have tattoos for god’s sake.

I had been caught off guard and though I saw the storm coming, it came up too fast for me to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I spent about an hour of it laying on a bench outside of the Temple.

Completely exposed.

I rested my head on the bench, curled up next to the fencing it was by and held on for what literally felt like dear life.

I kept my eyes closed.

I wasn’t wearing goggles.

My bad.

Stupid too, since I have a pair.

I was, thank god, wearing something, my big aviator sunglasses, but my eyes still got totally coated with dust.

It was an extraordinary experience.

Not exactly pleasant.

But I surrendered to it and rode it out saying prayers inside my head and breathing slow and steady.

There was a break in it and I thought go!

I got my bike, made it five feet and it whipped up again.

I was told later the wind was roaring along at 45 mph.

The dust battered me and I held still straddling my bike for about another hour.

There was a man standing next to me on a trike.

He might have been three feet away, probably less and he was invisible to me.

I could have reached out to him and touched his arm.

I didn’t.

But.

Knowing there was someone else there made it palatable.

The experience was mind-blowing.

No pun intended.

It also lead to an experience that I had never had before.

I got topless at Burning Man.

That has never, ever happened.

I stumbled into camp, with another of my campmates who had gotten blasted by the dust too and we let the women in camp strip us down and clean us up.

She got completely naked.

I couldn’t quite do it and in fact was walking away to wipe myself down solo when I realized what a monumental task it was going to be and I started crying.

I went back and said, “help me.”

And they did.

I dropped all my pretenses, and my clothes, well, I couldn’t step out of my under wear, there really is a limit for me, and just surrendered.

I got sprayed with a vinegar and water mixture and then a baby wipe down.

I got all the dust off my eyes and eyelashes.

I actually left my hair up in the puffs and antlers and let it be the way it was.

I was told it looked pretty spectacular and just let it be.

I had to have help getting dressed and it felt as though I was a priestess being made ready for a ceremony.

We all went out that night in a mutual friend’s, who is staff at the event, car.

I wore a long white dress and fresh makeup.

I had my hair up and added some goggles to the mix, I wasn’t without them the rest of the event.

We rode around the playa, the six of us, sitting regal in the back of the Jaguar convertible, the “Shaguar” which was painted hot pink with black spots on it.

I felt like some sort of playa princess.

And I was happy to be with the women around me.

All of whom I wouldn’t have met outside of recovery.

I am lucky and grateful to have them in my life.

I felt seen and loved.

Really loved and really included.

What more could I ask from Burning Man?

I’m so glad I’m home though.

I missed it more than I had expected.

And my heart is glad to be here.

Despite having a bad tummy today, which happens sometimes after coming back from the event, especially after being smacked so hard by the dust, I am happy to be home.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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So very free.

And It’s Here

August 25, 2017

Holy shit.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my first day of classes in my third, and last, year of my Masters in Counseling Psychology program.

Fuck.

How did it get to be time already.

It feels hyper surreal.

On one hand I feel like I was just in class last weekend.

On the other it feels like years and ages.

I also have a better sense of what I’m walking into with my schedule as I have spent some time tonight doing more reading for class and looking over my syllabi for the classes I have tomorrow.

I only have two.

Which is a change from previous years when I had three classes a day on Fridays.

Of course.

I have practicum, which is the difference.

And beginning in September, basically after I get back from Burning Man, I will be seeing clients on Fridays.

And.

Sigh.

Saturdays too.

I have a few clients scheduled for my first weekend back from playa.

Mostly to make up for the sessions I will have missed by being out-of-town.

I was pleased and flattered when two of my clients asked me to make up sessions with them, they didn’t want to go two weeks without seeing me.

That was nice to hear.

I am doing a good job.

Not the best, I am far from the best, but I’m doing a decent job and I know that I am making headway with my clients and that they are getting something out of the relationship, enough so that they want to continue seeing me and wanting to make up for the lost sessions.

I am grateful for the work.

It is work.

Don’t get me wrong, but it is also such rewarding work.

And I am also happy that I am continuing to learn and make connections and see things, that the work generates constant learning is amazing.

I am not in a cookie cutter job, I am getting to constantly and consistently learn.

No better thing that.

I shall spend my whole life learning and still feel that there is so much more to know and learn and so much growth yet to be had.

Perhaps on this plane.

Perhaps in another.

I don’t know what or where any of this is going.

I just know that I want, with sincerest passion and longing, to be true to this moment, the one I am in, that in this moment there is constant love, consistency and self-awareness.

I am the best person I know how to be.

In this moment.

It will change.

I will have my failings.

I will freak out.

I will get scared.

I did today when I inadvertently flipped open Facebook, which I am less and less on, I just don’t have the time or bandwidth for it, to see a response to a post I had put up about having found a ride to Burning Man and how I was happy for it.

The response was from the woman I am going with.

And it should have been a direct message to me.

But.

Nope.

Of course it wasn’t, it was a post displayed for the entire forum to see, hundreds of folks.

I didn’t respond because it wasn’t the right thing to do and I felt instant, I mean, instant resentment.

Don’t fucking change things up on me now!

I am inflexible when I am in fear.

I want what I want and I want it the way that I want it.

Got that?

Good.

So, basically, do it my way.

Damn it.

But no.

My ride has some ideas, some thoughts, some desires to do it her way.

And as such.

Wanted to know if I would be open to renting a mini van.

Oh.

Well.

Fuck my life.

I had a fucking reservation made on my own to rent a god damn vehicle, a reservation I cancelled after securing the ride with the woman whom I am going with.

If I wanted to pay for a fucking rental I would have gone up on my god damn own.

This is my thinking walking down the hill on Chenery, on the way to go get my charge some snacks at the Glen Canyon Market and then go to the park at the rec center.

I almost said it out loud.

And no four-year old needs to hear my profanity.

I was, when I am in resentment it usually stems from fear–I’m not getting what I want or I am afraid I’m going to lose something–full of angry profanity and resentment.

I took a deep breath.

I did not respond on Facebook.

I paused.

I breathed some more.

I swore in my head some more.

Then I just got into, this is what’s happening and this is what is going on and I can accept the situation or I can rant like a maniac.

Do I want to be happy?

Or.

Right.

Right!

Just kidding.

Sigh.

I wish.

No.

I want to be happy.

And if my elderly lady stateswoman wants to rent a mini van, well so be it.

I let a lot of time go and I said some prayers and I did some spot check inventory in my mind and I realized a bunch of stuff.

I have a job to attend to.

I am with my charge and I have to go get my other charge across town.

I am in a pretty park with a sparkling water in my hand, I am outside, the grass is green, the pollinating plants smell intoxicating, the clover especially, and I am alive to have all these feelings.

I have the opportunity to accept what is going on and I prayed for guidance to take the next action in front of me.

So when the text came in from my ride I was able to respond, not react, and take a phone call.

Oh.

I still got flustered on the phone.

I had an idea of what I was going to spend on getting to the damn event and now I was facing having to pay more and I felt a bit in a bind, a bit out of control, like, I don’t have any other way at this time to get myself out there and I have a three-day weekend of school and the rest of the work day to get through.

I can’t fathom trying figure out other means of transport.

I told her I was willing to consider it.

I asked what she wanted by way of compensation.

She gave me, what I considered a vague, cop-out response, but, ultimately, the freedom to decide what I felt comfortable contributing.

I had a number in my head.

I paused for a while after getting off the phone.

I know I can afford it.

I am willing to pay more.

I don’t want to think about it.

I have other things happening before it.

I want to show up alive and present and enjoy every beautiful moment of my weekend.

So.

Whatever vehicle shows up for me on Sunday.

Well.

That’s the one I’m going in.

And whatever the cost.

Well.

That’s what I will be paying.

I’m just surrendering to what’s happening and letting God have it.

God always does in the end anyway.

I get to have this experience.

And like so many others.

I am sure there will be spiritual growth.

And.

Love.

I am certain of that.

There will be love.

There always is.

All Systems Go

August 22, 2017

Fuck.

It was a busy, full, going on all four cylinders from the moment I got up, day, from early morning until.

Well.

Until.

Right about now.

I just got off an email back and forth with director of my internship, did a bunch of e-mails with some clients, booked some sessions, logged my hours for today in Track My Hours, and whew.

It’s like um, 10p.m.

I got up at 6:30 a.m.

That’s a full day.

I got some writing in today though, I hadn’t gotten as much morning page writing in the last week or so and it was really good to just let go on the page and scrawl away.

I also showered yesterday so I skipped it this morning, giving me a little more time to process all the junk in my head.

I don’t even know what I wrote, only that it felt good to write.

And.

I did a written gratitude list and sent another out to a friend via text.

I’m on a list he sends it to and I like getting it.

Not just because it reminds me to be grateful, it definitely does that, but to see what other people are grateful for.

I am grateful for everything.

My life is beyond my wildest dreams.

Sometimes it is strange and I wonder, how did I get here, but I know there are no mistakes in God’s world and I am being taken care of and having all the experiences I am supposed to be having.

Like being of service to the woman I am traveling with to Burning Man.

I am still having some trepidations about going with someone who is 74 years old, but I also am happy that I get to be of service to her.

It’s a nice to be of service to others, it gets me out of my head, and if you’ve never been to Burning Man it is super hard to imagine and of course, if you’re 74 there’s a different approach you’re going to make than if you are 24 or my age, 44.

How did I get to be 44?

Fuck.

Time flies.

I suppose I will look back in 30 years and wonder how it is that I got to be 74.

I’m going to be old.

I know it.

I also hope to be of service all the way to the end of my life.

I believe that’s the only way that I am going to be happy, by having a useful life, by helping others, it gives me happiness, it gets me out of my own head and I got to do a lot of it today.

I had a few phone check ins, one lady who I just recently met, and got to share some experience, strength and hope with her and although we are vastly different, we are the same person and it was good to hear how relieved she was to know that she’s not alone in her journey.

I got to talk with one of the other women I work with in recovery and I also got to see clients tonight.

And.

I worked with my supervisor.

I also got to go over my review with him, which was really enlightening and I got a better idea of how he thinks of me and what I am doing and that he also, although he didn’t exactly say it, likes me.

We had a great session and I learned a ton from him today.

I often feel as though I am taking a solo masters class in psychoanalytic theory when I am working with him.

I write a ton of notes and I can hear him in my head sometimes when I am with a client.

It’s exciting to work with him, he pushes me, he’s extraordinarily smart and intelligent, and I feel smart when I am working with him.

I like feeling smart.

I have always understood that I was intelligent, but the smart part of that eludes me, I have been mystified most of my life as to what people meant when they say, “you are so smart.”

I haven’t always felt that way.

Smart.

In fact.

I have often felt rather stupid, stupid in love, stupid in my life choices, idiotic some of the decisions I have made, or so I tell myself, but oh, the learning, the learning is so much.

I have such a wealth of experiences.

Mostly because I try to say yes to doing things.

Sometimes to my detriment, I’ll get too busy, I will get to wrapped up with my schedule and I won’t have the time to appreciate what is happening.

I try to find balance.

I don’t often succeed, but I try.

And I’m ok with failing.

Ah.

Who the fuck am I kidding.

I am never ok with failing, but I recognize that I am going to fail and that I will try again and again until it works its way out, whatever it is.

I guess what I am saying is that I live.

I am not sitting on the bleachers, I am in the game.

I am hustling.

Sometimes perhaps a little too much, but I know that it’s what it is right now.

And that all the things I did, mistakes, which were not mistakes, life experiences, travels, moving to Paris, moving back from Paris, trying things out, has led me here.

Right where I am supposed to be.

With the people in my life with whom I am supposed to be with.

Such gifts.

Such grace.

I didn’t expect it to look like this.

But.

I have to say.

It is a beautiful thing.

My life.

So beautiful.

My heart aches with it.

Grateful beyond words.

And now.

One more gratitude list before I retire.

Because.

Truly.

There is that much to be grateful for.

Every day.

Grateful.

Every damn day.


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