Posts Tagged ‘aging’

The Last Moments

December 18, 2018

Of my 45th year.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I will be 46 years old.

It’s a surreal number.

Really.

All of them have been a touch on the surreal side ever since passing 40.

But now, well, as I edge closer to 50 than 40 and my body slowly starts to fall apart, I can say yeah, I’m getting old.

Well.

At least older.

And I’m not kidding about the body thing.

I mean.

I can still shake my booty on the dance floor, or in my house as it stands, I just did some dancing to a really lovely remix of “Take You for a Ride on a Big Jet Plane” and I really did break it out.

But.

The signs of getting older are there.

Despite wearing my hair up in gigantic poufs today and donning pink glitter eyeshadow.

I don’t have clients on Mondays after my nanny gig, so I like to play a little with the makeup and the hair.

But you know.

There’s some wrinkles underneath that glitter and there’s definitely some grey hair in those poufs.

And, you know.

I’m ok with it.

I like who I am.

I have worked really fucking hard to get here and my body has managed to carry me through.

So what if it looks like it’s been well-traveled, it has.

Every wrinkle and grey hair a testament to how far I have come.

I did have a moment though, last night, when I was getting ready for bed and I was like, enough with all the stuff.

My aesthetician did some work to remove a patch of collagen that has been bothering me for years recently and I have to touch it up every night and morning to make sure it goes all the way away and I have begun washing my face with actual cleansing foam instead of soap.

She was horrified when I told her I washed my face with soap.

I felt like I was getting scolded by my mom.

So now, I use some cleansing foam and yes, I always use sunblock, she made that a big ass deal years ago.

God.

I sound all sorts of bougie right now.

I hadn’t seen my aesthetician for eight or nine years, I used to go to her when I had really bad cystic acne.

That is one nice thing of getting older, that damn acne finally went away, but I had it well into my early thirties.

In the last few years I have noticed my skin getting a tiny bit dryer and last year I noticed that I had stopped getting black heads at all.

I used to still get those guys.

It seems that the oil in my skin is drying up.

So now I use moisturizer too.

I’m sure these are things most women much younger than me are doing, but you know, I’m a simple lady with the routines, so this adding in of stuff feels new.

And.

Now I’m wearing a night guard at night so I don’t crack any more fucking teeth and have to get any more crowns.

No thank you.

But it’s weird.

And I have to remember to put it in at night, adding another thing I need to do, on top of also taking my reflux meds.

I swallowed the three tiny pills and popped my mouth guard in and snorted.

It has begun.

I’m taking pills at night and wearing a night guard next thing you know I’ll be wearing Depends.

Ugh.

Anyway.

I’m a lucky bitch and I know it.

I don’t look my age, so now that Mother Nature is actually showing me that I’m not immune to this whole getting older thing, I just want to respect it and embrace it.

I don’t want to struggle against it.

I’m going to be 46 in the morning.

And if it’s anything like 45’s been, it’s going to be a pretty damn good year.

In my 45th year I graduated with a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology.

I traveled to D.C., New York, Paris, and Marseilles.

I got hired at a private practice internship and started subletting an office space as a licenced Associate Marriage Family Therapist.

I danced.

I sang in my car a lot.

I took walks on the beach.

I loved really, really, really hard.

I cried a lot.

I wrote a lot of poetry.

I started my first semester of a PhD program.

I’m one week away from finishing the semester!  I just posted my final discussion post and turned in my final project for my Creative Inquiry Scholarship for the 21st Century class.

It’s been a damn good year.

I’m happy with who I am and where I’m going, even if I cannot see the final destination, I don’t really need to know that anyway.

Oh!

And I moved!

I went through a buyout and walked through a tremendous amount of fear.

I bought my first ever couch.

And it’s pink velvet, so there.

I’ve done a lot of therapy work and feel better about myself and supported in the work i do as a therapist as well.

I bought art from friends.

I pushed myself out of my school, nanny, internship shell and got back into the fellowship in San Francisco a bit more.

I ate a lot of apples.

I like apples.

I wrote a lot of Morning Pages.

I wrote a few blogs, not as many as I might have considering the issues I had there for a while.  But huzzah!  I have, with much help, gotten the two sites separated and I was happy to post my first blog on my therapy site tonight.

I’ve had a damn good year.

I’m a very lucky girl.

Or woman.

I suppose at 46 it’s time to really step into that women role.

Well.

Except when I wear my bunny slippers.

I don’t care how old I get, I’ll probably always wear bunny slippers.

heh.

So here’s to making it alive, sober, abstinent, happy, joyous, and motherfucking free, one more time around the sun.

Thanks 45, it’s been fun.

Bring on 46.

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One Down

December 17, 2018

Two to go!

I’m a third of the way there.

I finished, proofed, edited, and sent my final paper out for my Introduction to Transformative Inquiry.

Ten pages baby.

Turned in this evening at 5:16 p.m.

Had I needed to make the 5pm bell tonight I would have made it.

It feels really good to have this paper done and sent in.

I don’t need to post any more discussions on the boards, I can just bow out of the class and move on.

One of my classes for next semester is already live with a syllabus and I looked it over briefly last night, got momentarily overwhelmed, and shut that shit down.

I still have two more things to turn in.

Now.

Granted, tomorrow’s final project, in the worlds of the good professor, I can turn anything in, shall be quite easy.

In fact.

Well.

I almost decided to work on it, but hey, you know, one ten page paper is enough for today.

And that certainly was not the only productive thing I did today, hello laundry, but I figured, you know, give yourself a break.

I know what my final project is going to be, two poems and two recordings of me reciting those poems.

One that I wrote near the beginning of the semester and one that I wrote this past week, here at the end of the semester.

I can do this at work tomorrow.

Fingers crossed the baby takes a nice nap and the parents are not around.

Mondays I typically do have a wide breadth of time by myself at the home, so I figure I’ll just turn it in then.  And should the baby not nap and there are monkeys home sick from school, or the parents are around the whole day, I will have the evening to take care of sending it in.

I don’t have clients on Mondays.

Which means I “just” have work and my doing the deal after work.

And then, heh, it’s my birthday!

Day after tomorrow I will be turning 46.

Sort of crazy.

46.

It feels interesting.

I’ve gotten grey hair this year and have decided not to cover it, I’m sort of going for the Frankie look of Lily Tomlin’s in Frankie and Grace, all wild, curly, grey and silver and white and brown.

I have a lot of hair and the silver whispering through it is not really noticeable.

Well.

It is to me, but no one else has pointed it out yet.

Just like the laugh lines around my eyes are very noticeable to me, but no one else really says anything.

My person always remarks on my skin.

Makeup, thank you.

Oh, I suppose I do have some pretty good genetics, my grandmother on my father’s side looked quite young for sometime and still is brunette.

Of course, it’s dyed, but she mostly pulls it off.

I’m high maintenance in some areas but not really with my hair.

I don’t feel like coloring it or hiding the grey.

There is also this part of me that thinks it adds a little maturity to my look and some sagacity and maybe my clients think that I am a little older and that I have a great deal of experience.

Not that I have actually ever had a client ask me how long I have been practicing therapy, but I do suppose I will get asked.

I’ve been seeing clients consistently now for a little over a year and a half.

It’s pretty incredible.

And I’m good.

I’m not saying that to toot my own horn, but I am and I am grateful for that confidence.

I have built it up by working with four different supervisors and a number of clients, some of whom I have worked with for over a year.

In fact, my first client is still with me.

Yup.

So I get to see what having a therapy relationship for over a year feels like and it’s quite good.

I did some work for my practice today actually, even with the dealing with of my final paper.

Sundays are my laundry day since I moved into my new place.  I don’t have access to the washer and dryer here like I did in my last place (sad, sad, sad face) so I have to go to the laundry mat.

I use the time there to read my text books.

Today as I was loading up my stuff to go I went to reach for a text-book to read and realized.

I HAVE READ ALL THE BOOKS!

I finished the last text for the semester last Sunday.

Holy shit.

I read all the books.

What an accomplishment.

So what was I going to read at the mat?

I mean, I could perhaps blow off an hour and a half on Instagram, but um, no thanks.

And there it was on my desk, a book my group supervisor had given me last week, “Building Ideal Private Practice,” by Lynn Grodzki.

Well, ok then.

I will have some time to focus on bringing in more clients.

I have openings on Fridays and Saturdays, I should manifest some new clients.

I got through three chapters at the laundry mat and did one of the exercises suggested that was basically making an affirmation and writing it over and over again and seeing what negative thoughts arose.

It was a really interesting exercise.

My affirmation was: “I have 25 wonderful, serious, full fee clients who I get to help and empower.”

All sorts of stuff came up as I wrote and rewrote it.

“I’m not good enough.”

Oh hello.

Yes you are, you were built for this work.

“I can’t handle 25 clients.”

Um, excuse me, yes I can, I would actually work less than I work now as a full-time nanny.

“There’s not enough clients.”

Oh, hello scarcity, nice to meet you again.

I kept writing until I ran out of negative thoughts and then after about ten minutes I wrote out the affirmation and what popped out was:

“I can do this!”

Yes.

Yes, you can.

I work really hard and I know this will happen.

And in the mean time.

I got my paper in!

Huzzah!

Sometimes

September 7, 2017

Music makes me sigh.

Releases some unknown tension and I can relax.

I put on Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Cello Preludes and it was like I was melting.

I heaved a big sigh and just sank into my chair.

My body hurts today.

My shoulder is a nuisance.

Apparently I pushed too hard in yoga on Monday or maybe it was carrying the baby as much as I did today, but ouch.

Ugh.

Getting old.

I’m sure I will look back at being 44 and laugh at myself thinking that I am old.

The fact is.

I don’t feel my age.

Oh.

I suppose my knees feel twice my age and my shoulder feels like a baseball pitcher being put out to pasture.

But.

Feeling my age?

No.

I don’t think I feel any certain age.

Although I do recall a time when I realized that all people below a certain age annoyed the shit out of me, I don’t subscribe to any particular feeling when I think, “I feel this old.”

The little girl I watch is four.

She likes to ask me about my age, “I’m 44 honey, eleven times older than you.”

And that is intense to contemplate.

I remember being four.

Pivotal things happened.

Then again.

I don’t remember a lot of being four either.

Um.

Pivotal things happened.

For the most part, however, I have an extraordinary memory and I’m good at replaying scenes as I have taken them in.

If I can hone in on a detail I am suddenly filling all the spaces with colors and sounds and emotional movement and music, with narrative, and it is as though I am watching a movie.

As I have gotten older some memories stick more than others.

Certain scenes, images, smells.

Oh.

A smell can carry so much weight in it.

Or a taste of something.

Tomatoes with salt from my grandfather’s garden.

Raspberries and milk with sugar in a green plastic bowl, raspberries I picked with my grandmother.

Apple cider.

The top sweetest part of the 2 gallon milk jug that we would pour the homemade apple cider into after running it through the press.

My grandfather unearthed an old apple press and rigged it to a lawn mower motor and we made cider using that press for years.

The house in Windsor that I moved to in 7th grade had an apple orchard, 4 Red Delicious trees (to this day I always wonder why the fuck they planted such boring ass apples, fodder for the press, all of them, we never ate them they were just such plain Jane apples) and 8 Courtland trees, plus four pear trees and one Golden Delicious–the animals and birds ate most of the Golden Delicious before they could even ripen, they were such amazingly sweet apples, almost translucent with sugar, you could see through the skin in the sunlight.

My mom would pour the cider into milk jugs and then freeze them in a giant freezer we had in the basement of the house.

The sweetest part of the cider would float to the top when it thawed and my mom tried valiantly to not let us drink any of the cider until it defrosted completely, but my sister and I often foiled her.

The cold, achingly sweet, syrupy juice taste will always stick in my memory.

Sometimes it is the smell of strawberries in the morning, reminding me of a very late night that became an early morning and it was warm and summer time in Madison and I was walking home from closing the bar and the after bar and I stopped by a vendor at the farmers market and bought a basket of strawberries and sat in the grass, kicking off my shoes and luxuriating in the feel of the soft, warm, dewy grass.

Sometimes it is a way a certain person smells.

Euphoria.

And I am smote with longing and love and desire.

Or the way someone’s skin feels against mine.

I think too, sensory, I’m going for the senses here, of a warm night, not many of them in San Francisco, a few years ago, when I walked down to the beach and the sand was still warm and the beach was deserted and the smell of bonfires wracked my memories.

And I was suddenly four-years old again, at a beach bonfire, with my mom and sister, who was already asleep, and my mom’s boyfriend, and there was the smell of driftwood fire and sea and that smell is some embossed on me, that to this day it really is one of my fondest smells.

Smell and memory are very tied to each other.

Riding my scooter to work this morning I passed a tavern on Lincoln that must have a popcorn machine, the smell was enticing and it was real popcorn, cooked in that oil that old-fashioned machines use and real butter smell.

I was suddenly in a movie theater, the old 99 cent movie theater on the far East side of Madison, that was probably actually the suburb of Middleton, that only had one screen and I was watching Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo.

Which I didn’t get at all, but the movie was 99 cents and that’s why we were there and the popcorn was cheap and plentiful and I sat in that air-conditioned movie house and happily ate popcorn and watched a movie that I was too young to understand, but I remember the feel of the back of the movie seat in front of me on the bottoms of my feet and how I would press my feet hard into the seat to stretch and then curl back up into a ball and eat more popcorn.

Sometimes smells startle me too.

One day not too long ago I was riding up 7th and I smelled the smell of a tree, a tangerine tree in my mind, although I have no idea if it was tangerine or not, but my mom’s boyfriend had an apartment that had a tangerine tree outside of it and I would pick them and peel them sitting on the back cement steps while they got high smoking pot.

I was suddenly a little girl in a sundress with sticky fingers and bare feet and I could see all the tangerines in the tree and felt satiated with the ones I had eaten and sleepy from the sunshine.

Oh.

All the memories.

The best part of getting old, accruing all these luscious things that I get to stock pile in my brain.

In my heart.

In my soul.

All the amazing things.

There are so very many.

And I am grateful for them all.

Yes.

Yes.

I am.

Grateful beyond words.

Baby, Oh Baby

July 25, 2017

I got some good snuggles today from my friends twins.

Oof.

The gorgeousness of them is devastating.

The heft and weight of a baby sleeping upon my shoulder has to be one of the most beautiful feelings I have gotten to experience.

I’ve held a few of them.

The smell of baby, too, such amazingness.

Makes me feel very human.

I joked with my friend that it was a good thing I was on my period or I would spontaneously conceive holding the babies.

I’m 44 years old though.

I am pretty much at the point where if it was going to happen it would have by now.

I wonder if I had things different, if I had gotten better faster, had a better childhood, yada, yada, yada, if I would have had children.

I certainly could have gotten pregnant in the past.

I was not always the most on top of it lady in regards to my sexual interactions.

I.E.

I was not using protection.

I guess I just got lucky.

Or unlucky.

Depends on your perspective.

“You are going to make such a great mom,” is something that I have heard more times than I can count.

It is always such a compliment.

“I see you with children, I can imagine you with twins,” said a woman I used to work with years ago.

I was a twin.

Maybe there’s something there, but twins tend to skip a generation in my family, it’s doubtful I would have twins from that perspective.

I have done a lot of nanny shares, so juggling two babies is not outside my realm of experience.

Being with my friend and her twins reminded me of that, doing the nanny shares I have gotten to do.

Huge gifts those experiences.

I have been a nanny for over ten years now.

I have had so many children, from that perspective.

I have raised many children.

Sure.

None of them have been mine.

But.

Oh.

They have all been mine.

I have gotten to experience a depth of love that is vast and profound and I am always, ALWAYS, surprised that I have this deep capacity, this well, of love that seems to be infinite.

I have thought.

“I can never love another child as much as I love this child, this baby, this little one, right now in my arms, fallen asleep on me,” all the heavy, sweet, luscious love that has been in my arms, there is no way I could have more of that.

But.

Every child.

EVERY child I have picked up I have felt that love, vast and universal and profound.

It astounds me.

The profundity of it.

The gift of it.

I think.

See.

You have gotten to have all the experiences of unconditional love that you didn’t get when you were little, you got to see all these children being loved and taken care of, you have witnessed so many first smiles and laughs and the sweet dreams and yes, all the other milestones that are not as much fun but help shape the vast enormous and extraordinary experience of watching a child grow.

I have borne witness to miracles.

Again and again.

Each child a mystery and opportunity to again learn the face of God, the rosebud mouth that purses for milk from the bottle, the drowsy scent that arises from the warm body, like some sort of baking bread smell that intoxicates me and lures me back for another long inhale of sweet baking baby.

I must have smelled the twins every other minute.

Fresh baby.

So delicious.

I don’t know if I am sad that I haven’t had my own children, for I have had a wealth of children.

I do know and I can acknowledge that for many, many years I would not even entertain the idea of having children.

I knew my sister wanted babies.

And she had two.

But I always thought, nope, no children for me.

And.

I have not had a one.

Nor a pregnancy.

Not once.

Not even really a scare.

Knock on wood.

But yeah, since I’m currently on my cycle, I don’t think there’s anything happening there.

Ha.

I know so many women who have agenda, must get partner, must get pregnant, must, must, must.

I have heard it from contemporaries, community, women in my fellowship, desperate and straining against their own body clocks.

I feel it.

I have felt the clock tick tocking in the corner of my uterus, and there were times when my hormones had me clocking any man who gave me a spare glance, but nothing ever took.

I used to think, after I got sober, you know, give it a year and I’ll be in a relationship and then you know, a great job, and you know, a book contract, and a movie adaptation and then a house, and you know, a couple of kids.

That was a drawing I did in therapy.

I might have had about two years of sobriety at the time.

Shit.

I forgot about that picture.

It was an assignment my therapist asked me to do.

Draw my home, draw my goals.

I feel I might have that drawing stashed somewhere in my piles and stacks of notebooks, but I can describe it pretty well.

I am standing, pregnant, with a girl, I think I somehow indicate that it was a girl in my belly, with a little boy holding my hand, blue eyes, dark hair, and there was a man next to me holding my hand and we were all smiling, the house was three stories, I mean I went for it, and had a back yard and garden and a brick patio, it had a swing set and slide and a tire swing, I mean, come one, everyone needs a tire swing, it might have had an apple tree.

The inside of the house that I can remember having colored in was a library, with a fireplace and a big deep leather couch and a cat curled up on the hearth in front of the fireplace and bookshelves so full of books.

I had a study on the third floor, my own office.

I also drew things in the a small circle around a globe.

I wanted to be a world traveler.

I drew an airplane circling the globe and a tiny Eiffel tower and I think islands somewhere.

So.

Yeah.

At two years of sobriety I figured, won’t be too long now, I’ll have a husband and a little boy and a little girl, a house and office and books and I’ll be a writer and we’ll all travel together and it will be perfect.

I was 34.

Now.

I am 44.

None of those things happened.

Well.

That’s not true.

The travel did.

I have gotten to do a lot of traveling since I drew that picture.

The house I modeled it on was an Italianate red brick Victorian in the Mission that has a back carriage house and I could envision there being a garden back there and a swing set.

The man.

Well, he was a mystery.

Life hasn’t given me what I expected.

Fact is.

I have been given more than I could have dreamed of.

I have been given an astounding amount of love and so many opportunities to grow and so many times have I gotten to experience the unconditional love of a child that I don’t feel that I have lost out on some important life experience.

If anything I have heard from many people that they envy the life I have created for myself.

It hasn’t always looked pretty and I’ve fallen down and had to start over and I am now in the process of becoming something entirely different from what I set out to be.

But ultimately.

What I really wanted.

The thing that I wanted the most, the most, the MOST.

Was love.

And I have been showered with love.

Washed in love.

I have been given so much love I can’t breathe sometimes when I see it.

My heart is so full and I get to love right back.

The extraordinary experience of letting myself be loved.

Love in all its forms and sweetness.

And there is no end to it.

There really isn’t.

And I feel that is the key.

That I am not searching for something I think I am missing.

I know what I have.

And it is invaluable.

There is no price tag on it.

And it worth everything.

This love.

Well.

Not only is it worth everything.

It is everything.

And so.

I wish you the same.

That you be so graced and so touched with love.

You must know.

Deep in your heart.

How much you are loved.

So much.

I haven’t the alphabet for the words to spell it out.

But you.

Love.

Well.

You are poetry.

 

Surreal

July 15, 2017

Having a Friday off.

It didn’t feel like a Friday.

My mind was confused and wobbly.

My phone has been working oddly, text not ringing through, missed phone calls.

Sleeping in.

I mean.

For me.

Really sleeping in.

Although I awoke, as per usual in the early morning the sun light muffled and opalescent in the fog which reflects back this brightness that is at once soft and dull and too bright to sleep.

I got up and used the bathroom and crawled back into bed.

I looked at my phone.

Too early.

I have hours, literally hours before I need to be awake.

I lay for a while running through my day.

Shhh.

Stop it brain.

Let it go.

Don’t make all your plans right now.

You don’t need to be anywhere but back asleep.

There was a moment when I almost just got up.

Then.

Miraculous miracle.

I feel back asleep.

And I slept for another hour and 45 minutes!

I was shocked.

I hopped out of bed and took a super hot shower.

I pulled up my hair.

No need to wash it when I am going to be getting it done, I mean, that would be ridiculous.

And I did get it done.

I am very happy with it, even though the blow out doesn’t suit my true self, it’s just a little too polished, a little too sleek and slippery, not my real curly textured hair.

But.

I always get the blow out.

It feels so luxurious to have someone spend that much time on my hair, the gentle heat and the round brush and I just close my eyes and drift off.

My colorist did a beautiful job on my hair and no more blond highlights, all back to a nice dark chocolate-brown.

Of course my natural color is not quite as dark as she took it, but the color fades after a wash or two and then my softer highlights begin to show through.

And.

Yes.

The grays too.

They are there, springing up at my temples, in the part on my head, streaks of silver.

At lest they are silver and not grey.

They are pretty little glints in my hair, and really, I have nothing to complain about.

I mean.

I am 44 after all.

It is pretty standard for women to be greying far earlier than 44.

I have good genetics but nature does march on and I have noticed them more in my hair and I am not upset by them, just curious to see how they come in.

Almost as I am with the fine web of lines around my eyes that I see more and more when I smile.

“You are such a friendly person,” the mom I work for said to me yesterday.

We were talking about how security is at airports and how she’s been stopped and what it was like and how I have been stopped and what that was like and that it will tend to happen more for me if I am showing a lot of tattoos.

I told her I forget often times that I have tattoos, even when I am currently thinking of getting another on my right forearm and having the one on my left forearm, the one I got in Paris, touched up (as it will be difficult to take time out of my schedule and hop a plane and go back to Paris to get it touched up), that I will not realize until someone says something or stares.

“You have such a big smile,” she continued, “no one notices the tattoos so much as the smile.”

Such a nice thing to hear.

And from an employer.

I am grateful, so grateful for my employer.

I am also grateful to have some time off.

I’ll be doing a few more yoga classes during the week days.

I will find my playa bike for Burning Man.

I won’t be mail ordering it, haha, not after the last one got stolen.

I will probably also source my Aids LifeCycle bicycle, I have a couple of leads and am going to be pursuing checking them out.

I will be hitting the Imperial Day Spa with a girlfriend tomorrow after my internship, she’s been sick and asked for some hang out time and suggested the spa for an afternoon of detoxing with a good hard sweat and some cold plunge action.

Of course I said yes.

I’ll be going to my internship tomorrow, as per usual and doing laundry at the laundry mat, the washer hasn’t been replaced yet here at the house.

And I’ll go to my 7p.m. commitment on Divisadero.

It’s a good day.

Sunday will be similar to most of my Sundays–yoga, self-care, grocery shopping, meeting with a lady and doing the deal, going to a church somewhere and sitting in a folding chair, cooking some food for the week, writing.

And it will be chill.

As I still have my supervisor meeting at 9a.m. at Fell and Gough on Monday morning.

But.

Instead of going to work afterward like I typically do on a Monday.

I will be going to the MOMA with an old friend who I don’t get to see very often.

I ran into her a couple of weeks ago and we discussed getting together and we both love museums and I have a MOMA membership.

I love that  membership.

It is such a nice thing to do, go wander around and look at art, and to do it with a friend is so nice.

Especially one whom I used to see on a weekly basis and now don’t see for months at a time.

I’ve suggested a MOMA date to a lot of my friends as I slowly start mapping out the time that I have off.

I don’t know what the middle of the afternoon will look like as I still have my internship in the evening at 6:30p.m.

I am sure I will find something to do.

It is odd having the time off from work, like I said, being downtown today on a Friday, getting my hair done, I was all confused and distracted by the amount of business people out and the rushing here and there and the traffic, but it was so nice to sit still and be taken care of for a little while.

I’m going to leave it there.

It was such a lovely day off.

Divine really.

I am excited for more of such days.

And grateful for every moment of this one.

Every single moment.

Give It To Me!

March 3, 2017

I was just having a moment with my lip balm container.

I love it.

It’s the best that I have found since my favorite brand stopped making my lip balm about ten years ago.

It’s by Tokyo Milk.

And it is so good.

But damn it man, the packaging is so hard to open.

I was like.

My face is cracking, open up.

Ok.

Maybe not that dramatically.

But.

I can tell some things about me are changing.

My lips get chapped faster, my hands are dry (I mean, I’m a nanny, I do wash my hands a lot, especially when handling a new born, but still, I’m definetly getting the old lady hands, age spots and all), I have laugh lines around my eyes, even though I wear sunblock every day.

I’m getting older.

As though the gum disease and the having to wear bifocals, um, excuse me, let me get politically correct, my “progressives” glasses, weren’t enough, the grey hair at the roots of my crown, the aging, it is happening.

But.

I still wear them damn flowers in my hair and I still feel often oddly childish and silly and light-hearted, I may be getting older, but I still have a wonder about the world and a curiosity and a wish to see more things and have more experiences.

Once in a while my brain tries to launch an attack, oh my God, you’re 44, what’s next?

Death.

I suppose.

A cold, hard, lonely death, boohoo.

Can you hear the tiny violin playing.

It’s in concert with Jim Croce.

That’s not the way it feels.

I didn’t bother to watch that horror show though, today.

I just rather enjoyed the red rose in my hair and the lip gloss on my lips.

I had a nice day.

I even had a half hour by myself, sort of, my charge was napping, in which I was able to make a check in phone call with my person and confirm meeting with her on Saturday at Tart to Tart, look over some defects of character and get right with God.

And.

I got to sit outside on the back porch and enjoy the sun and a hot mug of tea.

It was pretty fucking spectacular.

Shit.

I even put my phone down for a while, got off the social media and just connected with the blue skies, the warm sun, the flowers blooming in the garden, the paper whites, narcissus, in a pot, the tiny buds of jasmine just turning pink, the whir and buzz of hummingbirds in the plum blossoms.

It was exquisite.

It is Spring and it is a little warmer.

Not a lot, but enough and yes, there’s more freaking rain this weekend, but the last couple of days the sunshine on my face makes all the wrinkles fine and acceptable, what am I going to do anyway, erase my life, rub away the laughs and the adventures and the experiences.

I like how I am, most of the time I’m in acceptance about my body, my health, my age, I’m pretty fucking lucky to have gotten to this age and have the health that I have.

Ridiculous the gratitude I have for that.

I have plans for these old bones, I’m not ready to roll over any time soon.

I was talking to my boss about going to Venice at some point and I think about all the places I write about in my morning pages.

I want to go to Burning Man.

Duh.

I have the time off but haven’t found out about the ticket yet.

I will be going to Paris, so that doesn’t count, I have already gotten the ticket and I have a place to stay.

All I have to do is show up with some money for food and museum entrances, and oh a couple of Claire Fontaine notebooks and maybe a tattoo and a flea market score or three, a souvenir or two from the Marais.

Paris is a done deal.

Other places I’m contemplating are Anchorage to see my dad, Portland to see my sister and Puerto Rico to see my roots, and because I have a friend that has contract work there, he’s invited me and I’m just waiting to find out when the family will be out and off to Europe for three weeks in July.

I don’t know what their dates are yet, so I’ve been holding off on getting any forward motion on buying a plane ticket.

I still have the voucher from this past Christmas too for an air plane ticket.

I am planning on using that for Puerto Rico and then buying a one way to Anchorage and doing three days there and then a one way to Portland, get a room in some hipster hotel and drink a lot of coffee and walk around and see what the scene is like, hang out with my sister, see what the deal is like.

I’m thinking one week in Puerto Rico, then one week split between Anchorage and Portland.

Then the third week the family is gone, just chill here in the city, do some yoga, hang out.

I get ahead of myself, but it is fun to contemplate.

Better travel plan contemplation then my brain trying to play some late night B movie horror show about being single and alone.

Frankly brain.

I’d rather watch Dirty Dancing again.

Go away.

I mean, for real.

I got better things to do.

Dear God help me see what you want me to see and help me to let go of what I can.

Thanks.

I mean it.

I need all the help I can get.

The weekend is nigh and I want to have fun.

Please show me the way.

I’m open to suggestions.

Bring it on.

I’m all ears.

Seriously.

 

So Much To Say

May 9, 2015

So little time to say it.

“You have so much happening,” my mom said to me this afternoon during our brief phone conversation.

I just don’t know what you are talking about mom.

I laughed.

I’m going to be busy until the day I die.

Busy all the time.

My ex, who recently contacted me, said, “congratulations!!!!” in regards to my getting into graduate school; we had few things to catch up on, how things can change, so fast, in a blink of an eye, they change, and then added, “how much less free time is that going to give you?”

I don’t know.

I don’t want to think about it.

I am still missing the rare pork chop that I was just offered as way of incentive to hang out with a dear friend who has come back into my life at NOPA.

Did I really just turn down food at NOPA?

Ugh.

Yes.

I already had dinner and I also needed to get my ass back to the house, said ass having left my house over fourteen hours ago, fifteen? To work, do the deal, cover a commitment, then go share some experience, strength, hope, and crazy up in a room at USF at 10 p.m.

It’s near midnight and here I sit, doing the writing, which is also part of my deal.

“I don’t know what its going to look like when I do graduate school,” I told my employers yesterday, who are hoping, as am I, to continue having me work for them while I go to school.  “I have some ideation, but having never been to graduate school, I just don’t know what it’s going to look like.”

Like I want to work as much as possible.

Like I have no clue how to pay for tuition.

Like I haven’t gotten my financial aid awards package so I don’t know how much money I’m going to need.

Like please give me as many hours as possible.

“Look at how much you worked at the Angelic when you were doing your undergraduate,” my mom said to me on the phone, as she too asked me what I was going to be doing work wise.

“And,” she added, “you weren’t even sober, and you did really well.”

Not to put too fine a point on it.

Thanks for the reminder mom.

She’s correct, though, I was not sober.

I was micro-managing the fuck out of my drinking, afraid to end up getting drunk, because when I did, man, all the wheels fell off.

I control drank my way through my undergrad degree and I did do really quite well.

I am not a unitelligent person.

“You are so smart,” he said to me with a hug, “you are going to do amazing!”

I hope so.

I also get caught up in the minutia, the small shit, the weird, how does this work deal, and though I have somewhat of an understanding of my intelligence, I also don’t, it’s ephemeral to me, I don’t have perspective on it and I often times think that I am not smart enough because I haven’t figured out how to date, or be in a sustaining relationship, or why hasn’t anyone asked me out since my ex broke up with me, or what I’m going to do when I grow up.

Well.

I think I may be a therapist.

We shall see.

“I’m concerned about what I will have to let go of,” I told the dad at work, “it may be my writing practice, I’m not sure,” and as I said that I thought, no, not this, I can’t give up this.

But perhaps I will, can I sustain 30 hours of work (the program is such that you “supposedly” can work full-time, but every single person I have spoken to about it suggest 20-25 or none at all, so I’m already swinging big by thinking 30 hours), going to graduate school, doing the deal, and writing 2,000-3,000 words every day.

And I wonder why I’m single.

Bitch take a break and sit still long enough to get asked out.

AHem.

And then start talking nicer to  yourself.

I do love myself and I do respect myself and I know myself.

That I can run and push and fight harder to fill up the hours, to always be busy, doing, shaking, moving, hustling.

“I missed months of the story, and just know that you did not put it all in the blog, you just disappeared,” my friend said tonight,  after offering me a pork chop.

I’m not fixated.

(maybe a tiny bit)

I just like a pork chop.

He’s right, he knows where to read in between the lines and there are stories to tell that I don’t write here, things that don’t land on the blog plate.

Posts that I could write, that I think about writing, that I don’t.

But, so much is here.

And I love my little forum.

I had someone ask for my blog site tonight and I rattled it off.

“Oh, I’ve heard of that,” he said.

No.

No you have not.

But thanks for saying that, it was sweet.

I have so much to say and the stories, the experiences, they just keep coming.

I don’t actually believe I will stop blogging or writing when I go to graduate school.

Y’all might get tired of me writing about it.

But there it is.

The writing is not going to be the spot that I cut back.

At least, that’s what I can see from here.

Not much else.

And maybe a night shift or two with the family, mom and dad can go out and I can study and do my homework after the boys are in bed.

Jesus.

I sound like I’m in school.

Which is what I’m about to be, but I feel suddenly young and foolish and am I ready for this?

Will have start having the naked in school dreams soon too?

I will state now, that I would like to take a pass on that.

It’s taken me awhile to get to where I’ve gotten, but that’s ok.

And it’s going to take a while to get to where ever graduate school is going to lead me.

“You’re so young!” My mom exclaimed, “you’ve only just begun.”

That’s nice to hear at the age of 42.

I don’t feel 42.

I suspect that will serve me well in school.

I do feel, though.

Grateful.

Lots and lots and lots of that.

That I have more.

That there are more stories to be told.

That I will be around awhile yet to tell them.

Maybe even a few in between the lines.

Although I may reserve those for conversations over tea.

Or.

Pork chops.

Connection

March 23, 2015

That is what I crave.

I was thinking about that today as I walked along the beach.

I had just gotten off the phone with my little sister.

She may be 40, but she’s still my little sister.

I had been thinking about her and I realized, you know, why not give a call?

We had a half hour conversation and without me even realizing it I had walked from the Judah entrance on Ocean Beach to Sloat.

It was a nice walk back.

One in which I ran into a couple other people I knew.

We exchanged hugs and pleasantries, then parted.

Father and daughter walking the beach at low tide.

Before I had even made it down to the beach I ran into a fellow walking up Judah to Trouble.  He and his friend had just been down at the beach as well.

“Neighbor!” He smiled and we hugged.

It’s nice to be known.

It’s nice to be seen.

And with these thoughts in my mind I signed out of OKCupid tonight.

I have not eradicated my profile, but I am offline with it for a while.

“I realized,” I said to her while explaining my experience, strength, and hope, hopefully, “that I long for someone to travel with, to have adventures with, to go to Burning Man with.”

Which for me, means traveling, having adventures, and going to Burning Man.

I love to travel and I love adventures and I am down for camping in the heat and dust, as long as there’s loads of love and light and art, please, oh pretty please, give me some art.

I want to live as full and rich a life as possible.

And though a good part of that life is documented here, not all of it is and when I find myself not connecting on OkCupid, or Tinder, or Hinge, when the emoticon becomes the template for my communication with another human being, it’s time to scale back.

I don’t care for texting.

It’s emotional shorthand.

It’s cave man communication.

And it’s too easy to read all sorts of things into it.

I want to actually talk on the phone, I know that’s even becoming outmoded in the land of looking at our phone screens.

Sometimes I wonder if folks are going to actually stop using their phones and just text and facetime and spout emoji’s on one another.

I need contact.

I need touch.

I need to hear the emotions in a person’s voice.

I am not saying I am lonely.

Far from it.

I am fabulous company.

I spent my afternoon after doing the deal with a lady at the kitchen table, cooking homemade chili, and hanging in the back yard, watching the ravens swoop and the cats lazy, prowl the roof tops for the warmest patch of sun.

I looked at the yellow flowers in the weeds and marveled at the wild geranium, soft lilac with splotches of deep red and violet on its petals, careen toward the sun.

I closed my eyes and turned my face toward the sun as well.

Don’t worry I had my 45 sunblock slathered on.

I, like a cat, love the warmth of the sun though.

I drank sparkling water and ate large kale salads.

I read a Vanity Fair.

I read my book.

I made some phone calls and left some messages.

I thought about connection and how I want to connect with the world.

I thought about dating and realized that the action is to not pursue.

Rather to be pursued.

I like being courted.

I need to let that happen.

I reflected on the best parts of my time with my ex boyfriend and realized that it was all before we had sex.

The feeling of holding hands, sitting next to one another, the building up of emotions.

That I want to have more of.

I am not saying sex is off the table.

I am saying, though, that when I am at my absolute rock bottom honest, I want more and that more has to do with emotional intimacy.

I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I’m not sick of dating.

I am, however, sick of trying to figure it out.

Thus.

I say I stop.

I signed out of OkCupid and I don’t know when or if I will sign back in.

I want to be signed into my life.

“I’m really glad you’re getting your knees checked out,” my dear friend told me yesterday as we wandered around Alcatraz.

Holding hands, at that!

I think about some of the nicest hand holding and it’s been with her and my best friend back in Wisconsin.

Whom I am contemplating going to see and when that might fit into my busy life.

Christmas?

I know, it’s March.

But after having just sent my employers my official time off requests for going to Chula Vista to see my grandmother, then the time for my graduate school retreat, and the week of Burning Man, I realized I may not have time to do any other travel until late fall/winter.

And I’m not even including when I go to Atlanta in July–I don’t have to ask off for that time, it’s 4th of July weekend, so I’m off already.

My friend continued, holding my hand as the crowds pushed ahead of us, “you should do couples dancing, I think you would have fun and meet people.”

That sounds nice.

Meeting people in person.

Engaging face to face.

Human being to human being.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned and I should really re-think staying on all the sites and things and doings.

But.

Despite wanting All The Things.

I don’t believe that I will find them there.

I am more than a sound bite.

Hell, I am more than this blog.

How could I expect anyone to get a grasp of me via a text or a tweet or a post?

I want to get to know you.

Face to face.

Not facebook to facebook.

I know you’re out there.

I am ready when you are.

Let’s go explore this great big amazing world together.

Hand in hand.

 

Great, Just in Time For My Birthday

December 13, 2011

Grey hairs.

Fuck you.

REALLY?

I suppose I shouldn’t bitch, I shouldn’t complain, I should just be plain ole grateful that they didn’t arrive until just recently.

I should all of those things.

But come on!  Six days before my 39th birthday, grey hair?

Who’s funny.  Thanks God.  All I really wanted was a date, but I guess I’ll take the grey’s instead.  Christ on a stick.

I don’t know what was worse, noticing them at all, or noticing them at work.  They are not my first greys.  I got my first grey hair right after I turned 30.

My mom was in town visiting.  I was living at 22nd and Alabama and working at Hawthorne Lane.  I had taken mom down town to see the Christmas tree in Union Square and she had to pee.  There really is no better “public” restroom than the one at Macy’s on the third floor of the store.  We hustled over and battled through the holiday shopping crowds to use the facilities.

I was washing my hands when I looked up and noticed something glimmering just there in my hair-line.  What the hell is that?  I reached up to brush it away and it did not brush away.  Huh?

Oh no.

A grey hair.  Fuck me.

My mom came out of the stall and went to the sink to wash up.  As she did she looked over and said, “what are you looking at”?

I tried to say nothing, but got nothing out of my mouth as she gleefully started to clap, “oh, look its your first grey hair”!

Shut the fuck up, mom.  It was the exact same tone of voice that she used to announce to my Aunt Mary Beth that I had “become a woman”.  That tone of voice that acknowledges all milestones in my life with a sort of wistful, ah, isn’t she so grown up now, sort of sentiment.

I rapidly plucked it and tossed it in the trash.

“Oh no,” my mother said, “don’t do that!  Keep it as a souvenir”.

Go smoke some more crack, mom.

Gah.

I was not keeping it as a souvenir.  I blame my mothers visit for the grey.

But, this time, nine years later, I think, its just time doing it’s work.  At first, I thought it was simply the blonde highlights in my hair that Calvin had put in the last time I saw him.  Nope, it was not.  And yup, I checked more than once.  In fact, I am almost about to get up and check again just now, maybe I was mistaken.

I mean, I did not do a real thorough look through the hair.  I just glanced up while washing my hands, and saw them.  Them.  There’s more than one.

Fuck.

They have arrived.  They have landed, and I hear they multiply.

Yes.

Yes, I did, I just got up and looked.  Had to blow my nose, might as well look and just triple check.  And my eyes were correct, whose idea was it to get glasses?

Damn it.

There are two.  And they are blending quite well, camouflaged nicely with the blonde highlights.  But there they are.

Sigh.  Oh well, that what happens.  I don’t mind aging.  I really don’t.  Although I find it fucking hilarious that I still, still, get acne.  You would think that one would cancel out the other.  But, no, I get them both.  My body is a paradox.  For instance, I have both varicose veins and the strongest, sexiest legs I have ever had, both at the same time.

I have grey hair and pimples.  And I’m getting laugh wrinkles.  And a furrow in my forehead.  And  “thinking” wrinkles.  My body tells my history.  My story, my legacy. I am more than willing to own it, however.

I actually rather love it, even when I am ranting about it.  I can tell you were every scar came from–the chicken pox scar just on the cusp on my cleavage, obviously from itching at myself.  Or the one on my right hand, got into a fight with my sister who was just beginning to experiment with growing her nails out, boy oh boy did she learn to scratch fast!  The scar folded into the crease on my nose, where I got bit by a dog.  You may also include the scar on my mouth from same dog.  I am about the only person who notices these two scars.  Partially because they are hidden.  The majority of the scarring from the dog bite is actually on the interior of my lip.  Some times I worry at it with my tongue when I am thinking hard about something.

I also have a faint, very faint scar on my left arm where for shits and giggles I tried cutting myself when I was nineteen.  It was not dark or romantic.  It was stupid, it hurt, and I did not ever do it again.  I found other ways to check out, however.

My favorite scar is probably the one on my middle finger.  I got my finger caught in the hinge of a bathroom door at school when I was in kindergarten.  That was fun.  It was not properly cared for at the time of the accident.  When my mom actually realized how deeply cut it was and scurried me off to the hospital, it was too late for a simple suturing and I had to undergo surgery and I have a strange-looking middle finger.  Have me flip you off sometime and you can check it out.

Then there are my most recent ones–on my elbow from bike crashes while on training rides for the AIDS LifeCycle–and right next to it, another, almost identical one from wiping out on the down hill slope of Union Street (same wipe out where I hit the pavement so hard, my helmet cracked in half).  My elbows have taken a lot of abuse over the years, I have an older scar too right next to these, from a wipe out on a bicycle when I was six, three in all about the same place, apparently this is where I like to land.

What strikes me today is that although I was a little miffed to find the grey hairs, I am really grateful for the life experiences and the milestones that I have reached.  I haven’t sat back from life.  I have jumped in with both feet.  Some times to my detriment, three broken toes later the summer  before third grade, but always, always, I have healed and I have grown from the experience.  I am not a wall flower.

I don’t really mind the greys.  They are just the beginnings of a story that I cannot quite see.  Indicators that I have been alive for a good long time, and hopefully, I still have lots of time to get used to them.

Lots and lots and lots of time.


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