Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

Emotional Attachment

June 12, 2018

I woke up a tiny bit off.

Not a lot, but just enough to notice.

I felt a little flat.

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

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

You know.

Routine.

I can check out a little in my routine.

But.

It all came clear when I peeped social media.

Oh hi there.

I wasn’t expecting to see that.

But.

I should have.

I have been sensing it in the air.

I thought about it a couple of days ago.

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

And yes.

Thanks social media.

There it was on Facebook.

Hi papa.

Happy birthday.

Today you turned 69.

Sigh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I bought it for my dad.

I left all my information in it.

My phone number.

My address.

My email.

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

I told him I forgave him.

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

And I asked him to forgive me.

He wasn’t always the best dad.

I wasn’t always the best daughter.

And I let him go.

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

He never did.

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

I had to take care of myself.

I kissed him on the cheek.

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

My eyes welled up with tears and I left.

He woke up about a week later.

On my birthday of all days.

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

I answered.

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

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

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

Sigh.

Happy birthday.

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

He’d been in the coma for two weeks.

Then he cawed at me.

“Caw! Caw!”

Like a crow.

Like a raven.

I teared up.

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

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

I felt big crashing waves of emotions.

And then.

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

And accident that was propelled and fueled by his alcoholism.

Those were the last words I got from my dad.

I wondered about him today.

I felt a similar feeling last year around this time.

An urge to reach out.

An urge to connect.

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

It was disconnected.

Just like I was.

Detached.

Removed.

Far, far, far away.

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

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

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

I lit that candle tonight when I got home.

Kona coffee scented.

Seems apropos.

My father was born in Hawaii.

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

I won’t reach out further.

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

Rather.

Today.

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

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

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

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

Then I loved hard at work.

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

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

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

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

And.

Oh.

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

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

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

It was the most heartbreakingly sweet thing ever.

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

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

And I’m ok with that.

They did the best they could.

Besides

I have such amazing family in my life.

My family of choice.

And for that I am beyond grateful.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

 

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When Was I Happiest

January 6, 2018

Today?

I just asked myself that.

In a prompting kind of way, hey you, you need to write your blog, get your fingers moving on that keyboard, make some fucking magic happen.

Because all of the seven people who read my blog really want to know what I did today.

Meh.

I recently got an update from WordPress that I have once again celebrated an anniversary.

Eight years of blogging.

Eight.

What the fuck did I write about?

So many things, so many thoughts.

I have published over 2,400 blogs.

My average blog is somewhere between 1100-1300 words.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say 1,000.

That means that I have written over 2,4000,000 words.

Over two million words!

Who the hell knew there were so many words in my head?

I never suspected that I would be where I am in now in my life when I started writing this blog.

I was living on Taylor and Washington in a large studio that was on a cable car line.

I was working as a nanny in China Basin.

I made really good money.

More than I actually make now, if you can believe that, because it was all under the table.

I had a very nice Felt 35 racing bike that I did my commute on.

I was horribly lonely.

I felt like all I did was grind at work, I worked at least 50 hours a week.

Which is funny, as I put in about fifty hours a week now and go to graduate school full-time.

But at that time I was going through a lot of weird stuff.

I was desperately trying to get abstinent with my food, which I did do in that apartment, but it took a hot ass second.

I was trying, oh so very hard, to get some head way on my book, said head way has come to naught in many ways, but you know, I started this blog by publishing each of the chapters one by one in the pages.

If you should want to read some really bad writing, well it’s there.

For sure.

I had a friend read the book in manuscript form about four years ago and he told me with no mincing of words that if he didn’t know better he would have never believed that the person who wrote this blog was the same person who had written that book.

My writing, suffice to say, has gotten much better.

That’s what happens when you practice.

You get better.

I have had eight years of practicing this blog.

Some days I am so inordinately pleased with what I have written that I may actually go back and re-read a blog.

But not very often.

I generally throw it down on the page, I”m just transcribing my thoughts, and really, thank god I have some fast typing skills, I’m just writing what I am thinking.

It’s a little like having a one-sided conversation with me.

Hey how was your day?

Let me tell you about mine, and then I’m unleashed upon you.

Or something like that.

I am reflecting as I did my Morning Pages this morning in the place where Morning Pages originated for me, about ten years ago.

Yeah.

If you thought writing a blog eight years in a row was something, check out my history with writing my Morning Pages.

Ten years, going on eleven.

I realized that this morning as I sat in Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and some time to kill before I had to be into work.

So instead of getting up stupid early, I let myself sleep in, packed my breakfast and brought it with me, planning to eat it at the cafe while having a cafe au lait before going into work.

The cafe is much the same as when I first started hanging out at it.

I had moved to a shared apartment in a rent controlled Victorian on Capp Street and 23rd and Muddy’s was the closest cafe to me and the one where I did a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sitting with another woman and reading out of a big blue book.

So many women in that cafe, before my regular Wednesday haunt, as well as my regular Saturday gig and many other times in between.

And it was also the scene of The Artist Way group that I was a part of for a year and a half.

It was an awesome group.

We met for an hour before rolling up the hill to a spot in Noe Valley on Wednesday nights.

We would grab the big round table towards the back of the cafe and anywhere from 6 to 10 of us would sit down for about an hour and share about the assignments we had done from the book.

We did one chapter a week, followed the instructions regarding the assignments, and talked about our experiences working the projects and doing the morning pages.

The book suggests that every morning you take time to write three pages long hand.

Emphasis on long hand.

No typewrite, keyboard, tablet, computer.

My blog does not count as morning pages and never has.

There is something so captivating about writing on paper with a good pen.

I was writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks that I brought back from Paris this morning and I reflected on how it was in that group that I came to the realization that I wanted to go to Paris.

That I actually wanted to move to Paris.

It would take some years before I moved, but by participating in that group I realized how much I wanted to go to Paris and I took myself on a solo trip for ten days after doing the work in the book.

I took myself on artists dates, I went to museums, I bought myself nice paper, I sat and daydreamed in cafes and watched clouds roll by.

I looked out those same windows today and marveled.

Look how far I have come.

Look where I am now.

My best friend in Paris messaged me today about when I’ll be going back.

I have been to Paris five times since I made that decision, and yes, one of those times was to live there for six months.

I have re-written that book.

Although I still don’t think it’s at a publishable place.

I have written poems.

I have performed with djs in nightclubs reciting my poems.

One of them became a recording.

I have lectured on stage.

I have traveled.

I went to Burning Man, a lot.

I traveled to New York by myself as well as New Orleans to go see art.

I have taken 1,000s and 1,000s of photographs.

I have written millions of words.

I think I have a few million more.

I have done morning pages in Paris, London, Rome, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Madison, Wisconsin, Anchorage, Alaska, Burning Man, Reno, San Diego, Las Vegas, and probably a bunch of other places I can’t remember now.

But they all started one night in a Muddy Waters coffee shop on Valencia and 24th.

Opening a door that has led me down this meandering path of creation and love.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.

Bach Cello Sonata No.1

October 11, 2017

In G.

And 5 and 6 as well.

Yo Yo Ma.

That is what I am listening to.

It was an intense day and I feel it slowly easing out of my body and sliding to the floor in a big puddle.

I could slide to the floor in a big puddle.

When I need to calm down and unwind I like to listen to this in particular.

It is sweet and I find it wistful, God I miss playing the cello.

There’s a spot about 1:50 into the first sonata and I can feel the bow in my hand, I can see my fingers striding over the neck of the cello and I can feel it between my legs.

I can get weepy thinking about it.

One would suppose that I would be past it, this yearning, but somethings stay with me a long time.

I don’t know that I ever really got over the loss of playing cello.

And I have had it suggested too many times to count that maybe I pick it up again.

I think.

Yes!

Let me do that.

In what fucking time?

I could give up writing in the morning.

I could play music for my morning spiritual fix.

I could not buy a car and buy a cello.

I could go over to Roland Feller and blow my heart out on a cello.

Roland Feller is the luthier for the San Francisco Symphony.

I went once, with a friend who worked out of the Burning Man offices when I was nannying there many years ago now.

He is a professional cello player and gigs about and plays with the San Jose Orchestra.

He gave me lessons for a while and one day took me to Roland Feller.

I would have never known that there was a luthier there.

It is an extraordinary nondescript house next to the Popeye’s Chicken on Divisadero Street.

There is no signage.

You have to make an appointment.

There is a gate and a call box and it looks like some cheap apartment, well, it’s in San Francisco so it’s probably not cheap, but the door opens into this gold mine of classical music instruments.

Violins.

Violas.

Stand up Bass.

Cellos.

Oh and the cellos.

I played a few different ones and I remember one in particular, it was luscious, the sound so rich, so vibrant, it made me quiver with delight.

My friend teased me a little that I was passionate and looked as though I might be having the sexy thoughts.

I had never had a cello quite that caliber ever before in my hands.

It was exquisite.

And one day.

Well.

I have written on this topic before, I will have another cello.

I’m not there yet.

But one day.

And in the mean time.

Well.

I have my Yo Yo Ma and I have Bach.

And Debussy.

And Chopin.

Oh the Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor.

Oof.

So good.

The Bach is my favorite, but that Chopin is glorious too, passionate and brash and stupendous.

I love that I love classical music.

I don’t look the type.

Except, well, maybe that’s not true.

I feel like I might look the type, that there’s a brazen woman cellist in my heart.

Maybe she smashes herself on her music like I smash myself with my poetry.

Maybe one day the two will get back together again.

I don’t expect that I will ever be great, I never was great, but I had heart, yes, I had great big heart and I knew it and so did my most ardent supporter–my orchestra conductor, Mister Ziegler.

Where ever you are, you meant something to me that few teachers do.

He supported me, he was honest with me, he argued for me.

He brought in my mom and my step father, the fuck (egad, maybe I need yet another inventory on the man, christ), and sat them down and tried, oh how hard he tried, to convince them to not let me quit cello.

Quitting cello was not my idea.

It was my stepfathers idea.

We didn’t have enough money and my parents, god I can’t even say that, the man was never a fucking parent to me, he was a violent misogynistic sociopath, but not a parent, had bought a house in Windsor, outside the school system I was in at the time I was playing cello.

There was no thought of a tutor, I had one actually, that my conductor had arranged with the school and I was given said tutoring for free, but to move away from the school system I would lose that.

And the school that was closest to me, the one that I would attend, DeForest, well, they didn’t have an orchestra.

Oh sure.

They had band.

But no orchestra.

They had cut the funding for the orchestra.

You should see the football stadium though, a work of art that.

Anyway.

My conductor tried to argue that my parents continuing my tutoring or that I commute in to Madison for school and still stay with the cello.

Nope.

There were words, there was fire, I could see how hard my conductor was trying to get through to my parents.

My stepfather hated me playing.

He hated me practicing.

I got lost in the cello, I wasn’t there, I was gone, gone, gone, and he wanted me present and not in my fantasy world.

He also did not like that I read as much as I did, I shit you not.

What fucking parent doesn’t want their children to read?

When I was punished some of the worst punishments were being denied those things that I loved most.

Books and my cello.

Cello was first to go.

“Put it away and go clean the bathtub,” he said.

The the books were taken.

I don’t know what I did, I mean, I have absolutely no recollection of what I had done to deserve the grounding to my room one weekend, but he was diabolical.

I had no problem being grounded to my room, fine with me, I won’t have to look at you.

I’ll read, thank you very much.

But.

Oh my fucking god, the man had removed every single book I had in my room, everything was gone, it was stripped.

Thank God I had one underneath the mattress of my bed.

Fucking stashed my back up drugs thank you very much.

So.

It wasn’t much of a surprise, after the cello was taken and my stepfather and my mom left the orchestra room with me sadly in tow, that once we moved to Windsor I was to be denied academic access as well.

“She’s too proud, she needs to be humbled, she’s not allowed to do it,” he told my mom, who had tried in her own way to get him to give his permission to sway him.

I was trailing behind in the snow walking down Windsor Road in the middle of a cold ass night listening to them argue about me and the invitation I had been given to join an advanced English class-accelerated and an accelerated math class.

I didn’t care so much about the math, irony, I was actually able to attend that, I think my mom might have had a hook up or something with the math teacher now that I look back, but the English was resolutely denied.

I can feel rage in my chest when I think about that.

“Too proud, she’s just too fucking proud.”

And maybe I was.

Pride goeth before the fall.

I have been humbled in many ways, but I still like my books and I still love listening to cello.

And I am beyond proud of how I grew and became the woman I am today.

Despite the horrendous odds against me growing up.

I got out.

And you can’t put me down.

Nope.

I will not be ground down.

I will thrive.

I am thriving.

I am alive.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

And yes.

Proud.

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

June 1, 2017

Yes.

I am aware that tomorrow is June 1st and not November.

It has been one hell of a month.

So much happening.

Amazing things truly.

I love my life, I’m lucky, I’m graced, I’m blessed.

And.

I might just being going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Yup.

It will be my first time, unless something unusual pops up and I find myself in the islands, which I am not opposed to, but to tell you the truth, I hadn’t expected to hear the news today that I might be in the islands for the holiday.

My family I work for brought it up today.

I will have off that weekend from school and work, well, since it is work, will let me have the time.

It’s not a real vacation for me, I’ll be working, but, oh, the location does not suck.

Not at all.

And like I said, I’ve never been to Hawaii.

I really should go, I am part Polynesian after all.

Puerto Rican and Polynesian on my father’s side.

German and Scot on my mom’s side.

I had someone tell me once that I was a Polynesian princess mixed with white trash.

Heh.

I might have a little trashy in me.

I definitely have some princess in me, that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, I am thrilled at the idea.

I love that the family really wants me to be included in their lives and I really love working for them.

Tomorrow marks five months of work and it’s been such a great job for me and the parents really appreciate me and the kids love me.

I love my charges.

LOVE.

Both of the older kids were under the weather today and one of them stayed home from school.

Work was huge amounts of snuggling, singing every song I know from my years of being a nanny, and an almost endless repetition of a lullaby that I usually sing to the baby, and all the babies I have ever worked with and a lot of my toddlers too, to the oldest boy while rubbing his back and petting him and just sitting and crooning to him.

He is the sweetest boy and super smart and vulnerable and the request to keep repeating the lullaby and stroking his soft blonde hair, oh, my heart, I just wanted to curl him up in my arms and kiss away the fever.

He got lots of love and I got to be the Queen of Snuggles.

I also got to do some cooking while he was watching a movie, sick days get movies, and I revelled in the cooking.

It feels good to cook, I miss it sometimes, cooking for a partner or my family.

I used to cook all the big holiday meals for my family and oh, the baking, and the stews, the jams and cheesecakes and pies, the cookies and pork chops.

Midwestern much.

Aside.

I said “bubbler” today and the woman looked at me like I was an alien.

Bubbler is water fountain in Wisconsineese.

I made up that last word, rhymes with cheese, bubbler is a total Wisconsin word, there are a few more, but that one slips once in a while into the conversation, or “pop” instead of “soda.”

Once and a while my roots show.

I am, however, not so connected to my Hawaiian and Puerto Rican roots.

My father wasn’t much around growing up and though I always kept in touch with my grandmother, I didn’t have much idea about Hawaii.

I had things from Hawaii that my grandmother would send and I remember boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and once a grass skirt, coming in the mail from my grandmother.

I think we had placemats too and a few books about the islands and where the family was from.

It wasn’t until I moved back to California as an adult that I met my father’s side of the family in a more concrete way.

I remember meeting some cousins for the first time and being blown away by how much I looked like them, how they looked like my sister, and how I was actually lighter skinned than the majority of the family.

“They look like me!”

It was a relief and in a way an almost instantaneous connection that I had not always felt with my mothers Germanic roots and Scottish ancestry.

I was neither pale skin nor blue-eyed, or green-eyed as my mother.

I did not have blond hair.

Nope.

I got tan.

I didn’t really burn.

Well, once in a while, after long ass days detassling corn in the fields around Waunakee during the summers when I was working the crews, I might get a shoulder burn or a heavy crop dusting of freckles.

My mom though, my God, she could burn so easily, such creamy white fair skin.

Yeah.

So coming to California and starting to get those connections to my father’s family was a revelation.

I’m still not as close as I suppose I can be, social media does most of the work for me and there’s still stuff with my father that I have reservations broaching my family about.

I ceded his care when I was in Alaska in the hospital to the head of the administrative at the hospital.

I love my father.

I have exquisite and amazing child hood memories of him.

I also have some pretty awful ones too.

But.

He wasn’t around and when he had the accident that lead to the coma that led me to Anchorage, I went almost more to settle my own heart, then for anything else.

I sat by that hospital bed in the ICU for four night and five days.

He was in a coma the entire time I was there.

I held his hand and talked to him.

I forgave him.

And.

I asked for him to forgive me.

I made friends in Anchorage and the fellowship there carried me when I wanted to collapse into the snowbanks and the cold air and just cry my heart out.

I managed to not get stuck in any snowbanks but I won’t ever forget the dark night sky outside the window of the room the hospital hospitality house put me up in, for families of critical care patients at the facility, and the roughness of the sheets on the bed and how alone I was.

No.

That’s not true.

I wasn’t alone, I had God, I was carried, but I was by myself.

I was grateful, beyond grateful, to be there for my family and to relay messages out to the world and to let my grandmother be in contact with me and my uncle and my cousins and the love seed that was planted there.

I have never talked to any of them about letting go of my father’s care, but I did visit my grandmother that next summer and it meant everything to me to say “I love you,” and in that moment, as I was leaving to get on a plane from San Diego, in my grandmothers arms, I could feel how much she loved me too.

I will always have that moment.

And I look forward to getting to go to Hawaii.

Even if it’s not with my employers, which is sounds like it might actually be, I will go.

I have some more healing to do in that corner of my heart history.

I will swim in the ocean and walk on the beaches and turn my face to the sun.

I will go home again.

Although it has never left me.

Impressed as it is on the cheekbones in my face, the wide plush smile on my face, the curls in my hair, the freckles on the crest of my nose, the wilderness of my hips, the sway in my walk.

I have not forgotten.

I always have had the islands in me.

Always.

Growing Up

February 8, 2017

Moving on.

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

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

Shedding.

Fuck.

It feels really good.

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

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

BAM.

I sent a message and let go of the results.

I changed.

Like that.

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

Nope.

I am enough and I deserve to be treated well.

I stood up for myself.

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

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

And.

I realized that I can’t do it alone.

I needed his help.

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

There is no there there.

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

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

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

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

But let go I did.

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

Such stunning relief.

Let go.

Move on.

With love.

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

It’s not my business.

 

My business.

Is.

Me.

 

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

I left my person with such deep gratitude and love.

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

It awes me.

And I change.

It is good.

It is so good.

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

The travel I get to do.

I’m planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Another to Anchorage.

One to Portland.

And.

Of course.

Burning Man.

Yes.

I know.

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

How the hell am I going to pull it off?

I don’t know.

But get pulled off it will.

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

Go where the love is.

Go where I am wanted and appreciated.

And.

Don’t go to work.

I have worked every year.

I have paid my dues.

Maybe.

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

Just a camp.

Just a spot to put up my tent and be.

Just me.

Just the playa.

Just Burning Man.

That’s such a lovely thought.

A goal.

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

And it’s just the beginning of February.

And.

It is just the beginning.

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

I can feel it.

I am expanding.

My heart growing.

I am shedding old skin and stepping out new.

It feels extraordinary and freeing and magical.

Alive.

And let me not forget.

I am also going to Paris in May.

I mean.

My life is extraordinary.

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

I’m not a saint.

I’m going to fuck up.

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

All this growth.

I am graced to get to do it.

It can be a struggle.

Or it can be a surrender.

Today.

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

I smiled.

So much joy.

Such simple shifts.

And boom.

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

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Seriously.

It’s going to be fucking amazing.

AMAZING.

My Face Hurts

February 3, 2017

From smiling so much.

I got the job!

I can’t believe that I am this freaking excited to get a job that is not a paying gig.

I mean.

Seriously.

I’m over the fucking moon.

It’s not official, yet, but I got it.

My interviewer made it clear that I got it, he’s going to push through all the paperwork and have the offer for me by end of day on Monday.

I asked that it happen before the applications to CIIS for their practicum sites was due.

February 10th.

If I apply to the sites that the school runs and get into one of them it doesn’t matter if I got into another site, I have to go with theirs, their rules, their program, their hours.

Which are not a great match for me and my needs.

My needs, which include, keeping my full-time nanny job so that I can stay in San Francisco and go to school.

The interview went so well, it sort of astounds me.

We talked a lot, we had so much to say, I was a little nervous, but it all fell away and the words, I have no idea where they came from, they just fell out and I could see how excited my interviewer was and he pretty much said, this is it, you are perfect for us and I want you on board.

He and I went over the process, and the details and then we just talked and I felt inspired and I told him about wanting to proceed forward with a PhD through the East/West Psychology program and it turns out, he did the same thing!

He was so warm and inviting and I like the space and I like what the institution is doing and it’s a nonprofit, which it has to be for me to do my practicum hours.

And.

Oh yes.

I can intern there too after I graduate, in fact he spoke to me about longevity and staying with them while I did do work on my PhD and that if I so chose I might be able to segue straight through with them the entire way of my degree, PhD, that is, I’ll finish my Master’s while I’m there.

I’m going to have my own office!

I’m going to get keys and the key code.

And.

I’ll be seeing clients and accruing hours by this summer.

I can start this summer!

I don’t have to wait until fall.

Which is really huge.

It will give me more time to collect hours before I graduate.

The program requires that I do 235 hours to graduate.

But.

I can garner up to 1300 of the 3,000 hours while I’m in the program.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to do all that and do my recovery and do my full-time nanny job, but every hour I can get is going to help.

Being able to start in the summer is a huge game changer for me.

And.

Heh.

I talked to him about doing my Community Mental Health project on the Institute.

He said absolutely, and so, two birds one stone.

Although that paper is less a concern for me than getting the placement, it’s like a nice little cherry on the top of my practicum Sunday.

I will be able to do my trainings and supervision while I work and I will be able to get what I need to graduate and also establish a client base and a practice for myself.

He talked to me about staying in the non-profit track for a while, that it was on the table, that if I worked in a non-profit for ten years I would get student loan forgiveness.

Ten years may seem like a long time.

But it’s not.

Especially if it cancels out my student loans.

Most especially if I go for my PhD.

Which I am.

That’s a lot of money forgiven.

Anyway.

I get ahead of myself.

I am just super happy and excited and relieved that I don’t have to go anywhere else, don’t have to do another open house, don’t have to do another interview, don’t have to fill out any more applications, or write another cover letter.

Or buy more interview clothes.

Heh.

Although.

I have to say.

I love, love, love my new “interview shoes.”

I will be wearing them a lot.

Maybe, um, ha, absolutely, to my new job.

I’m going to have my own office!

I know I already said that, but, my own office.

God damn that sounds so nice.

And.

While I’m on the topic of my new office, I should mention, it will be in the Mission.

Yes.

Very happy about that too.

Now if I could just find a place to live in the Mission.

I’m serious.

The commute to and from work and school is enough that I would love to cut it down.

I’m going to be working 15-20 hours at the practicum site.

I’ll be working 35-40 hours at my nanny gig.

If I can find a place that is more central I’m going to jump on it.

So here’s it out to the Universe.

I’d really like to be back in the Mission.

Or Bernal/Noe/Castro.

Heck.

SOMA could work too.

My nanny job is Glen Park.

School is Mission and 10th.

My practicum will be at 18th and Treat.

Somewhere in the middle of that.

A new home?

Yes, yes please.

Gently lifting that one up and I have no expectations and I love my home, I do, it’s so sweet and so cozy and pretty and I love the neighborhood and all the folks I have gotten to know in the last three years, but man, I could stand a shorter commute.

I’m a Mission girl at heart and though things have changed, and they probably will keep changing, I’ll probably always be a Mission girl.

It was the first place I lived in the city.

It is where I got into recovery.

It is where my heart is.

Yeah.

Goals.

And so much happiness right now.

Just pure.

Unadulterated joy.

Funny that.

How service to community opens one up.

Happy, really happy to get to do my part.

And thank you to all my friends and family who sent me love and light today as I took another big step down this path.

I love you very much.

So.

Very.

Much.

Yes.

I do.

 

 

Don’t Mind Me

February 2, 2017

Singing French music slightly off-key at the top of my lungs.

I felt like singing and well.

There you go.

And French music makes me happy, especially when I am listening to a play list that my best French friend made for my on my Spotify.

It’s pretty awesome, a. a friend who makes a play list for you and b. that it’s mostly French music.

Although there’s some English music in there, it feels very apropos as I have been thinking a lot about travel today.

Paris in May.

Ten days.

Ten days.

Oh, let me say it again, ten days in Paris in May.

Paris in Spring.

My heart sings.

My feet tap dance a little, I just did a twirl about my room to the guitars and the vocals of Je t’aime Paris before I sat down to type.

I’m also making some other travel plans.

Puerto Rico.

In, wait for it.

July.

I know.

That sounds nuts.

And it’s actually funny, the only other time I have been to Puerto Rico was actually in July, a friend that I worked with at the Angelic Brewing Company got married there, she and her husband were both from Puerto Rico, what the hell they were doing in Wisconsin, I’m still not sure about.

But.

They wanted to get married in the oldest cathedral in Old San Juan.

Where, apparently, everyone who is Puerto Rican wants to get married.

The wait list was years long.

Unless you got married in the off-season.

Like, um, ha, July.

I think they still had to wait a damn long time for the date they did get, but yeah, it was hot.

But you know where it’s not hot in July?

Yeah.

San Francisco.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain had it pretty spot on.

Last July was colder than last February.

In fact, I remember making out with a guy last February on the beach, barefoot and it was warm, surprisingly warm, one of the few nights where it was warm enough to be down at the beach and bare foot.

I remember him kissing me and the moon was sinking slow behind me, it was the day after Valentines Day and for whatever reason, I think it might have been ski week for the private school kids I was nannying, I had off that week.

I had school that weekend and then I had gotten dressed up on Valentines Day, passed out Valentines Day cards to my classmates and after class let out, I went up to the Castro and did the deal and spoke a big gay men’s gathering.

I met my Puerto Rican fairy godfather at dinner that night before the meeting.

We hit it the fuck off.

Fast forward to my birthday this past year, he brings me a bag of coffee from Puerto Rico, a jar of Adobo spice, and a guidebook to the 100 best places to go to in Puerto Rico.

He had just gotten back from a business trip there and it turns out is there currently and will be back mid-February.

He will be making a few more trips back for business and one of those trips, yes, in July, I will be going with him.

I wasn’t originally planning July, but July just happened to happen for me.

I found out from my family that they will be going on a big family vacation for three weeks.

I will have three weeks off in July.

THREE.

So.

Definitely Puerto Rico.

I have the airline ticket voucher from when I cancelled my trip to Wisconsin at Christmas.

The airline happens to fly to Puerto Rico.

I am thinking a week there.

Then fly back.

And.

Then.

Alaska.

Yeah.

I know.

Big fucking mood swing travel.

But.

I have always wanted to go up to Alaska during the summer and I have friends that live there and the fellowship is great.

And.

Um.

My dad is there.

I haven’t spoken to him since I left him in a coma in Anchorage two years ago.

I do not know where or why the thought popped into my head, but pop it did and it felt so right it gave me shivers.

“Go see your dad.”

That was not my thought.

It was planted there.

And I realized as soon as I had it that yes, I need to do that.

I’ve got his phone number and I figure I’ll contact the recovery center he’s been staying in and just feel it out.

I certainly don’t want to make a huge deal out of it.

Although, it is a huge deal.

I just felt very compelled to go and see him and do it soon, I don’t need to question it and though I had some trepidation about it, it feels very much like what I need to be doing.

It’s more for me than it is for my dad, I think, I need to heal a bit more around the relationship and I feel that a face to face, eye to eye, would do me some good.

Oh.

I’m sure it will be painful too.

But through that, growth, and I long for growth.

I want to heal those spaces and holes in my heart and be fully capable of saying I did everything I could to rectify my relationships with my parents while I can.

I also, really have wanted to go to Alaska during the summer and I have a couple of friends up there who just got married and it would be great to see them and maybe get out into the wilderness a little and take my camera and explore.

Then.

I had another thought.

Well heck.

Why don’t I go to Portland too?

My sister just moved there with my youngest niece and it’s been a couple of years since I have seen them.

I could fly back from Anchorage to Portland, hang out for a long weekend, then fly to San Francisco.

I looked up flights with the estimated dates of travel and I could do one way tickets, SFO->Anchorage->Portland->SFO.

Total cost.

$361.

I can freaking swing that.

I’m not planning anything yet, I have yet to get confirmed dates from my employers, but I did agree to take some of those days as paid vacation time and they agreed to pay me for my time for the other two weeks.

I had already bought my ticket to Paris when I had interviewed for the job, that vacation and those days off are part of my vacation pay.

Which means, that I will actually get another three weeks paid off.

Mind blowing.

And the right thing to do.

I’m contracted to work for them and I get paid a minimum of 35 hours per week.

They don’t use me for those hours, they pay me regardless.

When I find out dates I will go from there.

I know Puerto Rico is happening.

I will sit on Anchorage and Portland, talk to my people, make sure I’m making a spiritual decision and not an ego centric driven one, but rather be coming from a place of humility.

It’s family and I have challenges navigating family.

I’m doing better than I have ever in my life.

There is that.

But it is still vulnerable for me.

And who knows.

I may be in practicum and be tied to the city, so who knows.

No plans yet.

Just slow cooking some travel on the back burner.

And hopefully.

In the back woods, the G.reat O.ut D.oors, sounds damn good.

And a coffee shop or three in Portland.

I could get behind that.

I like coffee

Just a little bit.

Heh.

 

 

 

I Can’t Quite Believe

December 23, 2016

That.

Tomorrow is my last day with the boys.

I only cried three times today.

Grateful for that.

I didn’t need to stuff my feelings.

It was a challenge.

I cried when I wasn’t expecting it.

I felt a bit blown out and a bit tired and a lot sad.

The boys also had great big screaming tantrums, so that was fun, albeit completely understandable.

The tantrums didn’t, of course, start until after we had gotten back to the house and I needed to get them ready for A Charlie Brown Christmas at the San Francisco Symphony.

I mean, really, sort of figured it would happen.

Just needed to have the monkeys fed and changed into their navy velvet blazers and bow ties by 1 p.m.

No biggie.

Except they were emotional too.

They know.

They know I’m going to be gone tomorrow.

That’s it.

No more nanny.

“Carmen, please visit us,” the older boy stopped, took my hand, tugged on it, as we rounded the corner from the park to the house, literally stopping me in my tracks as I pushed his brother in the stroller.

“________________, I’m right here, right now, with you, and,” I paused, reached down, hefted his 6.5 year old body up, great work out, being a nanny in case you’re ever wanting to switch careers, “I love you and I promise tomorrow is not the last time you will see, I promise.”

I had lifted him so that he was eye level with me, we rubbed noses, he wrapped his arms around me, and we just stood and hugged it out on the corner.

Oof.

It was like that all day.

The park was barely the park.

Mostly the park was both boys trying to sit in my lap at the same time.

They eventually did get up and play and run around and chase pigeons, but all they wanted to do was sit with me, on my lap, or leaned against me.

The youngest gets me the most, or at my heart the most, his small face this plate of silence and sadness.  He just oozes it, it breaks my heart to look at his face and every time, like, um now, fuck, I see his little face in my head, I just start crying.

Which is challenging to do when writing a blog, the screen gets blurry.

Ugh.

Oof.

I am super grateful I have the feels, it means the boys mean something to me and it’s important I grieve the loss and the moving on and yeah, I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like but I did make sure to have plans to have dinner with a friend and maybe I’ll go get a mani/pedi afterward and just take it really sweet and easy.

I got a nice Christmas bonus.

Slight aside.

SERIOUS ADULTING.

I got my Christmas bonus yesterday and I couldn’t open the card until I had been home for hours, there was something daunting about it, and I realized later that I was loath to open it because it really would signal the end of days and I can’t quite seem to wrap my mind around not going in to work next week and seeing my little guys.

But.

I did open it and I was quite grateful for the gift, really.

And then.

I did the adulting.

The first thing I bought with my bonus?

Dental insurance.

Then I put a little in savings.

I met with my person after work today and she plunked the kleenex box down in front of me, “today the last day or tomorrow,” she asked.

“Tomorrow,” I said and reached for a tissue.

We had tea we talked all things recovery, it was really good.

Then she said, “that’s great about the dental insurance, that’s a beautiful gift to give yourself, but get something fun for you too.”

I took her suggestion.

It took me a hot minute though.

I was going to go book a massage and when I went they place was closed for the holidays!

Ugh.

So I went to Rainbow and bought some, for me, expensive body lotion I really like by Pure Organics and a Rau raw chocolate drink.

Then I pondered where I was going to go.

There was a little voice in my head that said, go home, hide, stick your head in the sand, get all isolated and shit, watch some videos and let the squirrels in your head run amok.

I was like, ooh yeah, I’ll catch up on Black Mirror.

But.

Well.

That sounds fucking depressing.

Jesus, Martines, that’s not a good idea.

I just about laughed out loud.

So.

I rode my scooter over to the Inner Sunset and I made myself park close to a spot that would pretty much guarantee me doing the deal, then I went and cashed my Christmas bonus check and went to Green Apple Books.

I had not bought anything when I was there the other day, I was just browsing to kill time until I met my date at Park Chow.

This time I let myself buy.

God  damn do I love buying books.

And pleasure books, oh lord, I get to do some pleasure reading.

Not much, just a week, so what ever I knock through between now and New Years is what I get.  Maybe even a little less, I’m going to need to order my books for the upcoming semester sooner than I realize, I know it.  But.  I’ll have seven days of freedom, I think, where I can read.

I bought three books.

The new Don DeLillo, Zero K.

Cormac McCarthy, Child of God.

And.

Irvine Welsh, The Bedroom Secrets of The Master Chefs.

I’m drooling just typing out the names and looking at them on top of my stack of notebooks makes me very happy.

After I had satiated my book desires I went to dinner.

I treated myself to Marnee Thai and fuck am I glad I did, it was awesome.  I took the suggestion of the waitress and had a red curry with duck and plantains and brown rice.

Swoon.

It was good.

A bit pricier than I would have typically spent at my little secret spot out here in my hood, but Thai Cottage is closed for the next few weeks for the holidays and I smelled goodness wafting from the restaurant when I passed it on the way to the bookstore.

My nose knew.

After the dinner I still had some time and I popped into Ambiance.

And yes.

l bought myself a pretty dress for New Year’s Eve and decided that I would commit to going to a New Year’s Eve party some friends of mine are throwing in the Mission.

Yup.

I’ll be going stag to a New Year’s Eve party, and I don’t fucking care, I’m going to dance and wear platforms and my new dress and be pretty and not give a damn about being single, because I’m allowed to have fun and be happy.

I don’t need to be partnered up on the holidays.

That’s not worked out so well for me the last few years.

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, not well at all.

No.

And tomorrow.

Well.

It will be here soon and I’m sure I will have all the feels about it and just breathe in and out and hug my boys tight and smell the napes of their necks and kiss their faces and it will be alright.

It will.

I am lucky to get this opportunity.

I am literally paid to love.

Not a bad job if you can get it.

Seriously.

 

One More Day!

May 18, 2016

One more day of work.

Then.

Off to New York.

I have made some decisions regarding my trip.

One.

I am not taking the subway to the Air BnB when I get into JFK at 10:30 p.m. at night.

I don’t feel like showing up to the place after midnight.

I’m going to get a car.

I am going to let myself not worry about navigating the trains, I’m going to let myself have a little experience, see the city from a car at night.

I think the view alone from a car will be worth the splurge.

I am also going with a good amount, obscene it feels like, of money.

I have saved all semester and I have a comfortable little cushion to let myself spend and the luxury of not being anxious about making the right train and transferring to the right line is well worth the cost of a car.

In fact, I’m also going to take a car to the airport when I return as well.

My flight back is way early, 7:30 a.m.

Which is awesome since with the time change it puts me at getting back to SFO around 9:30a.m. and I took the whole day off from work.

I’ll probably train it back to the house from SFO.

I’m hella comfortable with that commute.

But in New York, I’m going to let myself have the experience of not being anxious about train times and getting here to there.

I will take the subway while I’m there, I won’t be on a time frame, it’s loose and flexible.

I want to go to the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, but if something comes up and I miss one of those because I am having some other grand adventure, than cool.

I’m going to be flexible.

I um, heh, want some souvenirs, because that’s how I roll.

And I did actually come up with a tattoo piece that I may go have checked out at Three Kings in Green Point.

If I can get it for a good price I will.

If it seems like it would take up too much time and energy then I won’t.

I do want a pair of earrings, or three, a bunch of notebooks, bunch of stickers, postcards from the museums I make it to and what ever the hell floats my boat.

I would love a sweatshirt and I always love getting a hat from the city I visit.

I don’t actually have the one I got there two years ago, I am not sure where it got off to, but I don’t have it.  I do have the one I got in Paris in 2007 and I love wearing it, I am always reminded of the street where I got it, the time of day, and how I just fell in love with it.

I’d like a good New York cabbie hat or fedora.

God damn.

I am excited.

Coffee galore, walking, oysters at a restaurant somewhere, photographs, graffiti, I want to make sure I bring my camera and rechargeable batteries.

I am also thinking about getting one of those brick recharger deals.

I drain a lot of juice on my Iphone when I take photos or when I use it to navigate anywhere.  And if for some reason I’m out and about in a part of town and don’t feel like subway back to Clinton Park, I’ll get a car and that means having my phone powered up.

I will be out on the town.

I will not be hanging at the Air BnB.

That is simply to have a place to sleep and do my blog at night.

I plan on being up and out and going the majority of the time and it would be handy to have an extra bit of juice for the phone.

I met with a lady this evening after work and told her about what I was doing and why and her whole face lit up.

“That’s like bucket list stuff for me,” she said her face glowing.

Girl, if I can do it, so can you.

So grateful that doing nice things for myself helps the women I work with give them the allowance to do the same things too.

Travel was such a dream for me when I was younger and I am so grateful that I am allowing myself more and more to embrace it.

I was writing this morning about where I want to go and things I want to do.

Take the Empire Builder Train Line.

Go to Paia, Maui–see the place where my grandmother was born.

Go to Burning Man in 2017 since I can’t go this year.

Go to Hudson, Wisconsin and see my best friend and her family.

Those are the tops on the list, but there are so many others.

I would love to go back to Alaska and really see it during the summer.

I still want to see Venice and go back to Rome for more than a weekend with more than the 50 Euro I went with.

I am still in awe how that happened.

Rome for 50 Euro.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Toulouse, France–I owe it an amends to be seen truly instead of the drunken, hung over stupor I did it the first time.

So many places.

And you know.

I’m going to go to all of them and more.

Because I am alive, I love myself and I am fucking awesome.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

But for a woman who came from where I did to be where I am at it is only by grace that I am here and I feel like I owe my God the happiness and joy I find in traveling.

It fills me up, it lights me up.

New places, new experiences.

New faces.

New art.

God.

I can’t wait to just cram my face full of art.

I’ll have something to compare the new MOMA to when I get back.

I haven’t been to it yet, not having really had time to what with school and work.

But I will when I get back.

Especially since I won’t have to be doing homework every weekend.

Hell.

I’ll also do some little trips around here.

Why the hell not?

Get on a train and see where I can take it.

Scooter down the coast.

Or up it.

I’m not sure about taking my scooter over the bridges, but I could see going around the coast  a little.

Oh summer vacation.

I am so happy to meet your acquaintance.

Feels funny to say that at the ripe old age of 43, but there it is.

One more day of work and then some play time for me.

I have so earned it.

Seriously.

Oh Yeah

December 18, 2014

Tomorrow’s my birthday.

I sort of forgot.

“I don’t care about my birthday, or Christmas, or the holidays, or any of it, I just don’t have it in me,” I told my dear friend today on the phone from the playground before the rain started up again.

No those aren’t tears on my face, it’s just the rain.

Ok.

I lie.

There’s some tears in there too.

I cried a bit more than I expected I would today, it would catch me off guard and I wasn’t prepared for it.

I went back to work today after spending a lot of time yesterday nesting in my little home by the sea.

I cleaned, scoured, scrubbed, swept, did laundry, stripped my bedding, washed it all down, as though if I could possibly control my environment I would feel in control of something.

“If it feels like you’re falling down the hill, you’re in God’s will.”

Falling down that hill.

Not sure where it’s going to land either.

Things aren’t neat and tidy like they are in the movies, a quick resolution of the drama, a tight little bundle wrapped in brown paper and tied up with green jute string.

Nope.

My father’s situation is still stable, no change, according to the phone call I took this morning from the hospital.

I took a few phone calls from the hospital, which is probably why I was in tears more than once today.  Emotionally off my equilibrium.

Caught in the unawares by feelings that I thought had already come out.

I was that crazy lady in the terminal at the airport crying.

I was the passenger in the window seat forlornly staring at the cloud columns rising in the sky against the burnt umber of the sunset.

I was the woman lost at the terminal when I landed waiting for my ride to show up, he was in terminal three I was in terminal one.

I was that person.

I was that woman sobbing in her boyfriends arms.

Then kissing him and hugging him and wanting to crawl under his arm and into his coat.

Which I did do later that night and when he didn’t ask if I wanted him to spend the night, he has to be up ridiculously early for work, but just gathered his things to bring over to my house, I was grateful.

Wet and sad too.

The rain, it just doesn’t stop.

It’s like God is crying for me.

And sometimes I don’t know what I am crying for.

The sadness of it all, the wasted living, the relationship that was truncated so long ago and never fully re-established.

I miss my dad, but I miss him like an afterthought of what a father is supposed to be, like the taste of chocolate, a memory in my mouth.

The velveteen rabbit bank he gave me more solid in my mind than conversations about our lives, hopes, dreams, endeavors.

I know, however, I believe firm and true, that my father wanted the best for me.

So, with all due respect to the man still in the coma, I am going to get about living.

That’s really the only option I have–be true to my life and my recovery and my journey and live it the hell up.

Tomorrow I’ll be 42.

Hell, in two hours I will be 42.

In fact, in Australia, I already am 42.

I was a few hours ago as a friend from Sidney wished me a happy birthday from down under.

What will I do with 42?

In the year past I have done some traveling–Florida to see my mom and sister last January, Wisconsin to see my best friend and her skulk in July, Burning Man, to see that family that is extra special dusty and dreamy, in August, and Anchorage, Alaska, to see my father in a hospital johnny that did nothing to hide the ravages of the years.

I would actually like to go back to Alaska, under better circumstances, this year of my life, to see the long days and the light that lasts almost all night in the summer.

I did not see much of Anchorage, but I saw enough that I am intrigued.

Plus, I met one super fabulous woman and I suspect that there are a few others up that way who may be friends of friends that I could connect with.

I also want to go to Hawaii.

When?

I don’t actually know, but I feel like this passage of time and this experience with my father has brought about in me a hunger to know more of my family and more of my family history–which on my father’s side has a great deal to do with the Hawaiian islands.

“How old is grandma?” I asked my cousin as we sat in the airport terminal having lunch.

One of the gifts of the delayed flight time back (I am sure there are others, but this is the only clear one to me, the length of time it took me to get back was deliriously long–one missed connection by four minutes led to me having to wait an extra six and a half hours in the airport and then the weather was bad in San Francisco and my plane, once I was finally on it, was delayed again and we sat on the runway for two hours, then circled for an additional half hour in the air above SFO) was that I received a call from a cousin who I had not seen in over 30 years.

He called when my grandmother saw my post on facecrack about the flight delay, he was nearby at work and we had a little family reunion at the Phoenix airport over some bbq in the terminal.

“She was 13 when Pearl Harbor was bombed,” he said ticking off the numbers we figured out her age.

My grandmother was on the island when the bombing happened.

There’s a lot of history there to be explored.

That’s something I want to do for 42.

I also want to go to Atlanta, Georgia, there’s a really big convention there in July.

Not that I am psyched about going to Georgia in July, but hey, it only happens every five years and I have yet to go.

It’s time I do that as well.

Other goals?

Well, graduate school.

That’s still on the table.

“I’m a therapists wet dream,” I joked morbidly with one of the nurses on my father’s watch.

I had moments of dark humour sweep over me and sometimes it would sneak out.

But it doesn’t really surprise me that one of my desires is to do therapy as a vocation.

I’m a care taker, a home maker, a protector, a nanny, a confidante, a mentor, it makes sense to add therapist there.

“You’re a child psychologist making baby sitter wages, go back to school,” he suggested with blunt authority.

Yes sir.

That graduate school application isn’t going to do itself.

That’s one thing to aim for in this year of 42, another thing on my to do list.

Go back to school my dear.

I want to see the monarch migrations in Big Sur, go to Burning Man, but not work it, well, at least not the way that I have in the past 7 years, I want to hang glide, got to the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, I want to spend a holiday at my Uncle’s house in Nevada City, see my grandmother in San Diego, maybe see if I can get my mom to come to San Francisco.

Oh.

Yeah.

It’s also time for another tattoo.

Come January 13th or thereabouts, I will need a commemorative tattoo.

Design yet to be decided upon.

And I want to live, live, live, and experience life fully, dance, sing, hold my boyfriends hand, sleep in the crook of his arms, be of service to my friends and my community, laugh a lot, cry when I need to, ride my scooter, go to school, love as hard as I can.

Really.

That’s it.

I just want to live and love as hard as I can.

I think that’s a great goal for this next year of my life.

42.

I say I do.

Let’s get it on.


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