Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

Not Quite So Dark

June 18, 2017

Oh.

For fuck sake.

So here I am trying to be all low-key and down low and not post anything via social media so I stay anonymous.

And.

Um.

hahahahahaha.

Oops.

Turns out I’m completely transparent and known on my own fucking blog.

My “About Me” page had, I say had since I just pulled it down, a photo of me and link, failed link, but still a link, with my gmail account linked to it.

My gmail account is my full name.

Rolls eyes at self.

Ugh.

Fortunately a friend caught it and gave me the heads up.

And the post has been updated to reflect that.

No more photographs of me, no more name on the page.

Just me and my thoughts listening to some Bill Withers.

When I wake up in the morning love and the sunlight hurts my eyes.

…..Just one look at you and I know it’s going to be a lovely day.

Up a little late.

Up a tiny bit wired.

I went to an anniversary party this evening after doing the deal over on Turk and Divisadero this evening and saw a swarm of folks that I hadn’t seen in a while, including one of my best friends who came into the city and my god, it was good.

I had my internship today and lots of errands that I wanted to do and some down time in the afternoon to do laundry and get myself caught up, and I realized that I hadn’t done a good bit of this kind of socializing in a while.

It took me a moment to catch my stride.

I can be charming and funny and outspoken and a character, but the truth is that sometimes I get a bit over my head with social stuff, which is hilarious and most folks have no idea.

I am not going to label myself an introvert or an extrovert, I’m not going to pigeonhole myself, but I will say I felt awkward and I realized it was going to pass and I had a minute to get settled and be in my skin and let it be ok that I was in a big social situation with a lot of people I am acquainted with but perhaps not that close to.

I also needed to be there and be seen and just let myself be not at work or at the internship.

I logged another two hours today at the internship, even went in a little early to do some paper work and get myself situated and eat a lunch quietly in the office before the other interns got there for our session.

I got some good info, gave some good feedback and was mightily pleased that I had clients to talk about.

I am just dipping my toe into the mix and it’s a lot to carry, but I’m starting to do it and I can see that I am doing the thing that I am supposed to do.

Granted when I logged into track my hours I realized that I had done five hours this week, two client hours and three training hours and that my supervisor at the internship wants me to carry a load of 15 hours.

Three times what I did this week.

Sigh.

Granted I may not get up to that speed for a while and there will be times when I’m able to do that and times when I won’t.

I can’t get too focused on it and I also told myself today that in the service of keeping a tiny semblance of sanity that maybe I don’t have to get as many hours as is possible for me to collect while I am in school.

I just need to get the hours required by my program to graduate.

Granted.

I say to myself.

Fuck that shit.

GET IT ALL.

But.

I don’t want to kill myself and I want to have some socializing.

I need face time with people.

I am thinking specifically of a few friends that are just too dear for me to let go of and I will squeeze them in where and when I can and I will be tired and I won’t give a fuck and you only live once and get it.

Get it girl.

Some things may feel overwhelming, but in the day-to-day of it, I’m doing it.

Slowly building up my client base, learning how to be a therapist, learning how to keep loving and taking care of myself and finding those odd hours and minutes in the hollowed spaces of golden sunned afternoon light when I can pause, catch my breath and get hella grateful.

I mean.

Hella.

Grateful.

That I have what I have.

“You look different,” my friend said to me tonight.

And she’s right.

Things in my life have altered in an amazing way and I am beyond myself with happiness and succumbing to all the feelings therein.

Without expectation or thought for future moments.

Ok.

Small white lie, I do have some plans for future travel, but I am trying to really keep it to this day, these scattering of moments, dipped in old school R&B, or Elvis ballads, old love songs and lyrical movements in time, the stars framed by the trees overhead, a snapshot of a moment.

Astounded with beauty.

Awake to every feeling in my body.

And that’s all I can wish for.

This moment.

Where I am alive.

Oh.

And I am so alive.

It is glorious.

Sure.

Might have something to do with the peer pressure cup of coffee I accepted gleefully at the party and perhaps I might have racing thoughts but I have had racing thoughts for weeks now and I am rather used to it and the heart beating in my chest going fast just lets me know how fully alive I am.

It is exquisite and I am unabashed by the feeling of it.

Love.

Love.

That’s where it’s at.

The word that flutters in my chest.

The ache and longing.

The aliveness.

The song on my lips.

The poem in my eyes seeking yours.

The smile that I cannot help but smile.

So fucking good.

This life.

My life.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

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I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Home

February 12, 2017

Sweet home.

I’m not there yet.

Even though I am home.

That’s not the home I am talking about.

“Welcome home,” he shouted into the dusty air, “ring the bell.”

I rang the bell.

I skipped the rolling around in the dust though.

Fuck that shit.

It’s dusty enough up in this mess.

Yup.

I’m planning my return trip to the playa.

It’s a little early, I suppose, but I am going to get my little early ducks in a row.

I’ve decided that I am not working this year.

I am going to go and just have fun.

I am going to stay with a different camp than I have before, I’ve been a member of the camp since it’s inception and have spent time there, and have friends there, and one of them mentioned to me that it was time to come out and camp with them this year and not work and really enjoy the festival.

The art.

The joy.

The get about and the get around.

I found out my when my first weekend of classes will be for the fall semester.

Last year they fell on the same weekend of the event and I was not able to go for the full amount of time.

I went up early and left early.

I was only there four days.

It was lovely and I’m super glad I went, but it was not enough and I didn’t get to see any of the burns because I left Wednesday morning of the event.

By plane.

There is that.

It was one hell of an amazing experience to fly out of Burning Man.

I don’t know if that is necessarily happening, but I’m going to let it all fall together.

I decided in my heart to go last Sunday and then I did some research and discovered that the low-income ticket application will open in a few days.

I need to update my profile and the minute it opens, February 15th, I will be applying for it.

One of the big reasons that have always worked the event is to get into the event.

But.

I don’t want to work it this year.

I want to actually go and not be tied down and when I researched a little I discovered I could definitely afford the low-income ticket and I will apply to it.

Then yesterday I discovered that the first weekend of the fall semester for my cohort will be the weekend before the event.

Thank God.

I can go!

Well.

I won’t quite say that yet.

I still have to clear it with work.

I will ask on Monday if it’s a possibility.

I already have a lot of my vacation time tied up to my trip to Paris in May, but I do have some days that are not accounted for and I want to use them for the event.

I may have to do some negotiation with the family in regards to it, but I think that they will be amenable to me going.

I sure do hope so.

It was me doing a happy dance today when I told my friend before class that I found out the weekend dates for the fall and that there was not a conflict with school, it set my day, I was super pumped.

Granted that feeling dissipated, class work was challenging and showing up for it and being present for the material made me completely forget about the event, about travel times and dates and plans and things and stuff and more things.

But.

When I got home and said “hello house,” I smiled, my eyes drawn to the print on the wall, a photo shot from above, from an airplane above the event and I remembered quickly.

Home.

And it will be the ten-year anniversary of my best friends passing and me taking his ashes out to the Temple.

It will be my 11th burn in a row.

It is a part and parcel of me.

There are experiences that I have had there that I cannot rationalize or explain.

Love and light and dirt and dust and spiritual transmogrification.

So many times.

Not just once, but time and time and time again.

Dancing the tango with a beautiful 24-year-old man from Norway who was tall and blonde and yes, heh, Nordic, with a gorgeous sweet accent and the bliss of being kissed under the stars, bent backward and kissed as though every song of the stars above depended upon the breath in and out of our bodies as we melted into the dust.

Riding out to the trash fence at sunrise on the art car “A Horse With No Name” and seeing the shots of fire thrown out against the playa, piercing and bright and bathing the dust with golden smote, softening the blue smoke bathed mountains with flames of light.

Running into a friend unexpectedly in a church pew by an organ and telling him a fairy tale in the mid afternoon heat and swelter.

Reciting poetry underneath the upraised arms of the Man and the face of the man when I looked into his eyes.

“Do you know how easy it is to fall in love with you when you recite poetry,” he said.

Why do you think I recite poetry?

I want you to love me.

And somehow.

I don’t know how.

I don’t need to know how.

I find myself easier in my person, able to let that love in, to be scaffold with it, to allow myself to be exactly who I am, hair bedecked with flowers, standing tall in cowboy boots with polka dot socks and my crinoline blowing in the breeze, my umbrella of poesy flowers opened to shelter me from the sun, face bedecked with smiles.

I am somehow more me and entirely at peace with who I am and how I am and it’s not so weird, it’s just me, and I’m not that unique, I mean, did you see what she was wearing?

Or not wearing.

Of course I want to go home.

It’s home.

Anchored in between the Black Rock Mountains and the Calico’s, underneath the rising moon and the setting sun, the howl of love that whisper whips across the playa until we are all crying out of our aloneness a coming together, a community, an expression of magic, yes.

That.

Magic.

May I always be a part of that kind of love and mystery.

And.

Yeah.

Fingers crossed.

I’ve cleared the first hurdle, school conflict, now to ask off from work for event.

Then.

I’ll get a ticket after that.

And.

Soon.

I’ll see you in the dust.

I’ll be there to welcome you home.

I promise.

 

Solidarity In Solitude

January 22, 2017

No.

I did not march.

Although I was giving myself a complex about it, I did not go.

I did the deal.

I did the laundry.

I did the homework.

I did the writing.

I did the grocery shopping and the cooking and then, the more doing of the homework.

I’m a feminist for being in grad school, paying my own way, working as a self-employed woman, being sober, radical isn’t it, not smoking, being kind, using my voice and my experience to help others.

I could list lists of lists to convince you.

But the only person I really needed to convince was myself.

As I found myself feeling judged by friends for not going.

I think a lot of this had nothing to do with friends, I don’t think anyone gave my presence a second fucking thought, except that whenever I got asked if I was going, or it was assumed I was going, I bristled.

So I wrote some inventory.

First thing that came out is that I was afraid of being judged, that I was in judgement around myself, my experience, and god fucking forbid, whether or not my friends on social media saw pictures of me marching around with a pink cat hat on.

Sorry.

But no.

And I support Planned Parenthood.

Fuck.

They sure as shit supported me.

Years and years of service and sliding scale and birth control.

I went there in early recovery when I slept with a man and didn’t use a condom and found out he was an ex-heroin junkie who used to shoot dope with dirty rigs.

Oh my fucking god.

Get me to the doctor.

Planned Parenthood.

HIV test.

Negative, thank you.

And out the door.

I have donated plenty of money to them and I believe in them.

I believe in love, liberals, random acts of kindness, activism, resistance, raising your voice.

I mean.

I do live in San Francisco.

But I also believe in radical self-care.

And when I recalled, after doing some great work at beating myself up for waffling on whether I was going to go to the march, was that today was my first day off in two weeks.

Of course I didn’t want to go to the march!

I wanted to go back to bed.

I wanted to cancel on my yoga class.

I wanted to hide under the covers.

I did not.

I did get up.

I did go to yoga.

I did lots of breathing and I knew, even as I sat in solidarity with my sisters, mothers, friends, aunts, cousins, girl-friends, mentors, teachers, I need to do self-care today.

When I finished my inventory and realized, that yes, once again, I am just in abject terror or being unloved, abandoned, and alone, I felt a lot better, made a phone call, did a check in, got on the train, got a cafe au lait at Tart to Tart and went an anniversary celebration of a 70-year-old institution here in San Francisco.

It was amazing.

It was sweet.

Lots of old-time experience, strength, and hope.

And though I knew part of me might feel a little untoward for not going to the march I wasn’t horribly upset to be missing it, for I was making connection, radical spiritual connection with many people quietly doing something that has been consistently saving lives for decades.

I’m ok with that.

And I was also ok to go get a mani/pedi and sit in the window and watch the trains go by.

Trains so packed with people that it wouldn’t pick up more and the stop in front of the beauty parlour was overflowing with women and picket signs and pink hats and supportive spouses, boyfriends, kids.

It was a beautiful thing to watch and witness.

And yeah, there’s a part of me that wishes to be there, but the part of me that gets overwhelmed by big mob like crowds was more than happy to sit back and focus on doing reading for school.

That’s a pretty radical thing.

Working full-time and going to school full time.

I had no compunctions about coming home when the rains came in and curling up with my homework and doing a bunch of reading and roasting a chicken in the oven.

So many years.

So many decades of doing for others before doing for myself.

I felt immense gratitude for this expression of humanity, for allowing myself the quite reprieve of a day off and not trying to work hard to work harder.

I really needed a break and I am glad I got over the guilt of taking it.

If I had isolated, if I hadn’t made an effort to go out and see my fellows, to talk with a friend on the phone, to connect with the clerk at the grocery store, then I would feel bad.

If I had spent all day lolling about pleasure reading or watching Netflix, I would feel bad.

But I didn’t.

I did a lot of work.

Shit.

I am doing it again.

Rationalizing and justifying why I didn’t go.

I didn’t go because I didn’t want to.

There.

Done.

Moving the fuck on.

Tomorrow.

Yoga in the morning.

Meeting with a lady in the afternoon to read and share experience.

Getting a tattoo after that.

Meeting with a friend after that for dinner, catch up, and doing the deal.

It’s a nice weekend, this, especially when I don’t need to feel guilty, not enough, or bad, for making decisions that are ultimately mine to make.

Not to people please.

Just to show up the best way I know how to today.

Right here.

Right now.

This is ok.

Seriously.

It really is.

On The Upswing

January 13, 2017

I still called in sick today.

But.

I am feeling better.

Better and better and better.

I am listening to music.

Always a good sign.

I took a hot shower, really good sign, I couldn’t fathom getting in the shower yesterday, the fact that I managed to brush my teeth yesterday felt like a hero move.

Today I brushed them and flossed them and hey, I might do that one more time before I go to bed.

I am feeling a bit sassier.

A bit sexier.

Doesn’t hurt that a lady took care of her lady needs.

I mean.

I had a window.

I took it.

Ahem.

I went grocery shopping.

Although, it was the biggest challenge of my day and I did have a few minutes in the store when I found myself just standing in an aisle wondering what the fuck I was there for and whether once I remembered it was going to be worth it to be in the aisle at all.

I missed a few things.

But I got most of what I needed to get and really it was enough.

It was enough.

I was scared to call in sick this morning, but I knew I was going to.

Especially as last night I lay in my pillows, propped three high so that I could breathe, and cried because the pain in my face-my cheeks were so sore from the sinus pain-was too much for me to go to sleep.

I was tired and I couldn’t sleep.

I finally fell asleep almost two hours after I had gone to bed.

No good.

I woke up feeling tentatively better, but in no way ready or prepared to get up and go to work.

I sent a message to the mom and the dad and said hey, I am calling in, I’m still too symptomatic, I am so very sorry.

They were very sweet.

The mom said no worries, rest and get better soon.

I turned off my phone, closed my eyes and slept for four hours.

Four hours.

And when I woke up I felt like I might actually be able to face the world.

Granted, it was 11:30 a.m.

The world had already been doing much its own thing for hours.

I stripped my bed and re-made it with fresh sheets and threw some laundry in the wash.

I made some coffee and oatmeal and returned a few messages.

I did my morning prayer and routine.

I sent out some gratitude lists to some folks and I did some writing.

Four pages.

And I knew I had it in me to get out to the grocery store.

Maybe not much further than that.

But that I could do.

I am grateful I did.

I am now set and stocked for the school weekend.

Yeah.

That.

Starts tomorrow.

Second semester of my second year of the three-year program.

Gett’er done.

I made a nice lunch.

I sat and did some reading.

And I got it all done.

All that I could get done.

I am still shy a couple of books for my Trauma class.

But I finished all the readings for my Couples Therapy Class and for my Community Mental Health class.

I am a little astounded that I got through all that reading.

Slow and steady and two days home sick.

I didn’t gel out in front of my laptop and watch a bunch of videos.

And because I got so much sleep today I didn’t feel the need to nap.

I mean.

I lay low.

I didn’t go out again after I went grocery shopping and the extent of my exercise was folding my laundry and making my bed and taking out the recycling.

I took the homeopath cold remedy medicine and sucked on a few zinc lozenges.

I read.

I chatted with a friend who later Facetimed me.

You know you’re friends when you accept a Facetime call in no make up and your hair in braids.

I mean at least my socks matched my pajama top and my pajama pants were right side in the entire day, so I suppose I was in a great position to take a call.

But it was super sweet to see her face and I’m excited to reconnect with all my school friends tomorrow.

I showed her the dozen roses I bought myself today at the store.

Buy your own damn flowers.

They are pretty soft pink roses tipped darker pink, long-stemmed and an apt dozen.

Because when you got twelve years (t-minus two hours and twenty-two minutes, unless I decided to run over to the 7-11 and score some crap.) you get yourself a dozen roses.

I wanted to wake up tomorrow on my anniversary with a pretty reminder of how far I have come and to acknowledge to myself that I am capable of giving myself everything I need.

I will gladly accept and take in your love but first I have to love myself enough to know that I am worthy.

I am worthy of your love.

As I am worthy of loving myself.

Such a fucking simple concept.

So hard to get.

“We’ll love you until you learn to love yourself,” he said to me, gripping my shoulders and looking at me with his sweet piercing blue eyes.

I believed him then.

I believe him now.

He has long passed, but his words remain with me, deeply entrenched into my being.

An affirmation of my basic humanity that I had so long stifled I didn’t even realize I had buried it.

There.

Right there.

And shoved it down and denied it and let it fester and rankle in the recesses of my heart where there should be light and not canker sores and sorrow.

The balm of that love settled upon me and care took me until I could take care of myself.

Until I could happily buy myself a dozen roses, cook myself a damn fine dinner (roasted chicken, hello and thank you) to take care of my sexual needs myself, to do my laundry, to comfort and soothe myself, to wear nice warm socks and drink tea that I like.

To listen to music I like.

Her good teeth smile was winding down.

Engines sputter ghosts out of gasoline fumes.

You had it but you sold it.

I am literally in tears of gratitude and joy.

The first time I heard this song.

True dreams.

True dreams.

True dreams.

Of Wichita.

Dancing in the living room at the house on Franklin Street.

My boyfriend had put the cassette in the boom box and when it came on I was floored I was sideways plastered with the glory of the words and how they resonated.

Listening to an updated version of it on the eve of this anniversary.

So many days and years and drunks and drugs later.

So many hang overs and calling in sick when I wasn’t really sick.

The bushes I threw up in before going into my lunch shift at Hawthorne Lane.

The demoralization of listening to what the line cooks side about what I was up to last night.

All the girls who were in relationships and said, “hey girl, take one for the team,” and then tell us all about it, in gory, glorious detail.

All those humiliations and stumbles.

And then the ultimate bottom and the climb up.

The long, slow, stupid, terrifying climb out.

Into the sunshine.

Blinding and overwhelming.

Held and taken care of and carried.

To this moment.

Full of light and love and music and joy.

My musical hero singing to me on the stereo.

A man I met in person and got to talk to and hang out with in someone’s kitchen this past September.

No biggie.

Because that’s my life now.

Full of surprises and insights and gifts.

Dozens of gifts.

Too many to list or count.

But I hold them all here.

In my heart.

Which is so much bigger than I ever knew.

Full of love for you.

For of love for me.

Seriously.

I let you love me until I learned to love myself.

I did it.

I really.

Really.

Did.

 

 

When You Get The Package

January 10, 2017

But.

It’s not the package.

Grr.

I was super excited to get home and see that my new dress had arrived.

But.

Hmmm.

That seems like a smallish package.

Yeah.

Because it was.

No unboxing video coming out of the opening here.

Nope, maybe just a few profanities, and no body wants to hear me swear, it’s not pretty.

I was pissed though, I was planning on wearing the dress for a special occasion, an anniversary of mine that is coming up.

Oh well.

I understood the mistake too, the person doing the packing had put in my invoice, but the wrong item of clothing and it totally made sense, the person who should have gotten what I got lives in the neighborhood.

So what I’m hoping is that this girl got my dress.

I shot her an e-mail and fingers crossed she has my dress and I can just swap her sweater and we don’t have to deal with sending the stuff back to the company.

Because it’s in LONDON.

Actually, it shipped from Essex.

So yeah.

I’d love it if this lady gets back to me and says, yup, I got your dress.

I sent her my e-mail and I’ll see what comes of it.

I also e-mailed the company, because, well, I’m a little disappointed.

And if she didn’t get my dress or already returned it I want to know what to do.

I am not keeping the sweater, that’s for sure, I want my dress and the sweater though cute is the wrong size, so no matter what some action needs to be taken.

Mistakes happen.

Not the worst thing ever.

Nothing was the worst thing ever today, although sometimes the small things can get under my skin much more than the big things.

Oh!

I just got a message back from the girl, she said she got a notification that a package was delivered to her, she’s going to let me know when she gets back.

Ok.

That would be lovely.

Cut out the middle man and have myself a new frock to wear for the weekend.

I’m going to meet with a few friends and fellows on Sunday to celebrate my anniversary.

It feels so surreal and so amazing and I’m super pleased that so many of the people I asked to join me are going to be able to join me.

Sometimes letting in the love is the hardest thing and I hadn’t even thought about trying to get people together.

I hadn’t.

Not my idea at all.

I had made the decision that I would leave school a little early so that I can go to my spot that I like to go to on Fridays and share with the folks there, but nothing past that.

My person was like, um hello, come up on Sunday and pick up your chip and we’ll have dinner beforehand and I was like, oh my God.

Yes.

What a fucking fabulous idea.

I messaged some folks today

And some could make it and some can’t but.

Holy crap.

There’s eight of us going to dinner and ten I think hitting the spot afterward.

I was blown away by the responses I received.

You are the one thing in my way, you are the one thing in my way, you are the one thing in my way.

I am the only thing in my way.

There is so much love and though it is scary and hard to open up and receive it, I shall.

I am learning.

It is a job that seems to be the most important to me, the most healing and also, sometimes, oft-times, the most difficult.

To hold the doors of my heart open, to accept love.

To be told, “I would be honored to be there.”

To have someone message me that they were clearing their calendar to be there.

To be seen.

To be witnessed.

To be loved for who I am.

I don’t have to do a tummy tuck or make a million dollars or manipulate you through with holding my honest response.

I am just me and you like me?

No.

As it turns out.

You love me.

I feel so special.

Some of the folks I asked are girl friends from school.

Some are people who I walk the road of happy destiny with.

All of them responded with love and kindness and joy at my invitation, even those that aren’t able to come said they would be with me in spirit and I totally believed them.

It feels astounding and I am so grateful for this little outpouring of love.

It feels miraculous and I have to tell myself, gently, without negativity, that yes, they do love me and I’m lovable and worthy of love and it’s ok to accept them in.

I might get hurt.

Hell it’s bound to happen.

I’m human, I’ve hurt others, absolutely I have.

But it’s worth getting hurt.

Besides, when it comes right down to it no human can fulfill me completely, that kind of love comes from within, from a source deep with in, that still quiet voice that tells me with unequivocal truth that I am loved.

I was hurt when I was young and I developed ways to deal with that.

One of them was to disassociate and to not let you in.

It was too hard, those that I trusted hurt me.

So.

I built up some walls.

Bigger and bigger and harder and I blocked you the fuck out.

But in the end that defense stopped working.

I looked out over my towers and ramparts and I felt safe, but the longing I had for connection became so great it led me to leap.

I leapt.

I had faith.

I changed.

I opened my heart.

I let you in.

Oh.

Sometimes I built the walls back up.

I shut the door again.

I leaned against it, heavy and hurt and burdened by feelings.

I was abandoned and alone and lonely and sad and tired and it was just too much work to keep all the monsters at bay.

Until it wasn’t.

Until I felt the sun on my cheek, through the cracks in the wall and I opened the door again and stepped out into the sun.

You can’t fix me.

I’m not broken.

I just didn’t know that for a long time.

And when the love comes in I do have to take a moment and not run from it, to allow it in, to receive it, to let that love be a blazon and to shine it right back out.

I can’t give it away if I can’t accept it.

And I want to love you.

So fierce.

So deep.

With every fiber of my being.

I wish to love you with all that is bright and right and beautiful.

Love, like fireworks and eider-down, like peonies heavy-headed with dander in the grass at the edge of the garden, where the wild currants grow and the violets nod their sleepy heads, soft sheathed in the sweet, pale, green summer grass.

Love like cotton blossoms and the smell of wood smoke.

Love like light through amber and butterfly wings.

Love, warm, and soft and so, so, so strong.

For you.

All my love.

Love.

Always and forever.

Yes.

There.

Like.

That.

Just like that.

 

It’s Been A Day

January 9, 2017

And I haven’t left the house.

Well.

I tried.

I thought about it.

I was going to.

Then.

I didn’t.

I took care of all things domestic and necessary–laundry, cooking, food prep, cleaning.

I took care of all things personal and grooming.

Even knowing that I might end up spending the entire day indoors I still got up, took a shower, did my hair, my it looks fine, and even put on make up and a cute outfit, because, well, I like to dress for myself.

And I was to have a visitor and I like to be nicely put together when I have people over.

I am so glad she and I met.

It’s been about a month since we sat down and did the deal, it was so good to get caught up and hear about her life and listen and be present.

Such a gift, that, being present for another, no expectations, just me here at the table reading a few words from a blue bound book and listening to fears and love and faith and joy and happiness and challenges.

Getting to share what I have gone through, knowing my experience can be of service, that nothing, and I do mean nothing, is wasted, that every moment, triumph or painful fall, has meaning and can be shared with another.

My life has meaning.

That is a great gift to know.

My greatest assets are my experiences and knowing that another can make use of them is incredible.

So there was that and it was good.

Then there was the overwhelming feeling of it wasn’t enough.

That I wasn’t enough, that I hadn’t gotten enough done, that I had left too much undone during my vacation time.

Meaning.

FUCK ME.

I am already behind on my school work.

Fuck me.

I mean.

Holy shit there is a lot more reading than I thought there was.

I really took a look at my syllabi today.

And get this.

I did read an entire book yesterday on the train.

Granted, it was a small book, only 87 pages, more a pamphlet than anything.

But.

Shit.

I did not see the rest of the syllabus readings until today.

Whoa.

There was a lot of reading there.

I also, before the discovery that I wasn’t nearly far enough along, done a bunch of reading for my Trauma class.

Maybe 90-100 pages.

I only have one of the books yet, so I read what was assigned from that book.

I need to read about another 150 pages between two other text books for that class and at this point I am just hoping I get them in the mail this week.

Just to have them.

I mean.

I have plenty of other reading to keep me going.

I had been warned by two of my friends in the cohort that the reading for the first weekend of Couples Counseling was beyond the pale.

I didn’t think much of it until I look up the work after kicking through what I could of the Trauma class.

Holy fucking shit.

Whoa.

I mean.

Does this teacher realize that we have other fucking classes this weekend?

Good gravy man.

Fuck you.

I texted a friend and just sort of lost it, what the hell is up with ___________ class?

We commiserated about the amount of reading and that the reader wasn’t available yet, so he’d sent a fuck ton of downloads to the class to read.

I am not great about reading on a computer screen, it’s super hard for me and I also knew that I wouldn’t get through all the reading unless I was able to take it with me and read a little here and there while waiting for the train, or on the train.

Fucking weather.

Fucking fuckedy fuck fuck fuck.

The storm is also why I didn’t really get out.

I didn’t need to, I had done all my shopping and errands previous to this weekend because of the impending doom of the storm.

And it was big and is still going on.

I was going to leave for a moment, I got on the coat, I got my umbrella, I grabbed my purse and I walked out the door, locked it, opened the gate, popped open my umbrella, took five steps and said, “nope.”

I turned right back around, shut the gate, unlocked the door, put my umbrella back and hung up my jacket.

Then I went back to the syllabi.

I messaged my friend a few more texts and then discovered that the grades were up from last semester.

Wait for it.

Straight A’s.

And Passes for the classes I had that were pass/fail.

Which I still think is hilarious that some of our courses in a graduate school program are pass/fail.

Then again, thank God that some are, I tend to get caught up in them and then realize, hey lady, focus on the ones that have a letter grade.

Which means.

Yes.

I have straight A’s through three semesters of classes.

I am half way through the program officially.

Officially I didn’t do dick today in regards to my practicum stuff.

But I did buckle down after a bit of freaking out and needing to get talked down off the ledge by my friend in school and a couple of phone check ins I did with my people.

“Your timing couldn’t be more perfect,” I said as I answered the phone.

“Lay it on me mama,” he said.

And I told him about it all and how I felt overwhelmed and I have had nightmares recently.

Ugh.

Recurring nightmares that haven’t had in years, but hey, here you go, have a nightmare, not stressed at all are you?

hahahahahahahaha.

Vomit.

“It has to be enough,” I said to him, “it has to be, I already did more today than most people do all weekend.”

I felt the tears well up and slide down my cheeks.

Sometimes it feels like there is just so much work to do and no one to rely on but myself and my God I better make this work or I’ll be homeless in the park.

Thanks brain, really needed that added incentive.

We talked it through and I felt the pressure valve open and the emotional steam hiss out.

Then.

I expressed some plans for the weekend.

Yeah.

It is a school weekend, but it’s also a big anniversary for me on Friday.

So.

I’ll be leaving school, I decided, a half hour early so I can go sit in a church basement and make a little announcement where I have made a few before, eleven other to be exact, but who’s counting?

I am.

That’s who.

I’m also going to go to a special church on Sunday and have dinner with some friends before hand and pick up a little something that evening.

A sort of talisman if you like.

A special token of time and effort and work.

If I only do that.

If I only did that work today, the sitting across from the lady bug, the listening, the sharing, than it was a good day.

Fuck.

It was a great day.

An amazing day.

To help another.

Spectacular.

With those thoughts and feelings I got off the phone, ate a home cooked, I told you I did food prep today I have meals for every day this week and all my meals at school all portioned out and ready for take off, made a cup of tea and got onto the reading.

I watched a two-hour movie required for one of the classes and then read two clinical papers.

I did over two hundred pages of reading today and watched that movie.

But most importantly I acknowledged to myself that I am enough.

I am doing enough.

I have enough.

There is no scarcity.

No.

I have all I need.

I am so grateful.

Because the one thing that I may have the most of is perspective.

It is astounding to realize how well I have taken care of myself and how far I have come.

I’ve come a long fucking way.

Just saying.

And though I have a long way to go.

Well, they say, “they” who the fuck are they, it’s the journey not the destination.

I’m on the path and though I don’t know where it leads exactly.

I’m happy to report that I made some nice strides along it today.

And at this juncture the most important thing is to acknowledge it and to take my rest.

There will be more work to do tomorrow.

But for tonight.

I am done.

Seriously.

l am pretty much toast.

Which means.

Time for tea.

And listening to the rain beat against the glass on the back door and the deep hallucinatory roar of the ocean as the waves smash upon the beach.

Warm.

Safe.

Cozy.

And loved.

That too.

I believe it.

I know I love me.

And that is enough.

It was even when I did not realize I was enough.

Perspective.

Seriously.

Where it’s at.

 

All The Love

January 14, 2016

I have been feeling it all day long.

It’s pretty fantastic.

Today is a special anniversary and I was reminded all day long how graced I am, how much God is in my life, how amazing and just plain fucking awesome it is to be alive.

I had a great day with the boys at work.

I even agreed to work a holiday, which I did not realize I had off-Monday.

In return, one of the days I’m in New York is now not being accounted for.

So my little jaunt to the Big Apple in May will only eat two of my vacation days rather than three.

Plus I’ll get a little over time next week and a few more bucks in my pocket.

Which will be nice as I am going to get a tattoo after all.

Not a big one, but I do really like getting a tattoo on my anniversary or there about.

I’ll be hopping over to see a friend at Let It Bleed in the good old Tenderloin on Sunday after I get out of class to add a star to my neck.

Eleven years.

Eleven stars.

Natch.

It was funny too, I was thinking about it, a bunch of friends got black star tattoos today at Body Manipulations for a David Bowie tribute and I thought, yeah, I’d love that, but um, can’t bring the kids I nanny to the tattoo parlor, you know.

My artist I normally work with is in Alameda and yeah, I know, it’s not that far, but my schedule is pretty tight and I just want one star.

So.

I thought, to myself last night as I was tossing and turning, sleepless, it took forever to fall asleep, I had so many thoughts running through my head, maybe I’ll just hop over to Castro Tattoo where my guy used to work.

Then I thought about my friend at Let It Bleed.

And who do you think I ran, or should I say “biked” into on the way to work.

DannyBoy.

Sweet.

He was crossing Masonic on his bike one way while I was crossing Masonic on my bike the other way.

We hollered at each other and it was like.

You know.

A sign from God.

Which I promptly forgot about until he tagged my social media post about the anniversary and we got to chatting and then to texting and the next thing you know.

5p.m.

This Sunday.

I’ll be getting another star.

Thank you very much.

And yes.

It will be a black star.

And it will look hella hot.

It will also go smashing with the new hair happening next weekend.

I have a lot of stuff on my plate, but man, it’s all such good stuff.

When I think about where I was last year and all the things that I have done and gone through since I turned ten, well, fuck, it’s been an incredible year.

I hadn’t applied to graduate school yet.

And here I am about to start my second semester in my first year of grad school.

I was freshly broken up with.

I was pretty raw about my dad.

I was in the dark hallway.

I’ve been happy, joyous, and free, most of the year, really, most of the time in the last eleven years, but sometimes, some years, some days, some weeks, they have been more challenging than others.

I don’t expect the work to get easier, but I do know that the results keep getting better.

And my happiness, my faith, deepens exponentially.

As long as I stay close.

As long as I do the work.

I get the results.

And it’s really good.

Life beyond my wildest dreams.

Even when it doesn’t go my way.

And often times it does, but just not in ways I was expecting.

Take for instance, I’m a tiny bit bummed, a lot really, that my friend in New York won’t be in New York when I am visiting–he sent me a birthday message today and I threw my travel dates at him–I was hoping for a hang out.

However, he’s in the Alps.

Doing an art project.

Because life if amazing.

And he offered me his place in Brooklyn while he’s away.

I have a place to stay in New York.

Free!

I am over the moon.

It is going to be so nice to have a spot to be.

I won’t have to dick around with getting in late, which I am, 10:30p.m. at night on a Thursday to JFK, by the time I roll into the city close to midnight, which might have been a challenge to check into a place.

Now.

I can just show up, be at my friends, not have to navigate an unknown place, and be settled.

I am so excited.

Plus, he’s in a good neighborhood in Brooklyn, so I’ll be hanging in the cool kids spots while I am there.

So psyched.

My whole life just has me so psyched.

It doesn’t often go the way I think it should, but it does go marvelously well, and sweet, and tender, with much love and grace and gifts that I don’t expect to receive.

I only hope I can give back a fraction of what has been given to me.

For I have been given so very much.

So much it makes my heart ache with joy to know the amount of love I have gotten to experience.

I am grateful.

I think you get that.

Full of gratitude.

Full of lightness.

Graced.

Blessed.

Loved.

Thank you.

Thank you so much for the best eleven years of my life.

I couldn’t have done it without you.

Get Messy

January 5, 2014

She told me today.

Stop trying to be perfect.

Work on acceptance, read this one story here.

Write about what I want other people to think of me.

What?

No.

I don’t want to write about that.

Then write about what I want to get from them, what I want them to do, how do I want to look and what is my idea of who I am.

I tell you what, none of these are my idea of fun.

Fuck me.

However, I am ever willing to do the work.

Even when it means re-applying the eye make up and getting vulnerable.

Even when it means showing up to get hurt.

I am going to fail, you are going to fail me, no one is perfect, which means I don’t have to be perfect and if I want to be in an intimate relationship there’s going to be pain.

“I am willing to get hurt,” I said, and something shifted.

Holy shit.

I am willing to get hurt.

I mean I get hurt all the time, I go through pain, things happen, life shows up, people are not who I think they should be, I get expectations, and then something completely weird happens.

I just don’t know that I have been in a place before in my life or my recovery where I was able to vocalize that, I am willing to get hurt.

Most of the time I am working pretty hard to not get hurt, to not connect, to stay safe by playing it safe.

I say I want intimacy, then I run the other way, I get a little, A LOT, scared, then I don’t want to deal with it.

Today, for whatever reason I was able to say it and mean it and it went from head to heart to gut.

Now to get messy.

Not quite certain how that looks, but I feel like it means living and trying and making mistakes and yup doing things differently.

Maybe it’s time to try a new direction with my writing.

For instance.

Get me out of my shell a little.

Writing on one hand connects me with myself, a creative force, and with others, especially when I blog.

Yet, I am completely by myself when I am doing it.

I am alone.

Aside–pet peeve–“Yeah, I know, I read your blog.”

I am not my blog.

It has my voice and there is loads of me here, but I am more than the sum of these words and there are some things I don’t write about, or can’t write about, or frankly don’t care to write about.

I am more than this summation of ideas and images.

Oh, it’s all me, but it’s not all of me.

Social media creates a false idea of connectedness wherein we are all in our rooms peering into the well crafted lives of others on facebook and okcupid and tumbler and twitter and linkedin and whatever else that we do tweeting and poking and posting and liking and commenting.

However, despite knowing what you posted last night on your facebook feed, nice pix of your cat, FYI, I haven’t actually seen you since before I left for Paris, which was over a year ago, and you don’t actually know what’s going on in my life.

Nor I in yours.

Oh, I get a little peek, but I don’t get you and you don’t get me.

What was suggested to me was to check out The Moth, a storytelling event that arose out of New York and is now happening here in San Francisco, where basically you tell true stories out of your life.

I like the idea.

The next event is going to be held at the Rickshaw Stop on January 13th.

Which has some special meaning to me as an important anniversary in my life.

However, I will be in Florida celebrating with family, not in San Francisco.

The events are slams.

I have done slams and I like them.

True, they are nerve-wracking, but I seemed to do well and I believe I am a decent performer and maybe that I could try a little something outside my comfort zone.

Ie my blog.

Which I am not about to give up.

It was also suggested a writers group and or a class on performing.

Had not thought of doing that last one, but why not?

Things that I can do and be a part of a creative community, not just where I am sitting by myself in my room writing.

I am pretty good at sitting by myself in my room writing.

Things to do to get me out there, rather than in here.

Here being my head, my ideas about where, who, what, when, the list of all my shortcomings and I am not enough.

Because I am enough and I am willing to do the work.

I am shocked sometimes at those who are not and devastated to watch what happens when people drift away.

I cannot afford to drift.

I know where I will drift to and it is not a pretty place.

Softening to this way of life, easing into it, allowing myself to be hurt, risking the mess to get to be beautiful, accepting that I am exactly where I am, that I don’t have a good idea of what’s best for me and that it really is ok to accept that people love me and care for me and respect me and what I do.

Who I am.

That I can acknowledge and accept that as well.

Let in the love, so to speak.

So much to keep learning.

And re-learning.

Not even judging that this blog is drifting into self-affirmation, Stuart Smalley land.

So what?

I can be alright with that as well.

Tomorrow I get messy.

I make mistakes.

And I allow the light in.

I will write a story to tell the Moth and go to the website and record my bit.

I will try to do something new and let myself not be good at it.

And be perfect and happy in my silly self willing to get hurt to get love.

The love is the better for the pain.

Richer, deeper, fuller, sweeter.

All things I wish for in my life.

So get ready for messy.


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