Posts Tagged ‘asking for help’

I Raise You One Sick Day

October 9, 2015

For ten vacation days and….

Actually.

I got six sick days.

And.

Clarification that I did not have the last time I negotiated with the family I work for.

I get the sick days, six, to be actually sick.

Um.

I never get sick.

But I do have accidents.

And doctors appointments.

Which reminds me, note to self, my Healthy San Francisco expires this month and I either need to re-up or look at Medical or Obama Care.

I haven’t experience with either, but they are true health insurance from what I can gather and Healthy SF technically is not health insurance, although, really, it feels just like it.

Suffice to say, I am not going to be covered either way here in a matter of days and it’s time to get aboard that boat now.

“Girl, you have some loose boundaries around your money,” my person said to me tonight with a fierce look in his blue eyes.

I know!

I know.

I really do.

But I am learning and also, to give myself some credit, all this stuff is really new for me.

Despite having been a nanny on my own, sans agency, for a long time, it still takes time for me to figure out everything I need and to than go forward and ask for it as an independent contractor.

That’s what I am in a sense.

I am self-employed, but I have contracts.

I have learned that having a contact brings clarity.

So.

Last night when I realized that I needed some more clarity I took it upon myself to reach out to the family and discuss the next step in our figuring out how to best move forward.

I got great clarity and I am grateful.

I did not get a raise.

But.

I got a raise.

It just doesn’t look exactly how I expected it to look.

I am not getting an hourly increase.

But.

I am sustaining my current benefits despite working less.

35 hours a week when I am not in school.

28 hours a week when I am in school.

With some flexibility to add or subtract.

Like next week the boys have off for Columbus Day.

They actually have Columbus Day and the day after off.

Who the hell gets Columbus Day off?

I don’t remember this as a kid, but the school is a private school and it seems that they have a lot more holidays than I ever remember having.

Anyway.

Next Monday I will work 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as Tuesday.

This is a big shift for me since school started for me and the boys relatively at the same time and I have been working 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the family.

I go in at 1 p.m. clean up the breakfast stuff, unload the dishwasher, tidy up, do the boys laundry, recycle, compost, trash, prep snacks, meal plan with the mom, go grocery shopping and marketing, mail stuff, pick up stuff, run errands, make dinner.

Then the boys come home at 3 p.m. and we have our afternoon together, then dinner, baths, then bed time when the parents take over.

Although both mom and dad work out of the office at home, so there is much interaction with the parents.

It took me a little while to get used to that, I’ve typically worked for families that were working away from home, but there’s been enough exception to that rule that when it presented with this family I was not completely unprepared for what that entailed.

But I can handle the shifting hours and it does make it possible to see my person again next week who I normally would not have been able to do.

God it was good to see him.

Those twinkling eyes.

Those wise words.

The shared experience.

And a person that I am genuinely myself with, no masks, no hiding, even when I want to hide, I can’t and I am grateful for his love and guidance and I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last year and a half without him.

I digress in gratitude.

Which for digression is not a bad thing.

We talked about the process of asking for clarity, of what it was like for me to ask for the raise, what it has been like being aware of what I need, also the acknowledgement of how I am moving forward completely above-board and all my tax stuff is transparent and how grateful I am for that.

Frankly, it’s a relief.

I still have fear of getting audited for years that I worked under the table as a nanny.

Be that as it may, I needed to do it that way to get by.

I couldn’t have lived in San Francisco had I not.

I have no regrets about it.

But I do have a choice now to stay in the clear and what with school and financial aid, it just feels right.

Needless to say.

It’s called being an adult.

It’s taken me awhile to grow up and grow towards my financial ideal.

I am still short.

But.

I have come so far.

When I think about the lack of guidance I had in money matters growing up, how lacking my family of origin experience was in regards to financial knowledge, despite watching my mother and step-father have hair pulling, knock down, drag out fights, with tables that got flipped over in the dining room, over the monthly budget, I never learned how to handle my finances.

I’ve learned most of what I know in this last decade.

I really have grown up.

There’s still plenty of growth.

But.

I will acknowledge the growth that has happened now.

I accepted the package the family proposed.

I stay at my current hourly.

But.

I get all the perks that I had before when I was working full-time.

I.e.

I still get the same vacation days!

Which is awesome.

As in I get Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving off.

Hello four-day weekend!

I also get the 23rd-25th of December off for Christmas.

Five day weekend!

Hell.

I could actually make some travel plans.

Plus.

I accrue my vacation days the same way, which means, I get the same ten I got last year and I still get the six sick days, which I now know to actually use when I get sick or need time off for doctors appointments, etc.

I’m getting full-time benefits without working full-time.

This is a really nice perk.

And.

We will follow-up with a review at the end of the year where the family has agreed to look at giving a raise at that time and negotiating moving forward from there.

I think it’s a win.

I certainly learned a lot about myself and my process and I am very proud of myself for the work I did.

Albeit I could have done without the unnecessary drama I brought on myself through anxiety and miscommunication about my vacation days and sick days.

Growth.

There’s always more to do.

But I have to acknowledge the work I did too.

That’s a part of it all as well.

Grateful for the experience.

Even when it was painful.

They say pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I can second that opinion.

And raise my sick days to that notion.

Plus a couple of long delicious weekends in the not so distant future.

Winning.

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What Day Is It?

October 3, 2015

Where am I?

I know it’s Friday, but it feels like the beginning of the week.

I am in my second weekend of graduate school and it just hit me.

I left feeling pretty elated though.

I got through the project with my partner, despite a few hiccups, there was horrible traffic on the Bay Bridge this morning, three accidents, and she was almost 40 minutes late to class.

Hell.

I thought I was going to be late.

And I had a friend driving me to school.

It’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and the morning Friday commute from out here in the Outer Sunset was fraught with extra idiots and delayed traffic.

Fortunately my friend is a consummate San Francisco driver and was able to navigate out of the traffic jam and back on the way with relative ease and no little cleverness.

I was thinking he might want to moonlight as a taxi cab driver, except that all my friends who are taxi cab drivers are trying to get out of the gig since it doesn’t pay very well.

I had the option this evening of taking MUNI home, but I really just wanted to get home and I called for a Uber and man, that ride home took as long or longer than if I had ridden my bicycle.

I was like.

What the fuck?

Oh.

It’s Friday.

It’s end of happy hour beginning of weekend, crazy drivers, crazy pedestrians, and a driver who is not from the city and it took me and the guy in the back seat, also a fellow student at my school, having to tell him twice to turn back around and how to get on Fell Street from Market.

Obnoxious.

I did feel for the kid though, he was just a kid when I got right down to it, I wanted to be mad, but the rash of acne on his face and the played out dance music on his generic radio Pandora station really gave it away.

Then I found out he didn’t even live in San Francisco and I almost said, “pull over, I’ll grab a cab at this point.”

I went from feeling fairly rejuvenated to pretty tired by the end of the trip.

That’s ok.

It’s ok that it’s Friday and I will be in bed soon.

I have to be up at 6 a.m. to get ready for class.

Fortunately I am done with the Human Development chapter outline and I am completely caught up on two of my other classes reading.

I do have some reading to get completely caught up, but it’s not enough to panic over and it’s not enough to sit down and do it right now this evening, I’m too pooped.

When I got home I parlayed what last energy I had into taking a hot shower.

My God.

That was just divine.

I could have crawled right into bed.

But.

Habits.

They die-hard.

And.

I knew I would not be able to completely unwind without writing my blog and letting the day fall out of my head.

A great deal of this blog is just processing the day and writing down my experiences and how I get through them, or avoid them, as the case may be at times, but mostly, how I walk through the day and what I see and feel and how that affects me.

Or.

Rather.

How I let those things affect me.

The lie is that he/she affects me.

They affect me when I allow them to.

And.

My cohort affects me.

I really adore the hell out of some of them.

Love really.

I like most of the cohort, and that in and of itself is an amazing thing.

There are a few I’m not great big old fans of, some that have styles different from mine and a few odd ducks that rub me the wrong way, but no one I find horrid and offensive.

And that is miraculous.

But.

I do tend toward a certain few.

And I realized how much I enjoy them and spending time with them and it’s not just about the classes, although of course so much of it is about the class work, it’s about the human connection I have made with them.

One of my classmates made it a point tonight to express how much we need to hang out outside of class and I am so down with that.

Although I tell myself I don’t have the time, I can make a little time here or there for her.

Plus, she lives in town.

There’s another lady I really want to hang out with as well, although I am not certain how we are going to make it work since she lives in Nevada, the hanging out will have to be on school weekends and it’s challenging for me.

But.

Again.

Worth making the effort.

It is rare when I find people who I connect with well.

I know.

I know.

“You have so many friends on Facebook!”

Yeah.

I know.

How many of those friends called me today?

Or texted.

Or said hey, let’s hang out.

Or.

How’s grad school treating you?

What’s new with work?

Dating anyone?

Granted, I’m not giving all my friends a fair shake, they know how fucking crazy ass busy I am.

They are busy too.

It’s the human connection though, I crave it, I want friends, I want to be open and vulnerable and intimate.

No I don’t.

But it sounds nice.

No.

Really.

I do want intimacy.

I do want to be seen.

Even when it’s not the pretty stuff, even when I’m sad or mad or ashamed or upset.

I want you to see me.

Human.

Messy.

Alive.

That’s the gift.

I’m so alive to the moment and yes, tired, but still awake and loving my life and yes it’s busy and I don’t always know which end is up, but I do know I am present for it, I do know I am showing up for it.

And I do know.

How very grateful I am for my friends.

So much love.

Yes.

I mean.

For you.

Just Sitting Here

October 2, 2015

Waiting by the phone.

And.

Not for that boy to call me.

Er.

Man.

There is a man around you know.

Oh, you didn’t?

Well.

That’s cause for another blog another day.

Yeah.

I know, I’m cheeky like that, but don’t worry you’ll hear about him one day.

Or.

Not.

Tonight.

I am waiting by the phone for my partner in my Human Development class to get home from her job and call me so that we can confer about tomorrow’s assigned chapter outline on Toddlerhood.

I really don’t want to be waiting by the phone and I really do wish this assignment was a thing of the past, I dislike group projects.

I don’t dislike groups per se, but I find that I work better on my own when I can squeeze in what I need to squeeze in where I need to squeeze it in.

I mean, time wise.

I like doing things on my own time.

But who the hell doesn’t?

Everybody’s got their own agenda.

Right not my agenda wants me to crawl into my new bed and really get a nice full nights sleep on it.

That’s not about to happen though.

I figure if i’m in bed by midnight and up by 6:30 a.m. I’m doing alright.

I have a friend who is going to pick me up and drive me to class tomorrow.

Thank you friend.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

The time that I don’t have to be on my bicycle is a big deal, I budget 45 minutes in for my commute and my friend is going to do the same for me in case there is any morning traffic and so that I can get to campus a touch early and stash my meals for the day in the kitchen.

So very grateful that there is a kitchen facility for the students to use.

I made food up for the weekend and I’m all ready in regards to that and I will be taking much better care of my feeding then I did last weekend I was in school.

I will also cut myself a little slack, I was just getting back from Burning Man and previous to that two weeks of work outside of the city and a week of school at the retreat, so I was pretty damn wonky that first week of classes.

But I don’t want to have that experience again.

I suspect I’ll be tired.

There’s that.

There’s always that.

But.

I will also be bringing in cold brewed, at home, thank you very much, coffee with me and stashing that in the kitchen as well, so that should I need it I can just dash off and grab myself a cup of joe, I left a mug in the kitchen for myself to utilize as well.

So the food tip is taken care of.

The transportation to and from school tomorrow and Saturday is taken care of.

My friend is helping me both days and being a pumpkin about doing it.

“Listen,” he said, “let me help you.”

And I acquiesced.

I am learning.

I am learning to ask for help where I never would have before.

I am learning too to find ways to say what I need and to express what I need and to be alright in the expression thereof.

What is really amazing about doing the deal for as long as I have is that I have a basic understanding of certain psychological and spiritual modalities, and I have applied them to my graduate school program.

But what is also astounding to me is that in the brief amount of time that I have been in school I have also learned huge amounts about myself, how I communicate, the assumptions I make and the fact that I take myself just a little too damn serious.

Seriously.

“I was just kidding,” he told me.

I did not realize that.

I mean.

I get the joke now, but last night, ugh, I really thought I was failing somehow, doing all the work and not having the pay off and don’t you see, oh God, how much work there is to do and can’t you see how much I want to be with you?

Oh woe is fucking me.

I am such an anxiety monster sometimes.

He was joking.

I made an assumption, had a conversation in my head, and then felt ashamed at how busy I am, how I’m not available enough for social interactions, and what the fuck is wrong with me?

Nothing it turns out.

Just a slight soul sickness that creeps in when I least expect it, right where it is vulnerable, right where the love is and says, see that, that wonderful person who you care about so much, they are going to run away screaming when they see the real you, you’re a shit.

Thanks head.

Thanks for sharing.

Now.

Fuck off.

But the wonderful thing about inventory and working with someone who can show me some perspective, linked to the studying of all the therapeutic models and the group therapy theories and Freud, yes even him, and non-violent communication, and human development, and learning how to be empathetic (like I could be even more), is that I am learning not only how to help another–I am getting a masters in Psychology to be a therapist–but also how to help myself too.

Especially when it comes to communicating.

It really is amazing.

“I know I’m only going to get slivers of your time,” he said to me tonight when he dropped me off from work, “for like the next three years.”

You’re getting more than most my dear friend.

And not nearly as much as I liked to give.

But there will be vacations and there will be summer breaks and there will be time.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

I do dare.

I do dare to say that I will find the time.

To love.

To dance.

To sleep on the chest of a man I adore.

To find the ways in between the pattern of the days.

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
All these minutes that pile up one against the other.
The pressing love hands of time.
The pushing head of a daisy in my hand.
The kiss on the side of a neck.
Warm.
Breathless.
There.
Next to the pulse of my heart.
And there.
While I sit and wait.
For the phone to ring.
Excuse me.
Human Development is calling.

Panic At The Disco!

September 27, 2015

I mean the SafeWay.

I mean the MUNI.

I mean in the garage.

I mean.

Ugh.

I woke up much later than I had planned, I obviously needed the rest, I remind myself instead of flagellating myself, which is sometimes so much easier to do–beat myself up.

I woke up from a weird dream.

I woke up to the phone ringing and the feeling that I had too much to do and nowhere near enough time.

One foot in front of the other.

Just do one thing at a time.

Breathing, always helpful, do that.

Breathe in again.

I forget sometimes that I have actual clinical anxiety and clinical depression and it sneaks in there sometimes, I have had times when I was on medication for it, but it’s been years since I have and I forget that I can get to that place of anxiety if I am over stressed.

I mean.

I don’t have reason to be stressed.

Please.

Graduate school group projects.

Panic.

Work.

Just asked for a raise.

Just took out 20,500 in student loans.

No biggie.

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, if not the world.

Stress?

What stress?

Bwhahahahaha.

So.

I did what I do.

The next thing in front of me.

Make your bed.

I mean, yeah, I break it down that damn simple.

Make the bed, kneel and pray, read some stuff, say some stuff, go brush your teeth and wash your face, put some clothes on, put the hair in pigtails, stick a flower in that shit, make coffee, make oatmeal with fruit in it–yay! Persimmons are back in season! Sit down, check e-mails, eat breakfast, drink coffee, try to not freak out about already being an hour behind on the day, look about my lovely home, purposely ignore stacks and stacks of readers, books, notebooks, all the effluvia of the student life, and focus on the beauty of your home, eat your oatmeal.

Write.

Write it all out, put the neurosis down, put down the plans for the day, laugh out loud at the idiocy of my schedule, get panicked, but not acknowledge it quite yet, write some more, make second cup of coffee, decided to go do the deal, because really, that’s what has to be addressed, and go out the door and into the world.

Wait for MUNI.

Wonder why I didn’t take my bike.

But then immediately have gratitude that I didn’t, because I did stash my Human Development reader in my bag and I was too overwrought with the feels to actually have paid good attention to the traffic.

Besides the car traffic in the Inner Sunset on Saturday afternoon is idiotic.

I don’t need to die today.

I got on the N-Judah and called my best girl in Castro Valley and had a good commiserate talk about work, school, orientations, doing the deal, dating, more work, more school, not enough time ever, ever, ever.

By the time I got off the train at 7th and Irving I was feeling much better.

Still a bit overwhelmed.

But still trying to just put one foot in front of the other.

I sat for an hour.

I got my head screwed on better.

I cried a little.

I shared.

It was good.

I went to the nail salon and got a super fast manicure, then over to Crepevine for a late lunch and more Human Development reading.

I contemplated going clothes shopping, but I did not have it in me to really shop and I only lasted 20 minutes at Cross Roads.

The good news.

I found four tops–two sweaters, one a Helmut Lang!! And two button downs, which I desperately need.

Then back on the MUNI.

I had the panic creep back in.

I started making phone calls.

I left a lot of messages.

I took out my reader and read the ride home.

I hopped off the train, hopped to the house, hopped on my bicycle and rode off to SafeWay to grocery shop.

While I was in line one of my friends called me back and asked me where I was.

I told him and he said, I’m on my way, go buy some more groceries and I’ll throw your bike in the back of my truck.

Thank you jeebus.

I paid for my groceries and made a second trip through and thoroughly stocked up.

That had been part of my stress, figuring out how I was going to get all the grocery shopping in for myself.

Not only to have groceries in the house, but also an adequate amount of things to cook and prep, because next weekend I’ll be in school full-time and I won’t be able to do any cooking or grocery shopping.

I left the store with an over full messenger bag, a super big thing of toilet paper, and two more bags of groceries.

My friend was parked right next to where my bike was locked up.

We tossed it in the back and I just about burst into tears.

I started hyperventilating a little in his car.

I started the full on panic attack and practiced breathing and staying in the moment and my, look at the ocean, look at how pretty it is (look at the ocean and everyone at the beach, they’re not worried about having their Human Development reading done, asshats, they’re having fun in the sun), look at the sky, look down in my lap and let the tears fall.

My friend talked me off the ledge, dropped me at the house and gave me hugs.

I wiped the eyeliner off my face, hey, hey, Tammy Faye, and went ahead and did the next things in front of me.

Put away the groceries.

Balance the check book.

Heck.

I even made food–black bean and chicken chili with corn, yellow bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices, and a pot of brown rice.

Then.

I sat my ass down with a cup of tea and an apple and I read.

And read.

And.

Yes.

Read some more.

I finished all the chapters in the fucking Arnett book of hell, thank you Human Development.

Plus a bunch of articles.

Then I faced my Waterloo and opened the Power Point presentation my Human Development partner had worked on and I dove in.

I actually got a lot done.

A ton.

I was elated.

How the hell did that happen?

Next thing I know, text from a friend, how you doing, almost done?

And I was.

I ran out, grabbed some sushi, thanked my friend for talking me off the ledge, and in turn gave him a quick hand moving some stuff into his new place.

Then.

Home again home again.

Jiggedy jig.

I gave my friend a Mason jar with homemade chili in it and got back in the saddle.

I communicated with my partner about our project and lined up the readings for tomorrow.

And.

Guess what?

No more panic.

Because.

As noted before, and as I will, I am sure, note again and again.

It is the showing up that is the deal.

I showed up to do the reading and it got done.

When I am in my head though, where there is no time and the world is collapsing around me and I am just not ever fucking enough, then I am screwed.

I don’t see how far I have come.

Oh.

And baby.

I have come so far.

So very far.

I am so lucky.

Perspective is what I have.

Much preferable to panic.

Let me tell ya.

And love.

I have lots of love.

Thank God for friends.

Love you all so very much.

I could not be doing graduate school without you.

Seriously.

And What Are You Up To

September 25, 2015

Tonight?

Not what I was up to last Thursday.

Ahem.

I am studying.

Or should I say, I was studying.

Sigh.

Not getting hickies tonight.

Oh well.

I knew well what I was getting into when I decided to pursue graduate school–no more reading for pleasure for a few years, limited social interaction and engagement, and lots of studying, outlining, underlining, and digesting of ideas, theories, and studies.

I will also get to add to that, navigating student financial aid, technology, online facebook pages for my cohort, never thought I would use social media for graduate school studies, but my cohort has a group on facebook and I actually do use it.

Said hickies have faded and left little trace of their previous engagement.

All that is left is a warm feeling and a few sweet thoughts.

He goes one way.

I go the other.

Nothing wrong there.

No expectations.

No resentments.

Life meandering on its way.

I’m not maudlin, upset, or concerned.

I’m focused on what is happening in front of me.

Which is mainly getting all my Human Development reading done before the weekend.

I have one chapter left in the big text-book and a lot of articles in the reader, but I have successfully finished all the reading that I need to have done to outline the chapter and do the presentation with my partner next week.

I will go back over the reading again this Saturday and perhaps one more time before I do the presentation.

Grateful to be getting the work in and done.

Grateful to be carving out the space here and there to navigate said reading.

A little here.

A little there.

The stuff and things they get done.

I haven’t really addressed the reading for any of my other classes yet, but I will.

I will get to it.

I always do.

I don’t sit idly by.

I don’t take many breaks.

I get the job done.

Speaking of job.

I expect that at some point tomorrow, since it has not happened yet, didn’t happen today, I will be sitting down with the family and doing my year review.

I have no more anxiety around it.

Which is a relief and I don’t have expectations of myself, except that I show up and be honest and come from a place of gratitude for my job, for the boys, for the gift of having a job while I am in graduate school that seems like it could well carry me through all the way from this first semester to the last.

That is my hope.

Although.

I know.

Well.

I know well.

That whatever happens.

I am taken care of.

I have no doubts.

With that qualification I await the morrow with some interest.

Tomorrow is when the school disperses the financial aid.

I have my fingers crossed that I will get the rest of my tuition bill paid for and that there will be a few thousand, two to be specific, two thousand, left over after my tuition is covered.

I really want a new mattress for my bed and I have been eyeing the Casper full size for the last three months or so.

But.

I wonder.

Would it be better to sit on the money and see how I do under my own power with the hours that I am working at work before I spill out the money?

Should I sock it away into savings and have a nest egg?

Sleeping well is important, but could I wait until I do my taxes in January?

That seems so far away.

I have been quite frugal the past few months and am doing alright with my finances.

I will be paying my rent for October when I get my paycheck tomorrow.

That’s also something I need to keep in mind, the paychecks for the next few months will be smaller to reflect the fewer hours I am working.

I feel like I can afford it though.

The full size is $750.

That would still leave me sitting on $1250, which is basically one months rent, and I could sock that away into my savings, where I currently have one months rent, and then have a little prudent reserve to see how I do with the navigation forward.

I keep looking at my bed.

It’s a nice bed.

But.

It’s an Ikea mattress that is two years old and was not meant to be the end all and be all of mattresses.

I had thought I was going to replace it this spring, but I did not.

Sleep is important.

My brain will do better with quality sleep than without.

I could write it off as a study aid.

Baha.

Doubtful, but it’s a nice thought.

I don’t have many needs.

I live a small life.

But.

It is a full life.

A quality life.

I like my food organic.

And yes.

I do drink expensive coffee.

I probably drop $60 a month on coffee beans.

But my, they are so delicious.

I also rarely buy coffee out, although I do have it on a fairly consistent basis.

Today I had a lovely iced coffee from Grand Cafe on Mission Street on my way to the Mission/Bartlett Farmer’s Market to shop for the family.

The family sports my coffees.

I don’t take advantage of it, though there can be a tendency in my brain to want more, after a certain point I just can’t do a big coffee after four in the afternoon.

I have a lot of perks at work.

I am well aware of how lucky I am to have a good job, that I get to live in San Francisco, go to school in San Francisco, live in the best city in the United States, one of the best in the world, and live as well as I do.

Yes.

I live in a studio.

But it is by the sea.

In the most salient place for me to be.

The best place for my soul to reside for the time being.

At least for the next three years.

And after that?

Who knows.

I am too focused right now on the here and now.

Where the reading is.

Just there.

On the other side of my laptop.

Now.

If you’ll excuse me.

I have some more reading to do.

See you tomorrow.

I’ll let you know if I get that raise.

Almost

September 23, 2015

But.

Not quite.

Bah.

I could not get it together to ask for my raise today.

The balking is fucking killing me.

I know it.

All my friends know it.

Fuck.

FUCK.

Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

There.

Now that’s out of my system.

It doesn’t even matter at this point if I get the raise, I just need to ask.

That’s it.

ASK.

Martines.

Get it.

It’s not that big a deal and the relief I will get from just doing the foot work, opening up my mouth and saying the words, is going to be worth more than the monetary gains.

Then again.

I could also practice some compassion for myself, I don’t like asking for things I need, never have, probably never will.

But.

If I don’t ask I won’t get what I need and I do need to bring in some more money and I am worth the ask.

Hell.

I’m worth more than I am going to ask for, but that’s another story.

I did, however, ask for a review, a yearly review to be arranged between myself and the parents by the end of the week.

I should get a review.

I also need to get something in writing and that has to be discussed.

My contract expired and I am just going a long on a wing and a verbal agreement, a vague one at that.

No good.

I know better.

To give myself a little credit the parents were not readily available to my yesterday or today.

I wanted to talk with both of them and typically both of them are at home in the office working everyday, but that has not been the case either day and it has just felt way too much to just address one parent without the other.

So.

I opened my mouth, just like I did last night, right as I was leaving and said I would like the review for the year to be worked out for the end of the week.

I need to sit down with them and do the ask, I can’t just spring it on the mom in line at Trader Joes.

I can’t.

I did a little foot work and for that I am grateful.

Little bites.

Just a little bit at a time.

Not enough to leave a bruise, but a sharp little nip of teeth to remind me that I am better when I am focused on what is in front of me and distracted by the money.

I have been distracted by my finances for too long.

I just don’t want to think about it anymore.

I suspect that won’t ever be the case.

But.

I don’t have to fret.

I don’t have to be in anxiety.

I suppose it’s just old habit, old hat, old ways of being, the pretending that by worrying about something I am manifesting some sort of control over it.

I don’t have control over anything.

I don’t have control over what you think of me.

(I hope you like me!)

Nope.

No control.

I wish you would make me feel better.

Oh.

You can’t do that either.

Well.

Fuck.

I guess I’m here again, same old song, another day.

I was almost there, almost to self-forgiveness land, but I got a little waylaid and realized after a quick check in with a friend, that I am still actually quite mad at myself.

Would I leave if I don’t get the raise?

I could.

Not that I wouldn’t make it.

I would make it.

Just.

The thing is I don’t want to just make it.

Can you save me?

Come on and save me.

If you could save me.

From.

The rest of the freaks.

That suspect they could never love anyone.

I am sick of just making it.

I am tired of working hard to work harder.

I am being melancholic.

Yes.

Guess who got her period this morning.

Relief.

I knew that lady was about to visit and i know that I am just a touch sensitive, emotionally, and physically, out damn spot, and tired too, of the self-imposed misery of the anxiety.

I don’t want to think about finding other work either.

But.

There are other options.

Hell.

I was offered a place a substantial rent drop of where I am living now.

I turned it down.

I had my reasons.

Ask me in person if you really want to know.

There are 100 and 1 choices to be made.

There are many paths to wander down.

Come on and save me.

Why don’t you save me.

If you could save me.

From ranks of the freaks.

That suspect they could never love anyone.

Except the freaks who could never love anyone.

Let your hair down.

Shake it out.

Let the day go.

She is not all that.

She is just a day.

It is alright little lady, you do the best you can and sometimes sitting in a dim room with the heat and flash of the Castro strobing it’s lights outside the second story window is exactly where you’re supposed to be.

If I have done nothing other than sit for an hour in an uncomfortable chair and resonate with what the person in front of me is saying then it is a good day.

A god damn good day.

I remind myself.

As I look around at what I have.

I have so much.

Do you see me?

I have so much.

So much.

Love.

Kindness.

Joy.

Light.

I don’t have to be maudlin, I’m just human.

I’m just a little spiritual being having a very human experience.

Bless you little heart for being a tender thing.

I am afraid of rejection.

I am afraid that at the end of the day.

(At the end of the bar at the end of the night, another night at the end of the bar)

I am not enough.

That I am not lovable.

That I am not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough.

Not a good enough nanny, student, lover, human.

Not a good enough woman.

(Still such a little girl)

Forgive yourself sweet heart.

You’re doing just fine.

You are perfect.

Imperfectly.

Perfectly.

Perfect.

Finding Space

September 17, 2015

in between the spaces.

I took an hour this morning that I did not even think I had.

I took it anyway.

I read school work for an hour instead of getting my nails done.

But I have a date tomorrow.

Who cares.

The man met you in a white out dust storm at Burning Man and took you into his bed despite not having shaved or showered in four days, that’s tasty to contemplate, he is not going to give a fuck about your nails.

But.

He will give a fuck if you’re distracted pants because you feel like you need to be taking care of business.

So.

I took care of fucking business today.

I sat my ass back down at my table, when I was really and truly about to go out the door.

I did my own nails and read for an hour.

I finished and caught up with a second class of work.

I already did the paper that is due for that class, so one down three to go.

Oh.

And look there, yes, the reading load is horrific, really lady, stop already, but I don’t have a paper due until the 2nd of October, I thereby have breathing space.

I still need to get a lot done and I have a group project that I have to work on as well, but there is space.

There is time.

When I sit still.

I find there is more time than I thought.

And.

When I am not procrastinating I feel more competent in my work and I know that I will get caught up with what needs to be done.

I also got home tonight and read until 10pm.

That seems to be as much as I can do at the moment.

And that added another few minutes into my day of looking at my graduate school work and assimilating the knowledge into my brain the best way I possibly could.

Hell.

It seems to be working.

I practiced non violent communication with the five-year old after a faked temper tantrum of dramatic proportions broke out post dinner pre bath time.

I was amazed at how well it worked and wanted to do a jig of happiness, but the three-year old was busy being three and that was curtailed.

The celebration that is.

But not the recognition that even in this brief amount of time being in graduate school, I am already learning and applying that knowledge to what is happening in my work environment.

Good to remind myself as I come up on my year, the 22nd of the month marks a year of being with the family, and my asking for a raise.

Not quite sure how that conversation is going to happen, but happen it will.

And I am constantly being taken care of.

“Here, take this,” my friend handed me $100.

“I know you didn’t get a paycheck last week, it’ll help with groceries,” he finished tucking it into my hand.

Tears prickled my eyes.

I said thank you.

I folded the bill and put it in my bra.

I forgot it was there.

Went to the store and realized I needed to take the bill out of my brassiere and pay for a quick food staple I had forgotten to buy the other day on my SafeWay run–which was almost exactly $100.

Groceries for a week.

So very grateful.

I forget how much abundance and generosity there is in the world.

I forget that I am always, beautifully, taken care of.

It is not always how I think it’s going to look and so often it is because I am NOT looking at myself, rather at how I can help out someone else.

Not an attitude that I have in spades, but one I have learned to cultivate.

One that saves my life.

I exaggerate not.

Again and again.

That is not to say that I should not or need not speak up for myself at work.

I need to do it.

I should have asked for a raise long ago, especially after being told I was the best nanny the family has had in five nannies and my salary is the same as the nanny who left them last year.

I realized that I was beholden to the plane ticket they bought for me when I went up to Anchorage to see my dad.

And that I am afraid to ask.

Of course.

If I don’t ask.

I won’t receive.

Even if I don’t get a raise, I feel like I have to ask.

The nice thing too, I have done my numbers fifteen ways to Sunday and I know exactly what I need to bring in to the penny to make it while I am in school.

I can make it on what I make now, working five hours a week less than I was working two weeks ago, and the extra time and space I have given myself will make my life a better place to live.

I could go through the process of being scared.

Or.

I can find the space to continue moving forward.

Doing the things that I do best.

Showing up.

Being accountable.

Doing a good job.

Hell.

The timing people!

I just got a text message about a place in the neighborhood that might have a room open up that is significantly cheaper than what I am paying now.

Now there’s a thought.

It has not even occurred to me to move.

I’m not sure I want to give up my autonomy here.

I do love my little home by the sea.

I would still be by the sea but at Noriega instead of Judah.

That’s not too much further than I am now.

Another five minutes or so on the bicycle everyday.

But maybe.

Stuff and things.

Everything is fine.

I have no problems.

I have only oceans of solution and love.

Love.

Yes.

Always.

Just there.

On the periphery of my fears.

Dancing a soft shoe shuffle.

Waltzing a prandial of desire.

Love.

Brown sugar crystals and the faint.

Caustic.

Drift of cigarette smoke.

I am going to be just fine.

I already am.

I Did Not Just Say That!

September 14, 2015

Oh.

Jesus on a raft.

I did too.

I am tired.

And.

When I am tired two things happen: 1. my tongue becomes unhinged; 2. I get delirious.

Now.

These things are not necessarily bad things, they can be productive things, like in everyday life.

But fuck me.

I processed that out in T-Group?

I mean, we’re not supposed to process T-Group outside of T-Group.

(whatever happens at Burning Man stays at Burning Man, unless he’s coming over to see me next week, but that would be telling wouldn’t it?)

Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Yet.

Wow.

I have been tired today, exhausted, burnt up, done in, almost feverish with exhaustion.

I suspect I might be sick, but I honestly cannot tell if it is because I am legitimately ill or if it is like a flavor of ice cream cone– colored tired as fuck.

I am ice cream cone covered tired.

Colored in pastels and sorbet and the melting of psyche all over my hands and sticky little face.

I imagine I sounded like a child, that I was in a fugue state, that I was explicative and profound, but when I talked of seeing the faces in the group and being grateful for them, each one, every one, that the richness I found in the silence, that for some was uncomfortable, was like hearing the voice of God.

And sometimes God spoke in a language I did not understand, but as I listened closer and closer, I could feel the imprint of the feeling and I could hold the space for the emotions and I became a sort of white-hot crucible unto myself.

The feverish doozy weariness brought me to a point of sublimation and softness that I did not know I was capable of.

I also have to say, I saw that I was not taking the best care of myself over the weekend.

That I experienced some financial insecurities and instead of allowing myself to eat out, I just pillage the fridge at home until there was nothing left and I did not do myself any justice by not stopping to get groceries last night.

In other words.

I did not eat enough for lunch and I felt a huge sugar crash come over me while I was in the first part of the T-Group class.

I wasn’t sure at first what was happening and also what to say about it other than I was exhausted.

I was not the only person exhausted and I acknowledge that I showed up anyway, but I did feel this need to clarify it and also a fear that I couldn’t, that I couldn’t be anything but strong and that I was going to make it through and here’s how.

I can be tired.

There is nothing wrong in admitting that.

I also did some radical self-care, which in the moment felt bizarre, but I had the capacity for words to at least try to show up with an explanation.

I ramble.

I was joined at lunch by my partner from my Human Development class and I was not able to concretely deal.

i was trying to get my blood sugar levels up and for a period of ten minutes I had not done anything but steadily shove food in my mouth.

I realized when I was heading up to the kitchen on campus that I was having classic ‘bonking’ syndromes.

The last time I felt like this, and I am feeling like it again, so I may pause and refresh here momentarily.

Was when I did the AidsLIfeCycle ride in 2010.

I bonked on a training ride once out to the Nicassio reservoir in Marin County.

And once on the ride itself, waiting in line for the food at the pop up cafeteria.

I stood in the little kitchen on the fifth floor and put a Baby Belle Cheese in my mouth, peeled an egg, and ate a can of tuna without talking or stopping to do anything other than eat.

I did not even season the food.

Let me tell you desperation to be fed is when I don’t even stop to put salt on that shit.

I just stood and consumed.

Then I sat and ate an apple and when my partner engaged I told her the truth of what I was feeling.

I did not go into the future, where there is so much fear, I’m not enough, I can’t handle this program, I’m working too hard, I’m not working hard enough, I don’t have the energy capable of sustaining this, etc, etc,

I stayed in the moment.

I stayed at the table in the kitchen and said my bit.

She brightened and thanked me for being honest and I felt held and sacred.

The feeling stayed with me and startled me a little and I suspect that combined with the needing more food in my system led me out the door and up to the market for another piece of fruit and a coconut mango smoothie.

No sugar, thanks.

No flour, thanks.

But I had to eat some fruit for the natural sugars.

And I was ok with it.

I am ok with it all right now too.

Ok.

That I did not read when I got home.

Ok.

That I am distracted and disoriented and that reflects my blog abilities.

And.

Ok that I am just a human having a human experience.

And when I get too overwhelmed with it.

The human experience.

I get sweet texts messages and learn how to bask in the glow.

Of.

Acceptance.

For being exactly, imperfectly.

Perfectly.

Me.

First World Problems

September 10, 2015

That’s a reflection paper I will be writing tomorrow.

I thought, briefly about writing it tonight, but I don’t have it in me.

First world problem–having job that is at times exhausting.

Keeping up with the boys can sometimes wear me out and on top of them wearing me out, I successfully wore myself out before I even got started today.

The free-floating anxiety I experienced today as I get ready to head into my first weekend of classes was enough to give me a stomach ache this morning that I really thought was going to make me throw up.

I realized that there was not much to do about it but try to spend some time organizing where and what and when I will be in class.

I made some outreach texts and e-mails and figured out a few things.

First, that I was not the only person who was a little adrift in the process.

Second, that there would be a master list posted on every floor of the school for all classes, so if I should fuck it up and show up naked, oops, sorry that’s a nightmare from high school.

Aside.

Mr. Bohage passed.

I had an old friend from high school reach out to me and let me know that my favorite history teacher at DeForest High School (home of the Fighting Norskie–I shit you not) had passed at the age of 79.

I’m not sure what he passed from, but it brought a sigh of sadness to my day and also a kiss of gratitude, he was a great teacher and I admired the hell out of him.

I like to think he liked me too.

There were a couple of us in that class that I think he liked, not as pets, but rather as respected intellects and occasionally as students of life with a little bit of wit to us.

Ryan, Henry Hall, Ted, myself, a few of us that seemed to get his droll sense of humor and also to command a little respect from the man who instilled in me a sense of their being something beyond the halls and rooms of that high school.

I will remember you with fondness and much gratitude, Mister Bohage, may you rest in peace and finally forgive yourself for having voted for Nixon.

End aside.

This current going back to graduate school does feel a little like high school, but also a little like nothing I have done in some time and it feels overwhelming and makes me want to hide underneath the covers.

I know that being a person who shows up is the biggest thing, so I am going to show up, prepared, unprepared, ok with whatever happens and just know that I am doing the thing and that one day at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time, I’m ok.

My dear friend who graduated from a nursing program a few years back reminded me that I was going to be ok and that I only had to focus on today.

I intrinsically know this, but sometimes I have to hear it said out loud.

I must have someone to speak the crazy to and get it out of my head.

I know that all I had to do today, really, was show up for my job and show up for my commitment this evening.

The rest of it would sort itself out and that focusing on the “problem” was not the solution.

So.

I made some calls.

I left some messages.

I scheduled myself some time to meet with my ladies.

And I confirmed my work schedule.

Which has changed drastically and I am trying to get into the swing of.

I’m now working 1p.m.-8p.m.

This makes things easier and weird all at the same time.

I am going to have to change-up all my doing the deal places and spaces.

Except for Wednesday night, I have a commitment and I wanted to keep it and it felt important to tell the mom that today, so on Wednesdays I will go in at 12:30p.m. and get done by 7:30p.m. so that I can make it from the Mission to the Outer Sunset by 8:30p.m. to do the deal and cover the commitment I picked up.

I won’t be making a lot of other things that I have been used to getting to and going to.

I’m not sure where exactly I am going to land during the week.

I suspect I’ll be seeing a certain group of folks at the spot on 7th and Irving at 11 o’clock in the morning before heading into work.

More will be revealed, I am certain of it.

Just like I know that the only thing to rely on is change, change is always happening and I can’t even get into a comfortable rut to settle myself with.

No rut for me.

I get to keep moving, like a shark, sink or swim.

I choose to swim.

I will rise up through the sea green sea, the emerald light, the blue sapphire kiss of water, and I will fly, transcendent into the warm light.

It helps that I got a friendly little message today right in the middle of the afternoon as I was getting the ducks in a row at the house.

I spent the first part of my day organizing and shopping and cooking for the family, then the boys come home from school and it’s on.

But on in such a delirious sweet way.

“I’m going to marry you!” The eldest said to me tonight as the mom took over for me, then he kissed my hand and held it to his cheek.

“Snuggle me, kiss me, hug me,” the youngest said to me earlier when he got out of pre-school.

Yes sir.

I could perhaps use those same words with a certain fellow I know.

I was making the boys their dinner–I usually prep it in advance so that I can just set their meal in front of them at dinner time and not have to make it on the fly, when I got the message.

It was a nice banter.

I felt uplifted.

I felt sexy.

And I felt sweet.

And desired.

That helped the day.

Thanks God.

I needed the pick me up.

And as I look at all the open tabs on top of my computer–all the login ins and class room locations and the syllabus for that class and this class and the other, the financial aid disbursement notification, the academics page, and the incoming e-mail from a TA in regards to a question I had for a paper that is due on Friday before I hit class, I will pause with gratitude that I have a little nugget of delicious thoughts to distract me once in a while from the academia exploding all around me.

Plus I’m listening to The Orb and that puts me in an excellent space.

All is good.

Grateful for these challenges.

Grateful for this growth.

Grateful to be on someone’s mind.

It’s the little things.

Like a lost earring in an RV.

A small reminder of time completely removed from the daily grind of my life.

A kiss of magic in the day.

A token of the yet to come.

What’s Next?

September 9, 2015

Today it was getting up an hour before my alarm went off and getting myself sorted out.

I didn’t have to go into work until 1p.m.

Which was nice and also a touch annoying.

It was a later start than I was anticipating and I am going to probably have to dial it back at least a half hour with the family to work with my schedule.

Suffice to say I still got my deal in tonight, zipping up 18th Street to get right with God and hang out at the Castro Country Club for an hour.

Not a place I get too much, but a space I am grateful for.

All the rooms.

All the recovery.

All the change that is about to happen in my life as my school semester starts officially on Friday.

That’s three days from today.

Eeep.

I don’t even know what I am supposed to have read for this weekend.

I am not behind on my writing, having done it all before heading out to that thing in the desert, but I haven’t looked at the reading that I need to do in preparation for the first weekend in school.

I already feel behind.

However, since I didn’t have to be at work until 1p.m. today I did get my ass down to Copy Central on Mission and 2nd and pick up my last reader for the semester.  I also sorted out my student loan deferment paperwork and got that all summarily taken care of.

My ducks are sort of in a row.

I have an idea of what needs doing, but I have yet to crack open the syllabus on three of my classes to be completely clear.

I suppose I will do that after I finish doing this blog.

I am grateful I got the reader, and even more grateful that when I did look at the syllabus for the class there was the delightful notation for the first class that said, “no reading necessary for first class.”

Hallelujah.

Ack.

The more I think about it, the less time I have.

I was supposed to get back to San Francisco on Saturday, that was the original plans.

You know what God does when you plan?

Laughs.

And I will chuckle right along with God as I was given a pretty awesome playa experience, loads of magic, lots of all the things and I have nary a regret.

Although, despite what some thought upon reading my last blog post, I am NOT dating anyone.

I had a playa romance, I suppose you could call it, but I didn’t marry the man.

I am still a free and single lady.

A busy as fuck lady.

A lady who would happily date the gentleman who I spent time with, there is no question there, but a lady who is not pursuing.

“Be the ball, Martines,” he said to me.

I am doing just that.

I am done pursuing.

I get to be pursued.

I am fucking well worth it.

And in the spirit of said worth and in the spirit of having taken the events of the weekend in stride, with sweetness and kindness, with all the deep sexual connection and the magic of the moment, I have changed the header on my blog.

It no longer reads “Girl On The Go.”

I have changed it to.

“Woman Of The World.”

My partner in crime during the last days of the burn mentioned on more than one occasion how I was so obviously a woman, and, a wise woman at that.

It didn’t make me feel old or wizened.

Rather, experienced and grateful.

I am a woman.

Sometimes, most times, more often than I would like, I have to ask for help–but that is a mature thing to do and acknowledge.

That I cannot do it all alone, that I cannot be entirely self-sufficient.

For not only is it impossible for me to figure it all out, I just fucking can’t, it takes away the service of allowing someone else to share with me their experience and in turn allow them the sacred expression of sharing their experience with me.

Nothing I have been through is wasted.

Every pain.

Every sorrow.

Every trial, tribulation, and challenge.

Has given me an experience through which I can objectively view with compassion and gentleness, to be given so many experiences so that I may help another may truly be the greatest gift I have been given.

In that vein.

Then.

I continue forward.

As soft and sweet and open as I can be.

There is something luscious in the acknowledgement, finally, of being fully alive to myself as a woman.

“Before you travel and do something momentous, take a photo of yourself, then take another when you have gotten back and compare the two,” he told me as I prepared to launch out on my first solo trip to Paris in 2007.

“You will see that you have changed.”

I looked at myself in the rest stop bathroom at Donner Pass and I smiled in awe.

I had changed.

There it was.

This new openness and sincerity on my face.

I was not hiding behind any mask.

Of course, it may have been the lack of makeup, the surfeit of hormones from having been bathed in sexual attention for days, or the tan skin from being out in the desert for over a week.

I cannot say with any certainty.

But the change was evident and it made me happy to see and acknowledge it.

I was comfortable in my skin and delighted in my life and grateful.

Oh.

So grateful.

For the man, for the moment, for the movement of my heart, the ticking hands on the face of the world, this life, this ability to see through another lens of self and self-discovery and beauty.

The beauty of connection.

With myself.

With another person.

With the Universe and the world that I walk about in.

I don’t need to know what’s next.

I just need to show up for it.

I show up to the page.

I write my blog.

I show up to work.

I am of service.

I do the deal.

I help my ladies.

I ask for help from my people.

I go to class and do the best I can.

I let go of all the results.

I can’t do it.

Maybe God can.

I think I’ll let him.

In short hand.

I am powerless over outcomes.

I am only capable of taking action.

I don’t need to know what’s next.

Except that I have faith in becoming more me.

And hope that I will not wall up behind the fear of everyday life and the expectations therein.

Woman of the world indeed.

Officially a grown up.

Who knew it would be so.

Well.

Nice.


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