Posts Tagged ‘Austin’

A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

Especially since I am a therapist in training, although, let me tell you, I felt like a therapist today, seeing clients, filing paperwork, checking all the boxes, circling all the things that needed to be circled and doing the work.

I can get super caught up in how much longer this road is and how the hell am I ever, I mean, ever, going to get 3,000 hours, but I can’t, I just can’t focus on that.

One hour at a time.

Fortunately I have some practice living a day at a time and when I reflect on how those days add up and all my accomplishments have come in small increments, but come they have, then I don’t have to get too caught up in the numbers.

It’s just a numbers game and I’m doing it the best I can as fast as I can without killing myself in the process.

I mean.

I still have to process all my own stuff, plus carrying around my clients in my head.

I do that now.

I have them in my head and sometimes I will think about them and once in a while I have a momentary flash, a connection, a thought or feeling and a little aha moment, that feels pretty special.

But.

Yes.

I do have to process my own stuff too, I have to look at my own emotional life sift through the chafe and dander and see what is needing to seen and what is needing to be let go.

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

On and off all day, with one really big cry in the evening when I was talking with my person on the phone and going over the shock of what had happened and how the death of my friend had not just hit me, but many others, the numbers of people who showed up to be present for each other and for the family of the deceased was extraordinary.

Not to mention all the people in so many other places he had affected, who’s lives he had touched–Portland, Seattle, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Oakland.

Gah.

I can hear him saying “West Oakland” in my head and such joy at his goofiness suffuses me.

For he was joyful.

Oh sure, sad and fucked up and scared and young and insecure, who hasn’t been those things, but also bright and kind and funny and so there for you and warm and sweet and musically talented.

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

Seeing all the pictures, all the photographs, all the expressions of heartbreak, my social media feed was just awash in tears and sadness.

I really had to not look after a while.

And I knew when I woke up having felt puffy eyed and sluggish and a bit off kilter that I wasn’t going to allow myself to wallow in the emotionalism of social media.

I needed coffee, some ibuprofen, and a good breakfast.

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

And as I expressed to my therapist today after plopping down on her couch and telling her I was going to cry and then immediately doing so, I also realized that some, a lot of the emotion I had in my body, on my heart, in my head, was not mine.

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

So I talked it out, processed it, linked it to other things, made traverses, expressed emotions, cried a lot in the beginning, but by the middle of my session I was going other places.

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

I am a work in progress, people, don’t expect perfection, I am far, far, far from perfect.

But.

I am loving and kind and sweet, I would hazard.

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

Sometimes too much and I get overextended and I give too much, I have been trained well in that way of life, being my mom’s caretaker, taking care of my sister, my oldest niece, an ex-boyfriend of five years who might as well have been my mother for all the caretaking he required, but I have grown a lot.

Oh, so fucking much.

And I know when I need to caretake and when the other person needs to do the job their own damn self.

And there’s no irony that I am in the care taking profession.

A. I am a nanny, I care take all day long.

B. I am a psychotherapist.

But it’s not my job to care take as a therapist and that’s a really intriguing thing for me.

I am also not there to make my client feel better, to sugar coat, or to shoo away uncomfortable feelings.

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

I like to look at them as signposts, directions, “hey this thing you do, it doesn’t work for you.”

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

They are signs that the way things are going, the tools being used for living, well they might not be working so well.

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

I remember the first time I did a line of good blow.

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

And I was fine with the way those answers were conveyed and I rather scoffed at a friends warning that perhaps I like that drug a little more than was perhaps healthy.

Um.

Yeah.

But when those solutions failed I had to find a better way, a different way and there was depression there and there was anxiety and all sorts of other juicy psychological terms and conditions.

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

I won’t tell that to a client, they have to find their own way, I think that I am a mirror, an attachment figure, a person who can and will have to withstand the disappointments and anger and discomfort of others so that they can learn how to use that information and devise their own solution.

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

Just like alcohol, ultimately, and every other drug I took, weren’t for symptom relief.

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

And today when I walked out of my therapist office I felt a lightness and a joy.

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

I have so much joy and passion in my life, such happiness, I felt light and though there is still sadness for the loss of this beautiful person, I have also a deeper connection to how alive I want to be and how alive I am allowed to be.

To be alive, in this moment, sober, and free.

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

Moved beyond words for my experiences and this amazing place I have been lead to.

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

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Sashay

June 25, 2016

Ooh.

The good timing.

“Are you dressed up for Pride?” My friend asked as she stopped in front of the cafe on Church Street that I was hanging out at doing the deal with another lady before going to Our Lady of Safeway and doing that thing I do on Friday nights at that spot where they do those things.

Wink.

Wink.

Nudge.

Nudge.

I mean.

I always knew I would be a part of a “secret society” but not this one.

Ha.

Oh.

I love it.

“How come you know so many people?” One of my charges asked when we were walking around the Mission and I ran into a friend.

I get around kid.

And I digress.

Back to the original conversation.

“Nope.” I replied to the young woman, herself a portrait of fierceness, “I’m just dressed for me.”

And I was.

And I will continue to be.

Even when I wonder what the fuck people will think, then, I remember, oh yeah.

It’s none of my fucking business what people think of me.

Only what I think of me.

And I like the way I dress.

Twirl girl.

Oh my gosh.

I got two new dresses in the mail today.

I had a feeling they would arrive and I was super happy to see the box in the hallway when I got home tonight.

I ordered them thinking about New Orleans and wanting to have a couple of cute dresses to sashay around the French Quarter in.

Or just, you know, be dolled up in to sit around on the veranda at the HISTORIC MANSION I’m staying in.

I showed my person a photo of the Air BnB and she was like, “you have to take a bath in that tub! You just have to.”

Oh my God.

Yes, yes, I do.

In fact, I was thinking about doing a photo shoot in it.

I have a photo of myself from a few years back, must be six now, in Texas, at a wedding in a mansion in the Hill Country, outside of Austin.

I was wearing this navy blue retro vintage dress with small white polka dots and coral colored espadrille wedges.

I had short hair that was a little retro flip and I was wearing a white head band with a big flower in it.

I looked fabulous.

And skinny.

Fuck.

What was I doing?

Oh!

I must have just come off the AidsLifeCycle ride, yup, my calves look crazy.

Heh.

A good reason to do some bicycle training again.

Fuck.

I also look so young.

It was only six years ago.

Damn.

Time, it does fly.

So.

Maybe I’ll do another photo shoot with me in a dress in a bathtub in a mansion.

I mean.

Why not?

I’ll have to get someone to come back to the room with me and help me out with that though, not really able to do a full bodied selfie.

Not that I wouldn’t try.

Especially considering the two new dresses I got.

They are hella cute.

The first is not going to work for me right away.

The color does not quite work with my hair.

It will, the color just needs to soften a tiny bit.

Right now it has too many magenta pinks going on, it will fade off a little and be the perfect pastel pink in about a week I think.

Then the kelley green dress will look gorgeous with my hair.

Ooh.

I can’t wait.

Until then, though, the other dress works perfectly with my hair color right now and I believe with any and all colors I may do with my hair in the future.

It’s white, has a square cut bodice, A-line skirt, and a large cobalt blue rose pattern that is feminine and fabulous and all that.

Totally on point.

I tried it on and twirled and sashayed down my little hallway.

I threw on a black crinoline underneath.

Fuck.

Even more fabulous.

Added a black cardigan and it looks incredible.

Very cute.

Very sexy.

Very femme.

My curves look good and I didn’t have any sort of upset about that, that I have curves, that I’m not some skinny little thing.

I have been thinner, smaller, but not by much, but I don’t know that I have ever felt quite this relaxed and at ease in my body.

I love my body.

Nope.

It’s not perfect.

And thank God for that.

I would be boring.

I like my flair.

“Your hair looks even better in person,” he said to me tonight, “and the pink flower, you put flair in your hair.”

Yes.

Yes, honey I did.

Later tonight when my friend gave me a hug goodnight he whispered in my ear, “you looked beautiful tonight.”

Aw.

Thanks darling.

It was a nice thing to hear.

I was wearing one of my favorite Modcloth numbers, a swing dress with heart shaped pockets, a heart shaped bodice, and behind the neck halter tie top, my hair, the mountainous pink of it, up off my neck, curls falling all over the place, bright pink rose clip and a sequined star in there too, and I felt really good.

I love being glamourous.

I love wearing makeup and being fabulous.

Sometimes it takes me a minute to get there.

But get there I do.

And I love that I don’t do it for anyone else.

Just myself.

I’m not doing it for Pride, although, I am more than happy to be thought of in that way, I’m doing it for myself.

I’m not dressing for a man.

Although, should I attract one, I’m not going to be upset with that.

As the case may be, tonight I thought I would probably have a date, and it didn’t happen.

But considering I was on three this past week, really not too upset about that, and the weekend is young and I have time.

Especially since the podcast canceled.

And I have a fabulous new dress to wear out and about.

Sashay.

Work, turn to the left / Work, now turn to the right / Work, sashay, shante / Work, turn to the left…

Happy Pride family.

I love you no matter what day of the year it is.

I mean.

Seriously.

xoxoxo

Where Do I Even Start?

April 18, 2011

This weekend has been crazy good.  Full of friends and travel, little sleep, much coffee, walking, bicycling, swimming, thrift store looting, brisket eating, trampolining.  Good lord, how do I even begin to write it all up?

Yesterday I got up to a clear sunny Austin brimming over with bird song and possibility around 8:30 a.m.  I put on my new sundress that I had bought on South Congress the afternoon before at some store next to Jo’s Coffee.  I can’t remember the name, there’s a lot of little stores down there.  But I can tell you, it is super cute–red ruffled and white polka-dotted, topped off with a white belt I got at the Good Will.  I will be wearing it as often as I can, or as often as San Francisco weather permits–I might get lucky and get two wears out of it in the next year.  Chuckle.

And may I just inject that it was just a bit surreal to go from 95 F yesterday with bright sunny skies to 54 F overcast, grey, and foggy today.  But I adjusted pretty quick to the change.  Especially after Joanie and I hiked the Presidio this afternoon through Crissy Field out to the Warming House for late afternoon coffees, but I am getting ahead of myself.  Back to Austin, which was yesterday, although it sort of feels all of a piece as I did not, for as I predicted, I did not get a lot of sleep.  I have been basically up since 4:15 a.m. this morning, and that’s Austin time, which means, I have been up since 2:15 a.m. San Francisco time.

My how that time does fly.

So, back to Austin.  After putting on my sassy new sundress Ell dropped me and Liz pants off at Lizzy’s old place where her bike has been stored.  I met her old room-mate, her cat Dodge, and her chicken, yes I said chicken, Lady Bug.  We did some quick bike maintenance then headed into down town Austin.  We stopped at the Farmer’s Market to grab breakfast before heading over to meet some ladies at the Little Pink House to do the deal.

Breakfast was mighty, mighty, mighty delicious.  Two corn tortilla soft tacos, one with shredded bison, one with scrambled eggs and peppers, both topped with some sort of spicy avocado dreaminess.  Accompanied by a big tall iced organic coffee.  We sat in the park nibbling, ahem, I mean, inhaling, our tacos and enjoying the weather and the dogs and the little kids running around.  Then back on the bikes and over to the pink house.

Afterward we headed to Thom’s Market to pick up a bottle of water and a picnic lunch to take with us to Barton Springs.

Now, I have to say, in all honesty that there are very few places that I have had the moment of being completely and totally at home as soon as I was in the city.  Where I knew in my heart that I was home, in my bones, in my soul–Austin was not one of those places.  San Francisco, Paris, Black Rock City, yup.  Austin is really cool, but I knew pretty much from the plane touching down that I would enjoy my visit, but I would not be tempted into moving there.

Then Lizz took me to Barton Springs, and I had some serious reconsidering to do.  It is the most beautiful outdoor swimming hole I have ever seen.  It is a natural spring fed reservoir, surrounded by grassy hills, clover, oak trees, ranging anywhere from two feet deep to ten feet.  It is not man-made, although there are man made touches that enhance the pools–lifeguard stands, ladders and steps leading into the springs, a dammed area with a walkway over it to allow you to cross from one set of gently sloping banks to the other, sidewalks, picnic tables, a concession stand, locker rooms and shower areas.

I was blown away.

I love to swim and I had not been swimming in some time.  On top of which, I had not been swimming outdoors in over ten years. Actually, probably longer, I may have to ponder this.  There is nothing quite like getting into the water, even though it was really cold at first, really cold! And paddling around.  Swimming to me is like flying, there is this beautiful weightlessness that I imagine birds feel while they swoop through the air.  I pretend I am a mermaid and stay under as long as I can.

The springs also had a diving platform over the deeper end of it.  I actually did some diving.  And I know that I haven’t been on a diving board in, well, I think thirteen, fourteen years.  My goodness.  But the body is an amazing mechanism and mine remembered how to do it.  I don’t know what I looked like, but it felt so good to dive.  I never really learned any true diving tricks, but I had a great time trying to mimic the approach and bounce that divers do.  I think the kind of dive I do is called a swan dive.

And that’s what I felt like, a swan.

Then after I was good and tuckered out from the swim, Lizz and I just laid out on the banks and let the sun dry us off and I contemplated what it would be like to live in Austin just so that I could go for a swim every morning.  Then it got pretty hot, and the bees got a little enamoured with me.  I don’t know what it is, but I attract them.  We cut the sunbathing short and headed into town to do a little vintage shopping before Ell came to pick us up and haul us back to the house to get ready for the wedding.

Uh, yup, I also went to a wedding yesterday.  In Texas Hill Country, at the Barr Mansion.  It was a gorgeous ceremony, small, romantic, everything you see in a magazine layout for perfect weddings.  It was like being on a movie set.  I kept expecting Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon to come waltzing out of the mansion.

And since I’m a curious monkey, I did a little investigating on my own after the wedding and went wandering around the mansion, which was not technically open to the wedding guests, but they were all busy with the free bar and the wedding party were busy getting their photos taken.  So Lizz and I and Ell, took the liberty of exploring the mansion.  The parlors and the library, and dining room, and the upstairs with the wrap around veranda, and the fancy pants bathroom with the most beautiful old clawfoot tub, and the library, with its zebra skin, a real zebra skin, rug and antler chandelier.  Oh my.

The reception was in a gorgeous new building built back behind the mansion and gardens.  Glossy cement floors with oak leaves embedded into it, fresh cedar everywhere, flowers cascading all over, candles, lanterns on the grounds leading you into the dining area and hanging from the rafters, the ceiling was over twenty feet.  It was astounding.

Actually, what was astounding was the food.  I was blown away.  I have never had such amazing wedding food.  All organic as well.  The mansion prides itself on providing a very eco-friendly event space.  There where mini bbq chicken sliders with dill pickles and roast beef, glorious fresh steamed vegetables, artisanal breads and whipped butter, gnocchi dripping in butter and cheese, a mashed potato bar.  It was astoundingly good.

But the best part was the hibiscus iced tea.  Mostly because it was not sweet tea.  I had to send back my tea a few times this weekend.  No sweet tea for me, please!

And the topper, the moon, full, rising golden and benevolent over the oak trees.  It was like a fairy garden.  Well, until the dj started spinning 90s pop tunes.  Lizz and Ell and I fled.

We headed back into Austin, stopping momentarily at the house to grab Velvet, Lizzy’s sweet baby blue pit bull, then on to Halcyon in the Warehouse District downtown.  It is a combined coffee bar, lounge, humidor, people watching palace of iniquity.  We scored an awesome table right on the main drag and watched Saturday night happen right in front of us.  And Velvet ate a lot of cookies and charmed all who passed by.

Even with a large latte at 11 pm at night, I could not manage the energy up to go on longer, so we mustered up after our coffee was finished and hit the sack.  I got a little shut-eye and then got up to catch my 6 a.m. flight back to SFO.

And since this entry is getting long and I’m tired, no way!  I’m going to summarize today in one paragraph, here goes–

Arrive in San Francisco at 7:45 am (time change), grab a coffee and a croissant at Petes, catch the BART back into the city, then a bus from downtown to Nob Hill.  Unpack, feed the cats, sort the mail, pay a bill, fix a to go lunch, smack a little make up on my face, down load pictures onto computer, tidy up, do the dishes, sweep the floor, head back out the door, catch a cable car down town, back onto BART, over to 16th and Mission to take care of a commitment, meet up at Four Barrel after that to do the deal for an hour, get picked up by Joan at 2:40 p.m. drive over to the Presidio, hike through Crissy Field, go to the Warming Hut for coffees, walk past the House of Air, get a crazy wild hair up my ass and make reservations to go back and bounce during their next session, head back to Joan’s car, grab a light dinner in the Marina, hit the Dry Dock to see some friends real quick, then back to the House of Air where we jumped around on trampolines for an hour.

Whew!  Did I really do all that in 24 hours?  I have one hell of a cruise director.  And I still have one day of my five-day weekend left.

Maybe I’ll take it easy tomorrow.  Sleep in, take a long bath, nap, relax….

Maybe.


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