Posts Tagged ‘authenticity’

A Room Of Ones Own

February 13, 2016

I was reminded how lucky I was tonight to have the small, sweet, kind space that I have made into a room of my own.

A space to dream.

A place to dance.

A restful place.

“I would never leave,” my friend sighed as she walked in my room.

I smiled.

I sometimes feel like that.

I might get a little lonely though.

We re-connected in class and decided we would be coming out here to my side of town to hang out, she’s staying in a place in the Haight.  Like a surprising number of people in my cohort, she commutes into school once a month.

There are folks from Miami, Fl.

Nevada.

Mexico.

All up and down the Western Coast line from Santa Cruz up to Portland.

There are lots of folks in the Berkeley, Oakland, Bay Area too.

I feel like there may be more folks from out of town than in town, but I may not be correct in that, although if they don’t outweigh the in town students, it’s a darn close call.

Anyway.

My friend came out here to spend time with me tonight.

It was a great Friday night date, girls night out.

We met here, I dropped my books off and prepped my notes and readers and texts for tomorrow (they are in the fridge, I kid you not, I have a large insulated liner bag for the basket on the back of my scooter, I pretty much packed my lunch and dinner for tomorrow in the bag, put my readers and books and notes on top, zipped it up and put it on the bottom shelf.  There may be more text books than food currently in my fridge) and we scooted down the street to Java Beach.

It was perfect.

Apple cinnamon tea, the sunsetting down by the beach, the locals coming in and out, the hum of the cafe, my dear, sweet, kind friend, all ears and eyes and heart.

It is so good to have girl friends.

“Well,” I said defensively, hands on the hips of my periwinkle blue dirndl (this was way back in the olden days when I worked at the Essen Haus in Madison and all the staff wore traditional German costumes.  I used to joke that the dirndl was the German’s idea of a Wonder Bra) “it is a mom cut, she totally looks like someone’s mom,” I repeated back to my friend.

“You’re not used to having girlfriends are you,” my friend said to me.

“What are you talking about,” I tried to knock the defensive tone from my voice, now I was just curious, how did she know that.

“You just don’t tell a girl friend that her new hair cut makes her look like her mom, it’s just not kosher,” my friend explained.

“Oh, I was just telling the truth,” I said.

“I know, she probably knows that too, but it’s just not the nice way to say it,” my friend continued, “you didn’t really have girl friends in high school did you?”

“Nope,” I said.

And to a point that was true.

But there were girls I really wanted to be friends with, some whom I actually got to reconnect with after high school that was really quite amazing, the power of social media, girls who I thought were smart or kind or funny, girls I wanted to hang out with.

And it happened sometimes, I got to be with a group of girls, I was in a peer group, I can see that, but my family dynamic was so messed up, I could never really have friends over.

The friendships that might have developed never really had a chance to flower.

Then there were times, when looking back with some perspective, that I just didn’t trust women, I had a mom who didn’t have a lot of girl friends and if she did, they tended to be women she was partying with.

It has taken time and effort.

I have had some girl friends too that were not good for me and I saw myself needing to get out of the mix.

I have learned.

And loved.

And lost a few relationships, but also kept a few too.

That one dear friend, the one who was so insightful about my not having girlfriends, well, going on 21 years now, 22 maybe.

Not bad.

And new girl friends at school.

Having classmates I want to hang out with and who want to hang out with me is a huge gift.

Women who want to hear my story and I theirs.

It is a lovely reciprocity.

We all have stories.

Some I connect with better than others.

“You just have such a big heart,” my friend said over tea.

To be seen.

To be validated.

To be known.

It is a powerful thing.

And to be told that I am attractive for being my colorful, exuberant, authentic self is such a gift.

First, it encourages me to continue acting from that place of self-love, if only to show other women it’s doable, commendable, and available for them too.

You want to dress as a princess?

Please get the hell on it.

I was in the shower, just now, washing my hair and wondering when I was going to have to retire the hair flowers.

I wore a white daisy in my hair today.

And a chiffon shirt in dandelion yellow with white polka dots.

I felt light and free and full of spring vibrancy.

I realized that I was never going to be too old to wear flowers in my hair and that I was going to give myself the permission to buy some more flowers for my hair if I felt like it.

I digress.

It was just nice to be myself and to spend sweet time with a dear new friend.

We also had dinner and I felt so warmed and lightened.

Blessed, really.

I am such a lucky girl.

Really.

The luckiest girl in the world.

I have the best friends.

Ever.

I do.

 

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You Need To Hit Something

February 10, 2016

And hit it.

He laughed.

Oh my god I love that my person basically told me to go hit something, ie, go take a kick boxing class or a boxing class and hit a bag.

As well as.

Girl, go get laid.

Of course as soon as the permission is given I’m all like, who, who, who, I took down my Okstupid profile, how am I going to meet people, guys, I’m into guys, thank you, and ick, I didn’t like Tinder and…

“Face to face,” he said, “it’s called ‘adulting’ not texting, not online dating, face to face.”

Oh goodness.

Then I thought, well hell.

I’m busy as fuck when am I going to meet a fuckable fellow?

There’s a few places I could look and to tell the truth, I’m not going to loo too hard, when the time is right, the right man will present.

I am so horny it’s retarded.

I know exactly how un-PC that is.

That’s how it is.

In my pants.

Heh.

Oh and I so don’t give a serious fuck what anyone is thinking about this blog.

Family members, dear friends, those of tender mercies.

Stop reading.

The thrust, pun intended, of this blog is not going to be pretty.

But it might be sexy.

What I also love about being with my person is that I was able to be open about something that I have noticed myself doing and I don’t want to be doing.

It’s a form of self-sabotage that has it’s roots in a lot of family of origin crap that I have processed a lot about, but occasionally another layer is peeled off.

Here it the gist of it.

I like to dress up.

I like to wear dresses.

I love makeup.

I love frills and glitter and frippery.

Frippery is a word.

Although it does sound like something I might make up.

Anyway.

I have a tendency to get myself a pretty outfit, then not wear it.

I get excited about an event or a place or a thing that I am going to and then, last minute, change my mind, take off my heels, put back the dress, or worse, I don’t put it on in the first place, and I go back to my standard black leggings, jean shorts, tank top and t-shirt.

Sure.

It’s got its own sexy appeal.

More over it’s a handy work outfit.

I can bust it on my bicycle and I am cool.

I usually choose to adorn my hair with something floral and feathered, and I put some make up on.

Today.

I wore that exact outfit.

Exact.

Then I did my hair up into two big poofs, stuck two black and glitter flowers in it with black feathers and two different star shaped sequined hair clips.

(“Carmen!  I love your hair,” she said to me has I exited the gate and was unlocking my bicycle.  “I wish I could get away with stuff like that, it looks amazing!)

Plus.

I was wearing long should grazing silver star earrings with chains.

The affect was electric.

And I had fun.

But I will talk myself, self-sabotage, out of wearing the really fabulous shit in my wardrobe.

So.

I told on my self.

I told my person, who incidentally has me speaking for him this Sunday, and who also, is extraordinarily well put together himself (only one of the many reasons I work with him), that my head has been trying to tell me to not be so fabulous.

But that I want to be.

I mean.

I do.

I want to wear some polka dots.

Which is good since I got a red dress white polka dots to go with my new Fluevog shoes.

Mwahahahaaha.

And I want to wear a crinoline and I want to twirl in my dress in pretty shoes.

I am going to do just that, because my autonomy is attractive and my authenticity is important and because, damn it, I am allowed to get dressed up.

I am also allowed to get laid.

It’s about damn time.

I am not sure who I was trying to convince, but I’m over it.

I laugh at myself, “me thinks the lady dost protest too much.”

Sure.

The woman has needs and I am allowed to meet them.

Stop asking for permission and get it.

I also love that idea of hitting something, a body bag, a BOB, doing some target practice, doing some hitting drills, kicking drills.  I am going to explore that during my time off.

I have done some investigating into swimming, yoga, and now I am thinking boxing, possibly kick boxing, and dance class.

Mostly what I am concerned with is my schedule and what is going to be compatible with my work and school and recovery schedule.

And you think I’m too busy to get laid.

Ha.

I’ll show you.

Speaking of which.

Show yourself man.

I know you’re out there.

If I’m going to meet you, I need an approach.

I know that part is up to me.

If I want to meet someone I’m going to have to be out there in the world.

I’m doing better.

Getting out.

Getting out of my head.

Lightening the fuck up.

But you know, I’ll take your suggestions.

I’ve always done well with suggestions.

I’m not going to do the online dance though, I realize that really has never worked.

I could manifest like I did at Burning Man.

My friend was so funny and perfect when she suggested I write it out in my notebook, “You need the Universe to manifest a guy that will fuck you like a man and feed you steak.”

It was manifested.

I could use that right about now.

Yes.

I am busy.

But let me look at this as self-care.

I am charging the vibrator as I blog.

I told you I was not holding any punches with this blog.

You’re squeamish?

Fuck if I care, take it elsewhere.

I’m sure that there’s a rainbow, fairy tale, princess pants blog out there wishing you well with kitten whiskers and such shit.

And you know.

Great.

That’s great.

This is great.

Getting to be all things.

I get to be this mix.

A fabulous, crazy (at least I know I’m crazy, let’s be real, the ones to be wary of are the ones that say they’re fine), wicked sexy, fun, funny, sweet, kind woman.

I get to be it all.

I get to be spiritual.

And.

Sexual.

I mean.

Maybe this weekend isn’t the right one, Valentines and all.

Then again.

Heh.

I got six days off coming up.

I said it would be a “staycation.”

Maybe I should have a sexcation.

Ha!

Oh I amuse myself.

I don’t know what’s going to happen.

But hey, Universe, I have been given some instructions.

Help a girl out.

Thanks!

You Are A Self Made

November 22, 2015

Intellectual.

That may be the best compliment I have gotten all week.

Especially as it came from a dear friend.

A French friend.

A Parisian friend, there are no better for telling one that, I felt so flattered and seen and a little in awe of what she said.

“If you had been brought up a different way, I think you would be a psychoanaylist, in fact, it soothes me that you somehow made it here, to this now” she continued as we were gathering up our books and papers, notebooks and pens, departing class to hurry home to get settled down and do it all over again in the morning.

I have already, like a good little school girl, packed my lunch for tomorrow.

And perhaps like an adult.

I made sure there was plenty of coffee in my back up Mason jar.

Last day of class for the second to last weekend of the semester.

By the time class reconvenes next month I will actually be registered for the next semester.

Crazy.

How is it happening so fast?

I don’t know, but I am glad it does.

The above compliment was not the only compliment I received today at school from a classmate, earlier in the day two of my cohort in our role play for Therapeutic Communication (we did triads as opposed to the dyads yesterday–consisting of therapist, client, and observer) told me I had a really great voice.  Something akin to late night smooth jazz or love station request lines.

The smooth sounds of night love with Carmen coming right into your ear this evening.  Call the hotline for any request, Freudian or otherwise.

It was a good day at school.

I felt really connected.

I was really present.

I was on top of the material, it was helpful that I read most of it, and I got so much from my Psych(e)analytics class I just about burst with it.

I have said before that it is my favorite class, despite the horror of talking with my professor on the phone for 45 minutes this past week to discuss the paper I wrote on Mourning and Melancholia using sonnets.

Heh.

That was bound to be uncomfortable anyway, but I did get a lot out of it and every time, every single time I am in the class I learn something I make a leap, I find a connection, or see something, my brain gets lit up.

“Don’t psychoanalyze me!” The professor shouted at me.

It was a fierce admonition, but also a compliment, she could see that I understood and I turned the theory right back on her (I have no idea what I said in hindsight, but I remember how it felt to say it)  and I was happily startled by her response.

I am getting the material and utilizing it in real time in the class room.

It just makes sense.

Who knew I was so Freudian.

“Are you thinking about going into psychoanalysis?” My friend leaned over and asked after I was out of the hot seat with professor, “you would be really good at it.”

I believe she is right.

And that makes me happy.

In fact, how my friend saw me makes me happy.

It was a new way to think of myself, a new way of seeing myself, and I was flattered to be called a “self-made intellectual.”

I find it similar to the idea of what Frederick Douglas said about the “self-made man.”

Self-made men […] are the men who owe little or nothing to birth, relationship, friendly surroundings; to wealth inherited or to early approved means of education; who are what they are, without the aid of any of the favoring conditions by which other men usually rise in the world and achieve great results.

I do not know that I have ever resonated so purely with an idea.

I felt honored to be seen like this, acknowledged, and deeply respected for my abilities.

I stood comparing (but not despairing, no not at all) at the reflection of my chic Parisian friend and in the window glass of the classroom.

She tall, thin, elegant, Roman nose, royale profile, bright brow, dressed in the simplest clothes, but chic, and clean and savvy.

I next to her was a bright clown, my hair pulled back in a mass of curls beneath a hot pink bandana, my pink star tattoos peeping out of my sweater collar, my bright safety orange pants a sweep of color next to her dark plaid slacks and soft grey cashmere sweater, the ameythst ring on her finger the only flash of color and therefor more alluring for being there, just there, perched on her finger like a small flower of violet knowing.

I felt for a moment like a clown.

Then.

I really looked again and saw myself.

Colorful.

Bright.

Brilliant.

Both in my mind and in my dress in my heart and in how hard I love.

And that is why I get Freud.

He is all about the love.

Yes love.

Most folks think Freud and think sex, and yes, there is the sexually charged eroticism and the titiliating sexually categorized stages–oral, anal, phallic.  And lest anyone forget, Oedipal, but the argument of Freudian theory is that it’s all about the love.

Just like I am.

All about the love.

I got excited.

I get excited in this class.

Maybe it’s the professor.

She is a hoot.

And she is hella smart and funny and kooky.

Maybe I see a bit of myself in her.

Who knows.

I don’t have to analyze it.

Suffice to say I was over the moon to realize that my friend is right.

I should go into psychoanalysis.

This is thrilling and scary all at the same time.

I am not sure what the next step is, the not knowing is always a bit unnerving; however, I can see that there is a path here for me to follow.

And as my friend so astutely noted, had I had the benefits of growing up differently, I may have made it to this point a lot faster, but regardless, I made it to this point, the guiding force behind the intellect I have been gifted with, and it is a gift, has led me here, to this fork in the road.

I am nervous to see where it goes and also accepting of and approving of this turn in my path.

Not what I was expecting from a school focused on ‘warm and fuzzy.’

Nope.

I just happened to fall into the radical Freud camp.

Ha.

How the hell did that happen?

That is a rhetorical question.

One I am happy to leave unanswered and rather to rest happily in this new bit of self-knowledge.

Now might be the time to start talking to an advisor!

Well.

Maybe I’ll wait until I hand in my final paper for the class, I do have a few things to write before the end of the semester after all.

Ha.

 

 

There’s Carmen!

July 17, 2015

“I just wanted to let you know that’s been me hollering at you on the way to work,” she said with a laugh and patted me on the arm.

“I see you all the time and you wave, but I don’t think you know who is yelling at you,” her eyes twinkled and I laughed.

“That was you!”  I smiled, “I was wondering who’s been giving me the hello’s.”

It’s nice to be seen.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

Allowing myself to be seen.

“You have to know that whatever happens, you meet the love of your life at Burning Man,” I pushed my friend’s shoulder, “no, I mean it, that whatever happens, this is important.”

And it is.

And there was a lot more said, but I am not comfortable relaying all that here.

Suffice to say.

I am being seen.

And as for meeting the love of my life at Burning Man.

I already did.

It’s me.

I stopped Calling in the One when I realized that I was the Beloved and that I was the love of my life and no one will love me as hard or as well as I love me.

That being said, it’s a constant practice, a constant, not struggle, it’s not a struggle any more, it used to be; rather a concerted and continuous work of being kind to myself, taking care of myself, loving myself.

Letting myself express myself and be who I am.

I am many things and as I learn to be continually open to vulnerability and emotional connection in the very real and the very present time, I get to see how deep the damage has been in my life.

And.

How far I have come.

I mean.

Really.

I have made amazing strides in my life and to not acknowledge that is a kind of affront to the work I have put in.

It is not all work though.

I must have some fun in the mix.

For instance.

I had two unexpected cancellations for this Saturday.

I have to get some fun in my Saturday.

I do still have plans, I’m helping a friend with some stuff, but I have extra time on my hands to find a little fun for me.

Whatever that looks like.

Some fellowship, some cards, some pinball, a museum jaunt.

I would love to see the Turner exhibit at the DeYoung.

I keep hearing great things about it and I have not been to the DeYoung in a while.

I do have things I need to attend to, book gathering, loan deferment paperwork, cooking, et al, the stuff and routine of life.

A mani and pedi.

The small pleasures that I allow myself to have are important to the quality of my life.

Framing the Marilyn print from the MOCA and hanging the Diebenkorn up in my room.

I am negotiating a ride out to Cheap Pete’s in the Inner Richmond to get that together.

I’m navigating other rides too.

It does indeed look like I will get to have a little more summer vacation before the work, the study, the balancing act of what my life is going to look like come school start, begins.

I am currently in the planning stages of going to the Grand Canyon.

I have never been and I am over the moon excited.

My friend and I would leave on a Tuesday, July 28th and head to the North Rim and a secret special spot for camping that a friend of his knows about that is not heavily touristed.

There has been talk of Monumental Valley and Bryce Canyon as well.

To tell you the truth.

I know nothing.

I really have no conception of what is out there and what it looks like and what I exactly want to see.

Except.

I want a road trip.

I love the open road, I love seeing new things, I love the vista from the car seat, I love watching the sky scroll by, I love singing along to songs on the radio, I love putting my feet, bare feet, up on the console of the car and scrunching up in my seat and being just simply free, happy and content, and I love telling stories on the road.

There is just something so soothing and satisfying about it.

Plus camping?

Please.

Bring it on.

Campfires underneath the stars, country, out of the city for a while, back roads, which I suppose we won’t actually do if we are going to get in what my friend has suggested, there’s also been talk of Death Valley and maybe squeaking in the top part of Yosemite, not going into the valley itself but driving along Tioga Road.

Again.

No clue.

No conception.

I suppose I could google some images, but open road, is well, open road.

And I love me a road trip.

Plus, more time with my friend before the onslaught of school.

More being seen.

More being myself.

More allowing abundance and joy and fun and flexibility into my life.

“Joy of living is my principle today,” I said into the phone and smiled at the imprint of flower blossoms, pink and fat and truculent against the sky blue sky.

It might have been because I got a ride to work and that’s a treat.

It could have been that the weather was kind and sunny and inviting and I do so much better in the sun than out of the sun.

It could be that tomorrow is Friday.

Whatever it was I was going to enjoy it, to keep enjoying it and be as present as possible every inch of the way.

Even when it was hard.

“Hit Carmen! Hit Carmen!” The oldest brother instigated his brother in a game of, well, I can’t tell you what the game was, it was high energy though, and when I went to pick up the three-year old for our outing to the park I got hit, hard, in the face, brought to tears, this kid does not know his own strength.

“You,” I said to the five-year old, “to your room, five minutes, no talking.”

I pointed to the door and he fled.

I picked up the three-year old I had abruptly set down on the bed.

I looked at him.

He looked at me.

We saw each other.

His eyes got wide and teary.

“Please, please, please, don’t hit me,” I said to him.

Then I paused.

I could see he was about to get pretty upset and I wanted to be stern, but not too stern.

I wanted him to see me, to know that I was hurt.

I also knew that he would probably forget, as he did in about five minutes, and I would get smacked again (he’s in a phase, but I think it’s passing), but for the moment, in the moment we connected.

He saw me.

“I’m sorry Carmen, what can I do to make it better?”

Oh.

Out of the mouths of babes.

“I could use a hug, sweet pie.”

He gave me a hug and burrowed into my arms, then off we went on our adventure.

The grandparents accompanied us to the park for one last outing before they left on the plane today.

There was much digging of sand and pouring of buckets and shovels flying and dump trucks dumping and when that became mundane, there was grandma to push the swing.

And.

One sweet five-year old boy.

“Carmen,” he said plopping down next to me on the cement wall, “I just want to sit next to you and eat grapes.”

He leaned into me.

“I love you too much.”

Oh.

My heart.

Little pie.

I love you too.

I love hard.

I live hard.

I try hard not to be seen.

Yet.

There I am.

Being seen and allowing myself the freedom to be exactly who I am in the exact moment of whatever is happening.

It is an amazing gift.

Astounding.

This love.

Bright.

Sweet.

Tender.

All encompassing.

All the love.

All the things.

Snuggle Britches

July 16, 2015

“I need a snuggle,” I told my friend tonight.

“Are you coming over?”

That’s right.

I have a friend with benefits.

Cuddles that is.

I used to have “friends with benefits” and they were not of the snuggling sort.

I cannot tell you how good it is for me to be having this kind of intimacy.

The simple, sweet, intense, personal connection with a friend who holds your hand and listens to your stories.

Someone who likes listening to your stories.

Everyone has a story to tell.

But.

Sometimes I am just not interested in hearing it or vice versa.

The gift of having someone who is actually interested in what you are saying and wants to listen and you can talk to and happens to live in the neighborhood.

Well.

That is a gift.

A huge gift.

And it’s a new way of interacting for me.

The one who is always ready to jump into a romantic, fantasy, or otherwise, relationship with someone, its new behaivor,  a new way of acting and reacting, a new way of being.

I’m into it.

I am almost obscenely grateful for it.

Especially after the way I stuck my foot in my mouth with my friend last Friday.

We were able to amend the relationship and move forward and we’re still friends, if anything, it seems to have deepened and the relationship moves apace.

I may have even convinced him to go to Burning Man.

In fact, I hit up the list of campers that I am going with and asked if anyone had a spare ticket.

I have never, ever, ever asked for someone before.

And I have had a lot of folks ask me over the years.

Sometimes folks I don’t even know.

Last year I was getting hit up on my Instagram feed for tickets.

I was at the event a week and a half before it started and was posting photographs and complete random strangers were messaging me asking for tickets.

Please.

It was annoying.

And now I am that person.

But.

This person means a lot to me and there’s just something to showing a person who has never been what the event is all about.

Because it’s not about the party for either one of us.

It’s about the art, the experience, the people, the community.

It’s about love.

And I want my friend to see that.

Plus, as much as I don’t always care to admit it.

Burning Man, is for me, an indelible part of my being and person.

I really found a voice for myself and my authenticity within the community that I have only found in one other place and the two fellowships have become rather inseparable for me.

I am who I am because of Burning Man.

And I wouldn’t have been able to go to Burning Man without first being a part of my fellowship.

It all goes round and the two intertwine and overlap and I am grateful for the permeable membrane of love which allows the overlap.

I have my people in both camps and I want my person in this experience too.

So.

Yeah.

You got a spare ticket.

You hit me up.

I got a friend.

I got a lot of busy too.

I have not had the space at work to do some of my regular phone calls and check ins, because well, grandparent visit.

Which on one hand is great.

Who doesn’t want their lunch paid for, and their dinner for that matter?

I have eaten out frequently this week with the grandparents and that is fun.

On the other, at times, I feel alternately too superfluous, there’s so many adults to so many little people, and also busier than usual as I help prep and clean up and do household maintenance along with my nanny duties.

They’ve been here since last Thursday, tomorrow they leave and I will go back to my “normal” amount of work, which is still quite a lot.

The day does just fly by.

But any romanticized idea about being able to do work and school work, like I have had quite a few people suggest–oh you’ll just read while they nap.

No.

I won’t.

I take a break and they aren’t napping.

They have quiet time, but there’s no real quiet time for me.

Yes.

I have a chance to sit down and eat.

But.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen!” The youngest hollered down at me.

“I have to potty!”

He’s three.

Run up the stairs, hustle him into the bathroom, re-settle him, dash back downstairs, get a little more of my cup of tea in me, check an e-mail, think, but not actually do anything about what I am thinking because.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen!”

Jesus kid.

Ugh.

Run up the stairs, retrieve a pillow, re-settle him, dash around, find the stuffed husky dog, retrieve it, give back to older brother, go back downstairs, clean up the kitchen, organize snacks for afternoon adventure, with grandparents, to The Randall Museum’s little outpost in the Mission.

Side bar.

The Park and Recreations Department in the Mission on Treat Street between 20th and 21st is a jewel!

I had no clue it was there and not only is the building housing the Randall Museum’s Live Animal Exhibit until the renovations on the Cornona Heights facility are finished, it also has a large out-door play area/playground with a beautiful open air roof and trellised vines and flowers.

It is stunning.

Well loved, I think is the nice way to say it, and slightly run down, but stunning.

And a delight to find another resource for the boys in the Mission, that’s a little off the beaten track, quiet, and yes, has clean and very accessible bathrooms.

End sidebar.

I sit back down.

I watch the monitor.

The oldest boy is simultaneously practicing head stands on his bed and pulling down every single book on his shelves while the youngest has navigated all the laundry out of his hamper and placed it in a few choice spots that I will have to retrieve later, as well as pulling out the giant excavator from his closet, moving all the blankets from his bed to the top bunk on the bunk bed, to finally, yes, I kid you not, putting his pillow in front of the closed-door and taking his favorite stuffed cat, Meow Meow, and his blanket and falling asleep blocking the door to his room.

God.

I love these boys.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen!”

Yes.

“I need a snuggle.”

Me too, darling.

Now excuse me while I go take care of that.

It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day

June 18, 2015

It might be a damned tired day, but I suspect that I will be floating along three inches above the ground and won’t be feeling a thing other than elation.

I mean I am elated right now and I suppose it’s not the sort of feeling that will last night after night, day after day, but it feels right, right now and that’s the important thing.

Right.

The moment.

That one there when you get the message and he’s coming by and your entire body breaks out in a flush.

And no I’m not menopausal.

Just happy.

Excited.

Breathe.

Remember to breathe, that’s an important thing, that’s part of this too, being myself, utterly, with the heart on my sleeve or splayed across my chest, with my heart, there, just there.

And it’s ok.

It’s really ok.

I mean.

Fuck.

It’s better than ok.

It’s stupid.

I’m at a loss for words, who knew.

Come on lady pants, get the words out, you know a few, you have some at your command, it’s not like you haven’t written a blog before.

And I have written blogs in front of other people before.

Just not in my house with the man on my chaise who I want to spend as much possible time with, going slow, oh going slow, but spending time finding out about a person and also about myself.

What I stand for, who I am, how I show up.

I have to keep showing up, that’s the thing, I can’t stop the showing up and then the magic.

Oh hey.

It was like a curtain had been pulled up.

He was there.

In the corner of the room and I stopped, “do I know you,” and I touched his arm.

Was that just a few weeks ago?

How?

And then I think.

You know how, darling, you have always known how.

You were told years and years and years ago, but it take time and even when I say today, yes today, literally on the phone to my person who is working in New York and I won’t be meeting to do that thing that place there in the room over there in the basement/back room/nook of a church over there, on a folding chair with the smell of coffee char in your nose, which just means you’re home, it means comfort and ease and love and acceptance, to tell that person today on the phone.

“My principle is patience, patience for him, patience with myself, the patience to go slow and let things unfold, because there is no rush, there is no need to catch up to be anything other than myself.”

Here.

Now.

Complete.

I am always going to be growing I will always be seeking out the experience, the growth, I always want to be teachable, even when that means what I think is humiliation, the not knowing how to do something, the being a novice at a new thing, the falling down and stumbling and the looking stupid.

You know who was so ok with looking stupid?

Me.

Yeah.

That’s right.

I danced around my room to one of my favorite pop songs, and I don’t listen to pop songs, I don’t listen to popular music but there is a song or a series of songs that will get under my skin and Happy by Pharrell Williams is one of them, so yes, in front of this man, who is busy figuring out, on the chaise in the corner of my room if there is a way to get me down to LA next weekend to go to some museums with him.

(!!!)

Jesus.

Is that really happening.

It is.

Breathe.

There is nothing to do, but show up and write this blog and be me, and yes, dance around my room in front of a person that is a complete stranger, but then again, is not.

Is not.

How does that happen.

When you know.

And it fits and there’s that feeling.

Oh.

That’s a feeling that I cannot describe here, not fair to describe here and I get the scene in the Princess Bride when the grandfather is narrating the story to his grandson sick in bed and there’s the ellipses and suddenly the reunited scene with Buttercup and The Farm Boy, or now the fifteenth incarnation of the Dread Pirate Roberts, and the author drops the reunion scene.

How mad was I?

“Don’t ever tell about the first kiss,” he messaged me privately, “somethings are special, some things are sacred and when I think about what is in front of me I can see the sacred, the spiritual I can see how every step of the way from here to there was needed and necessary and every heart ache, break, and dent, and bloody vulnerable tear I shed in all those cafes in all those bedrooms, face pressed against the glass, the rain streaking the windows in the Victorian on Capp Street.

Or.

The top of the hill looking out over the bay and seeing the bridge and wondering where I was going and what I was doing and why.

Always the why.

“Why is not a spiritual question,” he said.

Silas said that.

Distracted.

I just got distracted and it’s nice.

I like this feeling.

I like that I am letting myself be seen.

It’s hard.

I’m hard.

I’m a walled little exuberant flippant, crazed, goof ball of a woman, I am over the top and I am ok with that, but I forget that it’s a device, it’s so that you can’t see how tender and vulnerable I am.

Which is why the blog, which is why the heart on the sleeve and the learning to wipe off the blood, sweat, and tears, and keep going, to let it all bleed out again, to be me.

To be me.

Exactly.

And yes.

I know this is a ramble Trollope of a blog.

But it’s so nice.

To be me.

To step fully forward, like the prow of a ship and be seen, flaws and all.

Imperfectly.

Perfectly me.

It’s all here.

And well.

I have to go.

I have things to be more vulnerable about.

Just not here in this forum.

But should you see me tomorrow.

I will be floating just a half-inch.

Or.

Three.

Off the ground.

That could be a problem since I’m already so freaking tall.

But fuck it.

When you’re happy.

Float.

Or

Dance.

But whatever you do.

Be you.

Sucking Brain Power In One Fell Swoop

May 29, 2015

Gone.

What was I doing?

Sipping tea, looking at photographs on my grandmother’s mantles and walls, hearing stories, trying to not think about the weird e-mail in my in-box about my financial aid for school that puzzled me to the point that I could not read it more than twice without closing the message.

I looked at it again this morning.

They need what?

I already have my FAFSA in.

The school already has my information.

What more do you need?

Some more stuff, some more things.

Oh.

That’s it.

That little button.

That fucking little button there took me changing my password, updating my information, having over five windows open on my screen, toggling back and forth, figuring out new security questions, for almost an hour.

At one point I thought, next they will ask me to stand on my head and and with my right hand point to the true North.

Ugh.

That was obnoxious.

However.

Another thing done in the small but steady range of  actions I am certain I will have to continue to take to get into school, let alone, well, um, school itself.

Actually.

School.

I believe, will be ok.

It’s the minutiae, the small stuff, the obvious stuff, that I don’t always get.

“There, water level, right in front of you,” my cousin pointed out the fountain water-spout.

I was mesmerized by the soda options.

When was the last time I had stood in front of a soda fountain machine?

Coke?

Cherry Coke?

Rootbeer?

Sprite?

All of it please.

In a really big cup with hella crushed ice and a dessert pizza on the side.

Hahahaha.

I had a cup of water and a “pizza salad” without the pizza part–my cousin didn’t realize that I don’t eat flour, or sugar for that matter–and had taken us all to the new popular pizza place down the road.

It smelled divine.

And truthfully, I was too overwhelmed with the sudden abundance of family and how to act and be polite and be me and not melt into the background.

Not that I wouldn’t stand out a little anyway.

Even without the hot pink hair.

“I like your style,” my friend texted, “you got flavor.”

Flavor.

Yup.

I’ll take it.

And I do.

My ex called it “quirky” and I argue, I am not quirky.

Quirky is Zoe Deschanel and kitten sweaters and argyle socks and well, not me.

I rebut quirky with girl has flavor.

“Chicks with visible neck tattoos and pink hair aren’t anything nuts to me,” he replied, “maybe in Iowa.”

Yet.

When I travel outside of San Francisco I do seem to get a little extra attention.

Although not always in a bad way, the TSA agent at the airport was excited by my hair, “awesome hair!”  He enthused and waved me through.

Where I got to find out that I had to sit in SFO for a bit longer than I thought.

My flight was delayed.

Ugh.

Although, as I sat in the terminal linked up to the internet sipping organic, cold pressed iced coffee and having just finished an organic Niman Ranch hamburger (no bun, no onion, no fries, thank you) with a side of, yes organic, mixed greens, I thought, hmm.

SFO.

Worse places to be delayed.

For sure.

The flight was delayed for weather.

That’s right.

Fog.

Carl the Fog was wrapping up the airport tight.

I wasn’t happy to be delayed, but it gave me a moment to look over the e-mail from the FAFSA people.

I still didn’t get it and I decided, not going to boot up my laptop and try to figure it out.

Sit back.

Sip the coffee.

Watch a video.

Then the fog lifted and I was up in the air and before I knew it the plane was descending through the blue skies, clear of fog, lots of sunshine, and low 70 degree weather.

I took off my sweatshirt.

I needed it on the way to the airport and I needed it on the plane, they do always seem so cold, even a short flight.

Sidebar.

Almost one year later.

My ankle hurts when flying.

It swelled up and got tender and I had to stand in the aisle for a while rolling it around and getting the blood flow going.

I really couldn’t believe it.

The last time I flew was December and it was pretty tight after that flight, and still it’s not fully healed.

I really didn’t believe the doctor when he said it would be 6-8 months and possibly a year before it was fully healed.

End aside.

The sun was shining, the fake boobs were on display.

I mean.

Whoa.

I realized as I watched a woman in a low-cut shelf tank top proudly displaying her assets, I am not in San Francisco anymore.

Granted I have not spent a lot of time in Southern California, but I did immediately see things that I have not seen in San Francisco (and I’m sure I have seen fake boobs in SF, I’m sure they exist, they’re probably just hidden under thirteen layers of clothing and a black hoodie and infinity scarf-every woman could have fake tits and I would never know), enhanced cleavage, spray tan or fake tan, blow outs, high platform sandals, skin-tight jeans/jeggings, I still stood out.

I probably always will.

But I have stopped being so concerned with how I look.

As stated previously, I dress for myself and to make myself happy.

And I was happy I got my stuff packed and on my way with no delay this morning.

I also remembered to wear my clogs so that I didn’t have to struggle with going through security.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the lounge waiting for the flight to board that I began to sense some side looks and stares.

And I realized that I usually do get them when traveling.

I have a moment or two of feeling singled out, then I thought, whatever, I’m a good-looking woman and who cares if I have pink hair and tattoos, they look pretty and I have flavor and so there.

Ah.

My brain is coming back, the FAFSA website has not won.

Now I can bring my mind back to hanging out in San Diego.

I’m ready for some more sunshine.

PS

As I am editing this blog, my grandmother came over and said, “your hair looks so pretty up like that, it looks like a flower.”

#winning

Valentine’s Day Eve

February 14, 2015

And I’m rocking out in my polka dot frock.

Sitting home on my Friday night with my hot cup of tea and some house music on the stereo.

Ready, I am, for the weekend.

I don’t mind so much that it’s Valentines Day tomorrow and all the ladies and lads in the land are traipsing about with flowers in hand.

Oh.

I had a moment or two.

A girl likes Valentines Day.

Even the bittersweet of not having a Valentine.

I love the colors and sparkle and the people who are dashing about with flowers or balloons in their hands.

I love seeing the different folks, who on a regular day I wouldn’t think are coupled up, go about with bouquets in their hands.

I just like flowers.

I take that back, I love flowers.

I only got them once in the last relationship.

I would like more of those please, in the future, note to all future dates.

Pink gerber daisies were the flowers my ex left for me on the seat of my scooter when I was still at work.

They were sweet, but a trifle too little too late and a bit too obligatory.

I got the impression that he felt he had to.

It was a significant day for me, a day that I was celebrating 10 years of sobriety.

The funny thing was, I would have rather have had his company that day, instead of the flowers left like an anonymous ghost of a relationship that was already a bygone.

I felt it was a big deal, that day,  big date, and on the other hand, it’s just another day, but a girl wants her significant other around for those days.

I really knew it was over at that point and it was just going through the motions.

I threw the flowers out a few days later.

I haven’t had any since.

It’s been four weeks.

One month.

The relationship was a little over two months.

Some say, who, how the hell do I know, but they, the infamous they, say, it takes half as long to get over the relationship as it took being in it.

That seems the case.

I am done thinking about it and willing to move on.

It may sting the next few times I bump into my ex but that’s going to fade and I know that it will and really, let me tell you, I’m tired about writing about him.

I will say I should trust my gut better the next time I pre buy a gift when I have doubts about a relationship.

I bought my ex a Valentines day gift the week we broke up.

Maybe, in hindsight, I might have been trying to out juju the Gods, make some magic happen, rub a little gold duck, and poof, the arrow Cupid shot would stay put.

Not fall out the other side, broken shaft and bloody feathers.

I saw it, the golden duck, and knew it was the thing to get.

My ex had a thing for rubber ducks and had quite a few, including a rubber duck tattoo.

So when I saw bronze duck with gold gilding I knew I had to get it for him, but I also heard the whisper in my heart that said, you know, you might not make it to Valentines Day.

And sure enough.

The relationship did not last.

The night we broke up, four weeks ago, around this exact time, I packed up a paper bag and handed him the two disposable razors I had bought him to have in the house, the two bottles of hazelnut creamer he liked, some other toiletries, and the duck.

I pulled it out and jokling callled it the parting gift.

I didn’t tell him that I had planned on giving it to him on Valentines Day.

I walked past the shop today where I bought it and I didn’t think of him.

I thought how happy I was in the sunshine in my polka dot halter dress and my hair up off my neck, I looked at my reflection in the store window and smiled at myself.

I look pretty.

I walked on, pushing the stroller to the park.

I had a date with two little boys and a very large container of bubbles.

I laughed out loud with joy and incredularity at my life.

It’s February, I’m in a sundress blowing bubbles in the park and the sun is warm and everyone is rushing about carrying flowers and I live in San Francisco and how amazing is it?

Beauty and love everywhere.

I don’t have to be coupled up to appreciate people showing each other love.

It’s sort of like Christmas or any other holiday, I can appreciate love and gifts and joy all year round, I don’t need a specifiic holiday to sanctify my feelings.

But.

That being said.

I still really enjoy witnessing the love around me.

The mason jars filled with sweetheart pink roses and the white spray of baby’s breath being sold on the corner, the accordian player at the cafe dressed in sailor’s strips and wearing red lipstick dancing with her beau while he played the harmonica, the men, old, young, everywhere, holding bouquets of tuber roses and carnations and lilies, the smiles on the women, the little girls with heart shaped red Valentines day balloons, the children at the playground with their paper bags decorated with pink and red and rose and white cut out hearts filled with candy hearts and valentines from school mates.

This may be the first time I felt so much love for a holiday that has been notoriously riotous and emotional for me.

I thought I might be sad and the truth is that I am not.

I am joyous.

Filled with love for myself.

Not that I need a holiday to celebrate my life either.

Not that I need to do the trite dance of being my own Valentine either, I just don’t have to try that hard.

I’ll be getting dressed up tomorrow, just like I do every other day of my life, for no particular reason other than it’s going to be a beautiful day to wear a dress and be pretty for me.

I may get myself flowers.

Or I may just wear flowers in my hair.

It is San Francisco after all.

And flowers are De rigueur.

 

I Am So Glad To See You!

March 28, 2014

The music teacher today exclaimed when she saw me and gave me a great big hug and smile.

It was day one of a new session of Music Together class.

My Thursday girl and I had been in another class, before rainy season, and despite not always being into it, I did get into the class.

That’s sort of the point.

You, the adult, get into something, sing, dance, get silly, exaggerate, and they, the child, learn from your example.

I forget that not every nanny is created equal.

I am a good nanny, sometimes a great nanny, and I get into things.

I dance.

I sing, off-key often, but I do sing.

And I get silly.

I also smile, which is really where it’s at.

Smiling.

There was a set of very precocious twin two-year old little girls–brown eyes, brown hair stacked into little doll house buns on their heads, straight bang cut, long eyelashes–running about the room who had not taken the music class before and they were shy with every one, except their mom.

And me.

I had them crawling around my lap and playing tickle and peek-a-boo and dancing.

I don’t really think about it, it’s just what I do.

After music class my charge and I went up to the front to get the prerequisite hand stamp–today’s was a kitty cat with cymbals–and the teacher repeated herself.

“Seriously, I am so relieved you are back, the class is so much more fun to teach with you and A_____ in class.”  She stamped both of my charge’s little paws and I showed her the video I shot of the little girl singing You Are My Sunshine, while playing the miniature guitar she got for her second birthday.

It’s nice to get acknowledged.

I got a lot of acknowledgement today, actually.

I was stopped last week on the side-walk with A______ coming back from the park and asked if I was a nanny, the mom had seen me with my set of boys the day prior in another neighborhood and wanted to hire me.

Then, today, another mom in the park, Alamo Square, came up to me.

Her little boy actually threw himself at my legs and hugged me as I chased A_____ around the grass and giggled like a mad hyena.

The best acknowledgement, however, came from my charge at lunch today.

“Carmen and A_______,” she said and swayed back and forth in her high chair, then she smiled at me and it just was the best little look.

“Are awesome together,” I said, “high-five,” and she smacked my paw with her wee small hand and tilted her head at me.

“I love you,” she said.

“I love you too, A______, very, very much,” I responded, “want more apple?”

Yup.

Then she napped for two hours.

Thank you God for little girls who take two-hour naps.

Really.

I read 79 pages in a new book, flipped through the latest Vanity Fair, drank three cups of tea, checked my e-mails, and meditated.

I actually dozed off a little at the end of my meditation.

“Naptation” is my word for it.

It’s unbelievable when it happens and really wonderful.

Nannying is not all sunshine and naps and music class, there’s a lot to navigate, but I am constantly being reminded that I do it really well and that I am sought after and I get to get paid to do something that makes my heart swell up.

As my charge and I were walking up to the park after her two-hour nap, holding hands, pulling crackers, magically, out of my pocket, singing songs, and looking for butterflies, I was amazed again to have this little life in my hands.

I always get protective at intersections and I lifted her up in my arms and she told me that she loved me again and I responded in turn and I don’t even think about how I haven’t worked more than one day a week with this little girl for the last five months, and she loves me and I her.

I fell for her months ago and I have gotten the I love you months back to, but it’s always so good to hear.

Especially when they say it when you are leaving.

Most of the time the focus is on the parent who has just gotten home, as well it should be, but to hear it as I close the door to their home and haul my bike up on my shoulder to ride off into the Sunset, literally, I ride to the Sunset from work, I carries me forward through the wild rush hour traffic and into the next phase of my day.

“Bye Carmen, I love you.”

Not a bad way to end a day of work, I must say.

Tomorrow I have one little guy up in the Castro, then the weekend.

A weekend I was hoping would include a snuggle fest and some movies, but the schedule is not permitting–his and mine.

I may be waiting until next week.

So it goes.

Things aren’t always on my schedule or time line, but when they are supposed to be, they work out and I don’t have to fuck around and manipulate them to get the results I want.

I did have a wild hair of a moment trying to figure out how I could make Saturday work, but there is absolutely no getting out of the three different women I am meeting, one at noon, another at six p.m., another at 7p.m. and then my 8:30p.m. commitment.

Nope.

I get love there too and I can’t let that go.

The snuggle fest will happen.

More love will happen.

More happy will happen.

I just have to show up for what’s happening today and know that love, well, it’s everywhere I look.

I don’t have to make it happen at all.

I just get to show up and be me.

Silly, off-key, giggly, colorful me.

Authentic me.

 

Thank You For Wearing Flowers In Your Hair

January 16, 2014

She said to me this evening as I was leaving the neighborhood to hit Irving Street and play defensive bicyclist trying not to die so you can find a parking spot.

“They really suit you, I can’t get away with it,” she concluded.

“Thank you,” I said and smiled.

It is San Francisco.

Here, as the song goes, of all places, I am allowed to wear flowers in my hair.

Even hot pink roses with glitter on them.

What it felt like I was being complimented on was being myself.

Whenever someone comments on a colorful outfit or a bright pattern, or an interesting hair do, flowers, sequins, feathers, anyone?

I always feel that I am being told, thank you for being you.

That by allowing myself the freedom to express my personality, I give permission to others to do so as well.

I could be reading too much into that, but that is what it feels like and I am more than happy to oblige.

I like this me.

“She gets more and more glamorous!” My grandmother told my mother recently.

My grandmother on my father’s side who is a Facebook friend.

My mother and she re-united recently, first through the post then over the phone.  That was news I wasn’t expecting.  It was also some news of my father whom I have not heard from in sometime, news that he is still up in Alaska and well, still alive.

Sometimes I feel that I won’t get to see him again, but in the wake of all the family reconnecting I have gotten to have I won’t make any sort of assumption.

There was a time that I never thought I would see my mom or my sister again, so who knows what may happen with my dad.

I would love to see him.

Even if just to hug him and say, hey, I love you, you did the best you could, and I am pretty awesome.

Just check out all the geegaws in my hair.

Ha.

Individuality, despite my wanting to fit in and be accepted by my peers, is a huge thing for me.  I like to be different, to try, to stretch, to be fabulous.

Then, I think, ha, part of my peer group is the Burning Man community, I fit right in just fine.  Fact, most the time I am not the most crazily dressed, but I do take care to express myself and I like pretty.

I do.

I like girly.

Who knew?

I could keep writing about this and if I’m not careful I will be pulling out my crinoline to rock around the park tomorrow with my little girl Thursday.

Which, when I think on it for a minute would be awesome.

She has a black tulle crinoline with little black sequins on the edges.

I could wear my white one and we can play dress up.

Or.

Heh.

I could wear my bibs, which is what I think I am going to wear, especially since she has a pair and we can play twins that way.

If my career as a nanny doesn’t take off I can always be a child stylist.

Bahahahahaha.

Actually, I bet that is someone’s job.

I mean think of all the commercials out there with children in them, I bet there are folks that do just that, style kids.

Hmmm.

Well, for the moment, I am not looking for work, having accepting the nanny career in an unstinting manner.

“How old are they?” She asked me at the park as one crawled over the other and zipped down the slide.

“He’s twenty-two and a half months, and he’s eleven and a half months,” I said pointing out each of the boys.

“Oh my, did that hurt?” The woman asked looking quite alarmed.

“Huh?” I said, then realizing what she meant I laughed, “oh no, they’re not mine, I am their nanny.  I do a nanny share with the boys.”

The boys.

Oh, such lovers, such pumpkins, such non-nappers.

Ugh.

I couldn’t be upset though, the snuggles, the hugs, the kisses, I missed my little guys when I was down in Florida.

And should you have seen me showing off the photographs of the two of them and the little girl I care for as well; you would have thought I was the grandparent at the retirement village.

It was a great day with the boys and I loved being out in the weather.

I know we need the rain, but man, I couldn’t get enough of that warm sunshine on my face.  In fact, there was a cold front moving into Florida when I left and it was warmer here than it was in Orlando today.

That is saying something.

I got the sweetest message from my mom and I thought again how glad I was to have made the trip.  Glad as well to know that I have a few things I want to send back to my family, things that you can only get in San Francisco.

Coffee for my mom from Philz.

It turns out the last time she was here and I took her to Philz that it was the best cup of coffee she had ever had.

I had not known that, so I asked if she would like some Philz coffee sent to her and she would.  So, I will send a little care package to her.  In fact, I will do that this Friday.

I am going to be in the Castro nannying in the afternoon and there’s a Philz nearby.  I will grab her a pound and send it off.

There are a few other little things I want to send my sister and her family too.

Nice to know that I don’t have to wait for Christmas to send love.

I can just do it because it feels nice to give things.

Whether it is the freedom to express yourself or express your love.

It’s all a great big gift.

Thank you for acknowledging my flowers, it makes me happy to make you happy.

And who doesn’t like pink satin and glitter anyways?


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