Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

Get Your Sexy On

March 26, 2017

That’s what it felt like today.

When I wasn’t in tears.

I was in this interesting back and forth between working it and being worked over.

I went to yoga and had a really great class, my favorite teacher was teaching and he may start offering some more classes at the studio, at times I could make, so I don’t have to obsess about doing more yoga while I’m doing yoga.

I felt soft and strong in my body and I had a very open moment as I was finishing the class in the final meditation where I just felt some heart opening and some letting go of old, old, old wounds.

I think I moved through the world with that awareness today, both tender and beautiful, open and sore, alive, and sad, awed and in wonder.

I felt in my body and confident and sexy.

And I found out today that a man who I have always found drop dead sexy gorgeous has found me attractive too.

What?

And.

Of course he’s not really available to me at the moment, but fuck, it was really awesome information to get.

It means that my instincts are pretty spot on.

In fact, my instincts are so much better than I give myself credit for that I am really seeing that I am, in fact, my problem.

I was talking with a friend earlier about a coffee date I have tomorrow and how I wasn’t sure if the guy was really interested, and where’s the follow through, and…

“You know, I hear you say that a lot, like, the guy is interested, wants to hang out but doesn’t set a time, I hear this a lot, and…”

Ugh.

And yeah, I know, I have to say something, I have to be the confident one.

And confidence is sexy and God only knows how badly I want to be sexy.

Psst.

Hey lady.

I hate to break it to you, but you are sexy, just stop shooting yourself in the foot.

Don’t bother with vague, be assertive, if someone says “hey, let’s hang out,” or “we should hang out sometime,” nail them to a time.

I don’t have the patience or bandwidth to dilly dally around.

I will always be busy, that is the nature of who I am.

There will always be something in my life, because I don’t wait around to live, I go out and do things.

Except date, I’m not so great at that and it’s because I am in fear.

Fear of not getting what I want and fear of getting what I want.

So.

I am vague, I don’t say what I need, I dance around.

Fuck that.

I am confident.

Well.

Ha.

Obviously not always, but thinking or acting like I’m not a hot tamale is asinine.

I am gorgeous, I sound like an asshole, but I don’t often affirm my attractiveness as I have been classically trained like many women, to deny myself, my beauty, my authority as a sexy creature, as someone worthy of being pursued.

When I down play myself, I actually de-value my worth and I wall up and I get cold and then, well, fuck, who would want to ask me out?

I remember an ex-boyfriend telling me once that he was very surprised by my lack of self-confidence, “I feel like I am constantly having to ‘piss on my tree’ you are always being stared at, and you have absolutely no clue.”

Of course not, because I won’t be safe then.

But I’m not safe anymore in my bubble of self-dom, dancing alone in my room when I should be, could be, ought to be dancing in someone’s arms.

So.

Fuck it.

Fake it until I make it.

I’m not going to get back on dating apps or sites or any of that happy horse shit.

But.

I am going to get a hell of a lot clearer and more direct with men.

The next time a man says we should hang out, I’m going to ask when, give a time I’m available and say let’s make a plan.

Because this sexy beast is worth making a plan for.

I have had a lot of friends advocate for this sexiness and God forbid I waste it, I only have this life to live and I am not going to live it with regrets.

I have made many leaps of faith in my life.

Moving to Paris to turn 40.

Quitting a highly paid nanny job to go work in a bike shop.

Traveling by myself to London, Rome, New York.

Moving to San Francisco with a 2 month sublet, $2,000 in savings and no job.

Fuck.

The biggest leap of all.

Getting sober.

If I can do that, I can ask for what I want from a man and a date.

Yes, yes I can.

I have the power.

It’s not mine.

It’s Gods

And if you think that’s crazy, that’s ok.

God is a sexy beast too.

Like to like.

I always say.

My instincts are just fine.

How could they not be?

They are God-given.

Seriously.

Time to unleash myself from my own fear and shame shackles and get the fuck on with my life.

God did not mean for me to be alone and it’s my own fear that’s keeping me that way.

I’m over it.

Ready for the next phase of my development.

Bring it the fuck on.

This PSA, FYI, is not brought to you by my hormones.

Thank you very much.

Just my own personal reality check.

With a little help from my friends.

Thank you friends.

I couldn’t do this without you.

Thanks for having my back when I was too afraid to.

My heart is open.

My eyes are clear.

My sexy is definitely back.

Watch out.

 

 

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And Then There Was Hail

January 24, 2017

Holy shit was there hail today.

It hailed at least three, four times today.

Hard.

The first was this morning writing and drinking a nice coconut/almond milk latte and thinking about my week and trying to not freak out about school and practicum and stuff.

Trying being the operative word.

What if I sent in a fucked up resume?

Why would he want me?

I don’t want to deal with it anymore.

And I’ve only begun to deal with it.

Then the hail.

Rather jolted me from my place of anxiety.

Oh yeah.

There is only so much I can do today and the most important is to get to work on time and yes, I’ll be taking a car please and thank you.

I took a few deep breaths and yes, I know there is plenty to do, but in that moment, this morning, I had done all I could and it was time to leave.

Slip into the new rain boots.

And really I am astounded at myself for not getting them sooner.

“Your feet are big!” My employer exclaimed.

And I laughed.

Yes, they are big, especially in comparison to her tiny tootsies, but I wasn’t offended in the least, I think that’s a big part of why I never got rain boot before, they make my feet look astoundingly huge.

But who cares?

My God, they keep my feet warm and dry.

And they give me an excuse to pull out all of my tall socks that I normally don’t wear except when I’m in boots at Burning Man.

I have been happily pillaging my sock drawer for the last few days.

I am almost sad to see the rain go.

Almost.

I am hella happy that I will be back on my scooter tomorrow.

It just guts my commute time.

I am very ready for that.

Plus.

It’s cheaper.

I mean, even cheaper than MUNI.

I pay less in gas that lasts me days then for one ride on the trains.

Granted I am grateful for those trains.

I rode one home tonight after dinner with a friend who was celebrating a birthday.

It was a surprise being able to make it, but I am glad I did.

It was good to catch up and have company and talk and hang out.

I am trying my best to say yes when people want to spend time with me.

I went out to tea yesterday.

I went out to dinner today.

Not too shabby.

I did the deal and had a great time there too.

Sometimes everything that I hear is everything that I need to hear.

It was good.

So good.

Everything today was good.

Even getting caught outside with my two charges and getting caught in a horrendous down pour and hail drop.

Thank God we were huddle under a couple of the big palm trees by Mission Dolores High School, the trees gave a bit of shelter and we all were in rain boots and jackets and I had my umbrella, but there was nowhere to go, it was stay put, huddle up and keep the wee ones close.

The crazy hail stopped and we dashed to Dolores Park Café.

Animal crackers and mini pizza for them.

A big café au lait for me.

And a sweet message from the mom and dad, “where are you, we’re coming to pick you up.”

So nice.

We did some puddle stomping before we got picked up.

Nothing says good times like stomping puddles with little ones in rain boots.

Stupid fun.

We got back and played with robots and stuffed dogs and chatted and I am happy to say that I am super glad that I am working this job.

I feel appreciated and though the kids occasionally have a hard time, Monday’s are traditionally hard anyway, by the end of the day we were best pals again.

The dad and I took pictures off the back porch of the rainbow, double rainbows, that happened after one of the hails storms.

The mom and I rescued a hummingbird that had bashed into the sliding glass door of the patio.

The six and a half-year old gave me the “huggies” because he missed me.

The four and a half-year old vehemently defended me to her play time fancies when her brother tried to ensorcell me to the Legos.

It was a good day at work.

It was a good day for easy does it and letting me be enough.

I tried to explain to my friend how it was that it had taken 14 years of rainy season before I got rain boots and it really comes down to that, “I’m not enough, I’m not worthy, rain boots are an extravagance.”

And the truth is that nothing that brings me happiness and warmth is an extravagance.

I mean.

Maybe if I got like fur-lined rain boots, but no, the things that I deny myself sometimes because of that unconscious belief that I am just not allowed for not being enough.

It’s good to see it.

It’s even better to have accepted it.

It’s there, it’s a part of my make up.

And.

The best thing is that with that acceptance I was and am able to now take actions that help me see just how enough I actually am.

I am plenty enough.

There will be times when I forget this, but having accepted that it is a basic part of my make up I can take action to alleviate the symptoms of martyrdom when it trips me up.

Nobody is going to be affected by my lack of rain boots.

Except me.

I won’t be going without again.

It’s too lovely to have dry feet.

And I am allowed that.

Probably.

Most certainly.

A whole lot more.

But for today I will be happy that my boots kept me dry in the crazy last gasp of this winter storm.

Tomorrow there is the sun.

I am ready for it.

And I’m sure my rain boots won’t mind a break.

Shit.

I live in San Francisco.

They will see action again.

Serious action.

I am sure of it.

 

Wound Up

October 22, 2016

Just a little bit.

Just probably because it’s Friday.

Another school night.

No going out tonight.

But I’m feeling it.

Friday night.

I had class today and saw my best girls today and connected and reconnected with them.

I told them what was going on in my life and it felt really good to say all the things and talk about it and have good perspective from them.

Especially my darling French friend.

“You see, this is why I don’t read your blog!” She exclaimed as we sat and shared over lunch.

I cried a few times.

Frustration.

It is real.

But.

I also felt seen and loved.

“No, Carmen, there’s no figuring it out and you don’t need to change, you are perfect, maybe it really is just San Francisco,” she added, “maybe it is just timing.”

I know that.

But you see.

I fell into an unavailable man-hole and it ate me alive for a few days.

There’s still imprints of it all over me and I’m ok with it now that I have had some time to do some writing and some talking and some sharing.

So unavailable.

So sexy.

So can’t even begin to make it work.

I could give a laundry list of reasons.

But to sum up.

Married.

And.

Oh.

Doesn’t live in San Francisco.

Fantastic!

Fuck me.

“I’m not concerned with that,” he told me, when I finally, tearfully, called my person earlier this week, letting the cat out of the bag, and said, hey, um, I need to talk to you about something.

“I’m more concerned with the married part,” he said, “and that’s the part you get to focus on.”

Yes.

The being attracted to someone who I cannot be with, that part.

Oh, like I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

Fuck me.

“He has bright eyes,” she said as I showed her the photograph, “there is something very compelling there, he is handsome.”

Yes, yes he does…

Yes, yes, he is.

And he sees me in a way that is so flattering, so seductive, so unbelievable that it makes me feel like, woman hear me roar.

Except.

He’s married and doesn’t live in San Francisco.

I keep going back to that.

It doesn’t matter that there’s the sexy connection, it doesn’t matter.

In the end I can only fantasize and well, that doesn’t serve me.

I want flesh and blood.

I want sweat and hand holding.

I want a person I can hold on to and who can hold onto me.

I want.

I want.

I want what I want when I want it and I want it now.

“Now” is never going to happen.

And I also deserve to have it.

The huge love, the thunderous applause of blood in my face, the arch of light in my eyes, the smothering of kisses on my face.

I want it all.

And so.

I shut it down.

I shut it down hard.

There was no consummation, FYI, not that it’s any of your business anyway, but there was enough there to know that it could happen if we were in the right place at the right time and the right moment.

Except.

Well.

Er.

Fuck.

I also have a living amends to not have sex with married men.

So, um yeah.

It didn’t happen.

And it’s.

Not going to happen.

So stop the fantasy, stop the playing out all the possible solutions in your head, stop trying to figure it out.

“You know, your blog is only a sliver of you too,” she added, leaning in, “in France this is not such a big deal.”

“Oh, I hear you and it’s not that, really so much,” I said in response to a question she had regarding the nature of the relationship, “it really is the married and lives in another town problem.”

And.

Also, “he’s put you on a pedestal,” she said, “but yeah, it is so good for the ego, so sexy.”

So good.

I mean.

Fuck.

It’s really nice to be seen.

Even if I’m not seen fully, here in my messy end of the day braids and helmet hair, my silliness as I dance around the room, in my sadness, in my humanity.

Nope.

I’m not fully seen.

But the intoxication of being even just a little seen.

Well, that is thrilling.

And.

Ha.

Intoxicating.

But, yes, ultimately, it’s a dead-end street for me.

I am grateful for the experience, wild with the gratitude, the gifts of perspective and how fast it happened, the flirtation arose, it was, well, flirted with, then I got to put a stop to it.

And get to really is the gift.

It was hard.

But with some support I did it and now I get to move on, into the light of whatever new day, new date, new man is out there waiting for me.

The deck is cleared.

“No, it is not dating for you that I want,” she said and paused.

“I want for you the grand passion, the coup de foudre, la grand amoureuse.”

Yes.

Thank you.

My darling friend for saying it.

I want that too.

And though I did feel struck by lightning when it all came out, it was lightening in the distance.

The rumble of a storm brewing, a passion to end all passions.

But on the other side of the world.

And I am here.

Now.

In this moment.

In San Francisco.

In my little studio down by the sea.

Ready.

Available.

Not trying to fix or change or be someone or something other than who I am.

Maybe it is San Francisco.

Maybe it is that I have had a habit of being attracted to men who aren’t available or attracted to me.

Although this was not the case, the man is attracted, oh my.

OH MY.

And attractive.

But again.

Not here.

Not available.

Ultimately.

Not for me.

I also think, or have been thinking that though I have had opportunities, I have also sabotaged and defended myself from possible, or probable hurt, I have been hurt, I don’t want to be hurt again, but I can withstand the pain of being hurt in a way that I didn’t believe or know that I could.

Safety is not the issue anymore.

I am settled in my skin.

I have done the work, and though of course, there is more work to do.

I am capable of being present and available.

And.

I am so excited to see what happens next.

It’s going to be amazing.

I have faith.

It really.

Is going to be.

Amazing.

I feel it.

Seriously.

 

The Good, The Bad

April 9, 2016

The grad school.

It was a tough day.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, literally.

In deep REM sleep.

I cannot remember the last time I woke up from that kind of REM and I couldn’t remember my dream.

It dissolved on my tongue like soft hazy fog, there, but not there, and it left a bitter coating in my mouth, a kind of taste I could not quite get off my palate.

A longing to go back to bed may have just been the crux of the desire and really, I did wake up on the wrong side of the bed, not the side I normally wake up on and it, the day, felt off, as I unconsciously hit my snooze button instead of the alarm off button.

Hmm.

REALLY?

You never hit snooze.

But.

I had a general dread about going into the day.

I couldn’t pin it right away, but I have since, and suffice to say I am grateful for the TA’s and the professors and the holding space they create for us as we move through the learning of how to become therapist.

I am in the client in this round of the semester and I don’t feel comfortable.

And.

This is ok.

As I wrote about in one of my papers, I am hyper self-aware of what is going on for me and what is up for me, or not up for me.

I had a little mini-break through in regards to some work stuff, but I would have come to that on my own without the dyad work.

However.

I came to realize that I say yes a little more often than I should be with my family and work environment.

I am all flexible when it comes to accommodating the families needs, but hey, oops, some of my needs, especially as I am coming out of a long school weekend, are not being met.

Not by a long shot.

I reflected and realized that I can say, “hey, let me get back to you on the scheduling,” instead of just saying yes in a blanket statement.

Sure, no problem, I can totally do that for you.

Oh, hey lady, do you realize that you just messed up your recovery schedule and your new yoga practice in one fell swooping yes?

Fuck.

I self-sabotaged the hell out of myself without even realizing what I was doing.

Ah.

But I did realize.

And I am practicing acceptance and the action will come.

I can pause.

I can reflect.

I don’t have to answer right away.

There is no emergency.

Ah.

All the learning.

So much.

My brain feels a little full and I am glad that I took some nice measures for myself today.

I took the N-Judah into class tomorrow and realized that I don’t want to do that again, despite the train getting me to my destination on time I spent most of that time, over a half hour, standing on the train and I was wedged in weird and my right knee has been tender all day for the stress I put on in in the awkward position I was in.

In fact.

Pause.

Go get the ibuprofen.

There is no need to suffer and it feels a little inflamed.

Excuse me, be right back.

Much better.

I did not enjoy the experience and I took a car home after class today.

Faster, yes, a bit pricey, but fuck it, I deserve to let myself have an out after a long week.

I mean, really.

It’s been a long week and there is no end in sight.

I have two more days of classes and then back to work.

Ok.

Actually.

There is an end in sight, it’s called Monday afternoon.

And the get together with my playa family has been cancelled.

Side bar.

I got my new holster for the event and it rocks!

Happy to come home to a little gift to myself.

And one of my cohort friends and I made the decision to go and have an adventure, and it will be a kind of celebration too, end of our first year of the masters program in Integral Counseling Psychology at The California Institute for Integral Studies.

Yes.

We are going to go the Steam Punk Masquerade Ball at NIMBY in Oakland on May 14th.

I went last year with a couple of girl friends and had a ball, and danced my ass off.

I’ll wear my new holster.

That makes me smile to think of that, hanging out with my Burning Man people and celebrating with my friend.

End side bar.

There will be time.

There will be pause.

There will be a fucking break.

I’ll have a day and a half off.

I will yoga it up.

I will sleep in.

I will wander around and take a walk on the beach or go to the DeYoung.

I will take care and take respite and I will be ok.

I am ok now.

Really.

There is no emergency, there is no drama, everything is going to be alright, because it already is.

I don’t feel all that surprised by the day and the classes and how I felt going in and the day was a sort of confirmation of some of my fears and also a way through the work and a lot of gratitude for the fact that I have already done so much of the work.

SO MUCH.

And I’m not talking grad school.

I am just talking about me, myself, my life, my journey.

That sounds like I am something to fix, I keep doing this work, but it is rather getting adjusted and making fine, small, tunings that help me stay inline, on the path, moving forward.

In that movement, I can find rest.

I can allow for reprieve and as I see myself having bowed down to the needs of the family before the needs of the nanny, I can act with a little kindness and compassion for myself.

I am doing the best I can and learning as I go.

Sometimes I have to re-experience something to get the full affect.

I’m not saying old behavior, because it’s happened, so it’s current behavior.

What is new for me is to accept that I did it and that I have options in the future.

I don’t have to think about it more tonight.

I made it through my first day of classes for my second to last weekend of my first year of graduate school.

I know.

That’s a bit of a tongue twister.

But.

I’m showing up and doing it.

I turned in two papers and I have done all the reading for the weekend.

I participated in every class and got back some really awesome comments on one of the papers I wrote for my Multi-Cultural class.

I am pleased.

A little tired.

And ready for a cup of tea.

And yes.

Some Project Runway Allstars.

Please people.

The lady needs to decompress.

Heh.

 

 

Smacks!

March 11, 2016

$0.99

That is cheap!

I mis read the sign as the car turned onto Laguna Honda.

It reads “snacks” but I thought smacks was pretty appropriate for San Francisco.

I sort of want to smack my own head.

I realize I am going to have to ask for some help with my paper formatting.

I have a dear friend in my cohort, so dear, she’s coming to pick me up in the morning so I don’t have to take a car into class–damn it rain, ease it up–who has some software that I can use to format my papers in APA style, but I haven’t figured out how to get it onto my computer.

So.

Help.

It must be had.

I suspect, no, I know, I know, and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn, one of the courses is a pass/fail class and yes, I know it’s graduate school, but without having to have an assigned grade I’m sort of like, I don’t give a fuck that it’s not entirely properly formatted.

It’s well fucking written.

It gots a title and stuff.

Bah.

I knew this was going to come up and I just haven’t dealt with it.

I have less urgency this semester, but I also have good habits and I’m pretty much done with all my reading and the two papers I wrote are well written, insightful, and dare I say, informed.

They are just not entirely formatted in the proper manner.

I think between the two of them, there half of what needs to be done, and I have to say I just don’t care.

This may actually be a breakthrough for me.

I made the executive decision to print them off and I’m going to turn them in and I will let both my professors know that I will be getting my APA ass together and the rest of the papers will be properly formatted.

I mean for the perfectionist in me this is a big deal.

There is a grand part of me that is horrified that I have done them exactly right and another part of me that’s totally like, fuck it man.

I wrote them.

Hand them in and move on.

Of course I may change my mind after writing my blog.

The evil nagging voice in me that says, oh, ho, you got time to blog and you went to yoga class today and you were on Tinder, you better get your fucking ducks in a row and write those papers correctly.

Fuck.

Yeah.

Knowing me that’s pretty much what is going to happen.

I don’t like turning something in when I know better.

Ignorance is not really bliss, but knowing that you’re purposely not doing something because you don’t want to deal, well, um, that’s just being childish.

The work is work and I want to show that I am willing to play ball with the big kids.

I mean, my biggest annoyance in class is when a fellow student is being distracting talking or watching something on their lap top that has nothing to do with class.

If I expect others to approach this with seriousness, I suppose I should too.

And I do.

I have done the work, it’s just not up to 100%.

Not that everything is ever going to be perfect.

I can’t aim for perfection, it’s too much responsibility.

However.

I can aim for doing my best and these two papers, with a little tweeking will be better.

Sigh.

Yeah.

I know.

I’ll be doing some more homework after I finish this blog.

But hey.

At least, like I said, I’m getting a ride into school tomorrow.

That’s really nice.

Plus it will be nice to have extra time with my friend.

She’s not in the city, she’s one of the students that come in from out of town.

That still amazes me that so many of the people in my cohort commute in from other cities and states and countries.

My cohort has a man that flies up from Mexico, another from Miami, Fl.

These people are putting in the effort.

I can too.

And despite a longing to go to bed at a proper hour to get the right amount of sleep, I never do fall right off the night before my first day back into a weekend of classes.

I just don’t.

I have laundry in the dryer I’ll deal with.

My lunch and dinner is packed though, coffee ready, tea, all the little things that are nice to have when the day is long and the classes stretch out before me.

Grateful that I get to be in graduate school.

It is a gift.

I’ll get the papers done right and let myself off the hook.

No one is more of a critic than I, but I do suspect one of my professors will have a bit to say if I don’t format the papers correctly according to the standards she’s outlined in the syllabus and her class is not pass/fail, but is in fact given a letter grade.

I do participate a great deal in the class, as I do in all my classes, but half my grade will ride on papers, so I do want to be turning in well heeled papers.

It’s midterm.

I can hardly believe that.

I am half way through, or on the eve of being so, my second semester of my first year.

This is happening.

“You are aware that you have to fulfill a lot of hours after your program, aren’t you,” my date last night mentioned as he shifted in his chair, pushing his glasses far up his nose.

Are you aware that you are two inches shorter than your profile?

Oops.

Ha.

Um.

“Yes, I am, but you know, I’m only going to get older and I’m ok with the amount of work that I need to do, anything worthy having is worth working for,” I replied and smiled.

Because I am a worker.

I do the job.

I get’er done you know.

I am grateful for the work ethic.

It does sometimes mask a need to keep me busy so that I can’t possibly have time to feel my feelings, but for the most part, it is a defect that still serves.

I suppose at some point it won’t.

But.

For today, for graduate school, I’ll keep it for a tiny bit longer.

That being said.

I’ve made my 1,000 words for my blog–my unspoken goal for all my blogs–and I am going to edit this and proof it quickly and publish.

Leave myself a little time to go back over those two papers and put them together with some proper care.

Once more into the breach my friends.

Once more into the breach.

It’s Already

December 1, 2015

That time.

I register for second semester classes tomorrow!

What the hell?

How did that happen so quick?

I will say one thing about this whole going to school and working (nearly) full time, the time, it goes fast.

I don’t have to register tomorrow, I have until the 3rd of January; however, I am one of those folks who just likes to get it done now.

In other words.

A perfectionist.

I’m a perfectionist and I am aware of it and I am aware that it is a defense mechanism that I employ to feel safe.

It rarely works.

That’s ok too.

I can see it, which is the biggest thing.

Awareness.

Acceptance.

Action.

Like I am very aware that I don’t have to write the 5th paper for my Human Development class; however, I have been outlining the reading as I go along in case I change my mind and decide to really get a solid A in the class.

At the moment of the four papers I have turned in, we only need to write 4, the fifth is an optional paper that we can drop, I have a B, an A, and an A+ I figure the fourth paper will probably be an A as well and combine that with my participation in class and what I am assuming will be an A for my final project, I should get an A for the class.

And yet.

Here I am making notes like I might just write that fifth paper.

Just in case.

Just in case what, I have no idea.

Just to give my head a little something to worry about?

I like to keep busy, but I don’t need to make unnecessary work for myself.

So.

In a very small voice.

With the option to change my mind.

I am declaring that I will not be writing the 5th Human Development paper.

Sigh.

Let go Carmen.

I have plenty of other places I need to focus on anyhow.

I will finish the reading for all my classes in the next day or two and then I will start the final project for Human Development.

I am not going to worry.

I am not going to stress.

I say this without totally believing myself, but I say it in the spirit of being ok with myself if I do.

The thing about accepting my perfectionism and accepting myself when I fall into it.

It really has so much to do with fear.

Fear I’m not enough, you won’t love me, I’m unlikable, unlovable, you’ll abandon me, if I can make things perfect you’ll stay, so let me fix things the way you want them so I can protect myself and not get hurt.

And you wonder how it is that I chose being a therapist as a career path.

Ha.

Knowing this doesn’t necessarily change the defect.

Doing the work around it does and I have done a lot, I mean A LOT, of work on this.

Of course, I suspect there will be more.

And I am ok with that too.

It was helpful today that I also got to talk with two of my best friends in the world and re-connect and then run into another friend this evening after work who wants to go out to dinner one of these nights, I have no idea when, but maybe, and it just was good.

Good.

To hear my friends voices and to be heard back and to tell them how much I loved and missed them.

One of my friends I may get to see this week and that makes me a very happy lady.

I realize too that it’s the last day of November.

Christmas season is upon us and the month will pass quickly.

I am already booking up and it’s not even begun.

I was also trying to figure out if I want to do something for my birthday, which falls on the 18th of December, one week before Christmas, two days before I fly out to Paris.

I will be working that day.

I worked it last year as well.

I went out to a dinner with my ex-boyfriend.

I didn’t like the restaurant and my ex hadn’t wrapped my gift and it was not something I wanted or that fit, it was horrifyingly too big, and I think.

I would like to not have that experience again.

I would like to do something, but it is notoriously difficult to gather folks the week before Christmas to do something.

Every one has plans.

Every one.

I’m remembering my birthdays in SF and the one in Paris.

There was my 30th birthday party, a surprise party for me, at Casanova on Valencia Street.  My room mates, who I had only known for a few months, threw me a surprise party and invited 30 people to the party.  How I even knew thirty people after only being here a couple of months still blows my  mind.

The next year I was working at Hawthorne Lane and we went to Delfina for dinner.  Lots of wine.  Lots of fancy food.  Big bouquet of surprise flowers from friends back in Wisconsin on the table, then over to Blondies and more drinks and then someone pulls out some blow and then we’re off to the End Up.

Ahem.

Next birthday was horrendous.

Awful.

Back in Wisconsin heading into the nadir of my dark night of the soul.

My friends try to pull an intervention on me.

It doesn’t work.

I come home and my room mates have thrown me a surprise party and despite not wanting to drink I am lifting a beer and heading down to Pop’s on York and 24th to meet with my dealer.

Happy Birthday!

I got sober three and half weeks later.

I don’t remember all my birthdays from that time, the last ten years, there have been good and not so good and a few awful and really bad, but none of them were like that last birthday I had before I got sober.

Even the worst was a 1,000 times better.

So.

I don’t do anything for December 18th I’ll be ok.

Heck.

I’m fucking flying to Paris with one of my best friends two days later.

Not like I don’t have something to look forward to!

My life.

It’s not picture perfect.

Despite my attempts at perfectionism.

But.

Man.

It is really fucking good.

REALLY.

What the Fuck?

July 21, 2015

Excuse me.

You gave it to somebody else?

You didn’t tell me?

What do you mean I am not getting the full ride?

What is this loan thing on my account.

That is not the awards letter I was expecting.

I have had some trouble accessing my awards letter, partially as I was expecting an actual fucking letter, maybe with one nice shiny gold ticket it in, hey kid, don’t even worry about going to graduate school, here’s some money, have fun.

Well.

No.

It wasn’t quite like that, but I am hella confused.

Here read this and tell me what it sounds like:

Dear Carmen,

Congratulations! The Scholarship Team is pleased to inform you that you have been selected as a recipient of the CIIS Opportunity Scholarship beginning in the Fall 2015Semester and ending in the Spring 2017

The CIIS Opportunity Scholarship is a tuition-only award. At the beginning of each semester, your tuition account will be credited. Any additional fees (including registration fees) are not covered by the scholarship. Please read the contract below for rules and regulations.

Opportunity scholarships are made possible by the generous gifts from various foundations and/or donors.  As a future follow-up, you may be contacted by our Development Office regarding which of these foundations and/or donors funded your scholarship. 

Again, congratulations on your scholarship and we wish you success in your academic endeavors.

Warmest regards,

I Chen

Director of Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office

finaid@ciis.edu

Does this sound like I got a full ride, or is it just me?

I mean, yeah, I guess I assumed, but what the fuck?

So to sum up the rug being pulled out from under me looked a little like having gotten my charges into their perspective rooms for quiet time and staying out-of-the-way of the house cleaner, I had made myself a cup of Bengal Spice Tea and breathed a big deep big girl breath and got on the phone to call the financial aid office and ask them some questions.

Like.

Why does it look like you’re offering me an unsubsidized loan?

A generous loan, $20,500, granted, but a loan?

I thought I was being awarded the Opportunity Scholarship.

I saw the in the awards letter that the Diversity in Leadership Scholarship, for $10,000 per year, to be disbursed in $5,000 increments each semester for the entirety of my graduate school program was listed.

And for that I am grateful.

GRATEFUL.

Grateful, I tell you.

I am not sneezing at the award, I am humbled and honored and to be considered a leader means a great deal to me although I firmly believe that the type of leadership I have is not to be recognized, rather, perhaps, hopefully to be emulated.

But that’s beyond me anyhow.

Just for giggles and to compare the two letters, here’s the award e-mail that I received for the Diversity Scholarship:

Dear Carmen,

Congratulations!  On behalf of the California Institute of Integral Studies Diversity Leadership Scholarship Committee, I’m happy to inform you that you’ve been selected as a recipient of the J.C. Kellogg Integral Counseling Psychology Scholarship. This scholarship provides recipients with $10,000.00 per school year for the 3 years of the ICP/W Programs.

The Financial Aid office will be sending you a revised Awards Package in which this scholarship will be included.

Wishing you all the best!

With warm regards, Pauline

Pauline E. Reif, MA, MFA

Admissions Counselor

California Institute of Integral Studies

preif@ciis.edu

415.575-6155

 Integral Counseling Psychology Master’s Degree Programs

MFA in Writing & Consciousness,  Creative Inquiry – Interdiscsiplinary Arts, and

     Theatre Performance Making – CIIS MFA Facebook

This e-mail I received while in Sonoma working with my family while they were on vacation outside of Glen Ellen.

I was over the moon.

You may, perhaps, remember me blogging about it.

I ran around like a wild pigeon swooping in circles across the grass in the cooling evening air after dinner had been done and I was settling in with a cup of tea, the aforementioned Bengal Spice–got to love me some Celestial Seasonings, yo.

I laughed and cried and gasped and couldn’t breathe and called my best girlfriend and whooped it up.

I was, you see, under the impression that I was being given a full ride.

I was apparently wrong.

So.

Back to this afternoon.

The table in the dining room at work, the monitor in front of me, a cup of tea by my side, my notebook, a pen.

Breathe and make the call.

The woman I spoke to on the phone said, no, I just see the Diversity Scholarship and the unsubsidized loan, nothing else.

I explained to her that I was also awarded the Opportunity Scholarship and I was wondering how that applied, if it were being added in, that I did not want to be accepting  $20,500 in student loans if my scholarship was pending.

Oh, and how should I be taking care of disbursing the scholarship monies so that I could pay the tuition bill sitting in my account and also to buy the books I need to start reading.

“Hang on, the scholarship liaison is on another call, I get right back to you,” the woman on the phone said.

I left my phone number.

I waited patiently.

Ten minutes later I received the call.

The gist of the conversation:

No Opportunity Scholarship, it was taken away from you when you were awarded the Diversity in Leadership award.

In fact, it was given to someone else.

What?

Maybe an e-mail or a phone call to let me know that?

The financial aid department gave you the bigger award anyhow, and “that’s a lot of money!” she exclaimed over the phone.

Again.

I am not ungrateful.

I was not being mean to the messenger, although her bedside manner left something lacking, English was not her first language and I was not going to be mean.

Rise the fuck above.

I agreed that the Diversity Scholarship was wonderful and I was really grateful, just confused, and she went on to say the Opportunity Scholarship was only about $2,000 a semester, “so they gave you the bigger one,” she ended.

Plus, look, you got all the loans you need.

Yeah.

Loans.

You’re breaking my heart lady, I thought I wasn’t going to have to take out loans.

I accepted the package as it stood, tears rolling down my face, I thanked her and gently hung up the phone.

Then I put my head on the table and sobbed.

A little elbow grease from the house cleaner and some fresh hot tears from me and wow, that table shown.

I urged myself to get present, made some phone calls, reached out, calmed down.

Got some perspective.

I’m going to graduate school.

I am going to be able to pay for it–I was granted a loan.

I was given $30,000.

That’s $30,000 less that I have to repay.

I learned some humility.

It’s just money.

It’s not love.

My friend sent me a text: “I love you no matter what.”

Yup.

What cost love?

It’s free.

It fills me up.

It is my touchstone.

My anchor.

My friend asked me to read the e-mail.

“Ah, yeah, it sounds like a full ride, it really does, I can see how you would see that, you need to reach out to the person who sent the e-mail and get clarification.”

Just did that before I logged into blog.

What ever the outcome.

I am loved.

I am taken care of.

And I am alright.

I really am.

With or without a full ride.

I am going to graduate school.

I am.

Damn it.

Movement

May 6, 2015

Yes.

After a lot of internal struggle and a lot of writing.

A lot.

I am finally fixing my scooter.

I can’t tell you exactly what, fear, has taken me so long, but there it is.

It just has.

I prayed for acceptance, I’ve been in awareness now for sometime–it don’t work for me, it needs to be checked out, I don’t know how to fix it, maybe I’ll ask for help–to actual action.

And in the end.

It was easy.

I’ll be taking my Vespa over to Scooter Center this Saturday to have Barry Gwinn take a look at her, I told him who referred me and he just laughed, “you know a bunch of characters,” he said.

I do.

This was after he exhaustively grilled me on whether or not my Vespa had ever been in Vietnam or any part of Asia.

I didn’t understand at first, but after he continued with the questioning I realized that there was a faint ring of a bell somewhere in my head and I recalled that the market in the United States had been flooded with scooters from Vietnam and no scooter shop worth it’s chops will work on a scooter from there.

I had no idea, but I know the person who I bought it from and he had never mentioned it and out of the blue, I said I know what the problem is but the person who was working on it is no longer available.

I was getting the impression that Barry was thinking I’m a girl and don’t know what I’m dealing with.

And it’s true.

I don’t know how to fix my scooter, but I have friends who are scooter fan boys and they know their stuff.

I also told Barry that it had a new engine.

“Who put the new engine in it?” He asked.

“Christopher Ward,” I replied, “he’s done maintenance work on it, but isn’t available anymore and he recommended you.”

“Oh! Chris Ward, well then it’s definitely not from Vietnam,” he stated.

Glad to know.

I didn’t think it was.

Barry had wanted me to send him photographs to assure him it was not a Vietnam Vespa, but when he heard that Chris had done the engine he didn’t need more convincing.

Thank goodness.

We chatted a little more and he’s going to take a look at it on Saturday.

Then I walked through some more fear and called the scooter tow guy and what do you know, it’s not so bad, he quoted me $45 for anywhere in San Francisco.

The last quote I had gotten was $75, so that was a nice surprise.

The tow guy is going to come out to my house at 2p.m. on Saturday and take me and my Vespa to the Scooter Centre and I am finally going to get it dealt with.

Maybe it’s been all the soreness in my knees and the stretching and strengthening exercises I do every night when I get home from my bike ride (and may I say, they freaking hurt, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my hamstrings hurt, but I can tell that the hip muscles are getting stronger and just a tiny bit more flexible) or the thought of graduate school looming on the horizon, but I finally got fed up with myself for being in financial fear.

I paid $2650 for the scooter.

And it’s just been collecting dust.

The scooter is actually worth more than the $2650 I paid for it, especially considering that my friend who sold it to me dropped a brand new engine into it, so I could be selling it for $3,000 or possibly more.

I think originally he spent close to $4,000 on it.

He cut me a deal.

He’s got a car and another Vespa and he’s a friend, so I got a break.

Then, of course, I almost broke my ankle on it.

And I’m sure that has something to do with it.

But I want to get back on the horse.

And if not on this Vespa, then at least fix her up, it’s a small issue to remedy, and pop the little dent out of the front fender and if I don’t ride her, sell her.

I’ve been thinking about a car.

Gasp.

Which I haven’t had in over 12 years.

I am jumping ahead of myself.

I think once the Vespa gets cleaned up and fixed I’ll be fine with it and I can have some get about with her on the weekends, take more of a break with my bicycle and see about riding it in to work occasionally.

My employers have enough room in their garage to fit a scooter.

And with Yoga Beach opening up a half block away from my house in a couple of weeks I could do some yoga in the time I would be doing my bicycle commute–keep stretching out my hips and strengthening them.

It certainly can’t hurt.

Restorative.

Anyway.

Jumping ahead.

Suffice to say.

I am just happy that I finally took some action, funny how small it really is, just a few phone calls, and now I am moving forward and getting it dealt with.

I don’t always understand my process and why it is the way it is, but I can see when I am balking and I didn’t want to be balking anymore.

Especially when I went out to the grocery store this past Sunday and saw a spider web on it–normally I come in through the garage and my scooter is parked in the foyer of the front of the house so I don’t see it every day.

That was it.

Last straw!

I wiped the dust of the seat and vowed I was going to take care of it.

I contacted my friend on Monday and asked for Chris Ward’s number and the guy that he recommends for tows and got both numbers today via text.

First up was Chris.

Who, as it turns out, has retired from hobbyist Vespa repairs.

He is too busy with his current job and referred me to Barry.

A call to Barry.

A call to Dave.

And voila!

It’s being taken care of.

And I have the resources to care for it.

There’s a little money left over in savings from after I bought my new laptop and I can afford to do this.

I’m excited at the prospect of getting back in the saddle and scooting around the city.

My legs could use a break.

What’s Going On?

April 8, 2015

He asked.

He took my hand.

Of course.

I had worn black eye liner today.

“I LOVE your eyeliner!” The Guatemalan lady at the check out register said to me today.

She is always so very sweet to me.

I am in the market a lot.

A gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a lot of black beans.

I made a double batch of chili today–one for the family and one for another family, origins unknown, who are friends of the families and just welcomed a new baby into their fold.

My family, the one I work for, is slated to bring food for them tomorrow.

I made an extra batch of chili, vegetarian, and a batch of corn muffins.

Then did the same for my family, or did them concurrent, I can do that, except I made my employers meal with meat.

I wanted to ask for a bonus.

Double the work, double the pay.

But I was more than happy to accept that today I was of service to my family and I enjoy cooking, and I make a mean pot of chili and corn bread muffins, despite me not eating them, do smell lovely baking in the oven, and I did have a big bowl of chili with the boys at dinner.

It is nice to work for a family where a lot of my meals are taken care of.

Because, although I am making an hourly that is higher than any that I have made as a nanny before, it is all above-board, all taxed, every penny accounted for.

And I work a lot.

“I’m tired,”  I said to him, as he squeezed my hand.

I”m always tired.

“You need to sleep more, take naps, lay in bed,” he said to me.

He wouldn’t let my hand go and my eyes got leaky.

Of course I’m wearing eyeliner.

I did think of it too this morning when I was applying it.

But a lady can’t do her make up contingent on whether or not she believes she will be in an emotional state later in the evening.

It looked hella good.

I wanted to wear a cat’s eye and purple eye shadow and so I did.

I smudged it up a bit with tears, but so it goes.

I’ll just call it my “smoky” eye and continue forward, face into the wind, stars over my head as the Southern Constellations move across the horizon and now Orion is in front of me when I ride through the park at night instead of just over my left shoulder.

“What I am hearing” he said, after I had checked in a moment or two, and sipped some of my tea, “is spiritual malaise.”

Uh yeah.

I get up I pray.

I eat breakfast.

I write.

I work.

I do the deal.

I come home.

I write.

I pray.

I crawl into bed and fall asleep, mostly, without too much chatter in my head.

But the chatter is still there.

And what it sounds like is.

This.

Is this it?

Is this how it’s going to be until I go to school?

(Ah, yes, the disease of wanting more.  I so have it.)

I feel like I am marking time.

Not a feeling I care for.

Too much on the self-pity side of town.

“You need to connect with the women in your life,” he said.

I do.

But you know.

My favorite ladies are all as busy as me, if not more so.

And none of us live next to each other anymore.

My best friend lives in Wisconsin.

My best girl friend here lives in Castro Valley, my next best lady is in North Berkeley about to pop out a baby, so I won’t be seeing her for a while.

I have been having a challenging time socializing within the fellowship.

I feel like I am hearing a lot of the same same same and not enough solution and suddenly, I am sitting in the corner acting like a fucking bleeding deacon.

I’ve got ten years people, I don’t have that much time.

Yet.

I feel untethered.

There, that is better.

Not that I am marking time, just that I am a little adrift and I need to connect with people.

I feel that this has been a bit re-occurring, but also, I know that it has to do with changes in my social life in general, changes in where I go for my daily solution, getting fit into the proper get right with God mode.

I have friends that are no longer in my social sphere and that is ok.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

In that spirit, in the spirit of tired and I know it, but wiling to change, God damn, it is always the change, there is no resting on my laurels.

I have haunches to sit on, but no laurels to rest on.

I told myself I would RSVP yes to a  party in May to hang out with some acquaintances that could easily become good girl friends given the time cultivating them.

As well as giving some consideration to going to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball at Nimby on April 18th.

I have no idea if I’m really going to go to the party in the East Bay–no wheels to get me there, do I want to be on BART in masquerade, but I wanted to say yes to getting out there, I mean it looks fantastic.

I also need to connect with a good lady friend of mine in the Mission who has suggested I do some celebrating of getting into graduate school and I would love to catch up with her and sip a tea and a have a lady catch up.

Especially to discuss all things Burning Man.

I’m always up for discourse on that.

I’m not marking time and the world is not here to entertain me, boredom is the sign of a shallow mind, a selfish, soul sucking shroud of ego, being bored, asking you to entertain me, is just not where it’s at.

It just means getting out of my comfort zone a little bit and reaching out to make new friends.

By the end of our tea time I was feeling much better, smudged eye make up and all.

He hugged me tight and we walked over to Our Lady of Safeway and after an hour of that, I felt better still.

The stars wheeled bright above my head as I cut through the cold air on my bicycle, the smell of pine needles in the park, the tart undertow of a wild tangerine blooming in the air, the wind biting, but I was covered in my windbreaker and hoodie and gloves, so it felt refreshing and invigorating as I let my body warm up and become one with my vehicle.

I came home a drift on the smell of a bonfire on the beach, renewed and refreshed and ready to wind down.

“Hello house,” I said and smiled.

I am right where I need to be.

Secure in my heart that change is happening.

And.

That this too shall pass.

It always does.

Honey, Slow Down

March 11, 2015

She chuckled at me over the phone.

“The awards letters will go out in April, you’ll know soon.”

Oh ok.

You mean, sit still and enjoy the pause in the performance, enjoy the fact that you got into graduate school and for a moment, really, there’s nothing else to do.

“Honey, you’re a human being, not a human doing,” he said to me over the phone when I called to check in and told him about the financial aid advisor’s little speech to me on the phone.

When I received the information about the graduate school program accepting me I didn’t really know how to celebrate.

I mean.

I posted it on Facebook, so that should mean something right.

The post was “liked” a lot.

Isn’t that enough.

I mean, I don’t want to rest on my laurels or anything, chop, chop, what’s the next step, let’s keep this train rolling.

I went home Friday evening and did the online counseling for financial aid and signed my promissory note and I shit you not, I was looking to see what my awards package was the next day.

I mean, logically, I knew that it really wasn’t going to be there yet, but you know, I’m just checking.

Ugh.

I decided to call and chat with the financial aid office, I was advised I may qualify for some scholarships, so I better figure out which ones and apply.

NOW.

I shared about that tonight, about needing to just pause and acknowledge the accomplishment instead of moving on to the next thing now, now, now, God forbid I have any feelings around it.

It is an accomplishment, I remind myself, I did have to do some work to get into the program and not just the work of going through the application process (8 page autobiographical statement, 1 page letter of intent, the application itself to fill out, the $65 fee to process the application, asking for the letters of recommendation, getting my transcripts sent out from the University of Wisconsin, Madison), there was the work that I did to get to the point of applying in the first place.

All the exploring of dreams and ideas, writing, writing, writing, being vulnerable, showing up for and exploring other programs, researching Masters Degrees in Creative Writing, looking at getting a second BA in education, what about exploring accounting school and taking course work at City College (which only lasted one class, I am not cut out to be an accountant), applying to Aveda (getting in, but not getting the aid I needed to go) going to an open interview at Blush School of Makeup (I still like me some make up yo), the couple of times I applied to work at the Burning Man office but never got a reply to my applications, let alone called into an interview.

All the soul-searching.

Moving to Paris.

Moving back from Paris.

More inventory.

Working jobs that weren’t a good fit until they became so painful I had to get out and when I did finally saw the way out of my gilded little cage.

Nobody puts Carmen in a corner.

But me.

So, perhaps some acknowledgement of the success is called for.

I am not going to rest on my laurels, I don’t even know how to do that, I have never had the chance to breathe and relax, I need to move and do and shake and go, nothing’s changed.

But so much has changed.

And as I realized that once again, without even knowing I was doing it, I went to the hardware store to buy a hamburger, as my dear heart said to me tonight while we were checking in.

“You just want to be seen, and you weren’t seen,” she said succinctly.

Hey, aren’t I supposed to be helping you?

I didn’t get the validation and approval from my mom I was expecting and I’m tender about it.

It brought up a whole passel of crap that I thought I had worked through, but without even consciously knowing it I had walked on down to the corner hardware store, screws on sale, and demanded a medium rare burger with sharp cheddar and mayonnaise with a nice toasted bun,  swipe some butter on that before you put it on the grill, ok?  And a dill pickle too, perhaps, even, dare I, a chocolate malt as well, heavy on the malt please.

What do you mean you only have a wrench for me.

I want my hamburger.

Maybe some fries too, double-quick.

No, I don’t need a caulking gun.

What the fuck?

I don’t fault my mom for not validating me the way that I want validation.

It’s not her job.

It ceased being her job.

Actually she walked off that job long before it was even had a job description in the mom manual.

But I looked for it long and hard all my years growing up.

I know my mom’s proud of me, but it doesn’t always come across and like going to that dry well expecting a refreshing cold glass of hydration I came up short and had the rug pulled out under my feet, to mix my metaphor’s.

Reminding me that though the sign says the Doctor’s In, I may still get the football pulled away after paying my five cents.

So.

“Be the mother to yourself you wish you had,” she told me yesterday when I called to vent about the voice mail I had received from my mom.

Except.

I couldn’t figure it out.

I couldn’t figure out what that looks like.

I was flummoxed.

What would a mom do upon learning that her daughter got into graduate school?

I kept thinking I should buy myself flowers or oddly enough, socks, I could use a new pair, or maybe a nice dinner out or write myself a card and send it to myself.

Drawing a complete blank.

Then.

I shared about it tonight and that helped a lot.

A LOT.

And I got to have a big moment of forgiveness for myself and this process and loving myself and letting go again of the idea that anyone, mom, dad, boyfriend, friend, boss, lover, sister, teacher, can really validate me.

I validate myself.

I give myself the stamp of approval.

I also forgive, again, and again, it’s a process, my mom, she really is doing the best she can, and knowing her up bringing I doubt she got much validation coming her way.

Hard to give away something you haven’t got.

Then.

I got home.

And there it was in the mailbox, like the post, not my e-mail.

The hard copy of my letter of acceptance to the Master of Arts Weekend program in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Integral Counseling Psychology for the 2015-16 Fall Semester.

I knew what I had to do.

It was so obvious I laughed out loud.

I got a magnet and put my letter of acceptance on the fridge.

Just like a proud mom would do.

I looking at it right now and it’s pretty much perfect.

I am proud of myself.

And I will celebrate.

There’s a necklace at Fiat Lux on Church and Market I have been eyeing forever.

I’m going to buy it for myself on Friday when I get off work before heading over to Our Lady of Safeway.

It’s a butterfly wing under glass.

I’m emerging from my chrysalis.

It fills the bill.

As does the forgiveness.

Acceptance.

Awareness.

Action.

And.

Celebration.

I got into fucking grad school!

Let’s party.

 


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