Posts Tagged ‘baby steps’

Feeling Better

October 15, 2017

And almost through the weekend of classes.

The air quality improved substantially today.

So much better.

I have still had a low-grade cough, raw throat and tight and sore sinuses, but the air is better and tonight when I rode my scooter home I could take deep breaths and it felt so, so good.

There are still fires burning, but today felt like hope, that maybe there was an end in sight and that as the day passed things felt better and better.

I don’t know, I can’t predict a thing, but it was something to breathe better today.

The small things that I can take for granted, fresh air, good water, my home, it was with great gratitude that I drew those clean breaths of air, such goodness, just a big simple drawing in of air.

Ah.

I can feel my head ache easing and I know that the air quality has substantially improved.

This morning when I got up it was registering at unhealthy and there was ash again all over my scooter and a distinct smell of wood burning in the air, it was hazy and smudgy and smokey and my first class of the day was boxed up in a hot airless room.

But by the afternoon it started to shift and I left campus to grab lunch with a friend at The Market, the chi chi high-end grocery store in the Twitter building, they have a poke bar that I like to eat at if I’m going to blow a wad of money on lunch rather than eat the food that I brought with me.

I was happy to get out of the school building, the air felt fresher and it just continued to improve throughout the day.

So grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

And I’m also grateful that I only have one more class to get through tomorrow and that will put my squarely at the half way point of the semester.

I will have two more weekends of classes and then the winter break.

I’m doing pretty good, I’ve participated,  caught up on all my reading for this weekend, and I turned in the paper that was due for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I have a mid-term paper due on the 24th of the month for my Transpersonal class that I figure I will write the paper next weekend.

Then two more weekends of classes and I will enter the final semester of my Masters in Counseling Psychology.

Fuck.

I am doing this, I’m doing this, it’s really happening.

It’s been so much work and sacrifice.

I don’t always talk about that, the things that I have had to let go of to participate in the program while still working full-time.

I have given up going to birthday parties, out dancing, movies, fellowship, dates, dinner with friends, people and places and stuff that I used to do on a much regular basis.

It’s been hard.

I have felt sad when I have not been able to connect.

And yet.

I have spent so much time figuring out how to connect with people, with grace, with God, with service, with learning what I need to learn to better serve my community.

And.

Yes.

To have a fucking career where in I can make some money.

Oh.

I know, I’m not going to make a grand amount, but I am going to make so much more than what I make as a nanny, unless I get some super cush job, but the fact is, I’m ready to not be a nanny anymore.

I’ve a few more years and I’m fine with that, I still have miles and miles to go, but sure and steady, slow, one day at a time I am doing the work to get to the place.

And when I get there, well, there will be other places to go.

But.

For right now I am just really happy to be in my last year of the Masters program and to let myself be proud of what I have accomplished.

Showing up every weekend.

Turning in every assignment on time.

Straight A’s.

It’s awful nice to have a 4.0 average in grad school, just let me acknowledge that, I have a 4.0.

That’s something.

I have learned a tremendous amount about myself.

I have made dear friends.

I have a cohort, a group of peers, a community where I wasn’t expecting to have one, I have people who see me and regard me as an equal and who I get great feedback and validation from.

And I’m doing something that I don’t think anyone in my family has done.

I’m getting a Master’s Degree.

I could be wrong about that, I may have a cousin somewhere with one, but I can’t think of any off-hand, I don’t believe most of the people in my family have a college degree, let a lone a Master’s degree.

I feel pretty lucky that I have achieved what I have achieved and that I have put in the work.

Sometimes the sacrifices have seemed really hard, I have been lonely, I have missed experiences, but I also know that I am making myself into a woman with great potential to help and heal and that I will be of service for so many years.

I think I’ll have much more longevity as a therapist than a nanny, I’ll be able to practice as a therapist many, many, many years past the time when I would want to be a nanny anymore.

Hell, I’m pretty done with it as it stands.

Oh, not that I hate my job, I love the family  work for and I am so happy to get to do the work with them.

No, what I meant, is that my body is about done with it, my back is sore from carrying the baby in a carrier, my knees hurt, I have spent so many years being on my feet, from all the years, decades really, working in the service industry–started at 12 ended at 32, so that’s twenty years, and now the past eleven years or so as a nanny.

I could use a sit down job, thank you very much.

I once was having some real problems with my knees and I was young, in my mid twenties, and the doctor told me at that time that I needed to get out of the service industry, that I needed a sit down job, “your knees are that bad,” he told me showing me x-rays and explaining what the problems were.

I didn’t really heed that advice.

And I have managed to get by, sometimes a bit painfully slow, and I have seen things that have slipped past me that I wish I could still do.

No more running.

Not that I was a great runner, but I thought once or twice that I would at least do one marathon in my life

And dancing.

Oh.

Man.

I can tell how bad my knees are when I go out dancing, they are just not what they used to be, not that they used to be great anyway, but fuck.

Anyway.

I will go on standing for a little while yet.

I’m not there yet.

But.

Damn.

I am one more step closer.

I’ll take it.

Yes.

Yes, I will.

One little baby step at a time.

I will get there.

You may be assured.

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Cherry Popped

June 14, 2017

I had my first client.

It went well.

That’s all I’m going to say.

That and holy shit.

I had my first client!

I did my first session of therapy with a client.

The client has rebooked for another session.

So it really begins.

As though it’s not been beginning for a very long time, all the time training and studying and reading and writing papers and working with my cohort.

All that.

Plus.

Years of other kinds of service, sitting and listening to another person check in, being honest, being accountable, showing up, doing the deal.

I mean.

Fuck.

I have been working hard for a god damn long time to get here.

I had my first client session.

I know I won’t ever forget it.

And I am grateful for it.

It was a good day.

A sunny day.

A lovely day.

I did a lot.

Showered and wrote and coffee and reading and making sure I had a back up outfit for work, just in case I get nannied in the line of duty.

Last week the baby spit up on both my arms.

Nothing says “let’s create a therapeutic alliance” more than smelling like regurgitated breast milk.

Ha.

So.

I have a back up outfit at work.

I actually have two.

I have one just for work, if I need to I can do a quick change out and being able to work the rest of whatever hours I have work and run my stuff through the wash.

And now.

I have a second outfit that is more appropriate to looking like a professional.

Oh.

I’m still pretty casual in my attire.

But.

I today I was was also softly polished.

Black leggings, long drop waist charcoal grey dress, baby blue cardigan, and my new Fluevogs.

I wanted to look nice, warm, inviting.

I also liked dressing for the part.

I love dress up.

I love clothes and shoes and I have secretly waited to arrive at the day when I can start to be a little more polished and professional.

It was really nice to transition from my nanny clogs to my therapist shoes.

It felt like I was putting on my superhero cloak.

Nanny by day, psychotherapist by night.

I’ll be seeing all my clients in the evenings after I get done with work.

I was talking to my own therapist this morning, I see her on Tuesdays before work, so it’s like my day is completely bookended with therapy, about how lucky I am that I have the job that I do and how much it fills me up.

My therapist and I talked a lot about how strong I am and how I don’t always know how to let myself recognize that, that I do the work.

I can logically see it, but sometimes when I have felt like I have had no other option, no one else to rely on, just me doing it on my own, how devastatingly lonely that can be and how hard.

It has taken getting pretty beaten down by a few accidents during the last twelve and a half years to help me see that asking for help is a valuable experience for me and when I am more vulnerable.

Well.

I am stronger.

There is such strength in vulnerability.

The more I can allow myself to be seen, to be vulnerable, the more I learn and the more I am able to use my own inner resources without having to feel like I’m justing working hard to work hard.

I am so grateful that wall has dropped.

It goes back up at times, but I find the more I can let it down the happier I am and the fuller my life become.

I am incorrigible in my aliveness and lust for living.

Absolutely defiant with my need to feel more happiness and joy and see more and go further and have as many experiences and have as much growth as I can.

Yeah.

I know that might be courting some painful things too, but there is growth where there is pain.

I do hope to reach a point in my life when I can make changes before I have to experience pain, a place of simple humility about what I can and can’t do, rather than a forced feeding of excoriation because I am simply unwilling to let go of some characteristic of myself that I think still serves me.

Not acknowledging my strength today in my therapy session would have been akin to that.

I acknowledged it.

And.

I also had to hold the fact that there’s an inner critic who still holds a lot of sway and likes to smack talk me quite a bit.

Not enough.

Not smart enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not lovable.

Not good enough.

But.

Those things are simply not true and they taste older and more and more faded and dusty and the cloth binding is falling apart.

Let me drop it to the floor, sweep it out the door and find something fresh and new and lovely.

There is so much loveliness for me.

I am sure of it.

“Your capacity for love is enormous,” my therapist said, “you have the biggest heart.”

Hearing a basic stranger, I mean, we’ve had, like what, eight sessions, tell me that my capacity for love was not just big, but enormous, I was floored.

I was validated.

That is what I hope to do for my clients.

To see them.

Honest in who they are with whatever they bring.

I know that I can do it and I am honored that I got to do that today.

And yes.

Log my first freaking hour of individual therapy.

It feels amazing to be logging hours.

I have a long way to go.

But I am on the path and that is all I need to be present for.

I don’t have to know where it ends.

I just need to continue moving forward.

One baby step at a time.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

–Lao Tzu

What The Fuck

April 13, 2017

Are you doing to yourself, kid?

I literally had a Cher from Moonstruck, “SNAP OUT OF IT” moment this morning.

I got up with my alarm, grateful to see that the rain was clearing and that I would be able to ride my scooter to work.

Ah work, back to work, it’s been a minute, is it time to go back already?

Yes, dear, glad you enjoyed your days off, time to hit it again.

I made a nice breakfast and had some coffee and I was just about to settle into some writing when I had this great idea to check the school website and find out about summer classes.

Like which ones I should register for, what I need to have to get to the next step, you know, keep progressing.

Note to self, as it was brought up by a dear friend in the cohort, “you’re planning on taking summer school and practicum?!”

Um.

I was.

Sort of.

I mean.

I had no idea what compelled me, fear, oh, yeah, fear, I forgot, hahahaha, to go online today and blow almost all my morning writing time on trying to figure it out.

Figure it out never works for me, and yet, there I was neck-deep into the figuring it out.

Getting more and more over my head, and without even realizing it, panicked.

Why did I take the last two days off, I should have been dealing with this, I don’t know what to do, I’m fucked, the system is fucked, why hasn’t my advisor responded to my e-mail, why is the registrar so stupid, what is wrong with the….

Whoa girl.

Back the fuck up.

I sent a friend a text asking about the summer courses, she’s always so on top of it, and I got a lot of information back, none of which I was able to assimilate or understand and when I read one of the texts I just about lost it, there was too much, it was too much, I can’t do this.

Do what?

Self-inflicted idiocy, getting myself all worked up over nothing.

I could feel the fear rising in my body and getting stuck at the top of my chest and trying to ride up into my throat.

Very grateful I caught it when I did.

Stop.

Slow down.

Breathe.

Look around.

You are sober, you’re dressed in nice clothes, they are clean, you just ate breakfast, you have coffee, lunch is packed, coffee for work is packed, your hair is done, you have makeup on, the scooter is ready to go.

You are fine.

Breathe.

I started to ignore texts that were still incoming from a number of places.

I don’t have to engage if I don’t have the space.

Then I looked at the time.

Shit.

I had wasted 45 minutes of my precious morning routine on this fuckery.

I hopped up, did the dishes, took out the trash, organized my things, turned my phone to silent and sat and wrote.

Rent is paid.

My phone bill is paid.

I am ok.

I paid for my scooter insurance for another six months.

I have paid for my Healthy SF for the next three months.

I am fine.

I am enough.

It is enough.

I have my practicum placement.

I have a therapist.

I have supervisors.

I don’t need to know what electives I could take for summer.

I can take them in the fucking fall.

If I wasn’t doing the internship I would have the god damn summer off from school.

So relax.

You are ok.

All I had to do, all I have to do, I told myself, was show up to work alive and on time, stay sober and show up tonight at my commitment.

Oh.

And maybe put some gas in the scooter.

I could do that.

When I got to work I was relaxed, had calmed down, and was able to respond to a message from a friend who is going to Paris in May with his wife and two boys about some friends I have in Paris and where he could meet them.

It was nice to stop, get out of my head, and be of service to someone else.

And Paris.

Oh yeah.

That.

You’re going to Paris, doll, in a few weeks, you have a place to stay, you will see friends, there are museums to go to, streets to walk, Metro’s to ride, postcards to write.

I was pretty back to myself and in my body by the time I got to work, which was good, it was full tilt boogie, the kids had missed me, and truth be told, I them, and I got tackled upon my entrance.

“CARMEN! I missed you! I love you! I’m so glad you’re here!”

“Tag! You’re it!”

And it was on.

It was on all day.

The cleaners came.

I made dinner.

I made dessert.

I washed laundry, folded laundry, put laundry away.

I played soccer, Mother May I, tag, hide and seek, good dog/bad dog (the four-year olds made up game), cops and robbers.

And last but not least.

I played lots of snuggles and thank God.

I got to play stay at the house and watch the four-year old nap while the older boy went to the dentist.

I played Debussy’s Clair de Lune and folded towels and baby blankets.

I returned the texts and messages I had to return and I chatted with a few friends.

I also acknowledged that I did accomplish some stuff today in regards to school, even if it wasn’t what I had set out to do, I did discover that the school had posted all the weekend dates for the next Fall and Spring semesters.

That was surreal.

To go through the next year and plug-in those dates into my calendar, ending with the last weekend in May 2018, which will be my last weekend before graduating.

Not that I even know when the ceremony will be.

But I will be there.

Summer school or not, the work will get done.

I also finally managed to set up the forwarding on my school e-mail, they just switched over to a new system, so that all school e-mails are sent to my Gmail account.

That was a big deal.

Just taking all the little, teeny tiny steps to get there.

And breathing.

Pausing.

Responding.

Not reacting.

When the fear sets in.

I see you fear, you just want me to be to be aware of all the pitfalls that might befall me.

Thing is though.

Fear is the pitfall.

Fear is the trap.

Faith is my answer.

And it was my spiritual principle.

God has not brought me this far to drop my on my ass.

I am taken care of.

I am.

Seriously.


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