Posts Tagged ‘bay bridge’

Love Letters

March 19, 2019

To a ghost.

That’s what he feels like now.

Ghostly.

It is still painful, I just teared up thinking about him as I was having dinner.

Being ever so careful to make sure that my musical selection to accompany dinner was nothing that we ever listened to together or music that reminds me of him.

Let me say there’s a lot I’m not listening to.

Somethings are pretty safe and I have absolutely no affiliation with the music to him.

Mike Doughty, which is cool since I’ll be going to his show this Wednesday at the Great American Music hall, is one.

My French house music app Bon Entendeur is another.

Although occasionally, as it happened to me tonight, something will just drift in and remind me of my love.

Cue tears.

I’m not crying unless I’m writing about him or talking about him.

Or thinking about him.

Sigh.

I know it will pass but it still feels raw and sad.

I have been wanting to write him a letter, nothing that I will send, but I have this notebook full of love letters to him that I had hoped one day to give him.

A great big full hard bound notebook full of love letters.

I thought about sending it to him in the first week that we broke up.

But I told on myself and it was suggested that I not do that.

That would, in effect, be courting contact when I said no contact.

And yes, I’m not going to lie, I wish he would contact me.

But I have motives and desires and specific wants and he wasn’t able to give those things to me.

I can’t imagine that really has changed in three weeks and one day.

But yeah, sometimes, too  frequently to be attractive, I do have this dream that he calls me up or shows up at my house and tells me things have changed and we can be together.

It’s stupid and it just hurts my heart to entertain the thought, so I don’t, or I don’t try to let myself entertain the thoughts too often.

I have wanted to write out a letter though in the notebook, but I wanted to have passed through the anger and hurt and grief and betrayed feelings I have and just have it be a sweet and final goodbye.

Sure.

Not one he’ll ever see, but just the process of closure for me.

I also recognize that there is still this flame of hope that things will change and he’ll come for me and if I was writing in the notebook I’d be somehow flaming that fantasy.

He’s not coming back.

Move on.

I haven’t been able to write poetry.

I think it would just hurt too damn much and I’m barely hanging in there.

Of course.

I have to mention I’m tired and the grief sneaks in when I am tired.

I was up this morning at 5a.m. to take my car over to Berkeley to get an oil change at my Fiat dealer at 7a.m. and I wanted to make sure that I had enough time to get over the bridge with traffic.

I got there with plenty of time to spare and ate my breakfast and drank coffee in my car waiting for the dealership to open.

So it’s been a long day and when it’s a long day and the tired hits the emotions do too.

Plus, I didn’t really have a day off yesterday.

I had to grind hard on a big paper that I’d been working on for a few days and really get it done.

I can’t remember a paper that I’ve spent this much time working on before, but such is life while pursuing a PhD.

Big, tough, all-consuming papers will happen.

I got it done, my laundry, met with a ladybug, met with my person, did food prep and cleaned my house, finished the huge paper and sent it out.

I did not have a day off.

So just diving right into my week by having to get up at 5a.m. to get the oil change was not how I wanted to start my week, but I am grateful its done.

I didn’t want to risk going too long with the oil change light coming on and the dashboard lighting up and telling me I needed an oil change every time I started the car.

It’s done.

The big paper got turned in last night and I’m already at work on another paper for another class that’s due this Thursday.

Fortunately, this second paper is more in align with what I like to write and I was able to get a lot of it done at work and I spent an hour in a cafe after work writing too before I went to do the deal.

And all along.

He was in my mind.

I stumbled upon an old text chain I didn’t realize was on my phone.

Said text corresponded to when I started writing him the love letters in the notebook.

He told me in one of the texts he wanted to read those letters.

(God damn his texts were always so freaking sweet)

Honestly.

I want him to as well.

They are beautiful letters.

I write a nice letter.

Not to brag, I just do.

But no contact means no contact and they’re just going to sit here on my desk for a little while yet.

I have written him a lot when I think about it, heaps of cards, post cards, love letters, poems.

I could probably put together a chapbook of the poetry I’ve written about him.

Maybe one day I’ll figure that out.

Right now though.

I’m not writing him any letters, outside of the ones I compose in my heart and keep in my heart, to him.

I can’t bear to yet.

I just can’t.

I want to stop missing him first.

Otherwise I’ll just keep breaking my heart over and over and over again.

I don’t think I can handle anymore broken heart.

I’m too damn tender right now.

Too heart sore.

Too sad.

I miss him too much.

Too damn much.

 

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Bullshit

January 15, 2019

I keep expecting someone to say that when I say, “thank you for 14 years.”

It sounds so surreal coming out of my mouth.

How the hell did that happen?

Really?

Fourteen years.

Nights and weekends, nothing in between, nothing to take the edge off.

As if anything really could.

Using or drinking for me over an issue or a problem would just be pouring gas on a bonfire.

I would burn it all down and I don’t actually think I would die.

That would be the easier, softer way.

No.

I think I would live a miserable, dire, soul less, ugly life.

I have so much in my life I cannot imagine ever going back.

I do see it happen though.

So here’s to having more commitments and suiting up and showing up and doing the deal no matter what.

My life is really wonderful and it was with much sweetness that I picked up some metal last night in front of my community who witnesses me with so much love.

It really awes me the amount of love I have been given access to.

Most of all, the love I feel for myself.

The level of compassion and forgiveness I have for myself really is so vast.

I didn’t have it growing up.

Occasionally I would have a moment where I thought I might have something worthy in me, I was certainly smart, but how many times does it take for a person to hear that she is “too smart for her own good,” before she begins, I begin, to think the same.

I used to also wonder.

How come if I’m so damn smart I can’t figure out my life or what I want or where I’m going.

I mean.

I had some idea.

I knew I wanted out of Wisconsin and after multiply failed attempts I made it out in 2002 to travel all the way across the country and cross the Bay Bridge in my little two door Honda Accord.

I still remember what it felt like crossing over that bridge.

I was definitely crossing a threshold.

I had no idea.

Sometimes I think it’s a good thing that I didn’t know all the things that were going to transpire.

Who knows if I would have made it out.

I do certainly remember that.

I had a feeling of dread that my time was soon to be up in Wisconsin and I needed to leave, there was a constant low-level thrum of anxiety, a beating drum of doom that throbbed just below everything.

I was in constant fear.

I had no name for it though.

I had no idea the anxiety I was under.

I knew the depression.

That I had at least been seen for, once when I was in my early twenties and when the therapist wanted to medicate me as my insurance wouldn’t allow her to continue serving me unless I was prescribed meds, I bounced.

I didn’t understand then what depression meant.

All I knew was that sometimes it was terribly hard to get out of bed.

Or bathe.

I remember my boyfriend once made a comment about it, that the sheets needed to be changed or washed and I knew I had to get out and wash the bedding and myself, but getting into the shower was so damn hard.

I can remember how sunny it was too and we lived really close to James Madison park, literally just a few blocks away on Franklin.

I can count the number of times I went to the park on a sunny summer day on one hand and have more than a few fingers left over.

I could not get myself out of the house.

I knew it would pass.

It always did.

But it started to get longer.

And longer.

I might have a day of it once in a while and then nothing for sometime and then it would just snake back in.

For some reason it happened (and can happen for me now, there’s sometimes a feeling of dread during the longest days of the year) during the summer when there was lots of light and no reason to be caged up inside.

People think depression and they see rainy days and grey skies.

I saw sunshine and couldn’t bear to be out in it.

I worked nights.

I slept days.

Sometimes, in the dead of winter I would not see the sunlight at all.

Unless it was the sunrise coming up as I was coming home from closing the bar where I worked.

I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in undergrad.

Turns out that some folks, about 10% of the population that has the disorder, actually experience the depression in the summer.

I remember one year that was really bad.

I was in between jobs, I had just given notice to the Essen Haus where I had been the General Manager and was transitioning to my new job at the Angelic Brewing Company as their Floor Manager (still the worst title ever, how about Queen of Doing Everything, that seems more apt).

I had two weeks off.

I was supposed to have taken those two weeks off to go on a road trip with my boyfriend, but it didn’t come to fruition due to the Angelic needing me to start before the trip had been planned.

I postponed it and planned on doing it the next year which never happened either, but I digress.

My boyfriend went to work in the morning and I sat in the living room of our apartment in a rocking chair.

I sat there all day long.

I might have read books.

I would sleep as long in bed as I could, then get up and sit in that chair until he came home.

Part of me suspected that there was something very soothing about the rocking of the chair, I used to self-soothe as a child when I was upset by rocking back and forth, I can still slip into it if I’m really freaked out.

I don’t remember much of that week, but one particular scene is always in my head and that is of the shadows growing longer and longer in the apartment as the sun set.

They would crawl slowly across the floor and I would watch them inch up the walls until the apartment was muddled in twilight and I would only get up to turn on the light five minutes before I thought my boyfriend was going to get home.

There were many nights of sitting in that chair in the dark by myself alone.

I told no one.

Wowzers.

I had no idea that was going to be what I wrote about tonight, but hey, there it is.

In addition to the SAD, I have depression.

Hahahaha.

Sigh.

Major Depressive Disorder is the clinical diagnosis.

I managed it once in early sobriety with antidepressants but after a few years I got of the meds and deal with it through writing daily in my morning journal, I use a light therapy box every morning, I write affirmations, I get outside as much as I can, I eat really, really, really well, I do my own therapy work, I cultivate relationships with my fellows and I have good damn friends.

And I don’t drink.

Alcohol is a depressant you know.

I didn’t.

Not for years.

And for years I have been pretty free from that great ocean of doom and for that I am so grateful.

My life is lovely.

Challenging, sure.

But absolutely lovely.

Thank you for 14 years!

You know who you are and I love you, very, very, very much.

Hello Stranger

November 29, 2018

I’m back!

Oh my God, I’m actually back.

Wow.

This feels so surreal.

It also feels weird because WordPress has once again changed some things on the site and the layout I’m used to using has changed.  But so far, well, so freaking good.

It is nice to be home.

I have missed you!

I have been busy, I won’t lie.

So busy that it makes me wonder how it is that I can even take the time to be sitting here in front of my computer not working on homework.

My God.

The amount of homework.

It is horrendous.

There is literally not a day.

Ok.

There was a day.

That I don’t do homework.

I didn’t do homework on Thanksgiving.

I almost did, but then I just cut myself some slack and said, no, take the day off or you’re going to be pissed.

And the day was taken off.

I went to a movie!

In fact, heh, I went to two movies!

I cannot remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater, probably last Christmas?  And to see not one, but two in the same day was crazy.

I went with my people to a matinée at the Embarcadero Cinemas, which I love.  I do adore a good art house space, plus, there is just something pretty about that part of town when it is emptied out, as it was being a holiday.   The view of the city, the Embarcadero, the bay, the Bay Bridge, the downtown skyscrapers and plenty of parking, which in and of itself is a miracle.

We saw At Eternity’s Gate, the Vincent Van Gough movie with William DaFoe.

First of all, DaFoe is a fucking genius, he’s got the Oscar on this one.

Second.

Horrendously sad.

But I mean, you know it’s not going to end well, the man cuts off his ear for fucks sake, it’s not like this is going to be a happy movie.

Yet.

It was a gorgeous movie, Julian Schnabel did amazing work.

It’s filmed on site where Van Gough did his paintings, Paris first, than the South of France in Arles, and the light he manages to capture is just exquisite.

It felt like being in one of Van Gough’s paintings.

So much beauty.

So much grief too.

I was in tears and the ending just had me with tears pouring down my face, but ultimately, it was such an extraordinary work of beauty that I was grateful to be able to see it.

And I was grateful to reflect that I have gotten to see a number of Van Gough paintings in person.

Although I have never been to the Van Gough museum, I have seen his works in the Louvre, the MOMA New York and the MOMA San Francisco, and The National Gallery in London.

That’s pretty damn good if I think about it.

I am blessed with having gotten to see the amount of art I have seen in my life.

There is so much more to see.

So much more.

Speaking of art, I had hoped that during my down time from work with the holiday I would get to the MOMA, but I did not, too many other things were happening.

Lots of homework, internship work, seeing clients, seeing friends, running errands that needed desperately to be run, clothes shopping–I hadn’t been clothes shopping in so long it felt kind of crazy.

I’ve lost a little weight the last few months and really had to get new jeans.

And I’m not complaining about that at all, it just took forever for me to have the time to get to it.

You may see a theme here.

Busy.

The new internship is going well and I feel like it will grow me into a very healthy private practice therapy business.

Which is also part of the reason why I haven’t been blogging here for some time.

I’m not much of a tech person, not really, not at all, and for my internship I needed to build a website.

Now if I had the money I’d just hire a friend to do it, in fact, when I do have the money I will most likely do just that, but in the mean time.

Well.

Shoot.

I already have a blog on WordPress, I’ll just use WordPress.

Except.

Ugh.

I didn’t realize that I had inadvertently connected the two, my professional website with my, very private, thank you very much, blog.

I mean.

Some of you out there know who I am.

But most of the people reading my blog don’t know who I am.

I am anonymous here and I always have been, since it allows me to pretty freely write about what ever I want to write about.

Oh.

Sure.

There are things y’all don’t know and that will stay like that for ever, thank you.

But.

I am really transparent here.

I write about all sorts of things.

All sorts of things that no therapist wants their clients to know about.

So you may imagine my horror when I realized that you could access this blog through my professional site.

I don’t believe I let that oversight go more than a few days.

The horror I felt though when I realized that the website I’d worked on so hard was linked to my personal blog was no bueno.

I mean.

Yuck.

I don’t believe any of my clients found it.

In fact, I do wonder if anyone actually did figure it out.

It wasn’t very obvious, but for a couple of days the “About Me” was my “About Me” blog from this site, which isn’t exactly scandalous, but it is sassy and certainly not anything I would want a therapy client to read.

NO.

So once I fixed that I spent too much time trying to figure out how to separate the two entities.

I spent too many precious minutes and hours away from my homework on the help chat.

And then WordPress went down, well, it didn’t go do per se, but the administrative support did and really, the couple of chats I did have done nothing for me, except taunt me with the fact that there was a way to separate the two from each other, but I couldn’t figure it out.

Like.

My understanding of technology is a five-year olds.

So for a while, like a petulant five-year old, I just stopped trying.

Then I started reaching out to friends.

I have had three-hour long sessions with friends and nothing was accomplished, except for me to get more frustrated.

I wanted to blow up the site.

I wanted to pull my website, but I’d fucking bought the domain and paid for two years of hosting.

I wanted to delete my blog, my baby, this guy, but really?

No way.

l have over 2,500 blogs on this site and they are valuable to me.

More about that later.

So.

My best idea was to lay as low as possible and not write any blogs while I was getting it all sorted.

And yesterday.

I think.

I hope.

Fingers fucking crossed, I figured it out.

Well.

Not the real solution.

But something that would allow me to be anonymous here and not have any tie to my professional site’s identity.

For now it seems to be working, so I’m not going to jinx it.

And hey.

Look at that.

I got to run.

It’s time for me to get ready to go to bed.

I have early supervision now before work and I’ve got a six am start.

Blah.

But hey.

It’s so nice to be here again!

I am.

So fucking nice.

I promise, I won’t be a stranger no more.

Nighty night.

Birthday Weekend Wrap Up

January 15, 2018

It was good.

So good.

I mean.

Super sweet and special, and full of so much love.

And dancing.

And hugs.

And love.

I know, I mentioned that already, but it was just a lovely weekend.

I mean.

Not all of it.

Going over the bridge yesterday, the Bay Bridge, the traffic was so bad I had a moment of why the fuck am I going to Oakland to do this party?

But it was worth it.

So worth it.

I had such a lovely time and got to see folks that I haven’t seen in a while and hear great music and dance and giggle and laugh.

I laughed a lot.

I felt very happy, joyous, free.

It was spectacular.

I still feel like that and also a wee tiny bit emotional, not a lot, but a tiny bit, I was surprised just a few moments ago when I was up in the Castro Most Holy Redeemer to find myself having the anticipation and anxiety of getting a little round metal chip with the Roman numerals ten and three ones on it.

Thirteen

Thirteen years.

It still astounds me.

It felt really, really, really special.

I saw folks there that saw me when I first came in, who helped me and talked to me and bought me coffees and bummed me cigarettes and made suggestions about what to do and shared their experience, strength, hope with me, in such strong graceful ways that their message still stays with me.

Show up.

Suit up.

Be of service.

Say yes.

And extraordinary things will happen.

It is astounding how many things have happened for me.

I had an inkling that this past year was going to be a big one, I remember writing about it in a blog that would have been around this time last year, feeling that it would be fortuitous, that big, big, big things were happening.

My God.

Did the big things happen.

They really did.

I am not the same woman who turned twelve, I have grown so much this past year and really walked through some things that I had no idea I was going to get to experience.

I am so loved.

So blessed.

Graced.

And grateful.

I cannot imagine how, but I feel that this year moving forward will be much the same–full of excitement, growth, travel, love, adventure.

School.

Graduating from one program.

Starting another.

Work of course, internship, of course, recovery, the big of course.

Travel.

I will go to Paris to see my best friend there, although I don’t have set dates yet, I’m still waiting for my work to sort itself out as far as their holiday, summer, travel.

I may be going with them for part of it.

And I want to do other little trips too.

Fun things.

Weekends out of the city.

New places to go and experience.

I feel abundant.

Expansive.

I feel that my capacity for love has grown and opened wide my heart so much.

I have all these images of things  and words and endearments in my head, I am suffused with this feeling of love and I am so happy for it.

My love.

So happy.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be beyond anything I have yet to experience.

It’s a wondrous thing to have faith and be taken care of and show up and really live.

I mean.

Passionately live.

I am so alive.

I am so lucky to be alive.

Frankly.

I should be dead.

Or.

Just scraping along the gutter, in the filth and the muck, trying to make beautiful things and failing.

I have made so many beautiful things since I started this journey thirteen years ago.

Poetry.

Photographs.

Friendships.

Love.

I have made huge leaps of faith.

I have made decisions that I didn’t even know I could make.

I have made music, or collaborated in making music.

I have been in a film.

I have made my way into foreign countries, sat in cafes under many different skies, and scribbled away in so many notebooks I lost count long ago.

I have ridden bicycles all over the place.

San Francisco to LA.

Oakland to Berkeley.

The Outer Sunset to the Outer Mission.

Over the Golden Gate bridge numerous times, down into Sausalito and over to Tiburon, and one memorable day, up to the top of Mt. Tam.

And in Paris.

Nothing says amazing adventure like bringing your own bicycle to the city of Lights and taking a ride down the Champs Elysees.

Although.

Truth be told I only did that a few times.

The Champs Elysees is cobblestone and that was not a pleasant ride but fuck, it was fun to do it a couple of times and say that I had.

Or past the Eiffel Tower.

I did that ride a lot on Sundays.

I have ridden my bike at Burning Man too, not the same bike, but one that I loved for many years, ridden off into many a dusty sunset to dance at the edge of the desert and sing with joy at the heavens.

I have gotten up in front of people and performed my poetry.

Spoken word in Paris at Le Chat Noir.

In the downtown office of Form4 Architecture for their principle architect.

On stage at The Elbow Room and in the studio of Sunshine Jones.

I have done plenty of mundane, every day, simple, day-to-day things too.

Often times, more often than not, with gratitude for just getting to stay in San Francisco.

That’s some kind of miracle, that I still get to live here.

The miracles are innumerable, the gifts astounding.

I can only keep it by giving it away.

The paradox that I love.

Here out by the sea, in my little studio, listening to jazz, writing to you and letting you know about my day and how important you are to me.

So important.

I am overblown with gratitude.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Thank you for thirteen years.

It’s been freaking amazing.

Made It

December 26, 2017

I had a sweet day.

It helped that I got out of my house, and yes, out of my head.

My head is not the nicest place to hang out.

I woke up to the screams of a young child, my upstairs neighbor’s kid, opening Christmas presents and the ferocious shredding of paper package wrapping.

Just before 8a.m.

Ah, so much for sleeping in.

I had a hard time going to sleep last night, I was pretty sad and lonesome and a wee bit on the morbid side of things.

I hadn’t gone that far into the dark side in a while.

I cried myself to sleep.

Which, you should know, I’m loathe to share, but I’m also not a very good liar, and I have no desire to become a better one, now that I think of it, it was just what happened, that’s all.

I did lots of praying and lots of just letting the sadness come.

Sadness happens, I had tried to put it off most of the day yesterday, the lonely and the sad, but it snuck in, as it will sometimes at the end of the day when I haven’t the energy to marshal it away any longer.

So I let it out.

It wasn’t a wallowing and it wasn’t weeping, it was just slow, slippery tears and a very tender heart, some lonesome thoughts and some tenderness.

Even though I woke up before I was planning on getting up, I woke up quite serene.

Sure, some residual sadness at the corners of my day, in the pockets of my room, but mostly just a soft melancholic slick sheen to the day, a sort of soft focus sad that was like mist and it lifted itself away the more I got into being a wake and getting myself dressed and fed and caffeinated.

A good writing session and a fast realization that I needed out of my house.

I got my package and card, last Christmas gift to give, for my friend whom I was going to see in the East Bay and I headed out the door.

It wasn’t as cold as it’s been the last few days and that felt nice.

I wished Merry Christmas to a neighbor and got into my car.

I drove up to the Inner Sunset and grabbed a nice parking spot on 7th and Irving and went and did the deal.

It was so good and I felt a lot better.

Afterward I called my friend and said hey, I’m out and about now, would it be ok if I came over early?

I didn’t want to be alone any more.

She was happy to have me over sooner, so I grabbed a cafe au lait from Tart to Tart and hit the road.

The traffic was light and I made quick time.

I was going 70 mph over the Bay Bridge and getting passed left and right.

It felt good to be on the road and going someplace, getting out-of-town, getting out of my head.

I listened to music, no more Christmas carols thank you, a mixed tape play list I really love and sang at the top of my lungs.

I reflected on all the lovely things I have in my life and all the gifts I have been given, the amazing relationships, the love, the passion I have in my life, and how grateful I am for this life I get to live.

I got to my friend’s place in San Leandro, and got the grand tour.

She’s really liking living there.

I couldn’t do it, but we all get to make the best choices we can for ourselves and though I miss my friend not living in San Francisco something awful bad, I understand why she’s where she is.

And I am super grateful I still get to make it here in this city.

We hung out at her house a bit, got caught up, exchanged presents, then went to the Piedmont theater in Oakland.

We saw Ladybird.

It was a sweet movie and the theater was pretty full.

It was nice to be surrounded by folks and sitting next to my friend.

It was nice to be in a movie theater, I don’t go out to the movies often.

We walked around the Piedmont neighborhood for a little while and found a Thai restaurant that was open and had a lovely late lunch.

By the time we left the sun was setting and I drove her home, we’d taken my car, it was fun to have a passenger, and then I turned around and got back on the freeway and headed home.

It was a quick drive back, a bit of traffic at the toll bridge, but for the most part, really quick.  I need to get myself a FasTrak for the car, although I don’t have plans to go over the bridge, I know I will and it’s so much faster to use the FasTrak lanes than have to wait to pay to get through.

And like that.

Done.

I just hopped over to the website and did the deal.

I will get the toll pass in the mail in the next week and I can just pop it in my glove box.

I don’t know when I’ll go over the bridge again but I will, I do know that.

Maybe not to San Leandro anytime soon, but I’ll be going over to Oakland for my sobriety anniversary on January 13th for a dance party I’m throwing with a friend.

I won’t be going before that, I think, despite having an invite to a New Years Eve party in the East Bay, I’m not feeling going over the bridge on New Years Eve, it’s just not my thing.

I will probably keep that weekend really low-key and not go out carousing.

Maybe a little road trip up the coast, but that’s all.

I am glad to be done driving for the day, I was out a lot.

I’m going to have a little dinner here in a minute and just chill out, maybe go to bed early and just call Christmas over.

I made it through, like I always do, and life will go on without pressures and holiday expectations, just life, just doing the next thing in front of me and being grateful to keep putting that next foot down on my little journey, despite not knowing where it’s going exactly.

I just know that I am going somewhere and I can trust that everything is happening just exactly as it is supposed to happen.

I have faith.

Everything is perfect.

In my imperfect world.

 

Long, Strange Day

October 13, 2017

But I am finally feeling better.

I just ate some dinner.

Roasted chicken with a baked Japanese sweet potato.

I needed some homey comfort food.

The air today had me down.

Granted.

I do not like to complain.

I know people who have lost their homes to the fires, lost everything.

I have friends who have evacuated and are waiting to see if they are going to be able to go back to a home or a charred piece of land.

So much has been destroyed.

It’s utter devastation.

I can’t comprehend it.

Therefor to complain about the air quality in the city seems weak and pansy ass, but, fuck, it’s been bad and I’ve had trouble today.

At first when the fires were just beginning, Sunday night, I thought, wow, there must be some folks having a big old bonfire on the beach, and it smelled good, and the weather that night was warm and I felt really soothed by it.

I have a favorite childhood memory of a bonfire at the beach from when I was four years old.

The next day was odd though, finding out about the fires, and then finding ash residue on my scooter and in my basket.

And each day, it’s been the same, although I think I’m used to the smell and the smell, well, it’s changed, it doesn’t smell like bonfire anymore.

It smells tainted and bad and oily and plastic and chemical.

It smells like bad drugs and sickness and I’ve began to feel off today, I suspect I’ve been a little off all week, but today it really hit home.

Last night when I was riding my scooter home I thought for a moment it was snowing and thought, wow, it’s cold, but not that cold.

Then I realized what I was seeing was ash falling from the sky.

Ash like snow.

Ash on my shoes, ash in my hair, ash on my jacket, ash stuck to my scooter.

Spooky.

Every day riding my scooter up and over Diamond Heights I have looked downtown to gauge how bad the air is.

And it’s bad.

Downtown swathed in smoke.

The haze so thick I can’t see the Bay Bridge, even the top of the new gigantic Sales Force tower is smudged out by the smoke.

Supposedly it’s supposed to get worse tomorrow and Saturday.

The kids I nanny for had their school cancel tomorrow and every day this week they’ve been forced to stay inside and not been allowed out for recess.

My little lady charge has had croup on top of it.

She’s been inside all week.

I can feel it in my chest.

And today I started to sneeze.

Not because I think I’m coming down with a cold, no, it’s just breathing the air.

I’ve not been outside much, but I’ve inhaled some yuck, riding on my scooter for sure, walking to the market this evening.

By the time I got home from grocery shopping and running a couple of errands I felt really out of it.

My clients cancelled tonight so I was free to go home after work and I planned on doing homework and getting the rest of my reading wrapped up, tomorrow I’m in school again.

Aside.

Tomorrow marks the half way point of the semester!

Half way!

I am very happy about that.

But I could barely concentrate on my work and reading felt challenging.

I’ve had a head ache all day.

I’m a pussy.

I admit it.

Can you believe I used to be a smoker!

Anyway.

I just reeled it back in and got right with myself and stopped having gigantic expectations about what I could do and just settled for what’s the best thing for me to do instead.

I roasted the chicken up.

I made some spiced brown rice for meals the rest of the week.

I did some laundry, it’s in the dryer now, fresh warm towels.

I drank lots of water.

I cut myself some slack.

I look over my syllabi and packed my school bags and I’ll probably roll up on class tomorrow and just be ok with what I have not done.

One class I’m completely caught up with, no need to worry about that one at all, it has the biggest brunt of reading and I’ve completed that.

I’ve nearly every thing else done for another class, just have to whip out a little paper tomorrow.

I was going to do it tonight.

But.

Um.

Nope.

I’ll get out of class tomorrow and have a few hours before I see my clients.

I was tempted to get ahold of them and say stay the fuck put, don’t come out, but I’ll go to my office and see them.

And before I see them I’ll do what ever reading I need to do and I’ll write-up the small paper I have to turn in Saturday.

I’m not beating myself up for not being 100% ready.

I had a hard week with the family, not that they were bad, they are super, super sweet, but when a four-year old and a seven-year old are cooped up all week-long it’s hard to keep things balanced.

Add the sick little monkey into the mix and it was a long week.

I’m grateful that I was able to keep myself pretty on keel with them, but I was feeling it today, the worrisome smoke, the quality of the air, seeing little kids in face masks, it reminded me of Burning Man in a rather sinister way.

Sigh.

I’m done complaining.

I am.

I just want my head ache to go away.

And my heart breaks for all the loss in the North Bay, it’s unfathomable.

Just going to be sweet to myself for the rest of the night, take it easy, drink some tea, get some rest.

Wishing for all those near and dear that this passes soon and we will all draw a collective deep breath of fresh, sweet air.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

 

 

Almost There

September 19, 2017

And it was a full day.

But almost there.

Almost done.

Full of work and writing and reading and clients and my supervisor.

Who never fails to astound me with his breadth of knowledge and insight.

I was flummoxed by a new client and he sketched it out in three sentences.

Blew my mind.

Of course he’s got years of being a therapist on me, but still, he’s so damn good and also it’s refreshing to be under the tutelage of someone who is so in tune with his work and knows really deeply how to talk about clients.

I bring a lot to him.

I am very observant and there are things that I know he’s surprised that I catch.

But man, he takes them and runs with them and sees the things that aren’t so obvious to me.

Of course.

They’re obvious as soon as they come out of his mouth and his explanations make so much sense.

Again and again I am so pleased to be allowed to work with him.

I got very lucky.

One of my friends in my cohort argues that my supervisor got lucky with me.

That was nice to hear, but I do feel that I’m the lucky one in the deal.

I do think he finds me interesting to work with though, and for that I am grateful and I’m an intelligent woman, I think that helps a lot, I get where he’s going with things and I am able more and more, to articulate what I am seeing in the sessions and relaying it well enough to him that I am getting a lot of help with my cases.

More so, by far, than I get in group supervision.

Sometimes I feel like my group supervision is just there to help me see how good I have it, not just with my supervisor, who is not affiliated with my group or my internship, but also with my school.

I have gotten a much better education, it feels, than many of the other interns that I see in my group.

I could be wrong, but it feels like I’m getting more from my school program than I am seeing with the other interns that I have worked with.

And though my group supervisor is a nice woman, she’s not as intuitive as my solo supervisor not as academically rigorous.

Not complaining, just observing.

So.

Yeah.

I saw my solo supervisor before work today.

The hour always flies by, then I usually pop over to Rainbow Grocery and pick up a few things, things that I can only get there, it’s sort of like my treat.

Go to supervision, get Rau Chocolate drink.

Ok!

Then I scootered to work.

Where it was quiet and I was able to take care of the household business and then take some time to do some homework and have a nice lunch.

I don’t normally sit at the dining room table, but there was no one home, and the view, oh, my God the view is crazy good.

A gigantic sweep from floor to ceiling of glass and the sprawl of the city, the Bay Bridge, downtown, it’s amazing.

And there are plum trees in the back yard.

With blossoms on them!

I was so startled to see that.

Not a lot, not heavy like in spring, but there were blossoms and the beauty of them caught me so off guard.

I was inspired and wrote some poetry.

I like to write a poem now and again.

Makes me happy.

Makes me happy too when the work resonates with the reader.

Very happy.

I write poetry because I can’t help myself.

I really can’t.

It’s a part of me.

And a part of me that takes precedent over homework.

I still did homework though.

I still read.

I took my reader with me on the train to pick up my charges from school.

I took my reader with me to my internship.

I read when there is down time.

The only issue I have at the moment that I’m a little put off by is that my reader for my class that I need to wrap up for the upcoming weekend got fucked up at the printer.

So all sorts of my reading is not available to me.

Except.

Online.

Thankfully the professor was alerted and posted the readings up, but I dislike reading online when I am studying, I like to outline and write notes and underline passages.

I also like having a reader or a book that I can throw in my bag and read when I have a spare minute.

It looks like I will have time the next few days at work to attend to my readings as my work load is slightly lighter with the mom away on business with the baby.

So.

I guess I’m bringing my laptop to work tomorrow so I can do some of the reading I wasn’t able to yet get to.

Luxury problems.

I flipped through a bit of it already when I got home from seeing my clients and having a bite of dinner.

I may even be able to finish up the reading tomorrow at work.

Thereby leaving the rest of the week for just work and clients.

And.

Yes.

School.

I’ll be in classes again Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Friday: 9a.m. to 4 p.m.

Client at 6:30p.m.

Home by 8p.m.

Saturday: 9a.m. to 8 p.m.

And.

Sunday: 9a.m. to noon.

It’s nice having shorter class days, last two years I was in class until 8p.m. on Fridays and 4 p.m. on Sundays.

My internship, or practicum as it’s referred to while I am still in school, is considered a class.

Of course I spend a far greater amount of time and effort on my internship, it’s a different kind of learning too, and I’m actively doing therapy.

Whew.

It is a lot.

But I suspect.

I will have some nice times in there too.

I don’t suspect it.

I know it.

That’s the kind of life I live.

Work hard.

Play harder.

 

 

 

Bubble Wrap

July 4, 2017

And it’s being razor bladed off you.

Sometimes my supervisor has a way with words that astounds me.

I like to consider myself a writer, perhaps having a bit of a way with words, at times, I am definitely wayward, so there is that too.

But.

Man.

He knocked it out of the park today.

“It’s like this, you’re a brand new therapist, you’re still being taken out of the bubble wrap and they are razor blading it off you,” he paused, “you are getting overwhelmed and you need time to acclimated all the things that you are getting from your clients.”

He paused, straightened the hem on his pants, a tic sometimes that I’m not sure he’s aware of when he’s collecting his thoughts, like someone taking off their glasses to polish them when they want to find the right words to tell you you’re about to get fired.

Then he continued, “you are getting a lot from you clients, you are having some extraordinary insights, I’m not going to deny that, but you need some boundaries around it so you can assimilated all the information.”

I know what he is saying.

I was surprised last week when I got tossed as many clients as I did.

“Hey!  I’m new! I don’t have the chops yet!  Wait a minute, please,” I remember thinking and I also called into my person who tagged me out.

“You are overwhelmed and they are giving you too much and you need to push back,” he told me, “I can hear it in every message you are leaving, it’s great you’re a therapist and you’ve got skills, but you are absolutely overwhelmed.”

He was right.

And.

By grace, by God, by luck, what have you, I was granted small reprieves here and there and pockets of time that I was able to fall in, be held in, like the big oversized European chairs in my employers house.

Sometimes when I get a break, when the kids are not around, when the baby is sleeping, when the mom is off at her office or running errands and I am not in class and needing to catch up on my reading, I will sit in one of the chairs and stare out the big plate-glass windows of the back wall–it’s an entire wall, ceiling to floor (and it’s a high ceiling over twelve feet, probably fourteen foot high) of windows, one side of the house to the other.

I can see the entire downtown skyline.

I can see the Bay Bridge.

But most of the time I look at the tops of the trees, the scudding clouds, the blue of the sky.

Sometimes I will listen to music.

Sometimes I will just sit quietly.

But I always look at that sky and it replenishes me, the blue, the depths of it, the calling of calmness that comes over me.

I feel serene and there have been times, rare, but they have happened, when I can sit for a half hour.

Most of the time I get five, ten minutes.

And a lot of the time.

I don’t get any at all, not since the kids have been out of school.

The baby and I hang out more and more, oh my God his smiles when he sees me, melting.

I joked earlier today with the mom that it was the warm smell of baby that was the reason my clients are re-booking with me.

Re-booking.

I have three clients now that all have had more than two sessions and are continuing to schedule with me.

And the one client who has requested me.

I haven’t been assigned to him yet, so I don’t know the outcome, but my peers in group supervision seemed very positive about it.

If I have hours available, which I do, and the client request me, I let the assistant director and the director know and hopefully I will get that client.

It was actually that specific client that led my supervisor to put down his foot.

We had only gotten to discuss two of my cases and when I got into the details of what this new client was going through I thought for a minute he was going to throw down his notepad and call up my internship and scold them.

He collected himself and then talked to me about being a brand new therapist and how I was still opening and learning and how it shouldn’t be forced.

I shouldn’t be getting razor bladed out of my protective wrapping quite so fast.

I felt a mighty respect for the man and his consideration of me and my abilities but also in his protectiveness.

It also means that there was nothing wrong with me feeling overwhelmed last week.

I was.

Simple.

There have been times though when I have been all, “I got this,” and maybe I do and maybe I’m faking it until I make it, but generally I do pull it the fuck off and I do well and I am a good therapist.

I mean.

I am learning like fucking crazy, my instincts are really good and I’m able to track my clients and what they are sharing really well.

I know I surprised my client today with my recall of our session, and also that I was able to build some trust, I’m listening, I’m there, I’m empathetic.

I also don’t want to be overwhelmed and I want to show up and be of service.

I have a routine that works really well for me now that I know how long it takes for me to get from work to my internship.

I get done with work, use the bathroom, refresh my lip gloss, step out of my nanny shoes, literally, put on my therapist shoes, today a pair of Fluevogs, my “Leader” black stacked heel Mary Janes, and collect my bags and my files and hop on my scooter.

I get to the internship, lock down the scooter, take my basket bag out of the basket, key into the building and take the elevator.

I pray on the way up.

I breathe.

I open my office door, depending on what day of the week it is I am in a different office.

I pull my client file, review my notes, look over my supervision notes, tidy the room, hang my jacket, secure my purse and then pray again, to carry the message, not the mess, to be of service, to be helpful to be a good therapist.

I look at my phone and make sure that the volume is turned off.

And I put it away.

I always make sure that I have five minutes to breathe and sit and be settled in my chair.

The phone rings.

I buzz in my client.

I give them a minute to get to my floor, I put the Please Do Not Disturb, Session in Progress, sign on my door and go client my client.

And like that.

I’m a therapist.

Sometimes overwhelmed.

But mostly.

Vastly.

Amazingly grateful.

To be doing this work.

To be of service.

To serve.

I am so grateful.

Even when I am overwhelmed.

It passes and the gratitude washes over me and I know.

I am held and carried.

God didn’t bring me this far to drop me on my ass.

I don’t think so.

I’m just beginning.

There is so much to learn.

Just one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time.

Living in this present.

The gift.

My gift.

This thing that keeps giving.

This love.

This grace.

This life.

It is not mine to command.

But only to serve.

May I do so with continuous grace.

And no small amount of humility.

May it be enough.

As I know.

Know.

That I am enough.

 

What Day Is It?

October 3, 2015

Where am I?

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

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

I left feeling pretty elated though.

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

Hell.

I thought I was going to be late.

And I had a friend driving me to school.

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

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

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

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

I was like.

What the fuck?

Oh.

It’s Friday.

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

Obnoxious.

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

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

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

That’s ok.

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

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

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

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

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

My God.

That was just divine.

I could have crawled right into bed.

But.

Habits.

They die-hard.

And.

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

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

Or.

Rather.

How I let those things affect me.

The lie is that he/she affects me.

They affect me when I allow them to.

And.

My cohort affects me.

I really adore the hell out of some of them.

Love really.

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

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

And that is miraculous.

But.

I do tend toward a certain few.

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

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

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

Plus, she lives in town.

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

But.

Again.

Worth making the effort.

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

I know.

I know.

“You have so many friends on Facebook!”

Yeah.

I know.

How many of those friends called me today?

Or texted.

Or said hey, let’s hang out.

Or.

How’s grad school treating you?

What’s new with work?

Dating anyone?

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

They are busy too.

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

No I don’t.

But it sounds nice.

No.

Really.

I do want intimacy.

I do want to be seen.

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

I want you to see me.

Human.

Messy.

Alive.

That’s the gift.

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

And I do know.

How very grateful I am for my friends.

So much love.

Yes.

I mean.

For you.

Did I Get It All Done?

September 28, 2015

Fuck no.

Did I do a lot?

Yes.

Including and in no particular order, meeting with a ladybug and teaching her how to do spot check inventory, no need to sit in that dirty diaper all day, change it, change your perspective, get on with your day, walk through the fear.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

Cleaned my house.

Like really cleaned it.

REALLY.

Swept the floors, Swiffere’d the floors ( I know, I know, I used Swiffer as a verb, shut up), scrubbed the bathroom, did my laundry, stripped the bed, even washed and dried the duvet cover.

Which is a pain in the ass if ever there is one.

Putting the comforter back into the duvet cover after it’s washed, that is, pain in the tuchus, let me tell ya.

I even made extra food for the week, since I won’t be doing any cooking or grocery shopping before school next weekend or during the time I’m in class.  But I don’t want to have the experience of bonking out again like I did last time I was in class.  I will have food prepped and ready.

I made homemade pork fried brown rice with peas, carrots, corn, onions, brown mushrooms, garlic, and ginger.

Like that.

Then.

I read.

And read.

And read some more.

I also drank a lot of tea.

Excuse me while I go pee again.

Kidding.

Barely.

I read a lot about Freud, I read more Freud than I have in my entire life up until this point.

I read a lot of Freud, a lot of criticism of Freud and a lot of defense of Freud, that was really good and quite compelling and I find myself actually liking Freud a whole lot more than I used to.

Not that I had many great experiences with Freud prior, just assumptions.

I looked over my syllabi as well.

Although I felt a touch frustrated with how much I still have to read, I read as much as I could.

I switched up spots in my room to encourage better reading consumption.

Moving from kitchen table to chaise lounge.

I read outside on the back porch for a little while, although that was challenging as I found myself just wanting to lie back and enjoy the warm sunshine whenever it poked through the cloud cover.

I read until a friend texted me and we made plans to go up to Twin Peaks tonight and watch the Super Moon rise with lunar eclipse.

It was spectacular.

My friend grabbed me at 6:30 p.m.

Right about he time I was hitting my limit of Freud intake.

It was nice to gel out in the car and not think and let my friend ramble about the new house and new room mates and situations and I wasn’t tuned out, I was just there.

Appreciative.

Grateful.

Held.

Warm.

Because, damn Gina.

I forgot.

It gets cold up at Twin Peaks and after we had parked the car and gotten out to survey the lay of the land and make a spot to watch the moon rise with what felt like a great deal of the city as well–I love you San Francisco that so many of you came out to watch the moon rise and lunar eclipse, I love my city–we decided to get back the fuck into the car.

It was that breezy and cold.

The car.

Oh.

It was lovely.

Warm.

Good music.

Good company.

And the moon rise and the orange glow of eclipse as the earth reflected back it’s refracted light upon the surface of the moon, a reddish-orange hue, the burnt umber red floating in the East over the Bay, the sodium lights of the dockyards in Oakland glimmering, the dusky orange of City Hall shimmering in the cityscape, the flash of a red light on top of the TransAmerica Pyramid, the thread of white gold light sparkling on the Bay Bridge as traffic flowed over the top deck, the fog ghosting in over the back side of Twin Peaks.

And I am reminded of how beautiful this city is.

How lucky I am to get to live here.

And yes.

I had a moment or two, perhaps three, when I thought.

I really should be reading my Freud.

But then.

I would look up at the moon and sigh inwardly at my fortune.

And memories.

The times I have come up to Twin Peaks.

The first time I was taken to the top a couple of years before I moved to San Francisco, at sunset, the fog thick and blanketing the buildings, the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge poking through the grey bed, rosy and red and industrial orange and golden in the setting sun, the clouds over the East Bay a spectacular color guard of pinks and royal purples, blushed with persimmons and pumpkins and creamy rosettes of cloud clusters.

I was smitten.

I still am.

I can still see that first sunset and I can contrast and compare it to all the other times, really, not all that many, despite living in the city for over 13 years I can probably count about ten times that I have gone up to Twin Peaks and taken in the view.

Maybe more.

But not that many more.

I remember the time when I moved to San Francisco and I hadn’t been in the city more than a month and there was a huge spectacular meteor shower that was happening and I walked up to Twin Peaks from 20th and York in the Mission.

The meteor shower was amazing.

I counted 56 shooting stars that night.

And.

I wrote down a wish for each one of them in a notebook.

I have that notebook somewhere.

I feel compelled to dig it up and look at those wishes.

See how many have come true.

So many of my dreams have coalesced.

I have lived a grand and fabulous life.

I have lived in Paris.

I have written short stories in cafes in the Montmartre.

I have travelled to Rome and sat at the cafe on the top of the state museum and written in my journal while sipping an Americano.

I have gone to Burning Man a few times.

Nine.

I have loved and lived and grown in San Francisco.

I get to live here.

Who is this girl, this woman?

Who is this person who now gets to go to graduate school and balance all the things with all the other things, which make all the things possible?

She is a woman who once in a while is going to let herself off the hook from Freud.

To play a little hooky and watch the moon rise over this city.

This beautiful city.

My city.

By the Bay.


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