Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Sneaky Work

August 15, 2017

It’s Monday.

The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.

I bounce out of bed, turn on the lights, run to the loo.

Brush teeth, wash face, wander naked to the kitchen, I sleep in the nude, yes, indeed the first ten minutes of my morning are bare ass, drink a glass of water, take three vitamin supplements–iron, glucosamine chondrotin, Flax seed oil, then I go make my bed.

After that I get dressed, put on my shoes, watch, and pull out the layers I plan on wearing.

Hello.

It’s August in San Francisco.

Best to have at least three layers.

Cardigan, sweatshirt, scooter riding jacket.

I lay them out on the bed and then go do my morning reading and say some prayers and ask for some direction and then.

Breakfast!

Today was oatmeal with banana and figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa and unsweetened coconut/almond milk; 1 hard-boiled egg and an unsweetened almond milk latte.

While said food items are busy boiling, cooking, and frothing, I pack my lunch for work and whatever homework and internship paperwork, texts, and syllabi I need for the day.

Today it was solo supervision, so definitely needed my pink glitter notebook.

Who says grad school has to be all seriousness.

Glitter makes it better.

Trust me.

I also packed my Jungian dream book, even though my brain said, what’s the point?

There’s not a spare minute to do reading today.

But, from experience, this is not true.

Times when I think I am going to have hours of reading, I don’t and days when I think, I couldn’t possibly spare thirty seconds to look at a paragraph, I suddenly have unexpected time.

Life happens.

All the time.

That’s what life does.

But.

I find these weird, sweet, odd pockets of time and that’s when I use Stephen King’s advice.

And if you don’t think reading Stephen King is a highly psychological endeavor you’re not reading his works very well.

Anyway.

He wrote this awesome little book a while back, non-fiction, called “On Writing” and it gives his basic formula for what he does and his routine.

First.

He reads.

A lot.

And not his stuff, but everyone else.

His biggest suggestion and one that I took very much to heart, especially after starting grad school, is, carry a book with you at all times.

You never know when you may get stuck in a line or your appointment gets pushed back, or you’re riding the train or the bus or the subway.

I notice most folks these days are looking at their phones.

I read my homework for school if I have down time.

And like I said, I often have a snatch of it when I least expect it.

Today it happened at supervision.

My supervisor lost his keys and had to run home to get the replacement set.

So, my session was cut a little short but, hey!

I have my Jungian Dream Work class text-book.

Whip it out!

I knocked out another couple of pages.

And very glad for it.

I got another text-book in the mail today and I have it already packed in my travel bag for tomorrow, along with the Jungian book, I doubt very much I’ll actually have time to read the two chapters for the class I still need to kick through and have time to get into the next text I have assigned myself.

But.

Well.

You never know.

I just don’t anyway.

Another thing King recommends is that you write everyday.

Yup.

I do that too.

Before I head out.

And when I get home in the evening.

Sometimes I am still not sure how that all happens.

I do the morning writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks from Paris, or whatever notebook I have handy.  I of course have a preference, but I will write on anything.

Although I hate recycled notebooks, the quality of the paper is ass.

I write three pages long hand.

I write about what I’m doing, the things that happened the day before that I don’t write about in my blog

Oh.

Haha.

There’s a few things that I do not write about here.

That all gets covered and rehashed and processed in the morning writing.

The evening, this, my blog, I am also pretty damn consistent.

I used to be super anal about it and I couldn’t not write every day.

That’s eased up a little in recent years.

Years, I say, I have been writing this blog for so long.

Seven, eight years.

I have over 2,200 blogs posted.

And that’s after two different scrubbing sessions where I probably deleted a couple hundred blogs just to make sure I wasn’t leaving a thumbprint or, yes, I had said something unkind about someone in my life.

Typically a boss.

Occasionally a bad date.

Ooh, man I had some bad date blogs.

Which I stopped doing when a blind date stumbled on a blog I wrote, I’m thinking he probably stalked me a bit, let’s be real, and sent me a text which said, “I read your blog.”

Ack.

I had to delete it and make an amends.

I swallowed that pride, deleted the blog, called him, he answered, and apologized.

That was an uncomfortable conversation.

But.

Better than the alternative.

It still was an awful date, but I had said some pretty not so nice things.

I learned my lesson, words can cut deep and it’s not my business to malign.

I stopped writing anything about other people and really tried from that point forward to keep the focus on myself.

I have plenty of flaws I can poke fun at, I don’t need to point out anyone else’s.

So.

That’s the writing routine for the day.

The rest of today looked like work, cooking for the family, doing the baby’s laundry, lots of bouncing around with the baby–he’s teething horribly–playing race cars with the oldest boy and letting the little lady watch Frozen, since she wasn’t feeling well.

I was supposed to go to my internship today and see a client.

But.

She cancelled.

So.

After work I zoomed to the grocery store and picked up some staples and then zipped over the hill to 7th and Irving and hit up the spot, got right with God and got home.

Garbage, recycling, compost out to the curb as a favor to the landlady who is traveling, check the mail, another text-book from school!

I know, it’s exciting, right?

Reviewed my calendar, personal, work, and internship, printed off some forms–I have a new client consult at the internship tomorrow, and ate some dinner.

Checked e-mails, popped over to my “Track My Hours” my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) approved MFT hours tracker, and added in my hour of supervision from the morning.

And um.

That’s the day.

Not exactly exciting.

But really full.

Hell I even snuck in a trip to the bank and the post office to return a package in between supervision and work, and a run to Walgreens for some more school supplies–two packs of my favorite pens and a new pink folder.

Because.

Pink.

It’s a lot.

But.

It’s a gift.

This life, my life, getting to be this person who is busy and of service, getting to learn how to be a better therapist, advocating for my self-care, taking time to do my own writing, eating well, being kind, just living.

Life is going to happen and I can choose to look at it as a grind.

Or.

Fuck.

I can say, look at my amazing life!

I live in San Francisco for fuck sake.

I have such a bounty of gratitude for what I have.

It awes me every day.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Really.

I am.

Hello My Old Friend

August 7, 2017

So nice to get re-acquainted.

Not.

Fuck me man.

I got anxious today.

Now.

That should go without saying, having been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and clinical depression about a decade ago, that I would have anxiety now and then in my life.

But.

Shit.

I’d sort of forgotten.

Good grief.

It snuck up on me today.

Perhaps because I had suddenly some unexpected down time and that can make me a little tight in my chest, a little thread of something is wrong running down my spine, unscheduled down time, what the fuck will I do?

And I had plenty to do, I always have something going on.

I did loads of writing.

I did loads of laundry.

So happy the landlady replaced the washing machine, the gift of not having to go to the laundry mat next to the 7-11 on the corner of Judah and 46th is no joke.

I did yoga.

I had lots of lovely phone conversations today.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked food for dinner.

I had a scrumptious salad for lunch on the back porch during the half hour of sun that came out in the Outer Sunset.

Man.

It has been foggy.

I’m about ready for that to be over weather wise.

I went and got right with God.

I did some meditation.

Life is great!

And.

I ordered books for school and looked over another syllabus that got published for my fall semester.

That’s when I noticed it, the corroding of my nerves, the odd feeling in my body, the small shivers of panic.

Oh.

Hello.

I had forgotten you.

And.

Oh.

Hello.

Fuck off.

I don’t need you around.

I mean.

I really don’t.

Anxiety pulls me out of the moment, catapults me into the future, where there is not god, there is nothing, there is only fear and terror and pain.

And it’s always a bad future.

It’s not a sweet, kind, gentle, loving future.

Nope.

It’s a.

YOU’RE GOING TO FUCKING FAIL SO YOU BETTER MOVE YOUR ASS NOW.

Kind of future.

And I still might fail.

And that’s ok.

I mean.

It is at least familiar.

I know this feeling, I have had it before, and I can live through it.

And I didn’t have a panic attack.

I had the scattering of one at the beginning of the last semester when I was super uptight about practicum and getting my internship nailed down.

Fortunately I was having a work day where the mom and baby were at her office and I was going to pick up the monkeys from school.

I had some down time at work to do cleaning and fold laundry and prep stuff for dinner and I got an e-mail regarding some financial aid thing and then another about registering for practicum and something in me just popped.

I got super wound up and it felt like a cement bucket of fear was riding on my chest and creeping up my throat.

Yay!

Anxiety.

For two and a half years I took antidepressants to deal with the depression and anxiety.

I stopped right around my five years of sobriety.

I came off them real easy.

I had been on the lowest dosage anyway.

But.

I felt like I didn’t need them anymore and I was riding my bicycle a lot and nannying some pretty energetic kids and I was doing ok.

I was also began eating a diet abstinent from processed flour and all sugars (except those occurring naturally in fruit, bring on the apples!) and that was a big thing too.

My diet got really clean, I got daily biking exercise, and I was out in the sun a lot pushing a stroller to and from multiple playgrounds.

The anxiety dissipated.

And.

The depression fell away.

I lost lots of weight.

I got happy.

Sure.

Shit happened.

Life happened.

When it was a dark and rainy winter the depression would slide back in a little, but for the most part.

Nothing.

Until.

I started grad school.

Anxiety nightmares.

Stress dreams.

Mild depression each winter semester.

Nothing that I couldn’t titrate with a touch more sleep or with a little more exercise and then I added some flax oil into my diet and rode it out.

The anxiety was easily the worst my first semester of school.

Now.

Today.

Not so much.

But.

It was there.

And truth be told.

It annoyed me.

It pissed me off.

I was like.

No.

NO.

I am not doing this again.

I know what this looks like and I know how to handle it and.

AND.

It never has been that bad.

It never has been the nightmare of not having enough time to do all the things and read all the things and write all the papers that my over active imagination likes to tell me it’s going to be.

Not once.

Not.

Never.

I never stopped blogging, which I told myself I would drop if it got bad.

I never stopped doing morning pages, ditto, I’ll stop if I can’t handle the writing load.

Oh.

Sure.

There were days here and there when I didn’t.

But I was pretty steady through it all.

I also know from experience, this for me is the most basic form of faith, that I always get things done.

And that there really is no need to be anxious about things.

I sent out a few messages, got some sweet responses.

Made a phone call to my person.

Wrote out a gratitude list.

And went about my day.

There are things I am going to have to do and my fall semester this year will look different from my last two as I am in practicum and I am seeing clients and I’m basically a practicing psychotherapist.

Not a psycho.

Haha.

Sorry.

Gallows humor is probably not the most attractive thing in a therapist.

Or is it?

Anyway.

I reached out to my supervisor about my schedule and I saw some openings and some things that I may have to adjust to and change-up.

But.

Overall.

I got this.

I got my books ordered.

I am still waiting for the release of one more syllabus though, I may still have to purchase a few books, but that’s fine.

I got my first text-book in the mail and I started reading it yesterday and yes, it will start traveling with me as I go about my week.

I worked through the anxiety.

I had a nice quiet talk with myself, assuaged my worries, gave myself the you can do it pep talk and basically really breathed into it.

All in all.

I can handle this and I was told that this would be a challenging year.

Haven’t they all been?

But.

That I have seen others walk through it and I know if they can do it so can I.

Plus.

I have a pretty amazing support system, fellowship and community.

I’m going to be just fine.

Because.

I already am.

Today.

Right now.

In this beautiful moment.

There is nothing wrong, and my life.

Well.

Let me just say.

It’s fucking fabulous.

Amazing really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Calendar This

August 6, 2017

Bitches.

I updated my Google calendar today.

Just my personal one, not the one for my internship which feels like I am on it looking at it, figuring it out, all the time.

My personal one not so much.

But.

As days are getting filled I realized that it would be a smart idea to plug-in all my dates and look at my school weekends and get those all listed.

My last year of my Masters program.

Hard to fucking fathom it.

But.

It is.

I started my reading today for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I had a full day, it felt, just working on my calendar, I might have put in an hour on it.

I mean.

I really did do it up, putting in dates all the way up until the Aids LifeCycle ride in June of next year, June 3rd-9th.

I don’t know when graduation will be for school, that will be in May, I know that, but not necessarily when.

I won’t have to do summer school or summer practicum, since I did it this summer, so I’ll be able to walk free and clear and at the rate I’m collecting hours I will have more than double, perhaps triple the hours I need to graduate my program.

They will be just a drop in the bucket of what I have to accomplish overall, but I’ll be able to graduate with no sweat at the rate I am going.

I got to have my first experience with a couple today.

Which is awesome.

And.

Terrifying.

And amazing.

And.

A lot to hold.

I mean, it’s two people and I’m just one, staying in tune with everything that is in the room and it’s not to one person or the other that I need to attend, although I feel like I did a pretty decent job being balanced in my session.

Ultimately, though, the client is the relationship.

That means doing therapy in a different manner and it didn’t feel like there was enough time to get to everything that was happening, but then again, it was an initial consult and I may not be assigned this particular couple.

It was, however, a great learning experience, and as it was a couple the hour counts as two hours for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) who require at least 500 hours of Couples, Children, or Family Therapy.

It doesn’t matter if I want to be a therapist who works one on one with clients, the BBS requires me to do some hours of work with a family unit.

A couple is a great way to get those kinds of hours.

From what I can tell at my internship there are not a lot of Family hours available.

Nor child hours, but they do both and I have been assigned a child client, same client I did an intake with a few weeks ago, so there is that opportunity to pick up hours there.

Still.

500 hours.

That’s a lot.

Fuck.

3,000 hours ultimately is what I must have.

I’ve got 107.50 currently.

A drop in the bucket.

I know, though, I know it so well, that these things add up.

I just need to keep trudging the road and I’ll get there.

And there is plenty to keep me busy in the mean time.

It looks pretty damn good that I will not be going back to 35 hours a week at my nanny gig when school starts.

The mom and I had a very brief discussion about that, that the family wants me to stay at my current iteration of hours.

Which is 42 hours a week.

Sigh.

I can do it.

I know I can.

I can squeeze in the homework.

The baby will nap and I will read.

There may be times when that doesn’t happen, but I will get used to carrying my textbooks and reader with me and I will adjust to it.

School will be what school is.

Technically it should be easier than the first two years since part of my schedule is practicum, and well, I’m in it.

In fact.

I need to remember to pull my file on Monday when I go in and see my client.

I have a review and grade report from my supervisor waiting for me in the office.

I have to turn it into the school, which is basically turning in what ever grade my supervisor has given me and acknowledging that I am doing the work necessary for the school to pass me.

I don’t know if I get a letter grade for this or not.

I do know that it was more than just a page, more like three or possibly four pages of questions that the school needed my supervisor to weigh in on.

I currently have a 4.0.

I sure as shit hope I got an “A” if there is an assigned letter grade.

I can’t imagine that I would get less than that.

Which is not to be cocky, it’s just that I do show up, I do the work, I participate in my group supervision, I have clients who have rebooked with me.  I have clients that have requested to work with me after doing an initial consult.  I even received a very sweet thank you from one of my clients for the work we have been doing.

Unexpected and lovely that.

Anyway.

There are lots of things to juggle.

But I can do it.

And I am sure that I will still have time to do the pleasurable things that I need to do in my life and fingers crossed I’ll still be able to keep my blog practice happening.

I say that every semester and every semester I have managed to keep putting my paws on my keyboard and click clacking away.

It’s also one day at a time.

All I have to do today is what is in front of me.

I have to live in 24 hour increments or I will lose my mind.

And well.

That might suck for my burgeoning career as a psychotherapist.

Ha.

I can do it one little day at a time.

There is time for it all.

There really is.

And knowing that.

Well.

That’s a power I can’t quite fathom.

But I know without a single doubt.

I am being taken care of.

Completely.

Every single day.

With great love and compassion.

Which is more than I ever hoped for.

Life is full.

And.

Amazing.

Beyond my wildest dreams.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

It’s Not Time

July 16, 2017

To write this blog yet.

But.

Well.

It wants to be written.

Even though I opened up my WordPress site and sat and stared at the blank screen and thought, I don’t have a thing to write about.

Denial.

I should fold my laundry and put it away.

I will wash my dinner dishes.

So instead of starting to write I got up and put my laundry away and I did the dishes.

I even pre-emptively filled the kettle for a cup of tea after I finish writing.

I know, hot tea, sounds excruciating to think about in July, but it’s July in San Francisco, I’m in bunny slippers and thought for a minute about turning on the heat.

It’s chilly here in July, unlike anywhere else.

Although there was some warmth in the city today after the fog lifted and I got out of the Outer Sunset, I even put on a little sunblock just in case.

Anyway.

I digress.

It was when I was filling my kettle that I realized that I was avoiding the elephant in the room.

Or the plum, as the case may be.

I bought a plum today.

A beautiful, gorgeous, fat black plum.

I’m not a big fan of plums.

I mean, they’re nice and all, but I wouldn’t typically choose to buy a plum, not really my thing.

A persimmon?

Get the fuck out of my way, I’m buying them all.

But a plum?

Nope.

But.

Ugh.

I usually buy one around this time of year.

And it’s not because it’s stone fruit time.

I want stone fruit I eat cherries.

I love cherries.

Or.

Yellow nectarines.

So good.

Not the white ones, only the yellow, and not peaches.

I know, what kind of monster am I?

I don’t like the texture of skin on a peach and the fruit is typically too soft for me, I know friends who would kill for a perfect peach.

Me?

Not so much.

But.

There I was at Gus’s Community Market on Harrison and 17th in front of the plums and I saw it and just reached for it.

My heart in my throat.

Tears prickling my eyes.

I picked out the biggest, prettiest plum in the pile.

I thought about him.

I wrote a story about it once upon a time, a children’s story, about sharing.

I called it “Shadrach and The Plum.”

It was about a little boy and how he shared his most precious treat, a big juicy sweet plum (insert some ee cummings here and an icebox please) with a little girl at school who had forgotten her lunch.

He sat down next to her with his brown paper bag and saw that she had nothing in front of her, her parents had sent her to school with no lunch, he thought to himself as he took the food out of his paper sack, “I’ll share my lunch but not the plum, plums are my favorite, she’s can’t have my plum.”

He asked her, “do you want some of my lunch?”

She nodded eagerly and pointed to what she wanted, “I want the plum.”

He didn’t say a word, he just handed it to her and ate his peanut butter sandwich and drank his milk.

I heard about her later when I read the story I had written to his family.

In hindsight I don’t know if it was the best idea, they were still grieving, it was their first Christmas without him and here I was some girl from San Francisco wearing flowers in her hair and her heart on her sleeve reading a story about lessons we learn from our friends.

Because.

Well.

Shadrach was like that.

He would give you what you needed without question.

I might get teased about it later, I might be razzed, but he always saw me so much clearer than I saw myself.

His death anniversary is coming up.

Sigh.

Ten years now.

And sometimes it still feels like I’m in that ICU at General holding his hand, or in my room on in that crazy old Victorian on Capp and 23rd, sobbing my heart out into a pillow as I prayed and prayed and prayed to God.

I knew better than to ask God to save Shadrach, I pretty much knew he was gone, I never said boo about it, I never tried to change anyone’s mind about their hopes and I certainly did not express any of my doubts about him waking up from the coma to his family, I just kept showing up and asking them what they needed, put I kept asking God to help me through it and the only way I knew how was to not focus on myself.

How can I be of service?

I was brought up that way, in my recovery community.

“How do I do this?”  I called a friend who had just lost a mentor, a man who had 43 years of recovery and who I also knew quite well, the past week.

“You show up and help his family and you ask ‘how may I be of service?’ and you help them that way, and that’s how you get through.  And through you will get.”

He told me how brave I was and how much he loved me and that I could hang in there.

I did.

And I do.

I still hang in there.

I still show up.

I saw that damn plum and almost cried, but as a reminder that I get to live today I bought it.

I did what I needed to do today and I went where I was supposed to go and when I saw someone in my community who was losing it over the recent loss of our young mutual friend tonight, well, I held her hand and I didn’t let her run out of the room.

I just held her and hugged her and hugged her more until she got all the sobs out.

“You don’t do this alone,” I told her, “don’t run out.”

“I can’t handle all this death, it’s too much,” she said and tried to break away again.

I hugged her some more and then I told her some stories.

I told her about losing my best friend to a scooter accident, my best friend who was sober, who was committed, who was about to run the SF Marathon.

The same marathon that is about to be run here on the 23rd of this month.

The signs just went up by the park and I thought of Shadrach, I thought of how beautiful he was when he was running and how strong and graceful.

I thought of the last thing that I said to him, the best gift the moment, that moment when you realize you have to say something or regret it for the rest of your life.

Although, of course, how could I know?

“Shadrach, I just have to tell you, if I never see you again you have to know how beautiful you are right now, you are just glowing,” I touched his arm.

He raised an eyebrow at me and was about to say something witty and cryptic and instead he smiled at me and hugged me to him.

That was the last thing I said to him.

Well.

It was the last thing that I said to him when he was still coherent and not brain-dead in a hospital bed for a week before his family pulled the plug.

I shared my story.

And.

I told her about another woman we both know and how she lost her best friend on the day of his one year sobriety birthday, how he was hit by a bus coming home from his anniversary party.

I mean.

Fuck.

I told her she didn’t have to do it alone and that she was strong enough to shoulder it and that she was lucky, lucky that she got to feel the depth of love she felt for this person who just died a few days ago, that she could be grateful for the time she got to know him.

I hugged her again.

I’m a hugger.

And.

Told her to call me and lean in.

It’s not easy grieving and sometimes I felt like the sadness of Shadrach’s passing would never leave me, but it did.

Well.

That’s also not true, but it lessened, or I got used to it I suppose.

Although seeing that big purple plum sitting on top of a Mason jar on my kitchen counter brought it all home.

I still miss my friend.

He taught me so much.

Not just how to love.

But.

More importantly, that I was lovable and worthy of love.

A lesson that took many years to sink in.

But in it did.

So.

Tonight.

I will raise my plum to my lips and taste the sweetness and let my fingers be sticky with gratitude and love and memory and honor my friend and all the gifts he gave me, so many years ago now.

All the love he planted in my heart that has grown and flourished and bloomed.

All the things.

All the love.

And.

Always.

The best.

The sweetest, coldest, juiciest plums for you.

Always.

 

 

What To Do?

July 7, 2017

I mean.

I have poetry surging through me right now.

But.

I also just need to process the fuck out of my day.

It was a day.

And though I was chased by poetry all day long.

ALL DAY LONG.

I feel as though I just need to write it out for a while.

It’s how I work things out.

Oh.

The poetry is that too.

But I have had a long day and I want to shake it out of my brain so that I can sleep.

I have much to do tomorrow and many places to go and be and do and see and feel.

Oh.

All the feels.

Hello feels.

So nice to see you again.

I don’t find it at all ironic that the field I am training in is therapy.

Hello.

Let ‘s get down to the feelings you have around that.

I had three clients tonight.

However, I only saw two of them.

One of my clients confused when we were supposed to meet and as the client was new and had not done an assessment yet I rescheduled her, I wasn’t going to be able to do an assessment in the ten minutes before my first session.

It took some time to explain what she needed to do and I had to own my part, there had been some miscommunication.

A little like playing telephone the old-fashioned way with cardboard tubes and strings.

It was worked out, but it ended with me having an hour in between my two clients that I did see.

I was fine with that, it actually let me take an important phone call and watch the sky while the sunset.

It was a nice sunset.

I found myself looking at the sky a lot today.

At work earlier in the day, it was a long day people 9a.m.-9:30p.m., the baby had fallen asleep on me.

Not once but twice.

The first time was fairly short and I handed him off to the mom who was heading out the door and taking him with her on her journey through the day.

I got to hang out with the other two monkeys and do lots of cooking a meal prep.

Then when the mom got back I got the baby and he passed out on me.

I had him on my chest, in a carrier, for at least two, probably two and a half hours.

Oh sure.

I looked at my phone a bit.

I read some texts.

I looked at some photographs.

Then I just got dreamy and looked out the window.

I watched the sky.

I watched the trees.

I closed my eyes and drifted.

I was seated on the couch and a few times the little guy would startle hearing his siblings or his mom and he would wake up and cry a bit and I had to get up and walk around and jostle him and bounce and hum.

I have this little thing I hum.

I have been doing it all the years I have been a nanny.

Sometimes I catch myself humming to myself.

It settles me, it soothes me, I don’t know how it exactly came about, but I pair that hum with a lullaby and sometimes I will just hum, three or four notes and repeat them again and again and breathe, in and out, deep and slow, and the baby always settles.

He left a pool of drool on my chest, a ring of moisture that the mom was aghast to see when I finally took him out of the carrier five minutes before I had to hop on my scooter and head to my internship to see my first client.

She pointed it out and I shrugged it off.

“My clients will love that, subconsciously, I’ll be a maternal and warming experience,” I told her, noting to myself that it wasn’t spit up and I didn’t smell like mothers milk, it was just baby drool and I know that baby drool is actually an amazing moisturizer.

I credit that and my grandmothers genetics on my father’s side for my youthful good looks.

Hahahahahaha.

Sorry.

I digress.

I told the mom it would dry before I got to work and I wasn’t worried about my clothes.

Although my fucking clothes have been much on my mind this past week.

The washer in the garage has been out of commission, it was supposed to be repaired this Wednesday but when I tried to do a load of wash last night, no go.

And I got a text from my landlady today while I was at work saying that it was beyond repair and that it would be getting replaced.

IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

Fuck my life.

I can’t tell you how much I was relying on doing laundry when I got home tonight.

God laughs when I make plans.

I guess I”m going to have to go to the laundry mat on Saturday.

Grr.

Annoying as fuck.

But at least the dryer works.

It’s more that it’s a time suck.

I don’t know how early or how late the laundry mat is open, it’s just down the block by the 7-11 on Judah and 46th, it’s just out of my fucking way and I don’t want to waste time dealing with it and I need to wash my yoga gear if I hit a class on Saturday.

Anyway.

Fucking luxury problems.

I have more than enough clean clothes to get me through the rest of the week.

Shit.

Tomorrow is Friday.

FRIDAY.

So ready for you.

So ready to see you.

Yes.

Yes I am.

Ah.

And there.

See

I did it.

I processed all my shit.

And maybe.

Well.

Maybe there will be poetry too.

There’s been so much.

Why not a little more.

It is the end of the week after.

Sweet dreams.

Gentle awakenings.

Happy end of the week.

I’ll see you on the flip.

Overwhelmed

June 29, 2017

Much.

Sure.

I was.

I feel better now.

It was a long day and as the day progressed I kept getting more and more information about what I needed to do for my internship this week.

Namely.

That I am taking on a new set of clients tomorrow.

That’s right.

SET.

I have my first couples therapy session.

I was like.

Oh.

Shit.

It’s on now.

I did get a little overwhelmed and then I just breathed and went with it.

I also picked up a consult for next week and I have a new consult this Friday.

I’m getting busy.

It’s still super new, just getting used to where I am, the facility, etc and that I am practicing therapy.

I mean.

I really am a therapist.

It’s pretty fucking surreal.

And.

Also, pretty fucking amazing.

I am also really grateful to be getting some hours tucked in under my belt and to be getting to practice and getting used to what it feels like to juggle all the things.

There’s a lot to juggle.

I am happy for it all, but I have found myself winnowing things out here and there.

I debated whether or not I was going to blog tonight and realized that I really wanted to, I needed to process through the day and shake it out of my head.

And.

I did not write this morning.

I needed to go back into my internship and deal with some paperwork before heading into work this morning.

It was rush hour and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to have the thirty minutes to write, and I couldn’t bring myself to get up any earlier.

I have been getting up pretty early for the last couple of weeks and the thought of just sneaking in another fifteen minutes of slumber was worth it.

Plus I took a shower.

And did my hair, that always eats time.

So not having written this morning I really wanted to make space and allow myself to write my blog even if all I wanted was a cup of tea, a bowl of cherries and some Orange is the New Black.

I may still do all of that, just not watch an entire show.

I was so busy at one point last week that the one episode I managed to watch was spread out over four nights.

Heh.

I have also noticed that I am checking in less and less with social media.

I just don’t have the time and since I haven’t been linking my blog to social media, it hasn’t had as much of a draw for me.

I am ok with this.

I like to talk on the phone or in person rather than dancing around social media.

It’s a nice way to keep tabs on folks but yeah, it’s not been so much on my plate recently and I am ok with that.

I still post Instagram photos and I’m still on the social media tip, although not Twitter, closed that account, I’m just not as into it.

It has been interesting to see my blog nose dive so much with the readership, but it has allowed for a kind of leeway in my writing and I do love that.

I do love that I am still here, typing away, writing my little words, cataloguing my life.

Occasionally letting the poetry out of my heart.

Like.

 

Your face glowing in the red of the traffic light.

Love lit and reverent.

Words trembling upon your lips.

But they do not fall.

Then.

That.

Mouth.

Full of promise.

Sweet, open, vulnerable.

And.

The thrum of it.

The strings and somnolent vibration, the headiness of having your face

Smote with emotion in front of mine.

How I wish to crush you to me.

Let me flower for you underneath the star light and the moon roof.

Blooming with the nights soft remonstrance in my mouth.

The crash of the ocean at Miramar Beach.

Cold wind pushing me into your arms.

My feet sink into the sand and I tumble against you.

Falling and falling and falling over again.

For you.

Shot through with the blue of your eyes.

From the awe and reverence there.

Even when.

You don’t always let me see it.

Shutters on your heart open and close.

I know though.

I know all the way through me.

Straight through.

There.

Is.

This

Arrow winnowed into my heart.

Lodged there.

Succinct and brilliant.

I lapse upon its bright point.

Collapsing.

Knowing that I am caught.

Held.

Loved.

Be it unspoken.

Or writ.

Large in the promises your eyes speak to me.

Captured.

Asunder.

Those.

Fallen angel eyes.

Falling forward.

Compel me on.

Like star-gazer lilies blooming while I dream.

You.

Enthrall.

Me.

 

And like that.

I get to make time for my poetry.

My heart opens.

And now I can have my cherries in a bowl.

My cup of tea.

And my rest.

Sweet dreams my love.

Sweet dreams.

 

The Practice Of

June 25, 2017

Showing up.

Showing up to yoga.

Showing up for my recovery.

Showing up for my internship.

The practice of showing up here now that my readership has been cleaved in minute pieces and no one reads the blog anymore.

Not exactly true.

I know that the folks who subscribe are still reading, at least they are getting the blog in their email whether or not they read it I can’t always tell.

But.

The readership that I used to have from using social media has dwindled to just about nothing.

On one hand.

GREAT!

I’ve gone dark, my blog is not being read, it’s not search engine popping up in response to my name and whatever therapy clients I have now or those who will follow in the future, won’t find my ruminating thoughts if and when they decide to Google me.

On the other hand.

Sad.

Not horribly sad, but a little sad, teeny tiny bit sad, just a touch of sadness like a hint of vanilla on a sugar cookie, fleeting and gone and sweet to taste with hints of nostalgia.

I miss the interactions I used to get from people seeing and reading my blog.

But.

I am still here, still showing up, still doing the deal, and it is for me, ultimately that I continue to write for, to please myself, to find all the hidden caches of words in my soul and delve them out, throw them up on the screen and try once again to frame my own world experiences through these scintillating verbs and nouns.

I don’t always succeed.

But when I do.

Oh.

The happiness.

It is joy.

And one side effect of not writing the blog for a social media audience is that I have found myself less abashed to put my poetry up as a blog.

Once in a while I have done that before, written a poem and posted it as my daily blog post.

But recently.

I have been writing a lot more poetry and I am happy to have the forum to throw it out to the world.

The poems get almost no hits and they seem just for me, a sweeting expression of lush moments in my current life.

There is so much pleasure for me in the poetry, I cannot even express it.

The passion it lends to my life, it is a grace, and I am so happy to be pursuing it more here and in my life in general.

Having a muse helps.

Having a line, an image, a word sometimes that captures my attention.

And then.

I am in thrall.

I am writing and the words unlock and open themselves and spread across the sky, backlit with poems that have come before and the surprise of the new moon in the sky over the horizon of the darkling ocean.

I have a gift.

Not everyone will agree with that.

It is like someone who sings, slightly off-key, with fervor and love.

You have to love that person to put up with the passion of what they are creating, but in that loving, in that allowing of the story, the narrative, the poetry, the witness grants the artist succor and the work becomes a gift.

I don’t know where all the words come from and I don’t care, they fly from my fingers, wind themselves around my heart and ensorcell me with abandon and wild loving.

How could I not show up to the page?

Just for the chance to dip myself back into that pool of words and images and love.

It’s really all about love.

Love.

My words just outpourings of infinite love and thus I do know, even if I protest that I don’t, that all love is around me that God surrounds me, that God and love are interchangeable.

What came first it does not matter.

I use love in many different forms.

And.

Oh.

Does love use me.

And I am a grateful servant to this master.

Supplicating upon bent knee, bowing my head to rest it against said sweet skin.

The skein of it binding me as it frees me.

Lost in this world I have no rumination of leaving.

Only to examine and frolic and let my curious heart go.

And the words.

Oh.

They astound.

The feelings fleet and fast and forever changing and then changing again.

Yet.

A constant.

A consistent feeling.

A naming of those things that bind me and I know.

I know intrinsically, without worry or grief for what it belies about my heart, that I am this artist, this is my calling.

So.

I fear not when I am not read.

For having read the book of my own heart.

I am healed.

And for that.

Graced.

Grateful.

Awed.

Loved.

 

Tired

June 23, 2017

And wide awake all at the same time.

There was a moment today when I just thought to myself, I am not going to make it through the day.

Not enough sleep.

Too many hours at work.

Client that needs to be seen after work.

Party for a friends studio opening.

And I was asked to come in earlier tomorrow to work.

I thought I was just going to pass out.

The little lady was close to taking a nap and I hazarded a distinct longing to put her down for a nap and cuddle with her and sneak in a nap myself.

But.

No such luck.

I also didn’t want to super caffeinate.

Although I came daringly close I did not succumb to the temptation and powered through the day.

My thoughts kept me company and I kept myself moving around the house a lot and kept telling myself that it was almost Friday.

It still was a long day.

But I made it through work and I got to my internship and I had a really good second session with a new client.

Two clients this week and I’ll be adding another client next week.

Slowly it builds.

I felt really good doing the session and decided that I could rally afterward and go sneak over to my friend’s open house studio opening.

I really wanted to have a grown up moment that was a social, even if it was just for a little snick of time.

I hadn’t any dinner so I knew that it would be short-lived and watching the fog roll in over Twin Peaks I was pretty assured that it would be a quick visit.

But it was good and I got to see an amazing work space and reconnect with Burning Man friends and talk a little about the event and when folks are going.

I haven’t found a ride yet and there was a moment when I thought, fuck it, wouldn’t it be nice to not stress and give up the ticket and spend the time here in the city with people I love and then I was like.

Um, no.

Hahahaha.

Sure, there are people who I want to see here, but the fact is if I don’t go to Burning Man I’d just be working anyhow, it’s not like vacation, although it completely is, but it’s outside of my time frame of paid vacation and I wouldn’t just take the week off without going.

Plus.

It’s the ten-year anniversary of my best friend’s death and he’s the reason why I went in the first place.

My heart, tender, feeling that loss, but not so achy as it’s been in the past, just tender, just there and I know there will be feelings that come up.

And there will be a conversation with him, somewhere in deep playa, out past the Temple where I am sure between the Temple and the mountain range my friend still resides, just a little part of him, I didn’t take all his ashes, but enough, enough to know he’s there and there are many places that I connect with the memory of him and also with the aliveness of him, the way I live my life a reflection of the gusto he went after life with.

I am sure he would be proud of me.

OH.

Hello.

There are the tears.

I knew you were around.

I watched the fog roll in over the top of Twin Peaks from the deck of my friends studio in the Mission and it was the same height and approximate distance from the hospital ICU, General, where my friend spent a week in a coma before the family pulled the plug and harvested his organs for donation.

There is always one strong memory for me, pressing my face against that window, my fevered brow, the hotness of my heart, the tears always on and off, more so off when I was at the hospital–it was only in the privacy of my own room in the dark as I prayed to God on my knees to get me through the experience that I would allow myself to cry–the coolness of the window and the dark, heaviness of the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks.

A blanket of sorrow and felted love thrown over the entirety of the city as though we all grieved the loss of my friend.

So.

Yeah.

I might be a little tired, but I’m not bailing on Burning Man.

Nope.

Sure.

I haven’t gotten a ride together yet, but that will happen and hopefully it won’t be as crazy as the ride up was last time.

I have gotten a couple of nibbles from my post on the ride share board, but nothing solid, it always comes together, I’m not too worried.

It’s more a matter, at this point, of getting a playa bike and finding time in between the comings and goings of my life to do some preparation.

I have people I am responsible to, my own recovery to attend to, and God damn it would be nice to get in a yoga class this weekend, but yeah,  a new playa bike and some sourcing of other items that are always nice to have and I’ll make some time, find some time, create some time, and do a little shopping when I can.

Side bar.

The mom just sent me a message about my work performance and told me that I really was “Mary Poppins sister!”

I’ll take it.

Anyway, this Mary Fucking Poppins, will be riding again under her parasol out on playa again this year and enjoying the hell out of not being a therapist in training, a student, or a nanny.

Just a girl.

Out on her bike.

Riding towards the painted calico mountains with secrets and love to share with an old friend.

“I finally was the ball, Shadrach, you’d be so fucking proud of me.”

Not Quite So Dark

June 18, 2017

Oh.

For fuck sake.

So here I am trying to be all low-key and down low and not post anything via social media so I stay anonymous.

And.

Um.

hahahahahaha.

Oops.

Turns out I’m completely transparent and known on my own fucking blog.

My “About Me” page had, I say had since I just pulled it down, a photo of me and link, failed link, but still a link, with my gmail account linked to it.

My gmail account is my full name.

Rolls eyes at self.

Ugh.

Fortunately a friend caught it and gave me the heads up.

And the post has been updated to reflect that.

No more photographs of me, no more name on the page.

Just me and my thoughts listening to some Bill Withers.

When I wake up in the morning love and the sunlight hurts my eyes.

…..Just one look at you and I know it’s going to be a lovely day.

Up a little late.

Up a tiny bit wired.

I went to an anniversary party this evening after doing the deal over on Turk and Divisadero this evening and saw a swarm of folks that I hadn’t seen in a while, including one of my best friends who came into the city and my god, it was good.

I had my internship today and lots of errands that I wanted to do and some down time in the afternoon to do laundry and get myself caught up, and I realized that I hadn’t done a good bit of this kind of socializing in a while.

It took me a moment to catch my stride.

I can be charming and funny and outspoken and a character, but the truth is that sometimes I get a bit over my head with social stuff, which is hilarious and most folks have no idea.

I am not going to label myself an introvert or an extrovert, I’m not going to pigeonhole myself, but I will say I felt awkward and I realized it was going to pass and I had a minute to get settled and be in my skin and let it be ok that I was in a big social situation with a lot of people I am acquainted with but perhaps not that close to.

I also needed to be there and be seen and just let myself be not at work or at the internship.

I logged another two hours today at the internship, even went in a little early to do some paper work and get myself situated and eat a lunch quietly in the office before the other interns got there for our session.

I got some good info, gave some good feedback and was mightily pleased that I had clients to talk about.

I am just dipping my toe into the mix and it’s a lot to carry, but I’m starting to do it and I can see that I am doing the thing that I am supposed to do.

Granted when I logged into track my hours I realized that I had done five hours this week, two client hours and three training hours and that my supervisor at the internship wants me to carry a load of 15 hours.

Three times what I did this week.

Sigh.

Granted I may not get up to that speed for a while and there will be times when I’m able to do that and times when I won’t.

I can’t get too focused on it and I also told myself today that in the service of keeping a tiny semblance of sanity that maybe I don’t have to get as many hours as is possible for me to collect while I am in school.

I just need to get the hours required by my program to graduate.

Granted.

I say to myself.

Fuck that shit.

GET IT ALL.

But.

I don’t want to kill myself and I want to have some socializing.

I need face time with people.

I am thinking specifically of a few friends that are just too dear for me to let go of and I will squeeze them in where and when I can and I will be tired and I won’t give a fuck and you only live once and get it.

Get it girl.

Some things may feel overwhelming, but in the day-to-day of it, I’m doing it.

Slowly building up my client base, learning how to be a therapist, learning how to keep loving and taking care of myself and finding those odd hours and minutes in the hollowed spaces of golden sunned afternoon light when I can pause, catch my breath and get hella grateful.

I mean.

Hella.

Grateful.

That I have what I have.

“You look different,” my friend said to me tonight.

And she’s right.

Things in my life have altered in an amazing way and I am beyond myself with happiness and succumbing to all the feelings therein.

Without expectation or thought for future moments.

Ok.

Small white lie, I do have some plans for future travel, but I am trying to really keep it to this day, these scattering of moments, dipped in old school R&B, or Elvis ballads, old love songs and lyrical movements in time, the stars framed by the trees overhead, a snapshot of a moment.

Astounded with beauty.

Awake to every feeling in my body.

And that’s all I can wish for.

This moment.

Where I am alive.

Oh.

And I am so alive.

It is glorious.

Sure.

Might have something to do with the peer pressure cup of coffee I accepted gleefully at the party and perhaps I might have racing thoughts but I have had racing thoughts for weeks now and I am rather used to it and the heart beating in my chest going fast just lets me know how fully alive I am.

It is exquisite and I am unabashed by the feeling of it.

Love.

Love.

That’s where it’s at.

The word that flutters in my chest.

The ache and longing.

The aliveness.

The song on my lips.

The poem in my eyes seeking yours.

The smile that I cannot help but smile.

So fucking good.

This life.

My life.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 


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