Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Bye Bye

October 17, 2017

Faceplant.

I took Facebook off my phone today.

It gave me a great big scary warning about losing content and I was like, what the fuck ever.

Let me lose political arguments.

Terror.

Sniping.

Ugliness.

Trauma.

Policy intrigue.

And frankly a great big suck of my time.

I was on Facebook a bit more than I typically am via my phone today as the baby was sick and the only way to nap was to get him in the carrier and rock him until he could sleep.

It took a while and the screaming was tremendous, mostly just because the poor little guy was exhausted, he has croup.

In fact.

All my little monkeys have it.

Thanks to some kids who came to school sick last week and it spread like wildfire.

So today I had two boys, both who were sick and not so happy.

I did get to have them out in the world today as I helped the mom with some errands and for a very sweet hour I had the baby napping in the stroller and my big guy curled up on my lap telling me stories while he nibbled a pastry from Arizmendi bakery.

I got sunshine on my face, good snuggles, and sweet connection.

So.

When we got back to the house and I had the baby again I ended up being on my phone a bit, but the more I was on it, the more annoyed I got.

I have been contemplating taking myself off Facebook entirely, since the current administration and even a bit before it, I was beginning to have a lot of negative feelings about the forum.

First of all.

It’s extraordinarily challenging, I find, to see horror story after horror story, the fires in Sonoma and Napa, the mass gun shooting in Vegas, the hurricane in Puerto Rico, to name just a few, all the celebrity and musician deaths, deaths in my community and fellowship, the suicide at Burning Man, Jesus fuck, all of it and more, and then see Facebook selling me shit.

I am at once terrorized by the horror show of the world and then I am being sold some period panties, or a dress or high heels or what the fuck?

I can’t take in both information.

I can’t want to look at a pair of shoes and then feel extraordinary guilt that I can buy a pair of shoes when people in Puerto Rico haven’t had electricity for a month.

I can’t see story after story after story of women who have been raped and sexually assaulted and then see an ad for a dating site.

Fuck off.

It’s too much.

So.

When I found myself being disturbed, I put down my phone and I focused on what was happening right there in the moment.

I looked at the room I was in.

I felt the weight of the baby on my chest, his warmth and heaviness.

And then I closed my eyes.

Oh.

Why.

This is lovely!

I meditated and then.

Yes.

It happened.

I fell asleep!

I had what I like to call “naptation.”

It’s the best ever.

I couldn’t have slept more than ten minutes, a nap snack if you will, but wow, I felt so much better and refreshed and not irate at the world and upset.

I was present.

It was pretty damn nice.

Then.

Later at my office when I went into see my clients I realized that looking at social media tends to destabilize me and there have been more than a few incidents when I will be idly flipping through Facebook and see something disturbing and then I’m lost in la la land and minutes fly by and I’ve been sucked in and I’m upset now.

Well, fuck me, that’s not how I want to hold my therapy frame.

No.

I want to be calm and serene and ready and empathic to whatever my client brings in, not whatever algorithm Facebook has my feed on.

Fuck that.

So.

I deleted it off my phone.

Yes.

I do still have an account.

And I did not delete the messenger app.

I actually use that more often than one would think, especially with my classmates.

And, irony, school is one of the reasons I won’t get rid of it entirely, my cohort has a closed private group where we facilitate conversations about school and I have found the connection really important.

Facebook still has some things that I want to keep and there are friends and family that are out-of-town that I like to keep in touch with.

But.

No more on my phone.

I don’t like it and I don’t like how often I can be pulled out of the moment, out of the present, and away into something else.

I want to be present for what or whom is in front of me.

I remember when I realized that I could turn off the volume on my phone when I went to bed and not be woken up by a beep or ping or tweet.

I haven’t put my phone in night mode, except once accidentally, that was hilarious, yet, but I am close to doing that as well.

No interruptions.

Just pure sweet sleep.

I also try very hard to turn off my phone and put it away when I am with someone, I don’t like how distracting it is.

As I lean in more to being a therapist as I see what works for me and how I can better show up for friends, for those I love, for my fellowship and my clients, I lean further and further away from social media.

It was such a lot of fun, but it stopped being fun a long time ago.

When I stopped posting my blog to social media I noticed a distinct shift in how I use it and I have to say, I really don’t need the validation of people commenting on my blog from Facebook.

I missed it for a little while, but what I realized, what I have always known, is that the process of writing is what is important.

If someone gets something from what I write, well, huzzah, but ultimately, it is for me and I am grateful for that, that I kept it up and that I continue to do so and I can give a fuck about Facebook.

I think it will get along very well without me.

Probably won’t notice at all that I am gone.

And that is fine with me.

I don’t mind living under the radar.

That’s where the interesting stuff happens most of the time anyway.

Seriously.

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Almost Over

October 9, 2017

The weekend that is.

But my God.

It was glorious.

Amazing.

Let me tell you.

And it’s not quite over, but at 8:40p.m. on a Sunday, it does have the feeling of being just about put to bed.

Granted.

I will be up a little bit later tonight as I’m going to go to the deal on the other side of town.

I am normally not a late night lady when it comes to that, I used to be, but enough early morning starts and going to do the deal after 8:30p.m. becomes a fantasy more so than any reality if recent memory.

However.

I don’t have supervision tomorrow!

My solo supervisor is on vacation this week and next.

Which means I have to find my supervision elsewhere, but whatever, I’ll figure that out.

I have one session booked for the Saturday after I have school, yeah, I have a school weekend next weekend, right after I attend my group supervision–my group supervisor agreed to stay an hour after and meet with me.

I will probably want to shoot myself in the head because my solo supervisor is amazing and I love working with him and I always leave feeling exhilarated and have pages and pages of notes to review and work through before meeting with my clients.

My group supervisor?

Not so much.

In fact, I realized this weekend that I stopped bringing in my notebook for group supervision.

I get so little out of it that I rarely take any notes.

Granted.

There is something about sitting and processing what is happening for me in the session with my clients and I have gotten some good feedback.

But not much.

I am just going to have to do it though, I am, as I need to carry a certain amount of supervision while I am carrying my client load.

I have eight clients now.

I see clients four times a week, after work, for two hours.

I must have a certain amount of supervision or the BBS won’t approve my hours of client sessions, and that’s fucked, as there are so many hours I have to accrue.

I understand the logistics of it, but it’s still a pain in the ass when my supervisor is gone.

Nevertheless I feel quite happy that I can sleep in tomorrow and thus go out a little later than I normally would on a Sunday to hang out with my fellows and get right with God.

I am also happy to say I had a super productive day so I’m ok going out too.

I have gotten a lot of reading done.

I just finished writing a paper for my CBT class and I turned it in three days early.

Granted.

I had to do the fucker tonight, it doesn’t really matter to me that it wasn’t due until the 11th.

I’m going to be working and seeing clients today and tomorrow.

I will be going to therapy before work on Tuesday.

I will have to do my group supervision this week on Wednesday and I have a commitment after that.

I wouldn’t have had time to do it any other time.

I do have another paper to write, but I’m not quite ready to write it and since I had a client cancel for my Thursday slot at 6:30 p.m. I will probably take that hour in my office to write the paper.

I have to go in Thursday despite the cancellation, I still have a client at 7:30p.m.

So anything that I don’t get done by Thursday I can address in that time.

Yeah, an hour is not much time to write a paper, but I can write a 1500 word blog in less than an hour, I can certainly crank out a paper for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I didn’t attend to that today as I had other reading to do that had to happen and also I haven’t really had any dreams that I have remembered.

I have had some snippets but nothing worth writing about.

I did have one a few nights back that was pretty interesting, but it was happening as I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and I was super tired and fell right back into bed.

I am not going to pick up my dream journal and write down a dream at 4 a.m.

No I am not.

So.

I remember bits of the dream, but not the bulk of it, and I suppose I could have sussed something out that morning after I got up, but I had other stuff happening and I forgot.

I don’t as of yet really have fodder for the paper.

Oh.

I suppose I could use a dream I have had before.

I have a very vivid recollection of many dreams.

But.

I’m waiting for something fresh.

Speaking of fresh.

My house is looking tidy.

Did more laundry.

Did a bit of cooking, I’ve got food all prepped up for the week and for the weekend of classes.

I also met with a ladybug and did some work with her.

I love how I find myself telling the women I work with the exact, and I do mean, exact thing that I need to hear myself do.

So.

After she left I had a phone check in with my person and then I did my accounting for the month of September, which I usually do within a day of the beginning of the month, but um, ha, it’s the 8th and I finally got to it.

And I did my spending plan for October.

Then.

I got my health insurance stuff sussed out.

My coverage through Healthy SF ends on October 16th.

I applied for health insurance through school and it was pulled, the money to cover the plan, from my financial aid.

But I hadn’t really finished setting it all up.

I did that today.

I also called and contacted my new ophthalmology doctor.

Which was fantastic, I have insurance now that will cover my eye doctor appointments, I was paying out-of-pocket and that has gotten pretty expensive over the last few years as my prescription as changed.

Thanks “old age” and reading a fuck load of books and articles for grad school.

I have been wearing “progressives” for a few years now.

Bifocals.

Thank you very much.

And they are not cheap and I suspect my prescription has started to change enough so that I need a new pair of glasses.

I’ll be making an appointment tomorrow.

Very happy I got that taken care of.

Hell.

I even got to yoga today too.

I wasn’t sure I was going to, I was feeling a bit of anxiety about getting enough homework completed, but then as I was reading for my Transpersonal Psychology class I just realized, you know, I’ll feel so much better if I go exercise.

I looked at my watch it was 4:10 p.m. and yes, there, on the schedule at my studio, a 4:30p.m. class.

I got so worked.

But it was worth it and I felt so much better and I was able to focus on the rest of the homework that I needed to do.

Not bad Sunday.

And you’ve still got surprises in mind for me, I can tell.

Thanks for an amazing weekend.

I actually feel really on top of my game right now.

It’s a good fucking feeling.

Really, really good.

No Charge

September 25, 2017

When you, I mean, I.

Let me use “I” statements, I am in graduate school for a psychology degree after all, I need to remember to only speak for myself.

When I have no charge.

Nothing.

No feeling of regret.

No longing.

No nothing.

When nothing comes up.

Well.

God damn.

That’s when I know I made the right choice for me.

I saw an ex today.

I, in fact, had a feeling I was going to run into an ex, but I ran into a different one that I had suspected I’d run into.

A few years ago, three, I think I was dating a man, and it was brief, who was very, very, very, VERY, much into the kink and fetish scene in San Francisco.

Folsom Street Fair was today.

A kink and leather and sex and fringe San Francisco festival and street fair.

And I went.

I wasn’t planning on going and I definitely looked like a tourist–I was wearing a bright yellow sundress and my hair in braids.  I looked like I should have been traispsing through a meadow.

I haven’t gone there “dressed” in attire in about a decade.

I think the last time I wnet I wore high heels, platforms and a corset I had gotten from Dark Garden over in Hayes Valley.

It was a beautiful piece and I needed a lot of help getting into it.

I had a friend who had talked me into the piece, which I tried to return a few days later to only be told flat-out that I couldn’t.

I was pretty devastated as I spent a lot more money on it than I should have considering that my rent was around the corner.

And.

That I only wore it once.

Granted.

I looked lovely.

But.

I soon thereafter lost a lot of weight and it was too big.

I gifted it to a woman at the Burning Man offices who was an intern there at the time.

She’s now a major player there and I remember fondly how excited she was when I gave her the corset.

Anyway, Folsom Street Fair.

My friend had talked me into it and a mutual friend of ours picked me up on his Vespa, in tennis whites, I will never forget that, the audacity of wearing tennis whites to Folsom, right down to the wrist bands and the visor.

We all met at Glide, a church in the Tenderloin, went to services there, then, yes, we did.

We went to The Armani Exchange store and had lunch at the counter.

The server fawned all over us.

It was super fun.

Then off to Folsom.

And that was ten years ago.

How the time flies.

I wouldn’t have gone today.

In fact, I had very definitive ideas about what I was doing, I was going to class, then go hit a spot up in the Mission and do the deal and then errands and a mani/pedi, and groceries, and cooking.

And.

And.

And.

All the things.

l was going to do all the things.

But.

Well.

School happened.

I had a big moment in class, I handled some conflict within class and it was a very powerful moment for me.

A woman in class later reflected to me that I was the embodiment of “fierce grace.”

I don’t remember what I said, only the flavor of it, and I know I was a channel for what was being spoken.

I didn’t feel possessed, so to speak, but when I am in that place, I open my mouth and out comes something, I am a channel, a conduit, a mouthpiece for the Divine.

Or God if you will.

I will.

But you don’t have to.

Sometimes when I talk about God I think folks get a particular idea and feel like folks don’t quite get it.  I am a bit of a spiritual rebel and a bit of throwback all at the same time.

I love me some Lord’s Prayer.

Most folks can’t stand it.

I love the prayer of St. Francis.

I say that one every day.

Every day.

I say a lot of other prayers too, suffice to say, I have a deep and effective spiritual life that I am very grounded in and supremely grateful for.

I spoke to that a bit, but really, I don’t recall what I said.

But I will say this.

I was powerful.

I felt powerful.

I spoke with great articulation, emotion, and care.

I know that much, I know how it felt and I had a lot of power flowing through me.

I felt like I was on fire.

I teared up.

I know that tears drifted down my face at one moment, but I couldn’t tell you the words that evoked them.

I know that it was a kind of spiritual honesty that just rolled out of me.

After I had finished and the class processed what I had said, and my professor, and I remember very well the look on his face, he knew what I was talking about and resonated with it, he looked lit up as he listened to me, I realized that I could not leave right after class.

I owed it to the people in my class that I had spoken up for to connect with me and I with them and I knew that I had to be present and stay with what was brought up.

So.

I did.

I talked with a lot of the folks in my class and one of my classmates said she’d never been to Folsom Street Fair and wanted to go see it.

She flies in from Miami and has offered me her guest room so often that I know it’s not just a polite offer, but a “please use the room whenever you want it” sort of offer.

She even told me I didn’t need to ask, book a ticket and just let her and her husband know and I’ll have access.

That’s always nice to hear.

Anyway.

I decided to not run off, I stayed and connected, I blew off all my “obligations” my “plans and designs” and let the day decide for me what I was going to experience instead of imposing my will on it.

We walked around Folsom.

There was much to see, but not much that excited or intrigued me, I have eyes for other things.

And chatting with my friend in front of someone doing suspended rope bondage I had a sudden feeling that I would run into my ex.

Whom I haven’t seen in years, but, well, Folsom is his bailiwick for sure.

But nope.

In fact.

I didn’t run into anyone but a few other friends from school–campus is three blocks away–in all the hundreds of scantily dressed folks I saw.

Then we came out to my place, I showed her where I live and we went and caught a late lunch at Sea Breeze Cafe in my neighborhood and talked and talked and talked.

She left around 4 p.m. and I took a nice long walk on the beach in my sundress.

Yes.

I said sundress!

It was summer in San Francisco today.

It was so nice I didn’t even wear leggings.

I had a good check in phone call with my person as I walked the beach and then just after I got off the phone, literally seconds later, I look up to my right for no particular reason.

And there he is.

An ex, not the one who I thought I would run into a Folsom, but another more recent relationship (not that recent either, now that I think about it, two years ago now) and a woman.

They were holding hands.

I didn’t stare, but at first I couldn’t understand, consciously, what had caught my eye.

I didn’t understand what I was seeing or why I was even looking.

A nice couple walking on the beach holding hands.

Then I realized it was an ex.

I think I waved?

Not sure.

I remember thinking, “oh, that’s nice, he’s seeing someone,” and that was it.

That was it!

Nothing.

No charge.

No heat.

No energy.

My energy, my love, my attention is so elsewhere, is so taken and captured.

I had absolutely nothing.

Except that little bit of “how nice for him” moment.

He said my name, “Hi _______________,” dropped the hand of the woman, “you look great!”

I was startled that he said anything at all to me and a  “thanks,” popped out of my mouth and then I just walked away.

I didn’t turn back.

There’s nothing there.

I just walked the beach.

Happy and content in my skin.

In my pretty yellow sundress, fluttering in the wind.

I went home and I cooked and I read some homework.

I took a good hot shower.

I ate my dinner.

And then I started my blog.

That’s it.

My day.

It was good.

I’m loved.

I’m happy.

I got sunshine on my face.

It was a damn fine day.

Wonderful in fact.

 

Three Quarters

September 24, 2017

And then some.

Through my second weekend of the school semester.

Third year of my program.

One day of classes tomorrow.

And it’s a short day, I’ll be out by noon.

Very happy for that.

I almost forgot that I won’t really have a day off until next Sunday since I’m in school all weekend, I saw a client yesterday, in addition to being in class, and today was a great big full day, 9a.m.-8p.m.

Sometimes I come out of it in a bit of a daze.

I didn’t so much tonight.

The fresh air helped.

The beautiful crescent moon in the sky lured me home and I had many thoughts and much dreaminess over take me.

And then I was home.

It was as though today was a dream.

Albeit a full one of learning.

The school weekends are not as difficult as they have been over the last two years, partially because I am in internship, I am seeing clients, I’m doing the therapy, I am a therapist.

So the school stuff seems almost, but not quite, irrelevant.

I am constantly learning more and I feel a softening in myself around a lot of it and a trusting, a much greater trusting, of my intuition than I have ever had.

This is a nice space to be in.

I remember how exhausted I was after my first weekend of school my first semester, first year, I was obliterated, I would get home in a daze and slowly shed the day and pack my lunch for the next day and fall the fuck out exhausted.

I remember how much my brain hurt.

I feel like I am still learning and the learning is richer, fuller, deeper, but it doesn’t quite wear me out as much as it did before.

I think my capacity for taking in new information as grown.

Or perhaps I have just assimilated it all in my brain.

Either way, yes, I am tired, but not blasted to smithereens.

I can see being up for a little while, I can see having a snack, I can see writing my blog and not feeling as though my brains are leaking out my ears.

And yes.

I am a little bummed that I don’t have tomorrow off, I mean, who really wants to be in school on a Sunday?

Especially with it being glorious Indian Summer in San Francisco.

But.

I am hopeful that I will get to have some enjoyment.

I’ll be done by noon and I was thinking I might hit up some fellows in the Mission around 12:15p.m., hang out, get right with God, and then have the rest of the day to I don’t know, do my nails, eat a nice lunch, and then all the maintenance stuff that needs to be done–grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, at home.

I don’t plan on making it a big crazy day, just some mellow self-care.

Which is always needed during school weekends.

I went out to lunch today with a couple of my friends in the cohort and got caught up.

I have invites to Miami and Nevada, to Paris.

I like these things.

My friend joked she knew how busy I am, but one day she was going to get me to come to her home in Nevada.

Maybe if I get that car I’ve been contemplating.

That could be a possibility.

And.

One of my other friend’s lives in Miami and she’s always telling me I have a spot to stay.

I haven’t been to Miami since I was 19.

And I was homeless.

Not really a trip that I want to replicate.

Or experience.

I would like to have a new relationship with Miami, see it through my friend’s eyes, check out the food, the art, the beaches.

And of course, Paris is often on my mind since my darling friend moved back.

I miss her so much at school sometimes, it’s hard.

I am thinking since I withdrew from doing the ALC ride that I might want to do a trip to celebrate my graduation from the Masters program in late May, Barcelona for a few days and Paris for a little bit.

Not sure yet what that might look like, but it’s definitely up there in my head.

Fuck.

God damn it.

That reminds me.

I have to call Sun Country and find out if I need to use that ticket that I have from my cancelled Christmas trip to Minneapolis last winter.

I vaguely remember that I either have to book travel by the time I bought it, I had a year to use it, and of course, I haven’t used it.

I just don’t recall if I have to use it, ie travel, by the time I bought the ticket, which I think was mid-October of last year, or if I just have to book the ticket to travel by that time.

I need to call and find out ASAP.

I mean.

It’s coming up on the last week of September.

I may only have three weeks to use that thing or be out the money.

I suspect I may be out the money.

Which I will live with.

I was sad that I had to cancel those travel plans last year add in a Thanksgiving with head lice–cancelled travel plans for that too, a birthday party where the venue failed to alert me they were going to be renting space out to a private corporate party (Free Gold Watch), so there was not a party, although there was a nice brunch with folks in Cole Valley, and a Christmas that I spent pretty much alone and sitting in a movie theater watching a movie on my own, well it was not the holidays I thought I was going to have.

Truth be told.

The holidays have been wonky for me for a while.

And I’m smart enough to know to not hang any kind of expectations on them.

I do want to find out about the ticket.

I mean.

I may just figure out a way to fly somewhere for a few days.

It’s not like I have vacation time to take at work.

I don’t know.

It’s probably a lost cause, but at least I need to look into it.

Anyway.

This rambling blog is showing me that perhaps I am a tiny bit tired after all.

One more day to go.

Almost there.

So close.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Maintenance

September 11, 2017

And slow movement  forward.

I have to give myself some credit here.

Even though I did not leave the environs of the Outer Sunset.

Oh mama, did I do a lot of stuff.

Sometimes my brain will give me grief, you’re moving too slow, you’re not going fast enough, there is stuff that needs to be done.

And sometimes I can let that old harangue take a back seat to all the spectacular, albeit small things, that I did do in my day.

All I have to do is look at my sumptious bed.

I made it.

That’s a big deal.

I put fresh sheets on my bed and washed all my linens and all the clothes in my laundry basket, I made my bed and all the pillows are lined up and it looks comfy and cozy and beckoning.

I’ll get to slide in between soft, clean, fresh, sweet smelling sheets at the end of my day.

Which is not too far off.

I love my bed.

I have a nice mattress.

I have a bed frame.

I have five fucking pillows.

Who the hell am I?

Remember?

I do.

Remember being a kid and having one flat, stained, squashed pillow?

Or.

When I upgraded to two pillows when I was a junior or senior in highschool.

I forget which, but I remember how I would double up those pillows and prop them just so underneath my head so that I could read late into the night whatever novel I was busy seeking refuge in.

I escaped in reading a lot.

Reading was my way out and the feel of those pillows, each folded in half, to prop up my head is a memory that I won’t forget soon.

Then.

There were the times when I didn’t have a pillow of mine own at all.

Or a bed, for that matter.

Sleeping on couches, in the back seats of cars, or the passenger side.

Being homeless on again and off again for years, squashing myself onto a friends love seat with broken springs, sleeping in a tent, “but I was camping,” I told her and she laughed, “we call that being homeless.”

Sleeping on a sheet of plywood on the ground.

Or.

When I moved up a little in that world, on a sheet of plywood that was being held up by a couple of plastic milk crates and there was a sleeping bag.

Homeless, on the abandoned airforce base in Homestead, Florida, just outside of Miami, in the early 90s after Hurricane Andrew had devastated the city, living in a hooch.

Good times.

How I got there is a story in and of itself.

But a bed.

Just seeing my bed, that it’s not a mattress on the floor, but a real live bed, is something that I don’t take for granted and when I think I’m not doing enough, well, just look at my amazing bed, so pretty with its duvet and big fluffy pillows.

So pretty.

So yeah, digress much, I made my bed today.

I went to yoga.

I took a shower.

I washed my hair and deep conditioned it and ate a lovely breakfast and drank a nice latte and wrote morning pages.

This takes time and sometimes I wish my morning routine were not quite so long, but I do savor having some time to look over e-mails and do my writing and I did my morning prayers and readings too, important stuff, small stuff, in its own manner but really necessary.

I feel better for having the routine.

I also went grocery shopping.

And that does take up some time.

Especially that I had to go to three different stores.

I didn’t mind though, just got to it and picked up all the things to make all the things.

I made a pork and ginger, garlic, onion stir fry with baby portabella mushrooms and julienned sugar snap peas.  I had it with brown rice and half an avocado for lunch.

So good.

Then I put up the rest of it, some in the fridge and some in the freezer, as I like to have back up food for when I’m in class and often times my weekend before the weekend of class will be taken up with writing papers.

I have two to do next week.

They’re not horrible and shouldn’t take too long.

I figure I’ll kick them both out Sunday afternoon.

After the lunch cooking and weekly food prep I got down and dirty with my school books.

I flipped through all my syllabi and noted what I needed to read and I toggled about in my Cognitive Behavior class syllabi and saw when I needed to be online for a class webinar.

I just got out of it about 45 minutes ago.

So.

I pretty much read and did homework for four hours.

I feel like that’s getting some stuff taken care of.

I also roasted a chicken, for dinner and meals throughout the week and made up some more brown rice.

I like having my stuff stocked up for the week.

It’s maintenance.

It helps me with a certain level of comfort that I feel allows me to go about my busy week and still maintain a semblance of being a human being.

I love that I cook.

I love that I have good food to sustain me, that I went to yoga, damn my thighs are sore, that I stretched, that I wrote, and yes.

That it was sunny.

And instead of being rueful that I was not able to go out and play in the sun, I took advantage of it and threw a pillow on a patio chair out back and sat in the sun for a good two and a half hours doing my school reading.

There is something rather nice about being propped up in the sun and reading a book, even if it is for school.

I had some sweet phone calls.

I wrote a little poetry.

I managed my calendar for the next couple of weeks.

And now.

I’m just about done with my blog, I’m listening to Coleman Hawkins and thinking very sweet thoughts about the week to come.

It’s going to be a grand one.

I just know it.

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.

 

 


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