Posts Tagged ‘bonfire’

Made It Through

May 21, 2018

The weekend.

I graduated!

Pretty spectacular.

Grateful for the pomp of it and also, well, grateful that it’s done too.

It was a lot of work getting ready for it and I could use a little break from all the hullaballoo.

Granted.

All the ceremony was lovely and I was glad that I attended even if the walk across stage happened so quickly, it was an important walk for me to make.

It was nice to have my mom there too, we haven’t seen each other in a few years and it was good to reconnect.

I’m ready to reconnect to my regular schedule though.

It was nice to have the time off to do the special things, and the not so special, the endoscopy and that damn wire test took up some time and mental space, I got a text from the doctor’s office today that my lab results are in and that I will discuss them with the doctor on Wednesday.

Note to self, make sure to tell the mom at work.

Back to work tomorrow.

Although since I don’t have supervision in the morning, it will be a late start for me.

So I get to gently wind down this weekend of festivities.

The graduation party was fabulous.

Though a bit breezy.

A lot of people didn’t come out to it due to weather being cold and windy, but those folks who did brave the conditions really had my heart.

And my best friend who set up the whole she-bang, man, I am so grateful for all that work.

Throwing parties is work, especially when it’s an offsite event on the beach.

Especially when it was freaking Bay to Breakers today!

They had the whole parking lot cordoned off for the event.

Bay to Breakers is a notorious drinking run that starts at the Bay and ends at the “breakers” at Ocean Beach.

Had I known that it was today I would never have done my party at the beach.

I had to park my car at SafeWay and walk a couple blocks, not horrible, but when the time came for breaking things down and getting things back, it was a bit daunting.

Fortunately I had some great helpers and the one good thing about Bay to Breakers having all their gear set up in the parking lot was that there were gigantic lights put up everywhere, the beach was bright as day.

I had some worry about having enough day light to break everything down, but the lights from the parking lot saved the day.

It was still a bit of a hassle getting things off the beach, but the crew that was left at the end of the party were great and helped me by sitting on my stuff and waiting until I had gotten my car and I was able to get everything in and back to my house.

And.

I am very proud of myself for this.

I unpacked everything and put it all away.

Including throwing all the beach blankets into the wash and putting away all the sodas and sparkling waters that did not get drank.

There were a lot of left overs.

As I said quite a few people didn’t show, but the sweet company of those that did kept me warm on the cold beach and I was happy to celebrate.

I even wore my cap and gown for a little while.

Until the wind blew off my cap and I got too cold.

But like a good San Franciscan, I had two back up layers, a sweatshirt and a jean jacket, plus fingerless gloves and an infinity scarf.

I just bundled right up.

Plus there was the fire and dancing to stay warm and a couple of times hopping into the tent that was good wind protection and actually felt warm.

The family I work for even came.

All the kids had hot dogs and s’mores and they were super sweet and the family gave me a crazy nice graduation gift.

I got some amazing gifts.

I am so grateful for the expressions of love and affection I received this weekend.

I really am.

It was also nice to be witnessed and seen.

To have the acknowledgement of all the work I have done in the last three years meant quite a lot.

There’s still plenty of work to go.

I suspect there will always be work to do.

But.

I am going to take this moment and really let it all soak in.

The flowers in vases all around my house, from my best friend, my mom, my boss, my mentor, help me to see how much I am loved and appreciated.

The beautiful gifts I got.

The sweet cards.

The drawings from my little five-year old charge.

The hugs.

Even the congratulations from strangers as I was walking down the street in my cap and gown with my arms full of flowers, felt really good to get.

Acknowledgement.

Hard work.

Achievement.

And a moment or two to bask in it.

I found parking really quickly when I got to Hayes Valley, there’s always one spot I check first, I used to park there almost all the time when I was going to solo supervision, and sure enough, it was open.

It’s tight, but my car’s small and I just barely fit.

Because I didn’t have to look for parking I had an extra twenty minutes before I had to be at the theater.

I stopped at Arlequin to get a latte.

I sat outside and sipped the hot coffee and really looked at the street and the people walking around and as I realized that I was sitting next door to Absinthe, Arlequin is their sister property, a more casual, but still upscale cafe, to Absinthe’s fancy French pedigree.

Sipping a latte, in my cap, about to walk the stage at the Nourse Theater, and get my Master’s Degree, quietly reflecting on how far I had come.

Absinthe was my first job in sobriety.

I got hired there 19 days after I got sober.

I sure have come a long fucking way since waiting tables there I though.

I smiled.

And as I sipped the last of my latte a busser from Absinthe came dashing over.

“Did you graduate today?”  He asked.

“I’m about to, I head over to the theater as soon as I finish my coffee,” I said and smiled.

“I’m so proud of you!” He said, he grinned.

I grinned.

It was a moment.

It surely was.

In a weekend filled with so many of them.

Of pure unremitting gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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It’s Almost Time

May 19, 2018

I literally just watched a video on how to put on my cap and gown for tomorrow’s commencement.

I sort of had to.

I have tried on the whole outfit once, but forgot how to put on the hood, which as a Master’s Degree recipient you don’t actually wear.

As a doctoral student when I graduate they will place the hood on your head, but for the Master’s you just wear it draped over your shoulders.

When I first tried it on I put the hood on backwards and I looked like I was a priest.

The cap and gown are black and my Master’s hood is gold with navy.

I ahem, actually got my nails done to match my hood.

I know.

I know.

Hush.

I don’t think I will often rock gold glitter nails, but you know, once in a lifetime when I get to walk the stage and accept my Master’s Degree I think gold glitter is appropriate.

hahahaha.

I will be a professional and have the nail polish removed by the time I see clients on Monday.

But I did have fun at the nail salon picking out the color, I saw it and I was like, oh snap, I can totally match my graduation gown.

I also had fun getting the damn wire removed from my nose today.

I did not write my blog last night as I was horrendously uncomfortable.

I had my endoscopy yesterday and they did a test that required me to wear a wire for twenty-four hours and record when I ate, drank, or slept, it measured the Ph level of the acid reflux when I had it.

Although, to tell you the truth and a bit to my annoyance, I did not have any reflux yesterday!

But there was nothing to do but wear the damn thing, I wasn’t going to take it out.

I had trepidations about sleeping, I was hooked up to this little machine all night long and I was afraid if I rolled over in my sleep that I would knock the box on the floor and it would pull the wire out of my nose.

Very grateful that did not happen.

And extremely grateful that when I went back today to the GI lab at Sutter on Buchanan that a nurse took it out in less than two seconds.

She asked me how the experience was and I reported I had been pretty uncomfortable with it.

It hurt my throat where it was laying and I lost my voice a tiny bit and it constantly tickled my nose, I had a slightly runny nose all night and all day until I had the wire taken out, I also sneezed a lot.

Nevertheless it’s done and then I was able to go over to the Inner Sunset and meet my mom.

My mom that I haven’t seen in four years.

Oh.

We keep in touch, but she lives in Florida and I live in California and what with work and school and internship, life, etc, four years.

It’s very sweet that she and her partner have come out to see me walk.

I can tell she is very proud.

We had coffees and tea and caught up and then went and met up with some of my fellows in the neighborhood for an hour and then we had dinner at Marnee Thai at 9th and Irving.

They were very happy with the food.

I was happy too.

It was nice to share my school experiences and it was nice to introduce them to some of the folks in my fellowship.

I felt pretty grateful.

And.

Tomorrow I walk.

I’m actually doing it.

I’m actually walking.

I’m graduating.

I’m still not 100% sure what I’m wearing, but I have some ideas and I will have plenty of time in the morning to work all of that out.

I’ll probably leave the house around 12:15/12:30p.m.

The commencement ceremony is being held at The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

I have to be there at 1:15p.m.

There’s a dress rehearsal for the graduating classes at 1:30p.m.

They will open the doors to the theater at 2:15p.m. and the ceremony begins at 3p.m. lasting until 5p.m.

I’m going to have to bring some lunch or a snack with me.

Then.

Off to the beach!

Super excited about the party.

Although a bit bummed about how chilly it’s been today, and looks like it will be for tomorrow, cool, overcast, breezy, cold, got to wear layers for sure.

I usually wear leggings under my dresses here in the city, San Francisco is mercurial with its micro-climates, but I’m thinking I may also want to stash a pair of tennis shoes in my trunk and some cozy socks, so that once I finish with the formalities of the graduation ceremony I can hop into some kicks for the beach.

I plan on driving straight from the event to the party.

I have a feeling some of my guests are going to be there early, like the family I nanny for, since they have kids, and I want to make sure I get out there when guests start arriving.

Plus.

Well.

Bonfire.

I do love a good beach bonfire and I haven’t had one in quite some time.

It feels fitting to have the celebration with a big fire and a sunset at the beach, despite the coolness of the weather, it will be fun, I’m going to pack a scarf in my car too.

I should just have a bag of warm things in the car at all times anyway.

Anyway.

Enough about the weather.

It’s time to wind down so I can be ready for tomorrow!

So.

So.

So.

Excited!

Earthquake

May 15, 2018

Screaming child.

Long day.

Kid home from school.

Reflux from hell.

No response from messages sent out earlier.

(No response is a response)

Crazy drivers.

And still.

A pretty good day.

Although I had a moment.

The screaming child was hard to handle.

I almost, not really, but I thought about it, knocked on the office at my internship to say please be quiet, but not really my business and I was just hella grateful I wasn’t doing therapy with the child.

I mean.

The child was fucking angry.

Screaming so loud that I could still hear him when I was in my office down the hall with the door shut.

I cannot imagine what the clients in other therapy sessions on the floor must have been thinking.

Grateful that my first client cancelled and by the time my second client showed up the child was done and out of session and off to scream elsewhere.

The earthquake also startled me.

I didn’t realize it was an earthquake until I got home and saw it posted all over social media.

I thought a truck had hit the building.

It was disquieting.

And then my client came and fuck.

Wow.

Intense session.

Took me a minute to get grounded.

Like maybe an hour now.

I also needed to eat.

I just had dinner and that’s helping.

My head was aching from the reflux and even though I didn’t feel hungry I knew that I was.

So some food and I’m feeling a bit more in my body and a bit less like I’m going to disassociate.

It was also a long day at work.

The middle child, the little lady, was home sick from school.

She wasn’t sick.

I adore this child but she will not hesitate to use the I’m sick thing to stay home.

The mom knew it too, after an hour or two of being at home it was pretty evident.

I wanted to suggest that she just pop her right back into class, but instead, I got out the colors and we did lots of drawings and I made her lots of snacks and she talked to me a bunch about how she’s going to miss me and how she’s sad about it.

The family will be gone for five weeks and she was feeling sad about not seeing me for that much time.

I will miss them too.

Although I am very, very, very happy for the down time.

The mom was sweet today with me too and asked me what I wanted for graduation and then she added, “I know you won’t tell me, so I’m not sure why I’m asking, but if there’s anything you need please let me know.”

She’s right.

I wouldn’t tell her.

It doesn’t feel right to ask for something from my boss for graduation.

I think it’s astoundingly kind that she wants to give me anything.

My needs are minimal.

And met.

Although I was feeling stressed about getting someone to come and get me from my endoscopy, it got covered.

I doubt that’s the kind of gift she meant.

I wanted to blithely respond, “cash.”

Or.

“Make a payment on my student loan,” but that didn’t seem appropriate either.

So I made a joke and then the baby was crying for something and the conversation ended.

It’s sweet that they want to give me something and I’m honored that they’re going to come to the party in the first place.

Speaking of.

I got the rest of the bevvies for the party and one more pack of hotdogs and buns.

I now feel set for food and beverage and I’m quite happy that all those things are procured.

I was going to do another shopping run tomorrow in between work and therapy but then the mom reminded me that the oldest boys class is doing a beach clean up at Ocean Beach.

Yes.

That’s right.

I will be leaving my house, by Ocean Beach, to go to therapy in the morning in Noe Valley, and then driving right back to Ocean Beach.

To?

Exactly.

Right where I am having my party on Saturday.

It’s rather hilarious.

I’m not annoyed about the extra driving, the mom paid for my gas money, I just would have liked to have had the time between therapy and work that I normally have.

Instead I’ll be driving.

Oh well.

It’ll be nice to be out by the beach with the baby.

So.

When I realized my late client was not responding to the offer that I had made about taking the earlier session, remember first client cancelled, I realized that the client wasn’t going to come in until their regular time and I had an extra hour between work and seeing the client.

I was able to pop to the grocery store and get the rest of the supplies!

That was nice.

A busy day, a full day, a bit of an unexpected day.

But a good day.

Hell.

It was always going to be a good day.

I mean.

The morning was pretty awesome.

I TURNED IN MY LAST TWO PIECES OF PAPERWORK TO CIIS!

I’m done.

All the “t’s” are crossed.

All the “i’s” are dotted.

Every form, every piece of paper, every evaluation, every application, my therapy verification forms, the site evaluations I did as well as my evaluations from my supervisors, my verification of face to face client hours, all of it.

ALL OF IT.

Is turned in.

I am done.

 

 

Party!

May 14, 2018

Well.

Not yet.

But.

I got a lot of stuff done this weekend for the party.

I am very stoked.

I’m pretty much done with it.

I might buy some more beverages though and maybe one more pack of hotdogs and buns.

But.

For the most part, all the graduation beach bonfire party stuff is set!

Very exciting.

Yesterday I got up at the crack of dawn and met my best friend, who greeted me with coffee, thank goodness, and we hit the beach to scope out the fire pits and to do a test run on the teepee.

Of course.

Ha.

Ugh.

I didn’t realize the teepee pole and stakes were not in the tent bag.

I was mortified.

But.

We still got a good look at the lay of the land and when we got back to my place I found the stakes and the pole and we set it up in the back yard.

I also pulled out my Burning Man tent, which, yes, was dusty as fuck, just to see if it might be usable.

In the state it was in when it was set up, no.

But now.

Possible.

I hosed it off yesterday and let it air dry and then I hosed it off again today and let it dry and it’s in pretty damn good shape.

I am actually surprised that I got as much dust off of it as I did.

I also sorted out some clean extra storage bins I had bought for last years Burning Man and stocked them with blankets, a quilt, a flashlight for breakdown, and two solar mason jar lights.

I have also put together my picnic basket with supplies–paper plates, napkins, disposable utensils (don’t really need them, but I figured for condiments and such they might come in handy), a lighter for the tiki torches and to light the bonfire.

Tiki torches!

I mean.

It’s going to be a party.

Plus a sound box on a boom.

I put together a Spotify playlist and there will be 60s surf music and soul classics.

I also went grocery shopping today.

I was going to do it later in the week, but what with the endoscopy and such I thought that it would be better to knock it out today.

So I did.

I got a couple more cases of sparkling water (I still may get some more beverages, that feels like something I might be a touch short on).

I got all natural beef hot dogs, turkey dogs, and some Italian sausages, mild and hot, because well, I like them and it’s nice to have variety.

I got brioche hot dog buns.

I got ketchup, mustard, mayo, and dill pickle relish.

I got a couple of bags of chips.

Those weren’t planned, but they just hopped into my grocery cart, I figure they will get eaten.

I got marshmallows and graham crackers (honey and cinnamon).

Shit.

I got some fancy chocolate.

I’m not eating it, but I may vicariously enjoy providing lovely chocolate goodness for others.

I got skewers for roasting said hotdogs and marshmallows.

It was fun and sweet to buy the party supplies and think about how nice it is to have good food and bevvies and fun lighting and all the really nice things for a lovely party on the beach.

I suspect we will be the envy of the fire pits.

I’m happy to say that I also got some sleep today!

I was out late last night, having a beautiful dinner with my best friend at Che Fico, the new, hot Italian Taverna on Divisadero Street, and didn’t get to bed until 1 a.m.

I didn’t sleep more than eight hours, but getting up at 9a.m. felt like serious indulgence.

It was really nice.

I had a good breakfast and did a lot of writing.

I had both the ladies I was supposed to meet with today cancel.

So.

Gasp.

I did something amazing.

I read for pleasure!

It was so nice.

I took a book I bought last year and sat in the back yard, in the sun, for an hour and read.

Then I did food prep for the week.

Which was also nice, I hadn’t done food prep with all the writing papers and school stuff happening for a couple of weeks.

Speaking of writing!

I got back my grade for my Research Methods final paper.

“A”.

Which means I got an A in the class, having turned in everything prior, three other papers, and having gotten 100% scores on everything I will get an “A” for the class.

So nice!

My god that was good to see the grade already in.

Tomorrow I will be going to CIIS, hopefully for the last time in a while, I could use a little summer break from the campus, and dropping off my final pieces of paperwork.

I had my group supervisor sign off on my hours yesterday and with that signature I have all the things I needed to graduate.

I’ll go in the morning before work, make photocopies of the paperwork and drop it off at the office.

I keep the originals which will get turned into the BBS to have an AMFT # assigned to me.

The copies will prove that I have accrued enough hours of face to face therapy to graduate.

I have gotten more hours than I need to graduate and I am happy to continue getting hours.

Though this week will be a slower week with clients.

I had a cancellation tomorrow so just one client and then clients on Tuesday.

But no one else the rest of the week because of the endoscopy procedure and getting ready for my graduation.

Super excited.

It’s beginning to feel really real.

Happy, so much so, to have gotten the majority of the party preparations out-of-the-way.

Now it’s just a matter of showing up  in my cap and gown and walking that stage.

I can’t wait!

 

Nothing’s Sunk In

May 8, 2018

I have not yet felt the reality of being done with my Master’s program.

It has not sunk in at all.

I bumped into, and invited, a former employer who I ran into today in Noe Valley to my party, who replied after giving me a huge hug, how much the boys would love to see me and that they would of course come.

It was very sweet.

She and her partner are both psychiatrists, so it was really nice and quite validating to get some of the recognition from them when I worked for them regarding my abilities.

The last time I bumped into them I had just begun practicum.

Now I’ve completed the program.

It was a touch surreal.

The time has gone by fast, even though it was such a slog too.

So much work.

She insisted that I needed to stop and take it in and take a moment.

But I don’t have any moments.

Not right now.

Not right yet.

To appreciate and reflect and give myself a pat on the back.

I just jumped right back into work today and before work I had to go to Hayes Valley and drop of my paperwork that needed to be signed.

And of course.

I fucked it up.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

What is my problem?

Tired.

You are tired and overwhelmed and want everything to be completed and you just finished a Herculean task and haven’t really sat with the reality of what it all means.

And.

I didn’t fuck it up that bad.

But for a minute there.

I was so mad at myself I could have screamed on the corner of Gough and Hayes.

In fact.

I did say a couple of profanities out loud in frustration.

I was so set on getting the paperwork to the right place, to the right mailbox on to the next thing that had to be done, so über focused, that I didn’t realize the door code to the building I was using was the wrong one.

I made the presumption (as it has happened in the past when I met with my supervisor that I would occasionally get to the office before it was open and I would have to wait until he arrived to turn the dead bolt) that when the code didn’t work it was because there was no one in the office and the dead bolt was still in place.

I was so mad.

Why wasn’t there someone there?

There’s always someone there by this time.

What the fuck is going on.

I was so frustrated, thinking that I had come all the way down and there was no way of getting my paperwork to my supervisor and shit, I’m going to have to come down again and damn it all to hell.

I sighed.

I turned around.

Then.

I noticed the mail slot.

I could put the envelope through the mail slot.

I hemmed and hawed, the post it note with my supervisor’s name and suite number  could come off, then how would anyone know where it was supposed to go.

But.

I figured if he didn’t get it I would just print off another form and run it back down.

I slid it through the mail slot.

I decided I had enough time to mail out my Mother’s Day gift and I headed off to get into my car and wait a second.

The code.

Did I use the wrong code?

What code did I use?

Shit.

I think I used my therapists code.

My therapist in Noe Valley.

Hallelujah!

I ran back, I looked up my supervisor’s code, I let myself into the building, I went to the mail slot and looked at the floor.

There was nothing there!

Where’d the hell it go?

I dashed upstairs.

The door to my supervisor’s office was closed, I know better than to knock, he could have been in session, but I hoped fervently that he was there and had gotten the envelope.

There was nothing left to do but go and send and e-mail and feel a bit chagrined and not beat myself up too much, I still did a little, and get on to the next thing.

Mailing said package.

Which I did.

Then ran into the former employer.

And yes.

I did acknowledge she was right, I need to stop.

To sit.

To savor it.

But honestly.

All I feel like doing is crying.

I’m in a lot of pain again with the reflux and I haven’t enjoyed the ending of the program partially because I haven’t had the time to do so but also because I’m in gnarly ass pain again.

Fortunately.

The GI’s office got back to me today and booked the three procedures with me the doctor wants to do.

I will go in on May 17th and see what is going on.

I have taken that whole day off from work, I’ll be doing a ph test and wearing a wire that will be inserted through my nose into my esophagus and into my stomach, for 24 hours.

I had already asked off for the 18th, figuring that I would be socializing with my mom who’s coming for my graduation.

I really don’t want to deal with a parent visit and the wire test, but what the fuck can I do?

I can’t take being in pain like this much longer and I’ll deal with the visit the best I can.

The doctor will also do an endoscopy.

The procedure will be done at 1p.m and I can’t eat 6 hours prior or drink fluids 4 hours prior.

My mom called today, she’s back from her trip and wants to discuss her trip.

I don’t even know what to say right now.

I feel like I’m just hanging on, I’m not sure I can manage more.

I’m just in pain.

I know it will pass.

I won’t die.

I mean.

I hope not.

I want to wear my cap and gown.

I want to walk the stage.

I want to celebrate on the beach with the people I love.

I really do.

Locked Out

May 5, 2018

But not for long.

I was just trying to get onto the student loan site.

I need to apply for a Grad Plus Loan.

I have done this once before, last summer when I was in practicum and realized that it was a two credit course, aka, about $2200 that I needed to come up with in order to pay for the supervision that I needed to begin seeing clients.

The school told me what to do and I did it.

I barely remembered doing it, but today when I went and checked in with the financial aid department they gave me the same instructions.

And yes.

My package that I was granted is $3,000 shy.

So.

Off to http://www.studentloans.gov to get me some more money.

Except, I swear, that they need like the name of my first-born child, a lock of hair from a unicorn mane, a sprinkle of fairy dust, me to click my heels three times in precision and spin around in my kitchen, to get into the damn system.

It’s happened every single time that I have tried to utilize it that it won’t accept the password that I have for it and then it freezes up.

So.

First.

I have to reset the password for the umpteenth time.

Then.

I am told that I have to wait 30 minutes.

What the fuck.

Come on.

You have my social security, my birthdate, my three, THREE, challenge questions, my mother’s maiden name, and my phone number.

Isn’t that fucking enough?

Meh.

Anyway.

Glad to know that I can apply for some more debt, hahaha, sigh, but that it is a resource is a comfort.

Plus.

In my visit I found out that I don’t have to worry about my exit interview to graduate with my Master’s Degree as I have registered for my PhD program as well as having accepted the financial aid package that the school put together for me.

That was good news.

The not so good news.

UGH.

Another motherfucking piece of paperwork has surfaced that I have to get signed.

I do not understand why the hell the school doesn’t give each fucking student a packet of the papers that need to be filled out to each cohort as they come in.

Then I could just pull it out, get it signed and turn it back in.

This whole trying to figure out what I need to get to them is frustrating as fuck.

Listen people.

I have gotten straight A’s and am on track to continue that with the papers I turned in and the presentations I have done, plus I have given you a fuck ton of money.

Stop it already.

Seriously.

So.

I got the two pieces of paperwork from the office and I have them in my folder and one I will get filled out next Saturday when I go to Group Supervision and the other I will have to wait and see until I get a reply from my supervisor that I no longer meet with.

I am going to be hella bummed if he asked me to come in early on Monday.

I am looking forward, in a really dreamy sort of way, to actually sleeping in on Monday.

But.

If I have to go in on Monday morning to get the paperwork signed I will.

I’m sorting of hoping that I’ll be able to do it at another time.

We shall see.

I may not even hear back from him until Monday, his work week is Monday-Thursday, he always takes a three-day weekend.

Private practice goals!

Speaking of.

It felt so good to share with the cohort that I had gotten a private practice internship, it was such a nice way to start the weekend.

As well as reflecting to them how much I have grown and grown up.

I compared it to starting the program riding my bicycle to school.

Then I got a scooter.

And today, well, I drove to school in my car.

And found parking!

So nice.

I reflected how far I have come and how much work I have done and I’m pretty fucking amazed.

Of course.

There are a lot of folks who helped me a long the way, some in small ways, some in grand ways.

I am reflecting on my best friend and the support I have gotten and the love for doing the work I am doing and the reflection that I am good at what I do and that I should absolutely go for my PhD.

It means so much that love and support.

I am so grateful for it all.

And grateful that this is it!

This is the last weekend of the program.

Today was the first day, I have two left.

And already a slight change in plans.

A friend of mine in the cohort and I have chosen to skip the closing ceremony and just go out to dinner the two of us.

She’s such a dear friend that I would rather spend the time with her then saying good-bye to people, though I do like them, do not measure up to the friendship we have created these past years.

She lives out-of-state too, so yeah, dinner at Schmidt’s with her tomorrow night instead of the closing ceremony.

I was ambivalent about it anyway.

My closing ceremony will be commencement and my graduation beach bonfire party.

That’s where it’s at for me.

And.

Hopefully I have given the Student Loans Government site enough time to reset.

Fingers crossed I get my new password correct.

Heh.

So Many Details

April 20, 2018

I had a lot of stuff that I had to remember to do today.

Little things, but things that needed to be attended to.

I had a new client, so I had to print of new client paper work, plus some of my files are shy on progress notes and so I printed off a bunch of paperwork to bring into my internship.

I have learned the hard way that there are often times therapy sessions being held in the office that has the majority of the paperwork so I will print off my own at home to save me the headache of not being able to get what I need.

I was super lucky tonight and managed to sneak in right after a client left a therapy session in the office and I was able to procure the file for my new client.

That was smooth.

I’m back to running with a full eight clients.

Although it is rare that I see all eight clients in the same week, a lot of cancellations.

Which happens when the sliding scale is so low and people decide they can afford to cancel at the last-minute.

I can’t afford to cancel my therapist last-minute, I’m on the lowest end of her sliding scale and that’s $120 an hour.

Not an acceptable trade-off for last-minute cancelling.

However, I have plenty of clients that pay $10 or $20 a session.

It tends to lead to clients cancelling.

Sometimes I think I should be running with ten clients to make up for the frequent cancellations, but then again, right now, what with trying to get through the rest of the school year and get to graduation, I think it’s best to sit at eight.

Speaking of graduation.

I just did a bunch of work for my graduation invitation for the beach bonfire party May 19th.

I’m super jazzed to be able to have a party and so, so, so grateful for my friends who are helping out.

My best friend is in charge and gave me a time line of things to do and I flubbed already, but I’m hoping to redeem myself with the content and copy that I just sent out.

We shall see.

I’m not the best when it comes to those sorts of things.

Hopefully it will be enough.

And if it’s not, I can figure that out too.

My primary focus is just getting through the next few weeks and getting the papers done that I have to write.

I booked myself some time to write this weekend, it may not be all in one go, which is generally how I like to write, but I have some commitments Sunday that take up time.

I”m hopeful that I will get the majority of it done on Sunday.

I will be doing internship paperwork and BBS paperwork on Saturday.

Although I might be able to get a few things jotted down on Saturday as well depends on what comes up in my schedule.

I’m not too worried.

Ha.

I lie.

I’m a bit anxious, but I have faith.

I always get my papers written, this time will be no different.

It’s exciting to be getting so close, even if it is a little nerve-wracking.

Just two more papers!

And then.

A nice chill last weekend of classes, some closing ceremonies with the cohort, some hugs, and that’s that.

There’s a week in between the last weekend of classes and Commencement.

I’m still in the can’t quite believe that I’m graduating, but it’s getting more real.

I think, actually, that working on the invitation was helpful, it sort of solidified it in my head that this is all actually happening.

Even getting my cap and gown in the mail didn’t make it real.

I sense that it will feel real when the papers are done.

I’m ready for that.

And I’m ready for Friday.

It’s been a big week.

A good one, but intense and I’m ready for the weekend.

Granted, there won’t be a lot of down time, but I will make time for it if it should coalesce.

All work and no play makes me a dull girl.

And nobody wants that.

Nobody.

Halfway There

March 9, 2018

Tomorrow marks the mid-point to the semester.

I’ll be halfway through the last semester of my Masters degree!

I’m so excited.

And.

Yes.

I am completely done with all my homework.

Everything is turned in.

I did all my reading assignments.

And I worked on my dyad partner’s paper today at work, so that I have comments and responses to her paper, that’s part of the work for this big final paper, we work in groups and read our group mates paper and make comments and help them with their work.

So I did that today at the Upper Noe Valley Rec Center.

I just had the baby out for a walk and he fell asleep in the stroller, so I grabbed a cafe au lait from Xo Cafe on Church and Day Street, walked over to the Rec Center and did the paper and then I did the evaluations for school that I have to turn in as well for the class.

I got it all done.

I’m not sure how I wrote that damn annotated bibliography yesterday and did all the reading and that I saw a licensed MFT this week, after seeing clients, and worked a lot, I put in four hours of overtime at work, paid in cash when I left today, thank you very much, and still got to do the deal.

I mean.

Whew.

It’s a week.

Plus I terminated with a client tonight.

It was a good termination and the client and I parted ways very amicably and it was a mutual termination.

It was nice to reflect on the work that happened over the course of the treatment and to see how my client has changed and how, too, I have.

The client was one of my first clients and it was good for me to see how much I have grown since I started doing my practicum.

I only have about seven more weeks of being in practicum and then it turns into an associateship.

The California Association of Marriage Family Therapist has changed the title from MFTi (intern) to associate.

Once I graduate, I become an associate.

I will be an Associate MFT.

I will have a registered number.

And I will be fully on my way to getting my license.

The next hurdle will be filling out all the paperwork and getting all the signatures.

I first, though, have to graduate.

I need to continue showing up for classes, participating, and doing the work.

But It feels really god, and I want to acknowledge that, to be halfway through the homestretch semester.

I think ordering my cap and gown really put a big explanation point on it.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for my graduation party.

I need to celebrate.

This Master’s degree is a huge deal for me.

Finding out what I am supposed to be doing and finding my way through school to get me to the point where I can become a licenced therapist is such a huge thing for me.

I felt like I was floundering for years not knowing exactly what I was supposed to be doing, nanny, go to Burning Man, yearn to be a published writer, never get published, nanny, think about applying to a Creative Writing Masters program, not get into it, nanny, go to Burning Man, maybe try living in Paris for a little while, come back to San Francisco, nanny some more, go to Burning Man.

Have huge epiphany at Burning Man.

Quit crappy nanny job.

Get better nanny job.

Apply to grad school.

Get in!

And suddenly I am going to be a therapist when I grow up.

When I reflect back on the journey of getting to where I am now I am absolutely flabbergasted.

How did I make it through?

And I’m still working through it, but it feels so tangible now, the hard work is paying off and I’m almost there.

I can see the diploma.

I will be framing that post-haste.

In a really nice frame.

Really nice.

Just saying.

Anyway.

So, yeah, a party.

But I’m not sure how to do it.

The commencement ceremony is from 3-5p.m. in Hayes Valley.

Do I grab an early dinner with the folks coming to my graduation and then bomb out to the beach?

I want to do a beach bonfire at Ocean Beach.

Or.

Do I skip it and head straight back to the house and get shit over to Ocean Beach and get things set up.

I feel like I need to enlist some friends to get things set up but then I’m responsible for this and I want it to be nice and I want to appreciate the friends in my life who have been so generous with me during my time in grad school.

I think I may skip trying to make dinner plans.

Maybe instead, I can do a nice brunch before hand and then go to the commencement and after ward head to the beach.

That way I can be there by 6p.m. and set things up.

Not that I’m planning anything hard or fancy.

Fire wood in a box, couple of blankets, a folding chair or two, a cooler with some sparkling water.

That’s it.

Folks want more than that, they can bring it.

Mostly I just want a reason to have a bonfire at the beach and I can’t imagine a better excuse than I am graduating with a Master’s Degree.

I want to invite lots of folks, and acknowledge all the people who helped me a long the way, past employers who wrote me letters of recommendation to get into the program, to my current employers who put up with me not working one Friday a month so I can go to classes, to friends and visiting family, and families I used to nanny for, everyone who gave me one single word of encouragement, I want them there.

Or at least to extend the invitation to be there.

And when the sunsets I will have tears on my face and joy in my heart being surrounded by friends, family, loved ones, and my community.

I cannot fucking wait.

Bring on this weekend of classes.

Let’s go!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

February 3, 2018

The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

COMMENCEMENT!

The date is set, the place has been set, now I just need to get through the next four months of school.

My God.

It is actually going to happen.

I am going to graduate in May!

I’ve never been to the Nourse Theater, but it looks lovely.

I had, for some reason, thought it would be at the Palace of Fine Arts, I seemed to recall having seen photos from a previous cohort’s graduation, but it’s not there and though I love the Palace, I’m happy the commencement ceremonies will be held close to my school.

It feels right somehow.

I’ve a few ideas for what I want to do to celebrate, definitely toss the hat up into the air.

Which reminds me I think I’m going to have to purchase a cap and gown.

An expense I really don’t fucking want to deal with since well I’ll only be wearing it once, but I don’t believe the school rents them.

What I have heard from a few people in my group supervision at my internship, is that folks from previous cohorts may lend them out.

Unfortunately both the people in my group supervision who graduated last year from my same program are a lot shorter than me.

Like, a lot, I wouldn’t be able to fit in a cap and gown that either of them wore.

I’ll suck it up, just one more expense that I wasn’t counting on when I applied to the program.

Like the $5,000 I will have spent on a licenced therapist while I’m in the program.

I love my therapist though, she’s great, also a graduate from the same program that I am in, and I do get her sliding scale fee, $120 an hour, since she knows I’m a student and my school requires that I see a licenced MFT while I’m in practicum.

At first it was really hard to think about spending that kind of money once a week, but having been with her now for 33 sessions, I track them on my Track My Hours BBS app, I can say with not one doubt in my head that it’s been so worth it.

Having an outlet, having support, having a place to explore whatever I’ve been going through while I’ve been in practicum has been such a huge help.

I have worked around a lot of family of origin trauma’s, incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence in my family system, with my father, with my step-father, a five-year relationship that went sour and led to being a statistic on domestic violence, my alcohol and drug use, and abuse and subsequent journey into recovery.

It still amazes me that I am sober, that I didn’t do a rehab or a recovery house.

The thought of having to do that scares the living shit out of me, I see a lot of folks in and out of recovery houses and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there.

Perhaps an introduction to a solution, definitely a clean and safe place off the streets, but so often the folks I see from those places don’t seem to have much hope.

Then again, my own perception is probably skewed.

Anyway.

Therapy.

My therapist.

So fucking glad to work with her.

I have worked on self-esteem issues, self-advocacy, self-care, setting boundaries.

I have worked through transference and counter transferences with my clients.

Frankly such a relief to have that as an outlet.

I had a couple of back to back days of intense client sessions.

Really good, don’t get me wrong, but super intense.

Grateful that I get to show up for my clients and be a good therapist.

At least I think I’m good.

The feedback has been good, both from my supervisors and from my clients, but my God, there’s always so much more to learn.

And then there’s all the learning that I have done.

All the work that I have done over the last two and a half years, so much work, so much processing, so much learning, so many articles and books and videos, so, so, so many fucking papers, so much practice, so much showing up, being vulnerable, leaning into the vulnerability and growing.

Painful growth and glorious growth and heartbreaking growth.

I can’t wait to graduate.

The ritual is important for me.

I know it will probably be boring as hell, but there is something here that needs to be done for me, an enactment, the crossing of the stage, the flipping the tassel on my cap from one side to the other, to signify that I have graduated.

I need that ceremony.

It feels very important to me to acknowledge the rite of passage.

And I want to have a party.

I really, really do.

I really have thought quite a bit about having it at Ocean Beach, a bonfire, blankets in the sand, some snacks, I don’t really care about food, but some cold bevvies in a cooler, all non-alcoholic thank you.

I think it would be easier for me to facilitate than making reservations for a big dinner party somewhere.

It’s not so much the food that’s important, it’s the people.

I see a big bundle of balloons on the beach, a bonfire, and a bunch of folks standing around and hanging out, simple, easy, sweet.

The only drawback to Ocean Beach is that the beach doesn’t really have bathrooms, there are port-a-potties, but that’s it.

Then again, like I can’t handle that, how many times have I gone to Burning Man?

Heh.

I did have it suggested that I have it at my house, and there’s some appeal there and also not, I can’t decide.  I could have a fire in the back yard, there’s a fire pit, there are tables and chairs and the yard is big enough to accommodate plenty of folks, and there’s a bathroom.

I’d probably need to clear it with the landlady, but I can’t think that she would say no.

There’s also a grill I could use.

I just get a little edgy about having people come in and out of my house, but then again, it could be sweet.

Oh, so many things to plan.

But not right yet.

Not right now.

Now is time for sleep.

It’s been a long week.

Grateful that I made it through.

Grateful for all the love in my life.

So.

Deeply.

Deeply.

Grateful.

For all the love.

 

Long, Strange Day

October 13, 2017

But I am finally feeling better.

I just ate some dinner.

Roasted chicken with a baked Japanese sweet potato.

I needed some homey comfort food.

The air today had me down.

Granted.

I do not like to complain.

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

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

So much has been destroyed.

It’s utter devastation.

I can’t comprehend it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ash like snow.

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

Spooky.

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

And it’s bad.

Downtown swathed in smoke.

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

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

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

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

She’s been inside all week.

I can feel it in my chest.

And today I started to sneeze.

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

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

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

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

Aside.

Tomorrow marks the half way point of the semester!

Half way!

I am very happy about that.

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

I’ve had a head ache all day.

I’m a pussy.

I admit it.

Can you believe I used to be a smoker!

Anyway.

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

I roasted the chicken up.

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

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

I drank lots of water.

I cut myself some slack.

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

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

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

I was going to do it tonight.

But.

Um.

Nope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sigh.

I’m done complaining.

I am.

I just want my head ache to go away.

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

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

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

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

 

 


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