Posts Tagged ‘books’

I Could Get Used To This

June 18, 2018

Having a little down time that is.

I mean.

I still got hella shit done today.

Two loads of laundry, recycling, grocery shopping, food prep for meals for the week, fresh sheets on the bed, shower, morning yoga class, breakfast, coffee, updating clients on upcoming vacation, writing, meetings with two different ladies.

I got shit done.

And.

I also sat outside and ate a late home cooked meal for lunch and let the sunshine hit my face and light me up inside.

I watched the ravens swooping over the back rows of houses behind the end of the fence marking the property line.

I closed my eyes and just was.

Then.

Holy mother of goodness.

I read a book.

Not a psychology book, although there were some interesting bits in it that were definitely psychological.

No.

I read for pleasure.

And it was so nice.

It was just the bomb.

I love reading and I believe that by the end of my last semester I was so read out that I wasn’t going to be able to pick up a book again for the summer and read anything.

I was burnt out on reading, text books and online articles and doing research and underling bits and pieces and this and that.

Going over readers with hundreds of articles and emptying out my closet of stacks of books to write that final big thirty page paper.

I actually just got back the comments on that paper today.

I had this moment of dread when I saw the e-mail.

There had been this bit in the syllabus that said if you didn’t do all the points of something in the paper it would get returned to you and you’d have to rectify it.

For just a moment.

I kid you not, even though I had framed my diploma today, which means that the grades were turned in, I got an “A” for god’s sake, I thought, shit, I fucked something up and I’m going to have to re-write that fucking paper.

Hahahaha.

Ugh.

Thanks brain.

I really could have gone without that thought.

But no.

The paper comments were quite nice and I got a lot of compliments for my understanding of psychodynamic theory and how I’ve integrated that into my sessions with clients and I got huge thumbs up for the case presentation part, both the presentation I did in class and also the write-up of the case, my professor was very effusive.

That was nice to read.

And yeah.

I did, as a matter of fact, frame my diploma today.

It looks really cool.

It’s hanging in my little kitchen above my sink.

It wasn’t exactly my first choice, but as it turns out the fancy frame I bought was literally 1/2 an inch too big to put it where I wanted to with my undergraduate diploma.

The only other place in my in-law that had any room was in the kitchen.

I like it though, I can turn my head and see it and there’s something about the placement in the kitchen, at least for now, that appeals to me.

I did a lot of self-care during my three years working on my Master’s degree that had to do a lot with cooking and making meals and trying to eat well and take care of myself.

I realized at some point that roasting a chicken was a really nice thing to do on a Sunday when I was writing papers.

It would warm the house up and when I was finished I would have a hot meal.

It’s some how apropos that my diploma is in the kitchen.

It makes sense.

One day, and not too far way either, it will hang in my private practice office.

I’m excited to be getting tiny baby steps closer to that goal every day.

I really feel like I am on a career trajectory towards making a real income and having my own business and supporting myself as a therapist.

I actually can see a time, in the not so distant future, when I will hang up my nanny clogs and bid adieu to working as a nanny.

I’m ready for that.

Of course, until then, I do have the best family to work for.

I’m so excited too for this week.

A week from tomorrow I fly out of SFO to JFK.

I have one more week of work and then five weeks.

FIVE.

Of paid time off.

I can hardly breathe with excitement.

I am not going to pick up a lot of extra client hours either.

Maybe a few here or there.

But rather, I am going to go do the deal a lot, I’ve been asked to speak at some afternoon places that I wouldn’t normally be able to do.

I’m going to have lunch dates with friends.

I made one tonight with a dear friend who spoke up at my commitment.

I’ve never been to his work and he’s been on me for ever to come down and have lunch at the office with him.

Done and done.

I went over my calendar and saw a few days when I can get in an extra yoga class.

I will also be doing some research for my paid internship, that meeting with my new boss and supervisor will be happening on July 11th.

So much lovely stuff to look forward to.

It’s going to be a fantastic week.

I can feel it.

I also only have five clients this week, so I don’t have to do an extra hour of supervision.

And!

Oh yeah.

I’m finally getting a hair cut next Saturday.

I’ll be all sassy for New York.

I’m so ready for that trip.

I’m so excited.

Glad I had down time today.

Grateful for sunshine, meals on the patio, pleasure reading, framing my diploma, making homemade food, friends and lunch dates.

Grateful for a life full of love.

So much love.

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Done

April 30, 2018

I mean.

The paper, that is.

It’s done.

It is done!

IT’S DONE!!

OH MY FUCKING GOD!

IT’S DONE.

My last paper of the semester is done and sent in.

30 pages.

10,062 words.

That makes it the longest paper I have written in graduate school, apt that it is the last one I am writing for my program degree.

My God.

All I have to do for the next weekend of classes is show up.

I have no homework.

I have finished it all.

I didn’t have to finish it today.

But.

I absolutely had to finish it today.

I have a full week and not much wiggle room between work and clients at my internship.

Plus trying to figure out supervision.

Which, I think I may have figured out, I contacted my group supervisor and asked if there was any way I could meet with her after the normal group meets on Saturday.

That means I will miss the closing class ceremony, but that’s not a requirement of the course load, it’s just something the cohort is doing as a sort of ending ceremony.

Which is fine.

I don’t actually mind missing that.

I do mind missing the class time.

I would rather be in class and participate that way.

And I also sent out another request to the Wednesday supervisor to please let me know if an opening comes up, so if there’s a cancellation or a missing person I can take their spot.

I would like to do the ceremony with the cohort, I think it will be a nice way to close out the experience, though if truth be told I think it’s a bit on the woo woo side of town.

However, I don’t have an issue with it.

I am going to have my own little ceremony, my own party, and I will get to be with my people.

People who have seen me through this very long and arduous road of academia.

My God.

I mean.

I had stacks of books and readers on the floor of my kitchen today.

I was amazed at the amount of reading I have done.

And the stacks of books and readers was about a 1/4 of what I have read and digested.

A lot of articles were on-line, especially this last semester.

And I sold back a lot, the majority of my books.

I had to integrate 10 different sources into my paper from readers, articles, lectures, books, that I have read, and I pulled a bunch of them out of the closet today where I keep the books and readers I couldn’t sell back, and I did a quick dive in to see what there was to see.

There was so much.

So much.

I was really taken by how much was there that I have read, every semester, the accumulation of knowledge in my head, the reading, the writing, the integration of all the work.

I really have done a lot of work.

Not just on this paper, which yes, I did a lot of work on this paper, but overall.

The amount of showing up, reading, and writing.

The amount of internal processing and external.

The year and a half of practicum work and supervision.

The two-week long intensives that I attended.

All the things I didn’t do because I was doing homework.

And the conflict in my cohort, the privilege that I got to speak out against, the learning how to hold that conflict, address it, heal it and move on.

The work is no joke.

I’m grateful for it though.

I have learned so much.

About myself.

About others.

The paper I wrote today had four parts to it and each part had a series of sections, about four to six parts, sometimes eight that had to be addressed.

It made me really break apart and break down what I have studied, what I have learned.

And it showed me that I have learned more than I thought.

I have a great capacity for knowledge.

For this I am grateful.

I also am grateful that I am, that I have chosen to be, in a career that will continue to push me, continue to require that I learn more.

My career is always going to have me expanding my knowledge base and learning more.

It’s exciting.

Although.

I am also grateful that I can take a little break now.

The weight of that paper has been lifted off my shoulders.

It still doesn’t feel real yet, but it’s really done.

I have submitted it and that means that there is nothing left to do.

Oh.

Ha.

I have to lead a guided meditation on Friday for ten minutes.

Heh.

I think I can do that.

Sit down, close your eyes, breathe.

Done.

It’s a beautiful thing being done.

I’m just going to sit here for a moment and enjoy the lack of nothing to do.

It’s rather extraordinary.

Just Do The Next Thing

March 10, 2018

In front of you.

I was talking to a friend of mine in the cohort at school about a particularly challenging classroom situation today.

It was the first class of the day, the first day of class, third weekend, last semester.

Many of the folks in my class described having a feeling of “senioritis” and not wanting to do the work.

I was like.

Shut the fuck up bitches.

I did the fucking work.

You can do the god damn work too.

Alas.

I did not share that.

I took my judgmental ass and sat on the floor for a student led guided meditation for the class.

Guided meditation my ass.

I laughed inside, someone, me, has some contempt about this.

I sat quietly while the person leading the meditation walked around the classroom and beat on a drum.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I could not follow.

I instead choose to ignore the spiritual bypassing schlock and said the serenity prayer in my head on a loop and slowly relaxed.

Until the drumming got intense and insistent and intruded into my nice quite brain.

And that was sort of how class was.

Insistent, annoying, intrusive.

My issued with my cohort or certain members of the cohort is that when they haven’t done the work, many of us who have, bear the brunt of them having to be informed again and again about the nature of the work and their responsibilities thereof.

It’s a waste of fucking time.

My time is precious.

I’m paying a fuck load of money to be in school, I have made constant self-sacrifice to be there, I have taken on tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, I have had little social life over the last two and three-quarters years, and less sleep, I have missed fellowshipping opportunities to do school, have worked and worked and worked and read and studied and, and, and.

SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH YOUR WHINY ASS BITCHING.

Ugh.

There.

Sorry.

I don’t mean to yell.

I just got overwhelmed with it today.

There is a kind of refusal to take accountability for ones actions that rubs my fur the wrong way.

I was rubbed the wrong way a bit.

I felt like a frazzled cat that had fallen in the bathtub.

I did manage to self-soothe and breathe and pay attention to the information the professor was giving us.

And man.

There is a lot of information.

There was a two page  hand out with fine print and websites and dates and timelines and schedules and paper work in triplicate and my God, I don’t know, the encryption codes to the lottery is what it felt like.

There are a lot of hoops to get licensed and today I sat through a three-hour long class on what hoops I have to jump.

There were some folks who had no idea the number of hoops and were bogged down in the why didn’t anyone tell me all this information before and why am I now learning it and fuck, I didn’t do that thing that you’re telling me I need to do, what am I going to do?

Well.

I don’t know.

But you can get your whiny ass self to shut up and listen and perhaps instead of interrupting and wanting to change things to fit your agenda better you could just go with what’s happening, read the material, write the papers, and pay attention.

Works for me.

Anyway.

I am obviously taking someone’s inventory here.

And you know what?

I don’t want to make that persons amends.

That person has their own path and if truth were to be told, which is what this blog is about, trying to get as close to the truth as my skewed vision can get, I don’t want to be on that persons path.

I like mine just fine.

I have my challenges, obviously, low tolerance for bullshit being one of them, who doesn’t, but I don’t have to allow myself to be affected by another’s.

So I just sat and let the drama unfold and when I needed to take a break I texted with my best friend and connected to the outside world for brief moments.

I am so grateful I did.

Good juicy little reminders of my life outside of the classroom.

Which is sort of the whole point of being in the classroom, to learn the things that I need to know so that I may carry them out into the world and be a better person and for damn sure, a better therapist.

My own personal issues lead me down great paths of discovery and learning and I am not blind to this knowledge.

My biggest challenges over the past year have shown me the depth of love I have, great huge reservoirs of it, and where I really need to grow and allow more in.

There’s always the growth.

And today I got to grow by acknowledging that I’m not doing it perfect either.

I got anxious in class.

I got nervous about all the requirements and the “t’s”to cross, the “i’s” to dot.

But I also gotten to deepen my faith a little more and just focus on the next thing in front of me, having faith that the things that need to get done, will, in fact, get done.

I do have to do some more paperwork for graduation and I do need to get some signatures from my supervisors, my therapist (my Master’s program requires that I am in therapy with a licensed MFT while I am in practicum, therefore I have to get a piece of paper signed by my therapist that says I have done 50 sessions with her–I will actually hit session 50 four days before I graduate) and there are a few other odds and ends I want to make sure that I do.

But overall.

I got this.

Oh.

I know there will be moments of panic, or anxiety or fear that I am doing it wrong but I think of the people who I know who have graduated the program and I know more than a handful, and I relax.

They did it.

So too can I.

I know I can.

I know it.

So all I have to do tonight is pack my bag for classes in the morning and have a nice hot cup of tea.

I have done all that I possibly could have.

And then some.

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!

Got Through

February 12, 2018

I did it.

I got through the school weekend.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I fucking did.

I wrote a god damn paper too.

I just sent it in a little while ago.

I was so happy to kick it out-of-the-way.

Five pages, not a huge guy, but not really what I wanted to do after a full weekend of school, proceeded by clients at my internship, and working all last week at my nanny gig.

I really wanted to take a nap half way through the day.

It felt like I got wallop by the tired stick.

I stuck it out though.

A lot of folks were playing hooky today though, it was obviously a challenging weekend for the entire cohort.

But fuck.

I got it all done.

I am super happy I wrote the paper.

Now I am free.

At least for the next few hours.

Before I have to get myself ready for bed and a full week of supervision, therapy, work and clients.

But.

Not really a “full” week.”

I am flying out of SFO to Washington D.C. on Thursday night to spend the weekend with my best friend.

I am so ready for some vacation time.

It’s only for the weekend.

A quick in and out, but I know, without any doubts what so ever, that I will savor every last-minute.

Every moment.

I am so ready to go.

I just have to get through the next four days.

They are full days, twelve-hour days tomorrow and Tuesday, work and packing on Wednesday, therapy, supervision, clients, but, oh, the reward at the end of it all, well, the week will go quickly I sense.

Staying busy doesn’t hurt.

I vacillated today whether I was going to attempt the paper after I got out of school today, I was feeling pretty punchy after all the work I put in over the weekend, but the thought of having to do any homework while on my way to D.C. or in D.C. prompted me to get it done.

And done it is.

So too is my laundry and my food prep for the week.

And it’s not yet 8p.m.

But fuck, I feel like I have put in a very, very, full weekend.

I had some lovely times this weekend though, yes, yes I did.

And I am so grateful that I was able to get out of my school mode a few times.

It set the tone for next weekend and filled me with some excitement for my trip.

I haven’t done any travel in a little bit and I’m really happy I will be packing my roll on suitcase for a little adventure here real soon.

I don’t typically pack until either day of or night before.

Since I am going to go into work on Thursday for my full day of work I figure I will pack up on Wednesday and just throw my toilet bag together when I get back from work.

Debating the whole drive my car to the airport and do long-term parking or taking a Uber.

It was suggested to me to park there, but I get nervous about doing something outside my comfort zone.

I also think that my noggin is so full of thinking and learning and writing papers that I can’t quite figure the whole thing out right now.

My poor little brain is just looped.

I could use a snuggle and some sleep.

I wager I will go to bed early tonight.

I mean.

It’s not often that I am writing my blog at 7:30p.m. at night, but there it is, I got home from school, cancelled on going out to do other things today, threw a chicken in the oven to roast and started in on my paper.

I got the paper out-of-the-way, sent it off to my professor, and then had a nice hot chicken dinner with brown rice and garlic sautéed broccoli and romesco.

Simple.

I will save the fancy food for the weekend.

That’s part of the fun of traveling, staying in new places and going out to eat.

Shopping too.

Not that I was planning on doing a lot of that, but I do like to get a souvenir or two.

I usually buy a pair of earrings wherever I go.

A notebook.

Postcards.

I send myself a postcard.

I get a notebook to do my morning pages in.

I like to get a hat sometimes too or some clothes, but the focus of this trip is not shopping, but rather spending time with my dearest friend whom I don’t get to spend time with often in the quantity that we will have this weekend.

So grateful for the time.

And now that the school weekend is officially finished it feels so much more real.

I fly out on Thursday!

My friend is picking me up from Dulles taking me to the hotel and letting me get settled in, then off to a museum, The Phillips for some modern art, and a nice lunch out.

There will be much improvisation too, not scheduling too many things, just the time together, that’s what’s important.

The time together.

Oh.

So much nice to look forward to.

I am so ready for it.

It’s been a hard three weeks.

When I consider what the last weekend of classes was like and then juxtapose the weeks in between then and now I am amazed that I made it through.

It was hard.

My heart hurt so damn bad.

I am still tender.

I won’t lie.

You should have been listening to the music I had on driving to and from school

But I’m not focusing on that right now.

I am focused on the lovely things I will get to experience with my dear friend as well as giving myself  a big pat on the back for getting through the school stuff that had to be dealt with so that I may travel unencumbered by homework.

Happy Sunday.

Is it Thursday yet?

I’m Going To Try

January 30, 2018

And I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it.

But.

I am going to try to get up and go to a yoga class tomorrow morning at 7a.m.

Which means getting to bed really soon.

Like almost now.

I thought.

Maybe I won’t blog.

Haha.

Yeah.

Like I could even do that if I wanted to.

My day seems to hinge on my writing practice, in the morning and in the evening and it feels so integral to who I am that to not write feels to wierd.

Especially to not write so that I can get enough sleep to get up to go to yoga before I go to therapy before I go to work before I see two clients in the evening before I do the deal before I pass out from exhaustion just reading that sentence.

Run on sentences, no bueno.

Anyway.

The thing is I have been saying pretty much every week that I want to try to get to this morning yoga class.

It’s just super tight on my schedule.

But not so tight that it’s not doable.

It means a few things.

It means having to get my shit together really fast once the class is done, shower, dress, make up, hair, breakfast–which would probably be in the car on the way to therapy or after therapy.

It would mean no coffee.

I don’t have my coffee set up in a way that’s expeditious to make and drink and slam out of the house.

Sure.

I have cold brew in the fridge, but it’s not cold brew weather and it’s not my super yummy vanilla almond milk latte I make myself in the morning.

And breakfast would be cold too, probably a couple of apples or a green drink that I can whip up and throw in a Mason jar.

This is when I think to myself that it’s time to get a really good blender so that I can make a smoothie to take out the door with me.

I’ve had this thought before too, the blender smoothie thing.

Then I think about how I’ll miss writing my morning pages if I go to yoga.

Then I think.

But yoga.

And it feels good.

My brain argues, sleep in, rest, don’t get up.

Just take a nice morning like you usually do and do your routine.

That being said I have also told myself every damn time that I make a yoga class that I wish I was going at least one more time a week.

And what with my current schedule and the schedule at the studio I don’t have another option.

So.

Yeah.

The great Tuesday morning 7 a.m. yoga debate continues.

I really have had this discussion in my head every week for the past month or so.

Ever since I saw it pop up on the yoga studio schedule.

And.

It’s taught by my favorite teacher, so I know I’ll like it.

Ugh.

I should just compromise, write a short blog, drink some tea, eat an apple, watch a little tasted of Peaky Blinders and go to bed.

Sleep is also important to me.

All the things that I try to balance.

I don’t always succeed, but I do find that I am efficient with my time.

For instance.

Today I had some time between supervision and work so I drove to work and sat in my car parked on the street in front of the house and read from a text-book for a half hour.

I also read from that same text-book for the twenty minutes I had before my first client tonight.

I knocked out three-quarters of what I needed to read in that book.

If I keep that going I will be able to have a lot of my reading done for the next weekend of classes.

Just finding the little spaces and places where I can do that is important.

Especially since I have another paper assignment due next weekend.

Well.

Not exactly due next weekend, but by February 8th one part and by February 9th the other.

The thing is because of my work schedule and my internship schedule I find myself having to write my papers the weekend before they are due.

So I’ll be writing it this weekend.

And I also need to put together my application for the Transpersonal Inquiry PhD program.

I have one of my letters of recommendation and I can fill out the rest of the application.

I have started it, but not finished.

I need to also write-up a personal statement and put together a writing sample.

Prove I can write, you know.

I wish I could just send a link to this blog and say, “here you go, just read that.”

Not that it would necessarily be the kind of writing the department is looking for.

However, it would show that I have a strong writing practice.

At least I think so.

Anyway.

Grateful to be home, in front of my laptop with a nice dinner in my belly.

I had an upset stomach again today, the acid reflux is better some days and worse others and I’ve now gotten a second prescription filled and I’m just hoping that it stops soon.

If I have to refill the meds a third time I’m going to have to go back in and be seen again.

Fingers crossed.

I also know that it’s been a super emotional past ten days, to two weeks for me.

Two weeks, it’s been two weeks of super big emotions, mostly sad ones, so the tummy being upset is not unusual, not at all.

But I am grateful, again and again, to keep walking through this and doing the work.

I know what a gift this experience has been, painful as fuck, but beautiful in its own way too.

For there is no lack of love, there is in fact, so much love that I am constantly awed by it.

Awed.

The love is so big.

I am besotted and graced with that knowledge.

I am loved.

And.

I love.

To love and be loved.

It is.

Absolutely.

The best thing in the world.

Seriously.

First One Down

January 29, 2018

I did it.

I got my first paper of the semester written and turned in.

It was a small guy, five pages.

I was a bit resentful of it for a few days.

First, fucking christ, the first weekend of classes was last weekend, give me a god damn minute to have some time off.

Second, I got a notification yesterday that it was due at 4p.m. today.

What the fuck?

Four p.m.

Listen.

I have a god damn life, I have things to do, and this day, this was my first day off in two weeks, two, and you’re giving me a hard limit of 4p.m.?

Fuck.

Ugh.

Yeah.

So that I found annoying.

But.

I told myself to shut the fuck up and do the fucking work.

I also let myself sleep in.

I was on the phone late last night with my best friend and my God, do we know how to talk, like two highschool girls on a school night dishing all the things, I could talk forever with my friend, it is always so hard to say goodbye, goodnight, until we talk again, it never feels like it is soon enough before we can talk again.

I was going to go to an early morning yoga class, but decided to just let myself sleep and maybe I would catch an afternoon yoga class after I had written the paper, or maybe nothing, fuck it, fuck yoga, fuck it all.

Except.

Well.

Ha.

My body had other ideas.

Sometimes my feet are smarter than my brain.

I did miss the early yoga class, but I woke up in plenty of time to hit the 10:30 a.m. class.

I still got up and out of bed thinking, telling myself that I wasn’t going to go, I would use the extra time to write my paper, or maybe doing my Morning Pages, God knows I have had plenty of fodder for writing.

Oh my god the amount of morning writing I have done while I have been going through my recent experiences, so much.

But I am grateful for the outlet, grateful for the pen on the paper, the feel of the pen moving across the lines, the words tumbling out, prayers and affirmations, gratitude lists, longings and dreams and desires, all of it, bumbled down on my Claire Fontaine notebook and then a little sweet sticker next to my entry, a way to mark my heart on the page, a mandala, a rose, a butterfly, a baby bunny, something small and sweet to tell me where my heart lies in between the words the dance of magic and poetry that I sense is still there just waiting for the right moment to spring forth again.

Like Athena from the mind of Zeus.

All the poesie and love and magic, the passion, the words, so many words of love and adoration I have.

So many.

Ah.

I digress.

See, I think of love and poetry and get lost.

Adrift in worlds of magic and sorcery and the poetics of my life, the romance.

My God.

The romance of it.

Sometimes, yes, it is a little dark, a lot emotional, a kind of deep swooning romance that is historic and deep and has an uncanny beauty writ large in the stars, the blue moon waxing full.

But it is so beautiful and I am so grateful for it, the gift of it.

Seared into me.

Pierced into me.

Literally.

As such, I was compelled to let myself write, but instead I found myself putting on my yoga clothes and then signing up for the 10:30 a.m. class.

My feet had better ideas than my head.

And I am so glad I went.

It was a terrific class, I got to do a lot of heart openings, as though my heart has not been opened enough of late, but it was good, and hard and painful and when I felt stuck, I just breathed through it harder and thought of the love I had and sent it out into the world.

I thought of wrapping my love around my love, a warm cloak, a blanket, I pictured the sun surrounding me and then held my love in my arms, buried my face in the back of his head and then smelled the nape of his neck and I started to cry in yoga.

Sigh.

Truth be told.

I did not mind.

It felt good, a washing of love, a rendering of myself in the moment, a supplication, a surrender to the feeling, to let it go as I lay prostrate on the mat.

And the sensory feeling of putting my arms around the love of my life and covering him with love was so relieving too, as though I could buffet his heart with my love.

It felt right and good even though it felt sad too, just to have another moment to hold him close to me, even if imagined, even in revery, felt so good and real and right.

So.

Yes.

Grateful I got out to yoga.

And then did all the other things.

Shower, breakfast, reading, writing, working with a new lady who came over to the house and we met and read things and talked about life and recovery and doing the deal and that was fantastic.

And when she left.

I got to it.

I pulled out my books and notebooks and syllabus and I got into the paper.

It flowed so well and smoothly and just dropped out of my head and onto the page, well, I was a little amazed.

It just came and I edited it and read it and tidied it up and had it sent off to my professor by 3:50p.m.

Ten minutes before it was due.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Grateful as hell that I know how to write a paper.

I also collaborated with my partner in another class and mapped out the work that needs to be done for a project in that class.

I have my writing calendared for the next week, mostly next Sunday, but also some writing will have to be done Saturday too, I suspect.

And.

I have all my readings prepped for the next weekend of classes.

I will bring my books with me and again sneak in the pages and chapters when I can, where I can, in between going to and from supervision, work, internship, doing the deal, and all the other things I am juggling.

I will have my books with me and when I can, well, I’ll be reading.

It’s my last semester of my Masters program!

Holy fuck.

I have my first assignment in and done.

One tiny step forward.

One tiny march of faith into the future.

I know not where I am going.

But.

I am assured.

That it will be bright and beautiful and full of love.

Love.

Always that.

Always.

All The Things

January 25, 2018

I want to do with you.

There’s so many.

The list, my dear, may become quite big.

But I can’t stop thinking about them.

The things I want to do with you.

An unexpected one that came up tonight.

I want to have a cat with you.

OH my God.

A sweet little kitten, I haven’t thought about having a cat in a while.

I miss having them.

There are cat people and there are not cat people.

And you are a cat person.

I knew this, some part of me knew this, but I didn’t know.

The thought of a baby kitten and you, oh holy mother of god, it makes me tremble.

Like what could possibly be better?

Being in bed with you and a tiny furry creature, I might weep with joy at the thought.

Which is so much better than the weeping I have been doing of late.

I am so, so, so tired of the crying.

It comes and goes now, on its own accord, of its own life, taking me when it wants to without my permission.

My employer was playing music today and some song came on that reminded me of you and I literally bent over double and started to cry.

It’s as close to crying in front of my boss as I have gotten.

It’s been a week of this, I have cried plenty at work, oh my god, so much, but usually when no one is around, when I have had private times, when the baby has fallen asleep on me and I’m in a room by myself whilst the rest of the world goes careening on.

The world does not stop despite my heart-broken heart.

I seem to have stopped sometimes, most times, a glazing around me, a soft focus phased out, fuzzed out, sensory turn down where I am muddled and disoriented.

Driving in the rain tonight, coming home, listening to Debussy and thinking of you and the streets slick shined with rain and light reflections, the traffic, and the black inky night, here and there moments of coming to almost, as though I had just driven the last mile without really seeing anything.

It’s probably not a good thing to disassociate while driving.

Some music I can’t listen to right now.

And while the classical can make me feel tremendously sad, oh man, there are some things I can’t listen to at all, just avoiding certain songs and playlists and when I do stumble into them getting out as fast as I can.

But I did not start this blog to be sad.

No.

I wanted to list all the things I want to do with you.

All the things I think about, what would this be like, how would it feel?

And I know.

That’s fantasy.

But I think my poor heart just needs a reprieve, a momentary respite from the sad, so be gentle with me whilst I play out my fantasy.

Falling asleep in a hammock with you.

God.

I just want to be somewhere warm with you, wrapped up around you, holding you, being held by you.

You and the sun, I so want to be out in the world, in the light, basking with you, warm and brown and golden and laughing.

And sleeping.

Sleeping in warm sunny places, sleeping on a boat whiling its way through the Loire Valley, cushioned on your chest, my eyes closing to the rise and fall of your chest, the sky floating by, resting on you.

I feel so adrift right now, unmoored and up anchored.

I just wish to be settled against you again, skin to skin, heart to heart.

I want to go to the movies with you, hold hands in the dark, lean my head on your shoulder.

I want to travel with you.

God damn it.

What a pair we would make, poking fun at incongruously dressed travelers, sitting next to you on a plane, head on your shoulder.

I’ll happily take the middle seat so you can sit on the aisle.

I want to read books to you, leisurely, one chapter at a time, fairy tales, novels, poetry.

I have read you a lot of my poetry, but there is so much out there, so much yet to be read.

I have so much more to write.

Don’t you want to hear my poems?

I want to linger over breakfast and drink coffee with you and make bad jokes and be silly and go right back to bed.

Not to sleep, no, although that may come in time.

I want to write you love notes and stick them in your jacket pocket when you are not looking, so that when you are at work, you find them and smile and think of me.

I want to walk through Paris with you, sit in the cafes, hold your hand, make out at a corner table and not care who goes by, it’s Paris, people make out in cafes.

I want to go to farmer’s markets with you and carrying a basket on my arm.

I want to go clothes shopping with you.

I want to try on dresses for you and I want you to try on clothes too and then I want to be scolded by the sales lady for smuggling you into the dressing room.

I want a life with you that goes places and does things and opens me up to wonder and awe and beauty and surprise.

I suppose these things are not fair to ask or to write about.

I hesitated to even write all these things down, but the words in my head wouldn’t leave me be and though I am now once again in tears, just the moment of thinking about you holding me in a hammock might be just enough to get me through the tears that are once again streaking my face.

Oh my poor tired heart.

Go to bed.

May sleep come, just so I can dream once more of you.

How The Hell

January 19, 2018

Did that happen?

I’m back in school tomorrow.

I just printed off my syllabus for a class.

I haven’t read a thing, not that there was a thing to read, not that I’m aware of, there probably is a thing or fifteen that I’m supposed to read, but the syllabus that was up for the class I printed off doesn’t technically have text books that I have to buy.

I’ll be using materials from previous classes.

It’s called Integrative Seminar and it’s like a master’s thesis class in which I will expound upon all the learning I have done in the past years of work.

I have learned a lot.

A lot.

“Carmen, sometimes that’s the hardest thing,” my therapist said recently, “you have done the emotional work and you are aware and you are educated and it can be really hard to see things that other people haven’t seen for themselves.”

Ayup.

I mean.

Then again, it’s always easier to see someone else’s problems, they’re not yours, so you’re not invested, it’s a different perspective.

My “problems” are mine and special.

I mean, hello, they’re mine, of course they’re special.

But.

The learning, it has been a lot and I have become very self-aware.

What works for me, what doesn’t, how my emotions are not something to be afraid of but signs to point me in the way I need to be going.

I don’t always care for emotions.

Oh.

That’s not true.

I like some of them a lot.

A LOT.

Happiness.

Love.

Although love has a wicked back-handed sting of pain to it at times that will throttle the breath right out of my body and make me feel like my heart is on fire.

But, um, yeah, love.

It’s so good, it’s so delicious, I want more and more and more.

I usually have to really cultivate it in myself though, how I take care of myself, how I am gentle with myself (not always so good at that, work in progress, you know), how I feed myself, or let myself rest or be kind, like say nice things about myself and acknowledge the work I do.

I mean.

The work.

A lot of that.

Other emotions I like.

Joy.

Excitement.

Affection.

Awe.

Love me some awe.

Hope is a good one too.

Elation.

I like to be elated.

Euphoria.

That one’s super fun.

Wonder.

Ecstasy.

Ooh, yeah, I like that.

I mean.

Those are fantastic emotions, I’m all over those.

But some others.

Meh.

Not so much.

Jealousy.

Anger.

Fear.

Worry.

Sadness.

Oh woe is me, I do not like the sads.

Melancholia, which is just sadness with a fancy name.

Frustration.

Envy.

Lust.

Well, heh, maybe I do like some lust.

It’s well.

Lusty.

Ahem.

Humiliation.

Pity.

Fear.

I do not like the fear thing not a bit, not at all.

Yet.

I have all of those emotions too.

The nice thing is knowing that I am allowed to hold more than one emotion at a time, in fact I can hold many and do at any given minute or moment of the day.

Sadness and love and fear and lust and anxiety today.

As well as happiness and contentment and sorrow and grief.

A great big mixing bowl of feelings.

Hey there, look at that, I’m in psychology, the “science” of soul suffering.

What is it about the soul and the suffering and the journey of it all?

I suspect it’s about love and whether or not I let myself have it, let it in, allow myself to be loved, to accept I’m lovable, enough, that I deserve all the best and most wonderful things and to act in those interests.

Not something I have always been able to do so well.

The neat thing, yes, I said neat, about all this learning to become a therapist is that I get to work on myself, so this Integrative Seminar class should be a good way for me to look back over the last few years and measure, really see, how much I have grown.

The other class.

Well.

The syllabus was not up so I am not worried about having to have read anything for the class.

I have gotten one of the books the professor e-mailed the class about and I’ll bring that with.

I’ve got class from 9a.m. to 4p.m. then I’ll be heading off to my internship at seeing a consultation for therapy and a doing a phone session with a client.

Then.

It’s officially Friday.

Dinner with my best friend and connection, conversation, life, goals, love, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.

All the things.

It’s a full and busy weekend for me.

I also have to go into the dentist on Saturday and get my permanent crown put in.

I’ll be leaving school a little early on Saturday to get to my dentist appointment by 4p.m.

And I just realized.

Sigh.

That I won’t really have a day off until next Saturday, which isn’t necessarily true either, I’ll have group supervision that day, but it will feel like a day off.

It’s always a long run of days when I’m in a weekend of school.

But this is it.

The last semester to my Masters program.

The final push!

I will be meeting with my advisor tomorrow at lunch to talk about graduation and also to get my letter of recommendation for the PhD program in Transformative Psychology.

That is still definitely on the burner for me.

Whew.

Glad I’ve got my books and folders and notebooks and syllabi all set.

Lunch is packed too.

I just need to figure out what to wear.

First day of school fashion crisis.

I suspect, though, that as long as I show up, it will all be fine.

That’s half the battle, isn’t it?

Just showing up.

Super grateful to be walking into this last semester with a full and thankful heart for the process that has brought me here to where I am today.

I’ve come a long way.

Baby.

I really fucking have.

Reading The Fine Print

January 9, 2018

I just went through the handbook for my Master’s program with a fine tooth comb.

The one thing that I have found challenging in my program is the apparent lack of information as well as the over abundance of information.

I feel like there is so much information that just is not applicable to my experience or the learning and then there’s information that I really need, but it’s buried on page 41 of the 50 page handbook.

I’m glad I found it though.

I have gotten a mixed bag of mis-information from fellows in my cohort as well as interns in my group supervision about how many hours I need to have accrued in practicum to graduate.

I need 225 to graduate.

Of those hours I must have 150 direct client hours–sessions with my clients, not phone sessions or e-mails or paperwork or progress work–face to face sessions.

I had thought that I needed 250 direct hours and I was beginning to get a little nervous.

I should not have any problems getting the hours.

Or so I thought.

I have eight clients that I see on a weekly basis.

But.

They cancel.

Or.

They no-show.

And it’s rare, I’m seeing quite clearly now as I just got home early because a client no-showed, that I actually see all eight clients during the week.

So when I was thinking I needed 250 direct face to face hours by May, I started to get concerned.

I won’t make it, it won’t happen, how is that possible?

How is it possible that I am heading into my third semester of practicum and don’t have enough hours?

How?

As of right now I have 240 hours.

But only 130 of them are direct face to face hours.

I felt flummoxed and upset and annoyed and then I begin to berate myself.

Why did I post that stupid thing about graduating in May and filling out my graduation application?

I’m not going to graduate!

Whoa.

Slow down there.

I don’t have enough information.

I realized that I cannot just go on the information drifting about through the hallways at school or in the office where I do my group supervision.

I have to take responsibility and find out that myself.

So I went to the academics page on the school’s website, signed into my account, found my program.

And.

Voila!

There on page 46 of the 49 page hand book:

Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours [at least 150 direct client contact hours plus 75 Client-Centered Advocacy (CCA) hours] while enrolled in practicum prior to graduation.

Sweet Jesus.

I am fucking fine.

I am only twenty hours shy of having the direct client contact hours.

As for client centered advocacy I don’t have nearly that much, I have six hours.

But I do know this much, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get all the client centered advocacy hours, if I have more direct client hours, I can count those towards graduation.

Ultimately it is the face to face sessions that mean the most and I have to acquire the majority of my hours there.

And I also recognize that I could be actively going after more CCA hours as well.

Client centered advocacy could be doing research on a client and their family lineage, it could be watching a movie about alcoholics, it could be reading a CAMFT (California Assoication of Marriage Family Therapists) magazine or a psychology magazine.

Today I actually had some down time at work, and while the baby napped I read a number of articles in a psychology magazine on workaholism and chuckled to myself, multi-tasking, working and also accruing hours, sounds like I’m the workaholic in this instance.

But I’m happy I did the reading as I had that no-show and I was able to mark down another hour.

I think that I will try to acquire two hours of CCA per week as I move forward, more if I can.

I can also read outside articles, books, and go to seminars and do trainings.

But just knowing that I actually have enough moving forward is a bit of a relief.

I was getting a little worried.

I also realize that I am probably going to have to let one client go with whom I have been doing pre-dominantly phone sessions.

I am not allowed to count Telemedicine through my school.

I can towards my license, but not towards my graduation needs.

I want to be safe and make sure that I’m not squandering my time.

I am excited and relieved to have reckoned all of that out and grateful for a really good talk with my solo supervisor today.

Who happened to be quite intrigued with my dissertation idea and to my surprise, completely supports me going for the PhD.

I told him I had actually had hesitation to even mention that I was going to apply for the PhD because I thought he might disapprove of my decision.

But he did not.

And it was amazing to sit and talk to him about my ideas and to also get some really interesting feedback from him and some areas where I will be honing in more.

I made a call to the Dean of the Transformative department after I got out of supervision.

I wasn’t able to talk to her, she was stuck in a budget meeting, but I left a message and I will follow-up tomorrow.

My advisor got back to me and said he would support my efforts and write me a letter of recommendation and we made an appointment to meet the first weekend of classes.

It’s all falling together.

Even when my brain tells me it’s not.

It really is.

So nice.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Nice.


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