Posts Tagged ‘celebration’

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!

 

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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!

The Good, The Bad

April 9, 2016

The grad school.

It was a tough day.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, literally.

In deep REM sleep.

I cannot remember the last time I woke up from that kind of REM and I couldn’t remember my dream.

It dissolved on my tongue like soft hazy fog, there, but not there, and it left a bitter coating in my mouth, a kind of taste I could not quite get off my palate.

A longing to go back to bed may have just been the crux of the desire and really, I did wake up on the wrong side of the bed, not the side I normally wake up on and it, the day, felt off, as I unconsciously hit my snooze button instead of the alarm off button.

Hmm.

REALLY?

You never hit snooze.

But.

I had a general dread about going into the day.

I couldn’t pin it right away, but I have since, and suffice to say I am grateful for the TA’s and the professors and the holding space they create for us as we move through the learning of how to become therapist.

I am in the client in this round of the semester and I don’t feel comfortable.

And.

This is ok.

As I wrote about in one of my papers, I am hyper self-aware of what is going on for me and what is up for me, or not up for me.

I had a little mini-break through in regards to some work stuff, but I would have come to that on my own without the dyad work.

However.

I came to realize that I say yes a little more often than I should be with my family and work environment.

I am all flexible when it comes to accommodating the families needs, but hey, oops, some of my needs, especially as I am coming out of a long school weekend, are not being met.

Not by a long shot.

I reflected and realized that I can say, “hey, let me get back to you on the scheduling,” instead of just saying yes in a blanket statement.

Sure, no problem, I can totally do that for you.

Oh, hey lady, do you realize that you just messed up your recovery schedule and your new yoga practice in one fell swooping yes?

Fuck.

I self-sabotaged the hell out of myself without even realizing what I was doing.

Ah.

But I did realize.

And I am practicing acceptance and the action will come.

I can pause.

I can reflect.

I don’t have to answer right away.

There is no emergency.

Ah.

All the learning.

So much.

My brain feels a little full and I am glad that I took some nice measures for myself today.

I took the N-Judah into class tomorrow and realized that I don’t want to do that again, despite the train getting me to my destination on time I spent most of that time, over a half hour, standing on the train and I was wedged in weird and my right knee has been tender all day for the stress I put on in in the awkward position I was in.

In fact.

Pause.

Go get the ibuprofen.

There is no need to suffer and it feels a little inflamed.

Excuse me, be right back.

Much better.

I did not enjoy the experience and I took a car home after class today.

Faster, yes, a bit pricey, but fuck it, I deserve to let myself have an out after a long week.

I mean, really.

It’s been a long week and there is no end in sight.

I have two more days of classes and then back to work.

Ok.

Actually.

There is an end in sight, it’s called Monday afternoon.

And the get together with my playa family has been cancelled.

Side bar.

I got my new holster for the event and it rocks!

Happy to come home to a little gift to myself.

And one of my cohort friends and I made the decision to go and have an adventure, and it will be a kind of celebration too, end of our first year of the masters program in Integral Counseling Psychology at The California Institute for Integral Studies.

Yes.

We are going to go the Steam Punk Masquerade Ball at NIMBY in Oakland on May 14th.

I went last year with a couple of girl friends and had a ball, and danced my ass off.

I’ll wear my new holster.

That makes me smile to think of that, hanging out with my Burning Man people and celebrating with my friend.

End side bar.

There will be time.

There will be pause.

There will be a fucking break.

I’ll have a day and a half off.

I will yoga it up.

I will sleep in.

I will wander around and take a walk on the beach or go to the DeYoung.

I will take care and take respite and I will be ok.

I am ok now.

Really.

There is no emergency, there is no drama, everything is going to be alright, because it already is.

I don’t feel all that surprised by the day and the classes and how I felt going in and the day was a sort of confirmation of some of my fears and also a way through the work and a lot of gratitude for the fact that I have already done so much of the work.

SO MUCH.

And I’m not talking grad school.

I am just talking about me, myself, my life, my journey.

That sounds like I am something to fix, I keep doing this work, but it is rather getting adjusted and making fine, small, tunings that help me stay inline, on the path, moving forward.

In that movement, I can find rest.

I can allow for reprieve and as I see myself having bowed down to the needs of the family before the needs of the nanny, I can act with a little kindness and compassion for myself.

I am doing the best I can and learning as I go.

Sometimes I have to re-experience something to get the full affect.

I’m not saying old behavior, because it’s happened, so it’s current behavior.

What is new for me is to accept that I did it and that I have options in the future.

I don’t have to think about it more tonight.

I made it through my first day of classes for my second to last weekend of my first year of graduate school.

I know.

That’s a bit of a tongue twister.

But.

I’m showing up and doing it.

I turned in two papers and I have done all the reading for the weekend.

I participated in every class and got back some really awesome comments on one of the papers I wrote for my Multi-Cultural class.

I am pleased.

A little tired.

And ready for a cup of tea.

And yes.

Some Project Runway Allstars.

Please people.

The lady needs to decompress.

Heh.

 

 

Where Do I Begin?

January 7, 2016

Eep.

I did something today.

Actually.

Ha.

I did two somethings today that I have been thinking about doing for a little while now.

One thing came up this week, Saturday afternoon in fact, in a cozy little nook at the back of Tart to Tart it was suggested to me that I go home and do something.

It took me until today.

Part of that, I will blame on the internet, which FYI, is working smashingly.

My housemate re-booted the connection and I am back up and running.

When I couldn’t get online all weekend I did find myself getting frustrated I really wanted to be taking the suggestion, in fact, when I ran it by my next person I got the unequivocal thumbs up as well and a direct mandate, to yes at my first convenience, take the fucking suggestion.

Except.

Well.

Can I?

And then.

Heehee.

I did.

I just did.

I’m nervous, blushing, high color in my face, excited, happy, can’t wait to tell my people I took the suggestion, and a tiny bit overwhelmed by it.

But.

l did it.

I booked a ticket to New York.

HA!

Yes.

That’s right.

I’m going to take myself to the Big Apple this Spring.

Oh my God.

Peeing my pants.

Not really.

Why are pants wet?

Rain.

Please, people.

Although, yes, I am quite excited.

Also a little nervous, I won’t lie.

This will be my second time going to New York, but this time I won’t be meeting a friend there, like I did last time, I’m just going to go.

Granted.

The idea was not mine.

But.

I couldn’t get it out of my head.

And.

I thought, what a way to celebrate having finished my first year of graduate school?

I booked the ticket for two weeks after my final weekend of classes.

Just in case I have any final projects or papers that need to be done, I will have the time to do so before I travel.

I’m going to fly out Thursday afternoon, getting into JFK around 10:30p.m.

I don’t know where I am going to stay yet, I just posted on my facecrack page that I would be traveling, so hopefully a friend will say, hey, spare room, or yo, I got a friend who Air Bnb’s their spot.

I have time.

I’m not going until May.

It’s January right now and I have a full semester of school work to go.

That was also one of the reasons I was holding out on booking the ticket, I was waiting to make sure I had enough money to buy my readers for my classes.

But.

The damn things are not ready yet, the earliest may be on Friday, but I was told today most likely it will be Monday.

Which means, I will have another paycheck land in my account and I could use the money I have had earmarked towards books to get the plane ticket.

So.

I took a big, deep breathe and started hunting for tickets.

I found a good price, one that I could afford, though it leaves little in my account, I have nothing else I have to buy this week before Friday and pay day (I bought coffee tonight, really, what else do I need?), and I pulled the trigger.

Even though it means taking off an extra day of work, because the best price and what made the most sense for me to fly, was to fly out on Thursday afternoon.

I wanted a red eye, so I could work Thursday, but the cost was prohibitive and I thought, I’ll have the vacation time accrued, might as well take an extra day off to travel.

I’ll get there late Thursday eve, but have all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to walk everywhere.

Go to museums.

Oh, The Guggenheim, and the MOMA, and the new Whitney, to start.

That’s one for each day that I am there.

I am going to fly back early morning Monday so that I am back in SF and give myself the day to recover, lay low, get my ducks in a row.

I have found that it is really important to me to give myself a day to re-adjust after time spent traveling.

So.

Yes!

A trip to New York City in Spring.

I am pleased as punch.

Really I am.

I got just a taste the last time (my first time) being there and it was helpful to have a friend, though it was not as present as I could have hoped for, who was a pretty damn good tour guide and he let me crash at his place for free.

This time.

I won’t have a tour guide.

This time I’m on my own.

And.

Yes I will wear my big girl pants and figure it all out.

Suggestions, comments, thoughts, ideas, you throw them my way.

I’m open to it all.

Mostly, I am just excited to have given myself the permission to do something for myself and to celebrate my first year of graduate school.

Assuming I make it through this upcoming semester.

Ha.

And I shall be making it through the semester with a little something sassy to keep me going.

Heh.

I did mention that earlier, I was going to write about that first, but I got swept up in the whole, holy shit, I booked a ticket to New York thing.

I have an anniversary coming up.

I have a little spending plan allowance money set aside for a tattoo, I usually get something, but I realized that I don’t have to, I got one in Paris, which has healed up so well it’s rather shocking, but there is something else that I have wanted to do for some time and I told my person about it last night and well.

Here’s to taking more suggestions.

I’m finally getting my hair done.

Yes.

That’s right.

I’m fucking going blonde.

Eek a mouse.

I’m just going to do it once.

I can’t think that I can afford the upkeep, it’s going to actually cost more than the tattoo I was planning but I said, fuck it, I pull the extra from my clothing allowance and do it right the one time.

I’m actually going to have to go to the salon more than once.

I’m getting the initial cut and color done on one day and then I have to go back a second time to do the color again.

My hair is dark.

And I have a lot of it.

I may also be losing some of the length, I’ll find out when I go.

But.

I have always wanted to do this, I’ve written about it before and gotten close, I have highlighted a bit, but never the whole damn thing.

I figure I’ll do it the once, it might break my hair, but that’s ok, it’ll be hella fun, I can say I did it, instead of deciding I want to then not doing it.

Willingness without action is fantasy.

I took a lot of action today.

Even though, in reality, they were just small actions, they both felt really big.

One was to pick up the phone and call and make an appointment.

The other, to pull my debit card out of my wallet and commit to booking a ticket.

Small.

Tiny.

Wee little actions.

And yet.

Such big results.

It’s been a day.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And soon to be.

Blonde.

In the Big Apple.

 

Dinner And

December 7, 2015

A movie?

A game of dominoes?

Dancing?

Chatting.

Hiding under my bed.

Ugh.

My birthday is coming up and I don’t want to think about.

Too many other things to think about.

Like.

Two weeks from today I will be in the air somewhere over the Atlantic flying towards Paris.

Like that.

Oh.

And my up coming last weekend of school for this semester.

I am quite happy to report that I have done the majority of the work for my final project presentation.

I honed the presentation and the hand out that I am supposed to have for the class, as well as writing out my references in a bibliography APA style.

Yeah.

That was fun.

Which reminds me, I’m going to have to print this sucker out.

Ugh.

One more tiny detail to think about.

Maybe I can ask at work.

Anyway.

That’s happening next weekend and then the weekend following is off to Paris and Merry Christmas to me.

Standing in the way of that experience is the papers I will have to finish before heading out.

Two.

Better than the six it was after the last weekend of being school.

The other thing?

My birthday.

Friday, December 18th.

I will be working.

I will be at work until 8p.m.

Then what the hell do I do?

The things I would like to do aren’t open–Free Gold Watch closes at 7pm, so no pinball for me.

And the other place that does have some pinball that I wouldn’t mind playing is at a bar, and I am so not spending my birthday in a bar.

No thank you.

I have been ice skating on my birthday at the Embarcadero Center that was fun, not interested in Union Square at all, too crowded and the rink is much smaller.

But I’m not sure that I am going to feel up to ice skating after a full day at work, which will have been a full week a work, in addition to a full week of getting the papers done before I have to leave.

My papers are due the 22nd, but I won’t be here and I want to have them all wrapped up before I leave.

I figure the time that I normally take for reading in the morning will be devoted to doing the papers and I should be able to have them both done by the end of the week.

What will I feel like doing after a week like that?

Coffee.

And.

Movie.

Or.

Coffee, dinner, and movie.

Or.

Dinner and movie.

It’s the weekend that Star Wars opens and I am sure the theaters are going to be swamped.

And obviously Star Wars is already sold out everywhere.

However.

There are other movies.

Hmm.

I am exploring theater options while I blog/think and I am not liking the looks of it.

Star Wars everywhere.

Not that I’m not interested in the movie, I am, but I am not certain I want to be in any theater that is playing it opening weekend.

Too many crowds.

I love a movie and have no problem going to one on my own, I used to love to do that when I was living in Nob Hill.

I would walk down to the AMC on Van Ness or I would go the other way, down through China Town and over to the Embarcadero Theater.

It was always a lovely walk there and back.

I took myself on many a date to the theaters while I lived there.

Ok.

So maybe just dinner with friends.

I don’t have to make a big deal of it.

Or fuck.

Coffee.

I keep thinking it might be silly to just meet at Ritual on Valencia Street–bonus, it’s right next to where I work–and get coffees or lattes and just hang out.

Then.

Maybe dinner somewhere.

There certainly are no lack of places to dine in the Mission.

I’m a little torn.

Then again.

I could also just say screw doing something on my birthday and rather celebrate it with friends the next day.

Hmmm.

I could do pinball at Free Gold Watch that Saturday, late afternoon, early evening.

Of course I may be wicked pre-occupied trying to get ready for the Paris trip, but it may be something silly and fun to do.

I am a bit flummoxed.

I called my best girl friend today and chatted and admitted I was feeling isolated.

“Grad school does that to you!” She said emphatically assuaging my feelings, “I know how you are feeling.”

And then she brought up my birthday, which just made me break into tears.

I have been assiduously avoiding the topic in my brain.

Now I’m back to thinking dinner after work on Friday.

I’m waffling.

I’m embarrassed to not know what I want.

Or to write what I want.

I didn’t enjoy my dinner out last year on my birthday.

I would like to do something different.

It might be fun to get a bunch of folks together and do sushi.

My brain hurts.

There are certain things I can spend lots of time thinking about, but my birthday is not one of them.

I really don’t want to do anything.

And.

I really do.

Ah, the rub.

There’s not much I want to do right now.

I could use a foot rub.

How about that?

Or a hug.

A snuggle.

A shoulder to lean on.

I am, I admit, feeling lonely.

Though, not alone.

And the feeling didn’t devolve too badly this weekend, granted, yes, there were tears, the tears they do like to fall, but I did not get washed out by them, I did not fall to pieces, I did not.

I resolutely went for a walk around the neighborhood on a study break and made phone calls and connected.

Which.

Of course.

Is how I got on the topic of said birthday.

I just want to see some friendly faces and drink some coffee and hang out at a restaurant.

I think that’s it.

Pretty simple.

Pretty easy.

Now where the hell should I go?

Ha.

 

The Consensus

June 12, 2015

Is in.

Spa day.

That is the best suggestion I have gotten from the majority of folks that I have asked.

That and playing with kittens.

Sounds purrfect.

I’d like one day at the spa with intermittent breaks to snuggle with kittens.

Spa day to celebrate the scholarship.

I may not.

I may not (wo)man up and go to the spa, it is a big deal, in my brain at least, and I’m not sure I want to spend the money, but I do like the thought of hot baths and hot tubs and hot saunas and water.

I mean, I don’t have a bath tub at my house, it would be a nice way to celebrate.

Now where to go?

And when?

I already know that Saturday is out, I’ll be up and out of the house by 10:30a.m. doing the deal, then meeting a few folks at Tart to Tart for a couple of hours, squish in lunch, probably at Crepevine, then down town to the SOMA to meet my friend at the Scooter Centre and check out scooters.

Admission.

I am not sure about the scooter.

I am loath to finance anything, I have been realizing, my bicycle works fine and maybe I just want to save those pennies a little longer.

Although my knees could probably use the break from the bicycle.

I’m probably just in fear of getting burned again on a scooter.

I’ll show up and see what there is to be seen and leave it at that.  No use fretting until I know what I am dealing with.  I am also just as afraid to walk into a deal where I am suddenly buying something vintage and I get screwed there too.

Just going to play it by ear and not worry.

This is also about fun.

Having fun.

I’ll definitely have fun later Saturday too.

Once I get back from the scootering I’ll be getting ready for the first date with the gentleman who asked me out last night, who, I must say, without saying much more I want to keep this on the down low with my blog, said one of the best things to me ever as we parted ways last night.

“Let’s not chat until Saturday, that way we’ll have things to say to each other,” he declared before rolling on down the hill.

Yes.

I love that.

I don’t want to have a texting flirtation.

I want the real thing, right in front of me.

I am also enjoying the anticipation of this date.

There is something here that I am excited to explore.

Enough said there.

But I don’t see squeezing in a spa date on Saturday, unless said date has sauna, hot tub, and massage table at his house (and then, well, all bets off) and maybe someone to wash my hair as that is the ultimate luxury.

Ooh.

Now there’s an idea.

I could get a blow out.

That is definitely not something I ever splurge on.

I get my hair blown out once, maybe twice a year.

I don’t wear it straight and I love my curls, but that’s a thought.

Anyway.

I don’t think I’ll be asking my date to provide me spa services.

At least not on the first date.

I keep going back to Kabuki and I keep balking.

Maybe I just go buy a dress.

Or some flowers.

I don’t have to get crazy.

I don’t always know how to do these things, it’s like the manual was left in the dashboard and the vehicle’s been sent to the dump for scrap.

I’m sure the thing will come to me and I will happily celebrate.

I am happy.

That is to be sure.

My life doesn’t look that much different from it did before I got the e-mail with the news, but it’s been radically altered and I know it, the gift is huge and accepting it is a big deal.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

I keep saying it when it strikes me, all these things, all this love, I am so lucky, I get stand here with my arms open and receive and allow myself to be seen and this is who I am, pink hair and tattoos and all.

And it’s all good.

About a month ago a dear friend of mine took me out to tea and we talked about graduate school and whether this was really the program that I wanted to be in and what was I going to do when I got out, would I be able to turn around and find gainful employment, would I be able to handle the debt load of my student loans.

$90,000 is nothing to sneeze at.

But I knew I was on the right track and here is the confirmation.

Two years of tuition being paid for.

Thank you.

I still have lots of work to do, but it seems unfathomable and I will allow myself to feel all the feels around this, it’s a big deal, I deserve to acknowledge it, I deserve to be happy about it, and ah.

Heh.

I just had a thought.

I’m going Burning Man shopping.

That is what I want to do to celebrate.

There are always a few things that I lust after each year and why not indulge one of those items.

A new dress.

A fun pair of tights.

Perhaps a shoulder holster.

A trip to Haight Street and some hat shopping at Goorin Brothers for a new fedora perhaps.

I keep trying to think of something that I have always wanted to do and haven’t yet done, but the fact is, I do a lot of things, so it doesn’t have to be extra outside the box.

Maybe I just go down to the beach and sit and watch the sunset this weekend and let the waves wash away the sounds in m brain, ah, that is a good idea.

I could go down to the beach and do a bon fire.

That is celebratory and I have not done a beach bonfire since I moved out here to the Outer Sunset, I should rectify that.

And what better reason than this?

I think I have a winner.

Bonfire, Ocean Beach.

Let the celebration begin.

Now, if I can only arrange to have some kittens there to snuggle with.

You Need To Celebrate!

June 5, 2015

She told me tonight.

She hugged me hard.

“You show up, I just want to let you know how grateful I am that you do the work!” She shined up at me, she’s shorter than me.

I wiped away some tears, I was sharing about the past weekend and what it felt like to make amends and how sometimes I just feel like I’m not doing enough, and how I have worked really hard to sustain the abstinence I have and the 90 lb plus weight loss and how, nothing tastes as good as abstinence.

Also that it’s challenging repeating, again and again that I don’t eat sugar and flour and that it makes me sick.

I can’t just have one cookie.

If I could have just one fucking cookie I’d have one fucking cookie.

Or beer.

Or line of blow.

Or cigarette.

I can’t have just one.

That is not in my make up.

So to go and reconnect and make amends and walk into a new situation that I had heretofore ever had with my father’s side of the family and NOT eat the “better than sex cake” (which, I’m sorry, but after not having sex for the last six months, there is no cake that is fucking better than sex, bring on the sex! Damn it) is a big deal.

“It’s not about the food, though,” she said, quietly, sweetly.

“You show up, lady, you are amazing, you do a good job,” she hugged me again.

Oh yeah.

I do a good job.

I did good today at my job job.

And I do damn good at my other job, the more important one, the keeping it sober and together and real one.

Which allows for all the other work to happen.

So.

Yeah.

I need to celebrate.

Yes, yes I do.

So.

Um.

Yeah.

I signed up for Match.com.

Bahahahahaha.

Oh.

I kill myself.

But serious.

I did.

I am taking suggestions and as I have posited before I don’t have to know which ones are going to work, I really don’t, but I do have to take actions.

I can’t bemoan not going out on dates and being single if I’m not willing to take any actions.

Thus I took some actions.

I finished the profile last night and hooked up some photos and decided I would sit on it over night.  I’m still not a huge fan of the having to pay for the website.

When I was on my bike riding home, thinking about what I had shared and the feedback, and there was more, a bit more really, but nothing that is appropriate to put on the blog, some things I will share only face to face and what I talked about tonight in the back room of Our Lady of Safeway was really only for the ears within that space.

That being said, it made an impression on me how much grief I can still carry in my body over something that happened so long ago and despite having done a lot of work.

A LOT.

I still have grief there and there are still things to work out and let go of.

One of them is that I do not and will not ever have the body that I wish I had.

It does not matter that I have sustained the weight loss, although it really does, to my mind, when I have excess loose skin and like Caitlyn Jenner hiding her hands in that Vanity Fair cover, there is no amount of work that is going to cover it up when I am not wearing long sleeves and a sweatshirt.

I can’t just photo shop my sagging arm skin off my body.

It’s there.

“What’s that?” The eldest boy said to me tonight, feeling the soft folds of skin hanging loosely from my under arm, “it’s squishy.”

“That is what happens,” I said, after taking a deep breath (nobody wants their fat poked, or in my case, my sagging arm skin prodded) and knowing that he wasn’t being hurtful, he was just curios, “is what happens to your body when you lose a lot of weight.”  I continued, “my skin is not as supple and elastic as yours is and when I lost a bunch of weight, that’s what happened.”

“Oh,” he said and went back to eating his apple sauce.

Like it’s no big deal lady.

“I love you, Carmen,” he said, out of no where.

See.

It doesn’t matter how much excess skin you got, you’re loved.

This is the body God has given to me and when I criticize it I am criticizing the greatest artist ever.

I mean really.

Who am I to tell God how to make me look?

Not I.

And when my friend shared with me, when she thanked me for doing the work, taking the steps to do the amends, to go and show  up and be my authentic self (who happened to look very cute today in spite of upper arm skin sag, thank you very much), that she was so grateful for my example.

Well.

I am celebrating.

I paid for three months on Match.com.

And.

I bought two orchestra seats for “In Our Own Words” in Atlanta for myself and my darling friend who is coming with me to Atlanta in July.

Because sometimes I have to celebrate.

I’m also being treated to a dinner on Saturday by my friend, who confirmed with me that we were going early (to accommodate my dietary stuff) and bring on the raw fish!

We’re going to Liholiho Yaht Club on Sutter Street.

Hawaiian, how apropos, and contemporary Indian/Asian fare.

Bring me some Poke please.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Another reason to celebrate.

Besides the fact that I am seeing the promises in my life-like nobody’s business.

All that hard work praying off.

I mean.

Paying off.

Yeah.

That’s worth celebrating.

Indeed.

Honey, Slow Down

March 11, 2015

She chuckled at me over the phone.

“The awards letters will go out in April, you’ll know soon.”

Oh ok.

You mean, sit still and enjoy the pause in the performance, enjoy the fact that you got into graduate school and for a moment, really, there’s nothing else to do.

“Honey, you’re a human being, not a human doing,” he said to me over the phone when I called to check in and told him about the financial aid advisor’s little speech to me on the phone.

When I received the information about the graduate school program accepting me I didn’t really know how to celebrate.

I mean.

I posted it on Facebook, so that should mean something right.

The post was “liked” a lot.

Isn’t that enough.

I mean, I don’t want to rest on my laurels or anything, chop, chop, what’s the next step, let’s keep this train rolling.

I went home Friday evening and did the online counseling for financial aid and signed my promissory note and I shit you not, I was looking to see what my awards package was the next day.

I mean, logically, I knew that it really wasn’t going to be there yet, but you know, I’m just checking.

Ugh.

I decided to call and chat with the financial aid office, I was advised I may qualify for some scholarships, so I better figure out which ones and apply.

NOW.

I shared about that tonight, about needing to just pause and acknowledge the accomplishment instead of moving on to the next thing now, now, now, God forbid I have any feelings around it.

It is an accomplishment, I remind myself, I did have to do some work to get into the program and not just the work of going through the application process (8 page autobiographical statement, 1 page letter of intent, the application itself to fill out, the $65 fee to process the application, asking for the letters of recommendation, getting my transcripts sent out from the University of Wisconsin, Madison), there was the work that I did to get to the point of applying in the first place.

All the exploring of dreams and ideas, writing, writing, writing, being vulnerable, showing up for and exploring other programs, researching Masters Degrees in Creative Writing, looking at getting a second BA in education, what about exploring accounting school and taking course work at City College (which only lasted one class, I am not cut out to be an accountant), applying to Aveda (getting in, but not getting the aid I needed to go) going to an open interview at Blush School of Makeup (I still like me some make up yo), the couple of times I applied to work at the Burning Man office but never got a reply to my applications, let alone called into an interview.

All the soul-searching.

Moving to Paris.

Moving back from Paris.

More inventory.

Working jobs that weren’t a good fit until they became so painful I had to get out and when I did finally saw the way out of my gilded little cage.

Nobody puts Carmen in a corner.

But me.

So, perhaps some acknowledgement of the success is called for.

I am not going to rest on my laurels, I don’t even know how to do that, I have never had the chance to breathe and relax, I need to move and do and shake and go, nothing’s changed.

But so much has changed.

And as I realized that once again, without even knowing I was doing it, I went to the hardware store to buy a hamburger, as my dear heart said to me tonight while we were checking in.

“You just want to be seen, and you weren’t seen,” she said succinctly.

Hey, aren’t I supposed to be helping you?

I didn’t get the validation and approval from my mom I was expecting and I’m tender about it.

It brought up a whole passel of crap that I thought I had worked through, but without even consciously knowing it I had walked on down to the corner hardware store, screws on sale, and demanded a medium rare burger with sharp cheddar and mayonnaise with a nice toasted bun,  swipe some butter on that before you put it on the grill, ok?  And a dill pickle too, perhaps, even, dare I, a chocolate malt as well, heavy on the malt please.

What do you mean you only have a wrench for me.

I want my hamburger.

Maybe some fries too, double-quick.

No, I don’t need a caulking gun.

What the fuck?

I don’t fault my mom for not validating me the way that I want validation.

It’s not her job.

It ceased being her job.

Actually she walked off that job long before it was even had a job description in the mom manual.

But I looked for it long and hard all my years growing up.

I know my mom’s proud of me, but it doesn’t always come across and like going to that dry well expecting a refreshing cold glass of hydration I came up short and had the rug pulled out under my feet, to mix my metaphor’s.

Reminding me that though the sign says the Doctor’s In, I may still get the football pulled away after paying my five cents.

So.

“Be the mother to yourself you wish you had,” she told me yesterday when I called to vent about the voice mail I had received from my mom.

Except.

I couldn’t figure it out.

I couldn’t figure out what that looks like.

I was flummoxed.

What would a mom do upon learning that her daughter got into graduate school?

I kept thinking I should buy myself flowers or oddly enough, socks, I could use a new pair, or maybe a nice dinner out or write myself a card and send it to myself.

Drawing a complete blank.

Then.

I shared about it tonight and that helped a lot.

A LOT.

And I got to have a big moment of forgiveness for myself and this process and loving myself and letting go again of the idea that anyone, mom, dad, boyfriend, friend, boss, lover, sister, teacher, can really validate me.

I validate myself.

I give myself the stamp of approval.

I also forgive, again, and again, it’s a process, my mom, she really is doing the best she can, and knowing her up bringing I doubt she got much validation coming her way.

Hard to give away something you haven’t got.

Then.

I got home.

And there it was in the mailbox, like the post, not my e-mail.

The hard copy of my letter of acceptance to the Master of Arts Weekend program in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Integral Counseling Psychology for the 2015-16 Fall Semester.

I knew what I had to do.

It was so obvious I laughed out loud.

I got a magnet and put my letter of acceptance on the fridge.

Just like a proud mom would do.

I looking at it right now and it’s pretty much perfect.

I am proud of myself.

And I will celebrate.

There’s a necklace at Fiat Lux on Church and Market I have been eyeing forever.

I’m going to buy it for myself on Friday when I get off work before heading over to Our Lady of Safeway.

It’s a butterfly wing under glass.

I’m emerging from my chrysalis.

It fills the bill.

As does the forgiveness.

Acceptance.

Awareness.

Action.

And.

Celebration.

I got into fucking grad school!

Let’s party.

 

Celebrate

March 8, 2015

I just got home from a celebration of ladies.

I think that’s what a group of gals should be called, a celebration.

Not a school, or a pack, or a clique, or a posse.

A celebration.

These women are amazing and it was with much glee and joy and laughter that I spent my evening in Oakland.

Oh yeah.

I took the trek.

It was worth it.

The N-Judah alone took almost an hour, what with the crowded train, the longer wait between trains, weekend hours, and the fact that it was the Chinese New Year’s parade downtown.

I got onto a packed train.

Packed.

And it was the second stop from the beginning of the line.

Add to the mix the folks that had made the trek out to the beach, it was fine beach weather out here today.

I had me some sit outside in the sun time before I headed over to the East Bay, oh yes I did.

Prefaced by some get right with God and a bicycle ride to and from the Inner Sunset, some coffee and catch up and check in at Tart to Tart and a little bit of grocery shopping.

I did not cram eighteen things into my day before heading over either, although I was wanting to.

I am slowly, slowly, learning the art of slowing down.

It has taken years.

“You will make a great therapist,” she said to me tonight sotto voce at the dinner table.

We held hands and talked.

It was her celebration, but in the bringing together of the women, it was a celebration of us all.

I got a little toast for getting into graduate school.

Another lady for starting a new job with a big, big, big company.

One woman for committing to partnering up and moving in together with her boyfriend.

That’s a big move.

Cheers for a trip to Bali.

A toast for another lady about to do her dissertation in PsiD.

A trip to Bali.

Burning Man plans.

Atlanta plans.

Of the ten woman at the table, eight of us are going to Atlanta.

It’s going to be off the chain.

I’m not sure Atlanta knows what’s coming for it.

I sat silent at times, looking around the faces of these beautiful, smart, funny, my God so funny, women, and was absolutely awed that I got to be in their company.

Beauty permeated the group, but not just the physical, though, truth be told, we were the best looking party in the place, the noisiest too, perhaps, but definitely the table having the most enjoyment in the restaurant.

The laughter loud and fast and silly and intoxicating, but not drunken or stupid or vapid.

What an astounding group of women I thought to myself, world travelers, lovers, friends, co-conspirators, women with big hearts and dreams and goals.

I thought about what I had and was grateful.

I have a place at this table.

I am invited to partake.

I could have talked myself out, but I have been making a concerted, for me, effort, to get out of my comfort zone a little every week and be of the world.

I can get very easily caught up in the routine of writing, work, doing the deal, and more writing.

I can get caught up trying to make things look perfect and controlled, getting the grocery shopping done at this time on this date while negotiating my laundry and cooking and food prep and the doing instead of the being.

I need a full busy schedule.

But I need this community too.

They inspire me and when I am inspired, I get to do the same for others.

“Oh, I love your blog,” one of the women said, out of the blue at the table between courses.

I had oysters to celebrate, God I love me some oysters, and as I flipped the shell over of an tiny, briny, delicious bite of Miyagi drenched in lemon juice, I realized how much that same woman had inspired me years before I had gone to Paris by her own little world tour walk about.

To hear that she read my blog warmed me.

I will be continuing in this vein by attending a baby shower in Berkeley next week and then the following by going to out to Alcatraz to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit with a darling girlfriend.

This is how I get to be.

When I allow myself to be.

Surrounded by bright women who move me with their grace and joyful spirits.

“Look around the table, look at your community,” she said to me.  “You belong, and you’re going to be amazing.”

She’s a therapist.

She should know.

She confided that she always thought I should pursue therapy but question whether as a therapist it was something to encourage in me considering our relationship and common bonds within our community.

It was such lovely validation.

“You are so serene, you can sit and you are so calm,” she smiled at me.

I felt seen and was honored to hear it from her.

I told her my goals.

Three years graduate school.

Two to three years interning.

Private practice by the time I am 50.

That really sounds like a reasonable goal to me.

Yes, it’s about 8 years out.

And yes, I am fine with that.

I can see it.

You see.

I can see it.

I can see the space and it is bright and beautiful, warm and inviting, full of light and art and grace.

Like the women sitting around me at the table tonight.

I can see it.

I am honored to get to walk this path with these women and I hope to do them well.

I desire to put the best of myself forward.

I am going to stumble and I am going to be an idiot and I am going to forget the warmth of that fire and yes, I’ll try to isolate too, but I will always find my way back.

And the space between the time at the table and the time by myself will grow shorter as I realize that I am not alone, that I belong.

That I have a seat at the table with them.

An honor and a privilege to be included.

That there is a place for me.

 

March Madness

March 3, 2015

I’m already booked.

What the fuck?

It’s March 2nd and every single weekend is booked.

I have some space to wiggle, but basically, every one of my Saturdays’s for the entire month of March is booked in.

As of this afternoon, I have a graduation celebration to go to, in Oakland, which I had RSVP’d to and then completely forgot until it popped up in my calendar today, that is for this upcoming Saturday.

Then the Saturday following, a baby shower in Berkeley.

The weekend following is my dearest friend’s birthday and we are going to go to Alcatraz to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit before it leaves.

I can’t believe that I am actually going to go to Alcatraz, twelve years of living in San Francisco, give or take a hot second in Paris, and I have never been out to that lonely lump of rock in the Bay.

It’s too spooky for me, frankly, but this is my friend’s birthday and the exhibit is exquisite from all reports, so off to the rock I go.

Then, I may be going down to Chula Vista to see my grandmother and my uncle and an aunt and I suspect a bunch of cousins.

My uncle called and left a message for me about coordinating a time to go to Chula Vista, this month. I hadn’t planned on going so soon, but it makes sense to go when my Uncle will be there and voila, there’s the month.

And the week, well it started off with a bang.

Or a scream as the case may be.

A screaming, shaking, writhing, pee drenched temper tantrum that lasted over twenty minutes in the handicap stall in the public bathroom at Mission playground.

I had been warned upon entering the house this morning that the littlest guy was a bit on the fragile side.

His big brother’s blow out birthday bash was yesterday and the little guy did not have a nap, and I suspect was cupcake hung over with sugar.

He was an intense little guy to deal with and apparently suffered some sort of potty training trauma yesterday at the park with the party and when he wet his pants at the park the melt down went into full overdrive.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

He did not, NO, want his pants taken off.

Poor baby.

They are all wet and the underpants are wet and they have to come off.

We went to the bathroom and it was just a riot act.

I have never had a child scream so loud, thrash so hard or get so upset.

He was a contrary little ball of emotions and the temper tantrum was in full on hysterical while he was half-naked.

I had a shirt cocking maniacal two and a half-year old hollering bloody murder in a public bathroom.

I expected CPS (Child Protection Services) to bang down the bathroom stall and ship me off to 850 Bryant (the jail downtown).

I took everything I had, all my wonderful serene energy, all my patience, all my love, my entire nanny wrangling abilities to get the child into a pair of shorts.

I don’t think I have ever had such a struggle, in 8 years of being a nanny; it was the longest, most intense, almost savage, emotional outburst I have been a party to.

I wonder what the hell happened over the weekend.

I was able to laugh over it later this evening when I was sharing about my day and finding myself so helpless, so powerless over what was happening.

That and the ridiculous box of confetti that was spilled, a huge box, not a little box, of shredded paper that was the packing contents of a shipping box that was thrown wildly all over the kitchen right before dinner.

I used three different vacuum cleaners and attachments to get it all up.

It didn’t help that the cleaners had come in early in the day; I felt I had to get it all up and there was just no getting it all up.

I picked up the youngest boy and shook him by his ankles and tickled his ribs, “who put the quarter in you today?” I asked him.

“Me! I put quarter in me!”

Yeah you did.

Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.

Let me not horrify you with the bath time saga.

Suffice to say.

It was a wild day.

Happy Monday.

Hopefully that’s out of his system and we can get back to our regularly scheduled program of nanny.

Not as if that’s not busy in and of itself, swim lessons, cooking, laundry, marketing, play dates, ad infinitum.

Life, well, it’s full, that’s for sure.

And that’s the way it usually is.

Full.

Which is nice.

I like being busy.

The busy that has to do with seeing family and friends is a good kind of busy too.

I am busy celebrating life.

My friend’s party in Oakland for accumulating her 3,000 therapy hours; my friend in Berkeley celebrating her baby and having a baby shower; my dear friend’s birthday, my family in Chula Vista.

These things are good and sustain and important relationships that I get to cultivate.

Which means saying yes and going and doing even when I think I have better plans or need to keep some space open for dating.

I’m not asking anyone out for a while, I’m over that, so unless someone crosses my path and asks me out, I have room for these obligations, which aren’t obligations, but joy.

I have heard folks say that they worry about what will happen, how will they have fun without the party and the booze and the drugs.

Let me be the one to reassure you.

Life gets full, really full.

It’s amazing.

I am no longer at the end of the bar at the end of the night talking about the things I want to be doing.

Rather I am doing them.

It’s a privilege, to live this full life.

One I’m grateful for, even in awe of.

March madness it may be, but really.

It’s just a typical month in my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And as per usual.

Hella busy.

 


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