Posts Tagged ‘CIIS’

You’re A Natural!

November 19, 2017

He said.

And his wife added, “have you done this before?  Even my kids were riveted, they didn’t even look on their phones!”

I will take that, especially since it was coming from local rap legend Big Rich.

He’s going to be one of the people sharing a lecture at “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

I met him today and another of the speakers.

We did a rehearsal at Project Level, which is a place for kids in the Fillmore to make music, it’s Big Rich’s personal project.

He’ll be the finale of the show and he’ll be doing a freestyle version of his famous ode to San Francisco.

There will also be the Design Principle at Form4 Architecture, John Marx, my patron, and friend, who will be speaking on his experience with kindness.

There will be a woman talking about her eating disorder and how she dealt with it.

There will be a secular Muslim woman who decided to go back to her roots and start to wear the hijab again and what that experience is like for her in todays political climate.

Another man who is deaf will share his experience being normalized by his family and forced to act like he could hear growing up.  He’s now big in tech.

There will be a man in a wheelchair who is paralyzed from the neck down.  He experienced a car accident at the age of 19 that paralyzed him.  He’s now finishing a Master’s degree in Engineering at Berkeley and he designs machines and technology to help people who need assisted living mechanisms.

And me.

Little old me.

I’ll be speaking about my running away to San Francisco, finding myself in the party scene, losing it all and getting it back and how it happened.

Or something to that effect.

I was super happy to do the rehearsal today, albeit a bit nervous, to perform in a small group in front of people I really don’t know, but I went to the bathroom and did a little praying and got right with myself and asked to carry the message, to be a conduit and, well to not fuck it up.

And I did pretty damn good.

If I do say so myself.

I did forget one part of the lecture, but remembered it half-way through and was able to join it into the material without too much distraction.  No one noticed but me and one of the producers who had seen the narrative and I had practiced three times in front of her the lecture this past Monday.

Otherwise it was seamless.

And both the producers had tears on their face when I finished.

That felt good to see, that emotional connection was made and I was able to do the entire lecture in the time permitted.

I feel really positive about it.

I was linked to the page today and sent invites out to folks.

Come by if you’re in town!

It’s going to be interesting as well as the venue will be hosting a private Christmas party for the owner of Uber, who will be having Kaskade play.

I mean.

Fuck.

Kaskade’s playing Bill Graham at the end of December which is a gigantic show, the capaacity there is 8,500.  And. He’s going to be at the same event I’m going to be at?

Um.

Ok.

That’s going to be a party.

Seriously.

I just checked The Chapel’s website and so far nothing’s been posted about that date, but the tickets for the lecture series are available through EventBrite.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Good grief.

I’m really excited to get to be a part of this experience and super grateful that I get to show up in front of friends and community and just really tell my story, some of the dramatic parts of it, anyway.

And getting to share it with not just people in my recovery community, but friends from Burning Man, former employers, school mates and even one of my professors is going to come!

It means a lot.

And in other news.

I decided to not freak out and not try to cram all my 3,000 hours into the next three years.

After a really insightful group supervision today at my internship I got a lot of super good information about the process of tracking my hours and to take the damn pressure off myself.

Instead of trying to cram every single hour I can into my week, I’m going to relax, to let things happen, to accept that I could, although I probably won’t, take the full 6 years the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) allows one to take after graduation.

I would rather be a little slower, slow down, enjoy my life, enjoy the process, to the best of my ability while I’m still working full-time, and just let the hours accrue without having to be anxious about getting them all in the next three years.

I just switched over to the “new” BBS standards on track my hours.

And yes, I “lost” some hours, but ultimately, I believe, I gave myself some breathing space and some allowance to have a life.

Getting all 3,000 hours in the next three years would mean doubling, at the very least, my current client load.

Going from 8 to 16 a week.

It would be a lot for me to carry 16 clients a week and work full-time.

A fucking lot.

And that’s what I was entertaining in my head without really looking at it.

I brought it up in group supervision and got some very sound advice and suggestions from the group, especially from the two interns who went through the same program I am in at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies), so yup, I changed over and I have to say, I feel really positive about it.

It’s like taking an unnecessary pressure off myself that I didn’t even realize I was laboring under.

I want to get my hours as fast as I can, don’t get me wrong, but I also, at least currently, have to work full-time to support myself living in San Francisco.

Unless that changes, I don’t need to kill myself trying to get the hours.

I don’t want the next three years to be a miserable grind.

Especially as I’m also considering applying to one of the PhD programs at the school.

I do like how Dr.  would sound after my name.

Oh yes.

But.

I also have discovered that I am really good at academia and I have had a tremendous amount of growth, personal growth, by being in the masters program, I think that I would enjoy getting my PhD and really letting myself go for it all.

I mean.

Why not?

It’s just a few more student loans.

Ha.

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And. End Scene

November 13, 2017

I made it!

I got through the school weekend.

Only one more left in the semester.

Holy shit.

Very excited about that.

Although not at all excited about the extraordinary amount of work I will have to produce for the last weekend of classes.

Four papers.

One final group presentation.

Plus wrapping all my online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) webinars and assignments and doing all the work for my online Child and Elder Abuse class.

Whew.

It’s a lot.

But.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I did have a moment today, though.

I was pretty wiped out by the class, a lot of emotional content for me was coming up, shocker that, go get a degree in psychology and watch the stuff surface, and I really couldn’t even decide what the hell I was going to do with the day.

I had some ideas.

Maybe I’d go shopping.

But.

I’m trying to hold out from purchasing anything as it looks like I’m getting quite close to actually putting down money on a car.

My application for a car loan was approved and I can go into the Fiat dealership in Berkeley and get the Fiat 500 Pop that I’ve been eyeing.

It seems surreal that it’s actually happening.

I even transferred the money out of my savings account today.

I am not sure exactly when I’m going to go and get the car, the dealership actually offered to deliver it to me!

But I want to go into the dealership and go with a friend and make sure I’m doing all the things correct.

I have never bought a new car before so it’s all completely outside the scope of my experience.

Anyway.

Clothes shopping, though tempting, did not seem like the best idea.

I vacillated between rushing out and getting over to the Mission by 12:15 p.m. to do the deal, or just taking it easy and seeing where God wanted me to go.

Rushing is not what I wanted to do and so I meandered towards the Inner Sunset.

I realized I was super hungry and though I needed to do grocery shopping and I could just make food when I got home, I was too distracted and it felt like too much and when a friend in cohort asked what I was doing for self-care today, it struck me that I had no good answer for her.

“Maybe yoga?” I replied.

And it struck me that maybe I wanted to treat myself a little.

So.

I went to Marnee Thai in the Inner Sunset and got my favorite dish there–banana curry with duck and brown rice and a big mug of tea.

It was perfect.

And I did do some clothes window shopping and even tried on a few things, but didn’t buy anything.

Instead.

I went and got a manicure and perused a trashy magazine.

I got a decaf, yes, I’m that person, past a certain point in the afternoon I go decaf, cafe au lait at Tart To Tart and finally did my numbers from my spending plan for October and then did a spending plan for November.

After that.

I went grocery shopping after and that felt very good and proactive.

I did some work around the house and attended to a few small things and did some food prep.

Then.

Yup.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I re-wrote the narrative completely for the “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” folks.

I meet with them again tomorrow in between supervision in the early morning and work.

I think I had been dreading doing that work and not having an idea of how to get it going, but as I finished balancing my check book and I was sitting by my computer, I just did it.

I just kicked it the fuck out.

Then when I finished it I realized I could make the 6:15 p.m. restorative yoga class at my studio.

Yippee!

I scurried into my yoga gear and walked over, getting nice and settled in as they dimmed the lights and light the studio with candles.

So pretty.

So relaxing.

Such a nice gift to give to myself.

An hour and fifteen minutes later I came home, made a hot dinner and proofed my narrative.

I just sent it out a few minutes before starting my blog.

Super fucking happy.

I’m going to go take a shower and chill out.

Fuck yeah.

 

Oh.

And here’s the piece in its entirety, I may still change it, but well, I thought you’d might like to read it.

Enjoy.

 

Running Away From Myself

I ran away from home to San Francisco. I was 29 years old. I had just graduated from college with my undergrad degree in English Literature, which would translate to a career of asking “wilt thou like fries with that?” I had also just gotten a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, and I had won an award for a manuscript of my poems from the UW Madison Book Store. I was on my way. I was going to be the next great American novelist. I had a plan.

I was going to find myself in San Francisco. A friend later told me that she was quite concerned for me, one does not find themselves by moving across country in their two door Honda Accord with all their possessions and a two month sublet in the Mission District. I, however, was convinced that I needed to move to San Francisco, it was home, Madison, was not. I never considered it to be running away from myself. I just thought I was getting the hell away from the craziness of my family.

I was running away from my mom who was smoking crack, from my sister who was shooting crystal meth with dirty rigs, from my homeless father, who would spare change for beer money outside the brewing company I was the manager at. I had been to San Francisco to visit a friend the year prior and knew it was where I wanted to be. I moved here Labor Day weekend of 2002. I had a blast. I drank, I danced, I partied, I went to clubs, I cut lines at 1015 and DNA Lounge, and one day did blow in the bathroom with a friend, maybe it was the Mezzanine or the bar at The W Hotel. I had arrived! I made so many new friends my phone could barely handle all the numbers. I was having the time of my life.

Then I started to have repercussions from all the partying. Drugs are like that, fun, fun with problems, then just fucking problems. The problems led to me getting really creative with my money, stashing it in my bra or sock or back left pocket of my pants so I wouldn’t spend it on coke. But inevitably, after a few drinks, I would call my dealer. And the money ran out, really, really, fast. I was gregarious and the life of the party, and as a dear friend told me later, “just because you didn’t go to prom in high school doesn’t meant that you get to be the prom queen now.”

Yet, I kept going. I got ominous warnings from my friends, I got warnings at work, and I pissed off my roommate for bringing the after party back from the clubs at 4 a.m. I accidentally did a line of meth in the bathroom at the End Up one night, with a new friend who I thought was giving me cocaine and two days later found myself still awake deconstructing Laura Croft in a trailer in Brisbane where my new best friend was making banana walnut pancakes in the kitchen.

I still don’t know how I got home. I started making deals with myself. Don’t drink tonight; I noticed I was quick to call my dealer after a beer. But didn’t you see how hard my job was, what assholes I was working with, and how much my feet hurt? It had nothing to do with the three grams of blow I did the night before while dancing at DNA Lounge in platform Steve Madden heels, no, it had to do with the head manager at my restaurant giving me a shitty section where I had to run all night long to serve my tables.

Things spun out of control. Faster and faster. One night I was just going to go home and a friend convinced me to grab a bottle of wine from the restaurant and go back to her place. A bum outside her door spare changed us as we were going into her apartment, I gave him a cigarette. Hours later when I left, he was still there and he offered me some crack cocaine. Of course I smoked it. And twelve hours later I found myself hiding on a piece of cardboard between parked cars on Minna Street smoking rock with a homeless man who was angling for me to become his girlfriend.   It had to stop. It had to.

I tried a number of ways to control and enjoy my drinking and using, but things just never took. No matter what I did. I lost that fine dining restaurant job, I lost friends, and I lost a lot of dignity. I left a $500 a month rent controlled room in a large Victorian house in the Mission for a room on Potrero and 25th for more than twice the rent. I figured I wouldn’t spend my money on cocaine if my rent were more expensive. I was wrong, was I ever wrong. I remember waking up one morning for a lunch shift and wondering what I had done the night before and when it finally came to me as I was getting out of a cab in front of work I was so overwhelmed I leapt out, and ran and vomited in the bushes before going in for my shift.

Finally, on January 10th, possibly the 11th of 2005, I hit the bottom that would change my life. I went to the restaurant I used to work at to see a friend, I wasn’t going to drink. Nope. I wasn’t, but the bartender put up my regular, a double dirty martini on the rocks with extra olives and a pint of Sierra Nevada. I drank a sip of the beer and called my dealer. I rang a friend, he met me out, and we went all over the city and at one point ended up at my house. He left his drugs with me, “you won’t do them will you?” He asked as he left. I did them. I stole from my friend and in that moment I made the decision, I was done, I don’t know why stealing a few grams of coke from a friend was how I smashed into my bottom, but it was. I made a cry for help. And it was answered.

It came from unexpected places. I thought I was just going to go to rehab. Instead I got introduced to a community and an amazing fellowship, and I drank a lot of coffee, a lot, I still do. Twelve years and some change later, notice my star tattoos? One for every year I’ve been sober, I still don’t know how the magic all happened, I am grateful beyond belief that it has. I get to do and be someone I never even knew I wanted to be. I am a nanny, I’ve been one for over a decade, I get to give children the kind of love and attention I missed getting as a child. I’m also a third year graduate student in psychology, I go to a full time graduate program on the weekends at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) which is located on Mission and 10th in the SOMA. The back of the building abuts Minna Street.

That same street where I gave a homeless man a cigarette, and he smoked me out with crack, I was once again twelve years later. I will never forget coming out of my Psychodynamics class at the end of the semester, holding a paper I had just gotten an A+ on and hopping on my scooter to go home. As I pulled out, I heard the roll of a lighter be flicked and the inhale of breath, there was a girl, a young woman, hair up in a messy bun, eyes downcast, smoking crack on a piece of cardboard between two parked cars. She was I and I was she. I can never, not now, not ever, express the tremendous gratitude I felt in me at the moment. As I zoomed off on my scooter, from my grad school program to my little studio by the sea. I was no longer running away from myself. I was just going home.

Evaluation

August 8, 2017

Of Trainee.

That would be me.

Psychotherapist in training.

I picked up my evaluation from my supervisor today from the office at my internship.

I zipped up to the office before seeing my client at 6:30p.m.

I have two new client folders that I needed to look at, but not too long, I needed mostly to grab my evaluation and scoot on out.

I almost didn’t want to read it before I saw my client.

But.

Ha.

Well.

Of course I did.

Oh my gosh you guys.

It was really nice.

I mean.

Really good.

I got the best marks.

I mean seriously.

Of the four pages of the evaluation I scored the top score in all categories.

I got fives and fives and more fives.

  1. Serious difficulty with performance
  2.  Needs improvement
  3. Performs as expected
  4. Performs above expectations
  5. Performs far above expectations

Holy cats.

I got fives on everything but for three categories, and for those I still got 4s.

I am blown away.

Feels pretty motherfucking good, I have to say.

And the written comments, swoon, wowzers, you can say I’m pretty happy having read them:

“_________________ is an exceptional trainee, performing far above expectations for a first semester as a trainee.  Her level of enthusiasm, and compassion combine with a natural intuitive therapeutic ability give her a positive edge in helping her clients.  ____________ will continue to grow as a therapist as she gets more experience.”

Exceptional.

God damn that is so nice to see in print.

I need to remember that when I get bogged down in the details and the scheduling and the figuring it out.

You should have heard me as I was putting on my therapy shoes before I left work today to go to my internship, “pick up files and paperwork in room 533, meet with __________  in room 352.”

I must have repeated that five times like a little mantra before I had my shoes on, my scooter jacket zipped up and my purse and scooter basket bag in my hands.

Every day that I go into my internship–five days a week, thank you very much, I am in a different room.

I have it just about down as to where I am going to be on any given day, but I have to say I end up repeating them or double checking or looking at my calendar.

Where am I today?

Speaking of.

I need some tech support.

There has to be a way for me to access my Google calendar from my Iphone.

I haven’t figured it out yet.

I keep looking at my Gmail and trying to find where the calendar is hiding.

I mean.

I have a calendar on the phone, but I also have a personal calendar through my own Gmail account and another through my internship.

I got assigned another client today and I knew what spot to offer her and when I got the confirmation e-mail that she wanted the spot I sent my assistant director, who is in charge of the calendar, a message, but I really want to be able to access my calendar immediately.

I am at my house in the morning on my laptop and in the evening, but I am out all day long for great swaths of time, there has to be a way for me to access the calendar on my Iphone.

Add to list of things to figure out.

Like, oh, getting my paperwork to school by Friday.

I mean.

Ugh.

Either I get up early and go before therapy tomorrow or I go before work Wednesday or Thursday.

Hmm.

I wonder.

I bet I could just go after my client tomorrow or after work on Wednesday.

Oh.

That works.

I usually have something going on right away after work on Wednesdays, but not this week.  I’ll get done with work Wednesday and zoom over to school and drop of the evaluation to the practicum office team.

I also got some things ironed out with my practicum schedule and group supervision and my school schedule.

Once a month, for five months, August-December, I am in school for three days, Friday 9a.m.-8p.m. Saturday 9a.m.-4p.m. and Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I have group supervision on Saturdays from 2p.m.-4p.m.

Obviously there is a conflict.

And I can’t simply get away with not having supervision for that week.

I now have five clients this week.

I will have six clients next week.

And seven the week following.

For every five client hours I have I have to have one hour of supervision.

Having more than five clients I have to go to supervision twice a week.

And.

Now.

I have openings starting in September for Saturdays.

Yes.

I will be taking clients on Saturdays after I get back from Burning Man.

I will see clients from 4:30-6:30p.m.

That leaves me a half hour afterward to zip over to my commitment on Divasadero and Eddy by 7p.m.

I will have group supervision first from 2-4p.m. then clients until 6:30p.m.

If it’s a school weekend I’ll have school until 4p.m. and then zip over to my internship and see clients.

Of course.

Nothing is booked yet, but for the fall semester they want me to run with 10 clients.

So.

Yeah.

Saturdays.

By Spring semester I am supposed to have 13.

Ugh.

I don’t know how that’s going to happen and I don’t need to figure it out right now.

Spring semester will also be much lighter.

I will be taking five classes this semester.

In spring it will be three.

So there will be more space and less homework.

I get so way far ahead of myself.

I keep reminding myself.

Pull back ladybug.

My worst fears about my internship and not being able to handle it have all been conflagrated beyond any sort of reality.  I can look back and see I was anxious for absolutely no good reason.  I was able to handle what was handed to me.

So.

I will be fine and my classes will be good, my work will be good, life will be good.

It already is.

And.

My boss agreed to let me go an hour early on Wednesdays once a month to offset my group supervision and was very sweet about it.

So grateful for my job.

And my life and love and all of it.

Life is full.

Busy.

Yes.

All the things.

But ultimately, I am alive for it all, exquisite and sometimes painful, but so bright and moving and wonderful.

I have no complaints.

NONE AT ALL.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Never doubt it.

I’m Done!

May 1, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I am done.

I wrote my last paper for the semester today and I got it done faster than I thought I would, my friend in the cohort told me it was going to be a much easier paper to write than Trauma, that it would, in effect, write itself.

That was exactly my experience.

Almost spooky how it wrote itself.

Nine pages, 2,832 words.

It took about two hours to write, maybe two and a half.

I was shocked how quickly it happened and I had absolutely no problems or sticky spots, it just flowed out of my fingers and I was able to finish and have a really nice late lunch out on the back patio.

I did my typical Sunday gig and roasted a chicken and made a pot of brown rice while I was doing the writing.

I was rewarded with a yummy lunch eaten al fresco under the warm sun.

I was stunned, actually, I still am a little.

It all happened.

It all got done.

I even, shhh, read a little today after my meal and it was pleasure reading!

Holy shit.

I haven’t done that in a while.

I don’t have to read anything for school for the next weekend of classes, I’m done with the reading, I’m done with the papers.

I sent in my Couples Therapy paper last Sunday and did my Trauma paper yesterday and my Community Mental Health paper today, the Trauma and CMH paper I will be handing in hard copies of.

I will do a small presentation of my paper to my Trauma class but I don’t actually know that we are going to be doing a whole lot of work in my other classes.

I feel like I’ll just be floating through next weekend, just showing up and turning in the papers and making attendance for my classes.

I won’t have to be doing any catch up work or reading, I won’t have any papers or projects due after the final weekend.

All I have to do is show up and turn in the papers.

I can take it easy the rest of the weekend.

I won’t skip out on the classes, mostly because I want to see my friends and since I am paying for the experience, I’m going to go and have some experiences.

I am off to my second hour of supervision tomorrow morning before work and that’s really about my only school obligation for a few weeks until I start the internship.

I made it through!

God it feels good.

I did yoga today too, even though I am not a fan of the teacher that was the substitute, I showed up and got some stretching in and put in my time, it’s a practice I need to keep practicing.

I am breathing and being in my body and it helps to do that before I write my papers, takes the edge off, gets the anxiety out of my body and frees up my mind to do the work.

I am grateful for the little yoga studio in my hood.

I am grateful for my hood.

Seeing people I know, being seen.

Going to the coop, having dinner tonight at Thai Cottage.

I had a date as well.

We went to Thai Cottage.

There was kissing, but I did not invite him in.

I am actually quite proud of myself for that.

And I can’t actually tell if I want to pursue it or not.

I liked him, he’s attractive, smart, tattoos, sober.

But I went in and out of being interested.

The kissing was nice.

But it wasn’t the key to unlock the door to my studio.

I’ll have to go on another date.

I’m not usually this ambivalent.

It’s usually a yes or a no.

This guy is a maybe.

I’m not worried about it, no, not right now, I do have a lot happening this upcoming week, supervision tomorrow, therapy Tuesday, doing the deal, connecting with ladies to read books over tea, work, then school over the weekend.

Thursday one of my girl friends from the cohort will spend the night with me and we’ll head off to class together Friday.

And next week.

Paris.

Oh my God.

I can actually see getting on a plane now that I finished up all the final papers for class.

It’s not so surreal.

It’s happening.

I am so very excited.

It’s going to be so nice to have ten days off.

I ran into a friend in the fellowship yesterday and told him about my Paris trip, he’s a big Francophile and a photographer and his photos are on the walls of the cafe I was at, most of them alleyways in Paris, and it was with much excitement that I shared I was going.

He asked me to send Paris a kiss from him.

We talked about the museum pass and he said, “you got to get the three-day for sure.”

I’m actually thinking about getting the four-day, I’m going to be there for ten days, well eight when you take out the travel time, but still I can definitely do four full days of museums.

The other four days, Sacre Couer, The cemetary in the Montmartre, Pere LaChaise Cemetery, the markets, the broquantes, some clothes shopping, a tattoo from Abraxas, getting lost and then found in the Marais, walks along the Seine, the Luxembourg gardens, the Tuilleries, maybe a pop into Le Chat Noir and do the Paris open mic scene for old times sake.

There will be plenty for me to do.

And I get to do it without worry about school or internships or work, it’s all lined up.

I have a great job, a good internship, I’m wrapping up my second year of my Master’s degree, it’s all happening.

It feels so good to have these papers put to rest.

No stress for the rest of the week.

Just showing up for my responsibilities and recovery.

For friends.

And fun.

Definitely can squeeze a little more fun in there for sure.

I got my papers done!!

So.

Over the moon.

Seriously.

Second Day

April 24, 2017

Second day in a row that my wordpress site is down. *This post written on 4/21/17

I can read blogs, but I can’t write them using the site.

Last night I wrote a rather long poem and I just posted it directly to Facebook.

I was very appreciative of the response I got, but it wasn’t on my blog and thus my readers who subscribe to my blog, many of whom, most of whom, are not friends of mine on social media, and they can’t read it.

I don’t like dropping my readers.

And I don’t like not being able to post.

Sigh.

Writing again in my Word application on my MacBook and I will save and hopefully post up in the next day.

I have so much writing to do and the writing that I want to do, my blogging, is not quite happening the way I had hoped it would.

I persist.

This is my place, this is my easing my mind, and this is my working it out and letting go of the day.

So.

I write.

Even if I can’t post.

I write.

It’s important to me and it’s my process and it keeps me sane, it really does.

I need sanity.

Especially after breaking down into tears at work tonight while I was cooking dinner for the family.

Work was not the problem.

Work is great.

Love my job.

LOVE.

School was the issue.

And not even homework, but the hoops for financial aid and the feeling of constantly having to navigate through the minefield of paying for the degree.

It has been a frustrating experience and it was no less so today.

I have been watching and waiting for my notification that my financial aid processed and what the award was to be and how much and let me pay off my tuition bill, which, the school never has any problem getting to me, no, no problem there, but I haven’t seen the award.

I start supervision on MONDAY.

I need to take care of this.

I did the application and all the footwork in March.

So.

I called yesterday and I got a message today telling me that they had no record of my application.

Seriously?

Fuck.

The office asked me to send the confirmation e-mail to them and so I did, and then they asked that I fill out some more paperwork.

So.

I did.

And then they gave me some very basic, very direct, step-by-step instructions of what I needed to do.

Fantastic.

Thank you.

Except.

  1. CIIS Institutional Summer 2017 Financial Aid Application
  2. Log on tofinaid.ciis.eduwith your Username and Password
  3. Select the 2016-17 Award Year from the drop-down menu at the top
  4. Complete the two-part questionnaire under the “Apply Now” tab and submit

There is no “Apply Now” tab on the page.

Fuck this crap.

There was another set of instructions that I followed to the “t” and was able to send into the school so I am hoping that will rectify the situation.

I still called and left a message.

Of course.

It’s Friday.

I won’t hear a thing back until Monday and I’m sure there will be more hoops to leap through.

At least I was able to pull it together at work, give myself a moment in the bathroom, breathe, pray and wipe away the tears.

I am not being dropped, I will be taken care of, and the money is there.

I soothed myself and got back to attending the making dinner for the family.

I was happy to be doing something active and consuming.

I was very happy to see how the kids ate up the food and the mom was happy and I got to hold the baby and I got smiles and hugs and thank you and it was all super sweet.

It was the antidote for the crazy I felt when dealing with the school.

Ultimately.

I am grateful.

I had my question responded to, I was given the information I needed, and I was able to get most of it taken care of, the rest will follow and since I did the big important stuff, which was the government loan FAFSA and they sent me confirmation emails that my application was accepted, I know that it will be done and taken care of.

Sure.

It didn’t happen my way and it was confusing and I don’t know how come I have had this experience with the school now three times in regards to my financial aid, but in the end, I have always received enough to pay my tuition and get to the next thing.

The next thing is to write my Couples Therapy paper tomorrow.

And.

As I stare at my little carrot on my desk, I see you carrot, incentive, gift, kick in the pants to get the job done and finish out the semester, I see you and I am so happy that I got you, I know I will get through this process with school.

I got a very useful item for my trip to Paris in the mail.

I received my “World Travel Adapter Kit” today.

I have always relied on friends when I have traveled to have the proper adapter for my phone or laptop and I realized it was time to be an adult about it and invest in my own.

I will only continue to travel and now I have my phone charger and my laptop charger taken care of.

All the places I can go and have my computer and my phone.

ALL THE PLACES.

China, Korea, Brazil, Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong.

I can go and I will be set.

I have a few other small things that I ordered for the trip and as it gets closer I am more and more excited.

Ten days off, no work, no school.

Ten days in Paris.

All the rigmarole with school is fine, it’s working out, my work is working out—in fact I just got a very thankful and kind text message from the dad at work about the amazing dinners he’s gotten to come home to and the happy kids.

That made my day.

Grateful to get to do this work and to learn and to realize again and again that I may have fear, but I can walk through it and I can always ask for help.

Such a relief that.

I am not doing this alone.

Thank you all for your love and support.

It means the world.

A world I am very much looking forward to traveling through.

So much looking forward to.

Seriously.

 

Tired

March 23, 2017

But.

In a good way.

I got up at 6:30 a.m.

I didn’t get my full night’s sleep, but I got close, I had been up later than I wanted to the night previous, so I was ready for bed when it came last night, but my thoughts were busy being annoying, it took a little while to drop of.

But when I did.

Holy shit

I did.

Slept like a rock.

Grateful for that and that I don’t hesitate to getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, I don’t hit the snooze, I just get the fuck up.

I  read somewhere once that snooze actually back fires on you and it’s better to just get up and go, of course I could just be making that up, but that’s what I do.

I get the fuck up.

I got dressed.

I put on my interview shoes.

I peeped the weather.

Fuck yes!

The rain cleared and I was able to take the cover off my scooter and ride it down to my interview today with my new supervisor.

Yes.

That’s correct, my new supervisor.

I have another.

Score!

Very, very, very happy about that.

It’s a small piece, but I piece I needed to address and I’m so grateful to have it taken care of

And actually.

Scratch that.

It is a big deal and it was more than just a small piece, I put in some work to find this person, co-ordinate my schedule with him, ask questions, collaborate with the practicum placement office and do my homework.

And I showed up.

On time.

Early.

I found motorcycle parking by the Ritual Coffee house in Hayes Valley and I had a full punch card from when I was nannying by the Ritual in the Mission, so I scored a free latte and happily traipsed over to the office on the corner of Fell and Gough.

I let myself in using the code and went up the stairs.

I paced around the waiting room, paid the bathroom an unnecessary visit, just in case, and practiced breathing.

Then.

I met him.

My new supervisor.

We went into his office and talked for an hour.

I told him a little bit about me, how I came into the program, what I was planning on doing with the degree, first my MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist) license, then eventually my PhD in Psychology.

I told him about having taken one class as an undergraduate and then what happened when I was at Burning Man, yes that is where I decided to go to grad school, and how that experience unfolded and led to me applying to CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies), how I balance my recovery with my work, and where I will be doing my practicum hours at.

We had talked for about a half hour when, and I’m not sure exactly when the shift happened, but it happened, and there I was saying, “well I hope that I will be working with you,” and then.

Then.

Then he looked at me, almost surprised, “oh absolutely, the slot is yours.”

Thank you God.

I opened up my binder and handed over my paperwork that I needed him to sign and yes.

He signed them.

Thank God.

And handed them back to me, I felt like I was handling precious metals and jewels so carefully and reverentially I put back those papers, 3/4s filled out, I just need my school advisor and the head of the department to sign off.

He’s one and the same for me, so that should be pretty easy.

Actually.

I should e-mail him too, set up a time to make sure that I had them to him, he signs, then I walk over to the practicum office and hand them off.

God damn it will feel so good to have this all sorted.

It basically is.

And I like my new supervisor quite a bit.

He happened to intern with my favorite professor, which was a serendipitous conversation, he’s psychodynamically inclined, also a hot modality for me, and he went through the same program that I am going through, so he has experience with the school.

Although he admitted he’d not worked with any interns that were getting their hours through the site I’m at.

And we talked about that.

And we talked about my schedule and we set our first date to do the work.

I will begin with him on Monday, April 24th.

I will meet with him once a week for three semesters while I am in school.

Every Monday morning at 9 a.m. for one summer semester, one fall semester, and one spring semester.

Three total semesters of practicum must be compete for me to graduate.

I will graduate from the program in May 20018.

And I’ll get to walk with that graduating class complete in my practicum.

A lot of folks don’t start their practicum until next fall semester, the majority of my cohort, from what I can tell will be starting then,  and they’ll be able to walk, but not graduate officially until after finishing the summer of 2018 practicum.

I will circumnavigate that and be free to walk as a graduate.

I am so down with that I can barely breathe.

I mean.

It’s a hell of a lot of work.

But.

As it was suggested to me today.

“Take a minute and appreciate what you accomplished today,” she admonished me over the phone, “don’t just jump into the next thing to be anxious about.”

Gah.

I know, right?

Because I was so ready to go there, but there is no there there.

I am allowed to enjoy this moment, this work has been, well, work, and I deserve to acknowledge to myself that I have been showing up to it and meeting it and matching it.

And I have a phone interview in the morning before work to secure a therapist.

Fingers crossed that will be taken care of tomorrow and then.

Shit.

I can go back to just “worrying” about my homework.

Bwhaahahaha.

Sigh.

I did that too, today, I did homework on my lunch break.

Maybe I take myself out to do something sweet this weekend, really take a moment to let myself enjoy what I have done over the last week and a half.

It’s been a lot and it is an accomplishment.

Yes.

There is more work to do.

But.

For right now.

Let me just.

Take.

A fucking.

Moment.

You did good today kid, you really did.

Seriously.

Things Falling

March 22, 2017

Into place.

I am not nearly as anxious this Tuesday as I was last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, which seems so far away, but was truly just a week ago, I was in a high state of panic and anxiety most of the day.

Today.

Well.

Not so much.

I thought about it at one point.

I should get anxious!

Really?

That’s your solution?

Get anxious.

Nah.

Did that all day last Tuesday, the thought was fleeting and I was glad to let it go.

Then again, I was also quite busy at work attending to all the things that I wasn’t able to yesterday since the kids had a day off from school.

I was pretty much on the go from the minute I got to work up until the minute I left for work.

Which left little time for anxiety.

I also, thank you to the office of the practicum placement team, got a lot of relief yesterday.

I had a big outstanding question in regards to my supervision for the internship.

Because I am not going through the ICC’s (Integral Counseling Center) I have to an off site supervisor, so my need to skip doing the ICC’s because I needed to have flexibility with my work schedule also presented me with an additional logistic–finding an independent supervisor that was willing to take me on with my weirdo schedule.

The school made a big list of supervisors available to us, but I have to say I was a little dismayed to get a lot of “sorry, I’m not taking on supervisees right now.” when I was making my first rounds of inquiry.

The person whom I’m meeting with tomorrow also was not 100% on board, but he asked what my schedule allowed for and as it turned out, serendipitously, he has a current supervisee who will be leaving him at the same time that I am needing to start, and the time he has available would be work for my schedule, I would go in to see him before I go to work on Monday mornings.

Monday, FYI, which is already a hard day, hello, it’s Monday, is shaping up to be a twelve-hour day.

Two hours off site supervision, seven hours of work, two and a half hours of internship.

9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Yeehaw.

I won’t be starting it all at the same time, however, there will be some breathing space to get used to the additional hours.

IF the supervisor tomorrow takes me on, pretty fucking please, I’ll start an official summer class of two credits Monday, April 24th.

I don’t actually start my internship until Monday, May 22nd.

I’ll be in school until the weekend May 5-7th and then I’ll be in Paris May 11th-May 21st.

Yes, that’s correct, I will start my internship the Monday after I get back from ten days in Paris.

Le sigh.

However, I’ll be starting soft and slow, I probably won’t take on a client that first week.

I get ahead of myself.

All I have to do next is show up tomorrow and be my best self.

I’m not crazy about the fact that the weather is supposed to be shit, I won’t be able to ride my scooter into the interview, but hey, that’s what car share apps are for.

I just have to make sure I give myself enough time to get there and be sorted out.

He made it very clear that I was to be in the office waiting room by 9:30 a.m.

Not buzzing to get in, but actually in the waiting room by 9:30 a.m.

Which is not on the first floor of the building, so I want to be there in a timely manner, give myself a little leeway, a little breathing space, a little moment to pause, pray, and let go, to remember that showing up is the biggest action I can take and that the rest of it will follow.

If he accepts me I have the paperwork ready to be signed and then I can get his signatures and proceed to the next part, which is to take that paperwork to my academic advisor and to the head of the department for their signatures.

Lucky for me, the head of the department and my advisor are the same person.

Once he signs it I can take it to the papers, there’s a lot of them, to the practicum office and hand it over to the woman who so kindly called me to respond to the e-mail question I had.

“You get those signatures from _________ and _________ and I will personally walk it all over to the registrars office for you.”

Thank God.

I can’t wait to have this part of it behind me.

I know there’s so much more to go, this is just one small moving part of a whole machine, a machine that feels super complicated and monstrous and big and behemoth, but it’s doable if I just do a tiny little bit every day.

Some days.

Like tomorrow.

The small bit is actually a bit bigger, but in the end it really is just going to meet a person at 9:30 a.m. on Fell Street in Hayes Valley.

Which, I have to say, is nice place for me to be in supervision, it is easy for me to get to and I know the neighborhood and I’ll b able to do my work commute from there fairly quick.

Plus, there’s good coffee in the neighborhood–Ritual, Blue bottle–always a plus.

It feels really nice to not be so stressed out.

I am super glad the anxiety has faded away and though there is a lot to do, I can feel that I am making progress and the unknown is not so scary now that I have a tiny bit better of a grasp on what I need to do next.

I remind myself that I have only this 24 hours and all the things that needed to get done got done.

I’m happy, I’m healthy, I saw people I love today, I took good care of my charges, and made their dinner and got super big hugs and appreciative compliments about my cooking from both of the kids.

Which is a big deal.

And I know what is just next in front of me.

And that’s all I need to know.

Take the next action in front of me.

Let go of the results.

Easy.

Heh.

 

That Moment When

March 15, 2017

You realize that had you known how much fucking work it would be you wouldn’t have embarked on the god damn journey.

Fucking grateful as fuck that I did not know it was going to be this hard.

I wouldn’t have decided to do it.

Granted.

I do know that with time will come familiarity and it will be ok.

But right now.

Just in this moment.

Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

So much work.

I met with my new supervisor for my internship.

We filled out the paperwork.

We talked about what I need to do next.

Turn in the paper work to my advisor, get his signature, then turn it into the practicum office.

Then.

I need to get another supervisor to take me through process of being an intern.

I will find the person on my own by using the supervisors list that is in the practicum office.

Then I need to get that person to sign some paperwork and I need to get registered for the summer course.

I need to do this fairly damn quick.

And I need to make sure that the supervisor can be someone who I can fit into my schedule, I’ll have to meet with the off site supervisor two hours a week.

In between that.

I will be working and I will be interning.

My supervisor and I set a date.

I start on May 22nd.

That’s the official paperwork date, but I’ll probably go in on the 23rd as I will be getting back from Paris on the 21st.

I’ll be going into work either way at my job on the 22nd.

My supervisor was sweet though, and said, “I’ll let you get over your jet lag, let’s just have you start the 23rd.”

And I will be starting with a bang.

And I will be doing a lot of hours.

Which I knew.

I knew.

Just the reality of it hit when he was asking me what my optimum schedule was like.

“Think about it for a minute,” he looked up from the paper work he was filling out for me, “but I will need to put it in the paperwork so you can go to the next step.”

I gave it a moment.

I took into account my current work schedule, my recovery schedule, wanting one day off a week without any kind of obligation and what would that mean for getting the hours in I needed to make the time investment.

My supervisor wants 13-15 hours a week, part of which will be a few hours of mandatory training, but mostly taking clients.

Plus.

My off site supervisor will need 2 hours.

And.

I will need to get a therapist as well for a year while I go through the process.

That’s an additional hour.

So.

Um.

Fuck me.

That’s basically 15-18 hours of work a week.

I took a great big deep breath and figured I would need to be there at the internship four days a week.

I decided to do it like this: Mondays and Tuesdays 6:30p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Wednesdays and Thursdays same hours, 6:30p.m.-9p.m.

And Saturdays from 2p.m.-8p.m.

That’s the time estimate breakdown.

It won’t start out quite that big and I will have a bit of wiggle room for the first few weeks and I’m super grateful that I’m getting into it before the fall semester of school starts.

Because, yeah, I need three semesters of practicum.

Which means that on top of work and the internship, one year of my interning I’ll also be in school full-time.

Granted the course load for the third year is eased up to accommodate practicum.

But still.

So much.

I’ll basically be doing a 60 hour work week and school.

Bwahahahahahaaha.

Fuck my life.

The upside is that I will have accumulated over 800 hours by the time I graduate.

We can take up to 1300 hours, but I cannot fathom what kind of fresh hell it would be to incorporate another 500 hours into the routine.

No.

I mean.

I am already thinking about what is going to need to be cut out.

Will I have to stop blogging?

Maybe.

Or doing my morning writing?

Maybe.

I can’t say quite yet, but I do know this lady won’t be socializing for a year.

Sigh.

Super grateful.

So grateful that I am going to Paris after the semester ends.

So grateful I get to go to Burning Man.

I am assuming I’m getting a ticket, I got the time cleared with my supervisor as well, who told me that it will be a great tool to use when I get to tell a client that has gotten attached that I am going to take a vacation.

He also told me that once I’m up and running he foresees me taking about 10 clients a week.

TEN!

He also relayed that as I am available to take clients at night I will have a full dance card pretty quick.

That most clients want evening hours or weekend hours.

That the site already has a wait list for clients!

He also said that he would work with me to help me get my hours and that I he would make sure of it.

He even told me that he wished I was coming on board sooner, they had a client he felt that I would be particularly helpful with.

That was nice to hear.

I am grateful for the opportunities.

I am scared.

But.

No where neared as overwhelmed as I was this morning when I was contemplating how it was all going to happen and how was I going to navigate the next moves when I wasn’t even sure what the next fucking moves were.

I was strangled with fear this morning.

Anxiety my old friend.

But.

I did a lot of reaching out.

I called all my people and I called a friend in my cohort who talked me off the ledge.

God damn am I lucky to have the resources I have.

I am also really fortunate that after the paperwork was all sussed out and the schedule, that I was able to do a twenty-five minute interview of my supervisor for my Community Mental Health final project.

I got all the information I needed.

I also recorded the whole thing as well as taking notes, procuring brochures, and asking all the pertinent questions and then some.

I’m not going to write the paper this next weekend.

I’m going to let myself have the weekend “off,” but I will probably start it the following.

The other thing that is going to make this all work, the thing that I am so very grateful for right now, is my job.

I have down time.

Not always.

But enough.

Enough to pause, catch my breath, pray, talk to my people, leave messages, connect, and to do homework.

I got a chapter and a half read in one of my Trauma books today.

I read a chapter and a half yesterday in another book.

Three chapters done while I’m at work.

I am good at time management, I will be able to do this and it won’t be forever.

I remind myself.

I get to do this.

And I get to be of service.

Faith.

I got faith.

Heaps and bunches.

Baby.

‘Cause I gotta have faith
I gotta faith
Because I gotta to have faith, faith
I gotta to have faith, faith, faith

Yup.

Like that.

Sleep won’t hurt either.

Ooh.

Sleep.

Drool.

Look At You

March 11, 2017

Beautiful!

“I miss you and your flowers,” she finished and gave me a big hug, “make sure and spread your love around we need it.”

That was a very nice way to end the first day of my three-day weekend of classes.

A big love hug from one of my favorite professors.

It was really good to see her and also to just take a moment to reflect on how far I have come.

It was about two years ago this month that I found out I had been accepted into the Masters program where I am at.

So much has changed for me from making that decision and following it up with some actions.

Actions that often felt tiny, small, inconsequential but ended up leading me here, now, in my second semester of my second year of a three-year Masters of Psychology program.

Not too bad.

Not too bad at all.

And so much of the work has been showing up with faith in the process.

I’m still not 100% sure what I am going to do, but I have so much more clarity and I have direction and I have, now,  a couple of years of doing the work under my belt and I know that I can do the work, which is huge.

It’s also exhausting.

I am tired.

I mean.

Tired.

Sometimes the transition is a challenge, the one where I am getting up an hour and a half earlier than I do on the weekdays, the one in which I skip having a weekend off, the one in which I have to show up, suit up, and participate, instead of sleeping in.

I got an adorable text from a friend in regards to it being the weekend and Friday and I laughed.

Which is better than bursting into tears, my Friday is more like a hard-core 11 hour Monday after working a full week of work.

Followed by another eleven hour day and then a seven hour day and then it’s Monday again and I get to go back to work.

Fuck.

I’m tired thinking about it.

I always make it through.

Some of that time I am more caffeinated, but I had to cut it out after a certain point today otherwise my brain would be up half the night attempting to process all the stuff that I went through during the day in class.

And I went through a lot of stuff.

I’m actually doing work now.

Sigh.

Ugh.

Turns out I missed a podcast that I needed to listen to for my Trauma class.

So.

Yeah.

Homework on the weekend I thought I had it all done.

Oh well.

So it goes.

It’s an interesting podcast, there is that.

I just want to finish my tea and watch an episode of America’s Next Top Model.

Shh.

Don’t tell.

I mean I would like to wind down, but I also know that I am trying to balance it all out and be present and have done the work and yada, yada, yada.

I am glad though, to be in class, to see my cohort, see my friend, have an impromptu lunch at a sushi spot with a friend in the program.

Good to connect and reconnect.

I got to see people I care about and love.

To know that I have another community of people to connect with is a great deal to me that I was never expecting to get out of the program.

An extra unexpected gift.

The friendships, the hugs, the conversations, the people who have expressed their affection for me and for my journey.

It is a blessing.

I’m excited for all of us, for the path being travelled that we are on, oh, I know, our paths will fork and people will change and go on their different ways, but we have this time together, these three years and it is an incredible experience.

Nope.

I don’t always want to be vulnerable, I don’t want to process, but I do, I grow, I change, and as I turned down a few invitations to do things this evening, I know that I was doing the thing that was going to best take care of me in my person and show up for class as rested and as ready to participate and share my experiences.

The relevant ones.

Sometimes I don’t share, sometimes the gory details are shined up a bit, but really I am pretty clear about who I am and where I have been and, now, where I hope to move towards.

It’s been an opening of a new part of me.

I am appreciative and honored and sometimes.

Well.

Yes.

Tired.

But.

Here’s to working a little extra, doing a tiny bit more, taking one more little step towards that goal.

I don’t need to know where the end goal is.

Oh.

And look at that.

Podcast done.

Blog almost done.

Ready for a spot of tea and then.

Yes.

Some rest.

So I can get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

See you on the flip.

Where.

I will be.

Ready to teeter totter a few more baby, albeit tired, steps down the road.

 


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