Posts Tagged ‘class’

The Good Enough

January 1, 2019

Paper.

I got a message yesterday as I was winding up the laundry and gathering it from the dryer at the mat up the way on Balboa.

It was a message from one of my professors.

I have already begun reading for the next semester, three of my text books have landed in my mail box, and I wasn’t really thinking anything about the message other than maybe he’d gotten my grade in early.

That was not the message.

No.

Fuck my life.

The message basically said it looks like the final paper you sent in was a draft and not the final copy and it is full of typos and ends abruptly and doesn’t answer the questions that I wanted answered and makes me wonder if you understood the scope of the material in the course.

Holy shit, what?!

I was flummoxed.

First, that I had sent in a draft?

I never do that.

I am scrupulous about doing a spell check and when he said “typos” I was really curious about what it could be.

I was also pressed for time as I was supposed to go meet up before doing the deal in the Castro and I had only so much time, not enough, surely to look up the paper and see what I had sent in and remedy it.

I scrambled my laundry home to my house, I had fifteen arguments in my head with my professor, I got upset with myself, I started thinking about the paper I had written and internally I knew, the prof was right on at least one point, I hadn’t really written a paper that was outlined in the directions.

I had deviated and written something that I wanted to.

My professor had also noted that though it was “fascinating” it didn’t address a lot of the topics that he wanted covered.

And that bit about me not understanding the scope of the material?

Well fuck off.

Did you not read all the freaking discussion posts I put up?

I mean.

Fuck.

I did substantial, 1,000 word plus discussion posts, on a weekly basis, two, three, four times a week.

I understood the scope of the fucking material.

I was mad.

I was also mad at myself.

How could I have sent in a draft?

What was I thinking?

I also had a vague recollection of actually being rather proud of the paper I had sent in, though no, it was not written in the way he wanted, it was well written and I felt that in my own way I had actually answered all the parameters of the paper.

I sent him a message and apologized for the paper, told him I had a standing appointment to meet up with my person and I had to do the deal after and then I’d get right home and get on figuring out what had happened.

I teared up a bit, I imagined I was going to have to do a load of work, my brain went right to the worst thing ever.

I was failing the class and what the fuck was I doing even bothering to try to get a PhD?

I was in over my head.

I was tired.

I didn’t want to re-write the paper, was I going to have to re-write it?

But I loved my paper, I really had liked it and I had spent more than one day on it.

Quite often I will write a paper in one shot and then edit it and send it out.

I did this one in two days, I felt like I should have been getting a pat on the back and a “how clever are you?” comment about my paper, not some insinuation that I didn’t understand the course work.

I was incensed and upset.

I cried big raccoon eyed tears when I made it to the Castro and basically wet down the table at Firewood Cafe with my weeping.

I couldn’t believe I had actually worn not just eyeliner, but also mascara and not the waterproof kind.

I looked a little beat up when I left.

I got down to it though with my person and came to the conclusion that.

1. The professor was right, I hadn’t written the paper the way he had assigned it.

2. I was being arrogant.

3. I didn’t have to get an “A” in the course.

4. All I had to do was pass the course.

5. I was fucking tired and overwhelmed and I didn’t have a whole lot in me.

So after a lot of getting humble and admitting that I may have turned in not the best paper I could, whilst also admitting that I was beating myself up a little too hard, I left the Castro, came home and looked up the paper.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

It was like the draft of the draft.

It was awful.

I don’t have a clue how that got past me.

All I could think was that I had updated my computer at one point and maybe that was it.

But it was true, the version I had sent to my professor was a hot mess, typos, misspellings, the last page was missing, the paper ended in a super abrupt way and I had also pasted the directions in the paper so that I could refer to it when I wanted to.

But you don’t send that in to the professor!

Ugh.

I spent some time trying to find the final draft and there wasn’t one saved on my computer.

So.

I made the decision to not re-write the whole thing, I still was holding onto the idea that I wasn’t that in the wrong with the content of the paper and he had said it was fascinating.

I cleaned it up, re-arranged a few pieces, wrote out the last page that had been missing and sent my professor an e-mail apologizing for the draft that had ended up in his e-mail.

I also defended what I wrote, but admitted that yes, he was right and I hadn’t done the paper by the guidelines he’d given.

I said if there was anything else I needed to do for the paper I would happily do it.

I sent it out and crashed out early, I was wiped out emotionally and mentally.

There was nothing in my e-mail when I woke up.

I spent much of the morning thinking that I might be spending my New Years Eve writing a ten page paper on a topic that I had basically shelved eleven days ago.

Then.

OH!

Sweet relief.

I got an e-mail this afternoon saying that he’d gotten the new copy, that he understood that it was a mistake getting the first one, that further, he understood why I had written the paper I had and that I didn’t have to do anything else, and happy new year.

HAPPYFUCKINGNEWYEAR!

Sweet Jesus.

What a freaking relief.

I don’t even care what the grade is that I get.

I am certain I will pass.

The paper was good enough.

And I can now say, with finality that this semester is over.

Which is good since I’m doing reading for the next one at this point.

Not tomorrow though.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I will treat it as such.

Grateful as all get out that I made it through this year.

It was one hell of a ride.

Seriously.

Advertisements

The Poetry Is

December 1, 2018

Spectacular.

I was bowled over by the compliment I just received from a professor regarding a poem I wrote and recorded for a group project in one of my classes.

It is always nice to hear that, that my poetry is “spectacular.”

I mean, who doesn’t want to hear that?

I’m always so flattered.

It comes naturally and it comes with great effort.

I have taken a great deal of time to cultivate and practice my writing skills.

I find that because I have taken so much time doing the work that when I need to sit down and do it, it comes easily and smoothly with what feels like minimal effort.

That means, however, that I have to continually be practicing to keep that flow going.

I can’t rest on the laurels of my gym results from last year if I want to stay in shape.

I have to write.

And therefore it gives me much pleasure to be back here again writing.  I don’t know that I will be able to post as much as I did prior to jumping off into my PhD program, but I am hopeful that I will give it a good god damn shot.

I have to admit that when my blog got intertwined with my professional site I was really upset, how was I not going to be able to blog?

How?

Then, slowly, I saw that it was a gift, this little break from my practice.

It was a opprotunity to do the writing for my classes instead of for my blog.

I have done so much writing for classes.

Each week I’m posting about 4,000-5,000 words in discussion groups.

On top of a pretty constant hum of papers, projects and just all the reading.

My God.

There is a lot of reading.

But as I sit here reflecting on all of that I am also sitting next to a gigantic stack of books I have read.

In fact.

There’s only one book left to read and I’m not 100% certain, but I’m feeling pretty close to it, there may not be any articles left to read either.

I’m sure something will crop up, it always seems to do so.

Yet.

When those things have cropped up I have been able to navigate through them.

Not without some profanity, I won’t lie, I have sworn a lot at my computer over the last couple of months and on more than one occasion, or fifteen, I have wondered, what the fucking hell am I doing?

I have so much on my plate.

Just working full-time and getting my private practice up in running is more than enough to keep anyone busy, let alone putting the course work for a PhD on the line too.

I have a lot going on.

And somehow, everything’s been getting done.

Sometimes at what feels like the last-minute, but I realize that I get it done and I get things turned in on time.

I have already witnessed a distinct amount of people in my cohort suddenly just disappearing.

Some of it is in not participating as much with the discussion groups and some of it is not even checking in on a group project.

I basically had someone completely no-show for the entirety of one of the group projects I was involved with, and at one point I actually thought that I was going to be doing it alone as the other person took such a long time jumping in.

And it got done and my professor thought my poetry was spectacular.

So.

Yeah.

I think my brain can let up on the, what are you doing part, because I am doing something big and worthy and worthwhile and beautiful and it’s going to be a long haul, it is, but that’s ok.

I’m only getting older anyway and I want to really leave my mark out on the world.

However I can, whether it is in service to my recovery community, my therapy clients, or just being an example to someone that you can get what you want despite where you come from or the hardships you have had.

I am excited for what it will all bring, even knowing that it will be a tremendous amount of work and that the great deal of effort I am putting in now is not done for naught.

I keep being told too that my writing is good, that my writing is needed in academia, that my ideas are good, that my contributions are worthwhile and wanted.

It’s nice to feel wanted.

It’s nice to feel that I am contributing, especially at this level of academia.

I suspect that there will be fewer people next semester in my cohort than there was at the beginning of the program.

But I know I will be there and I know that I will continue to strive to do the best I can and show up.

One day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One minute at a time.

Just doing the next thing in front of me.

I will get there.

Wherever there is.

There is here, is now, is in this moment, in this creation, this mass of words and thoughts and dreams.

There is in the space between the words where the love light shines and I find myself again and again in the poetry and the prose of my experience.

In my narrative, my story, my life.

Writing it all as it happens, lucky to be so fortunate to be able to do so and happy that I can continue to do so.

For that I am aware that I am lucky.

I am a very lucky girl.

Very.

In The Right Place

September 3, 2018

And if there were any doubts about my PhD program, they were all erased today.

Replaced by a feeling of knowing, really knowing that I am in the right place, at the right time, in the right program, with a cohort of people who I am really beginning to like and  respect.

I had my second full day of classes and the class today really (and when I say class let me say that one class was six hours, with a meal break in between, these are not your standard “classes” that are 50 minutes long) brought it home for me.

The first part of the class was really a sort of getting to know you exercise that took a bit longer than I was ready for and made me squirm a little bit as some folks began to go over time, but it was a good way to hear more about the folks in my cohort, and that was nice.

But.

It was the next part of the class, when the professor introduced to us the realities of the work and how the course was set up, the readings, and what he hoped to accomplish that would allow us to do our dissertations and get through to the final doctoral degree.

He expressed what we were going to do and how we would get there and I could see al the ideas that have been percolating in my head start to coalesce.

I had gotten really good feedback from the Dean of the school when I interviewed with her, she had never heard of anyone covering the topic I want to do and that excited me.

But that was back in February, March?

Back when I was still in my Masters program.

And I still have had the idea, still have had the interest in pursuing it.

But here.

At the intensive, it suddenly felt alive and very, very real.

The course work is no fucking joke.

I am going to be reading until my eyes bleed.

However

The cool thing is that I won’t have to write as many papers as I did for my Masters program.

Of course, there will be the dissertation and God only knows how long that will end up being.

God willing it will become a book.

I mean.

I really could see the culmination of the effort not just netting me the PhD, but also getting to work on putting out a book.

I’m really excited about it and my fellows in the cohort have been asking me questions and really into my inquiry.

Makes me happy.

After we had our lunch break and came back to class for the second half of the six-hour class, I was ready to dive in.

I had a nice lunch break and had gone for a little walk to get some fresh air and a coffee and sat down at the beach for a little while, got some salt spray on my face and some sun and felt refreshed and ready to jump back into the material.

Material that I was excited by, work that I am looking forward to doing.

Oh.

I’m a touched overwhelmed too, won’t lie about that, the reading load is really quite heavy, but if I consistently read, every day, as much as I can, I will get through it.

And that the writing is far less substantive heartens me.

I will have to have a big online presence, which will be a little new for me, but I have done it before with a couple of my former classes, so it’s not a completely new experience, it will just have to be something that I am consistent with.

There is going to be a lot of me working on this for a long time.

I’m grateful though, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do the work and I’m grateful to be excited and I’m grateful for the talk I had with my professor after class ended.

I went up to him and thanked him for presenting the class how he did and I told him that he had assuaged the last tiny feelings of why wasn’t I just going for a PhD in Psychology versus doing a PhD in Transformative Studies.

He asked after my inquiry and I told him what I was thinking about and he got excited.

HE GOT EXCITED!

For a tenured core faculty professor who has published over 50 articles and written I don’t know how many books, but more than one, he published his first when he was just 30, and he speaks five fucking languages, for this professor to be excited by my idea was really such a great feeling.

I think I floated away from the classroom.

I mean.

I am tired.

It’s been a lot of showing up, being present, paying attention, taking copious notes, reading, although not as much as I did yesterday, I tried to connect more with the cohort today and hung out with my fellows and talk, but I still did read, and being out of my comfort zone, in a new environment, yeah.

Tired.

But good tired.

And tired happy.

Tired that there’s going to be so much.

But also tired with a purpose.

I have a purpose, there’s an end goal and the program is exquisitely designed to get me to that finishing point.

In fact.

As far as PhD programs go, they have one of the highest success rates of programs in the United States for actually getting PhD students all the way through the process to the doctoral degree.

Most programs see 30% drop out in the first year.

So seeing the mechanics of how it works and what I have to do to get there and how thoughtfully it was all laid out.

Well.

It made me smile.

It really did.

IMG_E4816

 

Whoa

September 2, 2018

Well.

I am fucking in it.

The work is on.

I sat through some really long classes today.

I did a lot, I mean, a lot of reading.

I just wrapped up my third academic paper of the evening and I am about done.

I was supposed to go dancing with a group of girls across the street from the hotel at some place called Nick’s but when I showed up, in my red lipstick, there was no one there.

And frankly.

Hanging out in a bar is not my scene.

Especially not alone.

I turned tail and headed back to my room.

I have a banana to nibble on after I finish my blog tonight and then maybe a little bit of a video to watch.

I’m going to do my best to get some sleep and get up early, take a shower before breakfast and get right back into another long day of classes.

I’m not quite through the midpoint of the intensive and it is for sure living up to the name.

I am, also, quietly proud of myself for showing up, for participating, for actually getting on top of a chair at one point to make a point, it was experiential, I wasn’t trying to be an asshole, and doing the deal.

It’s going to be a lot of work.

A lot.

But I am up for the challenge.

And I will do it in the two-year.

There is a three-year track, but honestly I don’t think it makes it any easier for the student, it just seems to prolong the inevitable work that must be done.

I will do the work.

It will be challenging, it looks to be a lot of reading for each course, tons really, but I feel like I have given myself a good jump on some of it by reading before the intensive, finishing two of the thirteen books that I will have to read and knocking out four articles thus far, plus an hour-long video.

I will keep up.

And I have an idea about what to write about for my first paper.

The first class that I have sat through seems to be well laid out and reasonable.

It will be challenging, but I can see clearly that the last three years and how I worked through the Master’s program will actually be a benefit to me.

I am fairly self-directed and do readings all the time, I write on my own all the time, the practice keeping my pen fresh and alive for me so that when I need to write the papers I can do so without a lot of effort.

I will have to get better acquainted with the universities library system at some point though, I can see that already.

I haven’t much used it, typically going to the books assigned in my classes to write my papers, but at a certain point I will be doing independent research and I will need to have a good working knowledge of the library system.

I have also to sign up for a session with a writing fellow at school.

Not necessarily because I have grammar or even style issues, but one of my classes makes it an assignment to get connected with a fellow and develop a collaborative relationship with said fellow in an effort to get a different perspective on my writing.

I am down with that.

I just need to double back on my syllabus and find out what day I can do that.

I will be juggling a lot of things as I move forward and I can see that I need to be clear in my intent and keep my head down for a while.

I will continue to the best of my ability to show up here at my blog, to show up at my notebook in the morning, to maintain my practices, even when I am tired.

I do know that I will be more flexible with myself than I was in the beginning of my Masters degree when I had to absolutely write every day no matter what, even when it meant getting less sleep.

I’m not so much open to that sacrifice any longer.

Although my sleep here has been a bit rougher than I would like.

I have dreamed the last two nights of my ex.

The first night was a nightmare of getting separated from him and lost and I woke up so shaken from the dream.

Last night was not a nightmare per se, but it was an insightful dream and my fears definitely crept in.

I did a little Jungian dream analysis of it when I a woke and then wrote down the dream later.

I found it helpful.

I have trepidations of sleep now though.

Although, yes, it does appear to be true, I have no roommate!

No one has shown up.

Every time I walk into the room to take a break between lectures or classes I half expect some strange woman to be unpacking and taking over the second bed, but here it is the third night of the intensive and no one is here but me.

It really has been a huge gift.

I can walk to the bathroom naked.

I don’t have to worry about someone else’s schedule.

I can listen to music, read, write, do what I need to do.

Gack out on Craigslist.

It’s not the best idea in the world, but I have been regularly checking the site.

I have e-mailed a few more places, but gotten no response, which may be indicative of the holiday weekend, or that the places have already been rented.

It’s September.

Holy shit.

Two months.

I have about 60 days to find a place.

I’m not worried yet, but I do find myself going on Craigslist more and more.

I made myself get off it earlier and turned my attention to reading through another paper instead.

Like I said, I am pretty good at being self-directed.

To which end I shall now direct myself to wrap this up and wind it down.

I have a full day tomorrow.

Nighty night.

Done!

December 11, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I’m done!

I turned in my last paper.

I attended my last class!

THE SEMESTER IS FINISHED!

This was by far my hardest semester, the most work, my heaviest load of work, the most classes I have carried, and the busiest time I have had in my personal life and work life.

I can’t believe I have made it through.

I was seriously thinking I was going to have a melt down.

Now I’m just a puddle of relief.

A slightly glittery puddle of relief.

I got my Christmas tree!

It was the carrot I used to get myself to come home after the last class wrapped up and do my final paper for Jungian Dream Work.

It took me a little while to get into it, the paper idea I had yesterday was just not being substantiated by the research I had outlined and the reading material I was utilizing.

So.

I wrote a completely different paper than I had thought I was going to write.

But who the hell cares?

I wrote the damn thing.

Seven pages.

2,310 words.

So happy that I got it done.

Especially since the professor had extended the due date by an extra three days so that if we wanted to work on it next weekend the cohort could.

This is a very kind thing that some of the professors will do, as my cohort only attends class on weekends and many of us work during the week.

Which means the majority of us do our homework on the weekends.

The paper was originally due this Friday, which meant, for me at least and a few others, that I would have to write it today, I have clients this week and my full-time job, plus supervision and therapy, no time really other than today to write it.

Then she extended the due date.

And part of me flirted with the idea.

Flirted pretty hard.

With the idea of not doing it until next weekend.

But in the end I knew that I really just wanted to be done.

And I cannot even begin to tell you the relief I felt when I sent that bad boy in.

It was huge.

HUGE.

I’m done.

It is such a big deal.

And it still feels a little surreal.

Five months of super hard work culminated today.

Now a month off.

Not from work, not from clients, but definitely from school.

And I will have a lot of extra down time with my clients, I had a cancellation for this Friday evening and as the days march closer to Christmas I am sure to have a few more folks not be able to make their sessions.

I’ll be taking my birthday evening off from clients, and I may see if I can sneak out a little early from my job too, as well as Christmas Day and New Years Day off.

A couple of three-day weekends, some time to recharge, some time to relax, some time to get to yoga.

It’s been too long.

I had a moment when I thought maybe today I might be able to sneak one in, but my lunch plans went a little longer than I had anticipated and I nixed the thought.

The only thing that matter was writing the paper.

And.

Yes.

Getting my Christmas tree.

Which is stupendous.

I am very, very, very happy with it.

I was like a giddy kid at the tree lot.

And I got a much bigger one than I had been thinking I was going to get, but I said, fuck it, I deserve a great big Christmas tree and I’m going to get it.

I came home and barely got it through the door to my studio.

Heh.

But its gorgeous and I’m so happy that I indulged myself.

I do like Christmas, but I’ve just been way too busy with school to even think much of it.

I got the tree situated, watered it, and strung the lights up.

I turned on some Christmas music, yes I did, I am a dork, shut up, and decorated my little heart out.

My mom had sent me a package of Christmas gifts and I tucked them under the tree and turned off the lights and just smiled.

Happy.

So happy.

I almost don’t mind that I have to get up early to go to supervision tomorrow before work.

Ha.

Almost.

Anyway.

It’s going to be a much less stressful week with the lecture done, God damn, that feels like weeks ago, but really, it was just last Tuesday, and with my classes all finished.

I got some really nice feedback from my last professor and connected with my cohort in a very sweet way today and I feel quite good about how I did.

I am going to predict another straight A semester.

Might be a little too early to say that, but it feels like it.

Oof.

What a semester.

So much going on.

I can barely believe it’s done.

I am going to sleep so well tonight.

I cannot even tell you how well I’m going to sleep.

So well.

Heh.

By the light of my beautiful Christmas tree.

Happy Holidays!

Almost There

December 7, 2017

I knocked out some more school work tonight after I got home from work.

Wednesday nights I don’t see clients and I had the wherewithal after work to not only get laundry done and make a batch of soup for the weekend, but actually to also do the final prep work for my group presentation that is my final project for my Transpersonal class on Saturday.

I got the e-mail announcing the last weekend of the school semester and a note about where my classes will be over the weekend.

I’m so close to being done.

I have a dream reflection paper to write-up yet, but that’s it.

At least for what’s do for the weekend.

One more paper will have to be written.

One more.

And then I can let myself have some holiday fun.

I really do want to get my Christmas tree this Sunday.

I keep seeing trees and holiday stuff and it doesn’t really connect with me yet, I have no time to think about it.

Or I haven’t.

Even though I have gotten a few things here and there and have Christmas cards and stamps and things to wrap and things to send.

I just can’t get to it until after I get my school work finished.

Once the semester wraps I will let myself unwind.

I’m not nearly as wound up as I was last weekend, thank God.

I could not have sustained that level of anxiety for long.

And now that the lecture has been done I have one less thing to think about on my plate.

It was a really sweet thing to get to be a part of and I received a very sweet e-mail from the producers who relayed that once the video is up they will let us know as well as asking that we all get together for a dinner together.

I think that would be very sweet.

Some of the other lecturer’s ducked out quite quickly and I didn’t get to say good night to everyone.

It would be nice to reconnect, have dinner, process the experience and well, just have a nice meal with people I have come to really like and respect.

Really glad I was able to pull it together and get to be a part of it.

I had such a nice response to my piece, all those nice words still are resonating.

Although, softly, and fading quickly as I move towards the weekend.

I have clients tomorrow to contend with so very happy with myself for doing the work on my final group project and getting my household stuff wrapped and taken care of.

I’ll probably do a few more things in the morning too before I go to work, but I’m not going to stress too hard.

I have all my papers in my folder, those that I didn’t already send in via e-mail, and my worksheets that I made as part of my presentation and all my food prepped for the weekend.

I’m basically ready.

Albeit a bit tired.

It’s been a big push to get here.

I am so nearly done.

I keep telling myself that I will be done by Sunday and then I can enjoy myself.

By going right back into work.

Hahahaaha.

Ugh.

That’s the bummer about the weekend of class work, it really means no time off.

I won’t have to go to work, so there’s at least a break in the kind of work I have to do, school work rather than work, work.

But I’ll still have clients.

One tomorrow night and I need to follow-up with that client and see if he wants my earlier slot, my first client tomorrow cancelled.

Friday I also only have one client.

So I’ll at least be done a little early, it was my late client who cancelled, so I’ll be out by a decent hour Friday night for which I’m very grateful for.

There.

I just sent my client a note notifying of the earlier availability.

It would really be nice to be home by 8p.m.

Really nice.

I’ll do client advocacy work if the client doesn’t pick it up, I always have something I can do, but yeah, fingers crossed I can get the earlier time slot filled.

I’d rather get the extra hour at home, at least this week.

Oof.

I am tired.

I totally lost my train of thought.

I may just wrap this up and wind down.

A quick cup of tea and a little snack and off to bed.

I think that is exactly what I will do.

Goodnight.

And.

Sweet dreams.

Really.

The absolute sweetest.

So Fresh and So

November 26, 2017

Clean.

Clean.

My house looks pretty fucking good, let me tell you.

All the laundry done, all the trash and recycling out and swept, swiffered, vacuumed, scrub the bathroom down, tidy the fuck up.

Which means one thing.

Mama had a lot of homework to do today.

My God.

There is no fucking end to it.

Yet.

Me thinks I see a glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh.

The light is far off, but I can sense it getting closer.

I did so, so, so much work today.

My god.

My brain hurt.

Still does, not as much, and hurt might not be the right word, but I was worn out with the material, as I was warned that I might be, but I toughed it out.

I finished all of my Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class.

Huzzah!

But man, it took the stuffing out of me, and I don’t eat stuffing.

Haha.

It was a lot of reading, and a lot of watching some intense videos.

I wrote out responses to five of the sections, I got three out-of-the-way previously.

And I wrote a clinical mock-up of an elder abuse situation and what I would do, from mandatory reporting to clinical interventions and everything in between.

It was a lot of work.

But.

Fuck.

It’s done.

So happy I got all of that out-of-the-way, it really was the big monster in my block of classes.

I also finished all my reading for Transpersonal, which means, drumroll please…

I have no more reading to do for the semester!!

My God.

That feels fabulous.

I am not, however, out of the woods yet.

Tomorrow I have to write two papers.

One will be fairly short, two pages, on a dream I had, it will be my last dream to tun into my Jungian Dreamwork class.

The other will be a bit longer, but not too bad, five pages.

That one will, however, be a bit more formal and honestly despite having finished all the reading for the class I’m not exactly sure where I am going to go with the paper.

I was also in contact with my group today working on our final project presentation that I will be doing the last Saturday of classes.

I’m hoping to knock out both the papers and the group work tomorrow.

And also, if I can swing it, the Psychopharmacology online portion of my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class.

I have a paper in that class due at the end of the semester too and one for my Drugs and Alcohol Class.

Sigh.

That will be for next weekend.

I can get it done though, especially since the Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class is completed.

My God.

One more class done towards my degree.

Which reminds me, I have to register for classes in two days.

In two days I will register for my last semester!

I only have three classes.

It is going to feel miraculous after carrying six classes this semester.

I have only done four classes at once before, this semester was a stretch, and obviously, it’s not done.

OH.

And I still will have a final paper for Jungian DreamWork too, it’s just not due until after the last weekend of classes.

Which is always a conundrum.

Crush that bitch out of the park and get it done before my last weekend of classes, or finish that Sunday when I get out of classes.

Because the damn thing is due on the 15th of December and I’ll be working all that week and of course, seeing clients.

There’s no way I can do two big papers tomorrow and the small one and the online portion of my other class.

No.

I will be a wastrel of a person.

But.

Maybe I can do them next weekend.

Maybe.

If not, maybe I can get it started.

It would mean three papers next weekend.

Sigh.

I got invited out to the movies tonight.

I turned it down.

I got invited out to dinner.

I came home and made my own.

I am going to be over the moon when this semester is done, it will be nice to have a little more wiggle room for social outings and such.

Although I do have breakfast plans with my best friend in the morning.

Super excited for that, really happy to get to have some time before I get into the homework grind.

And if I’m good and grind hard and get a lot of it done, maybe I go to yoga.

Not the regular Vinyasa, nope.

My ankle is doing better, but not that much better, no, I was thinking maybe the Restorative yoga, my brain is going to need some restoring to normality by the time I crank out all the homework I have to do tomorrow.

Grateful I know how to write a paper and grateful for my ability to pull together my notes and book references and make it work.

I can do it.

I have my process and I’ve done the biggest work, which is the reading.

That’s the most important.

I’ll skim through my books, grab a stack of post-it notes and flip through my class notes, I will put together a skeleton of the paper in outline by looking through my materials and see what my common themes are.

Then.

I’ll write that bitch.

It’s five pages, so with prep time, reference time, write time, I am going to give it two and a half hours.

Actually.

That seems too long.

Two hours.

I’ll kick out the dream paper in twenty minutes, I don’t have to write it up with references, it’s just me doing what I do anyway, write what I see in my head, so two pages will be twenty minutes, thirty tops.

So maybe I’ll have all the writing done with in that time.

And that should give me enough room and time to finish the rest of the online material I need, I suspect that will take an hour to two and also writing out an outline and making a worksheet for my final project for Transpersonal.

That will take forty-five minutes.

So.

What am I looking at?

Five hours?

I think I can do that.

Breakfast shenanigans are early so I’ll be in the mix by 10 a.m. like I was today, today I finished at 6 p.m. working pretty much straight through, yes, even when I was cleaning I was doing homework.

I had to watch a few videos, but I will admit, I was listening to some of them while I was cleaning, the material at times was graphic and I found it easier to integrate when I was cleaning and sweeping and washing.

So if all goes as planned I’ll be done by five or so.

I have an hour break at 1p.m. to do some work with a lovely lady and get right with God, a break after that for lunch, and then back in it.

It will get done.

It will.

I can do it.

I can.

Go team go!

Heh.

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.

What I Should Do

November 10, 2017

Versus what I am going to do.

Which is blog.

I should just got to bed, I had a ten-hour work day with the family I nanny for and then I had two clients this evening after work.

I got home 49 minutes ago.

Threw laundry in the dryer, chatted on the phone, threw some food in a pan and ate some dinner.

I should just go to bed.

Right?

I’ve got school tomorrow, a client tomorrow, plans in the evening, more school Saturday, school Sunday, a narrative I have to completely fucking re-write on Sunday for “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture,” I have no days off.

I won’t have a day of for some time yet.

Although.

Whatever.

I will have some day time free coming up soon–the family I nanny for will be out-of-town the 16th through the 26th.

I will have some down time.

I will have plenty to do seeing clients at night, but a lot of my clients are gone for the holiday and I will have off completely, like nothing at all on the books for the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday of Thanksgiving week.

I’ll spend the actual holiday with my person and some fellows here in the city, but aside from that, I will have some big swaths of time off.

So sure.

I’ve got to be up early and I should just go to bed, but, of course, now that I’m home and ensconced in my bunny slippers with some food in my tummy and some water, I feel bright and alert again.

I also had a couple of really good sessions with my clients and there is something so energizing about that, not thinking of myself for an hour, paying close attention to another, being really present and empathetic.

It can be draining and I have had challenging sessions and have felt zapped to bits afterward, but that didn’t happen tonight.

I had the, “I really like being a therapist!” moment again tonight after my last client left.

And I just floated out of my office and zipped home on my scooter.

I’m hoping I can use my scooter tomorrow.

There is some rain forecasted, but I might be able to hit the window.

The rain looks late morning and early afternoon.

If I can get to school before it hits I should be in class longer than the predicted rain, thus allowing me to get out after the rain and get to my internship.

I have just one client tomorrow and I am coordinating an earlier session time with her so that I might just maybe have a few minutes to do some homework and some grocery shopping, because God only fucking knows when I will get to it otherwise.

I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will allow me to ride.

I just get here and there and around so much faster, it’s so efficient.

Although, I hate riding in the rain and I won’t ride if I get up tomorrow and it’s raining.

I’ll either take the train in or grab a car.

I want to get up early too and get in a shower and shave and pack up my stuff.

I will probably be taking my laptop with me so that I can do some work on it.

I don’t like doing that, but I also will have time between the end of my classes in the afternoon and whenever my client rolls in.

I may have two hours and that’s a lot of homework reading to whip through.

And a good deal of the reading I have left to do is online.

Which I do not like, but that’s what it is.

I can hardly even believe that I’m in class tomorrow, it feels surreal.

I have not been anxious, oh, a little, I always am a tiny bit before the weekend of classes commences, but nothing like it was before.

I know I can get through the weekend on slight sleep.

I know that I just have to show up.

I know that I need to participate.

But ultimately.

My focus is on my personal life, my work life, and my clients.

I am not really as wrapped up in the school work and the class room time and my weeks are full so that the time in between class weekends seems to have gone by quite quickly.

After this weekend I will have one more weekend of classes and then the semester is over!

That is the best.

Then.

Oh.

One more semester.

In which I will only have three classes, as opposed to the SIX I have now.

Did you know that?

I’m running six classes, working full to over time hours at my job and seeing 8 clients a week.

I am amazed that I have gotten to have any time for play.

But it sneaks in there.

I get brief little blissful moments.

Kisses of time.

Nibbles of passion and sweetness.

Not enough.

No.

Not enough by far.

But enough to sustain.

Just get me through this semester I keep telling myself, I can do this, just get through this semester.

Life will not always be at this pace and I will find more time for myself and my pursuits.

I don’t want to work hard to just work hard all the time.

I want to connect.

I want to dance cheek to cheek.

I want to sleep in.

I mean.

Maybe that’s a stretch.

How about I want to sleep 8 hours.

That would be hella sexy.

I want to read a book that is not psychology related.

I mean.

How nice would that be?

All the things on my mind.

No wonder I am not ready to go to bed right now.

And you know.

That’s ok.

I’ll get rest.

(when I’m dead)

When I want something badly enough.

I will get it.

I know what I need.

I have a lot of clarity around that recently.

I think I understand.

Love.

That’s all I need.

And a little self-knowledge.

It goes a long fucking way.

Seriously.

 

 

Hot Bowl of Soup

November 8, 2017

Cookies baking in the oven.

I needed some comfort time when I got home.

Cookies are not for me to eat, but I had some left over dough from making cookies last week and I figured I might know a person who would like them.

I think I just wanted my oven on.

It’s cold outside kids.

I was going to call this blog, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, but I think I already have a blog, maybe even two with that exact title.

So, Hot Bowl of Soup it is.

Self-care.

I needed some.

I just got exhausted today.

I don’t know why exactly, I felt pretty damn good most of the day.

I did a lot of work in therapy, so there’s that, sometimes the sessions can be big or cover big stuff and I will have well, not exactly an emotional hang over, but a touch of tenderness about me the rest of the day.

I also, I swear it’s true, think that my boss was exhausted and it sort of rubbed off on me at the end of the day.

Plus the kids had really big energy and it felt like it took a lot for me to be present and accountable.

I made a nice dinner for the family, spaghetti carbonara, roasted chicken legs, spinach salad with roasted pears, bacon, Toma cheese, roasted almonds, and roasted garlic sweet potato coins.

The cooking helps me to connect with my charges and also, puts a sort of ending on the day before I head off to see my clients at my internship.

I suspect that the barrage of client e-mails at the end of my day did not help either.

I got a lot of incoming e-mails right at the end of the day and juggling making dinner, wrangling the baby and coordinating with the mom for a big play date tomorrow and an early start to my day on Thursday and I just got smacked with overwhelm.

I had a hard time shaking it off.

But I managed to scrape myself up and get to my internship and I felt much better after my first session.

Which was a phone session.

My first one.

Not my first choice, but rather that than nothing and I can count a phone session towards my hours, although only to a certain degree, it’s called Telemedicine and you can only accrue about 375 hours of it.

I don’t dislike it.

But I don’t like it as much as face to face therapy.

So much is missed over the phone, I can’t see my clients expression or body language, a lot gets lost.

Then again, I think that the phone allowed my client to open up about a few things that it might have taken a few more face to face sessions to get to.

Never the less.

I felt better after getting off the phone session.

I feel better after doing therapy sessions, I can tell I have been of service and spending an hour focused on someone other than myself is really helpful.

Then I got the sweetest damn message in a text and my whole night got turned around.

It’s pretty amazing and it was unexpected and I felt light and buoyant and loved and I knew I would make it through my last session and get home and have a hot meal and I would be ok.

And voila!

I am.

I even rallied some energy up to do a load of laundry and suss out a few more things for school.

Because.

Oh yeah.

I have school this weekend.

So there’s that too.

Trying to get all my reading done before classes.

I did manage to finish my Jungian Dream Work reading assignment, and I turned in the paper on Sunday, plus I got into my Transpersonal reading and I finished my Drug and Alcohol reading.  I’m a bit behind on my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality reading, but have at least dipped into so that I’m not completely at a loss when class rolls around on Friday.

I also had a client cancel on Friday so I can take that time and do a little bit of catch up there.

I will have the next couple of days and get done what I get done and not fret too hard about what I can’t finish.

I typically do manage to get it in or damn close to it.

I have been a lot less on my phone during the day, taking Facebook off it was one of the best decisions ever, and I’ve been assiduously reading when ever I can.

I got nearly an hour in at work today.

A half hour at lunch then another stretch on the train and in the school yard waiting for my charges to finish up with school.

If I keep that up I’ll be sitting pretty damn good come Friday.

And tomorrow will not be as draining, I’ll get some sleep, I’ll have a good day at work, the play date I’m managing happens to be with one of my previous charges and I just adore him to bits, it will be special to have some time with him.

And I’ll get out a little early to hit up group supervision and then go to the deal with my people.

See and be seen by those I need and love.

Grateful to have hot food in my tummy, warm bunny slippers on my feet, and the cookies, although not for me, smell delicious and it’s nice to be cozy in my home.

I am really grateful for what I have.

My life is good.

I love.

And.

I am loved.


%d bloggers like this: