Posts Tagged ‘client’

Sneaky Work

August 15, 2017

It’s Monday.

The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.

I bounce out of bed, turn on the lights, run to the loo.

Brush teeth, wash face, wander naked to the kitchen, I sleep in the nude, yes, indeed the first ten minutes of my morning are bare ass, drink a glass of water, take three vitamin supplements–iron, glucosamine chondrotin, Flax seed oil, then I go make my bed.

After that I get dressed, put on my shoes, watch, and pull out the layers I plan on wearing.

Hello.

It’s August in San Francisco.

Best to have at least three layers.

Cardigan, sweatshirt, scooter riding jacket.

I lay them out on the bed and then go do my morning reading and say some prayers and ask for some direction and then.

Breakfast!

Today was oatmeal with banana and figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa and unsweetened coconut/almond milk; 1 hard-boiled egg and an unsweetened almond milk latte.

While said food items are busy boiling, cooking, and frothing, I pack my lunch for work and whatever homework and internship paperwork, texts, and syllabi I need for the day.

Today it was solo supervision, so definitely needed my pink glitter notebook.

Who says grad school has to be all seriousness.

Glitter makes it better.

Trust me.

I also packed my Jungian dream book, even though my brain said, what’s the point?

There’s not a spare minute to do reading today.

But, from experience, this is not true.

Times when I think I am going to have hours of reading, I don’t and days when I think, I couldn’t possibly spare thirty seconds to look at a paragraph, I suddenly have unexpected time.

Life happens.

All the time.

That’s what life does.

But.

I find these weird, sweet, odd pockets of time and that’s when I use Stephen King’s advice.

And if you don’t think reading Stephen King is a highly psychological endeavor you’re not reading his works very well.

Anyway.

He wrote this awesome little book a while back, non-fiction, called “On Writing” and it gives his basic formula for what he does and his routine.

First.

He reads.

A lot.

And not his stuff, but everyone else.

His biggest suggestion and one that I took very much to heart, especially after starting grad school, is, carry a book with you at all times.

You never know when you may get stuck in a line or your appointment gets pushed back, or you’re riding the train or the bus or the subway.

I notice most folks these days are looking at their phones.

I read my homework for school if I have down time.

And like I said, I often have a snatch of it when I least expect it.

Today it happened at supervision.

My supervisor lost his keys and had to run home to get the replacement set.

So, my session was cut a little short but, hey!

I have my Jungian Dream Work class text-book.

Whip it out!

I knocked out another couple of pages.

And very glad for it.

I got another text-book in the mail today and I have it already packed in my travel bag for tomorrow, along with the Jungian book, I doubt very much I’ll actually have time to read the two chapters for the class I still need to kick through and have time to get into the next text I have assigned myself.

But.

Well.

You never know.

I just don’t anyway.

Another thing King recommends is that you write everyday.

Yup.

I do that too.

Before I head out.

And when I get home in the evening.

Sometimes I am still not sure how that all happens.

I do the morning writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks from Paris, or whatever notebook I have handy.  I of course have a preference, but I will write on anything.

Although I hate recycled notebooks, the quality of the paper is ass.

I write three pages long hand.

I write about what I’m doing, the things that happened the day before that I don’t write about in my blog

Oh.

Haha.

There’s a few things that I do not write about here.

That all gets covered and rehashed and processed in the morning writing.

The evening, this, my blog, I am also pretty damn consistent.

I used to be super anal about it and I couldn’t not write every day.

That’s eased up a little in recent years.

Years, I say, I have been writing this blog for so long.

Seven, eight years.

I have over 2,200 blogs posted.

And that’s after two different scrubbing sessions where I probably deleted a couple hundred blogs just to make sure I wasn’t leaving a thumbprint or, yes, I had said something unkind about someone in my life.

Typically a boss.

Occasionally a bad date.

Ooh, man I had some bad date blogs.

Which I stopped doing when a blind date stumbled on a blog I wrote, I’m thinking he probably stalked me a bit, let’s be real, and sent me a text which said, “I read your blog.”

Ack.

I had to delete it and make an amends.

I swallowed that pride, deleted the blog, called him, he answered, and apologized.

That was an uncomfortable conversation.

But.

Better than the alternative.

It still was an awful date, but I had said some pretty not so nice things.

I learned my lesson, words can cut deep and it’s not my business to malign.

I stopped writing anything about other people and really tried from that point forward to keep the focus on myself.

I have plenty of flaws I can poke fun at, I don’t need to point out anyone else’s.

So.

That’s the writing routine for the day.

The rest of today looked like work, cooking for the family, doing the baby’s laundry, lots of bouncing around with the baby–he’s teething horribly–playing race cars with the oldest boy and letting the little lady watch Frozen, since she wasn’t feeling well.

I was supposed to go to my internship today and see a client.

But.

She cancelled.

So.

After work I zoomed to the grocery store and picked up some staples and then zipped over the hill to 7th and Irving and hit up the spot, got right with God and got home.

Garbage, recycling, compost out to the curb as a favor to the landlady who is traveling, check the mail, another text-book from school!

I know, it’s exciting, right?

Reviewed my calendar, personal, work, and internship, printed off some forms–I have a new client consult at the internship tomorrow, and ate some dinner.

Checked e-mails, popped over to my “Track My Hours” my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) approved MFT hours tracker, and added in my hour of supervision from the morning.

And um.

That’s the day.

Not exactly exciting.

But really full.

Hell I even snuck in a trip to the bank and the post office to return a package in between supervision and work, and a run to Walgreens for some more school supplies–two packs of my favorite pens and a new pink folder.

Because.

Pink.

It’s a lot.

But.

It’s a gift.

This life, my life, getting to be this person who is busy and of service, getting to learn how to be a better therapist, advocating for my self-care, taking time to do my own writing, eating well, being kind, just living.

Life is going to happen and I can choose to look at it as a grind.

Or.

Fuck.

I can say, look at my amazing life!

I live in San Francisco for fuck sake.

I have such a bounty of gratitude for what I have.

It awes me every day.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Really.

I am.

A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

Push Button Baby

August 1, 2017

I saw a couple on the side of the road as I zoomed down Lincoln Way frantically trying to kick over the starter on a vintage Vespa.

I chuckled to myself.

The old Vespas look so fucking cool.

I know.

I used to have one.

It was such a pretty girl.

But.

Man.

It was such a hassle to get it started or it would conk out on me out of the blue.

Like coming down Laguna Honda in the fog going 40 miles an hour.

I got tired of that really fast.

That.

And the freaking horrifying sprained ankle that I got when the kick starter jammed and I folded my ankle in half.

That was no fun.

Months, years really, of healing.

The doctor was shocked it wasn’t broken and then told me it was too bad it wasn’t since the sprain is slower to heal and how badly I had injured it I would be lucky if it was healed fully in a year and a half.

He was right.

It took that much time to heal.

Actually closer to two years, if I’m honest, I had to be really careful and there were times when I could feel it was still injured.

It put a bad taste in my mouth for every having something vintage like that again.

Truth too.

I wasn’t prepared for the amount of maintenance and well, it turned out it was a knock off Vespa, despite the registration issued from the DMV, it was a knock off Vietnam Vespa and no body in town would touch it to repair it.

So.

I got rid of it.

I had it recycled.

I got it off the road.

I wasn’t going to be responsible for someone else getting injured on it and when the mechanics at the shop told me all the issues with it I was shocked that I hadn’t hurt myself more on it, I could have easily crashed it out.

Granted.

There were some gleeful moments on it when someone would pull up to me on it at a light and chat with me about it, the scooter really was well done, no one had a clue it was fake.

Certainly not I.

I was a tiny bit bamboozled you could say.

Any way, that’s an old story and not the point.

The point is.

Thank fucking god for my scooter.

I live in the Outer Sunset.

I work in Glen Park.

My internship is in the Mission.

My school is in the SOMA.

I have supervision in Hayes Valley.

And.

Therapy in Noe Valley.

I have to get all over the city.

And the scooter is quick.

Of course, I do have some anxiety about what will happen when the fall comes and the rains that generally come with the fall.

I will either have to get used to wet weather riding or figure something else out.

I can ride in the rain.

I have done it.

I do not like it, but it’s doable.

I was talking to my friend yesterday as she was getting the last of her household packed up for travels back to France and she looked at me and said, “drive safe poulette (her term of endearment for me–sexy girl, although literal translation is chicken, I like to think of it as “chick” or chickadee), maybe it’s time you got a car.”

Yeah.

There’s that.

Aside from the fact that it would be handy to go to Burning Man.

Heh.

Still haven’t gotten a ride yet, still hedging my bets with a rental, but that too is beside the point.

I don’t know what exactly the point is.

I haven’t had a car for over a decade.

I got rid of mine two weeks after moving here in 2002.

Fuck.

Nearly fifteen years with no car.

Lots of bicycles.

And two scooters.

I do like my scooter and I do so appreciate getting around on it.

I just have time concerns now that I didn’t have before.

I mean.

My schedule has always been full, but then I added in graduate school and graduate school added in an internship and um, ha, since, I’m a therapist in training, I have to be on time for my clients.

I get done with work at 6p.m. and I have clients at 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and I have been assigned a new client to see on Fridays now at 6:30p.m.

My first child client!

Bring on the child and family hours!

Ahem.

I digress.

This whole blog is a digression.

Sometimes when I don’t want to write about what I want to write about, I can go off on tangents.

Shadrach.

Scooter accident.

Dead.

Today.

10 years.

I had a little contact with his mom today after she posted a photo of visiting his grave.

Add onto that saying goodbye yesterday to my darling French friend.

Great recipe for sadness.

I felt heavy with it this morning when I left my house to go meet with my supervisor.

I got to Hayes Valley early and had a fifteen minute window so I called my person and shared about it and he said, “you sound sad,” and there it was, the sad, the heaviness in me, it was sadness.

Tears welled up and spilled down my face.

Yup.

Sad.

So we made a plan to meet at a church in the Inner Sunset after I got out of supervision.

It was so good.

I got right with God.

Then we went for tea at Tart to Tart and had a good session.

We sent my friend from Paris a good-bye photo of the two of us having tea, my face a little wet with tears, and my person smiling to beat the band, ugh, not all selfies are sexy.

Ha.

Oh.

Sadness.

I had my cry though and things began to shift.

I came home, made a nice lunch and then did some school work.

Because.

It’s that time.

I have two syllabi posted up and I checked them out and ordered books for class.

I sighed and realized I was pretty burnt out with the emotions.

And I decided.

You know what?

Nap.

I need a nap.

And that’s what I did.

It was perfect.

I had a little rest then got up, prepped some food for dinner and I could feel the sad had moved out of my body.

I got my things together and hopped back on my scooter, went to my internship, dealt with progress notes and paperwork and then saw a client.

By the time my session ended I was feeling great.

So nice that.

Go.

Be of service.

Feel better.

I scooted home.

Zipped by the park, rode the curves of Lincoln Way, smelled the bonfires at Ocean Beach and though it was cold and a bit foggy, I felt lifted, carried, loved.

I miss you Shadrach.

But.

You would be pretty proud of me.

Ten years.

You think the grief would have gone out of my body, but sometimes it is still there and needs expressing.

I’m grateful I didn’t squash it.

I just had it.

And I’m grateful for the emotions.

I get to have them.

Feelings.

It means I am alive.

And after all the death I have been witness to.

Well.

That’s a fucking miracle.

So glad I still get to be around.

Happy.

Joyous.

Alive.

And.

Free.

Small Steps

July 28, 2017

Add up.

I keep telling myself that as I slowly start tracking my hours for my MFT license.

I also reiterated that to myself and an old friend that I had the pleasure of catching up with today over coffee and lunch in Hayes Valley.

We hadn’t seen each other in years and it was like old times.

And yes.

We’ve gotten older.

And older is all I’m going to get.

I don’t mind.

I like myself more and more.

I feel like I am entering my prime, not exiting it.

I have so very much to live for and I am so grateful that I have carved out this life here in San Francisco.

I don’t have to think about how long it will take to get my hours, I will get my hours, it will happen, the time will pass and one day it will be a story that I tell someone else who is beginning the process.

Things take time.

Sometimes things happen quickly, they fall into place, and there is a beauty and grace to it.

I am often reminded of what a very wise woman said to me years ago, “if it’s meant to be you can’t fuck it up and if it’s not meant to be, you can’t manipulate it into happening.”

My career path is like that.

For the longest time I tried this and that and the other to make it as a creative.

A writer.

A poet.

Maybe a screen writer, I certainly had and do have some interesting ideas for movies, but nothing panned out.

Oh.

Sure.

I have this, my blog, and it’s panned out fantastically, I throw my stuff at the screen in front of me, I process my day, I get things out, I figure it out mostly by not figuring it out, but by taking the creative action of just showing the fuck up here consistently.

But.

I have never really made it as a writer.

Not that I’m not a writer.

I’m fucking writing right now.

I’m good.

I’m not great.

But I would hazard that I am better than plenty of folks that do get published.

Perhaps it’s that I don’t understand how to submit, or that I don’t submit the right stuff or that I am not as good as I believe, it’s beyond me is what I’m saying.

One day it may not be.

Today it is and suffice to say.

I don’t give a flying fuck.

I love writing.

I love poetry.

I love expressing myself.

And this is my medium.

I don’t write for an audience.

Oh.

Sure.

Sometimes I may be addressing you, sometimes things sneak in and there’s a message between the lines, I won’t say that there’s not.

But I do really do the writing for myself.

But it’s not a career.

The dividends that have paid off are vast and varied, the people who I have met because of my blog, the things I have done, the experiences I have had, especially when my blog was a little more public, were and have been astounding.

Too many to list here.

However.

Most of the time the pay off has not been cash money.

In some round about ways, though, it has paid off more than handsomely.

I expressed to my friend today that I am often a bit ridiculed, or teased, ridiculed seems a harsher word than the poking fun I get from my cohort, for how fast I can write papers for class.

It really hasn’t been too much to sit down and knock out a big paper in one sitting, in a few hours.

If I have an idea of what I am writing, if I have done my research, taken good notes and done my reading for the class, I can crank it out.

I can do that because I do this, consistently, my rate of typing is fast.

I haven’t timed it in a long time, but it does seem that my thoughts fly from my brain and to my fingers quite quickly.

I will publish, I know that.

I will publish poems.

I will publish essays.

I will publish my memoir, although it needs severe re-writing.

It may not be the book I originally wrote.

But it will have the skeleton of the manuscript, I am sure of that.

My writing goals have not been met, but they will be, I am sure of that.

When isn’t important.

And I will publish psychology papers.

In some odd sort of twist that may be where I find my first publications, I don’t know exactly, but I do think that I will find that as an avenue for my work.

I have had great reviews of my school papers and I think with some tweaking I could probably submit some of those papers to psychology publications.

Who knows.

I just know that it will happen.

And I’m fine with the process being what it is.

I don’t have to manipulate it into happening and I can’t fuck it up.

Unless I stop.

Which right now seems impossible.

I have stories and stories and stories.

All the words.

There are so many.

So beautiful, like birds on a wire, like the scattershot of sunshine sparkling from the froth of waves, like the way love endears itself further into my heart when I am least expecting it.

My friend and I parted ways and I reflected as I got on my scooter and headed over to my job, my day job, that I have it pretty motherfucking good.

I do.

I have discovered many things about myself in the dozen or so years my friend and I have known each other and they all seem to have played beautiful and rich into the hand that I have been dealt.

I am on the path and in the place I am meant to be.

“You look amazing,” he said.

And you know what?

I feel amazing.

I think that shows.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

Sunshine

July 19, 2017

I’m listening to an old Mike Doughty album of covers, The Flip Is Another Honey.

It just seemed appropriate.

I feel sunny.

I had a super yummy day.

Literally.

I cooked some good food today.

I had a first stab at recreating a dish I had yesterday at Samovar by Yerba Buena Gardens.

I had gone there for lunch with a darling friend who I don’t get to see very often anymore, we used to meet up on a weekly basis and now, well, between my schedule and hers, it’s more like once every couple of months.

However.

Thanks to the time off from my day job, I was able to go with her to the MOMA yesterday.

We saw the Edward Munch show.

It was good.

Dark as fuck.

But.

Um, that’s Munch.

There were also some super sexy, lush paintings that I hadn’t really known were in the artists oeuvre.

I was impressed and it was a good show.

My favorite artist?

Nope.

But nice to have some exposure to his work and I love going to the MOMA.

We had coffee in the cafe and got caught up on life.

Then we went to the 7th floor of the museum and wandered through the sound installation, which was super intriguing, but made me feel bad for any kid that might wander through, the desire to touch and tinker with the little wooden machines and instruments would have been too much temptation for my little paws when I was younger.

I was, however, able to restrain myself.

The part of the exhibit that really got me though was a room full of video screens with a synchronized song that was being played by six or seven different artists in different rooms of an old mansion in upstate New York.

It was so well done.

I was stunned and moved and completely captivated by it.

I got the chills and was dreamy and in reverence.

I love art.

I love it when I am surprised by beauty.

I love music.

And the two were just the most elegant conceptualization and moving amongst the screens and seeing how well synched the videos were and the sound was arranged so that there were speakers not just for each screen but also in the ceiling above.

It was like literally being inside the song.

I get a little shiver thinking about it.

Of course.

I stood the longest in front of the screen with the woman playing the cello.

I have such a soft spot for cello and again it went through me, time, soon, when, I don’t know, but it is there, that longing, get a cello again, practice when, fuck if I know, but do it, get lessons, start again, start again, start again.

I have enough on my plate.

But I do dream on it once in a while.

I also recognize that I was so lucky to have had the cello when I had the instrument in my life, that I was given an inordinate gift beyond any comprehension that I can now just barely muster.

I got to play the cello for four sweet, stirring, amazing years.

How many people can say that?

It was a gift and I love classical music and Bach’s preludes can make me inflamed, like I have to go buy a cello NOW, as can the passion of Chopin, although I feel his music is more piano than string, and Debussy, ack, be still my heart, Claire de Lune?  Please.

Exquisite.

So much music.

So much joy.

That’s what I felt like today.

Suffused with joy.

Sometimes soft.

Sometimes furious with passion.

I am so alive.

Even the little mundane things I did today, laundry, cooking, making check in phone calls, taking out the trash, they all were filled with this light and I just felt a glow.

I also felt full.

I ate well today.

And my tummy seems back to normal.

Yesterday, as I mentioned earlier, I had a dish at Samovar that I replicated this morning.

It was their Salmon Egg Bowl.

Brown rice, smoked salmon, poached eggs, sauerkraut, and ginger soy dipping sauce.

I took a few liberties and made one mistake.

I over poached the eggs.

One of my liberties was to poach my eggs in Miso broth, which did not give me a clear broth and I couldn’t see the egg white form on the egg, I don’t normally time things when I cook and I should have just timed the eggs.

They ended up being soft/medium boiled.

Not horrid.

But I missed getting that super creamy yolk that would have pulled the whole thing together.

The other liberty I took was to add pickled ginger and sliced pickling cucumber, the cucumbers weren’t pickled, but just the tiny little ones they use to make pickles, so fresh they added a nice clool brightness to the salt brine of the sauerkraut and the richness of the salmon.  I also used turmeric spiced brown rice, to give the rice color and I thought the plate was actually quite pretty.

It was not great.

But.

It was good.

It will be better the next time I make it.

I also roasted some asparagus, still going through the asparagus my employer gave me last week, wrapped in bacon.

Mmmm.

Bacon.

That was breakfast.

A slight departure from my normal oatmeal and fruit and hard-boiled egg, but a welcome one.

Once and a while I get to shake it up.

For lunch I roasted a chicken with a salt and pepper crust and made brown rice.

Nice and simple.

And that’s what I had for dinner.

With, ha, um, some more asparagus.

Heh.

I think I will pull the chicken and shred it up and make a cream of asparagus soup with brown rice and chicken.

That will “kill” the asparagus.

Otherwise I don’t think I will be able to finish it up before it goes bad and its a shame to waste asparagus.

And in between the cooking and the tasks I saw people I love.

I connected with fellows.

I sat in a cafe in Noe Valley and reconnected to my people, two back to back.

And I had a really good therapy session.

Also up in Noe Valley.

I was supposed to have a client after all my meetings and sessions in Noe, but it was cancelled by the client and I found myself able to quickly zip up and over the hill and hit the Inner Sunset and get right with God at Irving and 7th.

Such an unexpected gift.

Ran into some folks I hadn’t seen in a while and got my God on.

A damn fine day.

I really, really am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

Especially since I am a therapist in training, although, let me tell you, I felt like a therapist today, seeing clients, filing paperwork, checking all the boxes, circling all the things that needed to be circled and doing the work.

I can get super caught up in how much longer this road is and how the hell am I ever, I mean, ever, going to get 3,000 hours, but I can’t, I just can’t focus on that.

One hour at a time.

Fortunately I have some practice living a day at a time and when I reflect on how those days add up and all my accomplishments have come in small increments, but come they have, then I don’t have to get too caught up in the numbers.

It’s just a numbers game and I’m doing it the best I can as fast as I can without killing myself in the process.

I mean.

I still have to process all my own stuff, plus carrying around my clients in my head.

I do that now.

I have them in my head and sometimes I will think about them and once in a while I have a momentary flash, a connection, a thought or feeling and a little aha moment, that feels pretty special.

But.

Yes.

I do have to process my own stuff too, I have to look at my own emotional life sift through the chafe and dander and see what is needing to seen and what is needing to be let go.

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

On and off all day, with one really big cry in the evening when I was talking with my person on the phone and going over the shock of what had happened and how the death of my friend had not just hit me, but many others, the numbers of people who showed up to be present for each other and for the family of the deceased was extraordinary.

Not to mention all the people in so many other places he had affected, who’s lives he had touched–Portland, Seattle, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Oakland.

Gah.

I can hear him saying “West Oakland” in my head and such joy at his goofiness suffuses me.

For he was joyful.

Oh sure, sad and fucked up and scared and young and insecure, who hasn’t been those things, but also bright and kind and funny and so there for you and warm and sweet and musically talented.

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

Seeing all the pictures, all the photographs, all the expressions of heartbreak, my social media feed was just awash in tears and sadness.

I really had to not look after a while.

And I knew when I woke up having felt puffy eyed and sluggish and a bit off kilter that I wasn’t going to allow myself to wallow in the emotionalism of social media.

I needed coffee, some ibuprofen, and a good breakfast.

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

And as I expressed to my therapist today after plopping down on her couch and telling her I was going to cry and then immediately doing so, I also realized that some, a lot of the emotion I had in my body, on my heart, in my head, was not mine.

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

So I talked it out, processed it, linked it to other things, made traverses, expressed emotions, cried a lot in the beginning, but by the middle of my session I was going other places.

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

I am a work in progress, people, don’t expect perfection, I am far, far, far from perfect.

But.

I am loving and kind and sweet, I would hazard.

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

Sometimes too much and I get overextended and I give too much, I have been trained well in that way of life, being my mom’s caretaker, taking care of my sister, my oldest niece, an ex-boyfriend of five years who might as well have been my mother for all the caretaking he required, but I have grown a lot.

Oh, so fucking much.

And I know when I need to caretake and when the other person needs to do the job their own damn self.

And there’s no irony that I am in the care taking profession.

A. I am a nanny, I care take all day long.

B. I am a psychotherapist.

But it’s not my job to care take as a therapist and that’s a really intriguing thing for me.

I am also not there to make my client feel better, to sugar coat, or to shoo away uncomfortable feelings.

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

I like to look at them as signposts, directions, “hey this thing you do, it doesn’t work for you.”

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

They are signs that the way things are going, the tools being used for living, well they might not be working so well.

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

I remember the first time I did a line of good blow.

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

And I was fine with the way those answers were conveyed and I rather scoffed at a friends warning that perhaps I like that drug a little more than was perhaps healthy.

Um.

Yeah.

But when those solutions failed I had to find a better way, a different way and there was depression there and there was anxiety and all sorts of other juicy psychological terms and conditions.

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

I won’t tell that to a client, they have to find their own way, I think that I am a mirror, an attachment figure, a person who can and will have to withstand the disappointments and anger and discomfort of others so that they can learn how to use that information and devise their own solution.

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

Just like alcohol, ultimately, and every other drug I took, weren’t for symptom relief.

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

And today when I walked out of my therapist office I felt a lightness and a joy.

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

I have so much joy and passion in my life, such happiness, I felt light and though there is still sadness for the loss of this beautiful person, I have also a deeper connection to how alive I want to be and how alive I am allowed to be.

To be alive, in this moment, sober, and free.

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

Moved beyond words for my experiences and this amazing place I have been lead to.

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

Bubble Wrap

July 4, 2017

And it’s being razor bladed off you.

Sometimes my supervisor has a way with words that astounds me.

I like to consider myself a writer, perhaps having a bit of a way with words, at times, I am definitely wayward, so there is that too.

But.

Man.

He knocked it out of the park today.

“It’s like this, you’re a brand new therapist, you’re still being taken out of the bubble wrap and they are razor blading it off you,” he paused, “you are getting overwhelmed and you need time to acclimated all the things that you are getting from your clients.”

He paused, straightened the hem on his pants, a tic sometimes that I’m not sure he’s aware of when he’s collecting his thoughts, like someone taking off their glasses to polish them when they want to find the right words to tell you you’re about to get fired.

Then he continued, “you are getting a lot from you clients, you are having some extraordinary insights, I’m not going to deny that, but you need some boundaries around it so you can assimilated all the information.”

I know what he is saying.

I was surprised last week when I got tossed as many clients as I did.

“Hey!  I’m new! I don’t have the chops yet!  Wait a minute, please,” I remember thinking and I also called into my person who tagged me out.

“You are overwhelmed and they are giving you too much and you need to push back,” he told me, “I can hear it in every message you are leaving, it’s great you’re a therapist and you’ve got skills, but you are absolutely overwhelmed.”

He was right.

And.

By grace, by God, by luck, what have you, I was granted small reprieves here and there and pockets of time that I was able to fall in, be held in, like the big oversized European chairs in my employers house.

Sometimes when I get a break, when the kids are not around, when the baby is sleeping, when the mom is off at her office or running errands and I am not in class and needing to catch up on my reading, I will sit in one of the chairs and stare out the big plate-glass windows of the back wall–it’s an entire wall, ceiling to floor (and it’s a high ceiling over twelve feet, probably fourteen foot high) of windows, one side of the house to the other.

I can see the entire downtown skyline.

I can see the Bay Bridge.

But most of the time I look at the tops of the trees, the scudding clouds, the blue of the sky.

Sometimes I will listen to music.

Sometimes I will just sit quietly.

But I always look at that sky and it replenishes me, the blue, the depths of it, the calling of calmness that comes over me.

I feel serene and there have been times, rare, but they have happened, when I can sit for a half hour.

Most of the time I get five, ten minutes.

And a lot of the time.

I don’t get any at all, not since the kids have been out of school.

The baby and I hang out more and more, oh my God his smiles when he sees me, melting.

I joked earlier today with the mom that it was the warm smell of baby that was the reason my clients are re-booking with me.

Re-booking.

I have three clients now that all have had more than two sessions and are continuing to schedule with me.

And the one client who has requested me.

I haven’t been assigned to him yet, so I don’t know the outcome, but my peers in group supervision seemed very positive about it.

If I have hours available, which I do, and the client request me, I let the assistant director and the director know and hopefully I will get that client.

It was actually that specific client that led my supervisor to put down his foot.

We had only gotten to discuss two of my cases and when I got into the details of what this new client was going through I thought for a minute he was going to throw down his notepad and call up my internship and scold them.

He collected himself and then talked to me about being a brand new therapist and how I was still opening and learning and how it shouldn’t be forced.

I shouldn’t be getting razor bladed out of my protective wrapping quite so fast.

I felt a mighty respect for the man and his consideration of me and my abilities but also in his protectiveness.

It also means that there was nothing wrong with me feeling overwhelmed last week.

I was.

Simple.

There have been times though when I have been all, “I got this,” and maybe I do and maybe I’m faking it until I make it, but generally I do pull it the fuck off and I do well and I am a good therapist.

I mean.

I am learning like fucking crazy, my instincts are really good and I’m able to track my clients and what they are sharing really well.

I know I surprised my client today with my recall of our session, and also that I was able to build some trust, I’m listening, I’m there, I’m empathetic.

I also don’t want to be overwhelmed and I want to show up and be of service.

I have a routine that works really well for me now that I know how long it takes for me to get from work to my internship.

I get done with work, use the bathroom, refresh my lip gloss, step out of my nanny shoes, literally, put on my therapist shoes, today a pair of Fluevogs, my “Leader” black stacked heel Mary Janes, and collect my bags and my files and hop on my scooter.

I get to the internship, lock down the scooter, take my basket bag out of the basket, key into the building and take the elevator.

I pray on the way up.

I breathe.

I open my office door, depending on what day of the week it is I am in a different office.

I pull my client file, review my notes, look over my supervision notes, tidy the room, hang my jacket, secure my purse and then pray again, to carry the message, not the mess, to be of service, to be helpful to be a good therapist.

I look at my phone and make sure that the volume is turned off.

And I put it away.

I always make sure that I have five minutes to breathe and sit and be settled in my chair.

The phone rings.

I buzz in my client.

I give them a minute to get to my floor, I put the Please Do Not Disturb, Session in Progress, sign on my door and go client my client.

And like that.

I’m a therapist.

Sometimes overwhelmed.

But mostly.

Vastly.

Amazingly grateful.

To be doing this work.

To be of service.

To serve.

I am so grateful.

Even when I am overwhelmed.

It passes and the gratitude washes over me and I know.

I am held and carried.

God didn’t bring me this far to drop me on my ass.

I don’t think so.

I’m just beginning.

There is so much to learn.

Just one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time.

Living in this present.

The gift.

My gift.

This thing that keeps giving.

This love.

This grace.

This life.

It is not mine to command.

But only to serve.

May I do so with continuous grace.

And no small amount of humility.

May it be enough.

As I know.

Know.

That I am enough.

 

Exhilarated

July 1, 2017

Holy shit.

That was an amazing session.

And.

It was just a consult.

But it was more than a consult, we got into it.

My client, see, I am already calling the client mine, requested that we work together moving forward.

I do have openings.

But as I don’t know the exact way the internship assigns clients I’m not sure if I request the client or that the client does that to the assistant director and the director, who decide who works with whom.

The client and I definitely made a connection and as I mentioned it went beyond just an initial intake and the hour flew by.

I was surprised that I hadn’t even once looked at the clock, it just was so full, the session.

I did tell the client that the assistant director would contact him within two weeks with the therapist that had been assigned to him.

I hadn’t even entertained the idea that he was going to ask to work with me.

But he did.

I told him I did have availability and that he should contact the assistant director as she’s primarily responsible for calendaring the clients.

I also left a note in the chart and put it in the director’s files.

So.

Yeah.

Full week of work, plus overtime and five clients seen.

Not too fucking bad.

Sort of amazed actually.

The week whipped by.

I have a full and busy weekend too.

I have packages to pick up at the post office, framed prints to grab from Cheap Pete’s, I need to do a little more grocery shopping–I managed to sneak in a foray over to Gus’s Community Market before seeing my client–and pick up a couple of wardrobe additions and get a mani/pedi/wax.

I have to go to group supervision tomorrow at 2p.m.

It does throw my schedule a bit having that chunk of time in the middle of the day on a Saturday, but so it goes.

I signed up for a yoga class in the morning before my day gets off and running.

I am hoping to do the post office and the print pick up before I head into my internship.

I will be hanging out with my fellows and doing the deal in the NOPA at 7p.m. so I have a few hours I can run errands after the internship.

Probably won’t try to cram getting my nails and eyebrows done in that time.

I like to enjoy the relaxing and not be stressed about getting to the next thing.

I have a lady I’m meeting on Sunday here at the house to do some work, but Sunday afternoon looks pretty free, which is nice, since it’s my one official day off a week.

I’m probably going to do some clothes shopping.

Having clients has definitely pushed me to flushing out my wardrobe.

I often can make what I wear to my nanny gig work for my therapy gig, I bring an extra set of shoes, typically one of my pairs of Fluevogs, and I take off my nanny shoes when I get done with my shift, and put on my therapy shoes.

It really helps me get into the role.

I have been less and less concerned about my hair or my tattoos, being well dressed, I mean, not fancy pants dressed, I did wear jeans in my session tonight, underneath a Michael Kors dress with polka dots that I scored at Crossroads, but I am polished and I think that offsets the tattoos and besides, it’s fucking San Francisco.

As a dear friend once said to me, “my therapist has pink hair and tattoos, you’ll fit right in.”

He was totally right.

I am fitting in.

It feels good to walk the halls and I am getting more and more ideas about how I want my own space to look like.

I got the pleasure of being in the best office tonight.

Really.

The best.

The director even told me that it was the room everyone wanted to work in and I feel pretty damn lucky that I get to have it, considering that I am so new at the internship.

Then again.

I have night-time sessions and I think that makes the difference.

I also don’t get this particular office all the time.

Just once a week.

But man.

It gave me some ideas.

I have been taking ideas with me from my own therapy sessions, things that work for me in my therapists space and things that don’t.

As well as from my supervisors space.

And also now from this particular office.

The director told me the woman who works out of the space used to be an interior director before she got her MFT licence.

Yeah she was.

It was fantastic.

A beautiful Eames brown leather chair.

And.

A big warm brown leather couch.

An antique globe, steam punk lights, vintage books, brown wood bookshelves, antiqued window frame mirror, big brass lamps.

She had pretty throws, big pillows and a soft sage green afghan over a low slung brown leather and kelly green fabric bench.

It was inviting and warm and generous.

I wanted to meet her after I walked in.

There was great wallpaper, black birds in bare limbed trees on brown paper.

It was just a great space.

Somethings didn’t work for me, but it gave me some ideas and I do so look forward to when I get to have my own space to practice out of.

I left the session feeling so exhilarated that I zipped home and spontaneously cooked up a batch of homemade soup in conjunction with making my dinner

It’s nice to have the smell of soup cooking in my house and also to have the week laid to rest behind me and a nice, albeit full, weekend in front of me.

So grateful for this life.

For these opportunities to serve.

To be available for it all is such a gift.

Luckiest girl in the world.

What A Day

June 30, 2017

A good day.

But quite the day.

A full day.

For sure.

Into work, lots of loving on the charges, family friend visit, lots of kids running around, and then quiet, a reprieve, unexpected in the middle of the day.

Snuggles and nap time with the baby and then the family and their friends went out to lunch and I had nearly an hour to myself.

It was so nice.

I haven’t had that since school has gotten out.

I ate a slow, relaxed lunch.

I looked at the skyline from the back porch, I made a few phone calls and connected with a girlfriend I haven’t seen since January, we made tentative plans to get together when the family I nanny for is on vacation.

So nice to reconnect.

I was to do the camp pick up for the middle child and I enjoyed the hell out of riding the MUNI, not having any charges, and then taking a nice quiet walk to BiRite, picking up snacks for my charge and a few things for the house.

Pick up at school was great.

My charge and I ate cherries and apricots and talked about sunshine and being nice, “I’m going to tell mom that I was kinda nice to you today,” she said and squeezed my hand tight.

I love her so much.

She is always the best.

Even when she is a handful of fierce fiery little girl.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

She has a voice and I really love how her parents let her have that voice.

I was shushed often.

There was a lot of don’t speak unless spoken to in my home.

I didn’t really know that children could engage and interact and have conversations with their parents.

It was sort of, get out-of-the-way and be quiet or go outside and leave me alone.

I’m ok with that.

I developed a big case of the curiosity at a very young age and a desire to explore, seek, find, and experience whatever I could.

I had, and still do have a great big imagination.

I don’t really escape into fantasy anymore, life is real and reality is so much more interesting, but for a while, when I was young, fantasy was my hard-core go to.

And I was, and am, dare I say it, creative.

I concocted lots of games, did relay races with kids in the neighborhood, made up my own version of Kick the Can, Ghost in the Graveyard, Ding Dong Ditch, and a plethora of other things.

The summer I watched the Iron Man triathlon on television and became absolutely mesmerized in the event.

I staged a mini Iron Man, I called, aptly, Iron Kids.

There was a run around the apartment complex, followed by a bicycle race.

I couldn’t do the swimming in the ocean part, seeing as how we were in Wisconsin and the nearest pool was miles away, but I am sure I improvised something.

It might have been running in and out of all the wading pools in the courtyard.

I found my voice in motion and then again in books and escaping to the library.

I was always reading.

Always.

I would hide under my blankets at night with a flashlight and read.

I got yelled at a lot to do that.

Now.

I wonder, would a parent yell at a kid for reading past bedtime?

Perhaps using their phone and texting or being active on social media, but reading?

I think, probably not.

Ooh.

I got a new book in the mail.

Such a gift.

To get a book.

That is not for school.

I look forward to reading it.

I don’t have much time now, but it is something that I can flip through and I will be able to enjoy it when I am off from the family in July.

I am still trying to suss out if I’m going to travel.

One of my clients who I see on Thursdays will be gone for vacation and his times overlap mine and the availability I have to travel.

Maybe there’s a long weekend in my near future.

I am open to all possibilities.

And I’m super psyched.

Tomorrow is Friday!

I have a client consult after work.

I will have a long day still.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to sneak in a little time with my fellows, if I get out of work fast enough, and then I’ll have a client at 7:30 p.m.

It’s a consult, so there’s the possibility it may only go a half hour.

So if I don’t get out of work in time I’ll see about doing the deal after seeing the consult.

Then the weekend.

Which is full, since I still have to go to my Group Supervision.

But.

I’ll have some pockets of time.

I’ll do yoga in the morning both Saturday and Sunday.

I desperately need a mani/pedi/eyebrow waxing session.

And I do need to do grocery shopping, cooking, and errands.

Plus meeting with a lady Sunday afternoon.

And still.

There will be time.

There will be time to stop and breathe and love.

And maybe.

Yes.

Read a little for pleasure.

Such a sexy thing.

Oh life.

It is so.

So.

So.

Good.

So Tired

June 27, 2017

So, so, so tired.

And yet.

Here I am.

Writing.

I feel like I just need to open up my head and dump out the contents, let go of the day, and also pat myself on the fucking back for making it through a Monday, a full and very busy beginning to my week.

Up early to do my morning routine and breakfast and all the things and some writing, hop on the scooter and head down to Gough and Fell to meet with my supervisor.

Who still intimidates me a bit, but it’s just because he is so damn smart and he’s not afraid of showing me his smarts, nor is he afraid to engage me intellectually and also to challenge me and how I think.

I super appreciate his very insightful perspective and I do feel like I am taking a master’s class on psychoanalytics.

He constantly blows my mind.

I was relaying two different client cases today and he gave me extraordinary insight into both of them.

I felt at one point a bit chagrined that I had not done as well in my session with one of my clients as I had thought.

Then I realized.

I showed up for that client and I helped and the client helped me and I didn’t mess it up, I just got a different view of what was happening in the session and I’m astounded to have it.

I have so much to learn and I am grateful I didn’t spend most of the day beating myself up for it.

I felt like I learned an extraordinary amount in a very small amount of time, I took copious notes.

I mean.

I normally do, but in comparison to the scant notes I take during two hours of group supervision it is a lot.

There was so much to reflect on and I am again and again grateful that I have this supervisor and that he chose to work with me.

He sees something in me and was actually, so it seemed, rather excited for me and the client that we spent so much time going over their case.

I am also happy to have his input because I’ll be better able to help my client.

Whom I see tomorrow.

It will be our third session.

I also started with a new client tonight.

So now I have three clients.

And I have a new client consult on Friday.

Which means this week I see four clients.

Half of what I will eventually carry.

It feels like a lot, but being eased into it has helped and I’m slowly adjusting to this new level of busy with the internship and work.

I expressed to my boss today how happy I was to be seeing clients and learning how to hold that space before I am in my next semester of classes.

I really would have been overloaded had I taken on doing practicum and a new semester of classes.

I feel like I am a little a head of the curve.

Not much.

But enough.

Enough to know that I am going to be ok and that the amount of work is doable.

Challenging as fuck, but doable.

And it feels good to be adding up the hours.

They will add up as long as I keep taking steps forward.

I am not going to extrapolate how many hours I will have by the time I graduate, aside from knowing with complete surety that I will have enough hours to graduate the program.

I won’t have enough hours to take my boards, that is years away, but I will have a good amount and I feel like I will be fast looking at getting my MFTI number.

Which means getting paid to doing the work.

I can’t get paid until I graduate.

And I am ok with it.

I am learning and it will take time to get comfortable.

But I can already tell that I am feeling better in my sessions, more comfortable with knowing what forms to fill out, what office to go to, where the keys are kept, the general lay of the land.

Getting some time working on the calendar that I share with the rest of the interns and practitioners, getting used to checking my e-mail far more frequently than I did before.

It really feels like I have taken on a second job.

In fact.

My boss said as much to my charges tonight when they all said goodbye and gave me hugs, “she’s off to her second job, give her big hugs!”

And big hugs were had.

I’m, of course, not as tired as I was.

I had a good phone call check-in following my client and going off to do the deal at 8:30p.m. this evening.

It was an unexpected speaking engagement that I agreed to do to help a lady out and I’m glad I went.

It did mean a very late dinner for me and being more than a little wonky at 2 p.m. today when I got the request.

I understand very well why some folks like a siesta at that time of day, I was on the couch with one of my charges scratching her back and we both cuddled up and closed our eyes and swear to God I could have drifted right off then and there.

But.

I didn’t.

And although I couldn’t fathom, I mean, could not, how I was going to make it through the day, I did.

And I’m so grateful to be home.

So.

Now.

A quick cup of tea and off to bed.

Therapy, work, client is my schedule for tomorrow.

Sleep is necessary.

Good night.

Sweet.

Sweet.

Sweetest.

Dreams.

 


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