Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Smashed With Love

September 15, 2017

I had a reunion today with one of my favorite charges.

I have been on the look out for him since school started.

The family I used to work for and the family I work for now have their children in the same school.

I do school pick up for my charges four to five days a week.

And.

I ran into one of the boys I used to work with today.

Or.

I should say.

He ran into me.

Literally.

Full tilt gallop from across the playground.

I was nearly bowled over.

I had no idea he was coming.

I was looking for my charge and then heard my name being called out, and it took a moment for me to realize that the voice calling my name was not the voice of my current charge, but a past charge.

And then.

He leapt into my arms.

He knew I would be there to catch him and I was.

My whole body responded before my brain had a chance to even register what had happened.

All I knew was that my arms were full of this sweet little boy.

“I miss you! I miss you! I miss you!” He cried and hugged me so hard.

I told him how much I have missed him and how much I love him and it was such a sweet reunion.

I nearly burst into tears.

This situation, being at the same school, with two different families, is a new one for me.

The first few times my former charge saw me were so achingly painful I dreaded going to do school pick up.

Part of me yearned to see them, my boys, such sweet, sweet boys.

And.

Part of me couldn’t bear it.

I missed them so badly and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t with them any longer and was with my new family and when was I coming back?

Now.

8 months later.

They seem to have gotten it.

And there’s some distance from the hurt and the loss and the grieving I did when I said good-bye to them.

Now it seems tender, but it doesn’t have the same sting, and though I thought I might cry, I did not, yes, oh yes, I gave him many fierce hugs and told him multiple times how much I loved him, but I didn’t lose it.

He ran off with my little girl charge and they went to the monkey bars and it did my heart something good to watch the two of them play.

It did my heart real good.

My charges were all about the love today.

There was much holding hands, there were many hugs, there were no tantrums.

It was magic.

I even had a little time before the mom came in this morning to make a few check in phone calls and get myself oriented for the week.

And get my clients sussed out for the next few weeks.

I have been given another client.

And with that.

I now have eight.

Which is where I will stay, at least for the semester.

I will pick up consults on Saturdays that I am not in class, but aside from that, I have my eight clients.

I am a therapist.

I mean.

I really am doing this.

“What’s a therapist?” My oldest charge asked me today, “is that what you’re in school for, and how come you’re still in school, is it like a career thing?”

He’s very astute for seven.

“Yes,” I told him, ruffling his hair.

He and I were solo at this point in the day, mom and little sister had a dance class to go to and he and I were headed home on MUNI.

“A therapist is someone who helps you communicate with your emotions, sometimes they help you communicate with other people too,” I told him.

“A therapist helps you with your feelings,” I continued.

“Oh yeah, I remember,” he said and reached for my hand, “and you’re a therapist!”

“Yes,” I smiled, “yes, I am.”

“But you’re still my nanny, right?” He asked, a tiny note of concern in his voice.

“Yes, I’m still you’re nanny,” I replied, slowing down a little as he thought it through.

“But you won’t be forever, you’ll graduate from school and you’ll be a therapist all the time?” He asked, then stopped walking and added, “but that’s not for a while yet, right?  You’re still many nanny for a while.”

“Yes, it will be a while before I have a practice all my own and we’ll have lots of time together before that happens,” I assured him.

“And then you can be my therapist!” He concluded and grabbed my hand happy to have figured out a way to keep me permanently in his life.

Oh my heart.

It just was squashed with his love.

I hope you never, ever, ever, need a therapist darling boy.

Although, I know how helpful it is, it’s super helpful.

Just to have someone listen to you, to attend to you, to help you navigate through emotional states and processes.

Even if there’s not a trauma to work through.

Therapy is some super helpful stuff.

And really, if I’m honest about it, in a way, I am this child’s therapist.

We do a lot of play therapy and a lot of narrative therapy.

Of course.

I don’t tell him that.

For him, it is just play, that’s how children process emotions, they play.

So he and I play a lot, we color, we tell stories, well, he tells me stories, all the time, and I get to listen and ask questions.

He’s very excited, for instance, about the new Iphone.

“Are you going to get one?” He asked me.

“Nope, I don’t have a $1,000 to spend on a phone,” I told him.

He was not pleased with this answer, he’s very pro Apple products.

“Don’t you have something you can sell?” He asked, “you know, to get money to buy the phone?”

I laughed out loud.

I love how he thinks.

He’s very solution oriented.

I love my charges.

Past.

And present.

I’m so grateful for them, for all the sweet love I have gotten to have, for the laughter, for the naps, for the snuggles and hugs and the joy of them.

Children astound me.

The bright faces of God shining with love.

How lucky, graced really, I am to get to do this work.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

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You Look Radiant!

June 13, 2017

My neighbor said to me as I was parking my scooter and securing her for the night.

He’d just open the door to the fenced gate and perhaps it was the sunlight hitting my face, or the big smile on it, but it was sweet to be acknowledged and I smiled harder.

I’m happy.

I feel really good.

Today was a good day.

Most days are, let me be honest, but I had just secured a new person to work with this evening after work and I feel like she and I are going to be a really great fit and I was relieved and happy and felt like I was being carried and taken care of.

“God has not brought me this far to be dropped,” I told myself this past weekend when I was still processing all that had happened, the what’s and whereof’s and why’s of being let go when you have been told that you’re the perfect, well fill in the blank.

When someone tells you you’re doing it perfectly and then let’s you go, it stings a little.

Be that as it may.

I am not perfect.

I fuck up all the time.

I’m human.

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

And humans are messy and silly and stupid and hard-headed and stubborn and crazy, at least this human is.

I’m grateful for all the messy and the learning, especially learning how to communicate and not to take myself too seriously.

I heard something amazing today.

AMAZING.

From my supervisor while we were in session.

Slight sidebar.

Nothing says starting a busy week at work and internship better than getting up extra early to go to school to get that one piece of paper that the supervisor has to sign so that I can be registered for another class this fall semester.

And I went back to school after meeting with my supervisor to make sure it was filed correctly before I went into work and did my full shift.

Yeah.

Like that.

Anyway.

We were talking about communication and how a client communicates with us and my supervisor quoted Lacan to me.

It just about fell off the couch.

My supervisor quoted, “every time we speak we communicate less than we want and more than we know.”

Holy shit.

Story of my life.

I had never heard that before and it resonated with me on a very deep level.

I am communicating all the time and most of the time I’m not saying what I want.

I have spent years, decades probably, trying to say what I want and so often I am not getting it all out.

I am afraid to say what I want for fear of not getting it, so I’m not going to ask.

That, however, presumes that the person whom I’m engaged with can read my mind and well, that maybe magical thinking, but it’s certainly not logical thinking.

No one can read my mind.

And yet.

There are clues.

There are clues in my voice, in my body, in the way I respond to someone.

It’s pretty obvious if I don’t like you and I want to say it’s very obvious if I do.

There are grey areas and I have found that when I don’t like someone it often times has to do with seeing some characteristic in the person which reminds me of something I don’t like about myself.

Which, I just realized, makes me realize what I do like about myself when I think about people in my life whom I do like, they must represent parts of me that I like.

I have smart, capable, hard-working, brilliant, funny, loving friends.

I must have some of those qualities myself or I wouldn’t be involved with such high-caliber people.

I just wouldn’t.

Like attracts like.

So I was happy, so happy, to get to hear this woman tonight who has what I want and is smart and busy and educated, grateful and full of solution.

I’ll take some of that please.

And then happily pass it on.

That’s what I do best.

Share my experience, strength and hope with another person so that they may do the same and the learning deepens and the love grows and my life expands and grows and it is extraordinary.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I also have an awesome job.

It was so good to see the family I work for today, I missed them and was grateful that everyone was feeling much better.

I got lots and lots and lots of hugs and I got lots of compliments on the food I cooked and loads of snuggles and it just filled me right up.

So much love.

I am loved.

And I get to love right back.

It’s a pretty amazing job.

So.

Yeah.

Radiant.

Full of light.

Oft times full of bullshit too and perhaps a touch of crazy, but for the most part, I really do feel the grace rather than the drama.

Grace over drama is one of my favorite acronyms for God.

Great out doors is another.

And.

Good orderly direction.

There’s a few more, but those are my tops.

I feel grace.

I feel full of grace.

I feel graced.

And am.

I’ve not been dropped.

I have just been carried somewhere unexpected.

It’s so lovely I don’t always know what to do with it.

But.

I am happy.

And that, in the end, is all that matters.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Will You Visit Me?

October 12, 2016

Will you come to my birthday parties?

I’m going to buy you something very special.

Carmen, when is your birthday?

“December 18th, the week before Christmas, darling,” I ruffled his soft brown hair as we walked home from dropping his brother off at Rock Band Land.

“Carmen, I’m going to get you something amazing for your birthday, I’m going to get you brussels sprouts, five boxes,” he said and squeezed my hand hard (sometimes we get brussel sprouts at the Mission Farmer’s Market on Thursday afternoons over on Bartlet and 22nd Streets.  There is a food truck that does rotisserie chicken and every once in a while we stop there and get a roast chicken and boxes of brussels sprouts).

Oh sugar.

I kept a straight face, “thank you honey, that would be amazing.”

And so it begins.

The parents of my current charges have obviously begun prepping the boys for my departure.

Which explains why the littlest guy for the last couple of weeks has been hitting me and calling me stupid when he sees me and being very aggressive.

Classic splitting and projecting.

He can’t handle the emotions inside his little four-year old body and they are coming out in words and actions that I’m not very fond of.

But.

Being a psychology masters student.

Theoretically I understand quite well.

At one point in the day today I engaged with the four-year old one on one at dinner and asked him what he needed when I sat down next to him and he called me stupid and hit my knee.

“Are you trying to tell me something,” I said softly.  “Is there something you need from me?”  I continued, “I don’t like being hit my sweet friend, can you tell me what’s wrong?”

He hit me again, but this time softer.

“Are you mad at me?” I asked quietly.

He nodded his head affirmatively.

“Can I help you with anything?”  I asked and rubbed his hand softly, “it’s ok to be mad at me.”

“Hold me,” he said in a soft, plaintive voice that just about broke my heart.

“I need a hug and a cuddle,” he continued and crawled from his chair at the dinner table into my lap with his little stuffed cat, a blanket, and a pillow from the couch.

I arranged him in my lap and gave him a warm hug and tucked the blanket around him and let him eat the rest of his dinner swaddled with his stuffed cat on my lap.

I told him I loved him and that he was very important to me.

I told his brother the same thing as we walked.

“Carmen,” he said, and kissed my hand, “you will always be in my heart, make sure that you are coming to all my birthday parties and that I will get to see you all the time.”

Well, kiddo, I don’t know about all the time, but I could probably swing a birthday party or two and considering that the family I got hired to work with next and the family I currently work with are friends, I suspect that there will be more of you in my life than previous charges.

We had a sweet day today.

I had a lot of unexpected time with the boys and I was very grateful for that, and unsupervised, which is also a really nice thing.

We went to Mission Thrift and rummaged through the bins of silverware and kitchen cook ware and spent all of $1.39 for a good half hour of fun and getting to get some exciting “new” utensils for their tiny play kitchen.

We went to Paxton Gate for Kids and played with the toys and annoyed the hell out of the staff, but fuck it, they’ve got to be used to it by this point, it’s a kids store and I did buy stickers there and the parents have probably spent thousands of dollars in the store, easy.

We went to Mission Playground and rode the merry-go-round and I had a gaggle of kids spinning and whooping and screaming on it off and on for a good 45 minutes.

It was pretty hilarious and a lot of fun.

“Carmen!  You got your exercise!”  The six-year-old exclaimed as we left the park.

Boy howdy, did I ever.

My left shoulder is still a little sore from it.

So it goes.

Then a big lunch, running around had worked up an appetite for them and then an hour of quiet time.

Which was not really an hour as I got a text from the mom saying they were running behind and would I take the four-year old to Rock Band Land?

Hell yes I will.

We had an awesome walk over.

We dropped off the youngest boy.

Then we ran into friends and went for a cookie, well, he had a cookie, and I had a cafe au lait, cafe play date at Stable Cafe on Folsom and 17th.

It really was just a sweet and sunny day.

And although I didn’t get a chance to engage with the mom and dad around the end date of the job I am very grateful that they are taking on the actions of letting the boys know that I will be transitioning to a new job.

There are challenging days ahead, I am sure of it, but I know if I stay true to my feelings of warmth and love for the boys the waters will be navigated just fine.

And it is something to be leaving a family after two and a half years and the children being so advanced with their communication skills.

Most of the time I’m leaving a family with toddlers.

These boys have feelings and they are letting me know.

It is hard.

But.

It is exquisite.

It really is a gift to have such love reflected back to me.

I suspect that I have always known that I have an impact on the children I have gotten to work with, but I have never had it articulated to me in the way that it was today.

It is an extraordinary thing to let myself be seen and loved.

So very grateful.

Beyond words.

Just beyond.

And ready to move on too.

Nice to be able to hold both emotions.

Shit.

It’s nice to hold all the feelings.

All the feels.

All the time.

It.

Really.

Is.

Good times.

Seriously.

Stay

December 5, 2015

He said and rolled over into me.

I put my face next to his.

“Close your eyes,” I whispered.

He did.

His stuffed cat was tucked under his arm and the blanket pulled up high under his chin.

He grabbed my hand and wrapped it around his little belly.

“M—-, I have to go now.”

“Stay.”

I sighed.

I stayed a little while longer.

Homework was calling.

It is still calling.

It is calling with an insistent urgent whine like an engine that needs oil or will seize up.

I have a final project that I need to go to the library and do some work on.

I need to go to the library to check out some books.

I have done a lot of the pertinent research online, but for the class I need to have just more than internet research.

Albeit the papers I have been reading are written by psychologists at UC Davies, so not exactly something to sneeze at.

Yet.

I will feel better having hard copies in my hand.

I suppose I could muddle through the project doing all the research online, that’s where the majority of my focus has been on, but I think I will be better off spending a few hours at the library picking through what they have too.

I have a busy day tomorrow.

Doing the deal at 11 a.m.

Meeting my person at 12:15p.m.

Two ladies back to back after that.

I should be finished with all that by 3p.m.

Then I figure lunch, which I may finagle my last ladybug to go to the taqueria with me instead of Tart to Tart, kill two birds with one stone.

After that I plan on taking the scooter downtown to the main public library.

I will find what I need there.

I will find more than what I need there.

And I will check out a few books and articles and take them home with me.

I may or may not do the writing bit for the project tomorrow evening.

I had sushi and movie plans but my friend has been down for the count with a nasty bug, so not certain that those plans are on.

In fact, pretty much planning on them not happening.

So.

I won’t be getting the Christmas tree either, but I will be getting some work done.

I have a general idea, more than that really, of what I want to say.

It just needs to be polished, much more so than what it is in my head.

And organized with a handout that I can give to the class and a bibliography, done in APA format, to hand to my professor.

I suspect writing the bibliography will be the biggest pain in my ass.

The format for the project will then be an eight to ten minute presentation in front of the class.

I am good at speaking in front of folks.

I have been since sixth grade and taking a public speaking class.

I was extraordinarily surprised by how well I did.

I was anxious.

I remember that well, before my first presentation, but I was also able to somehow harness that feeling and use it to power through the topic.

I remember also that I got creative with the topic and did it on pencils and graphite.

I hadn’t known what to talk about and was chewing on a pencil in the library when I recalled the myth of chewing on pencil lead.

Next thing you know, I have a topic, I get up in front of the class, I say some stuff, I talk out of my ass, and I got an A.

In fact.

I got the highest score of the class.

I was shocked.

I don’t know what it is exactly, but public speaking is not too big a deal and for that I am grateful.

I don’t expect that it will be too big a deal for the class either.

It’s more like I said, being polished and presenting the information well.

I am a perfectionist after all.

I also made a huge intuitive leap today while I was reading the last (the last!) article in my Human Development class.

I won’t bore you with the theory other than to say that I was very happy to make the intellectual leap and to have one source completely knocked out of the way.

I mean.

Thank you Jeebus.

And let me for a moment go back to that part about reading the LAST article in the Human Development reader today.

Oh what a nice feeling that was.

Especially before embarking on a ten hour work shift.

I’m at 9.5 hours currently.

Yes.

I’m blogging from work, the boys are sleeping.

The mice are creeping.

And the clock is ticking down the hours until I am free to go home and go to work all over again tomorrow.

Uh oh.

Oh.

Craptastic.

The birthday party is going really well.

I just got requested to do another two hours.

Le sigh.

I guess I will be doing more research after all.

I can’t complain.

I can also do some reading for my other class–Therapeutic Communications.  It’s the only class I have any reading left in and not much at that.

I figure I will have all readings done, excluding the extraneous from doing the final project, by tonight and then all the time that I normally spend in the mornings before work reading can be devoted to practicing doing my presentation.

I also have a tiny leg up from doing debate and forensic in high school–regular and French.

Plus.

Um.

I also probably speak in front of a group of people about once a month for 15-20 minutes, I’m fine doing that, last time I spoke it was in front of 100 plus.

I’m not worried.

It’s just having the research lined up and the bibliography done.

Some bullet points and a few rounds of practice, I’ll time myself to make sure I don’t go over, and voila!

One more project done before I go to Paris.

The count down is so on.

T-minus 17 days and counting.

I’ll keep you posted about the progress on the project.

Happy weekend!

I’ll see you at the library.

I Am The Problem

August 18, 2015

And I am the solution.

I am also not nearly as mad as I was when I had the conversation tonight at the dinner table with the family I work for regarding my time off for Burning Man.

Oh.

Yeah.

I got the extra two days off and they are unpaid and that is just cool.

I am really excited to get to go up earlier than I was expecting and the excitement for going is palbable.

Oh.

And.

I’m not getting paid.

I was taken aback and had to take a moment before asking what the mom was talking about.  I said I was confused I had asked off the time way in advance, I thought that last week with the retreat and then the week of Burning Man were my holiday requested vacation paid time off and huh?

What do you mean I’m not getting paid?

Oh.  I see.  You and I weren’t in agreement about my sick days.

I thought that days I had taken off for some travel, to see my Grandmother in San Diego, for some appointments, interview at the graduate school program, etc.  I had thought I was taking sick days.

Apparently not.

Apparently the contract was not in regards to PTO, paid time off, but strictly negated to sick time, like you’re sick, you call in and you get paid.

Oh, so you mean, the time I was sick and came into work and fucking slogged through it because I was banking those sick days toward my Burning Man and graduate school retreat, I should have just fucking called in sick?

God damn it.

I have wondered more than once about calling in sick the entire time I’m at Burning Man.

Hey.  Sorry, I’m sick.  Yeah, it’s uh, been really dusty in my house and I’m experiencing some altitude sickness and mild euphoria, mind if I take the day off?

I mean fuck.

And I created this.  I did this.  I did it and I can see it and I am in a forgiveness place with myself that I was not in a few hours ago.

But it still sucks.

And.

I don’t give a fuck.

I’m still going.

I took an honest look at wanting to do the experience and doing it in the way that I am doing it with the people who I am doing it with and how I want to be with this group, I love them, they mean the world to me, they are a community and family I don’t have elsewhere and the fact that I am getting a ticket (in exchange for services rendered) and the transportation to and from and the camp infrastructure is set up and I don’t have to think about it, plus early arrival pass, well, fuck I’m suppose to go and be there.

I am so tired of living in a self-imposed model of I can’t have the experience unless I am getting paid and working my ass off to be there.

It obviously stopped working for me last year.

That was a shit show.

But.

I was supposed to have the experience, I really was, I see that now, I see that it gave me the impetus to get out of a job that wasn’t working for me, to a job that has worked pretty well for me most of the time.

Even now.

As I said, I’m not mad at the mom for what she said, it feels uncomfortable, but she was clear and direct and had obviously a opinon about it and it was said and I am so glad I didn’t react.  I paused, I responded, I sought clarification.

Oh!

Hahahahaha.

The god damn T-Group model worked!

Too fucking funny.

I also hereby acknowledge, which I did this morning in my morning pages, that my current family may not be the best situation for me to stay in while in graduate school.

It may well work for me to go back to getting paid under the table, I’ll make more and work less, and also, go back to working with babies, who nap.  So that I can accomplish more reading in my work environment.  I did manage to read for 45 minutes of my break today and I was hella happy about that, but there won’t be breaks moving forward with my current family.

I’m going down to part-time and wouldn’t start work until 2:30p.m. when the boys get done with school

Yes, I would have time to read before work, but working fewer hours to support myself is not going to work unless I get paid a lot more.

And yes.

I do deserve a raise from the family, it is time, it’s been almost a year and being the best they’ve ever had out of five previous nannies means something.  It means, you want to keep me on your employ you pay my worth.

And that was also lovely for me to see.

My worth.

I know what my worth is.

So moving forward I will probably toss a soft ball out to the Universe–find another job?

Stick with the current one?

Make more money has to happen no matter what.

My goal is to work and sustain my standard of living while in graduate school, that means making more money and working less.

It doesn’t have to be a lot less, but it will have to be a little less.

I know the solution, I know how to communicate, I know my needs, I have a lot of data.

So, moving forward.

Perhaps with a little less money than I thought I would have for this month, but whatever.

I am supposed to be there, I know it in my bones and I am supposed to be at CIIS for graduate school and I am supposed to be a strong recovered woman in my community and I am supposed to be in San Francisco.

What does it take to be those things?

I have the solution, it’s spiritual, and I can apply it to the problem.

Myself.

There is a spiritual axiom that whenever I am disturbed with a person, place, or thing, I am the one with the problem.

And I believe that.

My job is not the problem.

How I communicated my needs in my job is the problem.

I can choose to harbor a needless, selfish, self-seeking resentment, or I can communicate what I need.

And if the job can’t fulfill those needs.

Well, hello.

I have seen it demonstrated over and over and over these last 10 1/2 years, I am completely taken care of and I am alright.

I always have been.

I always will.

As long as I maintain a few simple things.

Nothings wrong.

I’m going to Burning Man!

And.

I might be available for a new job and a new experience.

Just saying.

Text Me No Texts

July 2, 2015

Part deux.

I mean it was an honest mistake.

Then I thought later, and not much later at that, there are no mistakes in God’s world.

I received a text this afternoon as I was heading to the park with the boys, they had been scrumptious today, although the day was long, and I was ready to be done well before I was.

I was a bit nervous about my travel plans for the evening.

As I write I am at many thousands of feet above the Earth, the empty plastic cup of orange juice testament that I am flying elsewhere.

I only drink orange juice when I fly.

I have no clue why.

Perhaps it is because it’s a treat, I don’t drink juice in regular every day life, coffee yes, juice, not so much.

The flight has already been a bit challenging, we sat on the runway for over an hour and a half before we were cleared to fly—there was a woman who dropped a cell phone and it somehow slid between the wall of the cabin and the seat and could not be retrieved. The mechanics had to ascertain whether or not the signal from said phone was going to interfere with the navigation equipment of the airplane.

That’s a new one for me.

It was an intense hour and a half as well, the engines were at a half throttle and the sound was overwhelming, I felt trapped in the a horror of metallic noise that would not abate.

I have never said the serenity prayer for so long, a constant and continuous loop.

“Wait,” he said, “and took me by the shoulders, “pray with me, say one word at a time, and breathe,” as I stood at the security check point at SFO in December about ready to fly to Anchorage to see my father, in a coma, when last I had seen him framed in my sister’s doorway in Madison, babysitting my nieces.

He was drunk.

Not obscenely so, but buzzed and he smelled of beer, a saturated smell and the soft rot of regret, cigarettes and sweat that I have long associated with my father.

Flash forward a dozen years and I was going to see my father in another kind of door way, one I was not sure he would cross over or stay, just here, on this side of the threshold.

I stood, shaking at SFO, trying to breathe, trying to muster the strength to go forward, through the fear, and out the other side, knowing only that I knew nothing and had no compass for what was going to happen next.

I breathed in and out and said the words.

I followed his lead.

He hugged me and I walked through security.

I feel now that my father’s trauma and how I walked through it were a harbinger of the end of the relationship.

Or perhaps, its mid-point.

It was never going to get better than that.

The relationship went down hill and though it was short it was intense and though it was hard, it was sweet, and though there are things I won’t ever say in my blog, I did a lot of work to work through all the things that came out and up and I kept showing up to the page, to my heart, to my self.

When I thought I was going to go mad with the aloneness that can sometimes overwhelm me and I was walking Ocean Beach crying on the phone with my person, missing my ex, or better, the theory of my ex, the company, the shoulder that I momentarily leaned on, the person who taught me to breathe that prayer, I felt as though I was always going to be alone.

That even though the relationship was never the right fit, that it was the only one that I would have, that I wasn’t deserving of more and that, was it.

It’s not it.

It wasn’t it.

I have more in me.

So much more to give and have and hold and receive and be and I can see so clear how it, the relationship, was the stepping stone to the knowledge of who I am and what I want.

Funny that.

A two-month relationship, nine weeks total, and all the things I learned.

And lo.

There is still more to learn.

The photograph popped up on my phone from an unknown number.

A couple of bunnies jumping.

And a goofy tag line.

“Ahahaha, that’s hysterical,” I texted back.

I didn’t recognize the number, “who is this?” I added.

Then I sent it without thinking anything.

Who sends me memes?

Nobody.

Oh.

Shit.

Oh.

I typed my ex’s name followed by a ?

There was a long time before there was a response.

The text response was odd and I don’t remember it, I don’t recall it, or really the others that follow, only that after a few back and forth messages, well, I stopped engaging and I deleted it—the string of messages, I didn’t want to reread them or think about them or argue about he misunderstood me.

The gist of his understanding was that I had deleted him from my life, like I had the number.

Huh?

That our relationship meant nothing to me and that I just erased him out of my life and WTF? And yeah, ok, I get it, blah, blah, blah, “it’s a defense mechanism” and a few other things.

I was sad.

No.

That was not what I meant.

And I don’t owe and explanation, so I didn’t give one, but no, that’s not what I meant.

No.

Not at all.

I did not know what to say, I know he saw some bunnies, he obviously thought of me and he reached out and when he did, well, gosh, I had forgotten him, I had just scratched him right out of my life.

I don’t suppose I ever will, I haven’t forgotten the men I have been in relationships with, though more than one of them I am not in touch with and will never be.

Jesus.

I don’t like texting.

I didn’t like it when I was dating my ex and so much of the communication was via text. It feels rudimentary, solipsistic, unformed, emotionally small, non-communicative, and overall, vague in the worst way.

An emoji is not an emotion.

I can’t read a person’s mind.

I can’t see their face or hear the tone of voice being used.

So much is lost.

So much.

I felt sad.

Sad that this man, who I do care about, from a distance, who provided such support and kindness to me during a horrific time in my life, misconstrued my meaning.

But that’s not my fault.

Texting is vague.

Easily misunderstood.

And I feel a way to engage without being fully emotionally present and aware.

It is subterfuge.

It is not conversation.

It is flat and one-dimensional at best.

I deserve more.

I want to be here, in this moment, full and alive and loving.

What I want is reality and not a one-sided conversation with a fantasy person.

It’s hard to show up and be present.

It’s vulnerable and tender and I don’t always want a person to see me.

I was shellacking my eyelids with glitter earlier, layering it on thick, I felt sad.

I was missing someone this morning, I had not been in communication with my friend who I had been talking to a lot since the LA trip and the emotion hovering just there was a touch lonely, a touch melancholy.

“I’ll miss you when you are in Atlanta,” he said to me.

I’m going to miss him, I thought, and then realized, oh.

OH.

Oh damn it.

My person was right! I do hide behind the make up.

I saw myself, pretty, yes, done up and shiny and sparkly, and who’s that hiding under there? Who’s glamming it up to not show how they feel?

I realized as I got ready, I felt so at ease around my friend that by the time the trip was over I was barely wearing make up, let alone lip gloss and yet, I felt more beautiful and more seen and more myself than I have in years.

Communication.

With myself.

Another layer and another depth of personality plumbed.

This is a meandering blog and I’m not sure how I can tie it up neatly and communicate what I want to communicate.

I want to be seen.

I want to be heard.

I want to see you and hear you.

I want to connect.

I want to love and be loved.

These are all so true and simple.

To the best of my abilities I try.

I may not understand the language God is speaking to me, but I don’t know that it will be via a text that I will begin to comprehend the totality of my person.

I don’t want to hide behind glitter or emoticons.

See me.

Hold my hand.

Walk this world with me.

And let me be.

Present.

As I walk beside you.

Sit Still

June 19, 2015

And pause.

Sit still, smell the grass, watch the boys gambol about on the fresh sod that was laid over the hillocks of Dolores Park.

The park had a grand re-opening today and it was one of the many stops on my day today.

A very busy day.

A very busy day on two hours of sleep.

I was up until 5:30 a.m. this morning.

That was not expected, but the talking.

There is so much to talk about.

Funny how with one person I have to stretch, to hunt and seek, and search for commonality or even a common language at times.

Then.

Other times, this time, last night, oodles and oodles and oodles of conversation, spools and spirals and tangents and at one point it was said, “wait, you still haven’t told me about the IRS fraud that you almost fell into.”

Side bar.

I saw another post, on Facebook, from a gal here in San Francisco who had the same experience yesterday, but she figured out the scam really fast.

Not I.

Of course, I figured it out when it was appropriate and I was grateful, ever so grateful to not having emptied my bank account, and for also realizing how I am affected by odd things at time and that yes, I can be naive and that ultimately, I am alright with this.

It means I am living a fuller life experience.

I am not jaded is what I am saying.

End side bar.

Sort of.

I re-read my blog from last night while I was sitting on the bench under the tree across from work this morning.

I was jazzed, the sky had broke out from behind the clouds and as I descended across Dolores at 17th the sun shone down on me and continued to pour light all over the Mission while the day unwound in its way, at its pace, despite my giddy girl ways.

Giddy does not last.

In case you were wondering.

Now I am calm.

Serene.

And just doing my thing.

I had many thoughts though when I first re-read what I had written.

Oh dear.

I revealed way too much.

I put it all the fuck out there.

Then I thought, nothing, “absolutely nothing happens in God’s universe for no reason.”

I can’t control myself, yes I can try, but sometimes the feels they just pour out and no one should be held to account when high on happy and pheromones.

Note to self, nice to see me being ok with this, there would have been a time, and not so long ago at that, when I would have been chagrined to have written what I wrote.

Oh girl, don’t put it all out there.

Save some for you.

But that’s me, putting it all out there, being a little larger than life, being me, and I know that I can confuse my own habits of self-denial, self-sabbotage, and self-doubt in a nice little package in this blog, when I am over exuberant and out there and well, over the top.

I have stopped disliking that about myself.

In fact, I sort of find it endearing now.

“You are in fact, hard to miss,” the woman at the park said to me, then asked for the time as I pushed one of the boys in the swing.

She was responding to my friend approaching me in the children’s sand area at Mission Pool and Playground and how he said, “I forget that, when I was looking at all the people here, you’re not hard to miss.”

My hair was very, very, very pink that day.

The pink is fast fading and I am feeling the desire to pull a hair geographic as I sit with my feelings and let them sort themselves and settle into their places.

In case you were wondering, there’s nothing wrong, I am just openly processing some stuff about me, this blog is all about me, there is no special secret there, oh there’s plenty that doesn’t go here, and part of the getting up as early as I did was to stick to my routine and do my morning writing.

I really needed to do my morning writing.

It’s my get right with God time.

So too, my morning routine and I knew that even if I had been tempted to get in another hour of sleep that I would do better in my day if I got up when I normally do, and do the things that are a part of my routine.

It did ground me.

I was a bit intoxicated this morning with feeling and lack of sleep and probably some adrenalin and all the things that surge through the body when experiencing intense emotional connection with someone.

I sat still through it, wrote it out, then zoomed and zipped to work with a silly, happy grin on my face.

It lasted most of the day, once in a while I would feel myself drifting from the present, the gift of the moment, the gift of being in the sun with the boys, their arms draped over me, the voices clamoring for more rolling down the hill at Dolores Park or another strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, peach, from the Farmer’s Market at Bartlet and 22nd.

I would return to the moment, as I just did, right here, right now, sipping hot tea and reminding myself that it is here, in this pocket of self-care and self-examination that I live, that this ultimately, this is my experience and I get to show up for this man and whatever happens, moving forward, that I have again, learned some incredible things about myself.

How very important conversation is to me.

How much I can connect with a person when I am present and allow myself to be seen and how much I can smile and laugh and let loose when I am with someone who I like.

I reminded me quite a bit of all that was lacking in my last relationship and how hard it was to talk, even from the very beginning and how the entire relationship, in my opinion, with my experience, became a battle ground of silent scorn and inability of connecting and communicating.

Having had the communication and the vulnerability of last night, and knowing now that I crave it, I saw in very stark contrast to what I had before missed in my last relationship.

I cannot even express all the gratitude I have for the harrowing two months of self-silencing I went through.

I learned so much.

It hit me while I was riding my bicycle up Lincoln to work. And I thank God out loud as I rode for the experience as it helped bring me to where I am now.

Being able to see that is an enormous gift and even with sleepy perceptions and that just slightly off slant perspective that a day run mostly on adrenalin can give you, I am utterly aware of the difference.

And I want the former, vulnerability, honesty, open communication, deep knowledge of self, and authenticity of person, rather than the later dissolving of my person into a silent blank slate to paint a fantasy on.

I am larger than life.

I am over the top.

But I am a real person.

And being as deeply seen as I have allowed myself to be over the last week has been such a refreshing thing for me.

Just like, I am sure, a deep and full, restful nights sleep will be for me as well.

And knowing that I am going to LA next weekend.

Meep.

Oh.

Did I forget to mention that?

Oops.

Not making any attempt to wipe the smile off my rather sleepy, but very happy face.

And with that.

I am out.

Night all.

Are You Going Out Tonight?

November 9, 2014

Uh.

No.

I just got in and I am staying in.

Note to Okstupid profile inquiry number six in exchange–yes I am interested in dating.

No.

Not tonight.

No.

I don’t want to meet you and go see a movie on our first date.

Guys.

First dates equal coffee shops, maybe a cup of tea, a chill space, probably afternoon.

If it goes well it can segue into dinner, a stroll, a hang out.

But a movie, at night, for the first time meeting, no.

How the hell do you get to know someone you’ve never met in a dark movie theater?

Unless it’s that kind of dark movie theater.

I am, however, not interested in meeting in that kind of theater either, repeat, coffee shop.

Nice.

Easy.

Simple.

“You have to do the communicating.”

“You have an amends to make.”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooo.

Ugh.

I had an amends to make, and wouldn’t you know, it wasn’t to the person I thought it was to, it was to me.

“How old are you, 42?”

Um.

No, not quite yet, but yes, next month, this lady will be a snappy 42 years old.

“Grow up.” She said it succinctly, to the point, with no meanness or judgement, just, hey, come on, grow up, this is how adults act, this is what women do, learn how to communicate, you are a woman, you can do this.

Just.

Keep it light, easy, uncomplicated and kind.

KIND.

So a script was written out, thank you God for women in my life who are willing to hold my hand while I fumble around writing something in the margins of my grocery list.

Which is when I made the call, on my way to Other Avenues to pick up a few essentials for the weekend.  I also, wow, I might really be growing up here, made the call after I had lunch.

No hungry, angry phone call here.

I almost made the call prior to that, eating of the lunch, and then it hit me, nope.  I have to take care of myself and there is no rush, I am going to take care of the communicating that needs to be done so that I can call up my person and report back that the amends was made.

Still getting to change my behavior, probably I will have to continue in this vein for some time, but at least I don’t balk at it the way I used to, I take direction, I do the action, I get the relief.

And the relief, well it was huge.

It wasn’t me.

I mean, that sounds vague, but I don’t feel like reporting blow-by-blow the gist of the conversation, rather personal and private, suffice to say the gentleman was being mindful of my welfare and it was a sweet, insightful conversation.

I showed up for it, fed, and present, walking to the grocery store with the warm sun on my face and the sea off in the distance shimmering and sparkly in the light.

Clarity.

I got clarity.

Which is fantastic, since, well, I’m not a mind reader, although I have had myself convinced on more than one occasion that I am indeed just that–capable of deciphering how another feels and then manipulating my response to get the desired response from said person.

That my friends is what’s called crazy making.

And man, I can make some crazy.

I used to bake dozens of sugar cookies during the Christmas season, spread them over the table and spend hours frosting them, it took hours and hours and sometimes days of prep as I spread the buying of ingredients out over the course of a week or two so that I could afford all the necessary components.

I can spend just as much time with my kookoo ideas.

Fortunate for me, I don’t run the circus anymore.

As my friend Bruno used to say in Paris, ‘the monkey is off my back, but the circus is still in town.’

I can so relate to that.

In a previous incarnation of my life, I might have jumped at the idea of going out on a movie date last-minute with a guy I’d just met online, especially if he was say 31 and way cute.

However, I know where that goes and I am so not interested.

Even if I was interested, I’m not.

Clarity here too, is great.

I don’t mind going out late, I have, I will again, it’s just the idea of not encouraging the fantasy, and I do mean fantasy, that there is a scarcity issue in my life.

There are more than enough men out there to date without worrying that random guy OkStupid is the last of the line, so I better get gussied up and hustle out to the late show down the street.

Uh.

No.

How do I want to show up?

In abundance and knowing that I am damn worth the effort.

There really are more fish in the sea.

There’s some for you and some for me.

There is no scarcity and when I tell myself that I am just unshelving an old idea that can be retired right now.

Today was also a big day for challenging myself to grow in other ways, some a bit quieter than the dating noise in my head, but none the less quite present for me.

Graduate school.

I worked some more on my application.  I wrote the admissions department an e-mail with a question about the application materials needed for the program I am interested in.  I sent the link for the letter of recommendation to the mom who I used to work with who is in academics here in San Francisco and agreed to write me a letter.  I also called two different numbers at the school to make sure if the e-mail went unanswered I would still get an answer to my question.

I also requested information about how to get my transcripts sent from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to the California Institute for Integral Studies.

And then.

I had dinner with the family.

It was so nice to catch up and see their daughter, who immediately demanded lip gloss from me.

I laughed, although not nearly as hard as when she climbed into my tennis shoes.

To be so warmly welcomed, fed, and thanked for the time I spent with their daughter and to not only receive the word from the mom that I would get that letter, they also gifted me a thank you for the time I was with their daughter.

I left in tears.

To have the ability to maintain and sustain relationships with people in my life is such an enormous gift.  They said come back and visit again, and soon, and come for Christmas Eve (my current family has invited me to Thanksgiving twice now, but I think I will be spending it in the Castro with Honey and crew), which if I don’t head to Wisconsin, I probably will stop through.

This intimacy I have developed with friends, employers, the children I work with and for, with the woman who I sit with over tea, all lead me to the burgeoning of romance, which will happen, I just have to keep practicing and letting go of the results.

Powerlessness is powerful.

Surrender does mean going over to the winning side, now doesn’t it?

Today I am winning.

 


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