Posts Tagged ‘dolores park’

Get Paid

January 5, 2019

It’s not going to be a lot.

But it’s going to be something.

Two things.

First I got a raise at the beginning of the year, 5%, which is lovely, and will go into effect my next paycheck.

The amount that will show up on my actual paycheck is pretty small.

Still, anything is helpful.

And.

I applied to become an employee with Grateful Heart last night.

Currently I am what is called a “volunteer.”

I don’t get paid anything.

My clients pay me and I deposit that money into a one way account.

Grateful Heart administration is the only entity that can withdraw anything from it.

I can’t touch it.

I recently turned in my hours, client hours, and how much I took in, to the administrative team, which keeps tabs on all the therapists in the community and double checks the accounts against the reporting that is being done.

I am scrupulous with the money coming in and I have documented everything correctly.

The fastest a new Associate Marriage Family Therapist can become an employee with Grateful Heart is three months.

January 1st marked three months for me with the agency.

I applied on January 3rd after reporting my client hours and income for the month of December.  I have to do it once a month and as I noted, it gets matched against the bank account.

Their policy is that once a $1,000 prudent reserve is met and three months of income have been established a volunteer can apply to become an employee.

I should get approved pretty quick.

Fingers crossed, we have had some administrative changes recently, new hires, etc, I can’t believe it would take a lot of effort to look over my accounts and verify that I have what it takes to become an employee.

I am not bringing in heaps of money.

But.

I am bringing it in.

In fact.

Applying for the position actually showed me how much I have been doing in regards to establishing myself as a new therapist in the community.

In my first month I brought in $700.

In my second month, $1700.

Last month, $2400.

My rent gets taken out and a hefty ($350) administrative fee, the rest is left in my account, which has begun to actually accrue some funds.

I have more than met the prudent reserve and I have money that I could actually be collecting.

For myself.

Like real income.

They have a formula to help you figure out what you can take out without dipping below the reserve and also that I have to be paid the minimum wage for the hours I claim.

Minimum wage in San Francisco is $15 an hour.

So basically I will get paid slightly less than half my nanny wage.

Ugh.

But.

I will be able to increase that fairly quickly, I believe, and I will, once I become an employee, be able to get compensated for office costs.

I will also get reimbursed for my own therapy.

And that money will not be taxed or charged the 12.5% fee that Grateful Heart will also start taking as soon as I become an employee.

So, rent, administrative costs, and 12.5% goes to them and I get the rest.

It is not enough to live on by any means.

However.

It is more coming in and since my rent is a $1,000 more a month than it used to be.

(ugh)

It really will help.

Especially getting the money back from my own personal therapy.

It made me sort of chuckle when I thought about it.

I’m doing therapy to get therapy.

Heh.

I was required by my Master’s program to work with a licensed MFT and I could have dropped her and the therapy once my program ended, I worked with her for a year.

But.

It’s been helpful and I sense that it’s better for me to stay with it for a while yet.

It’s been very supportive of my transition with school, the PhD program, moving, old childhood trauma, family of origin issues, etc.

So, I’ll keep doing it and getting some money back to pay for it will feel really nice.

I’m feeling a lot of relief knowing that some more income will be coming in and it’s also a nice way to see that all these years of work is actually beginning to pay off.

Not a lot of pay off.

Yet.

But it will happen.

I had set an intention on my birthday last month that this would be my last year as a nanny.

I will have 25 full fee, weekly, seriously committed, wonderful clients who I get to help and empower by the end of this upcoming year.

25 is the number of clients most therapists aim for.

One could do more, but you court burn out.

It’s a lot of work to show up and be present for people and listen and reflect and use theory and trainings and bear witness to trauma.

Horrible trauma.

And it’s a great gift too.

I am a good therapist.

I really am and I am proud of the work I have done to get where I am.

I’m excited to help more people.

I’m happy that I have a career.

Not that having been a nanny hasn’t been a beautiful career, it just has an end and I feel it coming close.

I’ve been doing it for 12 years.

Amongst some other things, but mostly nannying.

Which is its own kind of therapy, when it’s done well, I believe.

I have been out to the parks a lot lately and I’ve been finding myself really judgmental.

I draw kids to me like flies, I literally had my little girl charge today (alone most of the day, three parks, Souvla for lunch, two toy stores for stickers, balloons, ice cream from BiRite Creamery with rainbow sprinkles) up at Dolores Park and at one point found myself surrounded by five little monkeys demanding snacks.

Friends of hers from her private school.

It was adorable and also intense.

Good thing I had packed extra snacks.

Kids love me and I them, but sometimes it becomes quite obvious when  a child isn’t getting their needs filled–emotional, physical, intellectual–and like a heat seeking missile they will go to someone who does.

That was me a lot today.

I just wanted to shout out, put down your Iphones and pay attention to your children!

But.

I didn’t.

And I’m glad I didn’t, it would have looked rather untoward.

If I’m honest too, my current family hired me because the mom remembered seeing me at the playground with a former set of charges and something similar happened.

She told me later that she realized I was a treasure and that she had been ecstatic when she found out I was going to be available.

Anyway.

Here’s to drawing clients to me like I drew children to me today.

I also have to say, when I really let myself acknowledge it, children are honest and if they like you it says a lot and if they trust you it says a lot too.

I was trusted a lot today at the parks, I got to be surrounded by much happy love.

Which is beautiful and I hope that I will in turn pass that along to the clients I get to see tomorrow, and all my days thereafter.

 

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To Write

May 12, 2018

Or not to write.

That is the question.

Which I have obviously already answered for myself as I am typing now.

I just hemmed and hawed a little, I have an early start, amongst the many early starts I have had for the last week and a half, and I was tempted to skip the blog and just hunker down with a hot cup of tea and a quick snippet of a video.

But.

I did not write last night and I missed it.

The irony being, too, that I had more time last night and there wouldn’t have really even been a question.

Except.

Power outage.

I got home to find out that a mylar balloon had gotten caught on a transformer on the block and it exploded, leading to two blocks in my neighborhood being completely without power.

It was a romantic candle light night in.

Let me tell you.

Fortunately my stove is gas and I was able to light it to heat up some dinner, but aside from that everything else in the house is pretty much electrically run.

So no lights.

And.

No internet.

After I had dinner I read a little by candlelight than decided to call it a night.

I sort of figured that this was the Universe saying go to bed.

I did.

It was nice.

I got a little extra sleep and I felt pretty refreshed.

I was still up early.

I had another early start at work today.

I worked 5.5 hours of overtime this week, coming off a full (emotionally full it feels like) weekend of classes, preceded by a full week of work, preceded by a full weekend of doing homework and writing papers preceded by a full, overtime again, week of work, preceded by a weekend of writing papers and doing homework, preceded by, yes, you guessed it, a full, with overtime, week of work.

I think it’s been a month since I have had a proper day off.

A friend of mine Wednesday night asked me about my schedule after I had shared that the whole being done with my Master’s program hasn’t landed and each day he asked I had work and clients.

Then supervision and prepping for graduation, then meeting with the ladies I normally meet with and my person and covering my commitments.

He shook his head and said I should take all day off on Sunday.

Maybe have a good cry.

Maybe just sit with the accomplishment.

I haven’t yet had a chance to sit with the accomplishment.

I tear up whenever I say that, I don’t want to be sad about it, but I do want to have some time to feel it.

I have just been so, so, so busy.

Grateful for the bits of down time I had today and yesterday at work.

Both days the baby slept on me.

Even though I started him out in the stroller for naps and he did a bunch of sleeping in the stroller on the back deck, such pretty weather today, but both times he woke up fussy and unhappy and insisted on falling back asleep on me.

Which is fine.

Baby nap equals a sitting meditation for me.

And sometimes.

A little snooze too.

I got that yesterday and it was lovely.

Especially since it gave me a little reprieve from the reflux.

It goes down when I sleep.

I don’t know why that is, but it is and I’m grateful for it.

Anyway.

There are moments of reprieve.

Today I got one in the park.

It was beautiful.

The baby was tired, the mom was working out with a personal trainer and we were at Douglas Playground which is really small and sweet and surrounded by great towering trees and blackberry brambles and it has a big green meadow.

Oh.

So nice.

I walked the meadow with the baby until he was asleep, watched the red tail hawk hunting for its morning meal, stared at the clouds, smelled the clover, breathed in and out and sat down at a picnic table rocking gently back and forth while the baby slept nestled against me.

I didn’t fall asleep.

But I was still and surrounded by beauty and in the sun and that was so nice.

So nice.

Yeah.

Grateful for my job.

I also got to pick up the oldest boy today from school, he requested a “date” with me.

How freaking cute.

We went to Bi-Rite Creamery for ice cream.

He got a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles and the reverence with which he ate it was so sweet to behold.

Then a friend from school passed by and asked if we could come to Dolores Park and of course we could.

So this afternoon I got to be outside again, at a different park, in the sun, watching the sky and breathing and listening to the kids run around and chase each other and laugh.

Good for my soul.

I also didn’t have to cook tonight, Friday’s are often order pizza night, and it was nice to take my time getting back to the house and hanging out with the oldest boy, telling stories and making plans for the summer.

After work.

Clients.

I forgot to mention that.

I have had lots happening on the client front.

Including a difficult termination this week.

Which added in a little extra stress as I maneuvered through it.

Grateful it’s done, but it was challenging to do.

And ah.

Breathing easier.

Feeling good that I took the time to make the time to write.

It means a lot to me.

And it’s not that late.

Ok.

It’s late enough and I should probably go straight to bed, but I won’t.

I still need a little more wind down time.

A cup of tea will help.

A few minutes of a video.

Then off to dream land.

Good night y’all.

Happy Friday.

 

Monday

March 20, 2018

You’re a busy lady, you are.

Got up early.

Showered, did the deal, dressed, made bed, ate breakfast, drank coffee, stretched, did hair and makeup.

Had fucking boss day with the hair.

Mostly wasted on nannying, but felt good to have a good big hair day.

“What is that?” Asked my little lady charge today as we stood on the platform for the J-Church train to Glen Park.

“Hair, and don’t touch it,” I replied.

It was a giant patch of a weave just chilling on the street.

Looked like the after effects of a bad cat fight.

“But it looks so soft, I want to touch it, is it yours?” She asked bending down to take a closer look.

“Do not touch it, and no, I promise, it’s not mine,” I added, gave her a squeeze and asked her if she wanted a snack.

Snacks are always the best distraction.

Hair weaves.

Sometimes it’s really obvious that I live in the city.

Today, many times.

There was a man just outside the door to my office space tonight, laying on the ground, belly down, sprawled out, pants off kilter, just chilling, talking to the pavement and having a nice little conversation.

I couldn’t tell if it was booze or heroin and I wasn’t going to investigate.

8:30p.m. on a Monday night, I just wanted to get the fuck out of there and get home and have my dinner.

Monday’s are a long day.

And that’s ok.

I have six weeks left of supervision.

Six weeks until I won’t have to get up extra early to get out of the house and beat morning rush hour traffic downtown to see my supervisor.

I am ready for that.

Granted.

I will miss working with my supervisor, I have learned such a tremendous amount from him.

I just won’t miss getting up early.

I decided on my way to my clients today, after a longish day with the family, the dad’s been out-of-town for work and doesn’t get back until tomorrow, for a good bit and the mom’s definitely been feeling the strain of doing the parenting for three children.

It’s a lot of work.

Especially when one of them is a baby.

I took the baby off her hands for the first part of the day, then we swapped at school pick up and I had my little girl charge all for myself while her mom took the older brother to piano lessons.

It was a nice day and we went to Dolores Park.

I am always so grateful to get to the park.

It’s a good balance, I think, with my studies and my internship and being a psychotherapist in training, to have a part of the day when I get to be outside and in a park.

It felt really good to get some sun on my face.

Really good.

Especially since the next three days call for rain and it’s been a really rainy past few weeks.

I was ready for that sunshine.

I am always ready for sunshine.

I think about Paris in July and I’m all agog to get sundresses and sandals and breezy clothes and be warm.

I like being warm.

The irony of living in the foggiest place in the city is not lost on me.

The Outer Sunset was never my first choice, but as I have been here now for four and a half years, it has become my home.

And.

Honestly.

I don’t know that I could have handled having a car anywhere else in the city.

I generally find parking on my block or within a block of my house.

I easily find parking at work and so too at my internship.

It’s really perfect.

And it’s always so nice to have the car when the weather is not great and also when I get done late at the internship, to get in my car and listen to some music.

So freaking good.

I have really been getting into having music when I drive, it’s the bomb.

I also feel safer and though the gas is expensive, it’s worth it.

I am really so happy that I got the car.

I’ve grown so much these past few years.

Walking through this school program and showing up for the work consistently, working with clients, getting back into my own therapy, my job with my current family, all the recovery work I have done and still do, it’s been such a tremendous amount of growth.

My best friend reminded me that I graduate in two months.

I will fucking walk the stage at the Norse Theater two months from today on May 19th.

That also put into perspective the work that I need to do before I graduate.

There’s still a good bit.

I got one more thing out-of-the-way today though, got another signature for paperwork that needed to be signed.

Slowly.

But steadily.

And I will get it all done.

I will.

I admitted to my person yesterday that I was having some anxiety about getting it all organized and put together and that I felt a bit stupid and was beating myself up a little.

He right sized that shit pretty quick, confirming how organized I am and that my brain was cooking up some “manufactured misery” to wallow in.

I realized he was right, I had to say some things out loud to see how silly it all sounded, and it sounded damn silly as soon as the words left my mouth.

My brain can do that, get all caught up in the thinking and not realize how asinine it is until I say it out loud to someone.

Thank God for another’s perspective.

I mean.

Really.

Thank fucking God.

Anyway.

Me and my rambles are going to wrap it up.

I want to wind down a little.

I’ve got a big day tomorrow.

As per usual.

 

A Sweet Day

February 15, 2017

Despite it being Valentines Day.

Otherwise known as, achingly-painful-reminder-that-you-are-single day.

But really.

It was a sweet day and I did not find myself maudlin about the holiday, I haven’t really felt maudlin about Valentines Day in some time.

I have accepted where I am, who I am, and my relationship status is not a reflection of who I am or what I am.

It’s just a characteristic amongst many, many, many characteristics.

And.

I have been told by a fair number of people over time that I have something that they want.

They’re own space.

They’re own room.

They’re own bed to roll around in.

No one hogging the blankets or snoring into their ear.

Or wet sweaty body lying clammy against them.

I just had a flash of an ex-boyfriend who was a profuse night sweater and how it grossed me out how wet the sheets got, I mean, soaked.

I was like what the fuck is detoxing out of your body?

And the man was sober.

Night terrors=night sweats.

I think he was still working out some stuff.

The relationship did not last long and I welcomed back my bed with wide open arms when he was no longer sleeping in it.

I also welcomed not changing my sheets every other day.

I actually find Valentines Day rather sweet.

I like sending cards and I loved seeing all the guys out there carrying bundles of flowers.

I liked imagining the faces of the women or men they were giving those flowers to.

It was like little pieces of tangible love adrift in the world and I did not need a piece of it, nor did I find myself lacking for it, rather I just felt in my soul, a comfortable witnessing and great appreciation for all those folks out there doing for one another.

There really is nothing like getting flowers from someone.

It is special.

And as per usual.

I eschew buying them for myself on this day.

They prices get rather jacked up and I’ll buy some tomorrow.

I did some nice self-care today, took a hot shower, did some writing before work, drank a nice hot cafe au lait, got out into the sunshine and did a big grocery shopping run after work, doing the deal and meeting with a lady this evening to do some work and reflection.

I feel like it was a pretty successful day.

It did not hurt that I was not much on social media.

Sometimes I need a break from that.

What was wonderful today too was running into people unexpectedly from school and my previous nanny gig.

I ran into a TA from my Gestalt class last summer and we had a great catch up and a warm sweet hug.

“You smell good as always!” She exclaimed.

We chit chatted for a few minutes then I ran to catch the train to do some errands for the family in Noe Valley.

Super grateful for that.

Running errands outside when the day was a nice as it was today.

67 degrees.

Crazy.

I actually put on sunblock today before leaving the house.

The utter sublimest luxury of sitting in the sun while waiting for the train with my eyes closed at the cafe on Church and 30th was so good.

I felt so lucky and blessed.

I was getting paid to wait for the train at a cafe in the sunshine.

That’s pretty damn good.

Then up in Noe Valley after I had dropped off dry cleaning and picked up dry cleaning, I ducked in Whole Foods and picked up a few things for the house and ran into a woman who I knew from the corner market at 21st and Valencia–the market that I frequented when I was nannying in the Mission.

She works there as the check out lady and she was all smiles when she saw me and she gave me a great big hug.

It was super sweet to see her and it made me realize how just small kindnesses can go so far.

I don’t think I did much besides always say hello and smile and ask after her, just basic humanness, and her response to seeing me was so nice, it just was a great reminder to take that extra moment, smile, be kind, be sweet, be generous.

I don’t need heart-shaped boxes of candy to remind me to do that, but it’s a pleasant thing to see people with them tucked underneath their arms.

I loved seeing the kids let out from Mission High School.

The balloon bouquets were pretty impressive.

Granted when I was in high school, Valentines Day was hell on wheels for me emotionally, but it’s not now, and I can look back with a great deal of love and humor for the girl I was hoping for the same acknowledgement, love, and passion as I saw happening for other girls and guys at school.

There can be a show-off-ness about Valentines Day.

But today.

I chose not to see it for that.

Rather I just let it be another day.

A day I got to show up and work and cherish my charge.

A day in the sunshine with the flowers fragrant and lush where ever I went.

Who doesn’t want to see bouquets of flowers all day long?

So much beauty.

And the warmth of the little girl hand in my hand as I walked from the train and up the hill to her house was all the Valentines Day love I needed.

I am lucky.

I have so much love in my life.

I need not pine for more.

Why would anyone want more if they are not happy with what they have?

Today.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Exactly as it should be.

Seriously.

Replete

December 20, 2016

Full.

Not quite.

But almost.

Stuffed.

I ate some nice food today.

The boys I take care of, at least for the rest of this week, are on vacation from school.

The housecleaner was there today so the mom said take them out to lunch.

Absolutely.

But first.

The park.

It was a glorious, albeit chilly day in the city.

We went to Dolores Park Cafe for coffee and animal crackers.

Well.

I had the coffee.

And they had the animal crackers.

Then to the park, far emptier than normal as the city seems to be fully in exodus mode as the holiday fast approaches.

It was nice, going to work this morning and not having the normal amount of traffic.

It was nice to be at the park with the boys and not have heaps of people sitting in the grass smoking up and drinking beer out of paper sacks, the park was truly under the rule of the local little ones and their minders.

I rather found that lovely.

I got some much needed sunshine on my face and it was sweet to sit in the top of the park and look over the city and feel so much gratitude for my life.

The boys were snuggly and lovely and sweet today, animal crackers always help that, but they are also very aware that I am leaving them soon and they seem to be stockpiling the snuggles.

“Carmen, put your hand back there and keep rubbing,” the four year old admonished me this morning as we sat at the kitchen table and they ate the oatmeal I had made for them.

“It feels good.”

Yes, my sweet friend.

I’ll give you all the back rubs and snuggles you can possibly take on this next week.

The boys mostly dug in the sand box and I mostly soaked up the sunshine and casually trolled the internet to see if there were any movie theaters open on Christmas night in case I decided I wanted to do a movie.

Christmas Eve I now have plans.

I will be meeting my person in the morning at Tart to Tart, doing yoga before hand as the studio is open in the morning on Christmas Eve, then after I do the deal I’m going to head over to Oakland to help out a friend who has to move over the weekend.

We’ll get as much done as possible, hang out, grab some dinner and go to a movie.

Christmas Eve in Oakland.

Not what I was planning, but I am quite sure it will be really nice.

I adore my friend and it will be nice to spend time with her.

Especially as she made such the effort to come see me on my birthday in the city.

Travel to the city is some serious shit, the parking is awful, the traffic is quadruple what it used to be and it’s all around a much harder place to negotiate.

That she made the effort means a great deal and I can make the effort to do the reverse.

Especially as I have no time frame in regards to the holiday anymore.

The rest of it will fall together as it may.

Or may not.

I’m not too worried about it.

All in all, it’s just another day, granted it can be very sweet and special, but I do find that the more I have expectations around it, the harder it can be to get through.

I thought I had eluded the Christmas blues with my plans to fly to Wisconsin this year.

Seeing as how Paris was so heartbreaking last year and the year prior my boyfriend at the time chose to spend it with his ex-wife (that relationship didn’t last much longer than a few more weeks, fyi, although I harbor no grudge or resentment, it was painful to go through that day alone walking on the beach, which is what may very well happen this year too, so I best get the fuck over it), I really can’t make plans for the holiday.

I just seem to get bit on the ass when I do.

So whatever happens I am entirely fine with.

Coffee will be had, that’s about all I know.

After that, no expectations shall lead to no resentments and that will make for a fine Christmas indeed.

And really, after all the love I got in the last day from friends and my employers and the boys, I don’t need to ask for more, I have already been given so much.

Just take lunch and dinner for heaven’s sake.

I ate some amazing food today.

The boys opted for Tacolicious for lunch, which if you haven’t gone is a pretty high end taco joint in the Mission.

The boys had the kid’s plate–fish taco with homemade refried beans and rice and lots of chips and big cups of milk.

I had the pozole, which was good, not the greatest I’ve ever had, but super warm and hearty and satisfying.

I also had the plantains with crema and refried beans.

THAT was hella good.

I was a very happy camper eating that.

After lunch the boys had quiet time and I had sort of a mental break down on the phone with my friend when I realized how tired I was and that I was struggling with the idea of the speaking engagement I was supposed to do tonight, in fact, would be at right now as I was supposed to speak at 8:30p.m.

But I had said yes without considering that I have a super early start tomorrow and I wasn’t feeling all that well, a constant head ache all day, that has just in the last hour finally simmered the fuck down.

I took 7 ibuprofen over the course of the day.

No fun.

I also was running a slight temperature, again, nothing huge, not really all that sick, but it just became clear I was going to need to marshall my reserves to get through the day and also to go to the dinner that my employers wanted to take me out to for my birthday.

The boys were so excited, it’s their favorite restaurant hands down.

They had so much food I don’t know how they crammed it all into their little boy bodies, but man, they did.

I had swordfish sashimi and yes!

They still had it, the persimmon salad with duck breast.

It was amazing.

Persimmons are basically out of season at this point so when I saw the salad, I knew.

It was divine.

And then.

I just got on my scooter and came home.

I don’t know that I am actually sick, but I suspect the emotional roller coaster of figuring out my travel or not travel to Wisconsin, combined with my birthday and having to finish that gigantic paper for school just kind of pushed me over the edge.

I’m going to go to bed early tonight and just call it a day.

I’m sure I’ll be fine in the morn.

I feel better already, just from being home.

Home.

It is such a nice place to be.

Yes.

Even when I was expecting to be elsewhere.

Home.

As it turns out.

Is just where I want to be.

Seriously.

No Date For You!

September 5, 2016

No soup either.

I chose a pork chop instead.

I was in the middle of class today and I received a text message from tonight’s date regarding where and when to meet.

Um

Uh oh.

Zeitgeist.

Now.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Zeitgeist, it’s great, lovely picnic tables, outdoor seating, lots of port-a-potties, good location, the Mission and all.

But.

Um.

Yeah.

The last time I was at Zeitgeist I was wasted in the beer garden and well on my way to scoring some blow from my dealer.

I was smoking cigarettes like there was no such thing as lung cancer, or a brighter tomorrow, and over tipping the bartender to over compensate for my lack of self-esteem.

And well.

He was hot, in a beer goggly kind of way.

I haven’t been to Zeitgeist in over a decade.

Seriously.

I am 11.5 years into recovery and I think the last time I was at that bar was a few months before I got sober and put it all down, thank you very much, the dancing on the picnic tables was fun when the weather was warm and the nights were boozy, but no thank you.

But thank you for the offer.

When I responded that Zeitgeist was not an option for me on a first date I got a long, drawn out pause.

I mean.

Let’s get something straight.

If I have a reason to be at a place serving liquor or where there’s drugs and extra curricular activity happening, Burning Man, a concert, a club with a good dj, then I’m all set, I have a reason to be there.

But a date.

Nah.

Meet me at the cafe s’il vous plait.

Bars ain’t no good for me and Zeitgeist doesn’t have any appeal either for music since they don’t do shows there, fuck they don’t need to, they have an outdoor beer garden and you can smoke.

Well, you could the last time I was there, who knows now, regardless, not the place for me.

My potential date quietly and vaguely backed away from the meet up.

I asked for some clarification, not that I gave a shit, you don’t want to hang because I don’t drink, no biggie, you got your heart set on a pitcher of pilsner and a smoke in the beer garden at Zeitgeist on a Labor Day weekend, do it.

He had made a soft ball pitch, underhand, slow pitch, not fast, that maybe he would consider hitting Dolores park.

Which didn’t have much appeal to me, but I could if enticed.

There was no enticement though, again a vague rather back out.

I finished up my day at school.

Hurray for getting through the first weekend intensive of the semester!

And.

I sent a text asking for clarification.

Did he want to meet or not?

The answer was a no.

And like that I was free to go about my day.

We were both congenial in our response and that felt rather adult.

It also reminded me of the things I have been writing about regarding the want to attract an adult male partner.

Sobriety is pretty high on that list, followed closely by not smoking, gainfully employed, self-supporting, age appropriate, local…

I was grateful to turn down the date and be honest about what I want and need.

The first step in manifesting a mate, yeah, I know, hocus pocus, but fuck you, I’m giving it the old college try, all things considered I have manifested stranger–hello three seater Cessna plane ride home from Burning Man this year (you do realize my stuff is still on playa gathering dust as I type), why not a sober mate; is to know what I don’t want.

I don’t want an active drinker, drug user, or cigarette smoker.

I do want someone who is emotionally available, strong, powerful in themselves, aware, intelligent, creative, funny, affectionate, will bring me flowers…

I could go into further detail, but suffice to say, said partner is not going to want to take me to Zeitgeist for my first date.

Nope.

Truth be told, it was nice to have the afternoon to look after myself once school had wrapped up.

I took my time, chatted with a few friends in my cohort–man, I am liking how well I have been getting on with everyone–and slowly took my leave of campus, tucking my books and notebooks into my scooter basket and zoom zipping to the Outer Sunset.

I dropped off my school bag at home and headed back out on my scooter to do some grocery shopping.

I decided to cook myself a nice meal: boneless pork tenderloin pan sauteed in orange and rosemary infused olive oil with tarragon, garlic, sea salt and pepper; accompanied by thinly slice brown butter (ok, ok, it was Earth Balance, but brown butter sounds so much nicer) brussels sprouts, brown mushrooms, and white corn.  I served it over a little bed of brown rice and happily tucked into the deliciousness with some sparkling water.

After that I was a good school girl and read for about an hour and a half.

There is a lot of reading this semester.

A LOT.

And despite wanting to sit it out for a minute, I knew that it would be a better use of my time while I was freshly fed and hydrated and relaxed in my cozy little home, to get in a little reading time.

I do better with retaining the material if I do a half hour to an hour and a half at a time.

More than that and my eyes cross.

I read for a bit over an hour, took a break, then went back and picked up a different book and read for another 30 minutes.

Perfect.

Some hot tea, some blogging, some relaxing.

I’ll watch a little Mr. Robot, have a little snack, a cup of tea, and sleep in tomorrow.

I won’t be setting my alarm for 6:30 a.m.

I will be resting.

I don’t have plans for tomorrow.

Like none.

I suspect I will spend most of my time in the neighborhood.

A walk down to the beach, perhaps.

A long sit in the sun, if the fog lifts, in the back yard.

And.

Yes.

Very likely.

More grad school reading.

But.

Hey.

If you’re a sober male, appropriate age and local.

(non-smoker)

Let me know.

I’m around.

And.

I like coffee.

You?

Re-set Button

April 18, 2016

Has been re-set.

Sleep.

Sunshine.

Yoga.

Walks on the beach.

With the god damn entire city of San Francisco.

Well.

I suspect the other part of the city was probably congregating at Dolores Park, but my god there were a lot of people out at the beach.

So many intoxicated little bikini clad, festival be-decked, floppy hatted young things sprawled all over the sand wasted and sunburnt.

“Jesus fuck,” I said on the phone, as I crested the dune heading down toward the beach.

“What was that?” My person asked surprised by the sudden segue in the conversation.

“There are so many people here, it’s, it’s I don’t know, really too much,” I ended.

There she was, the gorgeous blue Pacific, calling me forward, alluring and dappled in bright coins of sun, but between me and that ocean, so, so, so many people.

So much drinking, smoking, and silliness.

Not that I am upset about the imbibing, it’s just not my scene and my neighborhood has definitely become a scene, especially on the weekends and really especially when it is nice out.

God damn it was nice out today.

I got up and out early and off to yoga by 9 a.m.

I stripped the bed, threw the sheets in the laundry, made my bed, knelt down got some humble on and asked to have a good day, to have some fun, to show up for the women I was going to be working with, to show up for my recovery, to show up for the school work I needed to get done–really did it have to be so very nice when I need to do so very much reading?

I sipped some iced coffee and headed to Yoga Beach, just down the block, unfurled my yoga mat and left the outside world far, far, far behind.

For an hour and fifteen minutes I was nowhere else.

Except when I was startled by reverie during my practice.

I find that I get different things from different instructors, and this experience today had me overwhelmed with gratitude and light and joy and grief.

All in shades of grey.

Soft, cashmere, ombre, grey.

Fogged out.

Misted.

A tale of swathed heart beats, true North, meadows full of fireflies.

And.

A little girl in a white dress with bare feet and brown hair in braids, her face brown, the tops of her cheeks just sun kissed a dusty rose.

I recognized her.

She is me and I am her and I saw her a couple classes ago and wasn’t sure yet that I had wanted to write about her.

She beckons to a dazed innocence that I think, or wish, or  chose to bedevil and beguile myself with that I had at some point in my young life.

A naive and innocent joy and trust.

Then another woman.

Old, thin, the sharp line of her jaw still fierce, the bones in her face more prominent, but still a softening around the cheeks and long hair, again in braids, in a shift this time more grey than white ombre dipped black at the bottom.

And this is me and there I am, old, proud, soft, hard, braids, bright eyes, stretched hands, friends with sun in the sky, the moon in the meadow, the lark in the tree.

Finally.

The third woman.

The woman I am now or soon to be, joined in the circle, grey shift shimmering like pearls, floating about me, hair in braids, mouth lifted, smiling, cheeks sunburnt, heart full and open and I realized that I wanted her to be me and the feelings that were all there, the sadness and the grief and the shallow sorrow, a teaspoon of salt water in an ever expanding ocean of feelings.

I remembered an old image that I had before, years before, an old idea or photograph in my head, this picture of my heart, a map, an unfolding, hilled and steepled there and there, graded with arrows pointing up and down, flickering bulbs of light, smoked neon, the chasms and neighborhoods, the map pinned down on the board of my soul.

I had this perceptive feeling that my heart was always struggling to curl up in on itself, to protect itself, to not hurt or feel or grieve or say goodbye or lose or fall.

To be inert, to drift, to atrophy, rather than feel that pain.

That pain of being alive.

That beauty of being alive despite the pain and the glory of reveling in the beauty despite, nay because of that sorrow.

I avowed to myself that I would not let my heart curl up, I would not withdraw, I would not build up that wall and I would stake down my heart, keep it open, make it bigger, make it fuller, live it harder, bolder, fiercer, now, more than ever, I mean, bring it damn it.

Today.

Though.

The image, the map of my heart the ghosts of streets I didn’t go down, the choices I took and walked away from or ran away from, or huddled down, a small bunny tharn in the light throttling down the roadway, only to have it pass over me, a whirling wind, an engine screaming horror into the bloody dusk, I saw that mapped heart different.

I did not see a heart pinned down, I saw a heart anchored.

I felt it rooted there.

There were no pushpins or staples or nails.

No.

I saw flowers.

I saw daisies, white, sunny, innocent, strong, pure, roots intwined and laced, a border of light holding down my heart.

The dazzling circumference lit and rising toward the sun, unfurled, tender, delicate buttons of butter yellow surrounded by coronas of white petals and coarse green teethed leaves.

I know.

I know.

Yoga.

Sheesh.

But there again, in my meadow, dancing, in the circle, these three aspects of me, child, woman, crone.

I do not know what legacy I will leave.

I do not foresee where my life will go or who I will affect or who will affect me.

I do, however, know, this reconciliation of love and tenderness, these stars, fallen kisses from God, as they rise above the ocean, calling to me to feel it all, and continue forward.

To keep dancing to that spiritual bluegrass of burnt dragonfly wings and dandelion seed pods blown through and scattered, the worn out passport of my childhood still in my pocket.

I am the legacy of love to myself.

I will continue on.

Love, loving, a house on fire, burn me down.

I arise again, sparks flying toward the heavens.

I will meet the stars and they me and we will fly together.

Over the meadow.

Into my soul.

Into the laughing mouth of God.

Which is just love.

Love.

Always.

That.

Always there.

Love.

 

Say the word and I’ll take a hatchet to your heart too.

 

Balance

January 28, 2016

I didn’t have it this morning.

I recognized that pretty much after telling God to fuck off in my morning prayers.

God can take it.

God’s a good bitch like that.

I was mad.

I have been annoyed and I didn’t even realize it until I was kneeling next to my freshly made bed, with my freshly shaved and showered self, my wild mane of curly “bronde” hair and my attitude, which, was yes, bigger than my hair.

I was hearing my Applied Spirituality professor’s voice in my head.

And it just popped out.

“Fuck you.”

Then.

I felt the fear and it was a surprise, I mean, I didn’t honestly realize that I was this afraid of this class, that I am holding on this tightly to my routine.

I wrote some inventory after I finished my breakfast.

God.

It really works.

Amazing.

How it works.

Once again it boils down to a fear of not having enough time and also that if I monkey with something that has worked so well for me for the last 11 years that I may not have the next 11 years.

Which is just bullshit and distracting and I can’t tell what’s going to happen in the next 11 days, let alone years.

Fuck.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 11 minutes.

Things.

They could switch on a dime.

The thing is I am able to roll with it.

But mess with my morning routine and I get a bit fractious.

Suggest that you want me to implement on a daily basis something that requires a half hour more of my day and I am all up in arms.

All up in that shit.

So I wrote it down and got it off my chest and made a phone call and told on myself and then got to focus on being of service where I was off to next.

Work.

And I did.

I did a good job at work, I had fun with the boys, I got to go outside and be in the sun.

Oh, delicious sunshine, how I have missed you.

I took the boys out to the grand re-opening of Dolores Park.

It was something else.

And I’m not talking about the flood of Millenials with their sacks of burritos and sandwiches from Rhea and the hipsters with their micro-brewed six packs, the bike messengers with their Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Or the floods of pot smoke.

Jesus.

I suppose the park was officially christened with weed when it gets right down to it.

No, what I’m talking about is the park.

The glorious, full tilt boogie that is Dolores Park at its delirious best.

The grass was green, the sun shone benevolently, it’s a week day and the opening of the park, but it wasn’t obscenely packed.

It will be.

It looks so nice.

I am so grateful I got to be around to see it re-open.

The renovation has been a long one, and it reminded me of the first time I saw the park and dreams I would have of it, flying, I remember a flying dream I had about Dolores Park back in 2001 before I moved here to the city I had visited–the park made an impression.

I got to review the last 13 1/2 years that I have lived in San Francisco.

“Where are you from?” The driver asked me yesterday.

I internally sighed, not interested in having this conversation, but I’ll play along.

To a point.

“Here,” I said bluntly.

“Oh, well, you know, your name,” the driver tried.

I decided I would help a little, but I wasn’t going to go into the whole saga, the moving from here to there, the growing up in Wisconsin, the no I don’t speak Spanish conversation.

“I was born in San Jose,” I said.

I had a sudden realization of not having to be wrapped up in my own story.

It’s just a story after all.

The only reason it’s special is because it’s mine.

All stories ares special, I just know the details to mine rather well, it’s familiar you could say.

What is not familiar is this feeling of balance and serenity that has come from doing so much work and also from being able to acknowledge and recognize my feelings a lot faster.

The faster I notice that I am out of whack.

The faster I can get back on the beam.

I am a sensitive lady.

I used to think that I had a really high threshold for pain and that this was something to be proud of.

Not so much.

I don’t need to suffer.

The more I allow my feelings, the less I suffer, and that less I actually attach true meaning to them.

Feelings are valid, but feelings aren’t facts.

Plus feelings are super transient.

They come and go.

And I can hold more than one at a time.

That was a revelation when I realized it was ok to be happy when I was sad.

That it wasn’t all so black and white.

Lovely little shades of grey, nuances of emotions.

I have a palette.

I also have a memory and I realized that I was probably also a little extra sensitive when I got teary reading some inspirational quote on my Facecrack feed.

I went back and re-read it to get the full gist and a tear actually did fall.

Oh.

Fuck.

I’m getting my period.

I haven’t ovulated yet, but it’s getting ready.

Which would also explain the super sensitive nose I had yesterday.

My sense of smell goes through the roof when I am close to my period.

I think my body is busy sniffing out a male with some juice to get busy with, that’s the instinctual thing I think, pheromones and what have you.

I may be 43, but the body is still not done with that part.

Yet.

I figure I am almost close to that chapter ending too, but who knows.

Not here to think about that.

Grateful for self-awareness and self-acceptance.

And.

Spiritual solutions.

To my.

Applied Spirituality class.

I get to remind myself.

God’s plan is better than mine.

Just get out the way, Martines.

God wants better for you than you want for yourself.

Drop the rock.

And open your arms to the flowers being held out to you instead.

I like flowers.

 

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.

Ten Years After

February 16, 2015

I was given the amazing perspective of being asked to reflect on the last ten years of my life and where I was and where I am now.

It was intense.

It has been an intense day.

“I love reading your blog, it’s so dramatic!” A friend of mine said yesterday at the going away party I attended.

“I bought a loaf of bread at the store, it was good bread, I have an insight, it’s a big one, wow, life, amazing, that was some tasty bread.”

I punched him in the arm.

“I know I’m dramatic, I can’t help it, it’s just how I am,” I said, blushing red-hot, I could indeed see myself waxing poetic about buying a loaf of bread.

I mean, have you ever walked past Tartine in the Mission and smelled the butter scented air?

The only corner in the city that never fails to remind me of Paris, as the bread and pastry there is very French informed.

I mean, I could really write a full on 1,000 word blog on the smell of baking bread and my insights there of.

My friend was spot on.

I punched him in the arm again.

“Fuck you.”

“No, I love it, it’s so you, it’s good, don’t stop,” he gave me a bear hug.

Sometimes the little things are the most dramatic, the flight of a pigeon startled up from a palm tree on Dolores Street as my old friend leaves the coffee shop, a friend I said goodbye to.

I surrendered a friendship.

I have surrendered a romantic relationship and didn’t write much about it, or him, as it wasn’t my place.

I will do the same here.

I am sad.

I watched the light shift, I listened to the incoming whistles from my phone and let the tears well in my eyes.

I felt my heart and breathed through the process.

Things end.

Things begin.

The light, buttery, soft, warm, awash in the rich scent of jasmine and of blooming magnolia, the sky clear, high, blue, swathed in light airy clouds, the palm trees against the robins egg blue and the rattle of ice in my coffee cup.

It was a comfort to be in that window space and sit there and look at those palms and remember so many times, over the last ten years, that I have sat in that same window seat watching those same trees.

Sometimes laughing.

Often times crying.

Always living.

Always walking through the next thing in front of me.

Speaking of which.

I did it.

I filled out and filed my FAFSA form before starting my blog tonight.

Federal student loan application for graduate school is now complete.

I have yet to hear back about what specific day I will be going in to do my interview for the program, but I do not doubt that I will get it.

It all feels right.

If I am supposed to go to this school and do this program and get the Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology, then the money will be there.

I have always been taken care of.

I don’t foresee being dropped now.

And if I’m not supposed to go, well, something else will happen.

I just take that little action, whatever it is, when my hands are cold and I am breaking out into a cold sweat and my flight or fight is high, I breath and take the next action in front of me.

Some times that is to pause and not respond.

I did some of that today.

The not responding.

That was a challenge.

Then there is the time to stand up and speak my experience and share what it’s been like and how I go forward from here.

Which is that I see and hear and rely on those that have gone before me, how they walk through, how I may do the same thing.

I am not the first person in the history of graduate school to be nervous about paying tuition.

Well, excepting those in European nations that pay for their citizens to attend school, but despite wanting to be French, I was not born there to take advantage of their school system.

Or Germany’s.

Someone suggested I move to Berlin for the free schooling they are now offering.

I don’t speak German though.

And I don’t want to move a way from San Francisco again.

This is home.

“I am so glad you moved back from Paris,” she said to me tonight before I stepped out into the hallway, “it’s really good having you here.”

It’s really good being here.

Home.

My little corner of the planet, which happens to exist in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Not that I am biased or anything.

But San Francisco, she sure is pretty.

Especially when there are days like today when the entire city is outside enjoying 70 degree weather and sunshine.

The beach was packed.

The Mission was packed.

Dolores Park looked like a movie set.

I don’t know that there could have been one more person shoved into the green space on the hill, it was a carpet of people.

I laughed when I saw the park.

I was in the car with a friend whose surf board I had returned.

It was suggested to me I get it back to him.

I was on my way to say goodbye to a friend at Maxfield’s Cafe.

It was suggested I give him some space to have his process.

I amend my life the best way I know how, take the suggestions I am given, and try to live my life in a spiritually principled way.

How that comes across is none of my business.

I looked out over the faces in the room, full of light, full of unspeakable radiance and shine and perhaps that was because my eyes were full of tears with the gratitude I hold for them, or perhaps it was the face of God I was looking into.

All I know is that I am in the heart of love and that these ten years have been a gift I never expected or thought I was good enough to receive.

I hope I was a mirror to the people in front of me.

Love.

I love you.

Love.

Thank you for all you have given me.


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