Posts Tagged ‘ego’

There is So Much

March 23, 2019

To write about.

And where to begin?

I almost titled this blog, One Hour, as an homage to something quite big.

I also thought about naming it, “Are you Here?” as I suspect my ex is back in town.

At least it feels that way.

More about that later.

Then I thought I should write about my awesome and amazing Mike Doughty experience and having gotten to see him on Wednesday of this week and how I played hooky from clients and went out on a school night.

I didn’t really play hooky, I just rescheduled them for later in the week, I had one tonight and I’ll see the other tomorrow after my regular Saturday clients.

Then I thought, oh yeah, I should call this, “Vive La France!”

As I bought a ticket to Paris last night!

Yeah.

So.

All the things.

All of them.

So much going on.

Plus, of course, the school thing that is happening and how I managed to get all my papers done and turned in on time and also how I got back some really amazing comments on my last couple of papers.

“Clarity, erudition, adept usage of third person, meticulous APA style,” I could go on, but then I think that’s just ego.

I”m right on schedule with school at the moment and extremely happy about that, despite feeling a little disconnected from school since I did not get much time this week at work to do homework.

The family had the flu.

Like seriously bad, fevers, aches, chills, super bad sore throat, coughing.

I do not know how I escaped, but I did.

I also got my flu shot this year so that might have helped and as soon as the family was diagnosed with the flu at the doctors they called me and said call my doctor and get Tamiflu, which is a preventative medicine that will work if taken within 72 hours of exposure.

So I’ve been taking that all week and seemed to have skated by the flu.

Thank fucking God.

I cannot afford to be sick.

And.

I don’t like being sick.

Even the small part of me that rather enjoys lying around all day in bed.

The rest of me drives itself crazy when I’m sick.

So I’m super happy I avoided it.

But man, work was a tough one this week.

Which made it easy to ask off for time to work with a client.

Yes.

It’s official.

This week I got my tenth client.

I took a leap of faith when the person reached out and offered expanded hours beyond what I have available.

Meaning.

Wednesdays I work from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. then see clients at 5:30p.m., 6:30p.m. and 7:30p.m.

I offered the client a 4:30p.m. slot.

Technically I’m working as a nanny, but I’ve been in conversation for months now that at some point I would slowly begin the transitioning down of nanny hours for therapy hours.

I hesitated for just a brief moment but knew, really knew, that I had to offer hours that would overlap into my nanny shifts.

And the client took the Wednesday slot.

Which means I have to be done at the nanny gig by 4p.m. now on Wednesdays.

One hour less of being a nanny.

One hour more of being a therapist.

Plus.

This new client found me on Psychology Today and was not a referral from my agency, meaning the client is full fee.

Yippee!

The more full fee clients I get the faster I will transition out of nannying.

I mean, I love the family, but $30/hour versus $140 an hour.

Well.

I know what works better for me.

Anyway.

That’s therapy business.

Then there’s Paris business which in a way segues into ex-boyfriend business.

Yesterday at work I was checking e-mails in a brief moment of time when I wasn’t picking up used Kleenex, hydrating some small child, washing dishes, drawing, cuddling, or making hot tea with honey and saw an interesting email from a friend.

It was an e-mail that he forwarded that there was a one day sale happening for round trip tickets to Paris.

Oooh.

I wasn’t planning on going to Paris this year, I’ve been planning on going to Hawaii in July,(but still haven’t done anything about it as I’m waiting on my employers to let me know when they’re going to be in Finland and if, probably not, but if they are also planning on taking me to Helsinki with them)  going to Maui and staying in Paia, where my grandmother was born in 1928.

But.

I was curious about the flights and a little bug got in my ear and so I searched and shit, the price was too good to pass by.

So I picked the best time for me to go, end of the fall semester, in December.

Yes.

That’s right.

I’ll be in Paris on my birthday and for Christmas.

I fly out of SFO on December 17th, landing the next day at Charles de Gaulle on December 18th, my birthday, in the early afternoon.  I’ll fly back on December 27th.

So I’ll be there from my birthday through Christmas.

I will sit in cafes, go to museums (the Louvre, the D’Orsay, the Jeu de Paume, the Pompidou–which is open on Christmas, I know where I will be, wandering the galleries there for sure on Christmas day, the Orangerie, the Palais de Tokyo, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Musee de l’Art Moderne), walk everywhere, read books, go do the deal with the Paris fellowship, hang out with my best girlfriend from my Masters degree cohort…we’ve already made plans to go to the ballet (I messaged her right after I bought the ticket).

I got the ticket from Air France round trip, direct flights there and back for $579.32!

I still can’t believe that!

My girlfriend asked me why December after exclaiming at the cost of the ticket.

I told her that my birthday and Christmas have been really tied up with my ex the last two years and maybe its better for me to be in Paris then in San Francisco and really just do something for myself.

I always wanted him to come to Paris with me and I had even brought it up in the days before we broke up that I wanted to plan a trip with him there.

It is such a screamingly romantic city.

And he’s such a foodie, he would have loved it.

I’m still sad we didn’t get to experience that together.

She understood.

Plus, I told her that it makes sense with my school schedule and it’s the slowest time of year for therapy clients….the last two holiday seasons were really slow and I hear that it’s that way for most therapist.

So.

Yeah.

Booked that ticket.

I don’t think I’ll stay with my girlfriend, despite knowing she’d let me, I think I want a little more autonomy and she’s got young twins, who are super sweet and adorable, but the house isn’t huge and as much as I loved staying with them, I don’t want to stress them out at Christmas.

I figure I’ll Air BnB in the Marais where they live, it’s super central and I know it well enough, and just be an independent lady at Christmas time in the City of Lights.

God.

There’s more to say.

The feeling of my ex being in town, and wanting him to reach out or to somehow bump into him, it’s big, but I’ve not got time to write more.

I need to get up early, lots of clients tomorrow.

So.

I bid you adieu and I’ll see you on the flip.

 

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Step Up

November 20, 2017

Do some service.

Get the fuck out of your head.

Worked like a freaking charm.

I sat and listened to an amazing woman today for hours.

I did a lot of reading.

I did some client work.

I got asked to do a speaking engagement and did that too.

It was fantastic.

To get to be my complete self, lit up, on fire, alive, in love, all the things.

I don’t remember what I said, which is good, that means I wasn’t trying to manipulate how people saw me, I was just sharing.

And my God.

The gratitude.

I smiled so hard.

My face actually got a little sore from smiling so much.

And.

Yes, of course, there were some tears, and love was talked about and I got to reflect on how much love I have been given and how much I still get to give back and out into the world.

It’s amazing.

I was also told this, “you sound like a psychologist!” A sweet man told me after.

That was really nice to hear.

I am grateful for so much in my life.

I have a life, I am alive, that is the start, and you know, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, it bears repeating, if life were fair, I’d be dead.

Life is not fair, I have more than I can have ever imagined or asked for.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I have people I love and who love me.

I have a full heart.

I don’t do so many of the things that I used to under the guise of it makes me feel better, but really it just made me feel worse, temporary solutions to the pain I was living with.

Like smoking cigarettes, man, I still forget that, I haven’t smoked in twelve years!

No sugar.

No flour.

No booze.

No cocaine.

Sure.

I still use salt, but please, really, don’t take away my last white powder!

I also do things that I always wanted to do but I would just talk about doing them, I didn’t actually do them.

Like.

Oh.

Writing.

I write every motherfucking day.

How amazing is that?

That I consistently give myself the gift of sitting down to paper and pen and getting honest with my heart.

It is no easy task and it always gives so much back to me.

So too, this little blog.

I do love the writing, I love how my fingers fly over the keyboard, I love how the words pour out of my hands, a direct conduit from the love in my heart.

I have a great job.

I have a site to get all my practicum hours so that I can graduate in May.

Jesus.

I get to go to grad school!

How many people actually get to do that?

Granted I was getting hella frustrated with the FAFSA online tools which kept telling me my passwords were wrong and wouldn’t let me access my student account.

I have to file for the 2018 financial year.

I have not applied to school yet, but I have some fairly serious ambitions to do so, to go for the PhD, I’m thinking that I would get in Transpersonal Studies, which is a two-year program at my school.

I have to flesh some things out, when I would apply, what I might want to dissertate on.

“You should totally do it!” My therapist enjoined me.  “You find so much richness for yourself in the academic world.”

I had not thought of it like that.

I had thought of it, like I want a PhD, ego stuff.

Then.

When a professor I highly respected told me that I could be of more service in my community with a PhD I thought, yeah, I should do that.

Then.

Well.

I know this sounds kind of crazy, but it also sort of makes sense to me, it would mean being in school two more years and that would give me two more years to acquire hours at my internship before I have to start paying back on my student loans.

I am not in a paid internship.

I’m not sure that I could swing paying back student loans on top of getting my hours.

Then again.

I just keep saying, it’s God’s money, it will work out.

I do believe that.

But.

When my therapist reframed the continuation of school by reflecting to me how much I have gotten out of school, just personally, how much I have grown, that I am giving myself an opportunity to learn more and grow more.

I really liked thinking of it.

So grateful for my therapist.

We started in on a hard piece for me last week.

It was something that I have been holding for a while and I knew eventually it was going to have to come out and the work would need to be done on it.

I have done a lot of work, but there is still more to do, still places of pain that need to be touched into, places I need to grieve, things lost that I don’t know I’ve really let myself see that I had lost.

I don’t want to wallow in my past.

I don’t.

It doesn’t really serve.

But I do want to integrate those experiences, grieve what needs to be grieved, and let it go.

My therapists face when I was getting into some of it, how she pulled me back, grounded me, settled me back, ran over time with me to make sure I was calibrated and strong enough to leave the office.

I had tears on my face and many crumpled tissues, but I also felt a kind of inner awareness that this is where the real work is going to happen and I can get through it all the way.

I wasn’t collapsed in, I was strong, I was lightened, I lightened the load a tiny bit and left a good bit of it in a tissue in the wastebasket.

I have the strength to get in there, dig it out, and let it the fuck go.

So grateful for that.

I am resilient.

I have inner love and joy and strength and light.

I have been given so much love in the last few years, so much more than I thought I deserved, so much appreciation for who I am and what I do.

I really am loved.

I really am lovable.

I am enough.

I have enough.

And.

I get to give it all away.

Which.

Oh.

Glorious paradox.

Is.

The only way I can keep it.

The only way.

 

Slow Slide

January 29, 2016

Into the weekend.

I’m working a long day tomorrow.

Dinner benefit for the boys school, mom and dad out late.

Not horribly late, but late.

Then the weekend.

Where there’s not much planned.

Meet with my person and get my eyebrows waxed.

And of course.

The homework, the reading, the wearing my big girl pants and keeping on top of what is happening for my masters program.

I got a text from one of my cohort asking if I wanted to do a study group this weekend.

Uh.

No.

I said yes anyway.

I said yes to take a counter intuitive action.

I said yes, because I wanted to say no.

And I wanted to say no after I had just written about feeling a little isolated again and how I am just going to have to walk through this experience–graduate school–and that it’s not forever and I can be flexible and it will be ok.

Then my friend texts and I’m all like.

Ugh.

Not interested.

What is that?

I basically complain I don’t have anyone to spend time with this weekend, someone says, hey lets hang, and despite having a really open schedule, two of my ladybugs aren’t meeting with me either, I balk.

That is the nature of my disease.

Let’s get her out of the middle of the pack, isolate her a little, make her feel completely alone and see what she does.

Maybe she’ll start up her Okstupid profile.

Nope.

Maybe she’ll eat some ice cream.

Nope.

Might as well just stick a gun in my mouth.

Maybe, instead, I’ll take the opposite action and do something where I am engaged with my community, my friends, my graduate school program.

I don’t actually think we’ll study all that much.

In fact.

I would probably get more done on my own, and not have to haul all my books around town, but.

I’ll get to see my friend outside of class time and hang out.

She also sent me a link for a show to go to in March.

I don’t know the artist, but my friend has great taste in music and it sounds really good.

Some sort of Latin/Jazz/Fusion/Brazilian music.

Sounds super sexy.

It’s not on a school weekend.

It could be a possible date.

I want to make sure that I am still getting out and doing things.

Not that working full time and going to graduate school full time are not doing things.

But.

You know.

Life outside of those things.

Dancing, movies, shows, meals with friends.

I don’t want to spend my life saying, I’ll be happy when…

I graduate from graduate school.

Or.

I get all 3,000 hours needed to get licensed.

Or.

When I am in a romantic relationship.

Or.

When I have the right pair of shoes.

Anything.

I can get wrapped up in it not being good enough exactly the way that it is.

And then I get isolated.

So, I’m grateful I said yes to my friend; however, I think I may ask her to come towards me.

She lives close to Super Bowl city idiocy.

I don’t want to be anywhere near that part of town until it’s dismantled.

Thank God my next school weekend is the following weekend.

I won’t have to be anywhere near the chaos.

I’m sure I’ll still feel the effects of the strange village of idiots being in my town, but hopefully it won’t ripple all the way out here in the Outer Sunset.

In other words.

(Thoughts)

I have been wondering about the week following my next week at school.

I’ll have Monday the 15th off for the holiday.

Which is nice since I have an engagement the evening before, yup, this lady will indeed be on a date with about 100 gay men in the Castro, and five lipstick lesbian, two straight guys who could pass as gay and seven homeless people.

Such shall be my Valentines Day.

It’s probably a good thing I got asked to be somewhere that night and do a little service.

I hope my new dress, finally the right size, from ModCloth will have arrived.

Nothing says sharing my experience, strength and hope like sashaying around in a sweet heart neck line, A-line flair skirt, and crinoline.

I mean.

Come on.

It’s Valentine’s Day.

I got to dress up.

Maybe I’ll even wear heels.

Frankly, I like to think my recovery looks hella hot.

Excuse me.

My ego took over that last line.

I’m not upset about being a single lady on Valentines Day.

(There’s still time! You got two and half weeks!)

I’m happy with myself and my life and I have a feeling that the less I focus on dating the more magic will happen.

In fact, I am considering not even writing about it as a topic any longer.

Not that I have a date on the horizon, but maybe all the focus I have put on it over the years has actually taken me out of being in the present, where the fun is, where the magic is, where I am exactly who I am supposed to be at any given moment.

I mean.

I don’t know that I would have wanted to date me five, six years ago when I started writing this blog, there was still a lot of messy going on.

Not to say that I don’t get messy or have things to clean up or work on.

I do.

It’s just not about self-improvement anymore.

It’s not about having the right clothes or the perfect shade of blond hair.

Although I might.

It’s not about having a better body or brain or job.

It’s about being happy in my skin, with the person I am.

I am lovely.

I really am.

And I deserve to acknowledge that, I think I reflect a lot of love to other people, but not always enough to myself.

Which reminds me.

I will probably have most of the week off after Valentines Day.

The family is going to be on vacation in Hawaii.

I may have a few projects at the house, but I may also have a lot of spare time.

Day trip?

Spa day?

Train ride somewhere?

Over night camping trip?

I don’t know.

But I will think of something.

I will have gotten my student loan disbursement and since I filed my taxes early, I could possibly have that as well.

A little trip to LA?

I don’t know.

I’ll find out soon what the family expects from me, I may just end up staying here, but getting a lot of stuff done, doctors visit, optometrist, dentist, some clothes shopping, maybe an appointment with my advisor at school.

And definitely time with friends.

If you’re around that week, February 15th-21st, let me know.

I feel an adventure, or six, brewing.

And I am saying yes to it.

Right.

Now.

Let’s get together!

 

Finding Space

September 17, 2015

in between the spaces.

I took an hour this morning that I did not even think I had.

I took it anyway.

I read school work for an hour instead of getting my nails done.

But I have a date tomorrow.

Who cares.

The man met you in a white out dust storm at Burning Man and took you into his bed despite not having shaved or showered in four days, that’s tasty to contemplate, he is not going to give a fuck about your nails.

But.

He will give a fuck if you’re distracted pants because you feel like you need to be taking care of business.

So.

I took care of fucking business today.

I sat my ass back down at my table, when I was really and truly about to go out the door.

I did my own nails and read for an hour.

I finished and caught up with a second class of work.

I already did the paper that is due for that class, so one down three to go.

Oh.

And look there, yes, the reading load is horrific, really lady, stop already, but I don’t have a paper due until the 2nd of October, I thereby have breathing space.

I still need to get a lot done and I have a group project that I have to work on as well, but there is space.

There is time.

When I sit still.

I find there is more time than I thought.

And.

When I am not procrastinating I feel more competent in my work and I know that I will get caught up with what needs to be done.

I also got home tonight and read until 10pm.

That seems to be as much as I can do at the moment.

And that added another few minutes into my day of looking at my graduate school work and assimilating the knowledge into my brain the best way I possibly could.

Hell.

It seems to be working.

I practiced non violent communication with the five-year old after a faked temper tantrum of dramatic proportions broke out post dinner pre bath time.

I was amazed at how well it worked and wanted to do a jig of happiness, but the three-year old was busy being three and that was curtailed.

The celebration that is.

But not the recognition that even in this brief amount of time being in graduate school, I am already learning and applying that knowledge to what is happening in my work environment.

Good to remind myself as I come up on my year, the 22nd of the month marks a year of being with the family, and my asking for a raise.

Not quite sure how that conversation is going to happen, but happen it will.

And I am constantly being taken care of.

“Here, take this,” my friend handed me $100.

“I know you didn’t get a paycheck last week, it’ll help with groceries,” he finished tucking it into my hand.

Tears prickled my eyes.

I said thank you.

I folded the bill and put it in my bra.

I forgot it was there.

Went to the store and realized I needed to take the bill out of my brassiere and pay for a quick food staple I had forgotten to buy the other day on my SafeWay run–which was almost exactly $100.

Groceries for a week.

So very grateful.

I forget how much abundance and generosity there is in the world.

I forget that I am always, beautifully, taken care of.

It is not always how I think it’s going to look and so often it is because I am NOT looking at myself, rather at how I can help out someone else.

Not an attitude that I have in spades, but one I have learned to cultivate.

One that saves my life.

I exaggerate not.

Again and again.

That is not to say that I should not or need not speak up for myself at work.

I need to do it.

I should have asked for a raise long ago, especially after being told I was the best nanny the family has had in five nannies and my salary is the same as the nanny who left them last year.

I realized that I was beholden to the plane ticket they bought for me when I went up to Anchorage to see my dad.

And that I am afraid to ask.

Of course.

If I don’t ask.

I won’t receive.

Even if I don’t get a raise, I feel like I have to ask.

The nice thing too, I have done my numbers fifteen ways to Sunday and I know exactly what I need to bring in to the penny to make it while I am in school.

I can make it on what I make now, working five hours a week less than I was working two weeks ago, and the extra time and space I have given myself will make my life a better place to live.

I could go through the process of being scared.

Or.

I can find the space to continue moving forward.

Doing the things that I do best.

Showing up.

Being accountable.

Doing a good job.

Hell.

The timing people!

I just got a text message about a place in the neighborhood that might have a room open up that is significantly cheaper than what I am paying now.

Now there’s a thought.

It has not even occurred to me to move.

I’m not sure I want to give up my autonomy here.

I do love my little home by the sea.

I would still be by the sea but at Noriega instead of Judah.

That’s not too much further than I am now.

Another five minutes or so on the bicycle everyday.

But maybe.

Stuff and things.

Everything is fine.

I have no problems.

I have only oceans of solution and love.

Love.

Yes.

Always.

Just there.

On the periphery of my fears.

Dancing a soft shoe shuffle.

Waltzing a prandial of desire.

Love.

Brown sugar crystals and the faint.

Caustic.

Drift of cigarette smoke.

I am going to be just fine.

I already am.

Well

September 14, 2014

And done.

It went well.

And I am done.

Zombified by the adrenalin of it all.

I do not know how entertainers can do it.

I got so sick with stage fright today I thought I was going to throw up.

I apparently did ok.

I messed up a few lines, transposing a couple of verses, but since the pieces were my own poems, no one knew the difference.

In fact, all were kind and sweet.

It was worth it, though to get up there and be present and perform, not that I think I am going to be doing it again any time soon.

I felt rather upstaged and outclassed by the musicians.

I am not playing any instruments, just reciting some poems.

It’s intimacy though, intense intimacy, just me, just a microphone, just my own words, my own lines of verse.

I mean.

It’s hard to hold an audience for seven minutes, especially with poetry, but I feel that they were with me.  And as more than one friend mentioned, really the best audience a person could ever hope for.

I have to say, the MC, Bucky Sinister, made the night for me.

He was hilarious.

I know his books and I have known through the grapevine that he does stand up comedy, and I can totally see it, he was a freaking hoot.

And Tom Sway.

Wow.

Blown away by his performance, it made me feel.

I mean really feel.

I laughed in appreciation at the talent the first piece displayed.

Part of it was tragic, comic, melodramatic, high emotionalism, high-octane, epic storytelling, and it was smart.

Very smart.

And the second.

Well.

Damn.

I cannot remember being brought to tears that quickly before by an artist.

The last time I recall having that kind of visceral response, that kind of quick lighting grief and sadness and elemental joy, was listening to Jeff Buckley encore with Hallelujah at the Barrymore Theater in Madison, when I saw him on tour for Grace.

I reasoned the tears away immediately.

I was feeling emotional.

The adrenalin was finally wearing off.

I was having after effects from my performance.

But the pure fact of it was I could identify with the artists’ deep sadness and insurmountable joy all at the same time.

The man is a talent.

I don’t believe I was the only one in the audience with tears in their eyes.

That’s a good place to be.

Surprised.

Open to others artistry and love of performance.

There were some performers tonight I could have done without, but to have had the willingness to get up on the stage and do their bit, I respected, perhaps with a greater appreciation than ever before, the work involved and the passion for it that comes out.

That being said.

I am done with it and glad for it.

I’m not so certain I am built to be a performer.

I like to think I am, that I have a talent for it.

But after seeing Sway and Sinister do there things, I was content to recognize that I may have a tiny touch of sweet melodic muse in me, I don’t have comic genius or the ability to bring people to tears.

I am a mediocre talent at best.

But grateful to have had a small chance here and there to do my little thing and know that experience, the getting up in front of a group of people and showing a part of myself.

There’s certain places I speak well and they can remain anonymous for now.

I don’t need accolades.

I don’t need applause.

My ego doesn’t need it.

I think I am just a tiny bit too introverted.

Despite my extroverted exterior.

I am on the shy’er side of town.

But not debilitatingly so.

Another thing to be grateful for.

I did think a moment or two of completely bowing out, what I had to offer was vastly different from what was happening on stage with most of the performers, but it was still something, another thing, I got to do by walking through the fear.

And now the weekend can really start.

And the week too, I suppose.

I have the next four days off, technically five, I do have off on Thursday as well, but I have a lot of errands I have to run, including going to the Healthy San Francisco offices and getting my care extended for another year, on that day to feel like a real day off.

I was instructed to enjoy it.

Especially as I will be starting a new job on September 22nd (plus a gig this Friday and this Saturday) and I will be busy, it will be full-time and I will just leap right into it.

It was expressed to me that this may be my only time off for a while so I best take advantage of it.

That doesn’t mean that I have any idea what I am going to do.

Well, aside from not be in any more talent shows, that’s enough stress for me for a while, thank you very much.

I am supposing I shall play more tourist in my town sort of things.

Go to the beach.

Maybe do some yoga.

Aside from the “exciting” and overwhelming cold sweaty high of the adrenalin, I did get one other thing from the talent show–a $200 gift certificate for a yoga session.

The benefit had a raffle and that’s what I won.

Thank you.

That’s at least one thing to do.

Sleeping in may be another.

I’m still a little hobbled with the ankle, so nothing too strenuous.

A movie.

A matinée?

All the things.

There are so many.

A swim.

A session at Kabuki Springs and Spa.

A nap.

Really.

A date with a new paramour.

Not that I have one, but a girl can dream can’t she?

Should you have thoughts, throw them my way.

Or time.

Let’s hang out and watch the leaves turn silvery in the sun and cool outlined with the sharp air off the ocean.

There is time.

And there is time.

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

 

 

Not My Day Today

July 10, 2014

But not altogether not, not my day.

If that makes sense.

It was a long day and I realize that it’s also been an emotional thing, going back to work, showing up, being present for the boys, and they are such lovely boys, that and the pain that accompanies me while at work.

And the fact that the little guy is teething.

Hard.

Really hard.

Worst teething reaction I have experienced with a charge, worst.

Poor baby is cutting molars that look like gigantic Lego pieces in his gum line.

He can’t sleep.

He doesn’t want to eat much.

He’s fractious because he can’t sleep, the pain of the teething wakes him up.

I can only give him so much Tylenol or risk him getting ill from that.

So, I wore the fuzzy pink sweater and he spent a lot of time nuzzled into that today.

My other little guy was awesome and sweet and a good little egg and helped by playing with his toys and not demanding a lot of extra attention.

It was loud and noisy at the house too as the construction continues and the door opens and shuts and the workers come and go and I am just out of my element with the whole thing.

So yeah, when I asked for a raise for working the Burning Man event this year and it did not go over so well, I felt like the last nail in the coffin of my week was hammered home.

I won’t get what I asked for but I will get a raise.

I have to.

My cost of living is just higher than it’s ever been before and not having asked for a raise ever needs to change.

Of course I am all invested in the outcome.

Of course I have already figured out I can do the event without getting a raise, should it come to that, I can eke it out for the month of September.  But why?  Work really hard, harder than I do now, and make less.

Yeah.

I know, I am at Burning Man, yay.

But the fact is I am tied to my job and I like working hard and so there’s that, and I know that there are a lot of privileges I receive from working the even the way I have, I am not inured to those things, nope.

But its work.

Hard work.

Long hours.

Hot days.

Dirty work.

Rewarding work.

But emotionally, physically, spiritually exhausting.

Sometimes I wonder if I go through with it all so that I get to have the classic playa meltdown and thereafter allow myself to indulge in some spiritual intoxication when it is all resolved.

If, perhaps, I am getting high off the anxiety and the stress of doing my job so that I can get an adrenalin fix through the drama of it.

What ever it is I have to trust that a. I will go to Burning Man and b. I will get paid what I need to make it by.

I love being a nanny at Burning Man.

There is something special and unique in the service that I give by going out there and taking care of a child.  I get some ego hits off that too, I am aware of it, I like being special and unique.

I do.

I love being Mary Fucking Poppins.

I love the look on people’s faces when I tell them what I do while I am there.

I love that I am good at what I do.

I take pride in it.

I hate, however, asking for what I need.

It is hard and I already have this idea that I am privileged by getting the experience that I get to have, staying where I stay, seeing the people I see, having a sort of all access pass to the back stage working of one of the greatest, if not the greatest show, on earth.

But this lady has to pay the rent too.

So.

Yeah.

It didn’t quite go as I wanted, but I know what I am worth, so I asked.

I thought I wasn’t attached to the results, and it turns out, shocker, that I am.

That’s ok too.

Burning Man is about art and creation and lest we all forget, hoping and wishing that the playa will provide, it is also about radical self-reliance.

I find that has to stretch past the event into my daily life, I have to be fully self-supporting to the best of my abilities, I have to take care of the home fires while sitting around the fires at the event.

I think I am now off into rambling land with this blog.

But I know I have some inventory to write, some patterns to change, some letting go of defects, and a whole lot of acceptance to work through.

Yippee.

Pause for a moment, must flip the bag of peas on my ankle.

Yup.

Still needing to rest, ice, compress, and elevate the ankle.

And this to shall pass.

Everything is alright.

I just had a day.

They happen.

I have made it half way through the week, two more days to go.

It’s all going to be just fine.

I know it.

Grateful for inventory and other people’s perspective and that I still get to learn something about myself and what an awesome way to learn.

I get to go to the best classroom on Earth.

Black Rock City.

I’ll be seeing you in the dust soon.

With or without a pay raise.

But definitely in with some glitter.

Doing For Me What I Cannot

June 19, 2014

Do for myself.

Wow.

I had no idea how hard it would be to surrender to this, but, I have, and here is the result–I let someone start a fundraising campaign to help me get through this month plus of not working due to being out of work with a severe sprain.

It’s hard to wrangle toddlers when you can’t do more than hobble about on crutches.

Although, hurrah, I did do some more walking about my studio.

I even did a load of laundry and I made my bed.

Then I took a shower.

In between these monumental tasks, because that’s what they are at the moment, time-consuming, monumental chores, I text back and forth with my new friend and followed the directions he gave me to get the link and see the site he set up.

He started a Go Fund Me donation site to help me get through until I am back at work.

I did nothing other than say, yes, you may and yes, thank you, and yes, I need help, and yes, I will let you.

Yes, yes, yes and more yes.

I explained to a friend earlier how uncomfortable I was accepting the offer that it made me realize that I needed to accept the offer.

In fact, the site had been live for an hour before I could bring myself to look at it.

It takes something to admit, at least for me it does, that I need help, that I haven’t gotten it all figured out.

Granted I don’t need as much help as I would have if my employers hadn’t agreed to pay me a little stipend until I get back.  I haven’t yet received word as to how much exactly it is, but I am estimating it to be about $300.

I sat down when my friend said figure it out, the total to ask for, $2,000, $3,000, and I’ll make it happen.

Whoa.

I don’t need that much.

Although, sure, give me the money!

Eek.

No.

That’s dishonest.

That’s not a principle I am supposed to be working.

The opposite of that in fact, so I took out my notebook with my spending plan, took a photo of it and sent it to him, sans the manicure/pedicure/eyebrow waxing column (no one need pay for my vanity except me, thank you very much) and what I had in the bank and was expecting to get from my employers.

The needed rest to get through I estimated at $1500.

He set it up to be slightly higher than that, to cover the cost of the fees for using the site.

I finally looked at it.

And yes.

I did cry.

I also shivered and got goosebumps, I am so playing this forward.

I am currently doing some data entry for a service entity in my community and I was offered $10 an hour to do it.

I made the decision to not ask for money, but volunteer my service to the facility until I was back at work.  I told the manager of the establishment today and he said I may change my mind, to keep track nonetheless, and maybe we could move forward with it when I went back to work.

Uh.

Probably not.

But who knows.

$10 and hour for data entry is not my cup of tea.

And I like tea.

But not all tea.

I don’t like green tea, it tastes like data entry.

So.

I also resolved that I would continue to do creative work and use my time well that way, to not sit on my ass and watch movies and shows and downloads.

I read a little today, in between the chores, and that felt good too.

To be a competent writer I need to help hone my craft by reading.

I will say, I am not really into the book I am currently reading, Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens, it’s ok, but it’s too transparent and obvious in the narrative, and too wordy in a historical way that I don’t find compelling–I’m not much on historical novels.

However, I am reading it as it’s well written, sometimes I will continue to read something that doesn’t capture me all that much  just because it’s written in a style completely different from mine.

It is the learning and being teachable.

And hey, something’s working for Lethem, he’s got a lot more books published than I do.

Plus, I only have one other book in the house that I haven’t read and I am saving it for as long as I can.

I still have two and a half weeks of down time before I return to work.

I am feeling better, just getting to be a little more active is helpful.

I did notice that I pushed a little harder and had to sit down and rest more this afternoon than I wanted too and by the time I was ready for my once a day outing, I was reduced to needing to use the crutches to get about.

But, hey, they are some fancy looking things, all gold and shiny, that I don’t mind relying on them.

Keep that upper body strong since I am not hauling and toting little boys and girls around.

Ugh.

Miss those little monkeys too.

I feel like they are going to be five years old by the time I get back to them.

With full on adult vocabularies and career paths that outstrip mine.

Right now, there is no career path for me other than humbly accepting with gratitude the help being offered to me.

“You are helping other people to ask for what they need,” she said to me on the phone when I choked up telling her about the GoFundMe  account.  “It is so important that we allow ourselves to ask for help when it is needed, and it’s keeping you connected, you aren’t isolated.”

No.

I am not.

I have taken more phone calls these past thirteen days then I can recall having all the last two months.  I have seen people whom I haven’t gotten to see because our work schedules and life schedules haven’t synced up.

Now, well, I am hostage, humble hostage, to this ankle and this slow recovery and healing.

But I can see it.

The healing.

Both of my ego and of my ankle.

It’s an amazing thing.

Not something I could have ever orchestrated on my own whatsoever.

And for that I am grateful.

Over the moon grateful.

Thank you friends for your help.

May I return the favor soon.

 

 

 

Love is the Master Principle

June 18, 2014

Well fuck.

So it is.

“Get your ego out-of-the-way and let people help you,” he said to me over the phone today.

“Listen,” he continued, “figure out a number and let me help you.”

I have a person in my community who has offered to help me throw a fundraiser to get me through the month plus some days of not working.

“You have to think too,” he added, “about that first week back, you’ll be working, but you won’t have income coming in.”

True.

True to all of it.

What I am afraid of, I asked myself as I sat in meditation.

“Do what you have to do, sit on it, pray, meditate, makes some calls, but text me a number, tonight or tomorrow morning, let me get things rolling,” he finished, “let people help you.”

Ok.

I let the words sink in.

“What will people think of me,” I thought.

Oh.

Well, if that isn’t ego,  don’t know what the fuck is.  What people think of me is none of my business and if I am not doing something or taking an action when directed to because I am in fear of others judgements, then, well, right there, I knew.

I knew he was right.

And I could be right or I could be happy.

I meditated some more.

I asked for guidance.

I prayed, yes, the purple haired, tattooed, Hello Kitty sporting lady, does do that.

You don’t have to believe in anything, prayer works, the act works and I have known that for a long time.

I also have a God in my life and if that makes you feel funny, that too, is not my business.

I had two thoughts come, I am not going to be given a vast amount of wealth for sitting on my ass, I will get what I am supposed to be given.

The other, that I knew exactly how much I needed.

I had done a spending plan for the month of June, I know to the penny what I spend, I know what’s in my bank account, I know what I am going to get from the families for the disability claim they are matching (55% of what I make with them, which is not my weekly take, not half of it either, as I work independent one day a week with another family and am not asking them for anything–although they offered to pre-pay me for an overnight), I know what I spend on groceries and rent, utilities, phone, the whole she-bang.

Plus, I will have to pay in more to my Healthy San Francisco next month too.

So, I pulled out my notebook with my numbers in their tidy little columns and took a photograph of it.

I sent the photograph and a text saying, $1500 will cover it.

And I let it go.

It’s out of my hands.

If nothing happens I still took a contrary action and yes, I felt some ego deflation.

Let the man help you, Martines, let him be of service.

Another day of resting with peas on my ankle and another day of being taken care of.

I also practiced taking another action.

I picked up my manuscript off the floor and placed it in my needs to be read pile, along with a library book that I realized I would need to finish reading before I head back to Wisconsin.

I kicked through about 100 pages of the book, having finished my 650 page novel last night before I fell asleep.

Then, I did something I haven’t done in a while.

I submitted a piece I wrote to a blog.

To the Burning Man blog specifically.

Which I have thought about doing on and off for quite sometime.

I have no idea if it’s a good fit, but the act of sending something out felt really good.

So to the editing of the piece.

I wrote it as a blog four years ago.

It’s not a bad piece, but it was rough and I saw how superfluous my writing was back then, and realized how much cleaner a writer I have become.

The unnecessary words that I was using, the adjectives that needn’t be there, the over usage of imagery where dialogue would work better.

In the past seeing these blogs overwhelmed me, the writing overwhelmed me, it seemed too daunting to clean it up, and for what ever reason, today, it wasn’t.

It was easy.

I went into my archives found the blog with the material I wanted, sifted through a few other pieces I had written around the same time, cut and pasted the blog into a Word doc and went to town.

The amazing thing?

I was there.

I was right in the action, I could see what was happening, it was as though the event was unfolding before my eyes and I could taste the dust and hear the noise and the revelry and the manic energy, I could smell the high feral smell of sweat and testosterone and tobacco smoke, whiskey, and the heat of the lights, the feel of being tugged into a suspension harness.

And I was once again in the Thunder Dome.

It awed me.

I don’t often get that kind of visceral right there in the moment feeling when I have edited a piece in the past.

I do when I am writing or describing, even now, in a weird mirror image sort of way, writing about the editing leaves me feeling a little like how I was earlier today, and the being there is again, well there.

I am back out on the playa in the dust.

I cut the piece from 2500 words to 2,000.

I cleaned it and read it out loud, tweaked a few things, got rid of some personal inflection that didn’t sit well with the narrative flow and I sent that bad boy out to the world.

I can’t describe how that felt.

But it was a kind of love.

Love for myself for taking a step forward with my creative side.

Love for giving back to the Universe.

Love for accepting that I am an artist and I am allowed to create, re-shape, and revise.

I sat and meditated twice today and the second time, after I had sent the essay away to the interwebs, I had some really compelling ideas about other creative projects.

Things just seem to drop into place in my head, or in reality, from my head down to my heart, where the best creation takes place.

My head holds up the artistic side too much, stopping myself from trying to even do anything bad, because why do it unless it’s perfect?

Put out there what you love and it will come back to you 1,000 times stronger.

Let the love out to accept the love coming in.

Give and receive.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Love is the master principle.

 

 

Well, I Did It

May 10, 2014

I crashed the scooter.

That didn’t take too long.

Sigh.

I didn’t harm it, too badly, it will need some body work, the front fender needs to be popped out a little bit.  I pulled it out with my hand, but it needs a touch of attention and some re-shaping.

I got more hurt than the scooter.

And it hurts, but it’s not deadly.

I crashed it starting it.

It’s sort of like breaking your leg falling up stairs.

After my friend came over the other day and showed me how to prime the scooter, I was ready for it.

Ready to ride it out and get up and over those hills to Noe and 19th for work today.

Considering all the crashing that could have gone on today, I am tremendously grateful that I am not worse injured or the scooter totaled, or the car I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to The Discovery Museum in Fort Baker over on the Sausalito side, and back, was not hit.

I had a near heart attack when a car careened through an intersection I was crossing through and nearly hit me.

It weaved off and I felt every hair on my body stand straight up.

Not sure what was the issue, I was fully in the clear, green light all the way, I don’t even care to dwell on it.

I will be dwelling on my scooter crash.

Ugh.

I didn’t even want to admit to it, but I find that I cannot hide things here, I have tried to edit my posts to make me seem more amazing and you know, that just never works.

I fucked up.

It was not on purpose, I flooded the scooter in the Whole Foods Parking lot in the Upper Haight.

I was heading back from a speaking engagement at Our Lady of SafeWay and was happy to be out and about, primed to swing by the Whole Foods on the way home, grab some apples, a few bananas, some almond milk.

I parked.

I was golden.

I got over excited by the priming lesson my friend had given me and gave it too much gas.

At least this was what I was to come to find out.

I called said friend.

No answer.

I tried starting again, not realizing that I was compounding the problem by rolling the throttle again, thus effectively, flooding it some more.

I got  a hold of Barnaby, who is a Vespa aficionado and owns a couple he stores down in San Jose at his mom’s place.

He told me I had most likely flooded it and walked me step by step what to do.

I had also called another friend, who turns out was in Seattle setting up for a dj gig.

“Carmen, I have one thought for you,” he told me two weeks ago while he and I were standing at the curb with Barnaby admiring it, “may you lay it down soon, gently, softly, and with little or no harm to you or the scooter.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Oh you scoff, but everybody lays down their scooter or motorcycle at least once, get it out-of-the-way sooner rather than later,” he finished.  “She’s a beauty, may you ride her a long, long, long time.”

I am so special and terminally unique, I was not going to believe him, I won’t lay it down, that’s not going to happen to me, nope, I don’t need to have that experience.

Thank you very much.

Apparently, I am no different from anyone else.

She got laid down tonight and I got drug.

Sigh.

Here’s the embarrassing bit, but again, I know better than to be too chagrined, I didn’t get badly hurt, I got the scooter started, I laid it down and got that nasty bit of business out-of-the-way.

My ego might be more bruised than my leg.

Might.

I am going to have an awful bruise on my left thigh.

It’s like, dented.

After following Barnaby’s instructions and doing some praying  to the powers that be, I went to start it.

And it almost started!

I was so excited.

I was also rushed, which I can see in this tiny bit of hindsight probably helped aid in my little wreck, the security guard was closing up the parking lot at Whole Foods and had wanted me to move earlier, I explained what was happening, and he was cool, but doing his job.

He startled me while I was praying and I got on to getting it on.

I kicked it again and the engine caught and I gave the throttle some gas.

Which was the wrong thing to do.

I don’t know how, I really don’t, but it had slipped into first, that is the clutch was in first, not in neutral.

When I gave it gas, it responded.

It leapt forward with me dragging behind it.

Ugh.

Then, it stopped, abruptly.

Two reasons.

One.

I hit a light pole.

Oh, dear sweet Jesus.

It’s true.

I hit the fucking light pole.

I hopped the curb, rode rough shod through some bushes and bonked on the light pole.

I was still holding onto the scooter, I rolled off the throttle, held the front brake and I don’t know how or why or where, but I heard clearly, “use the kill switch.”

I looked up, pushed the kill switch, and the scooter stopped running.

I tried to roll it back, but it was stuck in the wood chips around the bush.

I laughed, perhaps a bit maniacally, and pulled it back through the wood chips and onto the pavement.

Well, it’s not flooded now.

But the front fender was bent in.

And what ever I rammed my leg on, scooter or curb or bush or who knows, dug into my thigh bad.

I took three ibuprofen upon entering my domicile (while I silently debated keeping this whole story to myself, ego, ego, ego) and pulled down my leggings to look at the dented part of my left thigh.

I bruised the muscle bad.

I am not riding my scooter tomorrow–I want to make sure that I take care of the dent and just have it checked out to make sure that I didn’t do it worse damage (it rode home fine, fyi, but still)–and I don’t know if I will be riding my bicycle.

I am limping when I am walking.

But I am walking.

Really.

Let me assure you, it could have been worse, accidents happen, I learned, albeit in a harder way than I wanted to, to slow down and let things run their natural course.

Because when I force things, well, they can get out of my hands quickly.

Here’s to the Universe making it real clear.

I will be slowing down the rest of the weekend.

Thanks for the prompting.

And for not having me lay my scooter down in traffic.

I mean, if I am going to lay it down, what better way, really, then in a bunch of wood chips and a bush.

This will make a very funny story soon.

I can feel the humility working its magic as I type.

Or maybe it’s just the ibuprofen.

Come on!

It is pretty funny.

I ran into a light post at Whole Foods.

Damn it man.

And with just a tiny hint of perspective, let me give myself some props.

I got back on it.

I wheeled it out of the parking lot, started it up, and got back on the proverbial horse.

I will give myself some props for that.

Yes I will.

Sore, dented, bruised props.

But props nonetheless.


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