Posts Tagged ‘faith’

These Dreams Of You

January 17, 2018

Flash through my body.

Flush my skin.

Swarm me in sunshine and ghostly kisses.

Daydreams swaddled in cotton candy colored love.

Wildflowers and butterflies.

Clouds that bound bucolic over the blue sky.

High above me, my heart soaring out like pigeons flocking towards pinnacle roofs and crosshatching stovepipes.

I sat and watched the sky today.

Thoughts of you breathless in my chest.

Words to songs tucked into my ears.

I felt as though I was in a movie montage.

A silent soundtrack that no one heard but I.

Although I suspect that you heard the melody as well, despite the miles between us.

Always this connection.

Electric and poignant.

Soul bound and heart-rending.

Soft poesie in the corners of my mouth, which would curl up like a swallow swooping through twilight.

He gives me love, love, love, love.

Crazy love.

God the need for you.

The need that swallows me, wraps me up, carries me away without my control or consent.

Powerless.

Vulnerable.

Swept away.

I watched the sky a lot today, I think that has been spoken too already, but the clouds and the palm fronds and the trees leaves cutting into those gauzy masses had me softened and bending and wistful.

Wistful that still haunts me and lingers.

A burnished ache in my breast.

As though I have a blazon there, a lighthouse beam of love.

I think to myself.

All the thoughts of you, innumerable, a veritable encyclopedia of thoughts on you.

A reference book writ on my heart.

I long just to hold you tight.

So baby, I can just feel you.

Yes.

Dearest.

I am listening to Van Morrison.

Wishing I was dancing with you to the music and not longing for you while I listen to it.

Thoughts of you whilst you lay, way over there, lay, oh, so far away.

How I miss you.

How I love you.

Let me not count the ways.

I would curry no sleep, only the counting, which is infinite, endless, and full of untold depth and mystery.

Like your eyes.

I just want to come home.

Come home.

And see your eyes.

Your eyes.

Looking at me.

That way.

You know the one.

Yes.

Like that.

Just.

Like.

That.

And the hope is.

The wish is.

The desire is.

Fervent and deep.

That you’ll come running to me.

Hey, come running to me.

Oh baby.

Please.

Won’t you?

Please.

Come.

Running to me.

 

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Made It

December 26, 2017

I had a sweet day.

It helped that I got out of my house, and yes, out of my head.

My head is not the nicest place to hang out.

I woke up to the screams of a young child, my upstairs neighbor’s kid, opening Christmas presents and the ferocious shredding of paper package wrapping.

Just before 8a.m.

Ah, so much for sleeping in.

I had a hard time going to sleep last night, I was pretty sad and lonesome and a wee bit on the morbid side of things.

I hadn’t gone that far into the dark side in a while.

I cried myself to sleep.

Which, you should know, I’m loathe to share, but I’m also not a very good liar, and I have no desire to become a better one, now that I think of it, it was just what happened, that’s all.

I did lots of praying and lots of just letting the sadness come.

Sadness happens, I had tried to put it off most of the day yesterday, the lonely and the sad, but it snuck in, as it will sometimes at the end of the day when I haven’t the energy to marshal it away any longer.

So I let it out.

It wasn’t a wallowing and it wasn’t weeping, it was just slow, slippery tears and a very tender heart, some lonesome thoughts and some tenderness.

Even though I woke up before I was planning on getting up, I woke up quite serene.

Sure, some residual sadness at the corners of my day, in the pockets of my room, but mostly just a soft melancholic slick sheen to the day, a sort of soft focus sad that was like mist and it lifted itself away the more I got into being a wake and getting myself dressed and fed and caffeinated.

A good writing session and a fast realization that I needed out of my house.

I got my package and card, last Christmas gift to give, for my friend whom I was going to see in the East Bay and I headed out the door.

It wasn’t as cold as it’s been the last few days and that felt nice.

I wished Merry Christmas to a neighbor and got into my car.

I drove up to the Inner Sunset and grabbed a nice parking spot on 7th and Irving and went and did the deal.

It was so good and I felt a lot better.

Afterward I called my friend and said hey, I’m out and about now, would it be ok if I came over early?

I didn’t want to be alone any more.

She was happy to have me over sooner, so I grabbed a cafe au lait from Tart to Tart and hit the road.

The traffic was light and I made quick time.

I was going 70 mph over the Bay Bridge and getting passed left and right.

It felt good to be on the road and going someplace, getting out-of-town, getting out of my head.

I listened to music, no more Christmas carols thank you, a mixed tape play list I really love and sang at the top of my lungs.

I reflected on all the lovely things I have in my life and all the gifts I have been given, the amazing relationships, the love, the passion I have in my life, and how grateful I am for this life I get to live.

I got to my friend’s place in San Leandro, and got the grand tour.

She’s really liking living there.

I couldn’t do it, but we all get to make the best choices we can for ourselves and though I miss my friend not living in San Francisco something awful bad, I understand why she’s where she is.

And I am super grateful I still get to make it here in this city.

We hung out at her house a bit, got caught up, exchanged presents, then went to the Piedmont theater in Oakland.

We saw Ladybird.

It was a sweet movie and the theater was pretty full.

It was nice to be surrounded by folks and sitting next to my friend.

It was nice to be in a movie theater, I don’t go out to the movies often.

We walked around the Piedmont neighborhood for a little while and found a Thai restaurant that was open and had a lovely late lunch.

By the time we left the sun was setting and I drove her home, we’d taken my car, it was fun to have a passenger, and then I turned around and got back on the freeway and headed home.

It was a quick drive back, a bit of traffic at the toll bridge, but for the most part, really quick.  I need to get myself a FasTrak for the car, although I don’t have plans to go over the bridge, I know I will and it’s so much faster to use the FasTrak lanes than have to wait to pay to get through.

And like that.

Done.

I just hopped over to the website and did the deal.

I will get the toll pass in the mail in the next week and I can just pop it in my glove box.

I don’t know when I’ll go over the bridge again but I will, I do know that.

Maybe not to San Leandro anytime soon, but I’ll be going over to Oakland for my sobriety anniversary on January 13th for a dance party I’m throwing with a friend.

I won’t be going before that, I think, despite having an invite to a New Years Eve party in the East Bay, I’m not feeling going over the bridge on New Years Eve, it’s just not my thing.

I will probably keep that weekend really low-key and not go out carousing.

Maybe a little road trip up the coast, but that’s all.

I am glad to be done driving for the day, I was out a lot.

I’m going to have a little dinner here in a minute and just chill out, maybe go to bed early and just call Christmas over.

I made it through, like I always do, and life will go on without pressures and holiday expectations, just life, just doing the next thing in front of me and being grateful to keep putting that next foot down on my little journey, despite not knowing where it’s going exactly.

I just know that I am going somewhere and I can trust that everything is happening just exactly as it is supposed to happen.

I have faith.

Everything is perfect.

In my imperfect world.

 

People Who Don’t Usually Lecture

November 1, 2017

Holy crow.

They picked me!

I am so blown away and honored.

And nervous, fuck, if I think about it too long I might get myself in trouble, but overall, wow, wow, wow, just amazed.

People Who Don’t Usually Lecture is a lecture series that is a kind of anti-TEd Talk where the focus is on people’s personal stories and journeys.  They were given my name by my mentor and friend who commissioned some sonnets from me after a chance (chance, my ass, that was grace, God, the universe if you will) encounter at Burning Man.

They have been doing the series in Tel Aviv for the last four years or so and have gone global this year.

There will be shows in New York, Buenos Aries and, yes, here in San Francisco.

I interviewed with them today before I went into work.

I wasn’t even sure what the hell I was going to talk about, and if I think on it real hard I know that I told a good bit of my personal story, my journey, how I got from here to there and back again, but I didn’t choose my word so much as just let them come out, I just asked to be a channel and let what needed to come out come out.

I’m not sure how I got to be so lucky to be a story-teller, but I did.

I do think it has something to do with remembering to say yes to things.

When my friend had first mentioned it I was intrigued, but really had no clue what was being talked about and I sort of forgot.

Then we had lunch this past Sunday in North Beach and I got a bit more of the back story.

It sounded fascinating.

So, yes I was nervous taking my scooter up into the hills over Dolores Park to meet with the people who run the show.

But, well, you know me, half the battle, three-quarters, 7/8’s haha, of the whole deal is just showing up.

Take the action.

Let go of the results.

The results are God’s anyway.

They really seemed to like my story and I saw one of them was moved to tears, more than once and it was amazing to watch their reactions and then to hear them say they could listen longer and wanted to know more and that they didn’t usually offer a spot the day of the interview to a lecturer.

But.

Well.

They did to me.

Oh my God.

I’m going to do a lecture!

It will be short, ten minutes, and I will be speaking with others in the community, I believe my friend will be one of the lecturers as well.

And when I had mentioned our poetry project and creativity and my experiences I actually got a soft, but firm, no, that’s not what we want, we want your story.

They talked to me about what they had heard and themes that came up in my telling my personal journey, I think I talked for about twenty minutes or so, straight before they started asking questions and collaborating with me about what they would like me to focus on in my story.

I will be covering the thematic of resilience and gratitude.

Two things I have in spades.

Oh.

Do I ever.

I have to write-up my narrative for them to go over by Monday morning.

I will go in and speak with them again and they will go over my story and give me pointers on what they want me to focus on.

I have to write-up the piece and get it to them by Monday a.m.

I will go in at noon next Monday and see them again.

I have the rest of the week to think about it and then to write it out.

They asked me to give them a ten minute piece.

It will be off book as well, so even though I will have a narrative to hand into them so that they can help me polish and pull out the tasty bits, I will be on my own up on that stage.

Just me, myself, and I telling a little story about how I got where I am today.

I am so honored and a bit in awe.

A bit in wonder.

I’m grateful, so grateful I get to do stuff like this.

It will just be ten minutes of my life, but I suspect it will be a lot more, it will be a gift to my community, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today and certainly not fucking asked to give a lecture before hundreds of people.

The lecture series will be held at The Chapel on Valencia Street in the Mission, Tuesday, December 5th.

I’m not sure of the time yet, but in the evening.

I’ll have a dress rehearsal there on December 3rd and then do the deal on the 5th.

I’m really over the moon.

And though I, of course, it is my story after all, know what I’m going to write about, I don’t know exactly what I am going to write about.

Which is fine.

I’m ok with extemporaneous speaking I did it through high school as well as debate, as well as doing French forensics and poetry.

I’ve spoken in front of loads of people, I will be able to do this too.

It’s a little scary, it’s on stage and I know there will be a lot people there.

But.

Really.

I just need to show up and open my mouth, just show up and ask to carry the message, my journey, my story, my resiliency, and not the mess.

I’m good at the mess, I want to carry the message.

Which is often that, if I can make it through the terrors and traumas of my life, then so can you.

And.

Not only that, I can share how, I can share my experience, I can share my hope, and that I did it and how I’m happy now, have been happy now for some years, and I’m loved and my life is fulfilling, rewarding, and full of service.

Life is not a vale of tears and when it is, well, it is gold, a kind of coin I can spend helping another in their struggle by sharing how I got through.

Which is the greatest gift, after all, isn’t it?

Having experiences to share with others.

Love and gratitude tonight.

So very much.

I’ll keep you posted.

Night all.

Sweetest dreams.

 

 

Hello Monday

October 31, 2017

You weren’t so bad.

Time went by quick.

When I thought it was going to drag.

There was plenty to fill the hours.

Supervision before work, work, a couple of clients.

Some sneaky grocery shopping in between work and supervision and again in between work and clients.

Sometimes I am amazed that I can get in as much as I do.

I am pretty efficient.

I just excused myself from a group conversation with my cohort along those same lines.

The thread of the conversation was in regards to using the pre-2021 regulations versus the post 2021 regulations for the BBS requirements to get licenced.

The lean of the conversation was that it was impossible to get all the hours in the amount of time listed.

I believe that I will get the hours in.

I have faith.

And if I don’t, well, fuck it, I will have at least tried.

I am sure that many in my cohort will scoff, but a few, well, they know me and when I set my sights on something I tend to get it.

There is much work to be done.

So much work.

But I feel that it will happen.

Or course.

I dream of coming into money so that I didn’t have to work while I’m trying to get my hours.

It would make such a huge difference if I didn’t have to work to support myself on top of doing my internship and gaining my hours.

But, for the moment, for today, it is what it is.

I have to work today.

Well.

I have to work tomorrow.

Although.

I have something exciting to do before hand.

I will be going to the Mission District to interview for People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

I had lunch with my dear friend yesterday, it already seems years ago, and we talked quite a bit about the project and how he knows the producers and the people behind it and how my name came up.

It was really quite the story to hear and I was so struck by how serendipitous my life is.

Some may call it luck.

I call it grace.

Either way.

I am excited to be considered and I’m interested to see what they ask me and what they want to know.

I suspect that they have been on my blog.

I had a spike in readership the last couple of days and though I have no idea who reads the blog, it is unusual to get a lot of reads without there being something pretty specific behind it.

Unless some one was missing me and just wanted to catch up on my life, I think it was probably the people behind the project.

I have no idea what they may think of my little blog.

Sometimes, most times, I don’t know what to think of it, only that it fills me and feeds me and that I want to continue doing it for as long as I can.

I could do this all my life, it feels.

What a gift, that, the desire to write every day and the gift to myself to give myself the time to do so.

Sure.

I could read some homework, but this settles me, winds me down, helps me ease into the evening.

And as such is more proactively self-care than doing my homework.

Oh.

I’ll get my homework done, I always do, but it does feel nice to give myself a tiny bit of a break from it.

Tomorrow will also be a kind of break too.

It’s Halloween and since I’m doing the interview I won’t be doing therapy and I also don’t have clients tomorrow night, it’s a “short” day for me.

It should be pretty fun too.

My charges have begged me to dress up with them.

So.

Yeah.

I will be dressing up.

Albeit, not quite like what I did over the weekend.

But I will wear a fun dress and bring some flowers to stick in my hair and I’m going to bring my make up kit too.

So that after I do the interview, no way in hell am I going to the interview in super big makeup, I will go to work and do a little makeup.

I will also help my charges too.

The big guy is going as an astronaut and won’t really need any makeup.

But the little lady is going as a unicorn and well, I think some glitter make up might need to make an appearance.

I know she’ll be over the moon if I do that, so yeah, I’ll be happy to indulge their sweet whims.

The oldest was particularly concerned that I dress up.

I was not going to and I had an outfit picked out for tomorrow to do the interview, black skinny jeans, soft cashmere sweater in grey, from Paris, my black high-heeled Mary Jane Fluevogs, but well, I guess urban chic is not going to be the order of the day.

Instead.

I will be wearing one of my Hell Bunny dresses.

It’s super cute, and it’s so totally Halloween, I think my charges will be super happy that I am in it.

Here’s a shot of it.

It’s called the Idaho Dress.

Why?

Fuck if I know, but it’s hella cute.

It’s got Day of the Dead skulls on it just like the dress I wore over the weekend, it’s from the same company, but they are different colors and the style of the dress is slightly different.

I am super happy to wear it.

I think I will have a very fun time with my charges.

They will have a little Halloween parade at school and then it’s off to trick or treat.

Not exactly sure where we will be going, but I have been asked to accompany them and I can’t think of something sweeter than taking a child trick or treating on Halloween.

So grateful for my sweet little life.

And that the hours passed quickly today.

All the things my friends.

All the things.

My Heart is A Crucible

October 26, 2017

Burning out the pain.

Holding open the doors and the walls and keeping my hands tight

On the struts and beams rising from the foundation.

Ready to be lit a fire and burned to the ground.

Holding on to this love.

Holding on beyond the terror and the fear.

Believing.

Absolute belief in our love.

Sometimes God breaks my heart.

Breaks it open.

Breaks it wide.

Breaks it so that I may hold more love.

Your love.

Our love.

And I will stand in the middle of that fire.

Let it raze me to the ground.

Purify me and savage me.

And I will still be standing when it whips through.

Wildfire love.

Ripping through me.

Demolishing my heart.

Eating it like hot tinder.

Mollify the love.

I will sing it lullabies and whisper it soft stories.

Fairy stories.

Happily ever after.

Crooning the magic of everlasting love.

Love bigger than I.

Stronger than I.

Waiting for me to grow to fit it.

Burning me down so that I start anew.

Phoenix.

Dying in a show of flames.

In ashes.

Hot embers.

The smell of heat and passion and the knowing,

Of knowing.

Sacred knowing.

In my knowing of you.

I have been chosen by the Gods.

The old Gods I think.

Who foster this pain and suckle it.

Because it brings strength.

My courage.

My heart.

Yes there is fear.

And yet.

I dare tread there.

Knowing that I could only escape the inevitable for so long.

The fall of love into you.

Asunder.

This great rarity.

You.

My rose-gold.

Heart.

You.

My.

Wonder.

My absolute.

Everything.

You.

 

 

Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Her ashes new create another heir
As great in admiration as herself;
So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour
Shall star-like rise as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix’d.

Shakespeare, Henry VIII, Act V Scene V

Smoky Voice

October 18, 2017

Sultry yes.

But sore and dry throat is tired.

It was smoky again today.

I was disheartened to say the least when I went outside to get on my scooter and head in to my therapy session in Noe Valley.

I was looking forward to seeing my therapist as we had to cancel last week.

She was affected by the fires in Sonoma and Napa.

I have been affected too, but in lesser ways and in ways that I have felt loath to gripe about as my hierarchy of needs have been basically met.

Yet.

There has been suffering and there has been a constant feeling of sickness and showing up for work has been hard, keeping the kids inside all day long for over a week and they all, ALL, of them now have the croup.

It is heart breaking listening to them cough.

The mom has it too.

Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten it and I know that the ugly feeling in my lungs is not from a cold.

It’s from the smoke and whatever nasty particles I have been inhaling.

My lungs feel tender and my throat super sore and raw and my head has been hurting all day.

I also have gotten spacey and a little dizzy a few times.

The EPA had the air quality showing unhealthy for most of the day.

And that’s pretty much how I have felt, unhealthy.

Granted.

I am able to work and able to get myself going, I’ve just not been my best and I’m such a healthy person in general, that I feel a bit depleted.

It was hard to hold space for my clients tonight at my internship and I felt pretty out of it.

I had thought for a moment about cancelling clients tonight, but I figured I would just muscle through.

I did it, but it was tough and I’m really grateful to be home.

I am also grateful that the unhealthy air is projected to be moderate tomorrow, not good yet, but better than today and fingers crossed it will continue to get better.

There are still fires burning, it’s not over yet.

I can’t quite wrap my head around that, fires still burning, fires not contained yet, the fires have been going on now for ten days.

TEN.

It’s hard to fathom.

The losses, the wreckage, the ravaging of the land.

I was praying last night before bed and I was thanking God that the family I used to work for wasn’t in Glen Ellen when the fires broke out.

They have a vacation home there and they’d been there just the weekend before.

I literally started crying when I realized how close they were to the fires, I don’t know if the property made it out, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that the family, the boys, the dog, hadn’t been there, I would have lost my mind if they had.

Lost it.

So it’s hard for me to fathom those that did lose it all and sad for it, heartbroken.

And also aware that I have to keep my spirits up, that people need me, that I need to take care of myself.

My therapist and I discussed that a lot today, how being a caregiver, being in the helping field, being a nurturer, that I had to focus on doing for myself, because getting sucked into the drama of it or the trauma news cycle via social media, I would not be helping any one at all.

Grateful for her perspective and all the other things that I get to work out with her.

I am super grateful to be back in therapy and I just realized I forgot to add the hour to my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) tracking.

Excuse me a moment, that has to happen right now.

There, that’s better.

Under current BBS requirements I can count my own personal therapy towards the 3,000 hours I need to accrue.

Which is awesome.

And.

The best part.

They count as three hours.

I book one hour and it gets counted as three.

Granted.

I am only allowed to accrue 300 hours of personal therapy towards my license, but I will take any extra hours any where that I can.

I also talked about the stress of getting hours or wondering how I was going to get them all before the licence requirements change.

As of January 2021 the BBS will be changing a number of things.

One of them will be that personal psychotherapy will no longer count.

The other is that Couples Therapy will not count double as it currently does.

So I want to make sure that I can get all my hours done by December 2020.

That’s not that far away.

I have had not anxiety, per se, but a little concern, now that I am in the actively doing therapy process, about how the fuck I’m going to get all the hours.

I am working full-time to support living in San Francisco.

How will I squeeze more hours into my schedule?

I want to vomit thinking about it.

I have so much going on and I want to have a life, a teeny, tiny bit of a life, I need my human connection, I need my recovery,

Ugh.

I can’t speculate on how it will happen, I will just keep practicing faith and I will pick up extra hours here and there whenever and wherever I can.

It will happen.

And thankfully, my last semester of the Master’s degree is only two classes plus practicum (which is for all intents and purposes my internship), so I won’t be running with the same full class load that I am now.

And who knows what will happen.

I could come into money, I could win the lottery, I could get a paid internship, I don’t know, and I don’t have to.

I just know that I will keep trying and keep doing the best I can and I know that I am doing that.

I am holding my own.

Not always with the most grace, but with strength and integrity and valor.

I am doing the work.

And in the end.

Every time I go back to it.

I am so worth the effort.

Therefore I will be ok.

Because.

Well.

I already am.

Just for today.

I am exactly where I am need to be.

Seriously.

 

My Loving Present

October 13, 2017

You are my holy ideal.

My passion.

My archetype cohered to my heart.

Differentiated.

And.

Separated.

Yet.

Connected to this fire of love.

How I am put together.

Ingrained to my flexible soul.

All that stuff.

All these things.

Opening into space.

Breathing my heart open.

Opening me to more to be more.

I see a table-cloth, red checked.

Flaring out.

A blanket of hope and a lens too.

Complex and beatific.

Oh the awe for you of you about you.

The depth of you.

My value increasing with every breath.

Virtuosity in the cello string.

The thrum of my song of love.

Adoration of crows.

Murder of my ideas of who I am.

Into who I am becoming.

Filtered through this

Harrowing of you.

Exacerbate me.

Explode me.

And.

Reconstitute me.

In your love.

The fall from being.

Into your arms savages me and saves me.

Activating me.

Another layer comes forth.

Another exploration.

Basic trust.

Support.

Strength.

Foundational love.

My own capacity,

Opens.

My heart in my chest.

Exposed to the air,

The fire and heat of you.

I stand strong and still in this knowledge,

In my being.

I let myself bathe in the bliss

Of you.

Your love, flying in the

Face of impossibility.

Which guides me to my expansive

Home.

Embodied and alive.

In the benevolent glory,

The astonishing glow,

Of you.

Huge Relief

September 10, 2017

To change my mind.

To see where I was taking on too much.

To apologize and make an amends to a friend.

To get honest with my person and with myself.

To see where my priorities lie.

To let go.

To surrender.

Such relief.

I have been grappling with something for a few weeks now and I suspect that recent events in my life, like letting go of the idea that I have to go to Burning Man every year for the rest of my life and that I always have to be working toward something, coalesced this afternoon as I rode my scooter into my internship.

I don’t want to do the Aids Life Cycle Ride.

Let me clarify.

If I wasn’t working 40 hours a week, interning 15 hours, and going to graduate school full-time I would be totally down with doing the ride.

But.

I realized.

I am working so hard already and to commit to another commitment seems fool hardy, prideful, and unrealistic.

I like to believe that I am superhuman.

“You don’t have to be Super Carmen,” my person told me, “Carmen is good enough.”

Fuck me.

I forget that all the time.

As if I am not constantly trying to self-improve, do better, live harder, go bigger, I am not enough.

And.

Good fucking grief.

I am enough.

I also realized that I had self-sabotaged myself by committing to do something that would make me re-arrange my already super full schedule and in effect make it so I would not have any days off.

NONE.

Yes, that’s right, I would be working full-time, seven days a week, for the next 10 months.

Fuck that.

I deserve to let myself have a little down time.

To love and be loved.

To not go crazy in my last year of my Masters program.

I mean.

I’m still working six days a week, I’m not slacking.

I rode my scooter to my internship and thought, it’s ok to change my mind, it’s ok to see where I bit off too much and it’s alright to acknowledge that maybe I knew this all along.

That maybe I didn’t buy the road bike when I had the chance because I really knew I didn’t want to do the ride.

I think I was setting myself up to give myself an out.

I had run into my friend who convinced me to ride again a week before I went to Burning Man and his talks about doing training rides made me feel nauseous.

How the hell was I going to fit it in?

I started to consciously let myself know that maybe, just maybe, it would be ok if I changed my mind.

I actually think going to Burning Man really helped me with that.

I realized there, at the event, on a very deep level, that I work really hard to work really hard on my vacations.

Maybe.

Just maybe.

Instead of busting my ass, granted for an amazing cause, and I don’t regret the $95 I dropped to register, it’s a gift that I wouldn’t ask back if I could have it back, to bust my ass on my vacation.

Maybe.

I might want to actually have a vacation.

Like.

Lay on a beach.

Or.

Sit in a fucking cafe and read a book, people watch, drink coffee at ridiculous hours and not worry about getting up at the crack of dawn to ride 100+ miles and then come back from a seven-day ride, for which I would be using my vacation time, to go right back to work.

I mean.

Maybe I want a real vacation.

And.

Then.

When I said it out loud, when I got on the phone with my person, I got to my internship a little early simply so I could have time to talk with my person, I felt the biggest most amazing relief.

I knew in that instant that it was the right decision for me.

“Honestly, doll, I’m relieved to hear you say this, I was wondering when you were going to come to this realization.”

OH my god.

I love that he doesn’t judge me, that he didn’t tell me to not do it, that he let me have my process, and then to have it reflected back to me with honesty, well, that was that.

I’m not doing the Aids ride.

And I am ok with it.

We talked a lot about things happening in my life and I shared about a great deal of joyful things and it was so good to catch up.

I also talked about doing a trip for my graduation.

What that might look like.

Barcelona.

Paris, maybe L’Ile de Re, where my friend has a family home, off the West Coast of France, especially since she was such an important part of my first two years in the program.

That it might be really nice to see her and celebrate the accomplishment.

She was also the person who has said time and again how much I would like Barcelona.

In fact.

My savings account, I have two, one is my prudent reserve, and the second, my travel savings, is called Barcelona.

Not “going to Burning Man” again next year.

Not “doing the Aids LifeCycle ride and spending over three thousand dollars on a bicycle, gear, and who knows how many countless hours on the training.”

NOPE.

It’s named, “Barcelona,” because when my friend mentioned how I should go I thought, that would make a great graduation trip.

So maybe instead of sabotaging my dream with stuffing in more than I can handle, it’s ok to admit I made a mistake.

I told my friend tonight face to face and sat down and talked to him.

He totally got it, and then he added, “I totally honey potted you into agreeing, you know I did, don’t feel bad that you can’t, it’s ok.”

It’s ok.

Sigh.

Fuck.

Thank you.

I apologized again and hugged him and that was that.

I need to apologize to the three people who donated and then I think I’m clear.

I’ll also contact my ride representative and rescind the ride number, the ride will fill up and someone else will get to ride in my stead.

And.

I also contacted my assistant director, who is in charge of scheduling my clients and said, I need to not take clients on Saturdays.  I can do a consult now and then, but no clients.

At least for this semester.

I feel a lot better.

Much clearer.

Much cleaner.

And so relieved to be just regular old Carmen.

Super Carmen gets to put her cape back in the closet for at least today.

Thank God.

It needs a dry cleaning anyhow.

Ha.

Reunion

September 6, 2017

And it was good.

She ran to me with the biggest smile on her face and threw herself into my arms.

Good thing I was ready for her or I would have been bowled over.

I picked her up and snuggled her in for a great big hug.

“I asked _______________ what the best part of school was,” the mom told me today, “and she replied, ‘getting picked up!'”

And so pick her up I did.

She was so happy to see me and I was so happy to see her.

I got to get her early from school and she and I had 45 minutes to kill before her brother got out of his class, so we went to get special treats from Bi-Rite.

Bagels and plums and boxes of milk with straws.

Bubbly water.

She likes it as much as I do so now I always get two bottles or she’ll drink all of mine and then burp at me and laugh.

God I love this child.

I love all the children I have gotten to work with, and I am always surprised to find that there is more love in me to hold and to give.

This family, though, they are special, and I am so blessed to get to work for them.

I got to talk to the mom about Burning Man and show off my photos.

I got to snuggle with my little lady and hold hands, I mean, there was no shortage of holding hands, she was literally on top of me from the first minute I picked her up from school.

I got to have marvelous conversations with the oldest boy and also I made him his favorite dinner.

Roast chicken.

“OOOOOOH,” he said, when he saw that I had a chicken in the pan on the counter, “roasty chicken!!”

I almost had to tell him not to touch it since it wasn’t cooked yet, it was pretty adorable.

And I got the sweetest text later in the day when I was at my internship after work, the dad sent me a message saying welcome back and thank you so much for the roast chicken and cauliflower, it was so good.

There were many “o’s” in the “so” part, it was pretty damn cute.

I made my salt and pepper roast chicken and then topped it with tarragon brown butter and I roasted off cauliflower with coconut oil, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt.

All sorts of yum.

The baby even seemed excited to see me.

It was a warm and sweet and kind welcome back.

I am super lucky to have this family and it feels like they think they are super lucky to have me.

It’s a mutual thing.

And it’s a short week at work, which is a nice thing to.

Helps to get me acclimated to being there again and helps to ease the transition into the next few weeks which will be busy weeks for the family.

I’m grateful for them, the job, the environment, the freedom to be myself.

I realize more and more how important it is to be my authentic self.

In work, in relationships, in my internship, at school.

I also realized that I don’t need Burning Man to do that any more.

That I have fully embraced my authenticity, that I live an out loud, passionate, committed, loving life.

I don’t have to run off to that thing in the desert to find expression for myself and who I am.

And thus.

I feel.

I may be saying goodbye to Burning Man.

I had a sweet burn, I had wonderful talks with many a lady out there and I feel like I deepened some relationships that I didn’t even know I was needing to deepen.

But the fact is I am not searching for anything or anyone and I don’t have to work so hard to work so hard to enjoy a vacation.

Maybe, just maybe, I want to go somewhere with a hot shower.

Maybe I want to lay on the beach.

Maybe I want to be pampered and not have to do a ton of work and organizing and fretting and figuring it out.

My God.

The amount of mental free space I currently have for not trying to figure out how to get to and from the event is mind-blowing.

I have so many other things that I would rather focus my time, attention, energy, and love on.

So.

Yes.

I believe this last burn was my swan song.

Ironic that I saw nothing burn.

I spent my time writing, getting blown up in dust storms, connecting with ladies I love, hanging out at camp and talking with people in my community.

It was perfect and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I feel that I have been asking Burning Man to give me something for years.

And that expectation only hindered me and my growth.

Having finally seen that.

Well.

It doesn’t feel like I need to go so badly anymore.

Next year I’ve got the Aids Life Cycle ride.

And.

And!

AND!!

Graduation from my Masters in Psychology program.

The school has set a tentative commencement date.

Saturday, May 19th.

I can’t wait.

It’s going to be epic.

You should come.

Seriously!

Because you probably won’t see me at that thing in the desert next year.

Might as well catch me when I let my mortar board sail into the air with joy.

It’s going to be great.

It’s going to be amazing.

Because.

Well.

My life already is.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Luckiest damn girl.

 

Getting Into A Groove

September 5, 2017

It took a minute.

It was slow going at first.

I still felt a bit sluggish and slow.

I slept late.

I went to bed fairly early and slept super hard.

I went to yoga and that helped a great deal.

I was stiff and needed to shake the rest of the dust out of my body.

My nose was still tender and I was a bit congested, but by the time the class ended I had sweat up a storm and my breathing was clear and clean.

It felt great to get into the class and I was super happy to find out that my favorite yoga teacher had moved back, I knew he was going to be visiting from out-of-town some holiday weekends, so I just thought, oh my God, he’s on the schedule, you got to go.

And it turns out he’ll be a permanent fixture again, which I am super grateful for.

His classes are hard, but hard in a really good way.

I have had very emotionally clearing classes with him and today it was just clearing the rest of the Burning Man out of my system.

I got back into my routine, a tiny bit, got some grocery shopping done, small run to the market in my neighborhood, I returned a ton of internship e-mails and did some scheduling stuff with clients.

I did lots of writing.

I had a super sweet engaging phone call with my best friend.

I am so lucky to have the people in my life I do.

So damn lucky.

And then.

Yes.

I did.

I got into my homework for the next school weekend.

I outlined what I need to read.

I did some reading.

I went over my syllabi.

I also wrote out a homework assignment and turned it in.

Super grateful I took the time to open up my school stuff and check in with my syllabi as I discovered the assignment for my Cognitive Behavioral class was due tomorrow.

“Oh fuck!” I said out loud.

Followed by a “damn it!”

Then I just sucked it up and got into it.

I had the time and I let myself dive into it.

I had plans to meet my person up in the Castro and I needed to run a few quick little errands before meeting with him.

So I read and did homework until I had to leave and yes, I got the assignment written and turned in.

Grateful for that.

I also did some writing for my Jungian Dream class that was good to work on.

And I got a tentative date for the commencement ceremony.

May 19th.

I like having a goal to shoot for.

It helps me to see what I am moving toward.

Although I don’t want to live in the future, it’s nice to have a carrot.

Graduation.

Ooh.

Man.

It just sounds really good.

I still have the majority of the year to get through, but it goes fast.

I know from experience.

It does go fast.

The time it whips by.

It does help that I have a full schedule, that makes the time go by.

And that I have things that I look forward to, people I get to see, snippets of sweetness that keep me moving forward.

Before I headed out to Burning Man I sat down with my employer and mapped out the year, well, not quite, we mapped out until my last weekend of school.

The school calendar for my charges was given to her, so we just went through each month and some days I’ll be going in a little early to help out with the brood when there’s a parent/teacher conference, or a bit of vacation for the kids.

I’m going to get out a little early this Friday, for example, as the family is taking a long weekend.

And.

In November, oh yes, I’m getting a ten-day stretch while they are away for a long vacation around Thanksgiving.

They’re European and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

I’m super stoked.

I figure I’ll do lots of homework and maybe a kind of staycation.

No need to figure it out now, just something to keep on the back burner.

Things really do seem to be flowing well for me, keeping the personal life balanced with the recovery life and work life and school life.

Yes.

It is a lot.

But not having Burning Man prep on my mind and being done with that chapter seems to have freed up a great deal of mental space for me and now that I have readjusted to being back in San Francisco I feel ready for whatever comes next.

I suspect it will be marvelous.

My life is not boring, let me tell you.

It’s full of passion and dreams and love and it blows my mind how much I have been given and that I can be of service here in the community and my fellowship is simply grace.

The love that I get to experience fills me and I feel expanded and buoyant with it.

Awed.

Amazed.

Astonished

I am wonderstruck with love.

How did I get so lucky?

I don’t need to know the answer, only that I am and grateful and not taking anything in my life for granted.

Alive.

So very alive.

There is so much yet to experience and do and feel and go.

I was chatting with my person tonight over a big salad, salads are very appealing right now after a week in the dusty dust, about moving on from Burning Man, that maybe I don’t go next year.

That maybe there are other places to travel to.

I have been doing a list of places in my affirmations and I think anyone of them may be a better alternative.

They all have showers, that’s for sure.

And though I adore the event and everything that I have gotten from going, maybe it’s time for a new adventure.

11 burns is nothing to sneeze at.

Even with a nose full of dust.

Anyway.

Enough Burning Man.

It’s time to move on.

At least for right now.

I have much more important things to focus on.

It’s going to be a good week.

I can feel it in my bones.

Seriously.

Bring it on.

 

 


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