Posts Tagged ‘family’

Tired

June 23, 2017

And wide awake all at the same time.

There was a moment today when I just thought to myself, I am not going to make it through the day.

Not enough sleep.

Too many hours at work.

Client that needs to be seen after work.

Party for a friends studio opening.

And I was asked to come in earlier tomorrow to work.

I thought I was just going to pass out.

The little lady was close to taking a nap and I hazarded a distinct longing to put her down for a nap and cuddle with her and sneak in a nap myself.

But.

No such luck.

I also didn’t want to super caffeinate.

Although I came daringly close I did not succumb to the temptation and powered through the day.

My thoughts kept me company and I kept myself moving around the house a lot and kept telling myself that it was almost Friday.

It still was a long day.

But I made it through work and I got to my internship and I had a really good second session with a new client.

Two clients this week and I’ll be adding another client next week.

Slowly it builds.

I felt really good doing the session and decided that I could rally afterward and go sneak over to my friend’s open house studio opening.

I really wanted to have a grown up moment that was a social, even if it was just for a little snick of time.

I hadn’t any dinner so I knew that it would be short-lived and watching the fog roll in over Twin Peaks I was pretty assured that it would be a quick visit.

But it was good and I got to see an amazing work space and reconnect with Burning Man friends and talk a little about the event and when folks are going.

I haven’t found a ride yet and there was a moment when I thought, fuck it, wouldn’t it be nice to not stress and give up the ticket and spend the time here in the city with people I love and then I was like.

Um, no.

Hahahaha.

Sure, there are people who I want to see here, but the fact is if I don’t go to Burning Man I’d just be working anyhow, it’s not like vacation, although it completely is, but it’s outside of my time frame of paid vacation and I wouldn’t just take the week off without going.

Plus.

It’s the ten-year anniversary of my best friend’s death and he’s the reason why I went in the first place.

My heart, tender, feeling that loss, but not so achy as it’s been in the past, just tender, just there and I know there will be feelings that come up.

And there will be a conversation with him, somewhere in deep playa, out past the Temple where I am sure between the Temple and the mountain range my friend still resides, just a little part of him, I didn’t take all his ashes, but enough, enough to know he’s there and there are many places that I connect with the memory of him and also with the aliveness of him, the way I live my life a reflection of the gusto he went after life with.

I am sure he would be proud of me.

OH.

Hello.

There are the tears.

I knew you were around.

I watched the fog roll in over the top of Twin Peaks from the deck of my friends studio in the Mission and it was the same height and approximate distance from the hospital ICU, General, where my friend spent a week in a coma before the family pulled the plug and harvested his organs for donation.

There is always one strong memory for me, pressing my face against that window, my fevered brow, the hotness of my heart, the tears always on and off, more so off when I was at the hospital–it was only in the privacy of my own room in the dark as I prayed to God on my knees to get me through the experience that I would allow myself to cry–the coolness of the window and the dark, heaviness of the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks.

A blanket of sorrow and felted love thrown over the entirety of the city as though we all grieved the loss of my friend.

So.

Yeah.

I might be a little tired, but I’m not bailing on Burning Man.

Nope.

Sure.

I haven’t gotten a ride together yet, but that will happen and hopefully it won’t be as crazy as the ride up was last time.

I have gotten a couple of nibbles from my post on the ride share board, but nothing solid, it always comes together, I’m not too worried.

It’s more a matter, at this point, of getting a playa bike and finding time in between the comings and goings of my life to do some preparation.

I have people I am responsible to, my own recovery to attend to, and God damn it would be nice to get in a yoga class this weekend, but yeah,  a new playa bike and some sourcing of other items that are always nice to have and I’ll make some time, find some time, create some time, and do a little shopping when I can.

Side bar.

The mom just sent me a message about my work performance and told me that I really was “Mary Poppins sister!”

I’ll take it.

Anyway, this Mary Fucking Poppins, will be riding again under her parasol out on playa again this year and enjoying the hell out of not being a therapist in training, a student, or a nanny.

Just a girl.

Out on her bike.

Riding towards the painted calico mountains with secrets and love to share with an old friend.

“I finally was the ball, Shadrach, you’d be so fucking proud of me.”

You Look Radiant!

June 13, 2017

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

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

I’m happy.

I feel really good.

Today was a good day.

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

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

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

Be that as it may.

I am not perfect.

I fuck up all the time.

I’m human.

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

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

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

I heard something amazing today.

AMAZING.

From my supervisor while we were in session.

Slight sidebar.

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

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

Yeah.

Like that.

Anyway.

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

It just about fell off the couch.

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

Holy shit.

Story of my life.

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

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

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

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

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

No one can read my mind.

And yet.

There are clues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just wouldn’t.

Like attracts like.

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

I’ll take some of that please.

And then happily pass it on.

That’s what I do best.

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

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I also have an awesome job.

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

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

So much love.

I am loved.

And I get to love right back.

It’s a pretty amazing job.

So.

Yeah.

Radiant.

Full of light.

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

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

Great out doors is another.

And.

Good orderly direction.

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

I feel grace.

I feel full of grace.

I feel graced.

And am.

I’ve not been dropped.

I have just been carried somewhere unexpected.

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

But.

I am happy.

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

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Happy Thanksgiving!

June 1, 2017

Yes.

I am aware that tomorrow is June 1st and not November.

It has been one hell of a month.

So much happening.

Amazing things truly.

I love my life, I’m lucky, I’m graced, I’m blessed.

And.

I might just being going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Yup.

It will be my first time, unless something unusual pops up and I find myself in the islands, which I am not opposed to, but to tell you the truth, I hadn’t expected to hear the news today that I might be in the islands for the holiday.

My family I work for brought it up today.

I will have off that weekend from school and work, well, since it is work, will let me have the time.

It’s not a real vacation for me, I’ll be working, but, oh, the location does not suck.

Not at all.

And like I said, I’ve never been to Hawaii.

I really should go, I am part Polynesian after all.

Puerto Rican and Polynesian on my father’s side.

German and Scot on my mom’s side.

I had someone tell me once that I was a Polynesian princess mixed with white trash.

Heh.

I might have a little trashy in me.

I definitely have some princess in me, that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, I am thrilled at the idea.

I love that the family really wants me to be included in their lives and I really love working for them.

Tomorrow marks five months of work and it’s been such a great job for me and the parents really appreciate me and the kids love me.

I love my charges.

LOVE.

Both of the older kids were under the weather today and one of them stayed home from school.

Work was huge amounts of snuggling, singing every song I know from my years of being a nanny, and an almost endless repetition of a lullaby that I usually sing to the baby, and all the babies I have ever worked with and a lot of my toddlers too, to the oldest boy while rubbing his back and petting him and just sitting and crooning to him.

He is the sweetest boy and super smart and vulnerable and the request to keep repeating the lullaby and stroking his soft blonde hair, oh, my heart, I just wanted to curl him up in my arms and kiss away the fever.

He got lots of love and I got to be the Queen of Snuggles.

I also got to do some cooking while he was watching a movie, sick days get movies, and I revelled in the cooking.

It feels good to cook, I miss it sometimes, cooking for a partner or my family.

I used to cook all the big holiday meals for my family and oh, the baking, and the stews, the jams and cheesecakes and pies, the cookies and pork chops.

Midwestern much.

Aside.

I said “bubbler” today and the woman looked at me like I was an alien.

Bubbler is water fountain in Wisconsineese.

I made up that last word, rhymes with cheese, bubbler is a total Wisconsin word, there are a few more, but that one slips once in a while into the conversation, or “pop” instead of “soda.”

Once and a while my roots show.

I am, however, not so connected to my Hawaiian and Puerto Rican roots.

My father wasn’t much around growing up and though I always kept in touch with my grandmother, I didn’t have much idea about Hawaii.

I had things from Hawaii that my grandmother would send and I remember boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and once a grass skirt, coming in the mail from my grandmother.

I think we had placemats too and a few books about the islands and where the family was from.

It wasn’t until I moved back to California as an adult that I met my father’s side of the family in a more concrete way.

I remember meeting some cousins for the first time and being blown away by how much I looked like them, how they looked like my sister, and how I was actually lighter skinned than the majority of the family.

“They look like me!”

It was a relief and in a way an almost instantaneous connection that I had not always felt with my mothers Germanic roots and Scottish ancestry.

I was neither pale skin nor blue-eyed, or green-eyed as my mother.

I did not have blond hair.

Nope.

I got tan.

I didn’t really burn.

Well, once in a while, after long ass days detassling corn in the fields around Waunakee during the summers when I was working the crews, I might get a shoulder burn or a heavy crop dusting of freckles.

My mom though, my God, she could burn so easily, such creamy white fair skin.

Yeah.

So coming to California and starting to get those connections to my father’s family was a revelation.

I’m still not as close as I suppose I can be, social media does most of the work for me and there’s still stuff with my father that I have reservations broaching my family about.

I ceded his care when I was in Alaska in the hospital to the head of the administrative at the hospital.

I love my father.

I have exquisite and amazing child hood memories of him.

I also have some pretty awful ones too.

But.

He wasn’t around and when he had the accident that lead to the coma that led me to Anchorage, I went almost more to settle my own heart, then for anything else.

I sat by that hospital bed in the ICU for four night and five days.

He was in a coma the entire time I was there.

I held his hand and talked to him.

I forgave him.

And.

I asked for him to forgive me.

I made friends in Anchorage and the fellowship there carried me when I wanted to collapse into the snowbanks and the cold air and just cry my heart out.

I managed to not get stuck in any snowbanks but I won’t ever forget the dark night sky outside the window of the room the hospital hospitality house put me up in, for families of critical care patients at the facility, and the roughness of the sheets on the bed and how alone I was.

No.

That’s not true.

I wasn’t alone, I had God, I was carried, but I was by myself.

I was grateful, beyond grateful, to be there for my family and to relay messages out to the world and to let my grandmother be in contact with me and my uncle and my cousins and the love seed that was planted there.

I have never talked to any of them about letting go of my father’s care, but I did visit my grandmother that next summer and it meant everything to me to say “I love you,” and in that moment, as I was leaving to get on a plane from San Diego, in my grandmothers arms, I could feel how much she loved me too.

I will always have that moment.

And I look forward to getting to go to Hawaii.

Even if it’s not with my employers, which is sounds like it might actually be, I will go.

I have some more healing to do in that corner of my heart history.

I will swim in the ocean and walk on the beaches and turn my face to the sun.

I will go home again.

Although it has never left me.

Impressed as it is on the cheekbones in my face, the wide plush smile on my face, the curls in my hair, the freckles on the crest of my nose, the wilderness of my hips, the sway in my walk.

I have not forgotten.

I always have had the islands in me.

Always.

It’s Awful Nice

May 24, 2017

To be missed.

It was obvious that I was missed.

I got so much love at my job today, it really was something else.

From the appreciations I got from the mom for the work I do, to the little ladybug running to meet me when I picked her up at school, to the oldest boy leaning his head against me and just hugging me, and letting me kiss him.

The little girl couldn’t stop kissing me and telling me how much she missed me and that she wasn’t ever going to be mean to me and that she loved me, very much, very, very, very much.

Nothing like having a warm, soft paw in your hand all day and soft sweet kisses–when we walked home from school she insisted on holding my hand the entire time and would kiss it constantly.

I was utterly charmed.

It was a long day, but I mustered through and probably drank a lot more coffee than I should, but I made it and actually don’t feel too jet lagged at this point.

I still woke up too early, and found myself so sacked out last night that I could barely check in with the folks I needed to check in with, but I did get a good night’s sleep.

And a good hot shower in the morning, lots of writing, big mug of coffee and getting myself organized before heading out to work helped a lot.

I also got a few errands run before I headed into work, including mailing my mom a package–I hadn’t been able to send out her Mother’s Day gift before I left for Paris.

I got to get lots of face to face time with the mom at work and we talked about summer schedule, the kids schedule, work, travel, and my internship, which starts on Thursday.

I will have a busy week, but I also will have Monday off next week, it’s a holiday, and I’m super happy for that.

I know that I am busy, that life will be busy, that life is full, but there are moments of reprieve, idyllic hours when the unexpected and sweet happens, the hand in mine, the press of lips against my skin, a kiss bestowed upon me, a sowing of love.

“Carmen, you need to sleep over soon!” She said to me, tugging my hand again and again, “and bring me more stickers.”

I laughed.

I also made them dinner and the kids got their favorites, alphabet pasta with cheese and butter for the oldest boy and alphabet pasta soup with carrots in chicken broth for the little lady, I bounced about while the mom ate–slightly fancier stuff for the parent dinner–sautéed asparagus in olive oil and garlic, bechamel sauce over grass-fed seared beef, quinoa pasta with butter and parmesan, mixed greens salad–with the baby, who’s bright happy smile met mine many times today, I felt he recognized me and it was wonderful to get his big smiles.

It’s nice to be appreciated and I felt that in spades today.

When I went to leave the little lady jumped up from her chair at the dinner table and hollered “NO!”

But I told her I would be back soon and that we would have more adventures tomorrow and she can’t wait, “cuz I have a dentist appointment tomorrow!”

Dentists are a lot more fun then they were in my day.

I have a dentist appointment on Saturday, I am not nearly as excited as my charge, not by far, of course I’ll be getting novocaine shot into my gum line instead of a big red balloon, so that may be why.

And while my little charge was chatting excitedly, her older brother said, soft and under his breath, but audible to me, “but I get you when she’s at the dentist, we get to be all by ourselves, I get you for me.”

Aw!

Love buttons.

I felt adored today.

Not just appreciated, but adored and that is a damn fine way to feel, especially at work.

I am grateful for the family and all that I get to do for them.

It’s so much easier to be present and available when I am appreciated and then I just want to do an even better job.

That’s how I am.

It makes having to work full-time while I am doing school and my internship and all the other things, so much easier.

It really does.

It’s work, don’t get me wrong, I do a lot for the family, but it is also a joy and I am beyond grateful for them.

And for my life.

It is rich and varied and so full of unexpected happiness I am constantly surprised and joyful in my person.

In my tired, still slightly jet lagged but yes, very happy, person.

I think I’ll have the jet lagged licked by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest.

I have an appreciation for it though, everything seems dreamy and surreal, the fog, the soft coolness on my skin, the music I have been listening to, the hot showers and the warmth of my bed when I crawl into it at night.

Dreamy and swaddled in.

Softened and bending.

Surrendered to the woozy and the swoon.

The drowsed light and the refracted love notes of jazz.

Cocooning me in succor.

Baby, sweet baby.

Slumber drifting on the swell of moon rising in the night.

Ghostships of desire.

Latent and laden.

Tipsy in the cusp of dawn.

The cashmere softness of pre-sunrise and smoked grey of early morning.

Plush with promise.

And.

Smocked velvet kisses.

God Damn

April 28, 2017

I got a lot of shit done today.

I am, in fact, still getting shit done.

I am cooking a pot of chicken soup as I blog.

I am trying to do some peremptory food preparation for the next weekend of school so that this Saturday and Sunday I can give my full attention to the papers that I have to write.

Speaking of writing papers.

I got a lot of my Trauma paper mapped out.

I have four pages of notes and references from four different sources all set up and notated.

In fact.

I laughed at myself when I was finished listening to the podcast for the second time (in full, a couple of the segments I listened to three or four times) and I had all my paper notes and references complied.

Fuck.

I have a 10 page paper with all the work I complied today.

The paper is 5-7 pages.

I will have more than enough material to cut a fine suit from.

I am actually excited about writing the paper, I have such a clear idea of what needs to be done, I thought about writing it tonight, however, I wanted to wait until I had a clear swath of time.

And I like to have my down time when I get home.

Of course that down time tonight includes a couple of loads of laundry and making homemade chicken soup with veggies and brown rice, but it’s not writing and focusing in a scholarly way.

I am awful proud of taking the time to do the work that needed to get done though for the paper, I spent a great deal of my breaks this week working on the Trauma material.

I will be ready to pop out that paper Saturday and then turn my full attention to the Community Mental Health project that I need to do on Sunday.

I will work on that all day Sunday, nothing else planned, on the books or off, for that matter.

Tomorrow at work during my break I will go over my Community Mental Health notes and the half hour interview I did with the program that I am writing on.

I will basically do the same thing that I did for my Trauma paper, map it out, make notes, post-it note my notes, and go back over the reading material that I am going to utilize for my paper.

I’ll provide my frame-work for the paper and then be able to sit down on Sunday and write it.

That one is 8-10 pages.

I feel like it should be the other way around, my Trauma paper has so much richness to it and so much to explore, it should be the bigger paper, but I don’t make the rules, things might be different if I did.

Ha.

I’m super grateful that it’s coming together.

As I get closer and closer to my Paris trip.

Today to incentivize myself I wore my Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick that my dear French friend gave me as a birthday present.

Nothing like getting a gift bag of Chanel makeup for a birthday.

It was such a lovely gift.

Part of me, a very large part of me, is so thrilled that I will be wearing Chanel makeup on my trip, I know it’s silly, but Chanel products are above my paygrade, so when I got them, I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.

The first time I went to Paris I discovered Sephora.

Oh my god.

I wasn’t able to get myself much, I was there on the slimmest of budgets.

I remember I actually got my sister a lipstick, as they had a brand that was the same as her name, although slightly different spelling, and I got myself a set of red barrettes.

I loved those barrettes so much.

Today, when I put on the red lipstick it reminded me of those hair clips and I realized, yes, that’s definitely a souvenir I will let myself get when I am in Paris, hair clips.

Maybe some red ones like the ones I got my first time there.

It seems surreal that I will be going back.

I remember when the woman I was working with in Paris told me that it was going to be ok that I moved back home to San Francisco, that Paris would always be there, that I could come back and make another go of it.

I’m so grateful that I had my time living there and I can contrast it with the life that I built and then re-built here.

I have it really good.

Oh.

Sure.

I make half the median income that the city recommends to get by and I am taking out student loans for therapy, hahaha, but ultimately, my life is really rich.

REALLY.

Abundant.

It’s gorgeous.

I have so much.

I have an amazing job.

I have a great therapist.

I have an internship.

I get to go to graduate school in San Francisco.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I get to write every day.

What writer doesn’t long for that?

Every day.

I get to live a recovered, full, useful life.

I get to travel.

I get to go to Burning Man.

I get to ride a scooter to work.

I get free parking when I’m there.

I have laundry in the garage, I get to wash my clothes for free.

I have chicken soup cooking on the stove and hot sheets in the dryer.

I am listening to amazing music on my Macbook Air.

I have a lot.

I have happiness.

I have self-esteem.

I do estimable acts, that helps.

I have red lipstick.

I have pretty perfume.

I have love.

I have friends, family, chosen and of origin, I have my cohort.

I have Ocean Beach a hop, skip, and jump away.

I have beautiful tattoos.

I have poetry.

I have abundance, joy, happiness, freedom.

I have.

All the things.

All the things.

 

Financial Aid

April 26, 2017

Fucking hates me.

But.

I don’t care.

I have gotten a lot more assertive in asking for help from the financial aid office at school, especially since I have had to jump through hoops that I didn’t even know were there to get what I need to get.

After innumerable e-mails I think I am almost there.

Of course there was one thing on the application that made no sense to me, not an iota and I probably filled the damn form out wrong and they won’t give me the money.

GIVE ME THE MONEY.

I need it for therapy.

That sounds a little desperate, I know.

What could be so bad that the lady has to have, HAS TO HAVE, being the operative word, therapy?

Oh, you know, sexual abuse trauma, incest, neglect, physical abuse, history of alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, racism, eating disorder.

Nothing at all that indicates needing therapy.

Ha.

I am being a little flippant.

I have addressed a lot of these issues and I have done an extraordinary amount of work on them over the years and I have done therapy before, but.

My school program requires it as a part of my degree.

And really, it does make fantastic sense, I need to have my shit taken care of so I can show up and help others take care of their shit.

It’s the classic put your oxygen mask on before helping others on the plummeting airplane.

And.

And.

AND.

I found out from my therapist today that my hours with her do actually count towards my 3,000 hours that I need to accrue to get my MFT license.

It’s going to change though, the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) is going to phase that out.

By 2021 you won’t be able to count personal therapy hours toward your 3,000.

And the thing is, I want those hours to count very much, because as it turns out each hour or personal therapy is counted as three.

THREE HOURS.

Holy shit.

So.

It turns out that tonight I went into my Track My Hours app and I made sure that I was using the Pre 2021 dashboard  and I entered in my hours as my therapist suggested I do and voila!

15 more hours.

I have had, after today, five sessions with her.

Multiply that by three and I now have 16 hours.

There is was in black and white.

Valid hours: 16.

Total hours to accrue: 2,984.

Fuck yeah.

I will take that.

This is going to be huge and such a help to be able to acquire the hours.

My therapist went through the same program that I am doing and we talked a lot about the process and I was so freaking grateful to be seen and have my experience validated, especially in regards to the financial aid stuff and when she said, oh yeah, these hours count, you’ll have your 3,000 by 2021, you’ll be able to use your personal therapy and all you need is for me to sign a piece of paper with my MFT license on it.

Such a huge gift to find this out.

And.

She also suggested that I actually do talk to my offsite supervisor about my work as a nanny, considering how much time I have spent in the heart of so many families, that I actually may be able to get some of my child and family hours covered.

I would never have thought of it, I had a teacher who told me she thought nannies should get hours accredited to them, considering how nannies tend to be involved in a lot of family dynamics and bear witness to children and how they grow and learn, that it would make sense to grant nannies some hours.

I mean.

Fuck.

I’m going to at least check it out with my supervisor.

It’s probably unlikely, but hey, I do have over a decade of work with children and families, that kind of work experience should count for something.

And it does.

My therapist validated that today too, that I have been doing this work for a very long time, that I have, in essence been learning how to be a therapist for years.

She’s right.

It’s nice to let someone be right.

It was nice to be seen too, we have a good connection and I am so grateful for the sessions.

I already can tell that things are working themselves out and it’s an unexpected and lovely support of my experience with school and the anxiety that comes up for me when I am dealing with all things school.

I feel a lot more open with what’s happening and so grateful that I am doing the internship this summer, especially now that I know if I can all my hours by the end of 2020 I can count my therapy hours too.

Such a gift.

Just have to repeat that since I want to pinch myself and gleefully clap my hands.

Who knew?

Therapy doesn’t have to be a vale of tears.

Although.

It is also that.

A vale of tears.

I was sharing about a very sweet interaction I had with a previous charge and a gift that he had given me, a painting of my house, where I live, and this beautiful watercolor of a rainbow, “Carmen!  This is where you live!”

In a house under a rainbow, full of color and light and love.

“You had a lot of emotion come up for you when you shared that,” she said.

Understatement, pass the kleenex box please.

“Can you tell me about that?” She asked.

He saw me, this little boy saw me, and I represented love and color and joy to him, that my home, where I live is in a house full of rainbows, and if you have seen my home, well, there might be some truth to that.

What she said next I’m not sure that I could express how it landed, nor exactly what she said, but I can tell you how it felt, it felt like love, that the love in me was being reciprocated by the love in that little boy, that he saw me for who I am and he shared with me what that love looked like for him.

That we saw each other’s essence and what a gift for me to give that to him.

I had never looked at it like that and it felt.

Well it felt.

True.

It was a really lovely way to wrap up the session and I left having felt something big shift.

I don’t have to analyze it or reason it out.

I can just feel that I was seen, I was, and that I am a big fucking rainbow of love.

I’ll take it.

Thanks therapy.

I’ll take the hours too.

Only 2,984 to go.

No big deal.

Heh.

How Did I Do All That?

April 17, 2017

I mean.

I am not really sure, but man, it flowed, lovely and smooth from one experience to the next.

Until now.

Sitting here at my table doing my little evening routine, listening to some old school-house music, Tortured Soul, in my bunny slippers, it is Easter after all, with my belly full of warm homemade soup, I am rather astounded.

I am.

I got a lot done.

There is still so much more to do, I have so much paper writing yet to attack, but I know how I am going to handle two of my papers, which is a relief, sometimes just knowing what I am going to write about makes the process so much less stressful.

It’s still anxiety making.

I mean.

I have three papers due.

Yet.

I took a huge leap forward today.

It started slow and it started with not wanting to get out of my bed when the alarm went off, but I knew that danger, and I knew I wanted to go to the earlier yoga class this morning, I had to be up in the Castro to do some homework by a certain point and going to a later class wouldn’t have worked.

And.

I just knew I needed up and out.

The class was hard, but really good and I’m grateful I went.

I had a lovely breakfast here at the house (organic oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa, sea salt, and blueberries; a soft-boiled egg,  and an amazing toasted coconut/almond milk latte) and did some morning page writing.

I checked my syllabus, packed my books, got my notebook, my class folder, and put on some makeup, pulled my hair up in a bun, hopped into my rain boots and headed to the MUNI.

I caught the N-Judah to the J-Church.

I read the entire time.

I finished two chapters in my Trauma reading.

As well as getting into a third on my ride back from the Castro.

I got off the train at the Castro Street Station and marveled with glee at the little rainbow lights lining the escalator.

How I do love you San Francisco.

I do so much.

I strolled through the main drag with my umbrella and my rain boots and smiled at all the fellas in their Easter finery.

I ran a couple of errands then went up to Firewood Cafe.

I met with my person and another friend for lunch then we adjourned to another friends apartment up on Noe and 19th.

God.

Rent control.

How I envy folks who have it.

The apartment is a huge one bedroom with front room, dining room, big bathroom, hard woods, fireplace, huge kitchen.

I was definitely having some apartment envy.

It was the perfect place though, the big couch in the front room, the table, the chair I put in front of the couch.

We all got settled and I started the recording on my phone.

And this time I got it!

I got a half hour session of a Couples Therapy dyad.

“You’re good!” They both exclaimed after we finished the session.

Thank you guys!

It felt really good.

I had a few moments when I was unsure which way to go or what to say, but I didn’t think to hard about it and I noticed my counter transference and actually noted to myself in the session, “hey!  That’s countertransference! Remember that!”

Of course, now, in this moment, I have no solid clue what it was or what it was in regards too, but I knew I had it and I used it in the session and I know that when I go back and listen to the recording again I’ll be able to hear it in the recording.

So happy I got that out-of-the-way.

And while I was on the train riding to the Castro to meet with my friends who were going to help with the project, I had an idea about what to write for my Trauma paper.

Very happy about that.

Part of my “stress” if you want to call it that, is that I need to listen to things again before I write the paper, I can’t just pick up a book or a class reader or an article or my notebook and get the information there.

I have to take an extra step for each paper and listen to a recording, break down what is happening in the recording and use it for the papers.

It is a lot more work than a normal paper for me.

That being said, I feel so much more competent about what I will be writing about and I feel a lot better about the state of my papers.

No.

I did not do any paper writing today.

Although I did write a lot.

I thought about it, but I also didn’t want to stress myself out about it.

If I got to it, great, but that I did so much footwork for the material that will go into the writing, for two different papers, is huge.

I actually accomplished a lot.

Plus.

I got to see two wonderful men in my life who mean so much to me and have a nice Sunday lunch and walk underneath the cherry trees in the Castro and be seen and be helped.

It was truly lovely.

I hopped back on the train and was heading back to the house and my smart feet actually hopped up when I hit Church Street Station.

It was ten of four.

Oh!

I could go check out a spot I used to go to way back in the day.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time and get grounded and then hop back on the train and come home.

Home.

Home to cook my soup.

I made homemade hot and sour soup today.

I took a large Mason jar of my chicken stock (made from last weeks roasting chicken), 1 bag of large wild caught shrimp, a container of organic tofu that was cubed, a small box of Hen of the Wood mushrooms, a small box of crimini mushrooms and tossed them in my soup pot.

I added a good heavy splash or five of Bragg’s Amino Acids, instead of soy sauce, loads of fresh ground white pepper, some rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and sliced in a fat organic carrot and some chopped Swiss Chard (I would have used bok choy, but the store was out and the chard actually worked really well).

I put it on the stove, set it to simmer and then realized it was going to be at least an hour before it was ready.

I could do more reading.

Or.

I could sneak in another yoga class.

Yoga won.

I slipped into the studio three minutes before it started.

It was not Vinyasa yoga, like I did this morning, but restorative.

I could not have done another Vinyasa class.

But restorative, lots of slow, soft, warm stretching, yes ma’am.

It was perfect.

I got back, tasted the soup, oooh, added a little more white ground pepper, lit some candles, put on my bunny slippers and had myself an amazing dinner.

The soup was so good.

Umami bomb.

I am astounded and I have a new favorite.

I am very happy how my Sunday went.

Not upset that I didn’t get the writing done I was thinking I might, but I got the things done that I needed to do and I did exquisite self-care.

Happy day.

I saw friends, chosen family, ate delicious food, did yoga, not once, but twice! Made tons of progress on my homework and walked underneath blooming cherry trees in one of the prettiest cities in the world.

Where I live does not suck.

Nope.

I am the luckiest girl.

I really am.

And now I’m ready for Monday.

Night all.

xoxoxoxo

 

 

I Need A Carmen

April 14, 2017

Don’t we all lady.

I mean.

On one hand.

I was flattered, it was a compliment, and she quickly followed up with, “not that everyone can do what you do, or that you aren’t valuable and have your own skill set, not that you’re replaceable….”

She trailed off.

I smiled.

I than quietly got to witness an entire business transaction that I was not at all at part of, an assumption that if I was available I would work for the woman.

As though I don’t have my own life, my own plans, my own things happening.

Graduate school.

Interning.

My own fucking life.

Maybe my own time off.

She asked when the family I work for was going on their summer vacation, the family was having a play date at the home where I work and I know them from play dates with the family I work prior to my current situation.

They are nice people.

The kids are great, a bit untethered and rambunctious, but I think that happens a lot with play dates, the kids get wound up and kooky and into things and it can me melee.

Nonetheless I was rather stunned to stand in front of the woman while I was holding my bosses baby and listen to her logic of how I would be great for them, but too bad their summer plans were not coinciding with my family’s plan, that since there was no over lap that I would not be available to her as a nanny.

I stood there and smiled and jogged the baby on my hip and did not say a word about school or my internship or my plans for summer or any of it.

It wasn’t her business and by the time she got to her realization that the timing was off I didn’t have to inform her of my own personal stuff was more important that a temporary nanny gig to help out another family.

I don’t even know if she realized what an assumption it was, how it felt demeaning, that I am just open to be swapped around family to family, to not even be asked if it was something I would want to do or be available to do.

I mean.

I have any down time those weeks the family is away I will be helping my friend who is about to have twins.

I made the mom’s tea and snacks and corralled the littles and the play date was good and I know the mom meant no harm, it’s just a privileged assumption that I am going to jump at the chance to work for them.

I had another mother at the school recently praise me for “getting in good with ____________, “you’ll always have employment!”

Wow lady.

Fuck you very much.

As though my life aspiration is to be the private nanny to successions of children through their private school.

Although, I have thought that I might work with the families of the school, it did not occur to me to be in the context of being a nanny, but as a psychotherapist for families at the school.

Ahem.

It’s a kind of unconscious privilege that I have not always seen as privilege.

Or.

I will say instead, I had always felt uncomfortable with assumptions such as these, but did not understand they came from a state of privilege.

I’m able to name it better and understand how it feels and the way it lands.

I read this super intriguing article in my Multi Cultural class a year ago in regards to how “the help” is often more in the know because they straddle to very different worlds.

The people who come in to clean your house or cook your food or take care of your children may actually be more worldly and sophisticated because they have a broader spectrum of experience.

And I also am a cultured person, well read, traveled, studious, intelligent.

I got the connection and the correlation very fast.

Grateful that I also have a strong spiritual program, that I let it wash over me and past me and that it, in the end, didn’t matter, water off a duck’s back, I didn’t need to show my indignation, I don’t have to share my opinion.

It was not asked for.

Nothing worse than someone who wants to give advice or their opinions when they weren’t asked for.

I didn’t need to be a teaching moment.

I am just very happy that my employers have consistently modeled to me how valuable and important to them that I am.

I had a great day with the oldest boy today and a lot of solo time with him that felt really special and sweet.

We made a music video of him singing to the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun.”

I made him grilled cheese for lunch.

We sat and read from his amazing Smithsonian encyclopedia.

We played games, drew, and snuggled.

We played goofy imaginary games and built satellite models.

I even sang him a lullaby.

It was the best bonding moment and I just felt his little vulnerable self melt and I got to have a connection with him that doesn’t always occur as his siblings are needing attention too.

I think that all couples therapist should nanny a couple of siblings.

The things we all could learn from our interactions with the closest people we love.

The inability of language to express what we need or want from a partner writ large in the negotiations of playing children.

Reasoning with an upset child who’s sibling won’t give them space because they love the other so much that they have to kick over the model or hide the stuffed dog, or hit the other on the head with a toy, can’t you see how much I want to be with you, thunk, then tears.

I have actually used a few Couples Therapy interventions with the siblings to navigate fights that happen.

And space apart.

They both got that today.

And they will tomorrow too.

Field trip!

I feel a carousel might be happening.

Or the Children’s Creativity Museum.

The little girl was sobbing on her mom as her brother had said something mean, which translated to I need space, and her mom was consoling her and telling her that she, the little lady, and I, the nanny, were going to get to go on our own solo field trip tomorrow.

She stopped crying.

Looked up at me.

Smiled.

And asked.

“Will there be snacks?”

Oh my God.

Of course.

Yes, darling.

There will be snacks.

I promise.

Hell.

It’s Friday.

You might even get an ice cream cone.

With sprinkles.

 

Congratulations

April 6, 2017

 

Congratulations Burner!

Hello Carmen,

You’ve been awarded a Low Income Ticket to Burning Man 2017: Radical Ritual. 

Here’s what you need to know about your Low Income Ticket:

Holy toledo

The best news ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but.

LOOK MA!  I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Woot.

Heh.

Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.

Fuck.

Who the hell am I kidding.

Over the motherfucking moon.

I’m going.

11th year in a row.

It’s a special year for me too.

It’s Shadrach’s tenth anniversary of his passing.

He’s the reason why I went to my first burn.

“You really should go to Burning Man, you are such a burner,” he told me at my first Decompression party.

He had a loft in the Dog Patch neighborhood, close to Esprit Park where the Decompression Party is held annually, the after Burning Man party, which until I went to Burning Man was super exciting until I went to Burning Man and then it’s a little anti-climatic.

One of the best San Francisco street parties.

But.

It cannot hold a candle to the actual event.

I mean.

What the hell can?

There is nothing like it on Earth and every year that I get to go I am excited and nervous and I don’t know if I’m going to e able to swing it this year and then.

Well.

Heh.

I do.

Even when I was only able to go for four days last year.

I still went.

I have been out as long as 23 days.

That’s when it starts to get weird, FYI.

My burn this year will be the standard event.

When I was there for long stints of time, 14 days, 18 days, 19 days, two years in a row of 21 days, the infamous year of 23 days that was one of the worst dust storm years ever and long, slow, painful hours stuck in a trailer, I was working.

This year.

Well.

This year, this lady is not working.

No “Working Man” for me.

I mean.

It’s always a lot of work, no matter how you slice it, I spend a lot of time getting prepared, but I won’t be tied to any job this year, I won’t be nannying, I won’t be doing a thing but enjoying the event.

I even pulled a few shifts last year, though they felt pretty negligible, I helped where I could and I’m not the person who shirks from work, I’ll help out where I can when I go this year too, but I won’t be working scheduled shifts.

I’m going to Burning Man.

Pinch me.

I need supplies!

I need a new bike.

Sigh.

Although resigned to the loss of my playa bike, I am still sad to be without her and I will be sourcing a new bicycle.

Fuck.

I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.

So.

That’s a nice thing, I can exchange that or give that to anyone who can give me a ride.

The ride will come together.

My gear will come together.

I really have the majority of it anyway.

I have my own tent, I have an air mattress, a cooler, clothes, boots, bandanas, hats, camp chair, flowers for my hair.

I will need to get a bicycle.

A new air pump for my air mattress.

And possibly a second cooler.

I did well with one cooler last year, but I was just up there four days, I may need a second one, nothing to be super concerned about.

The bicycle will be the first acquired thing, the rest will follow.

I already have a coffee date with a lovely Siren from Siren’s Cove, the camp that flew me home last year, that was one hell of a gift let me tell you, when I posted up on social media that I had scored a low-income ticket she immediately requested girl time coffee date at Center Camp Cafe.

I was like.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Oh my God.

This is going to be some kind of crazy new experience for me.

Not having to be tied to anything, being able to hang out, not having responsibilities, I mean, other than keeping myself alive and hydrated.

Heh.

I am going to have all the adventures.

ALL.

Of them.

Yes.

A friend of mine laughed when I posted the announcement as well, gently giving me shit about how I am always surprised that I am going.

But.

I always am!

It seems like such a big deal, how will I make it work, how will it happen when I’m in Paris, when I’m between jobs, when I don’t have money, or it’s conflicting with school.

Or.

All the crazy stuff that my brain manufactures.

And I don’t have that so much this go around, once I found out that school didn’t conflict and that I got the balls to ask off from work, well it only seemed to follow that I was going to have to go.

It would just be a matter of getting the ticket and the ride.

I always say, if you want to go, you’ll go, and once you have the ticket, it’s pretty much guaranteed.

At least for me.

And granted, like I’ve said, I’ve gone and I’ve gotten rides and tickets and I have worked my ass off out there.

Some years more so than others.

But, really, every year, even my first year, when I was “just” going to take my best friend’s ashes to the Temple, I ended up working.

That was 2007 and the Man was vandalized and burnt early and the organization rebuilt it for the burn night.

I ended up being in the cafe when a worker for the Man Crew came in and told the cafe manager I had just spoken to about signing up to volunteer and they didn’t have any shifts, I was literally walking away, and she grabbed me, “you’ve got shifts now!”

Boy did I ever.

I ended up pulling three or four ten-hour cafe shifts.

And that started something for me, being a part of, being involved, and though I am a little scared, let me be honest, to be untethered, I am also excited, I am so excited to get to go and just be a participant.

No.

I won’t roll in the fucking dust when the Greeters greet me, there’s enough dust in my bins in the garage to carry me through that experience, I will be seeing the event with a new set of eyes.

Fuck.

I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Wanted Woman

April 5, 2017

I got a text today after coming out of my second therapy session, went great, thanks, in regards to some services that someone wanted.

Specifically.

My former employer wanted to know if I could be available to cook for them every few Sundays.

Um.

Uh.

No.

Then my head was like, but it would be great to see the boys and I could make some extra money, and…

Fuck off head.

You are not working on your day off.

NO.

NOPE.

Not going to do it, there really is nothing that I could ask for that would compensate me enough to go into work on a Sunday.

I work 35 hours a week.

Go to graduate school full-time.

Meet with three people on a weekly basis for doing the deal.

Go to do the deal 6-7 times a week.

Plus.

In May I’ll star an internship that will be an additional 15 hours.

May is next month.

The last thing I want to do is spoil the few remaining Sundays I do have off.

And when my internship starts, I will only have Sundays off.

For a year.

One day off a week.

That’s it.

I’m not going to go to my former bosses house and make food.

Not going to do it.

Just saying.

Although, truth be told, I was hella flattered.

It’s nice to know that you are wanted.

I have actually said no a lot lately.

No to some baby sitting gigs.

Two specifically that come to mind, no to this idea of working on my day off and cooking.

No, thank you for thinking of me, but no.

Funny thing too, is how often I get this, “I know you’re busy, I know this is a long shot, but….”

Yup.

I am busy.

And yes, it is a long shot, and nope, still can’t do it.

I have also been asked by three different people to read their writing.

I know I write a blog every day and I write morning pages and I want to be able to read every thing that is sent to me, because that’s what good writers do, they also read, but I’ve got so much reading for school I haven’t even touched the two pieces that were sent to me an there’s a third heading towards my mailbox.

Maybe I’ll read them next year.

Bwahahahaha.

What I am recognizing though, is that I am sought after for my skills and as such, I’m really flattered, it’s nice to be thought of, it’s nice that people want me to weigh in on their writing.

I believe it means that folks think I might have some skills and something to offer.

I was asked last week about writing a blog and what tips I had.

I gave loads of tips.

But basically it comes down to, just write it.

Sit down.

Do the work.

There is, however, only so much work I can do, and as I am on day 9 in a row of working with out a day off, I might have an idea of how precious my time off is.

I have two days coming up, April 10th and 11th, next Monday and Tuesday.

I have to get through two more days of work and three days of school.

Then.

Freedom.

I couldn’t fathom picking up more work right now.

There was a time when I would have, the allure of the extra money is big, but really, I want to have a full rounded life.

I want to have some fun and I want to have a tiny little bit of social life.

I also want to have rest and I want to be able to do yoga.

I have to keep tabs on myself and my self-care, I can’t show up to work or school or my soon to be happening internship if I’m not taking care of myself.

It’s an ethical issue.

It really is.

So I was proud of myself for saying I was unavailable.

I responded with kindness and acumen.

I was nice, I’m saying.

And that felt good too.

People will ask for what they want, and they’re allowed to ask, but I don’t have to people please and say yes to everything that is offered.

I believe that something better than money will happen for me on my Sunday if I’m not busy literally slaving over a hot stove.

God wants more for me than that.

Dating.

Friends.

Life.

Adventures.

Rest.

Recuperation.

All the things.

Not cooking all the things.

Anyway.

I am looking forward to school this weekend, even though my school days are long days, longer than my work days, they are days filled with thinking and showing up and learning and friends.

I am really excited to see my friends.

I have missed them.

I have some catching up to do.

Yes, I do.

The only thing I get bummed about, who would have thought it, is missing yoga on Saturday and Sunday.

Although I may try to sneak in a restorative yoga class Sunday after I get out of classes.

That is a good possibility.

I’m sad to miss my favorite teachers class on Saturday, but so be it.

As long as I can try to get into a Monday class in the morning, I will be making up for the loss of class on Saturday.

I get a head of myself

Let me stay in this week, where, yes, it is full, but there’s wiggle room here and there.

A coffee with a friend.

Catching up with my fellows tomorrow night.

Wrapping up the last bits and pieces of my school preparations.

Doing a little laundry.

And yes.

Chilling out a bit.

Like right now.

A cup of tea.

A video.

A snack.

And bed.

Sounds just about perfect.

No more cooking today.

No soup for you!


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