Posts Tagged ‘fellows’

Get It While

January 22, 2019

The getting is good.

I don’t have much time left.

Just a few days before my next semester of course work begins for my PhD program.

Which means, many, many, many books, articles, discussion posts and who knows how many projects, tears, yelps of frustration, and ranting there will be.

I am assuming there will be much.

There will be moments, I already know this, where I will question, what the exact fuck am I doing getting a PhD?

And there will be moments when I know beyond a doubt that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Showing up will, as always, be the most important thing.

I have been showing up first and foremost by doing the reading already.

I am nearly finished with my third book of the semester.

I haven’t really taken a look at any of the syllabi, well, one, a tiny bit, but there wasn’t a sequence of reading listed (I sense it will get revealed at the intensive our first day of class), so I figured, just read as much as I can while I can.

That really helped me last semester, I stayed on top of the reading by having read a couple of the books before the semester had gotten underway.

My suggestion, always start in on the reading as soon as possible.

Always carry some reading material with you as well.

I don’t know when the kids are going to be in school, out of school, sick, napping, not napping, or whether I will be doing pick up or drop off.

My schedule at work is fairly consistent but surprises always happen and the times when I thought, surely, not today will there be any time to read, there’s been time.

And, of course, the converse has happened.

I have really needed/wanted to work on something and I show up to find a home sick from school monkey.

Today was all about the monkey.

I had all three of my charges today as it was a school holiday.

The dad was home and that was nice, he took one of them and I had two of them and we sort of swapped back and forth the whole day.

I did baths, he cooked, I ran two of them up and down the hill to the playground, he did Lego models and took another out to lunch.

It worked well and it was a nice day, especially to be outside after all the rain over the past week and this weekend.

I didn’t get any reading done at work, but I did have a nickel of time in between work and my evening commitment.

I ran to the grocery store and did some shopping and then hit up Tart to Tart in the Inner Sunset for a quick half hour of reading and studying.

I feel like this is going to be a better semester from the stand point of having made it through the first one I know I can do the second.

I got all “A”s and I’m still a little overwhelmed by that and sincerely grateful to have earned them.

I do feel like I really did show up for the classes and did what was necessary and then some.

I figured when I got home that I would do some food prep and write a blog to settle myself down.

I feel like I want to do 18 different things before now and bed time but there really isn’t a lot to do.

I have to get through the next few days of work and I get to see clients tomorrow night and Wednesday.

Thursday morning I have group supervision bright and early, 8:15 a.m. so I’ll be up at 6 a.m. to get ready and be there on time, but after that, I don’t have to do anything but get my butt to the intensive and check in at 3p.m.

I’m out of supervision by 10:15a.m. and my nail salon opens at 10a.m., I’m going to go and get a mani/pedi and then treat myself to some Marnee Thai for lunch–I’ll be staying at a hotel in Burlingame which means hotel food, for the intensive, I figure one nice meal before I jet is needed.

I’m thinking I’ll be packing day of the intensive.

Burlingame is super close and won’t take me that long to get to, maybe 40 minutes depending on traffic.

It is far enough away that I will pretty much be staying there to make an effort to connect and hang out with my cohort and be present for the experience.

Although I did consider what it would be like to just stay at home the entire time and commute back and forth, I figure, I’m paying for the intensive as part of my tuition and it’s required that I attend all the classes, it will be a lot easier to just stay there the whole time.

I mean, Pacifica was where the last one was and that too isn’t too far from me in San Francisco, I could have stayed at home, but I know I would have missed out on a part of the bonding that I think is necessary to doing the classwork.

Plus, it’s good to put names to faces and I’m already thinking about a few of my classmates that I am excited to reconnect with.

Funny enough, there are a few people who at the first intensive I wasn’t much enamored of, but after witnessing how they showed up for the classes I want to touch base and let them know how much I appreciated them being in class.

And you know, it will be good to commiserate with others about the work and life and there’s not a lot of folks out in the world working on a PhD, so it’s community that I will want as I continue to do the work.

It can be a little isolating.

I do, also notice that I miss some of my cohort from my Master’s program.

So.

Yeah.

Two more days in town and then I’m out.

I’ll likely do some blogging while I’m there, but I am not committing to anything.

Last semester was a doozy, I expect that this one will be too.

Good too.

I predict it will be good too.

God lord.

I am really getting a PhD.

Crazy!

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Bruised

October 1, 2017

But not broken.

And I have to admit, a bit chagrined, but fuck it, overall, very happy with what went down at the dentist today, despite feeling like the girl who cried wolf.

“Bite down, bite down, and bite down, pain?” Asked my dentist.

“Nope,” I shook my head, and every time he poked the tooth that has been bothering me, I felt like cringing because I was expecting it to be painful, I mean, have you seen the pokey tools a dentist uses?

I was not expecting just pain either, I was expecting excruciating pain.

After I went to bed last night, feeling a little bit high from the fever I was running, I figured I better get a good nights sleep and let myself sleep a little longer than I would have since I figured I was going to have either no breakfast or a very light breakfast.

I was preparing myself for having to get surgery.

I really was.

“What about here?  Any pain?” My dentist continued prodding my tooth.

NOTHING.

I really felt abashed.

“No,” I told him, “I can’t describe it, but it hurts so much when it happens, but not necessarily when I chew or bite down, although it does happen that way sometimes, it just surprises me with it, it feels like a knife being slipped into my tooth.”

A long skinny sharp knife.

And.

Hello.

I’m running a fever again, by the way, but I just took some antibiotics, so hopefully that will burn out in a little while.

He took three different sets of x-rays.

And nothing, no cavities, nothing.

I thought maybe I had a cracked tooth, but nope, the dentist told me, “that’s a natural part of your tooth, you’ve probably had that since you were six and it wasn’t really apparent until we did the deep clean, you just never noticed it before.”

“You do have an infection in your lymph node,” he said, I had pointed out the fever and the swelling along my jaw line, “but I don’t think that’s associated with the tooth, that’s something else, so I’ll write you up a script for antibiotics, as for the tooth, well, it’s probably bruised, so be careful chewing anything tough and give it a few weeks.  If you’re still experiencing pain, call us and we’ll see you again.”

And that was it.

Well.

That was almost it.

“Since you’re here, we’ll do a cleaning,” and he did and I walked out of the office feeling light as a bird feather and happy and it was sunny and the ocean was blue and my god, life is good.

I really though I was going to get a t root canal today.

In fact, the dentist told me that was what he was expecting to do with me when he heard what my symptoms are.

Man.

Fevers are super weird.

My face is so hot right now, even my ears are hot.

I don’t have strep, no sore throat, and I checked my tonsils last night and I don’t have tonsillitis and I don’t have mono, I’ve got too much energy for that.

Nor do I have an ear ache, and well, I have no idea what the infection is about, but it’s there.

My dentist just told me to make sure I did the entire course of the antibiotics and I have to take them four times a day, so they’ll be coming with me to work and my internship.

I don’t mind, I’m just so glad that I don’t have any issues with my teeth.

I did miss the yoga class I had signed up for, but whatever.

I just let the day happen after I left my dentist.

Talked to my best friend and my person back to back and let them know I was in the clear.

I went and did a little grocery shopping.

Came back home and had a latte and wrote for about a half hour and then went and got a pedicure.

Man it felt nice.

It felt like a day off.

Even though I still had to go to my group supervision, but it was chill.

I had a salad for lunch and a white peach and listened to the folks in my group check in about their clients.

I day dreamed a bit.

I admit it.

And when supervision let out I let myself go shopping.

I hit Nordstrom’s Rack and scored.

It took time, it’s always hit or miss with me and Nordie’s Rack.

Sometimes I get great things.

Sometimes I spend three hours wandering around and leave with a pair of socks.

Today was more fruitful and I am very happy with my haul.

Two pretty bras and pairs of panties.

Two pairs of very nice high-end jeans, Paige Brand, one in super dark denim and the other in black, both skinny and form-fitting, and my God, my ass looks good in them.

Just saying.

A super chic white cotton button up.

And a sharp as fuck black blazer.

I scored.

I also spent my clothing allowance for the month.

But that’s alright.

I don’t have a lot of time on my hands to go shopping anyway, so to do it all in one fell swoop was fine.

Especially since what I got are all staples.

I will admit I was looking for a pretty dress, I’m always on the look out for a pretty dress, but the jeans and white cotton shirt combo and the blazer, well, I can wear them as my therapist outfit and for going out.

I don’t know that I want to wear the white shirt to work, the baby is now eating solid foods, I can just see it getting splattered with pureed sweet potato.

But.

Really I can interweave all the clothes I got today into my wardrobe in a very cohesive way.

Then I went and saw my fellows over in the NOPA and damn, it was good.

And.

Then.

Home.

A nice bit of roast chicken, some brown rice, clipping all the tags off my clothes, and putting my things away.

I added my hours to Track My Hours.

Bringing me up 10 184.25.

Only 2,815.75 to good.

Ha.

Vomit.

Anyway.

One little day at a time.

That’s all I got and today.

Well.

It was, despite my worst fears, a really damn good day.

Yes.

Really.

It was.

Wanted Woman

May 27, 2017

It’s nice to be wanted.

It really is.

It’s nice to be pursued.

It’s nice to be courted.

But.

To a point.

Today I was asked to nanny by four different people.

Four.

Three separate families apart from the one I work for, and all from the same spot.

I was a little overwhelmed by it, I was also very tentative about saying anything about my availability.

What availability?

I mean.

Yikes.

One mom who asked has asked before and it has always felt a little like I was getting manipulated into doing something even though I was fairly closed mouth about being able to do anything, I also feel like I must be circumspect and respect that the families are all after one thing, that which will work well for them and their children.

And I know from over a decade of being a nanny that it’s hard to find a good fit for your child, I am asked for referrals all the time.

All the time.

It takes a lot of showing up to be good.

And.

I have a lot to give, but let’s be honest.

There is only so much Carmen-nanny to go around.

Word has gotten out that my family will be gone for a few weeks in July and that I might be helping out my previous family.

And it’s true.

My current family will be leaving for a few weeks, but my internship won’t be going anywhere.

And yes.

I did tell my previous family I would love to help them out with a date night, I miss the boys and it would be sweet to have a night with them.

But.

I am in no place to suddenly pick up a lot of hours.

I will say, though, it is flattering.

I also got to see the another family I briefly worked for end of last year and get a lot of hugs and how are you’s and catch up.

Part of me wants to say yes, of course I will help, I love your kids, I like you.

But.

I love me to.

And Carmen has needs.

I want to make sure my needs are getting met before I go off and make promises to help when I will just get resentful.

No.

I don’t want my summer to be a resentful making time.

I would rather do a lot of yoga, hang out with friends, go on dates, get some extra hours in at my internship and maybe take a long weekend somewhere.

Maybe not even all that far away.

Somewhere by the sea.

Somewhere closer by then Paris.

Somewhere I just lay around in a big hotel bed for a weekend.

I still have my flight voucher for $480 to use before October.

And.

I just had a moment today, not a big one, but a kind of soft warning bell, oh hey, don’t forget, you’re also going to Burning Man and I haven’t done any prep around that.

I still need to replace my playa bike.

I need to find a ride there and back as well.

I have some supplies that I need to replace, a battery charged air pump for my blow up mattress, and of course since I’m not working at all this event I will need to probably procure another cooler for a longer run on my food and figure out a shade structure.

I didn’t have a shade structure last year, I figured, four days in and out, I’ll deal, but this year I’ll be there for the full event and I want to be in a nice space for myself.

Also.

Since school starts for me the weekend prior to Burning Man starting, literally my fall school semester will start and I will leave class and head straight to the playa.

That night.

If not that afternoon.

Depending on who I ride with.

Anyone want to give me a ride to Burning Man this year?

Yeah, seriously, hit me up.

I suppose I will put my name on the ride share board again and see if that pans anything out.

I don’t have to know all the details yet, but there’s planning that needs to be done for that and May is almost over, June will be really rolling into being at my internship and taking clients and July, the family is gone for three weeks.

That three weeks feels like the golden times.

I could not work at all.

I am getting paid for the time the family is away.

I could just do my internship and hide from all forms of nannying.

I don’t want to let myself get bogged down in helping out too many people.

Even if all I do is yoga and take long walks on the beach, just some good solid self-care.

Ah.

I am done with the worrying.

Tomorrow has a lot going on and I want to get up early and go to yoga, stretch out as much as possible and get in my body, meeting with my person at Tart to Tart, grocery shopping–the cupboards are pretty bare, and a dentist appointment to deal with before I try to figure out what July looks like.

I have today.

I got through the week, the jet lag seems to have faded off.

I got to see some friends and fellows tonight.

I had a great day at work.

I was pursued and though I couldn’t respond in the manner that was being asked after, I gave no promises as to my availability, only confirmed that the family will be out for a few weeks in July, I could thank those that asked after me.

And.

I can appreciate that I am appreciated.

That people want me to work for them.

That I am wanted is a gift.

A gift that I do not take lightly.

So with much gratitude.

I bid adieu to Friday and hello to my three-day weekend!

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

Surprisingly Together

April 8, 2017

And well grounded.

I don’t even feel all that tired.

Which is sort of shocking, considering that I just got back from doing an 11 hour school day.

I was prepared though and able to carry through with all the things that needed to be attended to and I did some good self-care, got up early, took a nice hot shower before breakfast, made a nice unsweetened vanilla coconut/almond milk latte, I rode the MUNI into class, rain, and connected with all my sweet friends.

I also feel that there was a distinct shift for me in being able to focus on the classes and material as I have all my practicum stuff nailed down, I don’t have any anxiety about trying to make it all happen.

It all happened.

I’m registered and all my paperwork is signed.

It’s like walking the plank with my eyes wide open.

I have started the journey and I have no clue exactly what I am about to leap into, but I am on the way to leaping.

I have a few weeks of “freedom” haahahaha, that’s funny, (final projects, papers, and one more weekend of class) before I have to start supervision, and about a month and a half before I start at my internship.

I will have Paris before that.

Although, it does now look like I won’t be in the Marais, my friend’s house had some unexpected water damage and there will be construction happening.

I will be staying with a friend of hers in the 10th.

This is going to be a new one, but not that new, I’ve done Air BnB before when traveling, I’ll be staying with someone new, but he’s in a great location and he’s a dear friend of my friend and frankly anyone who is her close friend is going to be a good friend of mine.

I have nothing to complain about, I get to stay somewhere free in Paris.

That is a huge gift.

She is a huge gift in my life.

I am so grateful for her and for my other friends that I reconnected with today.

There were lots and lots and lots of hugs.

Some tears too.

Life happens and it’s hard and we all showed up for each other in some pretty spectacular ways today, I felt honored and privileged to be a part of the cohort and happy to be seen by my friends.

I also got some extraordinary remarks, comments and feedback on a paper I wrote from my professor who I hold in most highest esteem, her opinion of me and my abilities means a lot to me.

I know I’ve got her up on a pedestal, but she really is an amazing teacher and I needed an amazing teacher to be able to do the work that is required for doing trauma work.

“I suppose you learn a lot about yourself,” my driver said to me tonight as we chit chatted about my program.

Folks often have this idea that I’m headed out to some party or some fun Friday night thing but no, I’m just going home after doing 11 hours of school, which leads to a conversation about what I am studying.

My driver asked me so many questions and it was really fun to share some of the things that I am learning and practicing and I could also tell he was trying to get, “Just asking for a friend,” information about whether I thought Couples Therapy had any efficacy.

I basically gave him a session on the ride home.

It was like Taxi Cab Confessionals except from the passengers purview.

It also let me realize, in the telling, that I know a lot more than I even realize and that I can disseminate the material well enough to a lay person to make concepts clear and ideas and it was sort of cool to just let myself talk and hear the theories fall out of my mouth.

I really had a moment of being, “who is this person talking?”

And it was me.

I am sure I will have my doubts and troubles, my anxieties and fears, but I feel that I have come a really big way and I feel like I can see myself being able to take on clients.

I can do this.

I really can.

And.

I am going to be good at it.

God damn it’s nice to find my niche, to know where I am most needed to fit myself to be of maximum service, to know I can be of help and do well by myself as well.

There is life long learning as well.

I appreciate that.

I will keep growing.

I will keep getting to find out and experience different things.

There will always be books to read, articles to write, experiences to be had, I have such a full rich life, this work only adds a deeper complexion and color to a glass that is full to overflowing with love and experience.

Grateful.

That is where I stand.

In a place of deep gratitude.

And I always could see more softening in me, more resilience, and more acceptance of myself, where I am in the program and where I can ease up a little, in the classroom and in my interactions with other students in the cohort.

We are a pretty incredible bunch and I’m super lucky to get to learn from them as well as my teachers.

All the learning.

It’s amazing.

I am so grateful that I am allowing it to keep happening, to keep engaging, to keep growing, to keep pushing at the edges of boundaries and seeing what else and where else I can grow.

Yes.

Growth is painful.

But as they say, “pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.”

I have had some growth spurts this year, and it’s only April.

Leaning into.

Learning to love myself more.

Doing the deal.

And showing up.

That’s pretty much it for today’s check-in.

Off to get some more sleep than I did last night.

So.

I can get up.

And.

Do it all over again.

Good Day

April 2, 2017

Long day.

Glad it’s done day.

Wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow day.

But.

Oh well.

That being said at least I had some time before and after work for myself.

I got up and went to yoga and had a really good class.

I cried.

It was good and sometimes when it’s really good, something lifts and moves and I get emotional relief not just a nice quiet relief from my thoughts but a shifting inside and something gets worked out.

I had some stuff get worked out that I wasn’t expecting and I floated back to the house after.

A hot shower and a text from the mom saying I wasn’t needed until 1p.m.

I had been scheduled to come in at noon.

So I had some extra time to do some writing, check in with a friend and do some homework as well as get my spending plan done for the month of April.

I was right, not that I’m keeping track, but by eliminating my clothing allowance and my savings allowance I’ll be able to afford doing the weekly therapy.

I may change that at some point and as I applied to get financial aid for my summer session of practicum, which is considered a class, I will probably use some of that money towards tuition, of course, and also towards the therapy.

It’s required by the school for my degree, might as well use student loan money to pay for it.

When that happens, depending on how much I get over the tuition bill, sometimes it’s only been a few hundred dollars, I’ll use that towards my therapy and allow myself money back into my clothes or savings allowance.

Suffice to say.

I have enough for April to get by without freaking out, taking money from my travel savings account, or having to sell my plasma.

I jest.

I haven’t sold my plasma in years.

Not that I could anyhow, I’ve had a recent tattoo and you cannot donate blood or plasma for a year after you’ve gotten a tattoo.

So.

Like.

I’ve not donated blood in the past decade pretty much.

Ha.

Money enough is coming in, is what I’m saying and I was able to figure that all out before I went into work.

It was a chill day and I had a nice time with the kids.

I was a little tired, not physically so much, but mentally.

It’s a long stretch to be with the kids that many days in a row.

I made it through though, and got off early enough to run and get a few groceries from the store and then over to 1100 Divisadero to do the deal and meet up with friends.

After which, dinner at Souvla, a Greek restaurant in the NOPA.

I had an amazing dinner and mostly on account of the company, but the food is really good too.

I am really grateful for this group of fellows and so happy that have committed to continue seeing them every week, it’s really been helping me stay balanced with my school and work stuff.

And although I am working tomorrow, it will be an interesting adventure.

The family is actually coming out to me.

The weather tomorrow is looking warm and sunny and the mom wants to bring all the kids to the beach.

She said that they will be coming out to Ocean Beach and will send me a little text when they get close and we’ll all go have a beach day.

I can handle that!

I’m going to get up and do a yoga class again and be ready by noon, although it may be more like 1 p.m. by the time they get out here.

I’m happy to be staying in my neighborhood and I won’t have to do any cooking or cleaning or laundry, I’m grateful for that and for not having to do a commute in either.

The traffic today was crazy.

Everybody was out and headed to the park or the beach and that’s basically where I live and it was a longer commute time that it is during the week.

I am very happy to stay put in the hood tomorrow and just hang out with the kiddos at the beach and build sand castles and walk the tide line and look for shells and be out in the sunshine all day.

I am down with that.

And get paid.

Yes.

Thank you.

I haven’t yet been down to the beach on the nice weather day in a while.

I’m looking forward to it.

I also did not get the sense that I would be working all the way until 6 p.m.

The mom assured me though, that I would be compensated for the hours we had discussed.

I find that really fair and reasonable, and I’m grateful that I didn’t have to say anything about it, she just said, you’ll be paid the full amount we discussed.

Thank you!

Not much else to report this news cycle.

At least not anything that I’m willing to write about.

I fear that my blogs have not been so scintillating that they will start losing readership, then I remember, I don’t write for an audience, I write for myself and I would be writing even if only ten people were reading.

Or if no one were reading.

It is my space.

I claim it.

I own it.

It helps me and the really juicy stuff, well, involves other people and their stories are theirs, not mine, to tell.

So I bid you adieu.

A good night.

And.

Sweet.

Sweet.

Sweet.

Dreams.

Today Was A

February 19, 2017

Fuck yeah kind of day.

I was chilled most of the day, but I did look cute.

Although perhaps a little on the shivery side.

I wasn’t expecting to be out all day long and I just never made it back to the house once I was out and about.

I sort of know better, but oh well, that’s all I really have to complain about, I was a little cold today, and now that I am home, a hot mug of tea next to me, the heater turned on and my candles all lit up, oh yes, and some nice Saint Germaine de Pres on the radio cube, yes, I said radio cube, it’s like a trip toy for rave kids candy flipping, but I’ve had it for years and years and it really does work–an old IHome cube.

I have had it forever and it’s been to many a Burning Man.

Not this year though, nothing that I will have to hook up to electricity, I won’t be working the event so very doubtful I will have access to any sort of power hook up like I have in the past.

I digress.

Burning Man was not today, although it did come up in conversation a few times.

I am pretty dorked out that I get to go again.

Anyway.

I did go to things today.

I went to yoga.

I am glad I did, although, yes, I had a moment or two when I didn’t want to and it’s hard to get back on the horse, but I did.

I wasn’t able to go at all last weekend since I was in class all day and it’s hard, I see how fast I can lose the benefits of the practice, but hey, I went, and it was enough.

I am enough.

There it is again.

Hello.

Yes, I repeat, I am enough.

After yoga, a quick hot shower, a yummy hot breakfast and a tasty coconut/almond milk latte.

Living the high life.

Then.

I gratefully accepted the reprieve in the rain, it cleared today, but shall be back the next few days, and I uncovered my scooter and rode it up to 7th and Irving.

I met my person at Tart to Tart and embarked on some inventory.

We did some reading.

I did some writing.

I did some crying.

Damn it.

But.

Such good crying and also a lot of laughing, sometimes seeing how my foibles are impeding my journey just makes me laugh and how I think and how it does not serve.

Oh.

Does my thinking, NOT serve.

So.

I got some amazing perspective and some really good suggestions.

And.

Yes.

That’s right.

I took them.

I ran with them all day.

Guess what?

I had a fucking fabulous day.

FABULOUS.

I went and had a mani/pedi after and got my eyebrows wrangled.

Then I took myself out to lunch at Marnee Thai–duck breast curry with plantains.

Holy Mother of God.

So freaking good.

I did a little shopping after that at Ambiance.

I actually took a friend’s suggestion around self-care.

Well.

Close.

My friend had suggested I go get a massage.

I went to a hot tub instead.

It was bliss.

So good to get a soak and let all the kinks get worked out.

Then a scooter ride over to Turk and Divisadero to hang out with my fellows and do the deal.

I even fucking fellowshipped after and discovered a new place for food that I had not been to in the neighborhood.

Hung out.

Socialized.

Ate hella good food and let my hair down.

I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and I was able to nip the isolation blues in the bud.

Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

I could have bailed on the fellowship, I had food at the house, but I really craved some company tonight and I am so much the better for just hanging the fuck out with my people.

They are like no other.

Yeah.

I know.

I am biased.

But.

I do know a special and amazing group of people.

They’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs.

I felt a lot more a part of and I want to continue making that effort.

I shared with a friend tonight that it really can be a challenge to navigate doing grad school work and work and recovery and socializing.

I isolate sometimes because I am scared.

But.

Also.

Because, um, yeah, I have hundreds of pages of reading to do and papers to write.

I may not get to the paper I was going to write today.

And I’m just fine with that.

I have time and my time was so much better spent letting myself be of and in the world.

I rather like my San Franciscan world.

Sure.

It’s not the same city it used to be, it’s changed, but then again, so have I.

Change happens.

Change is the only reliable thing that is consistent.

I can try to control things and I am a sucker for routine, but once in a while I need to break out of it, evolve and see what comes of that action.

I may go back to where I was, all up in my head, but i have a solution that works.

I mean.

Fuck.

It works.

I am so grateful for that.

So much so it’s sort of stupid.

Don’t care if I’m a dork about that too.

Something lovely about my gratitude.

Something lovely about not having it all be on my time, my schedule and my way.

God has perfect timing.

Perfect love.

And wants me to be happy.

I can stop trying so hard to make things happen and just let them happen.

I don’t have to watch the horror show in my head.

I’m pretty bored with the characters and the casting is awful, and really it’s over dramatic, fear filled, and unrealistic.

Reality is so much more sexy.

And I certainly had a sexy day today.

Yes.

Yes.

I did.

Day One

February 11, 2017

Down!

God it feels good to be moving through the days of my program.

I felt super good today, even with starting the day with Trauma class.

Which.

Well.

Is oft-times traumatic.

However, having done so much of my own work around trauma I feel pretty grounded and able to hold myself in the stream of information that is being shared and to share my experience, not someone else’s experience.

I have been privy to much information that is confidential over the years and many confidences of delicate nature, trauma, abuse, sexual violence, stalkers, bad jobs, violence, drug abuse, emotional abuse, troubled relationships with partners, children, spouses, parents.

I have heard so much trauma and witnessed so much that I am surprised that I am not inured.

Rather.

I am impressed.

I am a little bit awed, in fact.

By the ability of us humans to heal and grow despite, or perhaps because of the nature of the pain that has been experienced.

This is not to say that I wish for you a traumatic experience, it is rather to acknowledge that holy fuck I have done the damn work.

I have shown up.

I have held my space, my heart, I have eaten out of the palm of pain and I have lived to tell the tale and in the telling, grown, blossomed, survived, thrived.

Despite, not because of the trauma.

I am graced in the knowledge that walking through the fear is never as hard as the fear wants me to believe.

I get to do this work and I am so situated that I have been allowed to go to graduate school and pursue it and be a kind of healer in my community.

This is a blessing.

This is a gift.

A gift that carries a burden that could be hard to shoulder had I not already done so much to strengthen myself and move my own stuff out-of-the-way.

That’s not to say that I won’t come up, that it hasn’t come up, that there is not some ugliness there or terror to shed light on, there is always room for growth, for more blossoming and even when it is the dead of winter I know that the plum trees will bloom on Church street and the act of walking, my face lifted to the blossoms pressed against the night sky will carry me forward through another season of pain and growth and exquisite beauty.

I was also just happy to see my cohort.

Let’s be honest.

I missed my friends.

And.

I acknowledged to myself how important these friendships have become to me.

I feel really amazed, I wasn’t expecting that as a product of doing the grad school work, that I would have another unique set of circumstances and fellows to travel and trudge the road to happy destiny, a destiny designed to connect me further with people in community.

With love.

I love that I am seen and accepted.

Oh.

I am not always liked and I don’t always like people in my cohort, but.

I love them all.

I do.

Unconditional love.

Meaning I wish for each and every one of the people in my cohort, in my class, in my school, in my neighborhood, that same respect and love a showering of respect and a willingness to acknowledge that we all deserve to be happy, however that looks.

I don’t have to like you to love you.

I don’t have to like you to wish for you the best, whatever and however that manifests.

I am an equal opportunity lover.

Heh.

Maybe you find a love that falls across you gently like a pick pocket brushes your thigh.

This means.

That I also unconditionally love myself, even when I wonder, am I people pleasing again, am I holding my tongue because I don’t want conflict, am I acquiescing to someone else’s need?

I might be.

At least I can recognize it now and more forward with that knowledge too.

So much to learn.

So much to feel.

The good new kids, you’re going to have feelings.

The bad news?

You’re going to have feelings.

But.

The nice thing is, feelings aren’t facts and despite feeling many things, I don’t have to be held hostage to my feelings.

I can have them.

I can let them go.

I can let them move through me.

It is a gift to see the emotion, to name it, to love myself and let whatever is there, rise, float to the surface, gather light, bloom, blossom grow, then slowly wither, become a puff of dander that the next feeling breathes against it and pushes the seeds carried by small parachutes of fluff and gossamer, carrying the impetus for so many other feelings to grow, blossom, wither, and die upon the warm air of God’s breath.

A sigh of kisses.

A multitude of stars.

I can contain millions.

I do.

In fact.

So too, do you.

Extraordinary.

This.

How hard I have striven to find these small moments of metaphor, Dolly blue in the hand crank washing machine of my heart, the pain renders it all the more beautiful and I rise to the light of the full moon.

Woman.

Once more.

My own.

You may have tried to trespass.

I may have shut the door.

I may have resisted.

I have come to understand my struggle and my power.

I underestimated my strength.

My fellows see it.

They breathe it back to me in the language of love and unconditional surrender.

The is that is right now.

The being that is scoped across my heart, a light house beaming its beacon at the end of the universe.

A small flower opening.

My face to the sun.

Uplifted and held.

Tears on my face.

The water of love showering my heart.

Where all the wild things go to grow.

I sing my barbaric yawp at thee.

Sounded over the rooftop of the city.

Howled into the nether regions of love.

I gather you here, upon my breast, open hands to cradle you close.

The music of the spheres.

The resonance of light in your eyes.

Your head upon my shoulder.

Warm breath.

Human.

Together.

Moving through and above.

Beyond.

Into another realm.

Which is only this one repeated again and again as I attend to all those things that I thought were lost underneath the attic stairs where my dreams went to nestle and die.

Or so I thought.

They only slumbered.

They only dreamed.

And now.

Well.

I have them again.

And I won’t let them go.

Trauma class.

Trauma.

Trauma.

Trauma.

I meet thee there.

With.

Love.

And.

Surrender.

And.

Gentle.

Repair.

 

 

Poetry In Translation

February 6, 2017

Is like taking a shower in a raincoat.

Yes.

I went and saw a movie today.

That was a line between two of the characters.

It was lyric and sweet and the sweep of it was soft and gorgeous.

I was unexpectedly free this afternoon.

I had some things come up and I had to change my plans.

I had managed to get up and go to yoga, even though I really didn’t think I was going to after the late night I had last night.

I had turned off my alarm and just planned to let myself sleep in, but I was up in time to make the late morning yoga class and I went.

I really didn’t think I was going to, even after I had gotten out of bed.

I went and washed my face and brushed my teeth, drank a glass of water, took my iron supplement and flax-seed oil and went to get dressed.

I opened the door to the closet and pulled off my yoga pants from the rack and put them on.

I almost laughed out loud.

It was just so automated, my body telling my brain what it wanted to do and just doing it regardless of the brain that was like, no, you’re not going, my body was like, sorry Charlie, as my hands pulled up my yoga pants and then my sports bra and top, I actually chuckled at myself, I was that surprised.

Sometimes I have smart feet and they just carried me along despite my brains weak protestations that I could just go at another time.

Yeah.

Sure brain.

You get me into some hot spots you know, why don’t you just take a back seat today.

The yoga was good, but hard, I mean, it was a super challenging class, but I found myself letting it be hard and doing what I could to keep up and just being there was more than good enough.

I came back home, changed and made breakfast.

I did some inventory and decided that I needed to change-up my plans for the day, but I was till going to head down to Let It Bleed and see my tattoo artist.

I need some touching up on the star tattoo I got two weeks ago.

But.

Shoot.

It’s not fully healed.

“Nope, I’m not going to touch it, the skin’s too tight, it’ll end up tearing, you’ll scar, we need to wait a little longer,” he told me.

So.

No tattoo for me today.

Suddenly having time, I called a friend in the Mission, let’s hang out, I said on the message.

I started to walk towards the Mission and decided to go see a movie before I headed over to my friend’s house.

I ducked into Opera Plaza and saw Paterson.

It was just the perfect reprieve and the perfect place to watch a matinée on a rainy Sunday in San Francisco.

The theater was actually quite a bit fuller than I had expected and it was cozy, smelling of warm buttered popcorn and the soft warmth lulled me and the movie with its fluidity of images and poetic moments, its small details and artistry drew me in.

I left happy and content and meandered a nice mellow walk to my friend’s house.

We chatted, had tea, he fed me an apple and a thick slice of brie, we caught up, compared notes about this and that, school, mutual friends, life.

It was just right.

Then I headed over to Firewood Cafe up in the Castro and had a big heart to heart with my person about the events of my day and got some suggestions and afterwards we went over to Diamond and 18th and hung out with a big group of fellows and I got to be held and it felt so good to sit next to someone who loves me and gives me perspective and also doesn’t sugar coat anything and yet advocates for me in a way I am not sure anyone has ever done before.

And now home.

Some Jeff Buckley on the stereo, I was just talking about the show that I saw him in when he was on tour with his album Grace last night with my friend in Oakland.

I love you.

But.

I am afraid to love you.

How I heard the news when he died, drowning in a river, the Mississippi to be exact.

I was setting up the Angelic Brewing Company for that night’s dinner service and had cued up Grace to play on the sound system and one of the waitresses walked past and stopped and said, “God, weren’t you devastated when you heard he’d died?  I haven’t been able to listen to this yet, thanks for playing it now.”

I gasped.

I had remembered only that day wondering when he was going to be on tour again, impatiently waiting for his long over due album My Sweetheart, The Drunk.

I ended up giving him a eulogy in my speech class that semester and crying shamelessly during it.

Music moves me.

When he sang Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah during the encore at the Barrymore Theater in Madison I just about collapsed with the joy and the exquisite pain of the music.

But you don’t really care for music.

Do you?

Things change.

But somethings are indelible on my soul and that song, those words, landed and stuck.

I have a great deal of perspective since then and have grown, moved, changed, evolved, but poetry is poetry is poetry.

And when I walked through the streets of San Francisco in the overcast grey and threatening rain I was glad for the light and the rain and the soft forlorn grey and the sweet surreal beauty of the sky over the Opera House, in the alleys of the Mission, the graffiti murals washed clean and bright in the tepid grey of the day, my heart shifted and the bloom of the umbrella over my head sheltered me and led me forward into the heart of the city that I am so-called to be a part of and belong to.

I am.

Even when the day was different then what I expected.

The open window lets the rain in.

The open heart lets the love in.

Thank you San Francisco.

I do so love you.

I do.

Thank you for loving me back.

It has not gone unnoticed.

No.

It has not.

 

Write Your Own

February 1, 2017

Happy ending.

He told me yesterday after giving me a stupendous hug.

“You’re a writer, write your own story,” he added, then, “you’re going to help so many people, Carmen, you really are.”

I felt bowled over with his love and confidence in me.

It is so very nice to have friends.

It is amazing to have the fellowship and community I have.

“You’re going to be in Oakland Saturday night?” She asked on the phone today when I had a moment at the park while my charge was playing in the sand box. “Of course I’ll go, I’ll pick you up from the BART station, we can grab some food and catch up.”

Yes.

Oh yes please.

Community.

Love.

Friends.

All the things that I need to get me through the day and through the week.

And it’s been a good week.

I had a great day at work today.

I felt super helpful.

I got to run errands, pick up one of my charges from school while the mom was at the one month old check up for the baby at the doctors, my little ladybug charge went with mom and I got to pick up big brother at the school.

We had a wonderful chat, ended up running into a classmate on the way to the train, detoured and climbed the hill to Dolores Park.

My office with a spectacular view.

The boys ran around the park for an hour, then I got a text from the mom, and headed back to the house, stopping at the little organic market on the way back to the house.

I was greeted with much affection and hugs, I got loads of hugs today from my charges.

Such sweetness.

And.

Oh.

It happened.

It finally happened.

“Oh!  Can you take the burping machine,” the mom asked, handing me off the baby, to go help the little lady bug in the bathroom with a sudden need for mom.

It happened so fast and unexpectedly and it was just divine.

She passed me the sweet, warm, soft bundle of baby.

Oh.

Oh my.

The smell.

Oh, God.

My first thought, “I want one.”

So bad, God, I want a baby.

Tears welled up in my eyes and I breathed his scent in deeply.

All babies have that scent that milky, sweet, skin soft, bread baked with love and dusted with buttered pixie dust.

I can’t quite describe it, powdery, warm, human, I was lustful with the longing to have one of my own immediately, now, now, now and the tears, oh they held, hung up in the bottom lashes of my eyes, trembling just there, but never quite cresting to slide down the round tops of my cheeks.

I turned to the window, the huge, gigantic wall of glass with the entire skyline of the city spread out below, the sun spinning it’s last light a golden crust of fire illuminating the glass buildings and spraying red gold brilliance into the heavens, and shifted the baby up on my shoulder a little bit.

He sighed, gurgled, and settled.

I patted his back softly, I crooned my little song.

I have a lullaby that I always sing to my charges, it’s a version of Hush Little Baby Don’t Say A Word, that I have adapted for me, the nanny, not the mom, not the dad, to sing.

Hush little baby, don’t say a word/I’m going to buy you a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won’t sing/I’m going to buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns brass/I’m going to buy you a looking class.

And if that looking glass should break/I’m going to bake you a chocolate cake.

So hush little baby, don’t say a world/I’m going to buy you a mockingbird.

Then.

I croon a hum.

Not a song, no words, just a soft repetetive hum, up and down, soft and low.

And I sway, foot to foot, a rocking motion that seems innate inside my body, so natural and comfortable I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

I remember once sitting next to someone while I was rocking a charge to sleep in my arms and sitting there, in a folding chair, listening to what I needed to hear and attending to the little boy child in my arms, an eighteen month old who was teething pretty hard, and just swaying in that chair, that warm lump of child draped across my breast, and the man sitting next to me whispered, “I think that little boy might be the luckiest male alive.”

“I wish someone would rock me in their arms until I fell asleep while singing me lullabies.”

It wasn’t until much later that I realized he was hitting on me, I was rather stupid at that point of my recovery.

Sometimes I have blinders on.

Anyway.

I stood there, swaying back and forth and crooning my little wordless tune and he sighed, and melted asleep.

Tears again, but not so heavy, just a misting on my face and the mom and daughter came out of the bathroom and mom said, “oh, he fell asleep!  Would you mind holding him while I finish up dinner?”

Would I mind?

“I obviously hate this,” I said and smiled, my heart so happy to be holding this little mite of a human being, this precious cargo entrusted to me, such simple delight.

Such a gift.

I held him for an hour, he slept high on my breast, held in the crook on my right arm, warm head nestled into the curve of my neck, tucked just there under my chin, soft and warm and perfumed with all things love.

And.

It got better.

I mean.

How it happened I could not have orchestrated.

I could not have directed, it just happened.

The family ate dinner, dad was late coming back from work, and they sat down.

They chatted and laughed and we shared the view.

The mom and the little girl ran off to a bedroom to hunt up a library book and the oldest brother approached me, “can you read me this story?”

We pulled out a big chair, I sat down gentle, with his baby brother still sleeping on my shoulder, then he crawled into my lap, I put my arm around him and he settled into my lap, curled up in a boy ball, his feet in stripe socks nestled on my knees.

I read him the story.

His brother slept on my right shoulder, he cuddled into my left.

Then his sister came by and leaned into the chair.

I reached up, stroked her corn silk hair and smiled.

I was completely surrounded with love and trust and sweetness and vulnerability.

It was amazing.

Then someone poked someone and someone else pulled someone else’s hair and I had to settle them down and point to the baby, but we settled back in and I read the story until it was time to go.

Magic.

It was extraordinary.

And I carried that magic with me, a bubble of gossamer love and light, the cusp of the new moon sailing off toward Venus, the midnight blue threads of clouds scudded  with white bottoms and grey satin shimmers.

I felt a sail, a sloop, a crooning slip of love sending me home on the rails of city lights.

Write your own happy ending.

Write your own fairy tale.

Tie it up with a black grosgrain ribbon and hang it from the star shining above the new moon.

Kiss it into being and tuck it under your pillow to dream upon.

Give it pumpkin colored tulips in a tall Mason jar.

Spin it colored pastel and light like a globe of hope and desire.

Overcome the old sad story you’ve told yourself all your life.

And write your own damn happy ending.

I mean it.

Just do it.

Right.

Fucking.

NOW.

 

 

 

You’ve Lost Weight!

December 16, 2016

The counter woman at the postal office said to me today as I dropped off the last Christmas package that needed to go in the mail.

“Thanks, yes, I thought it was starting to show a little,” I smiled.

“You look great!”

That was a nice way to start my day.

Especially since I haven’t really lost weight.

Although, I am looking smaller, I’ve been doing so much yoga, signed up for a class tomorrow morning, because I still can before my schedule at work completely up ends and I have to figure out how I will make time with the new job, I haven’t, in fact, lost weight.

I’m just tighter, stronger, and my posture is a lot better.

I can feel it when I walk and I do feel lighter in my body, even though the scale said otherwise.

I don’t like using a scale, it’s a number that has a lot of connotations attached to it that aren’t mine and they don’t serve me.

But looking in the mirror, I do, in fact, see a slightly smaller body and I definitely feel stronger in my person.

And that’s nice.

“Have a good night kiddo,” the Uber driver said to me as he dropped me off tonight.

So much rain, I was not taking my scooter out in it today, so a ride to work, a ride to meet my person at Firewood Cafe in the Castro after work and a  ride home, good thing I’m selling back some books tomorrow!

I leaned back into the car, “thanks for saying that, I turn 44 on Sunday! Have a great night!”

My driver waited while I got into the front gate of my house, then leaned out the window, “you look amazing, you do not look 44!  You’re still a kiddo.”

Thanks man.

Hey, I’m single too.

hehe.

Anyway.

The yoga, it shows.

And I am grateful to be doing it especially as the holidays, though jolly, can at times be a little melancholic for me.

I don’t think I’m alone in that.

That being said, I am super happy to have the family and fellowship and friendships that I have and I am realizing where I need to cultivate them, those relationships, and where I need to let them go.

“You are like me,” my person said tonight, “one act of kindness and forever in the other person’s debt.”

Oh.

Damn.

So true.

Things are changing internally and some relationship changes are occurring and have been occurring and I realized that I could be grateful for the time I have had with people, with relationships, and not have to hold onto them or force them to work.

The only relationship I really need to cultivate is one with myself.

And others will follow.

Being respectful to myself, loving myself, taking care of myself, it shows and it’s nice to give it back to the world.

“We’re going to miss you around here,” the girl at the register said to me today as I picked up a few extra supplies for the dinner I made the family tonight–lobster, corn, sushi rice, and teryaki roast salmon.

Yeah.

Like that.

“Do you like lobster,” my employer asked me today when I was going down the list of things to do and cook and make.

Um.

YES.

My boss had picked up three and it was a lobster boil tonight.

I haven’t had it in a little while.

I even clarified the butter.

Damn Gina.

It was good.

I had to dash out in the rain to the corner market and get some extra ingredients and had a sweet chat with the woman who works the register and wished her happy holidays and told her about leaving my current job and moving over to the Glen Park neighborhood.

The aforementioned complement and a request that I not forget them and come in for a visit once in a while.

I loved that.

It feels so nice to be appreciated, to be seen, to be acknowledged.

Although I don’t act nice for the acknowledgment of it, or for accolades, it just feels better to be thoughtful and kind.

Heck.

I even got a hug from my yoga instructor today.

He’s become a favorite of mine during the week and I won’t be able to take his classes anymore since my job schedule is changing.

Today was my last Thursday morning class.

He commiserated with me about my schedule and school and said he was really going to miss having me in class and he hoped that I would stick with the yoga.

I am sticking.

I just don’t know what it will look like.

Story of my life.

I don’t know what anything is going to look like anymore.

Which, really, if I admit it, is rather a relief.

I like surprises.

I just know that I am going tomorrow and after that I will take a shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, and go sell back my books.

Then work.

Then the big paper on Saturday.

That is sort of all my focus at the moment.

Get through work.

Get through this paper.

There will always be something to work on, to do, to be, to become, so I also wish to just stop and acknowledge that it was a hard day, work had some challenges I didn’t really feel like writing about, and I’m grateful for every moment, because I keep learning about what I want and don’t want, in relationships, in employment, in school, in life.

It’s good stuff really, even the challenging stuff I can be grateful for and when I look back over the arc of the day I could complain about the difficulties, but really, when I was treated so warmly, so kind, with sweetness and compliments, and well, love, why the fuck would I bother to focus on the negative?

No thanks.

Today was a good day.

And I’ll end on that note.

Because.

Well.

lt was.

 

 


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