Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Nope

October 5, 2017

My homework is not done.

I have been hoping to have time to read all week at work and I have had the baby non-stop.

Which is great, but no down time.

The baby also really likes napping on me.

Which I love, my God, I love it, but no reading is happening.

Instead.

I find myself sitting and looking at things.

Yes.

Some of those things are social media.

But mostly.

I find myself looking at nature.

Today he napped on me up at Douglas park.

The grounds crew for SF Parks and Rec had just gone through and mowed the grass.

It was a gorgeous high, tight, bright blue sky kind of San Francisco day.

The park is on top of the city way up in the hills towards Diamond Heights on Douglas at Clipper.

It’s flat, but surrounded by a steep cliff and towering trees.

I stood in the open field of grass gently rubbing the baby’s back and humming to him and looking at the grass.

When was the last time I sat, well stood really, and looked at grass?

It was gorgeous.

So green.

And wet.

There was dew and the sunlight sparkled and the sky was blue, blue, blue, and the air smelled so good and I was alone with the baby in a field of grass surrounded by sky and trees.

Who the fuck gives a good god damn about school work.

It will get done when it needs to get done.

Being with the baby is actually the kind of break that I need when I let myself acknowledge it.

He slows me down, I have to be very present and then once he’s asleep, which today took a bit, he’s also teething, so yeah, the bad part of trying to get a baby to sleep who’s teething.

Screaming.

A screaming baby strapped to one’s chest is not the most relaxing thing.

I over heard someone say once, “I’d rather have a bomb strapped to my chest, at least it would be quiet.”

But then.

The exquisite relief when he stops crying, when he lays his heavy warm head on my chest and sighs really big and just drops into the sleep, secure, safe, held.

It is bliss.

And I got to have the experience twice today.

Once at Douglas park and once at the home.

When he naps on me at the house I tend to sequester myself in a corner of the house where the mom won’t be so that she has a moment to be baby free and work on her own work for a while.

Today I was in the play room.

For a while I was on the back porch, next to the gigantic avocado tree, overlooking the city, which still strikes me with its loveliness, which still floors me with its beauty and that I still get to live here.

Such a huge gift.

May I always.

I love to travel.

But having San Francisco as my home is so important to me.

I have created such a life for myself here I cannot imagine making it elsewhere.

And you know.

I did try.

Paris.

But here, San Francisco, is home and I had left my heart here and back I came and the city opened wide its arms and said welcome back, prodigal daughter, now don’t do that again.

And I know its crazy and techy and millienially and weird and there are places where kombucha is on tap and there are lots of Tesla’s on the road and privilege and segregation and racism, covert, and more privilege and holy shit the rent and the cost of anything.

But.

Oh.

The beauty.

The houses, the bay, the bridges, the islands, the restaurants, the smell of delicious things being made everywhere, the farmers markets in all the neighborhoods, the Victorians, the colorful paint, the fog, Ocean Beach, Sea Cliff, The MOMA, The Legion of Honor, The DeYoung.

The smell of eucalyptus.

The sound of fog horns in the morning.

Riding my scooter up and over Laguna Honda and onto Clipper Street today, the view, my god, I live in a literal movie set.

It is magic.

And it is where I feel myself, who I am with no apology, with pink pom poms on my shoes, or a flower in my hair, not that I wear them so much anymore since I have been taking clients, but I still have them, and the art, the street art in particular, I love it, so, so, so much.

And coffee.

Oh coffee.

So much good coffee.

So much.

I am a spoiled brat.

I love my city, I love San Francisco, I love that I go to school here, that I live here, that I chose it as much as it chose me.

I know plenty of people who have had to move away and I have gotten to stay and it boggles the mind sometimes.

I make less than the median income.

Way less.

Like I make half the median income.

But.

I make it work and I don’t feel deprived.

I mean.

I bought prosciutto today at a new butcher shop in Noe Valley.

And duck sausages.

I eat organic foods and I have a scooter.

I have a job, I get to go to graduate school, I have music, a Macbook Air, I have an Iphone.

I have.

Better yet.

Better than stuff and things.

I have happiness.

I have joy.

I have freedom.

I have perspective.

I am of service.

I am loved.

And that.

More than anything.

Means more than anything.

I have love.

Love.

I have you.

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Things Change

December 18, 2016

Unexpected.

But for the better.

I won’t be going to Wisconsin for Christmas.

I will be staying here in San Francisco.

Although my person was very pro me going to Hawaii.

Who the hell isn’t interested in going to Hawaii.

As it turns out circumstances were just not a good fit for me to travel where I was going and after much heart-felt thinking I realized I needed to cancel.

I booked the ticket through an online site, Kayak, that lead to Priceline, that led to SunCountry and I was afraid I was going to have to bite the cost of the ticket.

$480 down the toilet.

According to Priceline’s little disclaimer about tickets being non-refundable, etc.

However.

Upon the urging of my person I called the airline and explained my situation and the person I talked to was super sweet and accommodating and they cancelled my ticket and gave me a voucher that I can use anytime in the next year.

I can choose to go to Wisconsin if the opportunity is right or I can travel to any of the other destinations the airline flies.

I looked at a few places, I mean, I have a week off, but it’s Christmas and the majority of the places that I was interested in going to were booked full.

So.

I have a year to re-book and that’s cool.

I am super happy that I didn’t lose the money and I am happy that I have a year, well, not quite, I booked the ticket in October, so I need to re-book by next October, but I can still use it.

I don’t know where I’ll go and I don’t have to decide right now.

I do know I will be here in the city and who knows what mischief I may get up to.

I figure I will do lots of yoga, buy a book for pleasure reading and go to the MOMA a few times.

Pleasure reading.

Drool.

Because, that shit is happening.

I mean for real.

Because I finished my Psychopathology paper!

My God.

That was a grind.

17 pages.

I thought it was supposed to be 18-20 pages but then I went back into the syllabus and saw that I had made an error, thank God I found that, and the paper “only” needed to be 15-17 pages.

So 17 pages were written.

4,912 words.

I had a friend who was like, what are you going to do to celebrate?

I responded.

Write my blog.

hahahahahahaha.

But really.

This is a celebration right here, right now.

I finished.

I made it.

I am officially half-way through the three-year program and that feels really good.

Despite my sadness at having to change my plans, I know it’s for the best, and plans change, things change, I get to be flexible and I am damn curious to see what is going to happen next.

I do believe that something awesome and fun is going to happen.

And despite a longing to be with my friend and her family I need to do what is best for the situation and that has been done.

It feels rather adult.

I guess one could say I’m growing up.

Which is good since in two hours I’ll be 44.

Heh.

“44!  No!  34!” My yoga teacher was so cute today, we’ve become friends and I invited him and his daughter and his partner to my pinball party in the Haight.

You too.

Come if you’re around.

4p.m.-7p.m. Free Gold Watch in the Haight–Waller at Stanyan.

Bring your quarters!

I’m going to be a Zazie’s for brunch and figure I’ll be signing up there around 12:30p.m. and I just got a text from my person who happens to know the manager, that she gave them the heads up that I was coming in (they don’t take reservations) and she also left me a birthday present!

I’m so lucky.

I’m so grateful.

I get to go to graduate school.

I get to go to play pinball tomorrow with my friends.

I got a voucher for my plane ticket and time to figure out where and when I am going to use it.

So many gifts.

So many.

I’m going to do yoga in the morning too.

It may be my birthday, but I can’t think of a better way to start my year than by taking care of my health and well-being.

God damn.

I really am lucky.

When I think of all the challenges and the things I have gone through to get where I am at, sitting here in this lovely home with my Christmas tree lit up and my school work done for the semester, I am absolutely amazed.

The gift of perspective might be the greatest thing I have in my life.

It is stunning to see how I have changed.

I mean.

Others have seen it and noted it, but I felt it, deep and true these last few days and I am moved by how much I have seemingly grown in such a short time.

Granted I think the seeds had been planted and watered and there was much sunlight of the spirit happening.

But I wasn’t expecting it.

I hadn’t looked for it.

I let go of a defect and found joy in its place and a lightning in my heart.

Love for myself, of myself, directed inward, and there.

A bloom.

A blossom.

A wild, fragrant flowering of brightness inside.

I feel lit up and a glow.

Warm and safe and taken care of.

I have no problems.

I really don’t.

Oh.

Yes.

Challenges, there will always be challenges, and room to grow, I don’t doubt that, there’s always room to grow, but problems, no I don’t have them.

Not now.

Not right here in this glorious moment of freedom.

School’s out for winter!

Ok.

That doesn’t sound as good as school’s out for summer.

But believe you me, after the semester I had.

It is hella sexy.

Hella.

SEX!

May 13, 2015

Just kidding.

Got your attention though, didn’t it?

I haven’t had sex in months.

The again, considering the last date I went on, homeless dude, it’s probably a good thing.

Unfortunately, I also have not been on a date since said man without house took me on a picnic–it’s got to get better.

My ex and I recently re-established contact, via text, we have not seen each other in person, and re-friended on Facebook.

I think it has been a little unsettling for both of us and I suggested that we could unfriend should it be too uncomfortable.

He said no, although he may when he sees photos of me and my new bf posted on my timeline.

I’m glad he’s got faith in me.

There’s no new boyfriend.

See above sentence about homeless man date.

Who, to give him credit, was at least highly intelligent and interesting, just not having pot to piss in nor a couch to snuggle on, gets a girl down.

Plus he was a little older than I wanted to date.

It cut a little close to the bone, it was sort of like going on a date with my homeless dad.

No thank you.

I certainly have been getting a lot of really nice feedback though, that I look good, that I am sparkling.

“I’m wearing glitter eyeshadow,” I pointed out to the man giving me a compliment.

“Girl, I meant your eyes are sparkling, take a compliment,” he said, “you look beautiful.”

Thank you.

I can say thank you, I can.

I can appreciate a compliment.

I can accept abundance and love in my life.

I made some space for it today.

I let go the scooter.

I have been in communication with a friend of mine who is a big Vespa aficionado and a bit of a gear head and he’s into taking her apart and seeing if he can get it to run and letting it be a fun project that he’s going to enlist another friend in.

Great.

Leave me out of it.

I called Scooter Centre and said my friend, ______________ is coming in to pick up my scooter, you may feel free to hand over the keys to him.

“What’s your last name again?”

I spelled it out, “I was the girl crying in the shop that your dad was talking to and patting on the arm sympathetically.”

“Oh yeah, I remember you!”

Great kid.

Glad to help with your recall.

“Oh yeah, I remember you, you wear flowers in your hair and cry a lot when you share.”

Ah.

The crying.

So I lead with my heart.

So what?

I don’t believe that’s a bad thing.

Sure, my heart gets pummeled sometimes, but it’s worth it, I get to feel you know.

FEELINGS.

Anyway.

Today I felt free.

I told my friend I would sign the title over to him and bring the spare set of keys with me on Friday when I go cover my commitment at Our Lady of SafeWay.

I’ll get a hug.

He’ll get the title.

And then I’m done.

Free.

Free to make room for what ever God wants in my life.

Instead of holding onto something, that when I am honest, with myself and myself only, never really worked out well for me.

When I am honest, I had qualms all along about buying.

I need to remember to listen to that gut instinct and I will next time.

It was a mixture of too good to be true and also I felt like I was getting something that I couldn’t get anywhere else, financing.

My friend who sold it to me accepted $300 down and took $200 a month until I paid off the $2650.

Everyone I talked to said it sounded like a great deal and I went for it–paying over the monthly payment and paying even when I was having issues with it.

But I didn’t research it, I didn’t listen to my gut, and when I felt funny about it, I quashed the feelings.

And well.

Guess I learned.

So it goes.

I feel clean about it and feel like I moved through the stages of anger, grief, denial, depression (not so much, but there was plenty of anger and fear and a bit of grief, see crying in scooter shop) to acceptance.

I will hold onto something, an idea, a person, place, thing, scooter, you name it, far past its utility because I am often in fear that I won’t get what I deserve or that there is not better for me or whatever the reason, I hold on, then I get dragged.

I don’t have to be dragged any longer.

And when I open my hands to drop the keys into the palm of my friends hands and sign over the title I will open up my hands for whatever comes next, it tends to be much better for me and I am excited to see what happens next.

I hope there’s some sex involved.

Sorry, can’t help it.

I need to go on a date.

I am not desperate.

Yet.

And I don’t know how letting go of the Vespa correlates, but change is good and when I change I typically get a change of perspective too.

I see things or people in ways I did not see them before.

Is there someone out there waiting for me to see him?

I sure hope so.

My vision’s been cleared and I am ready to move on.

I’ll be riding my bicycle or walking, but I’m moving on.

Who knows.

There could be another vehicle out there for me too.

I have always had a lech for a Jeep Wrangle Sport manual in midnight blue.

Not to get too specific.

But you know.

Got to ask for what you want or you may never get it.

I want more than sex too.

Just to remind myself that I won’t foist myself off on the first person who takes an interest.

I want some courting this time around.

Flowers would be a great start.

Or just a date.

Cuppa coffee.

Walk around the block.

Some hand holding.

And a snuggle.

God damn.

I could use a good snuggling.

Got to have some ambitions around here.

And

Kissing!

Which, you know.

Leads to.

Sex.

Once in a while.

Ha.

You Are Probably Writing

May 8, 2015

No.

I was in the shower.

But you don’t need to know that.

For all intents and purposes, at a certain point in my evening I do neglect all but the most urgent of phone calls and texts and I sit and I give myself this.

This forum.

This love.

This self-expression.

This tender heart of mine needs to see itself reflected back and this is where it happens.

Self-reflection and acceptance and that quiet good spot that I find in the pause between the words, when sometimes the singing of the tea-pot interrupts the words, but more often, it is the magic in that space where I find the grace to get lost in the sound of the keys, the sounds in my heart, the voices in my head stop and the singing starts.

Sometimes most literally, singing.

I do like to crank the music when I write, it’s a way of winding down and also a way of letting go of the world and succumbing to this cozy space of mine here at the edge of the world, the edge of the city, the cusp of the Pacific a soupçon away.

Funny thing though.

I rarely go back and read what happened yesterday, though there is sometimes an imprint of it on my day or about my person and I had that today coalesce in different and surprising ways.

There was the surprise text from my ex this afternoon that sprung something open.

Broke open.

Not broken.

Heart is not broken, he did not break my heart, but it broke open more and there it was this tender, kind, sweet spot, there, just there, deep in my chest and the sun broke throughout the playground as I pushed the little boy in the swing “higher, Carmen, higher,” and the sweet text broke over my face like the sun and tears prickled my eyes.

I was not upset that he reached out and I paused.

Breathed.

Looked at the sky.

Saw the imprint of leaves over the soft clouds, the blue that was trying to break through and the shift happened.

I did not feel anger or upset or hurt.

I felt tender sweet love for him.

And for myself.

I felt fondness.

I felt compassion.

I said a little hello to the Universe, reread the text, and responded.

It felt right and I felt neither manipulated into responding nor did I feel like I was opening up some can of worms.

My god.

I think this is called moving on.

I think this is about compassion, tolerance, patience, and love, oh yes love, in all its various manifestations and convolutions.

I felt stars fall on my heart and the old light lit corners of my heart that I knew were there, but did not suspect the depths therein.

I felt beautiful, and full, and loved back.

By God.

By the child in the swing.

The birds in the air.

By myself.

We had a sweet reconnection and I know that I can be his friend.

And yes, there was some pain there, but like the fingerprints of it, not the devastation of break up and change-up and moving on and the pain of rejection.

Rather.

It was like the pain of a wound that has knit and healed and was just jostled slightly, as though to remind me that I went through the experience and came out full and returned to sanity and something else.

I felt free.

Grateful.

Oh so grateful.

But deeply free.

I have peered so far inside myself and I knew I didn’t have to keep digging through it.

I worked it out.

I did not hide from it, I sat through it, I did my process, I did my cry, I did my surrender, I thought I was ok, I realized I was a “whistling in the dark” and I went through the process some more and did more of this, more writing more work, more and then continued to keep walking toward where ever it was next I had to walk to.

Or ride my bike to.

Or sit in the back yard to.

Sometimes you just have to sit in the back yard and cry when you hear a motorcycle engine roar past.

It feels amazing and sad and good and god damn, god damn, I am so glad I keep showing up for this life and doing the deal.

I get richer reserves of faith and love and compassion and growth and it is astounding.

Small progress that I don’t even know that I am making until I can stand on the other side of the park and not be worried about what anybody thinks about me because I am doing the best I can with what I got.

What I got is good.

Feels, frankly, pretty sexy.

I’m awake.

I’m alive.

And I am sexy.

I don’t have to be dressed sexy to feel sexy.

I just get to do the work, that’s what is sexy.

That’s where the real groove is.

It just means that I am being my authentic self, my real person, this strong, beautiful woman I have grown into.

I suspected all along that she was here and I had some ideas about what “she” looked like.

Nothing like this.

This, pink hair, tattooed, smart aleck, bright, graduate school bound, nanny, with a great big smile and a wide open heart is not at all who I suspected.

It’s far better.

Far sexier.

Far more tender and open and compassionate.

Far less judgmental, intolerant and fearful.

I suspect that it only gets better, deeper, more full, this experience, this sexy, loving, bright, tender, sparkling life.

The best is yet to come.

With it.

All the things.

They too, will follow.

They always have.

Waiting For Life To Begin

March 12, 2015

I was alone.

You were just around the corner from me.

I am never going to know exactly which corner he is just around, but he is.

I texted back a dear heart who asked someone out on a date tonight how that was amazing and acknowledged, that yeah, it’s a lot harder than you’d think.

But.

Oh.

The freedom that I get when I get that shit out-of-the-way.

I’m free to notice the proliferation of flowers blooming in Golden Gate Park on my ride home from work.

On Wednesday’s I ride straight home and either meet with a lady at my place or take a shower and hit the spot up the street in my pajamas.

Yeah.

Like that.

I am not at all ashamed of the fact that I went up the street to 44th and Judah in my Hello Kitty night-shirt and yoga pants.

If Hello Kitty is good enough for Burning Man, she sure is good enough for the Outer Sunset.

It felt rather freeing.

No make up.

Hair down.

Flip flops.

Sweatshirt.

I’m in my hood, yo’ I can roll out like this.

It made me realize how grateful I am to be out here and also that I really am home.

“I like thinking out you out by the beach,” she said to me this Saturday at the celebration dinner in Oakland at the Lake Merrit Chalet House.

I like thinking of me out by the beach too.

And now that it’s Day light Savings time, I was able to catch the sunset on my ride home to the Sunset.

It was delirious.

And the flowers in the park were going off.

I even saw the buffalo in the paddock.

I don’t often see them as I usually am riding home in the dark.

There is so much to see when I allow myself the space to see it.

The gaggle of frisbee golf players tee’ing off as the dusk settles over the trees for one last round before night arrives.

A robin hopping in the soft dirt of a tree next to Spreckles Lake, the bright orange of his proud chest.

When I realized that I was moving on and pushing forward and making the next decisions on what I need to do now with graduate school, um, nothing, that I could in fact, uh, just you know, enjoy the show for a moment.

I believe I actually relaxed a little.

I mean I have plenty going on in my life, lots of wonderful ladies to hang out with, I’ll be heading to Berkeley this Saturday for a baby shower, spending the Saturday following going out to my inaugural visit to Alcatraz.

However, there is a tendency with me to be onto the next thing right away, that I must have something to shoot forward to.

That is me checking out of the here and now.

It’s not enjoying the song on the stereo, waiting for the next track, which will be better, and then the next after that.

I have been messaging back and forth with a gentleman on OkCupid and though he hasn’t asked me on a date yet, and I’m not concerned if he does or doesn’t, I think he will soon.

He’s French and the French do things slightly different.

There’s this lovely getting to know you period that I am enjoying.

And it doesn’t hurt that he says extraordinarily flattering things to me in French.

I don’t know which is better.

The things he is saying.

Or.

That I understand what he is saying, because my French is good enough to comprehend when a sexy French man is telling me he finds me ravishing.

Either way it feels a little like a courtship and that’s nice.

It’s also a slowing down.

He mentioned that in a message when expressed that although he really likes living in the United States, there’s two things that bother him.

The first is that we all seem to have a fear of each other.

Yup.

I can relate to that.

And that as a culture we are never quite happy with what we have, there is this constant striving for more.

Oh.

Yeah.

I know that too.

What was your favorite drug?

More.

I remember how my perspective shifted the first time I heard someone say, “if you don’t like what you have, why would more make it better?”

That gave me pause.

I love what I have.

My lovely little home by the sea.

My bicycle.

Even my Vespa.

Yeah, it’s not working and I’m not riding it, but I know how to get it fixed, and when I have the time to spare I will.

I have a great job with a family that loves me.

I got kisses galore from the boys today and snuggles and that was really nice, especially the reading time before nap time, oh the cuddles today were just smashing.

I am in great health.

My phone bill is paid.

I have money in savings for when my laptop goes kaput.

And I also realized after checking out the new MacBook Air on-line, that I now qualify for an educational discount through Apple.

Hell yes.

There is so much for me to be grateful for.

I have a purpose.

I have a point.

I am of service.

I have family and friends and love.

Oh love.

So much of that.

I don’t have to wait for my life to start, there’s nowhere I have to get to for it to be better.

It’s the best it’s ever been.

Even if I don’t have all the things I thought I would at this point in my life.

I have something far better.

Peace of mind.

Serenity.

Abundance.

Joy.

Prosperity.

Spiritual richness.

Oh gosh.

I guess that ‘hippy’ school I got into is indeed the right fit for me.

Who knew?

I still need to buy myself some flowers to celebrate that achievement, but I can feel myself being a lot happier about it and sharing it with my fellows has been really gratifying.

If I can do it.

So can you.

“You’re going to love school,” he said to me tonight.

And I will.

But I don’t have to wait for it to get here to enjoy right now.

Right now is pretty fabulous.

Me and Hello Kitty.

We’re just perfect.

I’m Free

March 2, 2015

I was drifting down towards the sea on Lincoln Ave after just by passing a long line of cars on Chain of Lakes, on my bicycle, happy, happy, free.

I’m free.

I smiled so big I think I could have broken my smile muscles.

But no fear.

They still work.

I’m smiling now.

I could also entitle this blog “I Don’t Care.”

“So how do you feel about that,” he asked me over roasted herb chicken at Firewood Cafe, “about…”

I interrupted without thought, “I don’t care.”

I smiled.

I really don’t.

We were talking about the few dates I went on last week and how that was and what I was thinking about it and it just popped out.

I don’t care.

Oh my god what a relief.

I don’t give a fuck.

I don’t care if I have a date or not this next week, I’m happy.

I’m doing so well in my life right now.

Things just seem so smooth that I could care less whether or not I’m getting asked out or asking out anyone.

In fact, I’m sort of bored with it.

The asking out thing.

I mean, I am so grateful I did all that work and worked some more around my ideal, my sexual ideal, which is just a version of myself that I am striving for, I don’t expect him to come in on a white charger to save my ass.

I already saved it.

I didn’t have some wild and crazy Sunday, it was sunny, I went grocery shopping, I rode my bicycle along Great Highway and saw the ocean, I did some laundry, I met with a lady bug and talked about amending behaviors and did some amending myself.

With no thought as to the results.

I don’t care.

I took the action.

That’s where it’s at, the action.

That’s where the faith comes in.

I believe in myself and I take action to care for myself and when I looked around my sweet little studio, with my new antlers hanging on the wall (on a back board of wood in the shape of a heart), my fresh made bed, my jackalopes perched in their corners, my bunnies all arrayed in their spots, I knew that there was nothing I needed.

I have it all.

I don’t know how long this feeling will last.

This too shall pass, the good and the bad, it all passes, but the serenity in the face of the ups and downs and the passing and going hither and yon, I don’t think that is going to pass.

As long as I continue to take the actions indicated and not rest on my laurels.

When I was riding my bicycle to the Castro to meet with my three o’clock sit down and do the deal, I was reminded, a scent memory, a visual reminder, of a day in my childhood with the bright sun shining down and the carnival or circus or fair I was at with my mom and dad and grandmother.

I remember the palm trees shaking against the blue sky and the little rubber ducks that went by on a stream of water and the small, bright, balloons on the peg board, I remember holding a hand, my grandmother’s or my mothers.

I remember strings of lights over head, but they weren’t lit yet, it was still sunny, I remember the feel of asphalt under my feet and the white paint that felt just a touch tacky as if the paint was still wet.

I was in a cotton dress.

Violet or soft purple, I can’t quite see it, it flits at the edge of the memory.

I remember walking through stalls, as though at a farmer’s market, so perhaps it was the state fair, I don’t know.

But the memory washed over and my heart opened and I grinned happy to know that my life is so full and rich and wonderful.

I have a lot of memories that I don’t remember from my childhood.

That is a side effect of trauma.

I went through a lot of it.

I don’t remember it.

Thank you God.

Instead, I remember the smell of popcorn on the wind and my grandmother buying me a small plastic bird that she stopped to fill with water and when I blew on the stem it bubbled and spit a little then trilled a warbling song of childhood.

A memory of laughter caught in the plastic throat of a toy bird.

I remember my grandmother giving me a glass of coconut milk from the white paper pint carton in the refrigerator.

How sweet it was and the pulp that squashed between my teeth.

“You’re golden, like someone from Polynesia,” he said to me on Friday.

I laughed, “I’m half Puerto Rican and Polynesian, as a matter of fact.”

No wonder I love dousing myself in coconut butter lotion and hair conditioner.

I just did.

I climbed out of the shower after my day of bicycle riding and grocery shopping, of cooking (Chicken and shrimp with ginger and garlic, onions, green beans, carrots, broccoli, pea pods, cabbage, and brown rice–throw some Braggs Amino’s on that and it’s a party) and I heard Regina Spektor on my stereo and I thought.

I really am free.

Free to do what I want.

Free to be the woman I want to be.

Free to wear funky eyewear and a flower in my hair.

Free to remember the good parts and not be ashamed of the hard things and the growth experiences I went through to get here.

It’s all a gift, folks.

This life, this love.

This light.

This sunshine.

So much love.

So much freedom.

“I don’t care,” I smiled, then I laughed, I laughed so hard I almost cried, a tear slid out from behind my fabulous eyewear and I took off my glasses and wiped it off the top of my cheek.

“It’s amazing!”

“Girl, you’ve done the work,” he closed the book and held out his hands to me.

We held hands and said some words and breathed and the world breathed right along with us.

I’m free.

Sings so soft as if she’ll break.

Laugh so loud.

Because I know that there’s nothing wrong.

For on this day I’ve learned to fly.


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