Posts Tagged ‘full ride’

There Are No Words

June 23, 2015

I mean.

Really.

There are no words.

So.

I’ll let the e-mail speak for itself while I try to catch my breath and let my tea cool off enough to sip on it.

Spontaneous crying may happen at any point in the writing of this blog, FYI.

To wit this is the e-mail I opened an hour ago:

Dear Carmen,

Congratulations!  On behalf of the California Institute of Integral Studies Diversity Leadership Scholarship Committee, I’m happy to inform you that you’ve been selected as a recipient of the J.C. Kellogg Integral Counseling Psychology Scholarship. This scholarship provides recipients with $10,000.00 per school year for the 3 years of the ICP/W Programs.

The Financial Aid office will be sending you a revised Awards Package in which this scholarship will be included.

Wishing you all the best!

With warm regards, Pauline

Pauline E. Reif, MA, MFA

Admissions Counselor

California Institute of Integral Studies

I can barely breathe.

I don’t have to take out student loans.

ANY.

NOT A FREAKING ONE.

The Opportunity Scholarship I was awarded was for tuition solely, nothing to sneeze at, let me remind you–$50,000–basically paying, directly, my first four semesters of six semesters of tuition.

Now.

To get this.

To be recognized again.

I.

Oh.

There’s the tears.

Pause.

Breathe.

This means that I won’t as I said, have to take out any additional student loans, suffice to say I am still paying on my undergraduate student loans, $32,000 left on that.

Anyone feeling like paying those off, you just let me know.

It’s the only debt I have.

No credit cards, no scooter payments, no words, no freaking words.

I called my best friend and relayed the news and she said I should run around barefoot in the grass like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

She, Julie Andrews character, was a nanny too!

Nanny’s be getting it on.

I kicked off my flip-flops, tumbled down the flagstone steps and ran around the paddock of grass that encircles the back of the house here at Stone Tree–laughing, crying, sharing with my friend the news, slightly hysterical, definitely giddy.

Normally I would have read that e-mail much sooner, but I have been busy with the little boy wrangling and the swimming and the black berry picking and the wild plum harvest and the walking the dog and taking pictures and soaking up the sun.

It wasn’t until I was sitting on the back patio, all the boys fed, watching a movie with the parents, that I picked up my phone to check my messages and to have a cup of tea while the sun set, golden spiced and delicious, fingers of shadows blue indigo ripe and full of barn swallows reveling in their dinner at dusk.

I was also texting with a friend, said friend who I get to see on Friday in LA for much museum sightings and plain old celebrations.

Seriously.

I get to celebrate more.

I don’t know how to do that, I am so overwhelmed with it, but I do know how to be grateful, I do know how to humbly accept with thanks the gifts that have been given to me, I get to see how important it is that I walk through these doors and take these gifts and share them with my fellows, my community, my family.

I just.

Whew.

Lost my train of thought.

Trying to breathe and take it all in.

It’s a lot to take in.

And.

Knowing, having the faith that once I started the process that I just had to continue to show up, one day at a time, one moment, giving my best in each moment, being utterly present and myself.

Life is going to happen.

But life without more student loans is also going to happen.

I am so honored.

I’m going to work so hard.

I’m still going to work for my family, of course, I just found out that I won a full ride to school, not a full ride to live in San Francisco.

I make enough working full-time at what I do to live a sweet, comfortable life, with good food in my fridge, a snick of money in my savings account for emergencies and the basics pretty well covered.

My rent and cost of living is below average in San Francisco.

I’m going to have to work, but I won’t have to work as much.

And since the family is going to only need me part-time when the boys are both in matriculation one in pre-school and the other in kindergarten; it works out that I have the right work environment to support my graduates school endeavors.

I won’t have to take out student loans, I won’t have to take out student loans, I won’t have to take out student loans.

Pardon me.

I am crying again.

I spent the day gamboling with the dog, picking blackberries, digging trenches with the boys, playing tag, swimming, it’s a nice pool I felt so happy to be in the water, I even did a few laps and I suspect that I will do a solo swim on my own at some point.

Maybe even tonight when the families get all the boys tucked in for the night.

I will definitely go outside and watch the stars and let the tears fall and though I am alone, I know I am not lonely.

I have friends.

I have family.

I have support and love and kindness immeasurable in my life.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

And I get to go to LA?

Please.

Who is this woman?

I was talking to my person earlier today as I walked through the garden, checking out if any of the produce was ready to be picked, nothing yet, but some fresh herbs and the berries and plums, which I was happy to just pop into my mouth, and I expressed that I was so astounded by my life.

And this was before I got the second scholarship news.

I saw this arc of my life, this huge parabola of experiences that I have had and marveled, utterly marveled at how I have come this far.

So far.

From being in the back of that VW Bug when I was four, running across country, with my mom and her boyfriend, my little sister and two cats (and let us not forget the large screen television set that took up half of the back seat–which was why I was in the nook between the back seat and the window, my nest of pillows bolstering my view of the passing sky) running away from an eviction, to another uncertain and tenuous beginning for my mom back in Wisconsin.

To now.

The drive up here to Sonoma, the sun, the color of the sky, the dusty grass-covered hills, the spreading oaks and my heart, so full, so open to everything.

And then this?!

Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.

I really have no words.

Even though I just wrote a 1200 word blog.

Bahahahahaha.

Thank you God.

Thank you friends, family, community, my fellowship, my employers, everyone.

Thank you everyone.

I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

And where I’m going isn’t worth going without you too.

I heart you to the moon and back a 1,000 times.

I love you “this big.”

I mean.

THIS BIG.

SO BIG.

So very big.

There are no words.

Celebrate!

June 11, 2015

Damn it man.

I am just not good at celebrating, but as the news sinks in and I have been sharing with those about me, I feel the urge to take said suggestion and enjoy the moment.

I haven’t had many moments quite as momentous in my life.

I was writing this morning and I realized that there is a person to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for that has no idea about what has happened–I only connect with him when I see him at Burning Man–and that I can’t wait to tell him and give him a hug and say thank you for telling me to get my ass to graduate school.

“You’re a child psychologist being paid baby sitter wages, what are you going to do about it?  Do you have an undergrad degree?  Go to grad school.”

I was excited at the prospect of rolling up to his camp and hollering, “Daddy Don?!” and then telling him that I took his suggestion and I applied to graduate school and I got in!

Now.

Well, now I’m going to tell him and say, oh yeah, I also got a full ride for my first two years in school.

It is still boggling the mind.

I mean serious boggle action happening here.

I can’t fathom it really, it doesn’t make sense.

But then it does.

When I am honest and have humility, it makes sense.

Humility is being exactly who I am and accepting it, both the good and the bad.

I am awful good at knowing my faults and blowing them up to massive proportion and making myself feel rotten, the constant search for self-improvement over the sustainable and life supporting way of self-acceptance.

I am great at the flagellation necessary to be a perfectionist.

But I am not always good at receiving praise or gifts or nice things.

I have gotten better.

I really have.

I was just thinking about these two families I used to work for, I often think of them, especially since I’ll be on playa with one of them this burn, which is less than three months away!  And I remember reading the letters of recommendation that the mom’s wrote for me when I was looking for work with new families.

Those letters blew me away.

Who is this person they are writing about?

I knew it was me, but I had a hard time accepting the compliments and the honest appraisal of who I am and the job I do.

I grew up believing that I was not good enough, there was nothing I could do and that I would never be good enough, not for a man, no amount of academic success would sustain me, that the awards and trophy’s and the hard work, that it essentially meant nothing.

And yet.

I kept trying and doing and pushing.

I still keep pushing.

I expect to continue to keep pushing.

I am good at that.

But to rest.

To stop, smell the success, see it for what it is, a gift, but also one that I have worked very, very, very hard for, to recognize the accomplishment and to acknowledge that the people in charge, the ones awarding the scholarship know what they are doing and that I do deserve it.

So.

I have been told to celebrate.

I was given a few suggestions for one person who knows very well I won’t be celebrating by having my cake and eating it too.

“Spa, massage, trip to Harbin,” she suggested to me.

I immediately thought of Osento, oh how I miss you, then remembered, for the umpteenth time that it doesn’t exist any more.

Then I thought, Kabuki would be nice, it’s been awhile.

I always do the same thing though, I think, man Kabuki, that would be great, but then I don’t want to ride my bike there and back.

Maybe I take a car and splurge?

And a secret.

Despite having been given this large gift of money (not cash, not a check, there won’t be any money being deposited to my account, rather, my tuition bill will be paid at the beginning of each of my semesters for the first two years of school, it’s a three-year program, but I’ll cross the third year’s tuition when I get there) I am loathe, almost afraid, to spend any money on said celebration.

Which is silly.

Then again, I do know that I am saving my pennies for Atlanta and there’s also the distinct possibility that I may try to finance a scooter in my near future, so I want to continue being frugal.

But I can have some celebration.

I can kick up my heels a bit.

I can dance and holler and whoop.

I did a little of that this evening.

I was celebrating but I also felt capricious and silly and goofy and joyous and well, I had just gotten asked out on a date by someone I am attracted too, so, uh.

Yeah.

Celebrating by being taken out to dinner by cute guy in the neighborhood works for me too.

We had a moment when we saw each other tonight and he complimented my hair and my glasses and I thought, I should say something, but I was a little shy.

At same time, it turns out, he’s asking mutual friend if I’m single (to which he’s told, I’m dating someone!  Hello, really?  Despite sharing about break up with ex boyfriend to same group of people I appear to be in a long-term relationship?  Uh no!  But then, I thought, huh, that’s kind of compliment, I’m happy and people assume when a woman is happy she’s shacked up) about the same time as I am wondering if I should say something to him.

Serendipitous.

I actually do say something, I share a funny story and tell about the guy on Facebook who I thought was him, but turned out not to be and how I got stood up for the date.

And then, he tells me a funny story, how he’s just asked his friend if I’m available, only to be told that I’m dating someone.

We both burst out laughing.

He looks at me, “so, you’re single?”

“Yup,” I replied.

“Would you go on a date with me?” He asks.

“Yes,” I replied.

We’re both so giddy and laughing we hug, then high-five and that officially marks the first time I have high-five a guy for asking me out.

Numbers are exchanged and plans made and we’re having dinner at Thai Cottage Saturday at 7p.m.

Yes.

That sounds like celebrating to me.

I suspect I may need to do something else to fulfill the suggestion and I am wiling to do so.

I deserve to take a moment.

I show up.

I do the work.

I can show up for the rewards as well.

I can.

I promise.

I will.

Celebrate.


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