Posts Tagged ‘gift’

One More Week

August 12, 2019

Of freedom.

From school.

Which is fucking hilarious as I carted around two gigantic text books today on the off chance of being somewhere I was going to read.

I learned to always carry my books with me, because inevitably the day will come when I don’t, (this past Saturday) when a client no shows and I have down time to read.

Or I’m at work and unexpectedly get time to read.

I probably won’t at all be able to do that at work tomorrow, I just don’t see it happening, but sometimes it does and as my time is super precious I use whatever I can get.

I have finished one of my text books for the fall semester and started in on another one and I am simultaneously reviewing a few articles for the class I will be guest lecturing on the 21st of September and reading a book for that class as well.

I did question myself a little about that today as I sat in a training in Berkeley for my agency, what am I doing teaching a class too this semester?!

But, I feel it’s good for me to do and I’m excited for the topic and the few people, outside of school, I have run it by, really like listening to me talk about it.

I find that encouraging, if someone who doesn’t have a background in psychology finds it fascinating, those who are pursuing the Master’s degree should like it too.

Or so I hope.

Regardless of whether they do or not,  I am learning as I prepare to teach.

Which is always how it goes.

Want to learn something on a deeper level?

Teach it.

I have had that experience over and over and over again.

And I’m grateful to get to go before an incoming Master’s cohort who are just beginning their journey and say here I am, in my second year of a PhD program, as a licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with a burgeoning private practice.

I get to model what they can become and that’s really a sweet gift to give back.

I didn’t know how much work it was going to be and I’m pretty glad I didn’t, I did know I was right where I was supposed to be and I want to share all the things that I have gotten to learn over the past few years.

An hour and a half lecture will not encapsulate that, but it should be enough time to lecture on Reverie, which I find totally fascinating.

Reverie is something that happens in sessions where daydreams, wayward thoughts, fantasies, visions, intuitions, come to the therapist.

The first time it happened to me in a session, a dyad at school with a classmate, I got spooked.

I thought I had drifted off.

But there was something so potent about it, the image that came to mind, that I mentioned it to my professor who then told me that I had experienced  reverie and that it was clinically significant.

We discussed what I saw, how it was clinically relevant, and how to make an intervention around it.

It was fascinating.

It still is and there’s lots to talk about, and I won’t bore you with it at this time, since I don’t know that you’re really here to listen to me practice my lecture in Psychodynamics.

Heh.

Who knows why you’re here anyway.

I don’t.

I mean.

This blog has been dark for almost two years now, maybe actually it has been a little more than two years.

I don’t link it to social media.

I don’t post it anywhere.

This is just me noodling away at my keyboard.

There are perhaps of handful of folks that still follow me out there who know me, but most of the people that read this have no idea who I am.

Once in a while it gets read a whole bunch and I’ll be curious who has discovered it and why is it so fascinating.

Recently it was getting a ton of reads in, of all places, Hong Kong.

No idea why.

But for a few days, on and off for the last couple of months, literally hundreds of my blogs were being read in Hong Kong.

That was kind of cool to see.

I don’t know how many blogs I’m going to get out before the semester starts, I’ll be starting with some new clients this week and trying to get some homework done before the intensive.

One of my classes doesn’t have the syllabus up yet, which always makes me nervous, but the other two do and there is going to be some major work and a lot of reading to do this semester just for these two classes.

But.

I am not going to stop blogging.

Especially since I am going to actually try to incorporate my blog into a “Work In Progress” assignment for my class in Arts Based Research.

I know that I won’t be able to do a blog a day like I still managed to do with my Master’s degree.

That became really evident I am sure when my blogs took a total nose dive once I began my PhD and started building up my private practice.

The blog took such a hit.

But.

I have never stopped writing and I’m going to keep sending out these little missives to the Universe whenever I can.

It helps me to keep my writing chops and it helps me process all the things.

Like not speaking or being in contact with my ex and what that feels like.

Good and super hard all at the same time and scary and sad.

Or thinking about the time I was in Cuba, just recently and had an overwhelming spiritual experience at a Catholic church where Santoria is practiced.

Floods of tears, praying on my knees, and asking for forgiveness in front of a black Madonna.

Or when I was walking the cobblestone streets of Old Havana with my hair up, a long white dress on, a bright turquoise parasol protecting me from the sun and the feeling of awe in wonder at who I get to be in this life and where I get to go.

And.

Where I get to go home to.

San Francisco.

I am still here.

Hanging on at the edge of the city.

The ledge of the Western seaboard.

Two blocks from the Ocean.

The moon rise and the the dark breach of universe turning above me.

I am so fucking grateful to be alive.

It’s ok that I got my heart broke.

It’s ok that my rent’s ridiculous.

It’s ok that I’m still a nanny.

I get to do all these miraculous things.

It’s ok that I’m busy with my PhD and nervous to teach the class.

I get to do all these things.

Because.

I am graced.

Happy.

Joyous.

And so very.

Very.

Very.

Free.

Get Paid

January 5, 2019

It’s not going to be a lot.

But it’s going to be something.

Two things.

First I got a raise at the beginning of the year, 5%, which is lovely, and will go into effect my next paycheck.

The amount that will show up on my actual paycheck is pretty small.

Still, anything is helpful.

And.

I applied to become an employee with Grateful Heart last night.

Currently I am what is called a “volunteer.”

I don’t get paid anything.

My clients pay me and I deposit that money into a one way account.

Grateful Heart administration is the only entity that can withdraw anything from it.

I can’t touch it.

I recently turned in my hours, client hours, and how much I took in, to the administrative team, which keeps tabs on all the therapists in the community and double checks the accounts against the reporting that is being done.

I am scrupulous with the money coming in and I have documented everything correctly.

The fastest a new Associate Marriage Family Therapist can become an employee with Grateful Heart is three months.

January 1st marked three months for me with the agency.

I applied on January 3rd after reporting my client hours and income for the month of December.  I have to do it once a month and as I noted, it gets matched against the bank account.

Their policy is that once a $1,000 prudent reserve is met and three months of income have been established a volunteer can apply to become an employee.

I should get approved pretty quick.

Fingers crossed, we have had some administrative changes recently, new hires, etc, I can’t believe it would take a lot of effort to look over my accounts and verify that I have what it takes to become an employee.

I am not bringing in heaps of money.

But.

I am bringing it in.

In fact.

Applying for the position actually showed me how much I have been doing in regards to establishing myself as a new therapist in the community.

In my first month I brought in $700.

In my second month, $1700.

Last month, $2400.

My rent gets taken out and a hefty ($350) administrative fee, the rest is left in my account, which has begun to actually accrue some funds.

I have more than met the prudent reserve and I have money that I could actually be collecting.

For myself.

Like real income.

They have a formula to help you figure out what you can take out without dipping below the reserve and also that I have to be paid the minimum wage for the hours I claim.

Minimum wage in San Francisco is $15 an hour.

So basically I will get paid slightly less than half my nanny wage.

Ugh.

But.

I will be able to increase that fairly quickly, I believe, and I will, once I become an employee, be able to get compensated for office costs.

I will also get reimbursed for my own therapy.

And that money will not be taxed or charged the 12.5% fee that Grateful Heart will also start taking as soon as I become an employee.

So, rent, administrative costs, and 12.5% goes to them and I get the rest.

It is not enough to live on by any means.

However.

It is more coming in and since my rent is a $1,000 more a month than it used to be.

(ugh)

It really will help.

Especially getting the money back from my own personal therapy.

It made me sort of chuckle when I thought about it.

I’m doing therapy to get therapy.

Heh.

I was required by my Master’s program to work with a licensed MFT and I could have dropped her and the therapy once my program ended, I worked with her for a year.

But.

It’s been helpful and I sense that it’s better for me to stay with it for a while yet.

It’s been very supportive of my transition with school, the PhD program, moving, old childhood trauma, family of origin issues, etc.

So, I’ll keep doing it and getting some money back to pay for it will feel really nice.

I’m feeling a lot of relief knowing that some more income will be coming in and it’s also a nice way to see that all these years of work is actually beginning to pay off.

Not a lot of pay off.

Yet.

But it will happen.

I had set an intention on my birthday last month that this would be my last year as a nanny.

I will have 25 full fee, weekly, seriously committed, wonderful clients who I get to help and empower by the end of this upcoming year.

25 is the number of clients most therapists aim for.

One could do more, but you court burn out.

It’s a lot of work to show up and be present for people and listen and reflect and use theory and trainings and bear witness to trauma.

Horrible trauma.

And it’s a great gift too.

I am a good therapist.

I really am and I am proud of the work I have done to get where I am.

I’m excited to help more people.

I’m happy that I have a career.

Not that having been a nanny hasn’t been a beautiful career, it just has an end and I feel it coming close.

I’ve been doing it for 12 years.

Amongst some other things, but mostly nannying.

Which is its own kind of therapy, when it’s done well, I believe.

I have been out to the parks a lot lately and I’ve been finding myself really judgmental.

I draw kids to me like flies, I literally had my little girl charge today (alone most of the day, three parks, Souvla for lunch, two toy stores for stickers, balloons, ice cream from BiRite Creamery with rainbow sprinkles) up at Dolores Park and at one point found myself surrounded by five little monkeys demanding snacks.

Friends of hers from her private school.

It was adorable and also intense.

Good thing I had packed extra snacks.

Kids love me and I them, but sometimes it becomes quite obvious when  a child isn’t getting their needs filled–emotional, physical, intellectual–and like a heat seeking missile they will go to someone who does.

That was me a lot today.

I just wanted to shout out, put down your Iphones and pay attention to your children!

But.

I didn’t.

And I’m glad I didn’t, it would have looked rather untoward.

If I’m honest too, my current family hired me because the mom remembered seeing me at the playground with a former set of charges and something similar happened.

She told me later that she realized I was a treasure and that she had been ecstatic when she found out I was going to be available.

Anyway.

Here’s to drawing clients to me like I drew children to me today.

I also have to say, when I really let myself acknowledge it, children are honest and if they like you it says a lot and if they trust you it says a lot too.

I was trusted a lot today at the parks, I got to be surrounded by much happy love.

Which is beautiful and I hope that I will in turn pass that along to the clients I get to see tomorrow, and all my days thereafter.

 

The Poetry Is

December 1, 2018

Spectacular.

I was bowled over by the compliment I just received from a professor regarding a poem I wrote and recorded for a group project in one of my classes.

It is always nice to hear that, that my poetry is “spectacular.”

I mean, who doesn’t want to hear that?

I’m always so flattered.

It comes naturally and it comes with great effort.

I have taken a great deal of time to cultivate and practice my writing skills.

I find that because I have taken so much time doing the work that when I need to sit down and do it, it comes easily and smoothly with what feels like minimal effort.

That means, however, that I have to continually be practicing to keep that flow going.

I can’t rest on the laurels of my gym results from last year if I want to stay in shape.

I have to write.

And therefore it gives me much pleasure to be back here again writing.  I don’t know that I will be able to post as much as I did prior to jumping off into my PhD program, but I am hopeful that I will give it a good god damn shot.

I have to admit that when my blog got intertwined with my professional site I was really upset, how was I not going to be able to blog?

How?

Then, slowly, I saw that it was a gift, this little break from my practice.

It was a opprotunity to do the writing for my classes instead of for my blog.

I have done so much writing for classes.

Each week I’m posting about 4,000-5,000 words in discussion groups.

On top of a pretty constant hum of papers, projects and just all the reading.

My God.

There is a lot of reading.

But as I sit here reflecting on all of that I am also sitting next to a gigantic stack of books I have read.

In fact.

There’s only one book left to read and I’m not 100% certain, but I’m feeling pretty close to it, there may not be any articles left to read either.

I’m sure something will crop up, it always seems to do so.

Yet.

When those things have cropped up I have been able to navigate through them.

Not without some profanity, I won’t lie, I have sworn a lot at my computer over the last couple of months and on more than one occasion, or fifteen, I have wondered, what the fucking hell am I doing?

I have so much on my plate.

Just working full-time and getting my private practice up in running is more than enough to keep anyone busy, let alone putting the course work for a PhD on the line too.

I have a lot going on.

And somehow, everything’s been getting done.

Sometimes at what feels like the last-minute, but I realize that I get it done and I get things turned in on time.

I have already witnessed a distinct amount of people in my cohort suddenly just disappearing.

Some of it is in not participating as much with the discussion groups and some of it is not even checking in on a group project.

I basically had someone completely no-show for the entirety of one of the group projects I was involved with, and at one point I actually thought that I was going to be doing it alone as the other person took such a long time jumping in.

And it got done and my professor thought my poetry was spectacular.

So.

Yeah.

I think my brain can let up on the, what are you doing part, because I am doing something big and worthy and worthwhile and beautiful and it’s going to be a long haul, it is, but that’s ok.

I’m only getting older anyway and I want to really leave my mark out on the world.

However I can, whether it is in service to my recovery community, my therapy clients, or just being an example to someone that you can get what you want despite where you come from or the hardships you have had.

I am excited for what it will all bring, even knowing that it will be a tremendous amount of work and that the great deal of effort I am putting in now is not done for naught.

I keep being told too that my writing is good, that my writing is needed in academia, that my ideas are good, that my contributions are worthwhile and wanted.

It’s nice to feel wanted.

It’s nice to feel that I am contributing, especially at this level of academia.

I suspect that there will be fewer people next semester in my cohort than there was at the beginning of the program.

But I know I will be there and I know that I will continue to strive to do the best I can and show up.

One day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One minute at a time.

Just doing the next thing in front of me.

I will get there.

Wherever there is.

There is here, is now, is in this moment, in this creation, this mass of words and thoughts and dreams.

There is in the space between the words where the love light shines and I find myself again and again in the poetry and the prose of my experience.

In my narrative, my story, my life.

Writing it all as it happens, lucky to be so fortunate to be able to do so and happy that I can continue to do so.

For that I am aware that I am lucky.

I am a very lucky girl.

Very.

Home Again

July 29, 2018

I got back from my travels last night.

I was in motion for 24 hours.

Although what with the time change it looked like I had just traveled 11 hours.

But no.

When I got in to my studio last night the clock said it was 6 a.m. Paris time and I had been up since 5:30 a.m. the previous morning.

It was a long day.

I am very, very, very grateful that I woke up before my alarm went off, it was too hot to sleep and I kept waking up and having difficulty falling back asleep, so when I woke up at 5 a.m. I never got fully back into sleep, just lay in bed sweating lightly and wondering if I should just get up and get going.

When the light began to grow bright enough I gave up the ghost, got up and started my getting ready to leave.

I gave myself time to have a light breakfast, which thank God I did, because there was no time at the airport to get food, I was super lucky to be able to snag a bottle of water for the flight, let alone have had anytime to forage for food.

I had done most of my packing the day before, even went a bought a cheap suitcase to haul back my goodies from my trip.

Notebooks, a stuffed hippo for one of my charges, a model car for another charge, stickers and rainbow unicorn rub on tattoos and a pretty notebook for the little girl.

Other gifts for folks.

And then the things that I had gotten for myself: a purse, a market basket from Aix-en-Provence, an art book from the Zao Wou-ki show I went to at the Musee Moderne, lots of notebooks, five or six I think, magnets from the Klimt show and one from Marseilles, some notecards, three dresses (three! I was so thrilled to have found a shop, with the help of my friend, that carried my size and had lovely clothes), a sweater coat, and a blouse.

I can’t believe I found such lovely clothes, it’s very rare for me to find clothing when I have gone to Paris before.

Partially because I just didn’t know really where to look, having a friend who lives in Paris show you the spots is a huge perk.

I also got a vintage candle holder/lantern from a shop on Ile St. Louis and some prints from the Klimt show.

I couldn’t have squeezed all of that into my little carry-on.

My carry on, which as it would turn out, was not so little anyway.

It got flagged at the airport.

I was not happy.

This was the first time that it’s been flagged.

I didn’t even get it through security.

A couple of times I have had to check it at the gate but never before did I have it flagged before even going through security.

I was not happy.

I was on the same airline I took to get to France, so I knew it would fit, in fact, it had slightly fewer items in it since I had bag checked the other suitcase and figured I would fill that one heavier and keep my carry on fairly light.

But nope.

It got flagged.

Ugh.

I had already had a bit of a rough start to my Charles de Gaulle experience.

I got to the airport with plenty of time, I splurged and took a cab.

Again, thank God, if I had done the train I would have likely missed my flight considering the amount of time it took to get to the gate.

When I arrived I did a check in on a kiosk, printed off my boarding pass and got a sticker for the checked bag.

Then I stood in line with my checked bag to get it to a counter to get loaded onto the plane.

I was in line about thirty minutes.

About twenty minutes into being online a little voice in my head said, “hey, did you get your card from the kiosk?”

I couldn’t remember.

I took a deep breath, got out my wallet, opened it up and looked.

No debit card.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

I had left it in the machine!

I flushed very hot then almost started to cry.

I took another deep breath.

What should I do?

Odds are it’s gone.

Somebody was right behind me to use the machine.

Either they took it and went wild at the Duty Free shop.

Or maybe they turned it in to lost and found.

I started to think about how to ask the next Air France agent I saw about where the lost and found was in French.

I resolved to stay in line and check my bag and then go look.

It was a long ten minutes.

I got my bag on the belt and dashed back to the machine.

Of course.

The card was gone.

I looked around, there was a desk next to the kiosk, but nothing on it.

I turned to go back to the line that had to Air France agents working it.

I should mention that there were three different areas to queue up to, each area having two agents, then agents roaming between and agents at the desk.

I don’t know how I decided to ask the woman I asked, but I made a snap decision and walked towards her.

I approached and asked if I could speak English with her, I really wasn’t sure I could get across in French what had happened, although I had been practicing it for the last ten minutes.

She said of course.

I told her what I did, I pointed to the machine, I was about to ask if there was a lost and found and she said, “you’re Carmen?”

I nodded, yes, yes, yes, as she pulled my debit card out of the front breast pocket of her jacket.

I nearly wept for joy and thanked her profusely.

What are the odds that the person I asked would have my card in her pocket?

I don’t know, but it felt like winning the lottery.

I was so happy about it that when I was told my carry on would cost me 80 Euro to process I didn’t give a fuck.

Who cares?

I had found my card.

And though the whole process set me back over an hour and a half of going to and fro, it was all worth while.

I made my plane with minutes to spare, enough to be able to dash to the nearest counter and buy a bottle of water and then get myself settled in for a very long flight.

There were a few other adventures.

Like the plane having to sit on the tamarack for another hour because a person had to be de-planed, which led to me literally sprinting through the Atlanta airport to make my connecting flight, but I did then too.

So even though it was a long trip getting back.

Get back I did.

And I am very grateful to be home, unpacked, all my laundry washed and put away and almost ready to get back to my regular routine.

Almost.

I have one more delicious day off.

Ah.

Summer vacation.

You did me good.

Sometimes

May 30, 2018

It’s nice to get mail.

Sometimes it’s really, really, really nice to get mail.

Especially from the IRS.

Holy shit.

I got home today, as per usual, a little tense, a little upset, a little in bafflement, as I have been over the last few days since I was told that I needed to move out, to a few items of mail.

One was a very sweet and unexpected card from my grandmother with a $20 bill congratulating me on graduation.

So sweet.

The other from the aforementioned IRS.

And it looked like a check.

But.

I already got back my tax returns, both state and federal, and I filed electronically so the returns were sent directly to my bank.

What was this check looking thing?

Could it possibly be?

Could it really be?

I was almost afraid to open it.

I had a thought, but my thoughts are not always the nicest to me, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Cue an earlier thought, that I sort of joked about, but not really to my boss that it was ok, me getting asked to move out, because I have a tent, and I can hang out on the beach.

My boss laughed, but she was horrified to hear my news and also very supportive, there will be no beach for me necessary.

I can stay in the spare room that is currently the kids play room if worst came to worst.

Such a kind offer.

And one I hopefully will not have to take up, but it’s always good to know that I can.

I did once before when I was in transition, stay with employers, actually, former employers, who were remarkably generous and let me stay in their attic room with private bathroom and yes, with both my cats, while I was waiting to get into my next place.

Nothing says worst nightmare to me than homeless with cats, but in a sense that was exactly what I was.

I used to say I was in transition, but it was a transition that was horrendously uncomfortable, especially at seven years of sobriety.

I used to beat myself up about that, homeless with that much sober time, but it was just God preparing me, winnowing down the unnecessary things in my life, so that when the time came a few months later when the opportunity to move to Paris was presented to me, I was able to go without much thought about stuff and things.

I didn’t have much.

I don’t now when I look around.

The only furnishing in my studio that is mine is my bed.

That’s it.

The chaise, end tables, chairs, kitchen table, bookshelf, all my landlady’s furniture.

She’s a realtor and I believe they were used for staging at some point.

Anyway.

I won’t have much to move when I move, just the bed and the things hanging on the wall, the clothes hanging in my closet, and my kitchen stuff.

I could very easily move and do it quite efficiently.

It’s just a matter of finding a place to move to.

I began slowly putting out more feelers today.

I got a tip on an in-law on Silver Terrace, but out of my price range at $2,000.

I figure I will be comfortable spending $1500.

And if I have to I could go as high as $1800.

But that would be super freaking tight.

And I know this sounds crazy, but whatever, I have a feeling it won’t be that expensive, I do have a feeling the right thing will come and it will be what I can afford.

I told my therapist today how scared I have been and upset and angry and how it’s been hard to fall asleep because my brain will attack me with horrifying scenarios about not finding a place to live or not being able to afford what I find.

So.

Last night I said, enough brain, knock it off.

I can’t live in a future where there is no God.

God is right here.

Right the fuck now.

I am being taken care of.

I have paid for June rent.

I only have to be concerned with today.

Stop with the future tripping.

And if you have to think about the future, think about it with faith.

Magic.

God.

Love.

Abundance.

Light.

Envision where you want to live.

Think about what it looks like, really get into the details.

Hard wood floors, light, oh man, give me some light, I have been living in my little cave for almost five years, I could use a god damn window.

High ceilings.

Or at least higher than they are now.

I have low ceilings.

A nice kitchen, a gas range, a washer and dryer on site.

A place to park.

A big closet or two.

I mean.

A bathtub!

Oh.

Fuck wouldn’t that be nice?

Ruminate on the nice things, not on the bad things, see it, visualize it.

It will come.

It will!

I don’t know what exactly will happen next, I have to go to the SF Tenants Union on Saturday and do the drop in counseling.

Until that point all that I can do is what I have been doing.

Reaching out quietly to friends, avoiding social media, but just texting a friend here and there and asking them to keep ears open.

And practicing staying in the moment.

Where there is nothing wrong.

And.

There is only a little envelope to open from the IRS.

So open it.

I had put away all my stuff from my day out and about and put away my groceries, and I was heating up my dinner when I opened the card from my grandmother.

I left the envelope from the IRS alone.

But I really wondered.

If.

Well.

Could it possibly be?

And.

OH.

OH.

OH!

It was!

It was!

It was!

It was my refund from 2014!

2014!

In January of 2015 I did my taxes early and I did not have all my paperwork, I didn’t realize this until after I had filed.

I received some paperwork a month later and realized that I had fucked up my taxes and that I actually was due a bigger return than what I had filed for.

So.

I filed an amendment with the paperwork that I had left out and sent it in.

I never heard anything back.

I don’t know what I was expecting.

But.

Well.

I was hoping for something.

I sort of forgot about it after a while.

Although it would peek up above the surface of my unconsciousness every year after when I was filing and I would remember to make sure that I had all my necessary paperwork available to me before filing.

Certainly didn’t want to make that mistake again.

And there it was.

My fucking amendment refund check from 2014!

I laughed out loud with joy.

I’m going to be ok!

I mean.

I know I’m going to be ok.

But now I can stop stressing about the money I wanted to have for my traveling this summer.

I was afraid that I would find a place and have to use up my travel savings to put down a deposit to move into a new place and then have nothing left to travel with.

Maybe I would have to break out that credit card I got months ago but have never used.

Maybe not!

Not when I got a check from out of the blue for.

Wait for it.

Like you haven’t this entire blog.

Heh.

$2,126.34!

Boom.

Can you say happy?

I can!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking free to travel about the country.

Luckiest girl in the world.

An Unexpected Gift.

May 16, 2018

Time.

It wasn’t a lot.

But.

It felt tremendous.

The mom today at work expressed that should I not want to come in tomorrow early to take the baby to music class I was off the hook.

She’s very aware of the stress of the next few days for me and stated that if I wanted to rest or work on my party or just take a slow start that I should.

I thanked her.

And.

I didn’t take her up on it right away.

I decided to think about it.

I left work and headed into my internship.

I received a very sweet text from her reiterating how she really wanted to let me know that should I need anything that I was family and that she is my friend.

Not my boss.

I mean.

She still is my boss, but she’s become a friend.

And an ally.

I am very grateful that I work for her, yet there is still a part of me that was hesitant to take the offer and I think she knew that I wanted to and thus the follow-up text after I had left.

I decided to do it, but I had clients to attend to and that came first, I would respond after my client sessions and see how I felt.

Then!

My second client told me that they would need to leave early, by a half hour, we basically only did a half session, the client paid for the full, and I got to count the full hour of client time.

And I got an extra half hour in my evening!

It felt so luxurious.

I immediately responded to the text from my boss and said, thank you for the sweet sentiments that they really meant something to me (they really do) and that after some consideration I was going to take her up on the offer.

It felt so good.

Especially after the therapy session I had today.

Buckets of tears.

1/2 box of Kleenex, I swear, the ball of tissue I tossed at the end of the session was huge.

I was crying before I got there.

I spilled the beans and got constant, continuous, kind support.

I got resourced.

I felt a lot better.

I made some connections that have never quite made with the help of my therapist and I shared some information with her that only a few people now, and that I had actually thought I had told her before.

Child hood trauma stuff that has gotten poked by recent chains of events.

It felt really good, and hard, awful, painful, to talk about anger and how it has been hard to forgive and when I had the kind of reactions I did today in session I wondered out loud whether I had really ever forgiven the acts or the people involved at all.

My person also reflected to me that I had a lot of rage.

I have rage?

I was shook for a moment.

Then I realized.

Yeah.

I do.

I have some motherfucking rage.

I expressed some of that in therapy today, that I have so much self-awareness after having done a three-year intensive Master’s of Psychology program that I get infuriated at times thinking of all the things I had to overcome to just get by.

I was livid.

I cried heaps.

I also noted that I thought the things I dealt with were normal for so long.

Not necessarily that other people were experiencing the same things as I, nor did I want anyone to, but that this was just how it was in my life.

Spending three years reading how trauma affects the brain the parasympathetic nervous system, flight, fight, or freeze, anyone?  How abuse and neglect stunt children, how harder it is, so much harder, for those kids to get ahead, to succeed, to live happily ever after.

There is no happily ever after.

And.

Life is not fair.

But there is happiness and joy and freedom and grace and love.

Thank God for love.

And thank God I didn’t give up on finding my way towards loving myself.

I had to have it modeled to me in my adulthood and it’s taken years for me to implement things.

I still have a horrendous time asking for help, but I am getting better.

Or.

That my needs are valid.

Or that I’m allowed to have needs.

Eye roll.

It took as long as it took and I’m ok with that.

I’m in acceptance that my past was what it was.

That doesn’t mean approval.

Fuck that.

No.

It just means that I can acknowledge that it happened and that allows me to move on.

Granted.

Sometimes the pot gets stirred and I’m using boxes of tissues up and crying my heart out.

But I got to cry my heart out and I got tremendous support.

My therapist is out of office next week and has mentioned several times that since this is such a big transition for me, graduation, getting a private practice internship, my mom coming to visit, the endoscopy on Thursday, that she would be fine staying in contact while she’s away.

Meaning I can reach out and call or email her.

After today’s session, she stopped and said, I’m going to contact you over the weekend and check in.

I was blown away.

And grateful.

I don’t even care if she does or not.

Just that the offer is there.

And like the offer my boss made me, it felt like being seen and loved and held exactly where I am with exactly what I need.

Getting an extra hour of sleep in time for tomorrow!

 

Earthquake

May 15, 2018

Screaming child.

Long day.

Kid home from school.

Reflux from hell.

No response from messages sent out earlier.

(No response is a response)

Crazy drivers.

And still.

A pretty good day.

Although I had a moment.

The screaming child was hard to handle.

I almost, not really, but I thought about it, knocked on the office at my internship to say please be quiet, but not really my business and I was just hella grateful I wasn’t doing therapy with the child.

I mean.

The child was fucking angry.

Screaming so loud that I could still hear him when I was in my office down the hall with the door shut.

I cannot imagine what the clients in other therapy sessions on the floor must have been thinking.

Grateful that my first client cancelled and by the time my second client showed up the child was done and out of session and off to scream elsewhere.

The earthquake also startled me.

I didn’t realize it was an earthquake until I got home and saw it posted all over social media.

I thought a truck had hit the building.

It was disquieting.

And then my client came and fuck.

Wow.

Intense session.

Took me a minute to get grounded.

Like maybe an hour now.

I also needed to eat.

I just had dinner and that’s helping.

My head was aching from the reflux and even though I didn’t feel hungry I knew that I was.

So some food and I’m feeling a bit more in my body and a bit less like I’m going to disassociate.

It was also a long day at work.

The middle child, the little lady, was home sick from school.

She wasn’t sick.

I adore this child but she will not hesitate to use the I’m sick thing to stay home.

The mom knew it too, after an hour or two of being at home it was pretty evident.

I wanted to suggest that she just pop her right back into class, but instead, I got out the colors and we did lots of drawings and I made her lots of snacks and she talked to me a bunch about how she’s going to miss me and how she’s sad about it.

The family will be gone for five weeks and she was feeling sad about not seeing me for that much time.

I will miss them too.

Although I am very, very, very happy for the down time.

The mom was sweet today with me too and asked me what I wanted for graduation and then she added, “I know you won’t tell me, so I’m not sure why I’m asking, but if there’s anything you need please let me know.”

She’s right.

I wouldn’t tell her.

It doesn’t feel right to ask for something from my boss for graduation.

I think it’s astoundingly kind that she wants to give me anything.

My needs are minimal.

And met.

Although I was feeling stressed about getting someone to come and get me from my endoscopy, it got covered.

I doubt that’s the kind of gift she meant.

I wanted to blithely respond, “cash.”

Or.

“Make a payment on my student loan,” but that didn’t seem appropriate either.

So I made a joke and then the baby was crying for something and the conversation ended.

It’s sweet that they want to give me something and I’m honored that they’re going to come to the party in the first place.

Speaking of.

I got the rest of the bevvies for the party and one more pack of hotdogs and buns.

I now feel set for food and beverage and I’m quite happy that all those things are procured.

I was going to do another shopping run tomorrow in between work and therapy but then the mom reminded me that the oldest boys class is doing a beach clean up at Ocean Beach.

Yes.

That’s right.

I will be leaving my house, by Ocean Beach, to go to therapy in the morning in Noe Valley, and then driving right back to Ocean Beach.

To?

Exactly.

Right where I am having my party on Saturday.

It’s rather hilarious.

I’m not annoyed about the extra driving, the mom paid for my gas money, I just would have liked to have had the time between therapy and work that I normally have.

Instead I’ll be driving.

Oh well.

It’ll be nice to be out by the beach with the baby.

So.

When I realized my late client was not responding to the offer that I had made about taking the earlier session, remember first client cancelled, I realized that the client wasn’t going to come in until their regular time and I had an extra hour between work and seeing the client.

I was able to pop to the grocery store and get the rest of the supplies!

That was nice.

A busy day, a full day, a bit of an unexpected day.

But a good day.

Hell.

It was always going to be a good day.

I mean.

The morning was pretty awesome.

I TURNED IN MY LAST TWO PIECES OF PAPERWORK TO CIIS!

I’m done.

All the “t’s” are crossed.

All the “i’s” are dotted.

Every form, every piece of paper, every evaluation, every application, my therapy verification forms, the site evaluations I did as well as my evaluations from my supervisors, my verification of face to face client hours, all of it.

ALL OF IT.

Is turned in.

I am done.

 

 

Did You Get Your Ticket

March 8, 2018

To Burning Man?

My friend asked me tonight.

“My what?” I asked.

“Your ticket to Burning Man, aren’t you going?” He replied, “I saw they went on sale today everybody was posting about it.”

“Oh, I don’t know if I’m going this year, I probably won’t be, if I get into the PhD program I applied to I won’t be able to, I hadn’t even really thought about it,” I said.

“But, I did get my ticket to Paris!”

Burnign Man, what’s that?

Heh.

But oh.

Paris.

Yes, Paris.

 

I bought my ticket last night after confirming times and dates with my dear friend who I’ll be staying with.

In the Marais.

The Marais!

My favorite part of Paris.

I am so lucky I get to stay with her.

She’ll be busy, I was told I’ll be pretty much on my own as she’s studying for her exams for school, and I, well, I have no problem with that at all.

I can entertain myself just fine in Paris.

I have before I certainly can again.

Long walks.

Window shopping.

Sitting outside at cafes and writing.

People watching.

Wandering through the museums.

Going to the markets.

Sitting on benches in parks and getting sun on my face.

It will be warm.

Sun dresses and sandals!

I booked my ticket to fly out Sunday July 15th.

It’s a direct flight, which is awesome sauce, and with the time change I will arrive in Paris around 4:30 pm in the afternoon.

I’ll hop the train from Charles de Gaulle and transfer onto a Metro Line, and take it all the way to the Temple Metro station and then walk with my luggage to my friend’s house.

Oh my fucking God.

I’m going back to Paris.

I am so excited.

I do love it so.

I will also be taking a three-day weekend with my friend to her family’s summer-house on L’il de Re (I haven’t yet figured out how to get the French accent marks over the words) which means swimming pool lounging and beaches and sunshine and my friend.

And a road trip!

In France.

It’s not a long road trip but it’s five hours.

I think that it will be a blast to drive outside of the periphery of Paris into the country side and then to the coast.

I’m so happy I got the ticket.

And I got a good, I mean, damn good price on it, I found a ticket for $788.

I was over the moon.

A round trip ticket from San Francisco to Paris for under $800 is fucking amazing.

I’m quite pleased to say the least.

It will be my graduation present to myself.

And.

Heh.

Speaking of graduation.

I also ordered my cap and gown.

Things are really coming together.

It’s been a busy time, though, I can assure you.

Today felt like a really big push and I was a bit beat by the end of it, but I accomplished quite a lot.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, my heart was beating so loudly in my ears it took a while to drift off.

Although, drift I finally did, despite the loud sound of my blood in my ears and the ruminations in my head, I did sleep.

I also got up pretty early and was at work by 7:45 a.m. and spent the majority of the day with the baby and doing a lot of laundry.

A five person family makes for a lot of laundry.

A lot.

The baby was also super fussy, he’s teething pretty bad, so much carrying and snuggling was had.

It was not a bad thing, but I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to get to the work that I had brought with me.

Specifically getting the annotated bibliography written that I needed to do.

Fortunately for the second nap of the day facilitated me being able to do some work.

The only thing was the baby was in a carrier.

So.

Yes.

I did in fact write three-quarters of my paper with a baby strapped to my chest.

I felt a little like Wonder Woman to tell the truth.

Or something of that kind.

Super Nanny maybe.

Super Nanny also made a fucking fabulous meal–slow roasted ham that I studded with cloves and rubbed down with brown sugar, garlic smashed potatoes with butter, cream, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper, and yes, I did, cream cheese; asparagus in a Meyer lemon brown butter sauce with shaved pecorino, and two salads: tomato and red bell pepper in olive oil and balsamic with parmesan and a fresh kale salad with chopped apples, carrots, red onions, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and an olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.

Plus, three loads of laundry washed and folded and put away and all the general tidying and straightening up I tend to do anyhow.

In hindsight it’s obvious I had to do the homework, the paper writing, I was attending to so many other things, of course, I should note I was at work, and I like to do a good job.

I like my job stability and it was nice to have the baby, albeit a slight inconvenience to have him swaddled upon my chest, while I was doing my homework.

I also read an article.

Then I got home and cooked myself a quick simple dinner and finished my paper and read two more articles before heading out to do the deal.

Burning Man.

Well.

I’d forgotten clean about it.

But the truth is.

I wasn’t planning on going this year.

Too many other things to do.

Oh.

All the things.

All the things I get to do.

I am so very lucky.

Really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Although sometimes I think I should just put busiest girl in the world.

I am, truly, lucky to get to do the things I do.

Or graced.

Probably that more so than luck.

Yes.

That.

Grace.

 

Back In The Groove

February 21, 2018

Second day back to work.

Second day with clients.

A day of therapy.

A day of supervision.

I’m beginning to feel more grounded and returned than I was yesterday.

Hell.

Definitely more so than Sunday.

Sunday my flight out from D.C. was delayed so I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that I had told myself I was going to do.

In the end I am hella grateful that the flight was delayed.

I was able to spend a few more hours with my best friend and that time was invaluable to me.

I had such a fantastic time I cannot even begin to enumerate it here.

It was also a lovely weekend away from social media and perhaps the first time that I also stayed completely off my blog.

I was happy to do so.

I was happy to be present and connected and aware of all the things happening for me.

I was horrified to get back to social media and see a school shooting and that a person in my recovery community had overdosed and died.

I was like.

Fuck.

Is it worth it to even bother with Facecrack?

I do like Instagram, I won’t lie, I like photographs and I find it really compelling to see different places that I want to go and travel too as well as appreciating images from my friends lives.

I have a private Instagram account, so I’m not overly inundated with crap, but Facebook has really not been a platform that I have enjoyed in some time.

I don’t post much to it and I don’t like to spend too much time on it.

I check in with it, mostly I feel to stay connected to my cohort at school, we have a group and there is often things that get posted there that are relevant to my school program.

Hell.

That was how I found out about the graduation application and processing fee.

I was able to deal with it a full three weeks prior to some members in my cohort who didn’t know that there was an application, let a lone a fee, for graduation.

I received the last bit of the application paperwork that needed to be filled out today.

I sent in the survey that the school requires as a sort of exit from the program and sent it in.

One more thing down.

And speaking of school.

This is it.

I have to get my PhD application together by the end of this week.

I just took a look at my syllabi for the next weekend of classes and saw that I have a modicum of breathing space.

I don’t have to devote any time to homework for school this weekend, I’m ahead of my reading and my assignments that are due aren’t due until March 10th.

Which means that I have the weekend of March 3rd and 4th to work on them.

Which means that this weekend, which is what I had pretty much planned on doing anyway, is clear to work on my PhD application.

I don’t think it will take too much time, but I do want to put in a nice effort on it.

And I still have a full weekend anyway.

I’ll be back in my group supervision on Saturday, and my Thursday and Friday are both full of clients.

I saw a new client tonight and I have another new client on Friday.

I’m back to eight clients a week.

I also will be meeting with my ladies on Sunday that I normally work with and my person up in the Castro before my new commitment on Sunday at 7:30p.m.

I want to do yoga, it’s been two weeks without, and I desperately need a manicure.

I have a busy weekend.

I have a busy week, it’s just Tuesday and it’s already been busy.

But.

It hasn’t been horrendous.

It was a gentler easing back into my routine than I could have asked for.

Today I had therapy, such a good session, and after I got out of the session, I received a text from the mom that my little lady charge was sick and they had a pediatrician appointment.

It happened to be just blocks from where I was and the mom asked that I meet them at the doctor’s office.

I had enough time between my therapy session ending and having to meet the mom that I was able to pop into the Whole Foods in Noe Valley and get groceries for the week.

A huge time coup for me.

Then I met the mom and the baby was asleep and I got to take him and stroll down 24th street and go to Martha’s Bros Coffee and the bench outside the cafe opened as I walked out with my coffee and I got to sit in the sun and drink coffee and soak up some heat.

It’s been cold, cold, cold in the city.

And to sit, granted wrapped up in my hoodie, jean jacket, scarf, and half-gloves, in the sun as it warmed up the front of the cafe, was glorious.

My job can be really stressful juggling three kids, house work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, and such, but it can also have these absolutely wonderful pockets of time that pop out of nowhere, when I need some time, a reprieve, a gentle break in routine.

And I find myself being able to be still.

To be able to reflect.

It is a gift.

I spent a lot of time thinking about my time in D.C. and how very grateful I was to get to go.

To see the things I saw.

To have the experiences I had.

Glorious.

The company, the environment, the quality of the time.

Exquisite.

And so very much-needed.

It was a sorrow to part.

I won’t lie.

It hurt to say goodbye after such a grand time and I felt desolate coming back to San Francisco, which is not an experience I have much had.

Usually I find myself happy to come home.

And I am happy to be home, but I already miss my friend.

Hell.

I missed my friend before I had even gotten to the boarding area of my flight back.

In a way I was also grateful for that.

It showed me just how much the time had meant to me.

A lot.

So much.

So very much.

I can get lonely in my routine and my comings and goings and doings and I had such splendid time with my friend that I found myself facing some loneliness coming home that I don’t usually acknowledge.

Thankful for it too, that realization, and those emotions tied to it.

I have such a rich emotional life.

I am aware.

I am alive.

I am loved.

I love.

Simple.

Although not always easy.

A blessing always, though.

Always.

A gift.

This exquisite life.

This grand love.

The.

Greatest.

Gift.


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