Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Made It Through

May 21, 2018

The weekend.

I graduated!

Pretty spectacular.

Grateful for the pomp of it and also, well, grateful that it’s done too.

It was a lot of work getting ready for it and I could use a little break from all the hullaballoo.

Granted.

All the ceremony was lovely and I was glad that I attended even if the walk across stage happened so quickly, it was an important walk for me to make.

It was nice to have my mom there too, we haven’t seen each other in a few years and it was good to reconnect.

I’m ready to reconnect to my regular schedule though.

It was nice to have the time off to do the special things, and the not so special, the endoscopy and that damn wire test took up some time and mental space, I got a text from the doctor’s office today that my lab results are in and that I will discuss them with the doctor on Wednesday.

Note to self, make sure to tell the mom at work.

Back to work tomorrow.

Although since I don’t have supervision in the morning, it will be a late start for me.

So I get to gently wind down this weekend of festivities.

The graduation party was fabulous.

Though a bit breezy.

A lot of people didn’t come out to it due to weather being cold and windy, but those folks who did brave the conditions really had my heart.

And my best friend who set up the whole she-bang, man, I am so grateful for all that work.

Throwing parties is work, especially when it’s an offsite event on the beach.

Especially when it was freaking Bay to Breakers today!

They had the whole parking lot cordoned off for the event.

Bay to Breakers is a notorious drinking run that starts at the Bay and ends at the “breakers” at Ocean Beach.

Had I known that it was today I would never have done my party at the beach.

I had to park my car at SafeWay and walk a couple blocks, not horrible, but when the time came for breaking things down and getting things back, it was a bit daunting.

Fortunately I had some great helpers and the one good thing about Bay to Breakers having all their gear set up in the parking lot was that there were gigantic lights put up everywhere, the beach was bright as day.

I had some worry about having enough day light to break everything down, but the lights from the parking lot saved the day.

It was still a bit of a hassle getting things off the beach, but the crew that was left at the end of the party were great and helped me by sitting on my stuff and waiting until I had gotten my car and I was able to get everything in and back to my house.

And.

I am very proud of myself for this.

I unpacked everything and put it all away.

Including throwing all the beach blankets into the wash and putting away all the sodas and sparkling waters that did not get drank.

There were a lot of left overs.

As I said quite a few people didn’t show, but the sweet company of those that did kept me warm on the cold beach and I was happy to celebrate.

I even wore my cap and gown for a little while.

Until the wind blew off my cap and I got too cold.

But like a good San Franciscan, I had two back up layers, a sweatshirt and a jean jacket, plus fingerless gloves and an infinity scarf.

I just bundled right up.

Plus there was the fire and dancing to stay warm and a couple of times hopping into the tent that was good wind protection and actually felt warm.

The family I work for even came.

All the kids had hot dogs and s’mores and they were super sweet and the family gave me a crazy nice graduation gift.

I got some amazing gifts.

I am so grateful for the expressions of love and affection I received this weekend.

I really am.

It was also nice to be witnessed and seen.

To have the acknowledgement of all the work I have done in the last three years meant quite a lot.

There’s still plenty of work to go.

I suspect there will always be work to do.

But.

I am going to take this moment and really let it all soak in.

The flowers in vases all around my house, from my best friend, my mom, my boss, my mentor, help me to see how much I am loved and appreciated.

The beautiful gifts I got.

The sweet cards.

The drawings from my little five-year old charge.

The hugs.

Even the congratulations from strangers as I was walking down the street in my cap and gown with my arms full of flowers, felt really good to get.

Acknowledgement.

Hard work.

Achievement.

And a moment or two to bask in it.

I found parking really quickly when I got to Hayes Valley, there’s always one spot I check first, I used to park there almost all the time when I was going to solo supervision, and sure enough, it was open.

It’s tight, but my car’s small and I just barely fit.

Because I didn’t have to look for parking I had an extra twenty minutes before I had to be at the theater.

I stopped at Arlequin to get a latte.

I sat outside and sipped the hot coffee and really looked at the street and the people walking around and as I realized that I was sitting next door to Absinthe, Arlequin is their sister property, a more casual, but still upscale cafe, to Absinthe’s fancy French pedigree.

Sipping a latte, in my cap, about to walk the stage at the Nourse Theater, and get my Master’s Degree, quietly reflecting on how far I had come.

Absinthe was my first job in sobriety.

I got hired there 19 days after I got sober.

I sure have come a long fucking way since waiting tables there I though.

I smiled.

And as I sipped the last of my latte a busser from Absinthe came dashing over.

“Did you graduate today?”  He asked.

“I’m about to, I head over to the theater as soon as I finish my coffee,” I said and smiled.

“I’m so proud of you!” He said, he grinned.

I grinned.

It was a moment.

It surely was.

In a weekend filled with so many of them.

Of pure unremitting gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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Open Heart

January 28, 2018

I have felt pretty fucking raw this past week.

I have gone through a lot and I have not walked it alone.

Today.

Ah.

Today.

I finally had a day without crying.

I got emotional, I had moments where I thought I would.

I had some strong longings, really fucking strong, to reach out and engage, but I remember that I don’t do this alone and that I have been given a lot of suggestions about how to navigate through my experience.

It doesn’t make it easier, in fact, it seems to make it harder.

But.

I suspect that the pain will be worth it.

That I will be left with something magic and special and worth it.

As I was told today, “the only way through is through.”

I am definitely going the fuck through it.

And.

Yes.

I did go and get myself some tattoos.

And yes.

They did ameliorate the pain a little bit, focused it in one location, shut my fucking brain off for a little while.

I got lost in the pain, floated around in it, distracted by the sound of the needle and the threading pain on my breast bone.

But it helped too.

And I love my new tattoos.

I got my lucky thirteen star.

For my thirteen years of sobriety.

I have a star for each year I have been sober.

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I had my artist, Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed Tattoo on Polk Street, make the placement.

I had thought of doing it a little lower, but when he put it underneath my ear I was quite taken with it.

Of course.

Holy shit.

That was distracting.

Having the needle so close to my ear, very distracting, it seemed to intensify the pain, the noise did, and I was very grateful that it wasn’t that big of a tattoo, he handled it pretty quick.

I had already gotten my other tattoo and was pretty pumped up on adrenaline by that, so the star didn’t hurt that much, it was just the sound of the needle and the vibration in my ear that was a little more intense than I had expected.

My first tattoo.

Well.

Fuck.

It hurt.

Yes.

It did.

I love when people ask if getting a tattoo hurt.

Duh, motherfucker.

Of course it hurts, come on.

Needles being driven into your skin, no really, it’s like getting a warm massage.

However.

I will say, my adrenalin kicked in super fast.

In fact.

I noticed it before I was in the chair, I was getting nervous and my body temperature went up, my fingers got cold and I got a little sweaty upper lip.

Fight or flight response.

Jittery stomach.

Despite making sure that I had a good lunch and I had it later in the day so that my stomach would be full while I got tattooed.

I can’t imagine anything worse than being hungry while being tattooed.

No thank you.

Anyway.

Yeah.

The adrenalin got up there right away.

The placement was on my breast-plate.

It’s beautiful.

I love the piece.

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I feel like it really tied all the pieces together and it just feels like I got the right placement and I really love the design.

It was based on a very special Tiffany pendant I was gifted.

One of my favorite things that I have been given this past year.

God.

When I think of the gifts I have been given.

I am amazed.

Even this pain that I have been walking through.

It’s a gift.

I get to feel it.

I get to feel the depth and breadth of my feeling.

I got to see how much I love.

I love a lot.

I love hard.

I love with reckless abandon and passion.

And.

Well, fuck, that makes me proud.

I’m alive and I wasn’t afraid to be sorry, I don’t have regrets.

Not a fucking one.

Rather.

I am grateful for all these experiences.

I have been given so much love.

The fact that I was hit so very hard with my circumstances shows to me the amount of love I have.

It is enormous.

It boggles my mind.

I used to pine for a love like this and then I got it.

And I was amazed.

I am amazed, at what I have gotten to experience.

And though I don’t believe that I am done grieving yet, I don’t feel like it’s a loss any longer.

Ok, that’s not true, it does still feel like a loss, but I know that it’s becoming more than that.

It is an opportunity to love more, to allow myself to step out into the light and shine forward and be strong and generous and kind and compassionate.

With myself.

With others.

I don’t know what my love path looks like, but I do not have any doubt that I won’t get to travel further along it.

Darling, reach out, and take my hand.

I will walk this path with my hand open, waiting for you to take it into yours.

I have faith.

Love.

I have so much faith.

And I know how strong I am.

For having walked as far as I have already.

I will be able to do this.

Grateful and alight for the experience of love that I have gotten.

In complete faith, utter and complete faith, that this love is not done.

It is infinite.

It is grand.

It is eternal.

All encompassing.

A shining beacon.

A brightly lit heart.

Just like the inspiration for my new tattoo.

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Birthday Weekend Wrap Up

January 15, 2018

It was good.

So good.

I mean.

Super sweet and special, and full of so much love.

And dancing.

And hugs.

And love.

I know, I mentioned that already, but it was just a lovely weekend.

I mean.

Not all of it.

Going over the bridge yesterday, the Bay Bridge, the traffic was so bad I had a moment of why the fuck am I going to Oakland to do this party?

But it was worth it.

So worth it.

I had such a lovely time and got to see folks that I haven’t seen in a while and hear great music and dance and giggle and laugh.

I laughed a lot.

I felt very happy, joyous, free.

It was spectacular.

I still feel like that and also a wee tiny bit emotional, not a lot, but a tiny bit, I was surprised just a few moments ago when I was up in the Castro Most Holy Redeemer to find myself having the anticipation and anxiety of getting a little round metal chip with the Roman numerals ten and three ones on it.

Thirteen

Thirteen years.

It still astounds me.

It felt really, really, really special.

I saw folks there that saw me when I first came in, who helped me and talked to me and bought me coffees and bummed me cigarettes and made suggestions about what to do and shared their experience, strength, hope with me, in such strong graceful ways that their message still stays with me.

Show up.

Suit up.

Be of service.

Say yes.

And extraordinary things will happen.

It is astounding how many things have happened for me.

I had an inkling that this past year was going to be a big one, I remember writing about it in a blog that would have been around this time last year, feeling that it would be fortuitous, that big, big, big things were happening.

My God.

Did the big things happen.

They really did.

I am not the same woman who turned twelve, I have grown so much this past year and really walked through some things that I had no idea I was going to get to experience.

I am so loved.

So blessed.

Graced.

And grateful.

I cannot imagine how, but I feel that this year moving forward will be much the same–full of excitement, growth, travel, love, adventure.

School.

Graduating from one program.

Starting another.

Work of course, internship, of course, recovery, the big of course.

Travel.

I will go to Paris to see my best friend there, although I don’t have set dates yet, I’m still waiting for my work to sort itself out as far as their holiday, summer, travel.

I may be going with them for part of it.

And I want to do other little trips too.

Fun things.

Weekends out of the city.

New places to go and experience.

I feel abundant.

Expansive.

I feel that my capacity for love has grown and opened wide my heart so much.

I have all these images of things  and words and endearments in my head, I am suffused with this feeling of love and I am so happy for it.

My love.

So happy.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be beyond anything I have yet to experience.

It’s a wondrous thing to have faith and be taken care of and show up and really live.

I mean.

Passionately live.

I am so alive.

I am so lucky to be alive.

Frankly.

I should be dead.

Or.

Just scraping along the gutter, in the filth and the muck, trying to make beautiful things and failing.

I have made so many beautiful things since I started this journey thirteen years ago.

Poetry.

Photographs.

Friendships.

Love.

I have made huge leaps of faith.

I have made decisions that I didn’t even know I could make.

I have made music, or collaborated in making music.

I have been in a film.

I have made my way into foreign countries, sat in cafes under many different skies, and scribbled away in so many notebooks I lost count long ago.

I have ridden bicycles all over the place.

San Francisco to LA.

Oakland to Berkeley.

The Outer Sunset to the Outer Mission.

Over the Golden Gate bridge numerous times, down into Sausalito and over to Tiburon, and one memorable day, up to the top of Mt. Tam.

And in Paris.

Nothing says amazing adventure like bringing your own bicycle to the city of Lights and taking a ride down the Champs Elysees.

Although.

Truth be told I only did that a few times.

The Champs Elysees is cobblestone and that was not a pleasant ride but fuck, it was fun to do it a couple of times and say that I had.

Or past the Eiffel Tower.

I did that ride a lot on Sundays.

I have ridden my bike at Burning Man too, not the same bike, but one that I loved for many years, ridden off into many a dusty sunset to dance at the edge of the desert and sing with joy at the heavens.

I have gotten up in front of people and performed my poetry.

Spoken word in Paris at Le Chat Noir.

In the downtown office of Form4 Architecture for their principle architect.

On stage at The Elbow Room and in the studio of Sunshine Jones.

I have done plenty of mundane, every day, simple, day-to-day things too.

Often times, more often than not, with gratitude for just getting to stay in San Francisco.

That’s some kind of miracle, that I still get to live here.

The miracles are innumerable, the gifts astounding.

I can only keep it by giving it away.

The paradox that I love.

Here out by the sea, in my little studio, listening to jazz, writing to you and letting you know about my day and how important you are to me.

So important.

I am overblown with gratitude.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Thank you for thirteen years.

It’s been freaking amazing.

Nice Little Day

December 24, 2017

Yoga.

Writing.

Loads of writing, just my morning pages, but the last week was super busy with early starts every day at work–I worked seven hours of overtime last week at my nanny job, so I didn’t get to my morning writing every day (skipped one day completely) or I got just a half page or maybe a page in.

Today I wrote four pages.

It felt so good.

Nice breakfast.

Leisurely latte.

Laundry.

Little bit of grocery shopping.

Group supervision.

Group today was really small, so I got to do a super long check in and do work around three clients, I don’t typically get that much time, my group is usually six of us and sometimes I get maybe fifteen minutes, twenty max, today, loads of time.

It was really good and it was also a sweet group to be in today.

Lots of support around my clients.

And.

Oh.

So nice.

I had a number of clients cancel this week and next.

Normally I wouldn’t be too happy about so many clients cancelling, but since my solo supervisor is on vacation for the next two weeks I was looking at having to get extra coverage.

As it turns out with all my cancellations next week I won’t have to at all.

Thank God.

It’s not a huge deal, but I get a lot more from my solo supervisor than the woman I go to if he’s not available.

Not to say she doesn’t have value, it’s just different and the rapport is not as strong and well, I get more from working with my supervisor.

And frankly, it’s nice to have some time off next week from clients.

I will only have two sessions next week.

One client Tuesday evening and one client on Thursday.

That’s going to be a short week for me.

And then a four-day weekend.

I will enjoy that quite a bit.

After supervision today I went into the fray.

Yes.

I went downtown on the Saturday before Christmas.

It was lit.

But.

I knew where I was going and I had a plan.

I even found parking that wasn’t metered.

I usually try to duck into the lot behind the Mint, it’s infrequently open, but once in a while you can score.

I wasn’t able to, but I went around the block and on a hunch I turned down Jessie Street and there it was, a spot, no meter, and only a block and a half from the Sprint store.

Yup.

I went and got a new SIM card for my new Iphone 8 and it’s working great.

It took a few minutes, but that’s all I had to do was stand around and wait, the tech guy in the shop did it and I didn’t have to pay for anything, which was really nice.

Then.

Heh.

I went even further into the crazy.

But it felt a little exhilarating because I had a single destination point and a gift card to Sephora burning a hole in my pocket.

I left the Sprint Store on Mission, slid through the back door of Bloomingdale’s and strode right through the makeup and perfume counters, zipped through the Westfield Mall and zig zagged through the masses of people on Market Street.

The line for the cable car was crazy.

I went into Sephora and I did a swoop.

I pretty much knew what I wanted and went to the exact make up aisles I wanted to grab products from.

I’m a total lip gloss junkie.

I picked up one of the Sephora brand lip glosses that I use on the regular and three different shades of Anastasia of Beverly Hills–one bubble gum pink with high glitter, called Girly, I know, I know, I was totally channeling my thirteen year old adolescent self (even though I never wore makeup when I was a teenager, making up hard for lost time) and then a pretty Vintage Rose gloss and a subtle glitter called St. Tropez.

Yeah.

I know “subtle” glitter.

But it sort of is.

Heh.

I had enough left over on my gift card that I splurged on a box of pretty highlight illuminating powders.

Super pretty.

I love makeup.

I love dressing up.

I love that I looked super chic and urban in my all black leotard and boho black skirt and leggings, my hair up in a high messy French bun, and my rose velvet pink Tretorns.

I had a total moment of “I have arrived.”

Which is funny.

But.

There it is.

I had that moment.

I felt happy and light and airy walking out of the crowded store.

I did not have any issue with the crowds, I got back to my car, had plenty of time to sneak in a quick pop over to Whole Foods and pick up a couple staples and fill up my gas tank before heading over to the NOPA to get right with God.

That was great.

I made dinner plans with a friend for next Saturday, I got connected, I participated and it felt lovely.

Home and a hot bowl of chicken soup with brown rice, veggies, and Andouille sausage and folding all the laundry I did earlier.

A super sweet, chill, lovely little day.

Tomorrow should be much the same, relaxed, restful, happy.

I’m going to go to yoga again in the morning, have the same leisurely sort of morning I had today, meet with ladybug and roast a chicken.

I’m thinking I’ll go to the Inner Sunset and treat myself to a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing, a hot cafe au lait and maybe a book from Green Apple Books, pop into the spot on 7th and Irving and get right with God and call it a day.

I’m not worried about it being Christmas Eve, it’s just a lovely Sunday that I get to relax.

And Christmas.

Well, that will be chill too.

I’m going to go over to the East Bay in the afternoon and see a girlfriend and go to a movie matinée and get Chinese food.

Super simple.

And that’s it.

No pressure.

No expectations.

I’ve been given so much this holiday season.

I have nothing to ask for.

It’s been intense.

But it’s been a really lovely Christmas.

Anything else is just more sprinkles.

(or glitter)

On top of the frosting.

Of some very lovely cake.

 

Not What I Wanted

December 23, 2017

And beyond generous.

I was disappointed, let me get it out-of-the-way, the sounding like an asshole, today when I got my Christmas present from my employers.

Gah.

I sound like such an ass.

I’m not disappointed any more, fyi, I got over it pretty fast, but for about an hour I was miffed and a little let down.

I had hoped for a bonus.

Ah.

Who the hell am I kidding?

I had expected a bonus.

I had expected a weeks pay.

That’s typically what I have gotten from my employers whom I have nannied for, with the exception of one set of families that gave me a half weeks salary.

I was rather counting on getting the money to make my first car payment on my car.

Not that I don’t have it to pay, my dear and sweet and generous friend who went with me to help me get the car told me don’t put too much down, rather, keep it in prudent reserve, a years worth of payments, just in case something happens.

That way I’m not screwed if something comes up and it felt really good to do that.

I still was hoping to get a nice bonus and throw a big payment on my first month of the car payment.

Not happening.

Of course, I’ll still make the payment, and it will be larger than what I need to, I have it, and I want to pay off a little extra every month.

I felt a bit chagrined to have gotten my hopes up so high.

I do know better, expectation leads to resentment and all that.

But I had gone ahead and had some expectation.

I think I surprised myself.

I think I thought I was maybe, just maybe going to get more than a week’s salary.

The huge gift of an Iphone 8 for my birthday.

Then, there’s that, the HUGE gift of the Iphone 8.

Which retails at $799.

And the family also did give me two other gifts tonight as I was wrapping up the week with them before the holiday–a set of AirPods, which retail at $159 and six paid sessions at my chiropractor, at $85 a pop that’s $510.

In toto this week the family has given me $1,468 worth of stuff.

I need to shut the fuck about not getting what I want.

Yes.

It’s true, I would not have spent the money on a new Iphone or the Airpods, not at all, last thing really I would have bought, nor would I have spent the money on the chiropractor, although, yes, eventually I would.

But I wonder, have been wondering for a few moments now, what if these are exactly the things that I need in my life.

My current phone is old and probably won’t last much longer.

I have been pondering buying a new one soon anyhow.

The Airpods will help with me taking client calls, I did a phone session tonight and I thought about half way through of the pods and, huh, they are going to come in handy.

Plus.

Going to the chiropractor is expensive and I know myself well enough that maybe I wouldn’t keep paying $85 a week to go to it.

Shit.

I pay $120 a week for therapy.

So maybe the gift certificate was exactly how I should be spending the money.

Really.

I got more than I was expecting.

It was just in a different form.

I also got to have some amazingly sweet time with the oldest boy today.

We had a solo day out.

We took the train downtown, went and visited the Christmas tree in Union Square, watched the ice skaters slipping all over the place on the temporary holiday ice rink that always goes up, went and looked at the Christmas windows in Macy’s and watched the kittens and puppies play, then off to the Metreon to watch Ferdinand the Bull, the new cartoon movie, quite sweet.

Afterward we went back to Macy’s as there was a food truck party happening and he and I got rotisserie chicken and brussels sprouts and sat on the astro turf and had a picnic lunch.

Then.

Yes, I can’t believe I let him talk me into it, we went into the Disney store, then to the Westfield Mall.

It was intense and probably not an experience I would enjoy on my own, but getting to see it through his eyes was super sweet and special.

I helped him pick out a Christmas present for his sister and I picked out a present for his sister to give to him.

So adorable.

He ate all sorts of the good junk food its super fun to have when you’re seven going on eight, popcorn and a slushy at the movie theater and Twizzlers, the chicken for lunch, eaten with his fingers, and, yes, unbelievable that he even had room for it, a pretzel hotdog from Annie’s Pretzels in the mall.

“What is that good smell!?” He asked as we came back from getting his toy.

Annie’s Pretzels.

He basically passed out in my lap on the MUNI train ride home.

Such a sugar pie.

When we got back to the house and settled in and all the parents and siblings were present I gave them the presents I had gotten them: the Dogman comic book for the oldest boy and another comic from the same author (he LOVED them); a rainbow unicorn pencil bag and unicorn dress pin for the little lady, and for the baby, one of my all time favorite children’s books, “I Am A Bunny.”

Too adorable.

It was good times.

And it was so nice to get all the appreciations from the family.

Even with not getting what I wanted.

I got so, so, so much.

The mom and dad and I also renewed my contract and did an evaluation.

The dad basically told me how they do it where he works and that they judge on three categories and each category is measured by: needs improvement, met expectations, exceeds expectations.

The dad said the I had exceed far away all of their expectations and as such they wanted to give me a bigger raise than the cost of living wage I was expecting.

See?

Hahahaha.

Expectations, bite me right in the ass, but this time in a really good way.

The cost of living raise is 3%.

The family gave me a 5% raise.

AND.

The father explained that I will receive as well, a 5% raise every year that I am with them.

It will be a 5% increase on each years salary, so each year the raise will be bigger.

I am down with that.

So fuck my expectations.

And Merry Christmas to me.

I’ve been given so very much this week.

I am so grateful for my life.

And all the love I get to have.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

 

You Are Built For This Work

December 19, 2017

He told me.

I was so amazed to hear him say that.

Also, “you are deeply intuitive.”

And.

And.

And.

Wait for it.

“You are going to be a kick-ass therapist.”

Followed quickly by, “actually, you are a kick ass therapist.”

And then a smile.

And his brown eyes got warm and melty and in that moment, holy shit, I saw it, my supervisor likes me!

I was blown away.

I mean, I still am now, it seems surreal.

The man is intimidating.

Which he acknowledged today is not an unheard of thing between a trainee and a supervisor, he said, “I’m a white, older man, in a position of authority.”

Um.

Yup.

But.

He is also fucking brilliant.

I am often astonished by his intelligence and I am grateful that I can swim in the waters of his sagacity.

It’s intense.

He told me today that I am far beyond what a second semester trainee needs to be doing.

That I know what counter transference is, transference, that I know how to make an intervention, that I am warm and comfortable in my sessions with clients, that I have clients that want to stay and work with me, that I have built a roster of clients, that I am deeply intuitive.

He told me that he has other trainees that it takes fifteen minutes to pull the counter transference out of them.

“What’s your counter transference?”

“I don’t know.”

I don’t have that problem.

I may have others, but that is not one of them.

I see it, I have it, I am beginning to know how to use it and it’s a powerful tool.

Aside from being just flattered as fuck, it was such a nice way to begin my birthday.

Especially since I was dreading the review a little bit.

The last review was not so hot, not bad, and he really made a point of telling me more than once that I was doing all the right work and I was on the right track, that I was learning and implementing what needed to be learned and implemented.

But it was not effusive.

Not like today.

I was really just bowled over.

It was to not be my last bowled over of the day.

I have had just the loveliest birthday.

Sure.

I had to work.

But.

I opened birthday cards, from my mom, from my grandmother, from my best friend, from my family I nanny from.

I got myself my favorite chocolate drink from Rainbow.

I had a very sweet morning with the mom at work and collaborated on the work that needs to happen this week for them, school lets out tomorrow at noon for the holidays.

I had a great time with my school pick up and my oldest charge and I had a super sweet coffee and bagel date at Maxfields, I had the coffee, he had the bagel.

Then.

Holy shit.

My family gave me a new Iphone for my birthday!

I just about fell off the couch.

And flowers and the fore mentioned birthday card.

I mean.

Wow.

I got a new Iphone 8.

I am still a little in shock.

And so grateful.

Unbelievably grateful.

It is so lovely to be appreciated.

They are grateful for me and I am for them and it just was such a resoundingly nice thing for them to do.

I still have to set it up.

The internet, shocker, in my studio sucks, and I couldn’t get my phones to sync up.

I’ll bring it in to work tomorrow and do it there.

I promised my oldest charge he could help me take photos with it.

We chatted a lot today at the cafe about what we want to do over the holiday vacation.

Ferry ride to Sausalito.

Children’s Creativity Museum.

Exploratorium.

Drawing comic books.

Reading about space.

House of Air.

Movie date to the Metreon and Super Duper Burger.

So much fun.

And I got out a little early.

Not a ton early, the kids were so excited to give me my present and the entire family sang me happy birthday, it was just so, so, so sweet.

Then home and putting away goodies and groceries from my earlier trip to Rainbow in between supervision and work.

And then dinner at the new’ish restaurant around the corner from my house, Hook Fish Co.

It was delightful.

My best friend took me out.

Oh.

And gave me the most beautiful pair of earrings.

So special.

So sweet, my god, I just feel like I got all sorts of unexpected love today.

I just had the nicest time.

That my friend took time out of a way super busy schedule to take me out to dinner, that my relatives sent me cards and sweet little gifts, that my family gave me an Iphone.

An IPHONE.

Then I got the prettiest pair of earrings EVER.

I love them so.

How lucky am I?

The luckiest girl in the world.

And.

Heh.

A kick ass therapist.

Just ask my supervisor.

Seriously.

 

So, So, So

September 28, 2017

Tired.

Like wiped out.

Of course I got up today at 4:30 a.m. so that might be a part of it.

But.

I also realized that I haven’t had a day off in, what, ten days?

I always forget that about mid-week after a weekend of classes.

Oh yeah, I didn’t have any days off because I was in school over the weekend.

Which means I worked my full-time job, went to therapy, went to group supervision, went to solo supervision, and saw 8 clients last week, then I had a full weekend of classes.

And come Monday I went right back to work, solo supervision, therapy, clients, etc.

I have two more days of work, two more days of clients, group supervision on Saturday and a CBT webinar I have to do on Sunday.

Sunday is shaping up to not be much of a day off, but I will have some down time.

Which will likely be filled with school work, but I will also try to slide in a yoga class or two during the weekend and god, I so need a mani/pedi and face waxing.

Yeah.

I said face.

I’m this close to getting electrolysis.

It’s a luxury expense, but then I think about the money I spend to have it done and I could have probably already have paid for it ten times over.

Some things feel like luxury.

Some things I don’t think about dropping money on.

I see a gift for someone that I know they will like.

And money is not a problem.

I have it.

Yesterday, for instance, I totally was only getting my charge some stickers.

I mean, rainbow stickers, maybe a couple of horses and some hearts, but nothing over a couple of dollars.

I also had an ulterior motive, I wanted to pick up a card for my best friend whom I miss awful bad and so being close to Serendipity in the Mission I decided, heck, kill two birds with one stone.

Get my charge some stickers and pick up a card.

Except.

Ha.

She saw a stuffed unicorn with rainbow mane and tail and it was over.

I mean.

It was magnetic, the girl just went straight to a basket of unicorn stuffies and grabbed hers right out.

“_______________ I want this one!”

And then she did it.

She turned the eyes on me.

I have never had her do that to me before.

My god.

The child has some power.

I took the unicorn and looked at the price tag.

I could afford it, in fact I had taken some money out earlier in the day when I was shopping up at Whole Foods in Noe Valley, and I had almost exactly what the unicorn cost.

I got it for her.

The happiness in her face.

I will never forget that look.

I also had to take a picture, those big, sweet, melty eyes and how she held that unicorn, oh my gosh.

And then today.

I was in early, early to help out the parents who need me to do a drop off to the school and she brought the unicorn in to be her quiet time nap cuddle toy.

I was beyond thrilled.

It felt very special that she had to have it with her and I’m so grateful I got her something that she loves so much.

The mom was telling me how much it means to them that their kids get a long with me so well, that they had actually been looking for a nanny for over a year when they found me and they are very happy with me.

We’ve booked ourselves out all the way through the school year.

Which means basically that I have a job for as long as I need.

My contract will end on January 1st of this year.

I have no doubts at all that we will be renewing and at that time I will ask for a cost of living raise.

San Francisco has not gotten any cheaper to live in and I am so getting a car.

That came up yesterday in my therapy session, what it means to have a car, the last time I had a car, to rent it or own it, my finances, how I can navigate getting one.

My therapist said, “having a car in this profession is a deep kind of self-care.”

And the moment she said it I knew how true that was, to be able to come and go on my schedule, to not be seeing clients wet from having ridden my scooter from my day job to my internship in the rain, to not be riding in risky weather.

Getting a car is a deep movement into self-care for me.

I’m ready to do it.

I have to figure out time, of course, it feels like it just slips through my fingers, but I think that the week and a half that my family is away for Thanksgiving will be a good time to do it.

Mid-November.

I may have to deal with some rain before that time and I can take cars.

If time opens up for me before that I will do so, if not, I’ll mark November 16th as the day I want to have my new car by.

That’s a the Thursday before Thanksgiving and my family will be flying out the evening before on their vacation.

I’ll have a day off during the middle of the week when it’s not too busy, not a Saturday at 2p.m. when everyone in the world is out looking at cars.

That’s the current thought around that.

And it’s exciting.

I got a portion of my financial aid released to me, a few more dollars into my savings account and I’m in need of some clothing staples, and maybe one nice new dress, and the rest will be earmarked toward the car.

I’m really going to do this.

And I’ll make sure I’m well rested for it, not going to the dealership tired.

Oof.

Anyway.

I’m starting to ramble and I just want a hot tea, a pear, and a snippet of a video.

Then off to bed.

My bed looks so good right now.

I cannot wait to crawl under the covers.

Seriously.

It’s going to be good.

So.

So.

So.

Good.

All Systems Go

August 22, 2017

Fuck.

It was a busy, full, going on all four cylinders from the moment I got up, day, from early morning until.

Well.

Until.

Right about now.

I just got off an email back and forth with director of my internship, did a bunch of e-mails with some clients, booked some sessions, logged my hours for today in Track My Hours, and whew.

It’s like um, 10p.m.

I got up at 6:30 a.m.

That’s a full day.

I got some writing in today though, I hadn’t gotten as much morning page writing in the last week or so and it was really good to just let go on the page and scrawl away.

I also showered yesterday so I skipped it this morning, giving me a little more time to process all the junk in my head.

I don’t even know what I wrote, only that it felt good to write.

And.

I did a written gratitude list and sent another out to a friend via text.

I’m on a list he sends it to and I like getting it.

Not just because it reminds me to be grateful, it definitely does that, but to see what other people are grateful for.

I am grateful for everything.

My life is beyond my wildest dreams.

Sometimes it is strange and I wonder, how did I get here, but I know there are no mistakes in God’s world and I am being taken care of and having all the experiences I am supposed to be having.

Like being of service to the woman I am traveling with to Burning Man.

I am still having some trepidations about going with someone who is 74 years old, but I also am happy that I get to be of service to her.

It’s a nice to be of service to others, it gets me out of my head, and if you’ve never been to Burning Man it is super hard to imagine and of course, if you’re 74 there’s a different approach you’re going to make than if you are 24 or my age, 44.

How did I get to be 44?

Fuck.

Time flies.

I suppose I will look back in 30 years and wonder how it is that I got to be 74.

I’m going to be old.

I know it.

I also hope to be of service all the way to the end of my life.

I believe that’s the only way that I am going to be happy, by having a useful life, by helping others, it gives me happiness, it gets me out of my own head and I got to do a lot of it today.

I had a few phone check ins, one lady who I just recently met, and got to share some experience, strength and hope with her and although we are vastly different, we are the same person and it was good to hear how relieved she was to know that she’s not alone in her journey.

I got to talk with one of the other women I work with in recovery and I also got to see clients tonight.

And.

I worked with my supervisor.

I also got to go over my review with him, which was really enlightening and I got a better idea of how he thinks of me and what I am doing and that he also, although he didn’t exactly say it, likes me.

We had a great session and I learned a ton from him today.

I often feel as though I am taking a solo masters class in psychoanalytic theory when I am working with him.

I write a ton of notes and I can hear him in my head sometimes when I am with a client.

It’s exciting to work with him, he pushes me, he’s extraordinarily smart and intelligent, and I feel smart when I am working with him.

I like feeling smart.

I have always understood that I was intelligent, but the smart part of that eludes me, I have been mystified most of my life as to what people meant when they say, “you are so smart.”

I haven’t always felt that way.

Smart.

In fact.

I have often felt rather stupid, stupid in love, stupid in my life choices, idiotic some of the decisions I have made, or so I tell myself, but oh, the learning, the learning is so much.

I have such a wealth of experiences.

Mostly because I try to say yes to doing things.

Sometimes to my detriment, I’ll get too busy, I will get to wrapped up with my schedule and I won’t have the time to appreciate what is happening.

I try to find balance.

I don’t often succeed, but I try.

And I’m ok with failing.

Ah.

Who the fuck am I kidding.

I am never ok with failing, but I recognize that I am going to fail and that I will try again and again until it works its way out, whatever it is.

I guess what I am saying is that I live.

I am not sitting on the bleachers, I am in the game.

I am hustling.

Sometimes perhaps a little too much, but I know that it’s what it is right now.

And that all the things I did, mistakes, which were not mistakes, life experiences, travels, moving to Paris, moving back from Paris, trying things out, has led me here.

Right where I am supposed to be.

With the people in my life with whom I am supposed to be with.

Such gifts.

Such grace.

I didn’t expect it to look like this.

But.

I have to say.

It is a beautiful thing.

My life.

So beautiful.

My heart aches with it.

Grateful beyond words.

And now.

One more gratitude list before I retire.

Because.

Truly.

There is that much to be grateful for.

Every day.

Grateful.

Every damn day.

Baby, Oh Baby

July 25, 2017

I got some good snuggles today from my friends twins.

Oof.

The gorgeousness of them is devastating.

The heft and weight of a baby sleeping upon my shoulder has to be one of the most beautiful feelings I have gotten to experience.

I’ve held a few of them.

The smell of baby, too, such amazingness.

Makes me feel very human.

I joked with my friend that it was a good thing I was on my period or I would spontaneously conceive holding the babies.

I’m 44 years old though.

I am pretty much at the point where if it was going to happen it would have by now.

I wonder if I had things different, if I had gotten better faster, had a better childhood, yada, yada, yada, if I would have had children.

I certainly could have gotten pregnant in the past.

I was not always the most on top of it lady in regards to my sexual interactions.

I.E.

I was not using protection.

I guess I just got lucky.

Or unlucky.

Depends on your perspective.

“You are going to make such a great mom,” is something that I have heard more times than I can count.

It is always such a compliment.

“I see you with children, I can imagine you with twins,” said a woman I used to work with years ago.

I was a twin.

Maybe there’s something there, but twins tend to skip a generation in my family, it’s doubtful I would have twins from that perspective.

I have done a lot of nanny shares, so juggling two babies is not outside my realm of experience.

Being with my friend and her twins reminded me of that, doing the nanny shares I have gotten to do.

Huge gifts those experiences.

I have been a nanny for over ten years now.

I have had so many children, from that perspective.

I have raised many children.

Sure.

None of them have been mine.

But.

Oh.

They have all been mine.

I have gotten to experience a depth of love that is vast and profound and I am always, ALWAYS, surprised that I have this deep capacity, this well, of love that seems to be infinite.

I have thought.

“I can never love another child as much as I love this child, this baby, this little one, right now in my arms, fallen asleep on me,” all the heavy, sweet, luscious love that has been in my arms, there is no way I could have more of that.

But.

Every child.

EVERY child I have picked up I have felt that love, vast and universal and profound.

It astounds me.

The profundity of it.

The gift of it.

I think.

See.

You have gotten to have all the experiences of unconditional love that you didn’t get when you were little, you got to see all these children being loved and taken care of, you have witnessed so many first smiles and laughs and the sweet dreams and yes, all the other milestones that are not as much fun but help shape the vast enormous and extraordinary experience of watching a child grow.

I have borne witness to miracles.

Again and again.

Each child a mystery and opportunity to again learn the face of God, the rosebud mouth that purses for milk from the bottle, the drowsy scent that arises from the warm body, like some sort of baking bread smell that intoxicates me and lures me back for another long inhale of sweet baking baby.

I must have smelled the twins every other minute.

Fresh baby.

So delicious.

I don’t know if I am sad that I haven’t had my own children, for I have had a wealth of children.

I do know and I can acknowledge that for many, many years I would not even entertain the idea of having children.

I knew my sister wanted babies.

And she had two.

But I always thought, nope, no children for me.

And.

I have not had a one.

Nor a pregnancy.

Not once.

Not even really a scare.

Knock on wood.

But yeah, since I’m currently on my cycle, I don’t think there’s anything happening there.

Ha.

I know so many women who have agenda, must get partner, must get pregnant, must, must, must.

I have heard it from contemporaries, community, women in my fellowship, desperate and straining against their own body clocks.

I feel it.

I have felt the clock tick tocking in the corner of my uterus, and there were times when my hormones had me clocking any man who gave me a spare glance, but nothing ever took.

I used to think, after I got sober, you know, give it a year and I’ll be in a relationship and then you know, a great job, and you know, a book contract, and a movie adaptation and then a house, and you know, a couple of kids.

That was a drawing I did in therapy.

I might have had about two years of sobriety at the time.

Shit.

I forgot about that picture.

It was an assignment my therapist asked me to do.

Draw my home, draw my goals.

I feel I might have that drawing stashed somewhere in my piles and stacks of notebooks, but I can describe it pretty well.

I am standing, pregnant, with a girl, I think I somehow indicate that it was a girl in my belly, with a little boy holding my hand, blue eyes, dark hair, and there was a man next to me holding my hand and we were all smiling, the house was three stories, I mean I went for it, and had a back yard and garden and a brick patio, it had a swing set and slide and a tire swing, I mean, come one, everyone needs a tire swing, it might have had an apple tree.

The inside of the house that I can remember having colored in was a library, with a fireplace and a big deep leather couch and a cat curled up on the hearth in front of the fireplace and bookshelves so full of books.

I had a study on the third floor, my own office.

I also drew things in the a small circle around a globe.

I wanted to be a world traveler.

I drew an airplane circling the globe and a tiny Eiffel tower and I think islands somewhere.

So.

Yeah.

At two years of sobriety I figured, won’t be too long now, I’ll have a husband and a little boy and a little girl, a house and office and books and I’ll be a writer and we’ll all travel together and it will be perfect.

I was 34.

Now.

I am 44.

None of those things happened.

Well.

That’s not true.

The travel did.

I have gotten to do a lot of traveling since I drew that picture.

The house I modeled it on was an Italianate red brick Victorian in the Mission that has a back carriage house and I could envision there being a garden back there and a swing set.

The man.

Well, he was a mystery.

Life hasn’t given me what I expected.

Fact is.

I have been given more than I could have dreamed of.

I have been given an astounding amount of love and so many opportunities to grow and so many times have I gotten to experience the unconditional love of a child that I don’t feel that I have lost out on some important life experience.

If anything I have heard from many people that they envy the life I have created for myself.

It hasn’t always looked pretty and I’ve fallen down and had to start over and I am now in the process of becoming something entirely different from what I set out to be.

But ultimately.

What I really wanted.

The thing that I wanted the most, the most, the MOST.

Was love.

And I have been showered with love.

Washed in love.

I have been given so much love I can’t breathe sometimes when I see it.

My heart is so full and I get to love right back.

The extraordinary experience of letting myself be loved.

Love in all its forms and sweetness.

And there is no end to it.

There really isn’t.

And I feel that is the key.

That I am not searching for something I think I am missing.

I know what I have.

And it is invaluable.

There is no price tag on it.

And it worth everything.

This love.

Well.

Not only is it worth everything.

It is everything.

And so.

I wish you the same.

That you be so graced and so touched with love.

You must know.

Deep in your heart.

How much you are loved.

So much.

I haven’t the alphabet for the words to spell it out.

But you.

Love.

Well.

You are poetry.

 

Sleeping In!

June 28, 2017

An extra fifteen minutes.

Woot.

It’s a party.

Heh.

My boss will be dropping off one of my charges at a summer camp and not back to the house until fifteen minutes after I would normally be starting, so she said, come in fifteen minutes late.

I’ll take it.

I will take any little squeak of time I can get.

I talked about time a lot with my therapist.

How it is a commodity.

How I have often felt that I don’t have enough of it.

(Love)

(Time)

(Money)

All the scarcity that I have dealt with in my life, how embracing abundance can be challenging and sometimes when I have it I want to spend it all, frivolous and mad, just to have it gone again so I can go back to a place of comfortable discomfort.

That didn’t come up so much, but I can see that pattern there in the background looming and lurking there.

I see you, I say to it, it’s ok, it’s going to be alright, you can buy those shoes.

You can book that trip.

You can have a nice cup of coffee.

You can do for you.

Heck.

You can do for others.

The gift of being able to give my friend baby gifts and food, that felt so wonderful, I love gifting things.

The gift of giving my writing, that can be so astounding for me to share.

So vulnerable.

What I was talking to my therapist about was this thing that happens with me in my group supervision and has happened for me on occasion, ok, more than on occasion, in school, is a distaste for people who waste time, who dilly dally, who are not clear, who can’t make discerning conclusions, who have to be led, who haven’t done the work, who are sloppy.

Messy.

Not put together, and not in the way that sounds, I mean, not concise with their language, thoughts, ideas.

Don’t waste my fucking time.

I don’t have enough of it and you’re not getting to the fucking point fast enough.

GET TO THE MOTHERFUCKING POINT.

BITCHES.

I mean.

Please.

My therapist points out, “sounds like judgement.”

Ugh.

Yes.

I know it’s judgement.

But what she then did was spin it so eloquently, so aptly, so delicate and with such a tactful manner that I got it, I got to work right through it and see that when I am in judgement I am defending some part of myself that I am not happy about.

I don’t want to be messy.

I don’t want to be disorganized.

I don’t want to be scattered.

And I never really am.

I am so super on top of shit it’s a little intense.

I do my work.

I do my work.

I do my work.

And then some.

And it can be a control thing, duh.

So much control, so much safety, comfort in the bound parts of me, comfort in the restricting.

I’ve never been messy about my trauma.

Or traumas.

Or the traumatic things in my life.

There’s a list, look them up elsewhere in my blog, this is not about the list, this is about the fact that it was never ok to be messy and upset about it.

Soldier the fuck on.

Chin up kid.

Clear your fucking plate.

Eat your food.

Don’t cry.

And God forbid don’t act like anything is anything but normal.

Normal.

What the fuck is that?

So.

I squashed it down.

I squashed all the messy and teary and hurt and angry and vengeful parts of me down.

I stuffed it down.

I ate too much food.

I escaped into fantasy.

I escaped into taking care of others.

So much easier to focus on another person’s problems rather than my own.

I smoked it down.

I snorted it down.

I drank it down.

And as I was expressing to my therapist, I realize I really just don’t let myself get messy, vulnerable, or dirty.

Except.

Well.

I do.

In one area.

And we talked about that and I cried a bit and I laughed a lot and I outlined the messy and then I outlined the happy and the love and the feelings and the experiences and it was really good to share.

And she reflected back to me and showed me how brave it was to not eat, drink, smoke, or do lines of cocaine to deal with all that hurt and that I have been doing the work and it really does show and that it’s obvious that things are changing in my life because I am being more vulnerable, less guarded, I’m letting things in.

I’m in my voice.

I haven’t lost it.

I am asking for what I want and saying what is in my heart and it’s glorious.

I am seen.

And it feels just fucking smashing.

So.

Um.

Yeah.

I had a good session today.

And then off to work, busy day, full day, lots of juggling baby and siblings and cooking and laundry and lots of sweet snuggles with the oldest boy who read a book with me about stars.

“Are we really made from stars?” He asked me.

“Yes,” I told him, and kissed the top of his head, “you are a multitude of stars, you shine.”

I am always beholden to those that shine.

I feel like I am shining now.

Bright and strong and fierce.

It’s a wonderful place to be.

In my strength.

And.

In my vulnerability.

From where all my strength stems.

When I let it.

When I am not judging.

When I am ok with being.

Well.

Um.

Messy.

 


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