Posts Tagged ‘graced’

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.

News!

June 6, 2017

Aside from the fact that I am super tired.

And.

Hello.

It’s Monday.

Bwahahahahaha.

Ugh.

It is what it is and I know once I’m in the groove of the week I will be just fine.

I usually am.

I just need to hit my stride and there was some extra work that I hustled into my schedule today aside from my work and going to meet with my supervisor, I also went to school to take care of some more paperwork.

My God.

The amount of stuff I have to get signed.

I know it’s a necessary evil, but man, there’s a lot of stuff to keep track of.

I had a moment when I was going to leave something in my scooter basket, just a cloth sack with a file folder in it.

Then.

I had this vision of someone breaking into my scooter basket and taking that file.

I was like.

Oh, no you don’t, motherfucker.

Not leaving any paperwork to be stolen.

Not that I think that anyone wants my BBS forms (Behavioral Board of Sciences) but they might break into the basket to see if there’s anything of value and rifle through shit and drop that in the piss and used rigs on Minna Street.

And just.

NO.

I spent too much time and effort getting just a couple of those forms filled out–one of them has four different signatures and also three different initialed spots, spots that are not my own signature.

I did not want to risk it at all.

Anyway.

I took it with, popped into the practicum office at school, had a really nice chat with the woman there and got some more paperwork and went to another floor of the school and got some more paperwork there, all the papers, and then scootered off to work with a big smile on my face.

I got some good news today.

I don’t have to stop writing my blog!

OH MY FUCKING GOD AM I HAPPY OR WHAT?!

I brought it up again with my supervisor and what the group of interns at my internship had suggested and while I was talking he gets on his phone and says after a minute, “don’t bother, you’re not coming up on any searches, you’re buried.”

And then.

“Take that with a grain of salt,” he continued, “you get a stalker client, and I’ve had my share, you’ll get someone who will find your stuff, but you are anonymous enough, I think you’re going to be fine as long as you don’t post your blog any longer to social media.”

So.

Hurray!

I am so very pleased.

But.

Yes.

I am going to be going off social media with my blog pretty damn quick.

My end date on it is this Wednesday.

I am not longer posting on Twitter.

In fact, I tried to deactivate it today, but it had me a bit flummoxed, man when you’re on the site they want to keep you there.

I did log out of it and I took it off my phone and I won’t be linking my blog to it any longer.

That is a start.

My supervisor also prescribed all the privacy actions that I have already taken with my Facecrack account and then told me to make sure that my LinkedIn account is not public.

Fact is.

I have no clue.

I set up a LinkedIn account over six years ago, maybe longer?

I have never used it.

I have no idea what it may say about me, but I need to clean it out and make sure it’s private and obviously update it.

A bit has changed in the last six, seven years, to say the least.

But.

I can do that.

I can keep writing this blog.

Oh.

I know.

A client might find it and my supervisor and I talked about that too and how that can be handled and how that can be brought into the therapy and I felt really good discussing it all with him.

He is a fantastic supervisor.

He scares me a little, he’s just that smart, but he’s good and I’m learning so much from him, I am beyond grateful we are working together.

So I was pretty happy to walk out of his office knowing that Auntie Bubba will ride again, not that she’d been stabled, but that I did think I was going to have to put her out to pasture.

I have gotten some amazing responses over the last couple of days from folks who want to continue getting the blog or some semblance there of and I am happy to report you, my dear reader, that you can still read the blog right here on WordPress.

I would suggest you either subscribe to my blog and get it e-mailed to you or you can, by signing into WordPress set up an account and become a follower.  I have about 11 people who get it e-mailed to them and 284 followers.

You’re welcome to become 285, or 286, or whatever the number may be.

I don’t have many followers, but I feel like I have rapport with many of them.

I feel honored that some folks have been reading from the very beginning and that many, most of the reader who follow me don’t even know who I am.

Which, hey, is how it’s supposed to be, right?

Especially now as I begin my therapeutic endeavors.

“You have your first client this week?!” A friend asked me tonight, “they are a super lucky person, they really are.”

I could tell my friend was sincere and in his warm face I felt all the love and strength and trust and faith in myself that I could ever hope to feel.

I am so lucky.

Blessed.

Graced.

You pick.

To get to do this kind of work.

And.

Really.

When I look back over my life, I have been in so many situations where I was privileged to hold a confidence, to listen to someone walking through pain, to be a shoulder, literally and figuratively, I have been prepping most of my life, it would seem.

Grateful for every damn thing that has brought me here.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I absolutely believe that.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Don’t Stop Writing

June 4, 2017

I was told recently.

“I like reading what you write.”

God.

I love that.

Validation.

Although it’s not why I write and I am struggling with that.

Let go, I whisper to myself.

But.

It’s hard to let go of something that I have been in relationship with for seven years.

I have to shut down my blog.

I haven’t written the last few days and I can feel it in my bones.

Actually, that’s not true.

I have been writing, a lot.

Just not my blog.

I have been busy.

And the not writing I can take with a great big grain of salt because I was busy doing wonderful things and having life altering experiences.

Life is happening.

My God, is it ever.

I started my internship.

I take my first client next week.

I have read my client file, contacted said client and set up our first session.

I am navigating all the paper work and all the insurance stuff, more stuff, all the stuff, the policy papers and the keys, oh my God, the keys, I have a lot of keys right now.

Which is fine.

I jangle when I walk, but whatever.

Today I had my first group supervision training.

It was great, I learned a lot, it’s rather like being in a small classroom and getting to ask the teacher all the things, and I took some notes and got the questions I needed answered.

Most of my questions had to do with administrative stuff as I haven’t met with a client yet.

All the others in the group have been seeing clients and thus they brought up what they needed to have addressed.

It was great learning for me to just sit and listen and I did have some input and that was nice, I was able to see a few things and offer some different perspective and I was thanked for my experience and my insight.

Which I appreciated as well.

I also asked about my blog.

This blog.

My baby.

My love child.

My little place in the universe to pour out my heart and talk about all the stuff on my heart and in my mind, or to get out all the stuff in my mind so that I can listen to my heart better.

I have known, probably since I started school, that one day the blog was going to end.

But.

The writing doesn’t have to end.

And that was what my supervision group gave me today.

I got very affirmative feedback from everyone to take down the blog off social media and make it completely anonymous.

I have already pulled it from my Instagram account and I privatized that account so random folks can’t join it, I have to approve the follow request.

I have also dropped a few folks off the friends list on Facecrack.

I could probably winnow that out a little more as well.

It was recommended that I change my name on Facecrack.

I’m not sure to what, but I know a few people in my cohort have already started doing that.

It’s a damn good idea.

The next suggestion was to not link my blog to Facecrack.

It would eliminate a lot of my readers.

I mean.

A lot.

But.

It would provide me with more anonymity and it would also give my client room to see me as a therapist, not as some poet girl, Burning Man aficionado, single lady in the Outer Sunset riding around the city on a scooter.

Then.

Sigh.

Ugh.

It was suggested and I knew the moment I heard it that it was the next action to take.

That I stop writing this blog.

Double ugh.

I knew it in my gut, but I teared up.

I am tearing up now.

Fuck.

I know that because I have such big feelings that I am going to be a great therapist because I can empathize, but shit, sometimes it’s just a bitch being sensitive.

Granted, I wouldn’t wear it any other way, that is, my heart on my sleeve.

 

Gerber daisies in a Mason jar.

Dark pink stars on slippery green stalks opening toward the light.

Petals kissing.

And blushing soft.

Mouths like hungry little beasts blossoming into the warm air.

My heart.

Threaded with light.

Opening and beating against the back of my ribcage.

Tender under the bruised spaces on my breastplate.

This then.

Each moment timeless and gone only to be longed for again.

And again.

And again.

 

I digress.

But you get the point?

I like to express.

I like poetry.

I lie.

I love poetry.

I am a whore for it, like cello music and Clair de Lune and Brahms and Mozart and Chopin, I prostrate myself to it and hope, really I do hope, to gracefully surrender to whatever beauty is taking me at that moment with a kind of asunder that only perhaps is heard inside my soul.

But hear it I do.

And to renounce this forum feels terrifying and sad.

So sad, the richness of sweet lipped tears on the tops of my cheeks and the sudden catch of my breath in my throat.

Oh.

All the feelings I don’t want to feel.

But.

OH.

All the feelings I get to feel, I am so grateful and graced and loved.

Beloved.

I am.

And I am aware of my great fortune.

But.

This then, begins the end of my blog.

I have to let you know I won’t stop writing.

Nope.

I just won’t be writing here any longer.

I will have an end date on Auntie Bubba.

She has been such a good girl to me and shown me my strengths, and oh yes, my defects, those in spades, all things intimate and good and intense and wounded and sad and well, just all the things.

Yes.

All the lovely things.

This bearing witness to my own journey.

I am forever grateful for it.

So.

As this chapter closes.

As the Book of Bubba comes to an end.

I will admit.

That I am not finished.

That I am not written out.

That there are more words and worlds of words and galaxies and yes, a universe to still discover and write about.

There is a theory about the Big Bang and how the universe was created and when the universe will end and that it all came from one spot and explodes out and then shrinks back in on itself.

This is called the Big Bounce.

This is all very general and not very theoretically informed, mind you.

However.

It speaks to me and what I endeavor now to share with you.

I will be starting a new blog.

I am not done.

This blog is, however, just about done.

I will only publish a few more blogs here.

I am not quite ready to say good-bye yet.

But it is only days away.

I will start a new blog and I will continue my writing, my growth, my learning, my pushing my edges and finding out more and more who I am through this medium that speaks so much to me.

Writing.

I will not be connecting it to my Twitter account, in fact I am damn close to doing a deactivation on my Twitter account, I don’t feel like I use it all the often any way.

I will not be posting my blog on Facecrack.

I will not be making it known who I am.

I will be writing anonymously.

I haven’t a name yet.

Just a taste on my lips, like the last kiss at the end of the night, the push of tongue into my mouth and the startled stillness in my heart that precursor to the shaking tremble that befalls me and  tells me, yes, here, go here.

I will consider sharing with some of my readers my new blog.

But you will have to message me privately.

Which you may do by posting a comment.

I approve all comments before they are linked to my blog.

I will message you my new blog when it goes live.

Otherwise, seven years later, I will bid this space adieu.

They say that after seven years all the cells in your body turn over.

I know not what will be next.

I just know that there is a next.

And I thank you.

My readers.

Who ever you are, where ever you are, for humoring me and my poetry and my words and my tears and my heart ever beating upon my bloody damn sleeve.

With so much gratitude.

I thank you.

 

It’s Official!

February 7, 2017

Hi Carmen,
It is my pleasure to officially offer you an internship at the Liberation Institute. It was wonderful meeting with you and I’ve no doubt that you’d be a great addition to our therapeutic community.
Next steps:
We need you to reply with one of the following answers:
– Yes, I officially accept! 

or

– No, I officially decline.

or

– I need more time to decide.

Please let me know if you’ll be joining us!
If you have questions or concerns, just let me know.
Thanks!
What do you think I said?
Ha.
Of course.
I said yes.
I said I “officially accept!”
And I did.
And it’s official.
I’m an intern.
Holy shit.
So nice to have this part of the journey out-of-the-way, I was much more anxious about it than I needed to be, so much more anxious, and for naught, it worked out perfect.
It was on God’s time.
Not mine.
In fact.
I hadn’t even had the Liberation Institute on my radar, I was going to go work for UCSF or one of the CIIS sites.
I had my plans.
God chuckled, and said, hey, what about over here?
I said, nah, I’ve got this.
Then I realized, as I do so often, that no, in fact, I do not have this and yes, actually, the Liberation Institute is indeed the place where I am supposed to be.
How may I fit myself to be of maximum service to my fellows?
And there it was.
After I responded yes and then text my two besties in the program and sharing the news, and yes, I did, I called my mom.
It’s nice to call your mom with the big news.
We had a good catch up chat and she asked when I was going to be graduating and I said May of 2018 and she’s going to come out and see me get my Masters degree.
I was so touched by that.
And grateful.
Then I got another message from my new supervisor, saying, “hooray!  Welcome aboard Carmen.”
How nice to have someone excited to work with me.
My supervisor outlined what I need to do next, basically get paperwork through my school and I’ll be able to attend to that this up coming weekend when I am in school for the second weekend of the semester.
I’ll pick up the paper work and then I’ll meet with my supervisor in March to do the next part.
And I will also do my interview of him for my Community Mental Health class at that time.
Yes, I will.
Two birds, one stone.
It feels really so nice to be here, to be taking these next steps.
I know there is still so much more work to do, but this just feels so good, so right, so affirming to have this happen, and I’ve been assured by many in my cohort that of course it was going to happen, but still.
When it does.
Oh.
That is a damn nice feeling.
Yes, yes it is.
And it was really swell, yeah, I said swell, to also relay the news to my employer who was happy for me and also relieved, even if she didn’t express that as much as the happy, that I won’t have to change-up my hours, that I will be with them, that we are on the same page, that I can do the internship and still be their nanny.
Yup.
The grad school nanny.
Not a role I ever thought I would be in.
Not a hat I thought I would wear.
But I’ll wear it.
Jaunty and slightly askew.
Rakish like.
Happy to be in said position.
I got such nice compliments from the mom today too, about how nice it was to come home and not have to make dinner and that they really liked my food so much and, well, that too makes me happy.
I do so enjoy cooking for others.
I made them two kinds of pasta tonight.
One a fusilli with fresh pesto.
And.
Spaghetti with meat sauce and herbed tomatoes.
Lots of fresh grated parmesan and a happy clan of people.
I was let go a few minutes early and hopped out the door and was able to catch my 6:30 pm regular get together and see some folks there.
I was invited to fellowship and I ended up going.
And then.
I ended up bailing.
I love my people.
But I can’t eat at Pasquale’s.
It’s all pizza and pasta and as I started to get a little panicky about eating and making something work when I had planned on eating at home and so I bounced.
I felt a little bad, but not too much.
Sometimes I need company.
And sometimes I just have to eat my own food.
I’ll make up for it this week.
I promise.
I have dinner plans to meet with my person tomorrow after work, so that will do as a start.
It was really nice to check in with him today and tick off the things that I had done, taking his suggestions around some stuff that came up for me yesterday, relating that I had put my big girl pants on and made an appointment at the dentist.
Yes.
An internship and an appointment to go to the dentist.
Adulting all over the place.
I also shared that I had gotten the news about the internship.
It was nice to share the news.
I mean, I had known, the interview went so well, but until one gets the official letter, well, it wasn’t official.
Now it is.
I really am so pleased.
Life continues to open up and bloom and it’s such a gift to be witnessing it.
I hadn’t expected to be on this path and I am blown away again and again at how right it is, how it feels to pursue, how competent I feel in moving forward and how humbled that yes, after all, I am supposed to help people.
That my main talent is to be a helper.
First and foremost.
To myself.
But then for so many others.
I am thrilled.
And.
Honored.
I am.
Grateful.
I am.
Graced.
I am.
All the things.

Slow Down

December 29, 2016

He said and patted my arm as we were heading up the stairs to the MOMA’s membership desk.

Then he did a mimicry of me and my busy self.

Oh shit.

I had someone else do that to me recently.

I was a bit abashed.

And as I sit here, having slowed way the hell down today, after the MOMA and lunch out with my friends, I came home, and read.

I didn’t nap.

I was actually a little afraid to nap.

Who the fuck is afraid of naps?

I am.

If they are past a certain point of time in the day, then I get afraid I wouldn’t get out of the house again if I lay down (and I did get out for a little while this evening to do the deal, which was super handy).

So I read.

And that was relaxing.

And I roasted a chicken and that made my little studio warm and cozy.

I posted up the photographs I took at the MOMA and I just hung out at the house and was chill.

I am contemplating a yoga class in the morning, but truth be told, I may not go, just let myself rest, sleep, lay about.

Even if it kills me.

Because it won’t be for always and there’s a good chance I will still go out and deal with a few things.

I have been in intermittent communication with the mom in my new gig and we have been trying to figure out a time to meet and talk about the job and sign the contract.

Said job starts on Monday.

But.

Mom is pregnant and due December 30th.

Today is the 28th.

So.

Like any second now she could be going into labor.

In fact, a couple of times I thought to myself today, we’re not going to end up being able to meet, she’s in labor, or she’s about to have the baby.

But I got an email this evening asking if I was available tomorrow or Friday.

I have an appointment downtown that is going to take up some time on Friday, so I said tomorrow.

I will skip yoga, rest, and await her time frame.

I am not about to get pushy with a mom who’s due to deliver at any second.

She gets to set the time.

I get to be available.

And yes, the cold is lingering and it felt improbably worse tonight then it has in a few days.

I think it’s gone and going away and then it’s back.

Annoying thing.

I have things to do.

Places to be.

Ugh.

Shut up brain.

Let it go.

I did my FAFSA renewal yesterday, for my federal financial aid package for grad school next year, and I had this tremendous anxiety over come me when I started to think about all the things I needed to do and how I was squandering my time off and I should be working on my practicum cover letters and applications and arranging to go to open houses and get my resume written and my letters of recommendation.

Boy howdy.

My brain knows so well how to sabotage me enjoying a day off and getting a massage.

Thanks brain.

SHUT UP.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a really sweet day today and saw some yummy art and hung out with two of my favorite people and then got treated to lunch at an amazing Zagat rated Chinese restaurant.

Which was nice.

Since i got a fucking $81 parking ticket on my scooter.

I plugged the meter!

I swear.

I used my debit card, it registered as having charged me for $3.40 cents, hours of time, and I happily traipsed off to the museum with my camera.

I came back and there was a ticket.

For 12:45 p.m.

What?

I paid long in case we decided to stay at the museum and have lunch in the cafe.

I should be covered until 2 p.m.

I used my card, it charged my card, I wrote it down and balanced my check book.

Because that’s how I roll.

I don’t have a credit card, everything by cash and I tally as I go and I also keep a running log in my checkbook register.

You know, those funny little things in the back of a check book.

Yeah.

I use them.

All the time.

I checked, yup, I had put a notation down for $3.40 and then I thought!

Oh hey!

I’ll check my bank balance online and I’ll contest the ticket!

I checked my bank balance.

The charge had not gone through.

What the fuck?

I don’t know if it was user error or meter error, but there was nothing left for me to do but get out my check book again and pay the ticket.

Can’t contest it if I don’t have evidence that I paid.

Because if it didn’t pull from my account, then technically, I didn’t pay.

Sigh.

Cost of living in the city.

Grateful I got a couple of cards from family with cash in them this Christmas.

Oh well, really, I’m not too upset about it, I really had such a lovely day, I don’t want to focus on the negative.

In the grand scheme of things, one parking ticket is not going to break me and what a gift that I had money, disposable income, to pay it off within hours of getting it.

That is something to be happy about.

So too, the option and availability to rest and not push myself.

Sleep in tomorrow.

Don’t set the alarm.

Rest.

Read a book in bed.

Chill the hell out.

And if the mom gets back to me, yes, I’ll venture out and I’ll have a coffee with her or tea and see how I can help and be of service in my new job.

If she doesn’t, it’s all good, I know that I will show up and be ready to go on Monday.

Everything is alright, I didn’t drink or use today.

I didn’t smoke a cigarette or eat a big pile of donuts.

I spent time with two fabulous men who I dearly love and got to see art and eat amazing Chinese food.

I have a blessed life.

Really.

I do.

And I am allowed to slow down, to feel the feelings that need to be felt, and to rejuvenate before the busy gets well, busy again.

Everything, I gently remind myself, is exactly, and I do mean EXACTLY, how it should be.

It always is.

Seriously.

I Need To Make An Amends

March 18, 2016

Actually I need to fill out an amended tax form.

“You’re making an amends to yourself,” he told me, leaning into the table and looking at me with his bright eyes.

Indeed.

I had not even thought of it like that.

In fact, up until yesterday I hadn’t told anyone what was going on.

In the crazy.

In the head.

All by itself, the I’m not worthy drum still tries to sound a rhythm.

Fortunately, I told on myself yesterday and that opened me up to being able to find some recourse around a tax penalty I received for not having health insurance.

Because that’s what our country does to its people who can’t afford insurance, they slap you on the wrist and kick you when you’re down–like giving a homeless person a ticket for loitering.

And I understand it to a point, it’s to help prod people into having some sort of coverage, but I think about all the people that are getting screwed because they are neither here nor there.

I make just enough money now that next year I am going to have cover all my health insurance through a private insurance plan.

No more Healthy San Francisco for me.

Not that they have covered my grossest costs regarding health care–my glasses–but they certainly had me covered when I had my scooter accident and I had to go to the ER.

A visit that could have cost me thousands of dollars but in the end was  a $100 co-pay.

So whatever, I figured, when the penalty was leveed on my taxes that there was nothing I could do about it and that was just the cost of doing business.

That is until oh, around the 24th or 25th of last month when I received an interesting piece of paperwork from Kaiser Permanente–the provider that Healthy SF has me paired with–it was my IRS 1095-B form.

In lay man terms.

It was my out for the tax penalty.

Dear Carmen ______________

The affordable Care ACT (ACA) requires taxpayers to prove they had health coverage in 2015 when they file their taxes for 2015.  The enclosed IRS Form 1095-B reports proof of coverage.

Well fuck me.

I paid that fine.

It was taken out of my tax refund.

It was about $850.

That’s a nice little chunk of money I want back.

Especially since, well, that’s going to cover my new glasses, both pairs.

Well, not quite, but it’s damn close and what’s funny.

I wasn’t going to do anything about it.

I just sort of chalked it up to I made a mistake and now I’m going to pay for it and next year, well, now I know and I won’t make that mistake again.

Except well.

Dang it.

$850.

That’s a little bit of money.

That’s more than I make after taxes for a week’s worth of work.

That’s a ticket to Maui and back.

Plus some.

But.

Well, I fucked up, so I have to pay for the price.

I stuck the papers in my little file in and let it go.

Except.

Well, it sort of stuck.

And yesterday when I told my friend it was a relief to let it out.

It sort of took the starch out of it.

It had been weighing on my mind and although I kept telling myself I was ok with it, I obviously was not.

“Why don’t you call the IRS?”  My friend asked over the phone.

Oh.

My.

God.

Like actually call the IRS?

Are you nuts?

But.

Um.

Maybe that’s not a bad place to start.

“I’m sure there is something you can do, you should call, if you owed them $850, you know they’d be calling you.” She concluded.

True that.

So this morning I climbed into my big girl pants and I opened my laptop, after doing my morning routine, I logged onto the IRS website.

And wouldn’t you fucking know it!

There’s a tab that says: “make a mistake on your filed taxes?”

Oh.

Ha!

I’m not the only one who fucks up.

In fact, there are so many folks that mess up filing their taxes there is a form that they have so that you can fix your mistakes.

How freaking easy is that?

I was a bit chagrinned.

But also really grateful that I didn’t keep this to myself.

The fear is idiotic, but it was there and it was also an old way of living, a way of being that doesn’t work for me, that I get punished when I do something wrong, that I am a bad girl.

You know sometimes I am a bad girl.

Ahem.

But not in this case.

No.

In this case I made a mistake and I filled out my taxes and filed them to the best of my ability.

I used the information that I had and I made a decision.

So the decision was incorrect.

The thing about mistakes is that I’m not going to be punished, there is no need to be pilloried, I can just be a human and try to fix it.

Again.

To the best of my ability with the information I have.

I have the form to amend my taxes and I have the form that proves I had health coverage that is adequate for me to prove to the federal government that I was complying with the Affordable Care Act.

Oh.

This again.

“Adulting.”

I am acting the grown up.

I am growing up.

Grateful I also got transparent with my person at the cafe tonight.

It’s nice to be accountable to someone and to someone who is not going to judge me.

We read a big chapter and talked about acceptance being the answer to all my problems and how focusing on the problem only makes it bigger, but the more I focus on the solution, well, that problem just takes care of itself.

Thank God for solution.

Seriously.

So, so grateful that I don’t have to do this alone.

I got a spiritual solution for your desperate aim.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Ah.

So nice to be making it through the week and being accountable and showing up and also amending my behavior when and where it is appropriate with love and guidance that comes from outside myself.

What a gift, this life.

Grateful.

To be so constantly.

And.

Continuously.

Graced.

 

You’re So Busy

March 5, 2016

Yes I am.

But you call me anyway, ‘kay?

That was the last thing I was expecting tonight, I was just going to go grocery shopping after doing the deal and getting my ass to the church on time.

“Dear God, get me to the church on time,” was the mantra I was repeating to myself today at work.

I just knew where I needed to be tonight and I needed to be amongst my people.

It’s Friday, end of the week, and yet the beginning of the work, really, tomorrow I’ll get up earlier than I do when I have a work day, but there is much to do and places to go, people to see.

And I have a routine, a set of morning practices I like to do before I head out the door and maybe it seems crazy to get up 2.5 hours before you need to be somewhere, but that’s my deal.

At least for tomorrow.

Sunday I’ll sleep in.

Maybe.

Heh.

I texted a friend, coffee, tea, movie, hang out soon?

And of course we’re all both crazy busy and sure, but maybe in April?

Yup.

So.

Mister, I’ll give you a call, let’s do coffee, let’s ok.

Let’s just do it

Let’s just not worry about the homework and the work work and the recovery work and the life, let’s just let life happen.

I can always squeeze in another person to see for a cup of coffee.

Especially when they sparkle at me.

“What is wrong with guys, don’t they see how beautiful you are?” He asked me a year ago, sometime right after my ex broke up with me and I was saying something about a bad date and or not being asked out.

“You’re crazy gorgeous, and sweet, and you have the biggest heart, if I wasn’t dating someone, I’d totally be taking you out,” he said, giving me a sympathy hug.

Cue conversation tonight in front of Our Lady of Safeway.

He’s not dating anyone anymore.

I got the “we should have coffee sometime, well, I know you’re super busy,” he started to cut himself off before I even had a chance to respond.

“I am busy, but we should have coffee anyway,” I said, and touched his arm.

“Let me get your number,” he said, then we both realized that we had each other’s numbers already.

Hilarious.

Small world.

Nice to have a surprise at the end of my week.

Especially after the touch of turmoil yesterday.

It was almost like it didn’t happen, it, I’m being obtuse, the date, the not nice, and the amends.

But that’s how it works, when I do the work, and I clean up my side of the street.

I am absurdly grateful that I was able to come clean to my behavior and make the amends quickly and with some modicum of humility and clarity around my actions.

I woke up this morning in a restful state, actually having had forgotten to set my alarm.

When I looked at my phone to see when my alarm was going off I didn’t freak out to see I had slept five minutes past my alarm, nope I was just happy to be awake and not have any text messages on my phone.

In fact, I sort of forgot all of yesterday had happened until I had made the bed and was kneeling down to do my morning routine.

Holy shit.

My head has been quiet all morning.

No upset stomach, no tears, no drama.

onice to wake up with a fresh, new, clean slate.

And here’s the funny shit.

By the time I had sat down to write my morning pages, onto my second cup of coffee, washed my breakfast dishes, I was in my head about, hey, well, ok, maybe that wasn’t the worst, I could try dating via Tinder again, I mean.

I.

Um.

Fuck.

That is crazy ass shit right there.

I just am a sucker for punishment.

Then I thought, hmm, I think I am just trying to create something to divert me from a big school prep weekend.

Like I could sneak in a date in between doing the deal with my person tomorrow, yoga class, class research for a paper, writing said paper, writing another paper on Sunday, grocery shopping, cooking for the week, oh yeah, making sure I keep caught up on all my school reading–classes next weekend–laundry, recovery, and um, heh, getting my eyebrows waxed and a mani/pedi.

Sure.

I could fucking slide a date into that mix.

Well, maybe for the guy that peeped my number tonight.

I could squeeze in a quick cup of joe.

Ha.

But no, not going to go on some date with some fantasy person on a dating site.

I realized while I was on the app that one of the things I was doing was actually looking for guys that I might know and some how short cut to the chase.

But that’s not how it works, and it’s so much better in person.

I mean.

I am not stupid, the man tonight is interested.

Whether or not it actually happens, I can say without a doubt that there is interest and chemistry, oh, yeah, and he’s one of my people, which is always compelling to me.

And if you don’t know what that means, suffice to say, it means that we have a common language and solution to a spiritual malady.

So.

Instead of re-installing the app on my phone.

I did a coloring meditation instead.

How nice was that?

So nice.

Suddenly.

I stopped and got silent and just colored and the sound of the pencil on the paper, the sudden down falling patter of rain against the outside windows, the feel of the paper under my hand, the colors on the paper and how they spoke to me, this here, this combination of indigo and violet against a lush soft pink, reminds me of sunsets at Burning Man.

I was present and quiet and focused on just being in the moment.

Instead of being in fantasy la la land.

I was at home in my heart.

At my little sky blue table, super saturated tropical colors whirling out onto the page.

I lost track of time.

It was delicious.

And it helped me stay present all day long.

With the boys, with the family, with myself.

With my principles and life and love of self.

Knowing that there was only one other place to get to and having gotten there, seen friends, checked in, got accountable, claimed my fucking seat, and spoke my bit, I am all good.

Happy, joyous, free.

And wildly grateful that I have the option to grow and love.

Better.

Stronger.

Truer than the day before.

Grace.

To have it and know it.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Fucking believe it.

 

Soft And Sleepy

February 18, 2016

That would be me.

I was up late last night and that was lovely, it happens sometimes, I go to bed late, things happen, life moves forward, the moon rides the waves over Ocean Beach and the sand presses in between my toes and I carry these small particles of love and salt into the grey morning.

It was far later than I thought it would be when I got up and moving.

The very grey skies gave me the illusion that it was still early.

It was not.

I got up, did my routine, got on with my day.

Really.

It was superiorly mellow and chill.

I did the deal.

I did the writing.

I did the Applied Spirituality homework, but I didn’t really do any other school work, I wasn’t feeling it.

I was soft and sweet and slow today.

I even, wait for it.

NAPPED.

The rain.

The sound of rain outside my back door, the patter of it on the patio the splash of it against the window pane.

I drifted in and out and lay, like Ophelia, with my hands clasped over my chest, my Converse kicked to the floor, my head a soft halo of loose curls tumbling over a velveteen pillow, my skirt billowed out, the crinoline a heap of fluffy icing.

I have been dressing pretty for myself all week and that has been so much fun.

I went to ModCloth’s Fit Shop yesterday and I had an actual fitting session.

It was spectacular.

I don’t have a lot of time to shop, and even when I do, like I have time this week, I am often loath to spend free time wandering in and out of stores.

It exhausts me.

If I know what I want, then I’m good, but just browsing can really just be too much, unless I’m in some sweet little neighborhood or visiting a city or museum, then I’m all about the shopping.

I wanted to go into the Fit Shop after I got my last dress and it was just such a fail.

REALLY.

I mean.

I have a nice figure, my bust is not supposed to look so squished and small and weird.

I was happy to get down town, then, and have the help of the team at the Fit Shop–a brick and mortar downtown on Grant and I think Stockton.

Basically the shop is full of clothes and they keep one of each size they have from petite 0s to 4x.

I mean, really anybody could find a cute dress or outfit there.

For me it’s that I don’t have a great idea of what I look like.

I either think I am bigger than I am.

Or smaller.

I have been rather hit and miss with the sizing chart in the online store.

I got measured.

I got my size.

Then I wandered around the store with a clipboard and wrote down any dress or top or outfit that I wanted to try on.

I tried on ten or twelve things.

I was ecstatic to find a sweetheart of a dress that I would have never bought online and it was a great fit and super flattering.

I felt like spinning around the store.

I also got a sweet cropped red cardigan, a sky blue slip with lace trim, and the perfect tunic shirt dress, amazing fit and again, not anything I would have even looked twice at ordering online, in faded blue.

I spent half the money I was prepared to spend.

The only thing that was a tiny bit disappointing was not being able to walk out of the store with my goodies.

However.

They gave me a discount for coming in and also expressed shipped it at no extra cost.

So I have some lovely things to wear soon.

I am looking forward to it.

It really has been nice letting myself dress up and wear things that make me happy.

I also cleaned out my closet today.

If it doesn’t bring me joy when I hold it I’m going to toss it or sell it if I think I can at Crossroads.

I was able to clean out some stuff that I wasn’t wearing and was just old and then cull a few things out that I just never wear, doesn’t make me happy, or doesn’t quite fit.

I got rid of all the things and hopped the N-Judah to the Inner Sunset.

I mailed the return dress back to ModCloth–I’ll be using that credit now that I know what to look for!

Then I sold 3/4s of what I had to Cross Roads.

I treated myself out to lunch then donated the remainder of the clothing.

I thought briefly of trying to sell it, but it just wasn’t worth hauling around anymore and the rain was starting to come in.

I just slipped back on the train after lunch and came back down to the house.

I made a cup of tea and luxuriated in some non-graduate school reading.

Then.

The nap.

So lovely.

When I woke up I made some nice dinner and then headed up to see some fellows over at the Sunset Youth Services.

I got my God on real good and now I’m back here.

Oh!

And I renewed my FAFSA for next year’s graduate school.

A little crazy that.

But not nearly as anxiety producing and nerve wracking as it was the first time I filled it out.

Pleased I am.

Life is good.

I am good.

I am blessed.

The soft rain on my face, upturned to the wind and the caress, a kiss on my neck, the lovely air on the stars adorning me.

I am a star.

Just another gathering of God light in this Universe sweetly shining in my little space.

Down by the sea.

Happy.

And.

Content.

You Still Writing Your Blog?

October 7, 2015

He asked as we pedaled our bicycles up the hill past the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park.

I was riding home on my whip thinking about all the things that need to be done and the grocery shopping that I was about to embark on, so, so, so grateful to be meeting a friend after work who gave me a lift to SafeWay.

I got all the things I need to get through the week and then some.

It would have been two, probably three trips on my bicycle had I loaded up my messenger bag real full and rode my bicycle real slow.

I don’t ride my bicycle real slow.

In case you were wondering.

Although.

I don’t ride as fast as some.

If I was on a geared bicycle I would actually be faster.

I am on a one speed and it only goes so fast before I am just needlessly spinning my crank.

I coast down hill pretty damn fast though, and that is often where I will catch up to those who have passed me on the uphill climb.

Which is what happened as I sped through the park, thinking about autumn in Wisconsin.

There are parts of my ride home, specifically the Pan Handle, where there are some old growth oak trees, when I am reminded of fall in the Midwest.

The smell in the air.

The leaves scattered on the ground, the shadows falling from the trees and the old sodium lamp posts lighting the way.

I am reminded always of the CS Lewis book, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

The lamp-post always get that reference for me.

And.

There is a kind of magic about the park, especially at night, when the shadows are long and the stars hang low overhead, when it’s past the last of the day’s commute and the runners have done their runs and the bicycle traffic is light to none existent, and I feel as though the entire way is mine.

The soaring on my bicycle through the air, the whick of wind against my neck and pulling through my hair.

I passed by the DeYoung and started the slight descent to the Rose Garden that heralds the last big hill climb on my ride and then, literally, it is all down hill from there, down towards the sea, the salt wind, the bonfires kissing the dunes, and the shaded night heralding my heart home.

I usually holler out, “passing on your left,” but I actually thought I might startle the rider I was coming up on, so I just gave him a wide berth and whipped past.

“Carmen?!”

“Yup, that’s me, who’s that, you better pedal harder to catch up!”  I laughed as I hit the down slope on the hill, bottomed out and began the climb.

“Use your momentum coming down the hill to push you up the next one,” my friend taught me on training rides for the AidsLifeCycle.

I never forgot that advice and it’s really the only way to get up hills on a one speed in San Francisco.

I heard the bicyclist behind me drop it into gear and push up the hill.

“Hey!” He said, “it’s Max! How are you?”

“Hello!”  I said, “doing good, just got out of work, heading home, you?”

“Just left 7th and Geary,” he said, “heading home too, hey, did you start grad school, how’s that going?”

“I did!”  I said.

“I just had my second big weekend of classes, it’s kicking my ass, trying to balance all the things, working 35 hours a week, carrying 12 credits in grad school, doing the deal, you know, trying to not get too far into the future or I’ll freak out.”

“Yeah, I feel you, that’s a lot, but you can do it,” he said.

“Yup, I just keep focusing on what’s exactly in front of me,” I said and spun the crank.

Just keep my eye on the next foot fall, don’t get carried away thinking about how I just got my schedule “figured” out and the mom asked me today to totally switch my hours from a 1p.m. start to a 10 a.m. start next Monday and Tuesday–the boys have two days off from school.

And.

If I get too consumed with my schedule and I am not flexible with myself I will freak out.

“Hey, you still writing your blog?” He asked me next.

“Yeah, I’m sort of in awe that I am doing it, but it’s so helpful, it lets me get all the stuff out of my head, it’s like a nightly inventory [sic] I need it, I don’t think I can drop doing it, although I’m still not sure how I am able to find the time, I do.”

“It pops up in my Facebook feed every once in a while,” he continued, and we crested the hill and began the descent home.

“Nice to run into you!” I shouted as he slowed down to take the turn and I sped, yes, right through the stop sign and rolled on into the velvet night laying splayed out before me.

It does leave me with a sense of wonder, this little blog does, I am still finding words for my experience, still aching to share those experiences with you, the reader, lovely reader, hello, you do fill me with regard and wonder too.

I wrote last night about being mindful that I was writing for myself and frankly if I think about the people reading, or not reading, my blog, I will get weird about it, but that doesn’t mean that I am not aware of you, sweet reader, in fact, I regard you with respect and no small sense of honor.

Thank you for stopping to read the words.

Oh the words.

They do mean so very much to me.

Speaking of words.

I am knocking out the sonnets for the Burning Man poetry project I have had on the back burner for the last couple of weeks.

I was supposed to have some things ready for my collaborator, and I did, I do have some sonnets I wrote, but I did not like the way they read and there was something missing.

I found the missing ingredient.

And.

I have been flying.

I wrote out the supporting framework for ten sonnets and then fleshed out one completely yesterday.

Today.

Well.

I was on a roll.

I wrote two sonnets back to back and I probably could have written a third, but I did want to make sure that I addressed some reading for my Human Development class or I would be falling behind for the paper that I must have written in this upcoming week for the class.

I love when the words come and the images and the song of the world seems to croon to my ear and I am connected to that elixir of light and poetry.

I feel blessed.

Graced.

Lightened.

Enlightened.

And.

Loved.

I am such a lucky girl.

Full of words.

And wonder.

I am.


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