Posts Tagged ‘grad school grind’

Is It Over Yet?

December 7, 2018

Normally this would be a lament about the holidays and being overwhelmed with being cheery and bright.

But frankly I can’t wait for that shit.

No.

I’m on the “can this semester please be over yet?” tip.

I’m feeling pretty done.

I have to finish one book, which has been decent if not scintillating material, do one more big discussion post on that book, write a ten page paper, a twelve page paper, and do a creative piece (of my choosing, thank God) that encapsulates the material of one of my classes.

Meaning I have thee big things yet to do.

The book reading is just reading, it does involve effort, but hey, I can sit at the laundry mat on Sunday and kick it out.

The papers are where the big effort comes in.

I mean.

The things that I need to cover are deep and conceptual and complex.

I have to use language I’m just beginning to get the hang of and I have to write on concepts that are deep and multi-layered, plus, god damn, I have just read so much this semester I’m not sure exactly where to go for my references.

I have a lot of them.

I also feel like I’m going to have to go back in and re-read a bit, not heavily, I really don’t see that happening, but I will have to have a good sit down with my materials, articles, videos, books, and discussion posts and see what jumps out at me.

I am very grateful that I did my book review a week early and got it out-of-the-way.

I have already gotten quite a good amount of feedback from my TA in that class and my professor, who also noted that I had very satisfactorily submitted all the deliverables for the class.  I could probably send in a pretty picture and a poem for my final project and I would pass the class easily.

Of course.

I won’t do that.

I do want to do something that integrates my whole experience and I have a few thoughts and ideas to explore before I really have to knuckle down.

But as this project and the ten page paper are both due the 17th of the month I need to attend to one this weekend and then to the other next weekend.

I will use the time between at work for finishing reading and posting to my last, thank God, discussion thread for the semester.

I don’t really want to write the ten page paper this weekend, I really just want to chuck it all and go Christmas shopping.  I haven’t at all and I have just barely begun writing a few Christmas cards.

My mom sent me a message yesterday that both my birthday and Christmas presents are in the mail.

ARGH.

I have nothing in the mail.

Well, except for the three cards I have managed to write out in between supervision this morning and work, clients yesterday and work, therapy and being a therapist, and all the school work.

I am allowing myself a compromise as far as it all goes, since my Trauma training on Sunday was cancelled and I have five extra hours in my day that I wasn’t expecting to work on the paper.

Therefor I resolve to let myself go Christmas shopping on Saturday after clients and appointments.

I will try to do it all in one fell swoop.

I actually don’t have a ton of folks to buy for, so it shouldn’t be too hard, mostly I just like the idea of going out and buying some nice things for people I love and then maybe a little something for myself too.

I am on the fence about Sunday, as far as scheduling stuff goes.  Even with the Trauma training being cancelled I still have household duties to do and I’ll be meeting a lady in the afternoon to do the deal and my person in the evening and I really want to get my Christmas tree.

I am just wondering if I use it as a carrot or if I just get the tree early and then whatever time I have left in the day before I meet my person in the evening I will then devote to working on the paper.

Either way, it will get worked on.

I am not going to pressure myself to getting it all done, but I am going to take a really big swing at it and then give myself the week to let it stew and process and hopefully refine it as much as possible.

Considering that the paper is the only paper (well, I have written a lot in the discussion posts) example of my writing this professor is really going to get and he’s the guy that designed this PhD program, I kind of want to blow him out of the water.

Kind of.

Ha.

I really want it to be a good paper.

Which means I have to not do the whole thing in one fell swoop.

I can do that, in fact, I have done that for a number of the papers for my other classes this semester, but I usually have a plan and the papers tended to be towards creative things that I was able to crank them out.

This paper feels like it has to be a bit more thoughtful.

Anyway.

Enough with the school stuff.

I posted up another discussion before starting this blog, so I can say that with no compunctions.

I want to wrap up my day, I was up at 6a.m. for group supervision before work, and have some tea and watch some Peaky Blinders.

Yes.

Advertisements

Halloween

October 28, 2017

It’s going to be interesting.

I agreed to go out with some girlfriends to Oakland.

I am fucking crazy.

But.

Well.

Dancing.

Friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Fellowship.

Costumes.

Which sound great, but on my ride home from my internship tonight the shit show of traffic that is already happening and the crazy, San Francisco likes it some Halloween, the crazy is already on.

Tuesday is Halloween.

But everyone is out celebrating this weekend.

So.

Today when I was feeling all sorts of sassy, before the week caught up with me and bitch slapped me and stomped all over me, christ almighty I was drained when I left work to go to my internship–I worked overtime at my day job this week, I was all worn the fuck out and thought, I am nuts to want to go out tomorrow.

It’s going to be crazy town.

I mean it already is crazy town.

It’s just going to be more of it.

And how am I going to juggle the costume?

I sort of have an idea.

I was thinking I could do a sugar skull.

I don’t have all the right makeup to do it, but I could probably pick it up.

The thing is coordination with my girlfriend and where she’s going to be in the city and where I will be in the city.

I’ve got my internship from 1p.m.-5:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Yeah.

I was not expecting that, but then again, I did say I was open for consults this Saturday, so there it is, I am no victim, I volunteered for it.

I also had a client cancel this week and a few cancel next week, as Halloween is on a Tuesday–both clients cancelled that night, so I was eager to make up some of the hours.

It just puts a little crunch on coming home and getting ready and going back out again.

I have 7pm plans in the NOPA to do the deal and afterward my person and I are going to get dinner at Brenda’s Meat and Three on Divisadero.

I figure we’ll be wrapping up dinner around 9:30p.m.

My friend wants to get over to Oakland around 10p.m. for the Halloween dance.

A lot of folks in my community will be there, so it’s good fun, but I just feel a tiny bit pressured.

Then again.

Dress up?

Makeup?

Dancing?

Girlfriends?

Um, yeah.

That actually sounds good.

So I am going to make the effort, I am going to try not to be the old lady who is going to bed early on a weekend night since she’s fucking drained from the week, I’m going to rally.

I am sure I will have a good time.

And then I can say with all honesty that I did something for the holiday.

I haven’t celebrated it in a while.

The last time I went out on Halloween was with this same friend and a bunch of other folks, I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts and my date went as a character from Game of Thrones.

I was nervous as all hell to have a Halloween dance date and it was weird and as it turns out, it was so not a good match, but I went out and had some dancing with my girlfriend and she and her boyfriend actually won the fucking costume contest!

They dressed up as Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction and they actually did the fucking dance on the stage.

It was brilliant.

I do recall that the music at said dance rather sucked, but it was fun to hang with my friends.

That was what, three years ago?

Yeah.

I suppose it’s about time I did something on Halloween.

I know I didn’t dress up last year, I’m sure I could have, I’m sure there was a party or five I could have gone to, but grad school, that’s been the thematic for the last two and a half years, I want to, but um, homework.

And yes.

Sure.

I have some, I have plenty.

But.

I want to play dress up.

I want to be social.

So I’m pretty sure I will go, even though it felt like too much effort to even think about after I got out of work tonight.

I have other Halloween things on the mind.

I have an interview on Halloween.

No.

Not for a job.

I love my job.

I’m not looking for another.

Unless it will help me get hours for my MFT licence and pays better than what I make now.

I suspect that won’t actually happen until I graduate.

Anyway.

No.

I was asked by a group that do this thing called “People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

It’s not a Ted talk, it’s not about big ideas, but about rather about unique life experiences and personal life journeys.

I was referred to it by a very dear friend of mine.

Said friend with whom I get to enjoy a lunch in North Beach on Sunday and catch up on all the things.

My friend did a lecture for these folks and in his discussion he brought up a poetry project that I did in collaboration with him a couple of years ago, my first semester in graduate school.

They were intrigued and asked if he’d forward my e-mail, they were interested in hearing my story.

It seems they have been doing this series in Tel Aviv now for three years and are taking the series to a global platform.

I was really flattered to be considered and I messaged with the director, I think he’s the director, of the project today.

And set up a time to go and interview with them on Halloween.

I am super excited to do it.

Of course I am.

I like to talk about myself.

Who doesn’t?

But I also like to share about how I have gotten through struggles, hardship, overcome difficulties, thrived and been resilient, how I have said yes to things, and therefore lived in Paris with my tattoo artist, flown to Rome to spend a weekend with a woman I had met in Paris at dinner, gone to London to spend Christmas Eve with a barely known acquaintance, gone to Burning Man 11 times, written thousands, yes thousands of blogs (2,286 to be exact, plus a few hundred more that I either scrubbed or archived off the site), how I met a woman in New Orleans and she collected me as an artist and took me to lunch and drove me all over New Orleans one afternoon, how I meet people, connect, talk, like the man in Green Point Brooklyn who’s sculpture I was so admiring of that he came out and talked to me and before you know it I have a private showing of his studio and the promise that when I could afford one of his pieces he would be happy to recreate my favorite one he had in his studio and ship it to me, (Doug Beube, his stuff is extraordinary) how I am a nanny, how I have worked with kids for over a decade, including nannying at 7 Burning Man events.  Or my most recent adventure, working full-time while interning part-time and going to graduate school full time.

Yeah.

That.

No biggie.

Or my spiritual life.

Which is the penultimate reason why I can do all of the above.

Regardless.

I have things to talk about.

I’m intrigued, and flattered, and more than a touched humbled that someone who I respect and admire referred me to this group of people.

It feels like a big deal.

And.

Some nice validation of who I am and what I do on a daily basis to do all the things.

So.

Yeah.

I will rally tomorrow and get my Halloween on.

I said yes, didn’t I?

And when I say yes.

Well.

Magical things happens.

They

Always.

Do.

 

All The Books

August 4, 2017

I got rid of almost all of my books today.

Parting was sweet and not too sorrowful.

Although I am always astounded by how little I get back, get back something I did.

I got back enough for lunch.

And.

A mani/pedi.

Plus.

I made room for more books.

I received my first textbook for school in the mail today.

Which is great.

Since I want to have as much read for school as soon as I can.

Because.

Well.

Fuck.

I roll like that.

I like to be prepared I like to take the time to do my readings and though I have been told by quite a few people who have done the grad school grind before, nobody reads everything, I do try to read it all.

I don’t always succeed.

Especially in my first year and my first semester.

I was caught off guard by having to have so much reading done before the first weekend of classes.

Now.

Well.

I get it.

The classes are so condensed, we cover so much information, we only have so much time and the weekend cohort has to do in one weekend what the regular cohort covers in one month.

That’s a lot.

So.

I have to do the readings sooner.

And.

It helps me.

It helps me because I have a way of writing and doing my papers that depends on me having done the reading.

I get it all done and I live a full life, I have my recovery, my personal life, my work life, my internship, and soon.

I will have this next semester of school.

Three of my syllabi are now up.

I found out that I have a conflict with one of my days at the internship and an evening class on Fridays.

I either will only be able to do consults on Fridays during the fall semester or once a month my clients won’t get to see me.

I can offer them three meetings a month.

And of course that will change as each semester unfolds.

I am officially a third year student.

I will graduate with my Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology in May of 2018.

I will have a Master’s degree!

It is not the Master’s degree I had always thought I would get.

That one is an MFA.

A Master of Fine Art.

I always thought I would get a Masters for Creative Writing.

Nope.

As it turns out.

I am supposed to be a therapist and that means a Masters in Psychology.

Which is great and by no means negates my undergraduate degree in English Literature.

I used to think that it would, but language is so important in therapy.

What is said.

What is not said.

The psychology of words of body language, or what and how things are said and being able to articulate and name things and be aware of what is happening for a client.

This is huge.

I have a tremendous vocabulary and a way with words.

And yes.

Sometimes I am.

Well.

Ha.

Wayward.

There is a difference though, and also that is beneficial too.

I mean.

I have lived a full life with many, many experiences.

Good and bad and all varieties of the spectrum.

I have a wealth of life experiences to draw on and that makes me a better therapist too.

It is a gift.

I never knew how much my experiences would play out into what I am doing now and it is extraordinary when I let myself see it.

Language.

Narrative.

Story.

Words.

Writing.

Poetry.

All of it plays into the therapeutic field.

I mean.

Before I was in school I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as narrative therapy.

Fuck.

I can do that.

I probably do that every damn time I sit down to write this blog.

I am telling a story.

It may only be the story of my day.

It may only be about me selling books to Dog Eared Books on Valencia Street.

But.

It may also be something else.

There are layers here.

Dog Eared Books was the first bookstore in San Francisco that I went into.

It was the first place I bought a book.

It was also the first place I sold books to.

It was and is a store that I can spend a lot of time wandering around and just smelling the books and looking at the tables resplendent with words, the magazine rack can enthrall me for great gobs of time, I can get lost in the stacks.

Dog Ear also has a great free box.

I mean.

After hauling the books clear across town, the nearest book store to me Green Apple on the Park, doesn’t buy back at that location, I didn’t much feel like hauling away the books that Dog Eared didn’t buy.

However.

I had an inkling that I could still sell a few.

I left nothing in the free box.

I took the $45 I got for the books they accepted and was happy to know that I had earned a lunch out and would be able to pay for my mani/pedi.

A total treat and a splurge.

I like being girly you know.

I scootered over to Aardvark at Church and Market and they took nothing!

But.

I also was by Jade Chinese, so I treated myself to yummy Chinese food and then took my scooter to the Castro and sold up there to the new Dog Eared on Castro Street.

They didn’t buy anything.

But.

When I said, well, I’ll just put them in the free box, the buyer looked at me and said, “how about I give you some store credit and throw these in the sale bin, I bet we will sell a few.”

It was such a sweet gesture.

I took him up on it and now I have a little credit at the store.

Good for when I buy postcards for sending to my friends and loved ones when I go to Burning Man.

That is one thing I always do, send a postcard with a Black Rock City postmark on it.

A girlfriend whose birthday always falls the weekend of the event, my mom, me, I know, I like sending myself postcards, hush, it’s my joy.

I got to let go of the books.

I got to come home to a clean, tidy house, with fewer stacks of livres and!

I got a new book in the mail.

See.

I just needed to make space for what was being sent to me.

I am a very happy girl.

And.

Although I’m not quite ready for all the school reading.

I am a head of the game.

For that I am hella grateful.

Seriously.

Yes.

I used “hella.”

Shut up.

Second Day

April 24, 2017

Second day in a row that my wordpress site is down. *This post written on 4/21/17

I can read blogs, but I can’t write them using the site.

Last night I wrote a rather long poem and I just posted it directly to Facebook.

I was very appreciative of the response I got, but it wasn’t on my blog and thus my readers who subscribe to my blog, many of whom, most of whom, are not friends of mine on social media, and they can’t read it.

I don’t like dropping my readers.

And I don’t like not being able to post.

Sigh.

Writing again in my Word application on my MacBook and I will save and hopefully post up in the next day.

I have so much writing to do and the writing that I want to do, my blogging, is not quite happening the way I had hoped it would.

I persist.

This is my place, this is my easing my mind, and this is my working it out and letting go of the day.

So.

I write.

Even if I can’t post.

I write.

It’s important to me and it’s my process and it keeps me sane, it really does.

I need sanity.

Especially after breaking down into tears at work tonight while I was cooking dinner for the family.

Work was not the problem.

Work is great.

Love my job.

LOVE.

School was the issue.

And not even homework, but the hoops for financial aid and the feeling of constantly having to navigate through the minefield of paying for the degree.

It has been a frustrating experience and it was no less so today.

I have been watching and waiting for my notification that my financial aid processed and what the award was to be and how much and let me pay off my tuition bill, which, the school never has any problem getting to me, no, no problem there, but I haven’t seen the award.

I start supervision on MONDAY.

I need to take care of this.

I did the application and all the footwork in March.

So.

I called yesterday and I got a message today telling me that they had no record of my application.

Seriously?

Fuck.

The office asked me to send the confirmation e-mail to them and so I did, and then they asked that I fill out some more paperwork.

So.

I did.

And then they gave me some very basic, very direct, step-by-step instructions of what I needed to do.

Fantastic.

Thank you.

Except.

  1. CIIS Institutional Summer 2017 Financial Aid Application
  2. Log on tofinaid.ciis.eduwith your Username and Password
  3. Select the 2016-17 Award Year from the drop-down menu at the top
  4. Complete the two-part questionnaire under the “Apply Now” tab and submit

There is no “Apply Now” tab on the page.

Fuck this crap.

There was another set of instructions that I followed to the “t” and was able to send into the school so I am hoping that will rectify the situation.

I still called and left a message.

Of course.

It’s Friday.

I won’t hear a thing back until Monday and I’m sure there will be more hoops to leap through.

At least I was able to pull it together at work, give myself a moment in the bathroom, breathe, pray and wipe away the tears.

I am not being dropped, I will be taken care of, and the money is there.

I soothed myself and got back to attending the making dinner for the family.

I was happy to be doing something active and consuming.

I was very happy to see how the kids ate up the food and the mom was happy and I got to hold the baby and I got smiles and hugs and thank you and it was all super sweet.

It was the antidote for the crazy I felt when dealing with the school.

Ultimately.

I am grateful.

I had my question responded to, I was given the information I needed, and I was able to get most of it taken care of, the rest will follow and since I did the big important stuff, which was the government loan FAFSA and they sent me confirmation emails that my application was accepted, I know that it will be done and taken care of.

Sure.

It didn’t happen my way and it was confusing and I don’t know how come I have had this experience with the school now three times in regards to my financial aid, but in the end, I have always received enough to pay my tuition and get to the next thing.

The next thing is to write my Couples Therapy paper tomorrow.

And.

As I stare at my little carrot on my desk, I see you carrot, incentive, gift, kick in the pants to get the job done and finish out the semester, I see you and I am so happy that I got you, I know I will get through this process with school.

I got a very useful item for my trip to Paris in the mail.

I received my “World Travel Adapter Kit” today.

I have always relied on friends when I have traveled to have the proper adapter for my phone or laptop and I realized it was time to be an adult about it and invest in my own.

I will only continue to travel and now I have my phone charger and my laptop charger taken care of.

All the places I can go and have my computer and my phone.

ALL THE PLACES.

China, Korea, Brazil, Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong.

I can go and I will be set.

I have a few other small things that I ordered for the trip and as it gets closer I am more and more excited.

Ten days off, no work, no school.

Ten days in Paris.

All the rigmarole with school is fine, it’s working out, my work is working out—in fact I just got a very thankful and kind text message from the dad at work about the amazing dinners he’s gotten to come home to and the happy kids.

That made my day.

Grateful to get to do this work and to learn and to realize again and again that I may have fear, but I can walk through it and I can always ask for help.

Such a relief that.

I am not doing this alone.

Thank you all for your love and support.

It means the world.

A world I am very much looking forward to traveling through.

So much looking forward to.

Seriously.

 

Get It Done

January 30, 2017

Until I can’t get it no more.

I have a head ache.

I read a lot today.

A fucking lot.

So much.

But that being said I am done with all my Trauma reading for class as well as having listened to an hour-long This American Life segment, and I did all my Couples Therapy reading.

Holy shit.

There was so much of that.

I find it on again, off again, hilarious that I am doing all this work for my Couples Therapy class.

Irony, no?

I’m not in a relationship.

I have never been married.

Half-assed proposed to twice.

Oops.

Ha.

Make that three times, I forgot one of them until I wrote that sentence.

However, so much of Couples Therapy seems to be understanding what the individual wants and is feeling, I can get behind that.

I have done loads of work finding my emotions.

Like yesterday when I was feeling “fat.”

First, fat is not a feeling.

I was feeling sad and a bit disgruntled that it was harder to find what I wanted than I had imagined.  I was feeling overwhelmed by the options, none of which felt like they were good options for me.  I was feeling that I was not enough, not good enough to be shopping and spending money on myself or my pursuits.  I was also feeling a little guilty, like should I even be buying new clothes?  A touch of survivor guilt there.

And underneath all of that.

I was feeling really vulnerable and that I needed to have a nice protective shell around me and I wasn’t able to locate one.

That I was embarking on a new journey into some sort of professional type career and I’ve never done this before and I am feeling not enough and scared.

Ah.

There you are fear.

Always at the root of I’m feeling “fat.”

Thanks for sharing.

Heh.

So, yeah, I have some ideas about how to navigate feelings, I’ve been practicing.

What was interesting in the reading for me as well was to find some of my own patterns in past relationships, places I had lost my voice and instead of trying to share and be vulnerable I got shut in or I shut up.

I let the other persons needs completely supersede mine until I couldn’t stand it any longer and I had to get the hell out.

I’d love to not do that again, but the chances are I probably will.

The thing is not to not do the thing, but to be compassionate with myself when I do and also, to allow myself to be open and vulnerable.

Relationships will have conflict.

It’s how I navigate the conflict.

It’s allowing myself to navigate the conflict.

And to ask for what I need without expecting the other person to fulfill my needs.

I’m definitely learning some nice little tidbits, almost makes a lady want a relationship to practice on.

As though I don’t have plenty, work, school, personal friendships, family.

Loads of relationships.

I meant romantic, since I’m studying Couples Therapy this semester.

Anyway.

The reading.

It got done.

I did some other things today and when I stop to think about them, I realize that it was more than enough, but I did have a moment when I thought, I have to get out and do something, I have to.

So I rode up to the Inner Sunset on my scooter to get a manicure.

But the shop was swamped and the other place I sometimes go to was closed.

I got a little frustrated, there was nothing for me to do, I suppose I could have done more grocery shopping, but I wasn’t feeling it, I had done a little run to my co-op and didn’t really feel like doing more.

I didn’t need to cook more, I had done my food prep for the week earlier today.

I didn’t really need to buy anything.

I didn’t have a place to go or be.

It was an odd time of late afternoon, almost early evening and I realized that the best thing to do would be to just come home and do the reading I had somewhat handily denied to myself that I needed to do (a bit of, I’ll just read at work, or on the train, going on in my brain) and thank God I did.

I don’t think I realized how long the reading was going to be.

I read for at least three hours.

My brain feels a little soggy right now.

I have read for longer than that, pleasure reading, but scholarly work is different and requires a different kind of attention and focus.

Plus, the This American Life segment, which was an hour, reviewing syllabi, going over the practicum stuff for this week, and getting ready for the next open house on Wednesday and my interview on Thursday.

So.

Um, yeah.

A lot of time devoted to school today.

I did not write my Trauma paper, but I’ll be able to knock it out next weekend and it’s just 3-6 pages.

I’ll get it done in an hour.

It’s not a research paper, it’s a reflection paper, so I can just write about what I felt going over the first weekend of material, class, and the readings.

The rest of the week, when I have time to, I will be doing the reading for my Community Mental Health class.

I do not like the readings at all for this class, too much policy reading, stale, governmental readings with no soul or poetry or elegance to them.

Thank God the teacher has plenty of soul and poetry and elegance to him, otherwise I’d be dead in the water.

Public policy is not my milieu.

Nope.

I got done what I needed to get done and I’m happy with that.

Plus.

Two loads of laundry and a spotless, and I do mean spotless, house.

I cleaned.

I always clean before I need to do homework.

Nothing says procrastination like house cleaning over homework.

But.

My little space looks like a shining jewel box.

I was reflecting with much pleasure as I sat on the chaise in the corner underneath a big reading lamp, my home, so warm and clean and pretty.

Smelling homey and comfy.

I roasted a chicken.

Little Sunday rituals, self-care, and yoga in the morning.

It was not a bad day at all.

And though I did not manage to get my nails done, I did end up taking a scenic detour home from the Inner to Outer Sunset, through Golden Gate Park on my scooter as the sun was setting through the Truffula trees (what I call the Monterey Pines, I swear I think that’s the tree species that Seuss was referencing in his drawings), the washes of light blues and the underlining golden colors of sunset, the hydrangea blooming, Stow Lake, the water reflecting the last of the sun, the end of the day, golden and washed with glimmer.

It was a lovely reminder of where I get to live.

And when I got home and walked into my jewel box of a home I was glad.

Glad to be home.

Grateful to have time to devote to my studies.

And content with myself and my efforts.

I am enough.

I have enough.

I do.

I really do.

Choices, Options, Decisions

January 28, 2017

Home.

It was just to come home.

And I was very much ok with the coming home.

In fact.

I danced around my home feeling pretty happy and complete.

I had a good day at work.

I had a great meeting of the minds after work.

I got asked out to dinner.

And this time I got the feeling it was more than for just fellowship.

I said yes.

I don’t know when we’re going to go, but I feel like we will be going soon.

He had a cold or we might have grabbed a bite tonight.

I decided to opt out of going to my friend’s birthday dinner.

I was already half way towards home and super hungry.

I just couldn’t fathom turning my scooter back around, going the other direction into Friday night end of the week cocktail traffic and doing a late sushi dinner.

I was too hungry.

I figured the best thing to do was ping my friend, extend my happy birthday wishes and head home to eat some tasty dinner here.

I just did and I am quite pleased.

I am also pleased as I have paid my rent for February and I bought myself a few things online from ModCloth for new interview clothes.

Why?

Because I’ll be interviewing soon.

How do I know that?

I got a response to my resume and cover letter this morning!

Hi Carmen!
Thank you so much for your resume and info. I recall meeting you at the practicum fair.
It does look like you might be a great match for our therapeutic community here. I’d like to invite you in for a casual interview.
Please let me know some days and time-frames that would work for you and we’ll schedule a casual interview.
Thanks! 
Whoa.
I had completely forgotten I had even applied.
Hahaha.
The e-mail this morning caught me off guard.
I was not looking for it, just checking my e-mail as I had breakfast and was enjoying some coffee, thinking about what I might me doing this weekend and my plans had changed when I discovered I had gotten my period.
Yeah.
TMI.
Fuck you.
But no, there will be no fucking me.
Canoodle session canceled.
Which I am alright with.
I realized after I had gotten this e-mail.
I am going to need to do some shopping for some interview clothes tomorrow!
Yippee!
I like clothes shopping when I’m in the mood and I have to say, I’m in the mood now.
Hehe.
Super excited.
And fingers crossed we will be doing the interview soon as I would really love to nail down my practicum site and not proceed forward with more open houses and more applications and more interviews.
I responded with times and days and fingers crossed I’ll hear back soon.
I also contacted the third year student in my program, he’s the person who recommended the place to me, and said, I got asked in for a casual interview, any suggestions?
He said, “just go in and be your fabulous self.”
Well fuck.
I can do that.
And though it will be casual, whatever that means, I do feel like I want to show up nicely dressed and coiffed.
Really what it comes down to is that I need a pair of nice flats.
I don’t have a single pair of flats.
Oh.
I have tennis shoes.
Converse and a pair of Saucony.
And I have my boots.
But I don’t see wearing rain boots.
Or.
My Burning Man boots.
Um no.
Then I have a couple of pairs of heels, but I don’t have the appropriate interview attire to go with them, they were bought for dresses which I feel are too dressy for the interview.
And I have plenty of wedges and platforms.
But walking into an interview in 4 inch Mary Jane black suede platforms might be just a bit too much fabulous.
I figure I need to hop over to Macy’s downtown and grab a pair of D’Orsay flats from Nine West, they carry my size and they’re not super expensive, plus they’re cute and I can wear them with other outfits.
Then maybe I pop into Banana Republic and grab a nice pair of slacks or a long skirt, a simple button down and maybe a blazer jacket.
Nothing too fancy, but clean, simple, pulled together.
The site is in the Mission and it’s a Community Therapy model, so I don’t think any one is going to be over concerned with my outfit, but I know that it’s better to come in looking tidy then roll up in jeans and Converse.
Even if I end up doing the practicum hours in jeans and Converse, which is a likelihood, I will feel better being well suited for the first get together.
I’m going to get up, go to a 9 a.m. yoga class.
Shower.
Breakfast.
Coffee.
Scooter up to 7th and Irving, meet my person at Tart to Tart at 12:15p.m.
Then another lady at 1:15p.m.
Lunch.
Then a manicure and some lunch.
After lunch I’ll head downtown and do the shopping.
Hopefully it won’t take too long and then I’ll head to the NOPA do the deal and maybe if I’m feeling it, hang out and do some fellowship, grab dinner at Brenda’s if folks are going out.
Sunday will be yoga, taxes, homework, cooking for the week, reading, write a paper.
And if I get it all done I will be taking the suggestion to go see a movie.
I may not though.
And I’ll be ok with that.
I did promise myself that since I wasn’t going out tonight to my friend’s birthday gig I would try to get out tomorrow and connect with people.
Keep myself from isolating and be in the stream of life.
Because I suspect I’ll be starting practicum soon and I want to have some fun to balance out all the school stuff.
And though there is more work to do.
I am excited.
I am happy I got a response to my resume.
And.
I’m happy I got asked out to dinner.
Yes.
Yes I am.

It’s Been A Day

January 9, 2017

And I haven’t left the house.

Well.

I tried.

I thought about it.

I was going to.

Then.

I didn’t.

I took care of all things domestic and necessary–laundry, cooking, food prep, cleaning.

I took care of all things personal and grooming.

Even knowing that I might end up spending the entire day indoors I still got up, took a shower, did my hair, my it looks fine, and even put on make up and a cute outfit, because, well, I like to dress for myself.

And I was to have a visitor and I like to be nicely put together when I have people over.

I am so glad she and I met.

It’s been about a month since we sat down and did the deal, it was so good to get caught up and hear about her life and listen and be present.

Such a gift, that, being present for another, no expectations, just me here at the table reading a few words from a blue bound book and listening to fears and love and faith and joy and happiness and challenges.

Getting to share what I have gone through, knowing my experience can be of service, that nothing, and I do mean nothing, is wasted, that every moment, triumph or painful fall, has meaning and can be shared with another.

My life has meaning.

That is a great gift to know.

My greatest assets are my experiences and knowing that another can make use of them is incredible.

So there was that and it was good.

Then there was the overwhelming feeling of it wasn’t enough.

That I wasn’t enough, that I hadn’t gotten enough done, that I had left too much undone during my vacation time.

Meaning.

FUCK ME.

I am already behind on my school work.

Fuck me.

I mean.

Holy shit there is a lot more reading than I thought there was.

I really took a look at my syllabi today.

And get this.

I did read an entire book yesterday on the train.

Granted, it was a small book, only 87 pages, more a pamphlet than anything.

But.

Shit.

I did not see the rest of the syllabus readings until today.

Whoa.

There was a lot of reading there.

I also, before the discovery that I wasn’t nearly far enough along, done a bunch of reading for my Trauma class.

Maybe 90-100 pages.

I only have one of the books yet, so I read what was assigned from that book.

I need to read about another 150 pages between two other text books for that class and at this point I am just hoping I get them in the mail this week.

Just to have them.

I mean.

I have plenty of other reading to keep me going.

I had been warned by two of my friends in the cohort that the reading for the first weekend of Couples Counseling was beyond the pale.

I didn’t think much of it until I look up the work after kicking through what I could of the Trauma class.

Holy fucking shit.

Whoa.

I mean.

Does this teacher realize that we have other fucking classes this weekend?

Good gravy man.

Fuck you.

I texted a friend and just sort of lost it, what the hell is up with ___________ class?

We commiserated about the amount of reading and that the reader wasn’t available yet, so he’d sent a fuck ton of downloads to the class to read.

I am not great about reading on a computer screen, it’s super hard for me and I also knew that I wouldn’t get through all the reading unless I was able to take it with me and read a little here and there while waiting for the train, or on the train.

Fucking weather.

Fucking fuckedy fuck fuck fuck.

The storm is also why I didn’t really get out.

I didn’t need to, I had done all my shopping and errands previous to this weekend because of the impending doom of the storm.

And it was big and is still going on.

I was going to leave for a moment, I got on the coat, I got my umbrella, I grabbed my purse and I walked out the door, locked it, opened the gate, popped open my umbrella, took five steps and said, “nope.”

I turned right back around, shut the gate, unlocked the door, put my umbrella back and hung up my jacket.

Then I went back to the syllabi.

I messaged my friend a few more texts and then discovered that the grades were up from last semester.

Wait for it.

Straight A’s.

And Passes for the classes I had that were pass/fail.

Which I still think is hilarious that some of our courses in a graduate school program are pass/fail.

Then again, thank God that some are, I tend to get caught up in them and then realize, hey lady, focus on the ones that have a letter grade.

Which means.

Yes.

I have straight A’s through three semesters of classes.

I am half way through the program officially.

Officially I didn’t do dick today in regards to my practicum stuff.

But I did buckle down after a bit of freaking out and needing to get talked down off the ledge by my friend in school and a couple of phone check ins I did with my people.

“Your timing couldn’t be more perfect,” I said as I answered the phone.

“Lay it on me mama,” he said.

And I told him about it all and how I felt overwhelmed and I have had nightmares recently.

Ugh.

Recurring nightmares that haven’t had in years, but hey, here you go, have a nightmare, not stressed at all are you?

hahahahahahahaha.

Vomit.

“It has to be enough,” I said to him, “it has to be, I already did more today than most people do all weekend.”

I felt the tears well up and slide down my cheeks.

Sometimes it feels like there is just so much work to do and no one to rely on but myself and my God I better make this work or I’ll be homeless in the park.

Thanks brain, really needed that added incentive.

We talked it through and I felt the pressure valve open and the emotional steam hiss out.

Then.

I expressed some plans for the weekend.

Yeah.

It is a school weekend, but it’s also a big anniversary for me on Friday.

So.

I’ll be leaving school, I decided, a half hour early so I can go sit in a church basement and make a little announcement where I have made a few before, eleven other to be exact, but who’s counting?

I am.

That’s who.

I’m also going to go to a special church on Sunday and have dinner with some friends before hand and pick up a little something that evening.

A sort of talisman if you like.

A special token of time and effort and work.

If I only do that.

If I only did that work today, the sitting across from the lady bug, the listening, the sharing, than it was a good day.

Fuck.

It was a great day.

An amazing day.

To help another.

Spectacular.

With those thoughts and feelings I got off the phone, ate a home cooked, I told you I did food prep today I have meals for every day this week and all my meals at school all portioned out and ready for take off, made a cup of tea and got onto the reading.

I watched a two-hour movie required for one of the classes and then read two clinical papers.

I did over two hundred pages of reading today and watched that movie.

But most importantly I acknowledged to myself that I am enough.

I am doing enough.

I have enough.

There is no scarcity.

No.

I have all I need.

I am so grateful.

Because the one thing that I may have the most of is perspective.

It is astounding to realize how well I have taken care of myself and how far I have come.

I’ve come a long fucking way.

Just saying.

And though I have a long way to go.

Well, they say, “they” who the fuck are they, it’s the journey not the destination.

I’m on the path and though I don’t know where it leads exactly.

I’m happy to report that I made some nice strides along it today.

And at this juncture the most important thing is to acknowledge it and to take my rest.

There will be more work to do tomorrow.

But for tonight.

I am done.

Seriously.

l am pretty much toast.

Which means.

Time for tea.

And listening to the rain beat against the glass on the back door and the deep hallucinatory roar of the ocean as the waves smash upon the beach.

Warm.

Safe.

Cozy.

And loved.

That too.

I believe it.

I know I love me.

And that is enough.

It was even when I did not realize I was enough.

Perspective.

Seriously.

Where it’s at.

 

You Mean Your 33rd

December 12, 2016

There is no way you’re in your 40s!

Thanks darling.

That was nice to hear.

I was texting with a friend in regard to my birthday brunch next Sunday at Zazie’s in Cole Valley.

One week left of 43.

Not that I’m counting.

I’m grateful for my age, my authenticity, my life, my person, this body of experiences of heart aches and belly laughs, or sorrow and pain and vast oceans of gratitude, love, and happiness.

I get to encompass so much.

For that I am grateful.

I am also grateful for more affirmations of myself, my abilities, and my work, I received some amazing feed back from my Psychopathology professor today.

I got back my mid-term paper from her.

I was actually a bit nervous, she’s the professor I asked for a letter of recommendation from and I want to impress her (hell fire, I want to impress everyone, truth be told) and she’s the professor that’s got the biggest paper yet to do ahead for me to have the semester of work completed.

I got an “A.”

I was blown away.

Especially as she was explaining her grading scale yesterday in class to a student she hasn’t had before in class; who was asking with the same anxiety that I remember having so well when I first started taking classes with this professor (I will also have her next semester for Trauma), how she graded her papers and assigned grades for the class.

The professor explained and basically expressed that a good grade was an A-.

The a decent grade was a B+.

You don’t want to get less than a B in grad school, FYI.

A B- or a C+ you might as well be failing the class.

That an exemplary, you went above and beyond was what it took to warrant an “A” for her class.

That I got an “A” on my mid-term paper boggles my mind.

After her explanation, which I just summarized, there’s a little more behind how she grades, I was sitting in class thinking I definitely had gotten a B+ for the paper and if I was lucky, perhaps an A-.

I got an “A!”

Fuck yes!

And fuck me.

Now the pressure is more on than before to produce a good final last paper for her.

Especially after the end note she left on my paper: “Carmen, this is by far the most heartfelt, touching, and comprehensive psychopathology paper ever!  You show a deep integration between your personal experience and conceptual understanding.  I appreciate the seamless ways in which you wove in the material from McWilliams (one of the text books I referenced in conjunction with the DSM V)–I can see how much you have made this material your own.  Impressive!”

I just about fell out of my chair.

And.

Yes.

I did indeed tear up.

It just feels so god damn good to be on the right track, to finally, after so many years of soul searching, have a way forward, a goal, an identity (although certainly only a small facet of who I am, but one in which I get to use all that I am), a career path, and that I get to use all those things, all that soul suffering that I went through, to gain access to that path.

Such a gift.

All the pain was not for naught.

All the experience I have and all the resilience.

I’m just stupid grateful.

Which is good, tis the season after all.

My heart full and warm as I pause and look at my Christmas tree, at the neat stack of Christmas cards I just addressed prior to getting started on this blog, on the soft candle light in my home, the hot tea in my body, I feel replete.

Not quite relieved.

No.

Like I said, there is still another paper to go.

But.

I am inspired, alight, and yes, a little nervous.

One of my friends from Wisconsin whom I am shortly to be visiting, sent me a weather update about the cold, the snow and the negative temperatures and asked if I was still coming.

I had to laugh, the cold is scary, but not enough to scare me off from my trip.

And.

I am so looking forward to seeing my friends, their sweet boys, the snow, the Christmas lights in the snow, the smell of firewood burning in the cold night air–one of my favorite smells of all time, wood fire smoke on a cold night (only to be super ceded by wood fire smoke from a beach bonfire).

I messaged him back that I was indeed still coming and that I was in fact finishing up my final classes of my last weekend of the semester.

He pinged back that he would send me something to read.

I said, NOOOOO.

Not yet.

Nope.

I have to write this paper and now I have this additional problem of having some big expectations for myself around writing a stellar paper.

I loved his response: “what a good problem!”

He’s right.

If I am going to have “problems” in my life, this is certainly one of the better ones to have.

Heh.

Goodness.

I just realized that two weeks from now I’ll be there, in the snow, cozy in their home, my best friend, her husband, their three boys, and it will be Christmas.

I am such a lucky girl.

Friends.

Travel.

Snow at Christmas.

Wrapping up gift boxes to send to my mom and my sister.

Christmas cards addressed and stamped.

Meaning and purpose and a design to take all the soul suffering and transmute it into the language of love.

How many people get to do that?

I am blessed.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Yes.

Very much so.

And It Was

December 11, 2016

A good day.

I’m a little jazzed up from all the dancing at the wedding and my toes are a little squashed, I don’t normally wear heels all day long and then dance in them, but it was a wedding.

And.

It was wonderful.

I got teary quite a few times.

The bride.

Lordy.

So beautiful.

The ceremony was sweet and funny and full of love.

I was happy to bear witness and be there and it’s been a while since I’ve been to a wedding and it felt really nice to be present to connect and reconnect with friends I don’t often get to see, to have some dancing time, some hugging time, some hanging out and being seen and seeing time.

Granted I am sure I will be hella tired tomorrow for my last day of classes of the semester.

But.

LAST DAY OF CLASSES OF THE SEMESTER!

So very grateful that’s happening.

I’m ready.

The last day of the motherfucking semester.

So lovely.

Today was rather hard to sit through, I had a slight headache and a little bit of tired and also it was rainy and torrential and very grey and wet and I just did not want to go to class.

I did though.

I got through the day.

I got back another paper from Family Therapy with some nice comments on it.

I had a wonderful lunch with a few friends from my cohort.

I got to flounce around the halls in my fancy dress and my blue suede shoes.

Sorry.

No pictures.

I tried taking a few, I did, my friend did, but I don’t know, I just was not feeling it.

Sometimes the pictures they happen and sometimes I can’t get the right angle to save myself and I get tired of taking selfies and I just stuck my phone in my purse and said, fuck it.

I look pretty in my dress, with my hair up and my red lipstick on and I don’t need photographic evidence and I don’t need to post 1,000 self-referential photos on social media.

The phone stayed in my bag most of the wedding.

There was a photographer there, I’m not worried about not getting to see photos from the day.

What was more important was to sit and connect and be with friends.

That was the best.

My best girl friend and I started shaping some definitive plans for a girl day hang out in January.

Sephora, The MOMA, The Balboa for a movie, Chinese food in the Richmond.

Yes.

Yes, please.

It was so good to see her.

It’s hard when your friends move away.

I’m so grateful that moving away was just to the other side of the bay, it’s still hard to get together and getting in and out of the city with the traffic is nuts on everyone so when we do get together, it is such a gift.

I’m lucky to have the women in my life that I do.

So very lucky.

Ah.

Yes.

There.

Winding down.

Hot tea in a cup.

Heels off in the closet.

Stockings slipped off my legs.

I’m still in my dress and crinoline, but bare toes on the rug and happy to be home.

If just for a little while.

I’ll be back up early in the morning and off to class, and gratefully, fingers crossed, I’ll be back on my scooter.

The rain looks like it’s passing for a bit.

I’ll be able to ride to class in the morning.

One more day of classes.

One more week of obsessing about when I’m going to get to writing my last paper.

Which I’ve already figured out will be Saturday, but I do hope I can do a little work on it Monday when I’m at work.

Wow.

Which I just realized.

Will be my last week with the family up in Noe Valley.

And then the week following my last week with my primary family.

The mom and I hammered out the last shifts that I’ll be working, they’re sort of odd hours since the boys will be out of school and the mom has some holiday stuff planned for them, activities, outings the like, I will have off schedule hours the whole week.

Monday will be 10a.m. to 6p.m.

Tuesday 9:30a.m.-5:30p.m.

Wednesday 9:30a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Thursday 9a.m.-1:15 p.m.

And.

Friday, December 23rd, my last day with the boys, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Fucked up.

But whatever.

I’m not going to worry about it, I am going to be flexible and be there and have a nice last week with them.

It’s wonky.

But.

I am grateful that I will be getting out of work so early on Friday.

I’ll be able to wrap up any last-minute errands I need to attend to before my flight out to Wisconsin and I’ll be able to be mellow about getting there.

I will pack day of when I get home and not be concerned.

I wish I had known that I was going to be out so early on that day, I would have scheduled an earlier flight, but it’s really handy to have the later flight and a good spread of hours to pack, clean, change clothes, tidy up and take care of any last-minute things that need to be taken care of.

Then a week off.

From work and school.

I really am going to take a week off.

No homework.

No reading.

No applying to practicum sites.

Nothing.

Just hang with my friend and her family.

Maybe nap.

Maybe read a book for pleasure.

God damn that sounds so sexy.

I’ve got some things between here and there.

But I’m getting closer and it’s damn nice to know that when I get up in the morning all I have to do is show up for my last day of the semester.

And then.

The Psychopathology paper grind will commence.

I will get it done.

Though.

I will.

I always do.

 


%d bloggers like this: