Posts Tagged ‘growth’

Tiny Pockets of Perfect

October 20, 2017

Little precious moment of complete and utter luminosity in my day.

Small things but grand, full of beauty and quiet happiness.

An hour before work with my favorite person in the world having coffee.

Getting a car downtown to meet the family I nanny for and the baby falling asleep in the carrier, I sat and watched the children playing and was warm and snuggled up in a corner and basically got to be still for an hour and a half.

Oh.

I suppose that is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for someone like me, who often moves fast, slowing down is a grand luxury.

Going slow on my scooter and missing the rain that happened.

Although the streets were slick when I went into my internship, they had dried by the time I left and I got home safe and dry.

The best leftovers from a dinner I made last night for my best friend.

Delicious and it reminded me of our time together.

Time that is precious and valuable to me.

Human connection.

Love.

Having a client consult cancel on me and having a full hour to do homework reading and the best, the text is really interesting.

I was a little concerned when I saw that I had to read a 184 pages of a book for just that one class for my next weekend of classes, but the book is quite compelling and I knocked out 58 pages in the hour that I had with no client.

A really good session with another client to end my evening.

And now.

Some Yo Yo Ma playing Beethoven.

I’ll take it.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Oh sure.

It’s still a full day, but it’s payday, which is nice, not that I’m spending any money on anything right now, I am trying to squirrel away for a new car next month, but it’s still nice and I worked over time for the family and when that happens I get it in cash instead of taxed, which is a nice bonus.

So I’ll use that for my “fun” money for the next week.

I’ll work 9 hours tomorrow at work and then take two clients afterward.

But then the weekend.

Yes, I will have group supervision on Saturday and I will also have to sit through an additional hour of supervision since my solo supervisor was away on vacation, but it will feel like a day off, this Saturday.

A day to get in a yoga class, to go do the deal, to not be too pressured to perform.

Group supervision really is just marking time and I don’t have to get highly present for it.

Solo supervision is another thing entirely and that will feel like work, but it will be just an hour.

Then.

Maybe a manicure, maybe a coffee in a cafe, maybe some stickers.

Heh.

I do like my stickers and I discovered a small stash of stickers from Paris this morning when I was doing my Morning Pages.

I had thought I was all out.

It was nice to find a few more.

I have tons of notebooks still from Paris, but yes, the sticker supply is fast dwindling.

I will need to re-up soon.

I am such a girl sometimes, but I’m alright with indulging my inner child, she didn’t get much indulgence growing up and sometimes, hahahahaahaha, I’m writing this sentence and out of the corner of my eye I note my fashionable bunny slippers, I need to indulge her.

Hence stickers and um, ha, bunny slippers.

I did not have slippers growing up.

Hell.

I didn’t have slippers as an adult for a very long time, but man, when I finally indulged, happiness!

Especially now that the seasons are fully turning and it’s getting chilly out there.

I was a touch overdressed on my scooter today, thinking it was going to be colder than it was, but the days grow short, the nights grow long, and the temperatures have dropped.

And now the rain.

A touch of melancholy.

A soft stirring of sadness.

And I remember that I am allowed to hold more than one or two or three emotions.

I can hold many.

Even the painful ones that hide in the pretty ones.

Tender and sad and soft and sweet and let myself have them so they don’t stay stuck.

I can get stuck sometimes and the words don’t come out right and I feel tongue-tied.

All of that too.

Even in the starred days, in the ways that light affects me and the pulling at my heart as it wanders far above in the night sky.

Sings to me this lullaby.

Loss and sorrow and surrender and unmitigated love and struggle and joy all of it.

Perfect in my imperfections, still making mistakes and growing.

Pain, the touch stone of spiritual growth, I remind myself.

The way that I can see all the loveliness and feel all the joy because I have experienced the other side and have something to compare it to.

I made myself sad without meaning too.

And left adrift in my melancholy I will listen again to the sound of the cello, winsome and low against the piano and the story it tells me slides inside my heart and falls like the soft rain outside my door onto my face.

I am not always good at this.

Being human.

But I am always, oh so very.

Very.

Human.

Which is perhaps.

The most perfect of all.

Perhaps.

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A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

Especially since I am a therapist in training, although, let me tell you, I felt like a therapist today, seeing clients, filing paperwork, checking all the boxes, circling all the things that needed to be circled and doing the work.

I can get super caught up in how much longer this road is and how the hell am I ever, I mean, ever, going to get 3,000 hours, but I can’t, I just can’t focus on that.

One hour at a time.

Fortunately I have some practice living a day at a time and when I reflect on how those days add up and all my accomplishments have come in small increments, but come they have, then I don’t have to get too caught up in the numbers.

It’s just a numbers game and I’m doing it the best I can as fast as I can without killing myself in the process.

I mean.

I still have to process all my own stuff, plus carrying around my clients in my head.

I do that now.

I have them in my head and sometimes I will think about them and once in a while I have a momentary flash, a connection, a thought or feeling and a little aha moment, that feels pretty special.

But.

Yes.

I do have to process my own stuff too, I have to look at my own emotional life sift through the chafe and dander and see what is needing to seen and what is needing to be let go.

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

On and off all day, with one really big cry in the evening when I was talking with my person on the phone and going over the shock of what had happened and how the death of my friend had not just hit me, but many others, the numbers of people who showed up to be present for each other and for the family of the deceased was extraordinary.

Not to mention all the people in so many other places he had affected, who’s lives he had touched–Portland, Seattle, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Oakland.

Gah.

I can hear him saying “West Oakland” in my head and such joy at his goofiness suffuses me.

For he was joyful.

Oh sure, sad and fucked up and scared and young and insecure, who hasn’t been those things, but also bright and kind and funny and so there for you and warm and sweet and musically talented.

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

Seeing all the pictures, all the photographs, all the expressions of heartbreak, my social media feed was just awash in tears and sadness.

I really had to not look after a while.

And I knew when I woke up having felt puffy eyed and sluggish and a bit off kilter that I wasn’t going to allow myself to wallow in the emotionalism of social media.

I needed coffee, some ibuprofen, and a good breakfast.

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

And as I expressed to my therapist today after plopping down on her couch and telling her I was going to cry and then immediately doing so, I also realized that some, a lot of the emotion I had in my body, on my heart, in my head, was not mine.

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

So I talked it out, processed it, linked it to other things, made traverses, expressed emotions, cried a lot in the beginning, but by the middle of my session I was going other places.

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

I am a work in progress, people, don’t expect perfection, I am far, far, far from perfect.

But.

I am loving and kind and sweet, I would hazard.

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

Sometimes too much and I get overextended and I give too much, I have been trained well in that way of life, being my mom’s caretaker, taking care of my sister, my oldest niece, an ex-boyfriend of five years who might as well have been my mother for all the caretaking he required, but I have grown a lot.

Oh, so fucking much.

And I know when I need to caretake and when the other person needs to do the job their own damn self.

And there’s no irony that I am in the care taking profession.

A. I am a nanny, I care take all day long.

B. I am a psychotherapist.

But it’s not my job to care take as a therapist and that’s a really intriguing thing for me.

I am also not there to make my client feel better, to sugar coat, or to shoo away uncomfortable feelings.

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

I like to look at them as signposts, directions, “hey this thing you do, it doesn’t work for you.”

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

They are signs that the way things are going, the tools being used for living, well they might not be working so well.

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

I remember the first time I did a line of good blow.

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

And I was fine with the way those answers were conveyed and I rather scoffed at a friends warning that perhaps I like that drug a little more than was perhaps healthy.

Um.

Yeah.

But when those solutions failed I had to find a better way, a different way and there was depression there and there was anxiety and all sorts of other juicy psychological terms and conditions.

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

I won’t tell that to a client, they have to find their own way, I think that I am a mirror, an attachment figure, a person who can and will have to withstand the disappointments and anger and discomfort of others so that they can learn how to use that information and devise their own solution.

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

Just like alcohol, ultimately, and every other drug I took, weren’t for symptom relief.

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

And today when I walked out of my therapist office I felt a lightness and a joy.

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

I have so much joy and passion in my life, such happiness, I felt light and though there is still sadness for the loss of this beautiful person, I have also a deeper connection to how alive I want to be and how alive I am allowed to be.

To be alive, in this moment, sober, and free.

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

Moved beyond words for my experiences and this amazing place I have been lead to.

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

Just Keep Writing

June 19, 2017

Very, very, very few hits on the blog yesterday and today.

Of course.

It is Father’s Day.

Folks have things to do, people to see, loved ones to celebrate.

I sent my dad warm thoughts, it’s how I can show up today, loving from a distance.

I did try last week on his birthday to call the cell phone number I have for him, but the call did not go through and I took that as the time is not now.

I may never have the time for my dad.

I have acceptance for that, some sorrow, but mostly acceptance and a kind of peace around it.

There are times that I have wished for more from my father, but I have always known, despite not having much contact with him through the years, that I was loved by him.

Who am I to say that how he expressed his love was not the right thing for me?

I cannot choose how people express their love.

I have a certain idea how it should look, but my ideas are often wrong.

So often wrong.

It’s rather ridiculous.

But hey, I’m trying.

I may fall, but at least I know that I am trying.

And I love.

So, so, so hard.

My God, I love hard.

And it may not be what someone wants either.

I have tried being softer and kinder and easier with my love, for myself, for others, to not squeeze too hard, to be gentle, to be flexible and have deeper perspective and appreciation for all forms of love.

I’m not sure where I am going with this ramble, just that I am glad for my father and I hope he is well and I love him.

I do.

So many kinds of love, so much vastness of feeling.

So many memories.

Some easier to recall than others.

Grateful for them all.

Grateful for today.

It was a good day.

I woke up earlier than I was planning, but then again, I hadn’t planned on staying up late last night, but the cup of coffee I gleefully, rebelliously drank with my friend at the anniversary party last night had its way with me.

I was going to let myself have eight hours of sleep.

But the light in my room woke me up and I knew I would feel better if I got up and got myself going.

So I hopped up, put on the yoga clothes and went to the studio down the block.

It was a great class and I was very happy with the teacher.

Then a nice mellow, slow morning.

Met with a lady, did the deal, did some laundry, did some shopping, did some cooking.

And.

Holy cats.

I read some fiction.

I read a book.

In the sun.

On the back porch.

It was sunny in San Francisco and the beach was packed and the parks were packed and it was Father’s Day all over the place.

I did go down to the beach for a little bit, but when it’s nice out, and it was, it was over 80 degrees, the beach gets really bombarded and add a national celebrate a parent holiday and the traffic and people were off the hook.

I sat in a dune for a while and enjoyed the sea and the sun, but after maybe twenty minutes I just decided to go back home and read on the back porch.

I knew it would be quiet.

And it was lovely.

I definitely got a few freckles today and I got warm in my bones.

It felt nice to put up my feet and relax a little.

The next week is a busy one.

Aren’t they all?

But.

It does make the time go faster and I’m excited to be seeing clients now at the internship.

I also peeped the weather for the next week and it looks gorgeous and sunny and the June gloom that is so often the weather in the city for the summer seems to have abated and I am grateful.

There is so much in my life to be grateful for.

So much learning.

As I navigate through my days I see where I have stumbled and where I have been selfish and when I am not being of good service to a situation.

I can make things about myself really fast.

I catch it more often than I have in the past, but I am always a bit chagrined when I do it.

I get to recall the feeling in my body when I hurt someone or make something about me when it really has nothing to do with me, out of fear, that’s usually where I am acting from, fear.

Fear that I won’t get what I want or I will lose what I have.

And the fear is baseless.

Groundless.

Silly.

I have been given so much and I have so much, that to live in any kind of fear is a kind of waste, a superfluous worry of time, when I could be enjoying the sunshine, the daydream, the revery of sitting still in the back yard and feeling the warmth on my skin where I am caught and held in perfection.

I am human, but that is an excuse.

I have to also change when I see things in myself that I don’t care for, I can’t wish them away.

I can, however, pray about it and hope to be of better service in the future.

Remembering how it feels when I have done something that doesn’t serve another because I am in fear of not getting what I want.

Ah growth.

Painful growth.

I heard it said once or twice, though, that pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I definitely grew a little today.

And the pain is not as tender as it has been in the past, but it is there so I chose now, in this moment, to remember what I felt and what I was feeling and to not let those fears get in the way of enjoying my day.

The sun.

The soft warmth.

The dreamy.

I do like the dreamy.

Please God.

Don’t let me fuck up the dreamy.

 

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.

 

Surprisingly Together

April 8, 2017

And well grounded.

I don’t even feel all that tired.

Which is sort of shocking, considering that I just got back from doing an 11 hour school day.

I was prepared though and able to carry through with all the things that needed to be attended to and I did some good self-care, got up early, took a nice hot shower before breakfast, made a nice unsweetened vanilla coconut/almond milk latte, I rode the MUNI into class, rain, and connected with all my sweet friends.

I also feel that there was a distinct shift for me in being able to focus on the classes and material as I have all my practicum stuff nailed down, I don’t have any anxiety about trying to make it all happen.

It all happened.

I’m registered and all my paperwork is signed.

It’s like walking the plank with my eyes wide open.

I have started the journey and I have no clue exactly what I am about to leap into, but I am on the way to leaping.

I have a few weeks of “freedom” haahahaha, that’s funny, (final projects, papers, and one more weekend of class) before I have to start supervision, and about a month and a half before I start at my internship.

I will have Paris before that.

Although, it does now look like I won’t be in the Marais, my friend’s house had some unexpected water damage and there will be construction happening.

I will be staying with a friend of hers in the 10th.

This is going to be a new one, but not that new, I’ve done Air BnB before when traveling, I’ll be staying with someone new, but he’s in a great location and he’s a dear friend of my friend and frankly anyone who is her close friend is going to be a good friend of mine.

I have nothing to complain about, I get to stay somewhere free in Paris.

That is a huge gift.

She is a huge gift in my life.

I am so grateful for her and for my other friends that I reconnected with today.

There were lots and lots and lots of hugs.

Some tears too.

Life happens and it’s hard and we all showed up for each other in some pretty spectacular ways today, I felt honored and privileged to be a part of the cohort and happy to be seen by my friends.

I also got some extraordinary remarks, comments and feedback on a paper I wrote from my professor who I hold in most highest esteem, her opinion of me and my abilities means a lot to me.

I know I’ve got her up on a pedestal, but she really is an amazing teacher and I needed an amazing teacher to be able to do the work that is required for doing trauma work.

“I suppose you learn a lot about yourself,” my driver said to me tonight as we chit chatted about my program.

Folks often have this idea that I’m headed out to some party or some fun Friday night thing but no, I’m just going home after doing 11 hours of school, which leads to a conversation about what I am studying.

My driver asked me so many questions and it was really fun to share some of the things that I am learning and practicing and I could also tell he was trying to get, “Just asking for a friend,” information about whether I thought Couples Therapy had any efficacy.

I basically gave him a session on the ride home.

It was like Taxi Cab Confessionals except from the passengers purview.

It also let me realize, in the telling, that I know a lot more than I even realize and that I can disseminate the material well enough to a lay person to make concepts clear and ideas and it was sort of cool to just let myself talk and hear the theories fall out of my mouth.

I really had a moment of being, “who is this person talking?”

And it was me.

I am sure I will have my doubts and troubles, my anxieties and fears, but I feel that I have come a really big way and I feel like I can see myself being able to take on clients.

I can do this.

I really can.

And.

I am going to be good at it.

God damn it’s nice to find my niche, to know where I am most needed to fit myself to be of maximum service, to know I can be of help and do well by myself as well.

There is life long learning as well.

I appreciate that.

I will keep growing.

I will keep getting to find out and experience different things.

There will always be books to read, articles to write, experiences to be had, I have such a full rich life, this work only adds a deeper complexion and color to a glass that is full to overflowing with love and experience.

Grateful.

That is where I stand.

In a place of deep gratitude.

And I always could see more softening in me, more resilience, and more acceptance of myself, where I am in the program and where I can ease up a little, in the classroom and in my interactions with other students in the cohort.

We are a pretty incredible bunch and I’m super lucky to get to learn from them as well as my teachers.

All the learning.

It’s amazing.

I am so grateful that I am allowing it to keep happening, to keep engaging, to keep growing, to keep pushing at the edges of boundaries and seeing what else and where else I can grow.

Yes.

Growth is painful.

But as they say, “pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.”

I have had some growth spurts this year, and it’s only April.

Leaning into.

Learning to love myself more.

Doing the deal.

And showing up.

That’s pretty much it for today’s check-in.

Off to get some more sleep than I did last night.

So.

I can get up.

And.

Do it all over again.

Working Too Hard

January 15, 2017

To work too hard.

I realized this today.

Especially when I had a brief moment of actually contemplating, yes, yes I did, that I could just not sleep, then I’d be able to do the practicum hours at the site I was thinking about applying to.

Are you bonkers was the next thought.

Thank God that came faster than it typically does.

I mean what kind of fucking therapist would I be if I was advocating for someone to work without sleep?

Yeah.

Not so much.

I remind myself to treat myself like I would a client and do some real looking at my own outlandish expectations and what I can actually accomplish.

And.

That I don’t have to accomplish it all over night.

I mean.

I just don’t.

I’m doing pretty fucking good anyway.

What I am alluding to is that I am not going to apply to the UCSF Infant/Parent program.

They just want too many hours for me to be able to do it.

I like sleeping.

I mean, not like I’m checking out, but you know, 7-8 hours a night seems like a reasonable ask.

Heh.

I met with the professor that I was asking to write me a letter or recommendation for the practicum site and I told her that I had re-evaluated my thinking in regards to the problem and that when I was honest with myself there really was no way I could commit to 25 hours week at the site.

And she agreed.

She also expressed to me that it might be a super challenging site to leap into and that it would require me to make home visits and maybe that was something I might not want to do as I am currently working out of someone’s home as a nanny.

She also said that in a realistic world she believed that nannies should get credit for the hours that they spend working, that a nanny can actively be doing family therapy and she wished there was an acknowledgement of that as she had known a few other nannies come through the program and she really felt that we should get some credit.

If only.

My God would that be nice.

I discussed the fact that it’s just me and my own self, no family, no spouse, no other outside sources for income, not to paint a pity picture, but to be up front, rigorously honest and accepting of where I am.

Because I’m ok with that and I understand that it may necessitate some different actions than the ones I had originally formulated.

I wasn’t super set on the program anyway, I mean I love babies and kids and working with children, don’t get me wrong, but maybe, just maybe I could use a break from it and explore working with adults.

Just a thought.

We talked about the other programs and we had a really honest engagement and I also found out the sites affiliated with the school didn’t need me to provide a letter of recommendation.

Which was some big relief, as to the other program I was thinking about applying to.

If I could navigate around that and not have to worry about those things, well, less work would suit me just fine.

I mean.

I do a lot already.

I don’t need to add more in.

Besides I’ll be adding in plenty just with practicum no matter where I go, I’ll be working at least 10-15 hours more a week, possibly 20-25.

If I go somewhere that I can do nights and weekends.

So I took a little pressure off myself, I forget how easy it is to put myself through the additional wringer of must get it right.

All I have to do is keep showing up and I’m doing ok.

I really am.

Hell.

I’m doing better than ok.

I am a little tired.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, still a tiny bit on the sick side, but it does feel like the cold has predominately lifted.

I am just tired at this point.

Really.

That’s to be expected.

These are big, full, emotional days.

Long days.

Lots of reading and sitting and listening and attending.

Lots of fucking processing.

Jesus fuck.

I mean.

You want to hear process, just sit in on a psychotherapy class and watch them deal with conflict.

It is amazing and exhausting all at the same time.

I am learning a lot though.

And I realized that I can hold a lot more than I have been able to in previous semesters, my own container has grown bigger.

My heart has gotten stronger.

I can read my feelings a lot better and my capacity to express them has also grown.

I can also sit through other people having their process without freaking out or rolling my eyes.

Once today I caught myself having an expectation about how something was supposed to go and I realized that the learning was happening and I just reached inside and said, buckle up kiddo, learn, watch and learn.

When I wasn’t struggling with how I thought the class should go I was actually able to learn.

I don’t have to make shit so hard.

I don’t have to over complicate.

I don’t have to manipulate.

I also trust my teachers much more this semester than I did last semester and I’m enjoying the showing up and being a part of.

I feel more a part of, more integrated, more appreciated.

I am sure I have always been appreciated I wasn’t always able to acknowledge that, and I did today, I accepted some compliments and I had some nice heart to hearts.

Not just with my professor but also with various members of my cohort.

A growing edge.

The constant letting down of my guard, the graceful surrender, the bent swan neck not acquiescing to the emotional demands of another, but gently bowing to hold the space being made, a flexing of feathers and a slow bending collapse into surrender.

I learn more there every day.

It is said that surrender means going over to the winning side.

I did that today.

I did.

It was glorious.

I teared up.

I let people in.

I reached out.

I listened.

I held my own council.

I learned.

Man.

Did I learn.

And that’s what it’s about, isn’t it?

Learning.

I’m in grad school for fucks sake.

That’s what I supposed to be doing.

I don’t have all the answers.

If I did.

Well.

That would be a different blog now, wouldn’t it.

Grateful for the flexibility and generosity of spirit from my class and cohort.

You, my classmates and cohort,  are an amazing and wonderful teacher.

I tip my hat.

And.

I hope I do your lessons justice.

I really.

Really.

Do.

 

Things Change

December 18, 2016

Unexpected.

But for the better.

I won’t be going to Wisconsin for Christmas.

I will be staying here in San Francisco.

Although my person was very pro me going to Hawaii.

Who the hell isn’t interested in going to Hawaii.

As it turns out circumstances were just not a good fit for me to travel where I was going and after much heart-felt thinking I realized I needed to cancel.

I booked the ticket through an online site, Kayak, that lead to Priceline, that led to SunCountry and I was afraid I was going to have to bite the cost of the ticket.

$480 down the toilet.

According to Priceline’s little disclaimer about tickets being non-refundable, etc.

However.

Upon the urging of my person I called the airline and explained my situation and the person I talked to was super sweet and accommodating and they cancelled my ticket and gave me a voucher that I can use anytime in the next year.

I can choose to go to Wisconsin if the opportunity is right or I can travel to any of the other destinations the airline flies.

I looked at a few places, I mean, I have a week off, but it’s Christmas and the majority of the places that I was interested in going to were booked full.

So.

I have a year to re-book and that’s cool.

I am super happy that I didn’t lose the money and I am happy that I have a year, well, not quite, I booked the ticket in October, so I need to re-book by next October, but I can still use it.

I don’t know where I’ll go and I don’t have to decide right now.

I do know I will be here in the city and who knows what mischief I may get up to.

I figure I will do lots of yoga, buy a book for pleasure reading and go to the MOMA a few times.

Pleasure reading.

Drool.

Because, that shit is happening.

I mean for real.

Because I finished my Psychopathology paper!

My God.

That was a grind.

17 pages.

I thought it was supposed to be 18-20 pages but then I went back into the syllabus and saw that I had made an error, thank God I found that, and the paper “only” needed to be 15-17 pages.

So 17 pages were written.

4,912 words.

I had a friend who was like, what are you going to do to celebrate?

I responded.

Write my blog.

hahahahahahaha.

But really.

This is a celebration right here, right now.

I finished.

I made it.

I am officially half-way through the three-year program and that feels really good.

Despite my sadness at having to change my plans, I know it’s for the best, and plans change, things change, I get to be flexible and I am damn curious to see what is going to happen next.

I do believe that something awesome and fun is going to happen.

And despite a longing to be with my friend and her family I need to do what is best for the situation and that has been done.

It feels rather adult.

I guess one could say I’m growing up.

Which is good since in two hours I’ll be 44.

Heh.

“44!  No!  34!” My yoga teacher was so cute today, we’ve become friends and I invited him and his daughter and his partner to my pinball party in the Haight.

You too.

Come if you’re around.

4p.m.-7p.m. Free Gold Watch in the Haight–Waller at Stanyan.

Bring your quarters!

I’m going to be a Zazie’s for brunch and figure I’ll be signing up there around 12:30p.m. and I just got a text from my person who happens to know the manager, that she gave them the heads up that I was coming in (they don’t take reservations) and she also left me a birthday present!

I’m so lucky.

I’m so grateful.

I get to go to graduate school.

I get to go to play pinball tomorrow with my friends.

I got a voucher for my plane ticket and time to figure out where and when I am going to use it.

So many gifts.

So many.

I’m going to do yoga in the morning too.

It may be my birthday, but I can’t think of a better way to start my year than by taking care of my health and well-being.

God damn.

I really am lucky.

When I think of all the challenges and the things I have gone through to get where I am at, sitting here in this lovely home with my Christmas tree lit up and my school work done for the semester, I am absolutely amazed.

The gift of perspective might be the greatest thing I have in my life.

It is stunning to see how I have changed.

I mean.

Others have seen it and noted it, but I felt it, deep and true these last few days and I am moved by how much I have seemingly grown in such a short time.

Granted I think the seeds had been planted and watered and there was much sunlight of the spirit happening.

But I wasn’t expecting it.

I hadn’t looked for it.

I let go of a defect and found joy in its place and a lightning in my heart.

Love for myself, of myself, directed inward, and there.

A bloom.

A blossom.

A wild, fragrant flowering of brightness inside.

I feel lit up and a glow.

Warm and safe and taken care of.

I have no problems.

I really don’t.

Oh.

Yes.

Challenges, there will always be challenges, and room to grow, I don’t doubt that, there’s always room to grow, but problems, no I don’t have them.

Not now.

Not right here in this glorious moment of freedom.

School’s out for winter!

Ok.

That doesn’t sound as good as school’s out for summer.

But believe you me, after the semester I had.

It is hella sexy.

Hella.

Holiday In Quarantine

November 25, 2016

It was a very quiet, self-reflective, mellow, slow Thanksgiving.

I did a lot of reading.

A lot.

I finished all the reading for my Child Therapy class and I got six chapters read in my Family Therapy class.

I had a couple of long sweet conversations with friends and family.

I received many sweet messages for the holiday.

I slept in.

I sat in the sunshine.

I walked on the beach.

I, yes, did some more laundry.

I have to strip and remake my bed every day for another 5-14 days.

I’ll see what happens when I go in on Saturday for the second treatment.

I didn’t stray from the neighborhood.

Most of the day I sat in the sun in the back yard and read and talked on the phone.

It was nice.

It was simple.

It was a great way to get a lot of reading done.

I still have plenty to do to get myself through the rest of the semester.

Papers to write, more reading to do.

Registering for the next semester of classes.

I have a lot to do.

But today I just sort of did small little actions.

I didn’t feel like following through with any invitations to come over and hang out, after I’m fully cleared.

I mean.

It’s doubtful I would pass anything on, but I just want to be sure.

That being said.

I am going to go to yoga in the morning.

And I plan to be out in the world a little more tomorrow.

NOT doing any Black Friday shopping, unless one counts grocery shopping.

I don’t.

But I will do a little movement away from the neighborhood, go do the deal and such, get out of my head and not let myself be too isolated.

I’ll pop up to the Inner Sunset and grab some fellowship and doing the deal in the early evening.

I don’t have big plans, as you may have sussed out, I have felt a little ostracized, self-imposed for the most part, after finding out about the lice, I haven’t really felt much like being social.

I know, they’re not contagious, but there’s still a little stigma in my head.

Or on my head.

Until I get the second treatment I may be a little shy about social stuff.

I will, however get out and do some stuff on Saturday.

I have my appointment for the second treatment at 9:30 a.m. on Fillmore between Clay and Sacramento.

It’s a fun little neighborhood for shopping and they do have a card shop that I like, I’m a sucker for stationary.

I also put a tentative coffee/lunch date ask out to a friend over in Oakland, hoping to entice him over the bridge with my MOMA membership.

And.

I’ll be seeing my person that night as well as going to dinner with him to Brenda’s.

I can’t eat much on the fried chicken, po’ boy side of town, but they do have a lovely red beans and rice with andouille sausage I quite like and I may allow myself to try the shrimp grits too.

The company is where it will be at though.

I don’t mind a bit of isolation but I need people in my life, even with all the time that I need to dedicate to being in grad school, I still need human love and interactions.

I need rituals and traditions too.

I may get my Christmas tree Sunday.

I almost didn’t have one last year and a friend gave me a little guy that I was able to have on my desk, but I missed having the full size tree.

It will be my splurge.

There really is something decadent about having a live tree in my house that will run me anywhere from $75-$100 for the honor of having a holiday tradition.

And.

Yes.

I will be traveling for Christmas.

But.

I so love the smell of the tree and the lights and the glow.

This is always the point in the year when I wished I was living in a bigger space, so I could have a bigger tree, but I tend to get a nice sized one, last year excepting, and it fills my home so fragrant.

It’s a self-love, self-care act.

I love hanging the lights.

Unwrapping the Christmas ornaments.

Unearthing the holiday cards.

I realized the other day that I have Christmas cards that I bought in Paris last year.

I got them at the gift shop at the end of the Tuileries.

Last year was a sad Christmas.

Despite being in Paris.

My heart felt like it was on fire the entire time.

How hard a place to be.

In the City of Lights, in the City of Love, in the most romantic place with a man I loved, but unable to have any romantic rapport with.

It’s a long terrible story that I have never fully sketched out.

Suffice to say.

It was hard for me and I was sad often.

The light on his face as we walked the avenues and roamed through the museums.

The hope, constant, beating like a broken winged dove in my heart, that something would change, alter, the silences and the unspoken things would come out, the berating of myself and the gorgeous back drop of the city, the smell of chestnuts from street vendors, the children on the carousels, the smell of hot chocolate and popcorn, the lights hanging in the streets.

On one hand it was the most exquisite romantic experience ever.

Unrequited love songs generally are sang best in the tune of not getting what you desire most.

I chose something different this year.

I chose to throw my own birthday party.

I chose to spend Christmas with my best friend from Wisconsin and her skulk.

I chose friendship and comraderie over heart ache and soul suffering.

It was brilliant grist for the grad school paper writing mill, but I don’t need to have that experience again.

It was painful.

I could have built a wall, I could have disappeared into a tunnel of angst, and I did for a little while, but upon careful reflection I deserve every powerful taste of love I can get.

And.

I know without a doubt that getting to know that depth of love I had for that man-made me a better woman, even though we couldn’t be together, the lessons learned will and have made me ready for the next experience I get to have.

I just hope it’s not an experience where I will be inhabited by tiny bugs scritch scratching in my head.

Puts a damper on making out.

Seriously.

I am ready to move forward.

And excited for what the rest of the holiday season brings.

More love.

I am sure of it.

Happiest holidays to one and all.

Damn You

October 23, 2016

Second wind.

I did not expect to be so jazzed up all the sudden.

I was crashing pretty hard in my last class of the day and just put my forehead down on the shoulder of one of my classmates and said, “make it stop.”

Or something to that effect.

It was a long day.

But hey.

It’s done now.

And of course.

I am wide awake.

I’m listening to music and writing and drinking hot tea and thinking about high-school.

Yeah.

That sounds like good times, right?

Ha.

But.

It was with a certain sweetness and fondness that I was thinking about myself and with a great deal of compassion for the experiences that made me.

I wouldn’t wish to go back.

I wouldn’t wish to change it.

I wouldn’t go and tell that girl child turning woman, do it different, here’s how, no.

I would not.

I am in love with who I am.

I was happy today and light and free and sad and sorrowful and of service and I showed up and yes, I was tired by the end of the day, but that girl, that girl reading books in her room, cuddled up in a worn out chair covered in my grandmothers afghan, that girl made this possible.

She dreamt.

She would listen to music and read and stare out the window.

I don’t remember what I thought about.

Sometimes I would look in a mirror and wonder about the reflection there.

I thought I was pretty.

I thought I might even be beautiful, but I did not get that kind of feedback.

I was curious.

Am I seeing myself?

Or.

Why?

There was that a lot, the asking why.

Sometimes I would fantasize or play with my hair or dress up.

Nothing that I ever reflected by wearing back to school, clothes wise that is, except with one or two exceptions of trying out a new look one week in high school my senior year that I was so nervous to wear that I could hardly enjoy it.

But I rocked it.

I have always liked clothes and fashion.

I was not in a place to wear the clothes I wanted.

But.

Boy did I covet certain things.

I am proud of myself though.

When I look back.

I carved out my own way.

I was my own woman.

I had nothing to really model on, which was on one hand a kind of curse, but I also got to learn, trial and error what I liked and what I don’t.

I’m still discovering.

But.

Some seeds were planted in that room.

From reading all those books.

My God did I read.

I miss that sometimes now.

All the time.

Reading for pleasure.

I don’t get to do it nearly enough.

Reading for school has super ceded that luxury.

Funny that.

Reading, a luxury.

But my God.

When I think about the hours curled up on the couch, or in my room, or in my bed, or under my favorite apple tree in the orchard.

I was moony and dreamy and fanciful and the stories I read reflected that and also, they were my escape.

I was thinking about that as well tonight.

Escape.

All the ways I can check out when it gets to be too much and how I have hidden out, sometimes in plain view, and yet, how very much I want to be seen.

I felt very seen today.

I did a genogram presentation of my family tree.

I traced inter-generational traumas three generations on one side of my family and four generations of it on the other side.

All the pain.

All that hurt.

All the sorrow.

I felt my chest get hot and I realized that what was coming out of my mouth was not what I had planned and that was ok.

I have done enough public speaking, so much, I have spoken in front of crowds big and small, that I don’t really have a problem doing it.

I’m actually really quite good off script.

I typically do need to know what I am talking about.

And my family history, though not as much of a mystery as it was a week ago, was still settling in my system.

I made sure I was pretty today.

I wore flowers in my hair.

I thought of sweetness and resilience.

I thought of grace and service.

I thought how I could show up and heal by sharing.

Therein lies the issue, I feel, I believe, so much of the secrecy, the shame, the conflict and contention that doesn’t get spoken of, gets twisted up in my heart and lays there heavy and sodden like wet leaves mulching into winter on the hoar-frost covered land.

So.

I swept clear some ground.

I laid it bare.

I spoke my truth, to the best of my knowledge and understanding.

I breathed.

I felt my face flush.

I said the words.

I was held the room did not fall apart.

Although after, when I sat I realized how much the class was affected.

Well.

One person.

Her sweet face and red eyes letting me know how my words had landed.

I don’t really recall much of what I spoke of.

Oh.

The bones of it, the narrative, the stories, the lineage of pain handed down the line, mother to child, father to son, grandparent to grandchild.

I do.

However.

Recall pointing out the brightness on the map.

The bright triangles of joy I encapsulated myself and a few members of my family.

The joy of recovery and the strength there.

“Few people realize how the family structure is affected when one member gets into recovery,” my professor had briefly tossed out into a lecture weeks ago.

I hung that star on my paper.

I flashed it bright.

My recovery.

My foundation.

My base.

My place of growth, stellar and bright and resilient.

I have no idea where the resilience comes from, perhaps my grandmother on my fathers’ side, I am named after her.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

I don’t need to know.

I don’t need to change anything.

I don’t approve of it, but I do accept it.

And as I sank down in my pretty dress and felt my heart beat hard in my chest I knew I had succeeded.

If I can do it.

So can you.

If there is a meaning in all of this, it is that I survived.

And that I got better, stronger, more powerful, more loving.

More.

More.

More.

More love.

More magic.

Just fucking more of all the things.

And I’m almost through.

Literally and figuratively.

One more day of class and another weekend down.

One more small step down the road.

One more opening of the door to my heart.

Just a little wider.

Just a little more open.

Just a little.

More

Available.

For.

The sunlight of the spirit.

And.

All.

All of it.

All.

The love that gets to come in when I clear out the wreckage of my past.

Yes.

Please.

More of that.

The Internet Connection is No Bueno

August 24, 2016

Seriously.

I’m going to have to take this blog somewhere else, I get such awful reception in the room I’m staying in, I started it in a Word doc but have transferred it over to my WordPress platform which keeps going in and out.

Story of my life.

Half the time that I am at home the internet will drop or I can’t get online or I’m standing on one foot doing the electric boogaloo trying to pick up the signal so I can post my blog.

I could go elsewhere in the house, I suppose that may be the answer at this time.

I don’t want to though, I’m all cozy in my room and I need a bit of a break from the day and the family and the stuff and things.

I know very well why I am not the woman who would ever accept an in house nanny gig, meaning a live-in.

It’s just way too hard to assert boundaries when there’s no physical space, and fuck, I have a super hard time asserting boundaries anyhow.

I tried a bit today and it didn’t go well.

Which was sort of the expectation I had all along when I have thought about what I need to ask for in my job for me to do a good job.

I actually don’t want to talk about it right now since it feels very unresolved and very not able to address it in the moment and I feel pretty stressed about it.

Stress and anxiety never really serve me and as I sit in my room in this big house out in the Sonoma country side I put into my mind all the love and support I have from my friends and know that whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.

I just don’t have much practice with conflict resolution in my work life or in my life in general.

I can’t stand conflict, let me be up front.

Conflict in my life was not typically met well.

I joked with a friend tonight that I was terrified to have conflict because I realize that I think I’m going to be beaten if I bring up an issue that I have needs around.

And.

Yes.

This is a dramatic reenactment of my childhood shit that still lingers when I least want it to.

I also know that a lot of this can be circumnavigated the more I communicate what I need.

I also know that sometimes people don’t want to hear that you have needs or aren’t interested in helping you meet them.

And that’s ok too.

This is all my stuff.

My stuff I get to work on and if it doesn’t work out, hey, there are other jobs in the sea, I’m good at what I do, I am smart, capable, loving, kind, compassionate and accommodating.

Too accommodating for my own good, as the case may be.

I’ll leave it at that.

Which yes is vague blogging, but I really don’t feel comfortable airing it out here until I know what is going to happen next for me.

As there is still conversation that needs to happen.

Anyway.

One nice thing about asking for what I need is saying what I have to have in regards to hours for the fall and being met with an affirmative yes, that is doable.

Basically what I did last year, work 35 hours a week on weeks I’m not in school and weeks when I am, 28 hours a week.

It’s enough to get by and cover my costs if I am frugal.

I also found out that I am going to have a slightly different Friday than I was expecting.

I thought I would be here in Glen Ellen with the family, but mom asked me to go back to the city early, after work on Thursday and help out by being at the house on Friday while they are still here in Glen Ellen and cooking for them so that they are set up when they get back from the summer vacation and have things ready for the boys for the first week of school.

I can totally do that!

It helps me out as much as them.

I’ll be able to return the rental car early, Thursday night, rather than trying to helter skelter it back on Friday and then get back to my house to leave with my ride share to the event.

I’ll also be done with work and in the city by 6p.m. versus leaving Glen Ellen at 6p.m. and then having to drive back with Friday traffic.

This means home by 6:30 p.m. and ready to go by 7p.m.

I e-mailed my ride and let him know that I would be ready an hour and a half earlier than I thought.

There is also a very good possibility that I will be done sooner than 6p.m., but I am going to play it safe and not promise that I will be available sooner than that.

I did indicate there was reason to believe I may be done sooner, but it all depends on how much cooking I get done and how fast the InstaCart delivery gets to the house.

If it follows like it did the last time I cooked for the family when they wanted a big supply of dinners in the freezer from me when I went to my school retreat, I’ll be done by 5p.m.

That would be the most optimal.

I would love to come home and leisurely get my organized stuff out to the front of the house and change into something appropriate for a long drive and maybe shot gun a coffee or thirteen.

I mean we will be driving all night.

But that is fine with me.

I am so eager to go.

Just have to make it through the next two days without imploding.

I know that ultimately for me this is a great growth opportunity and that there is no malicious intent on either side, and it’s also just a job.

It may be challenging to get what I need or to ask for it, but if this isn’t the right place for me to keep growing and being of service, there are other places.

And I’m grateful, I’m grateful for the conflict, I’ll probably change my mind about that tomorrow when we talk, but I know that I’m growing and that this is change and change begets change and I deserve to grow.

And to know that conflict doesn’t mean annihilation.

It just means communication of uncomfortable things.

And I don’t need to be right.

But I do need to be happy.

And that means, communication.

I just need to say what works for me.

Even if it’s not heard they way I want it to be heard, or it’s misconstrued.

I know I will be better off for having voiced it.

Here’s to having a voice.

Here’s to change.

Even when it sucks.

Especially then.

Since that typically is the time when I grow the most, benefit the most, and find even greater reserves of love in my life.

Love.

Love.

It’s all about the love.

Always has been

Always will be.

Love.


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