Posts Tagged ‘happy’

Not Quite So Dark

June 18, 2017

Oh.

For fuck sake.

So here I am trying to be all low-key and down low and not post anything via social media so I stay anonymous.

And.

Um.

hahahahahaha.

Oops.

Turns out I’m completely transparent and known on my own fucking blog.

My “About Me” page had, I say had since I just pulled it down, a photo of me and link, failed link, but still a link, with my gmail account linked to it.

My gmail account is my full name.

Rolls eyes at self.

Ugh.

Fortunately a friend caught it and gave me the heads up.

And the post has been updated to reflect that.

No more photographs of me, no more name on the page.

Just me and my thoughts listening to some Bill Withers.

When I wake up in the morning love and the sunlight hurts my eyes.

…..Just one look at you and I know it’s going to be a lovely day.

Up a little late.

Up a tiny bit wired.

I went to an anniversary party this evening after doing the deal over on Turk and Divisadero this evening and saw a swarm of folks that I hadn’t seen in a while, including one of my best friends who came into the city and my god, it was good.

I had my internship today and lots of errands that I wanted to do and some down time in the afternoon to do laundry and get myself caught up, and I realized that I hadn’t done a good bit of this kind of socializing in a while.

It took me a moment to catch my stride.

I can be charming and funny and outspoken and a character, but the truth is that sometimes I get a bit over my head with social stuff, which is hilarious and most folks have no idea.

I am not going to label myself an introvert or an extrovert, I’m not going to pigeonhole myself, but I will say I felt awkward and I realized it was going to pass and I had a minute to get settled and be in my skin and let it be ok that I was in a big social situation with a lot of people I am acquainted with but perhaps not that close to.

I also needed to be there and be seen and just let myself be not at work or at the internship.

I logged another two hours today at the internship, even went in a little early to do some paper work and get myself situated and eat a lunch quietly in the office before the other interns got there for our session.

I got some good info, gave some good feedback and was mightily pleased that I had clients to talk about.

I am just dipping my toe into the mix and it’s a lot to carry, but I’m starting to do it and I can see that I am doing the thing that I am supposed to do.

Granted when I logged into track my hours I realized that I had done five hours this week, two client hours and three training hours and that my supervisor at the internship wants me to carry a load of 15 hours.

Three times what I did this week.

Sigh.

Granted I may not get up to that speed for a while and there will be times when I’m able to do that and times when I won’t.

I can’t get too focused on it and I also told myself today that in the service of keeping a tiny semblance of sanity that maybe I don’t have to get as many hours as is possible for me to collect while I am in school.

I just need to get the hours required by my program to graduate.

Granted.

I say to myself.

Fuck that shit.

GET IT ALL.

But.

I don’t want to kill myself and I want to have some socializing.

I need face time with people.

I am thinking specifically of a few friends that are just too dear for me to let go of and I will squeeze them in where and when I can and I will be tired and I won’t give a fuck and you only live once and get it.

Get it girl.

Some things may feel overwhelming, but in the day-to-day of it, I’m doing it.

Slowly building up my client base, learning how to be a therapist, learning how to keep loving and taking care of myself and finding those odd hours and minutes in the hollowed spaces of golden sunned afternoon light when I can pause, catch my breath and get hella grateful.

I mean.

Hella.

Grateful.

That I have what I have.

“You look different,” my friend said to me tonight.

And she’s right.

Things in my life have altered in an amazing way and I am beyond myself with happiness and succumbing to all the feelings therein.

Without expectation or thought for future moments.

Ok.

Small white lie, I do have some plans for future travel, but I am trying to really keep it to this day, these scattering of moments, dipped in old school R&B, or Elvis ballads, old love songs and lyrical movements in time, the stars framed by the trees overhead, a snapshot of a moment.

Astounded with beauty.

Awake to every feeling in my body.

And that’s all I can wish for.

This moment.

Where I am alive.

Oh.

And I am so alive.

It is glorious.

Sure.

Might have something to do with the peer pressure cup of coffee I accepted gleefully at the party and perhaps I might have racing thoughts but I have had racing thoughts for weeks now and I am rather used to it and the heart beating in my chest going fast just lets me know how fully alive I am.

It is exquisite and I am unabashed by the feeling of it.

Love.

Love.

That’s where it’s at.

The word that flutters in my chest.

The ache and longing.

The aliveness.

The song on my lips.

The poem in my eyes seeking yours.

The smile that I cannot help but smile.

So fucking good.

This life.

My life.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

You Look Radiant!

June 13, 2017

My neighbor said to me as I was parking my scooter and securing her for the night.

He’d just open the door to the fenced gate and perhaps it was the sunlight hitting my face, or the big smile on it, but it was sweet to be acknowledged and I smiled harder.

I’m happy.

I feel really good.

Today was a good day.

Most days are, let me be honest, but I had just secured a new person to work with this evening after work and I feel like she and I are going to be a really great fit and I was relieved and happy and felt like I was being carried and taken care of.

“God has not brought me this far to be dropped,” I told myself this past weekend when I was still processing all that had happened, the what’s and whereof’s and why’s of being let go when you have been told that you’re the perfect, well fill in the blank.

When someone tells you you’re doing it perfectly and then let’s you go, it stings a little.

Be that as it may.

I am not perfect.

I fuck up all the time.

I’m human.

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

And humans are messy and silly and stupid and hard-headed and stubborn and crazy, at least this human is.

I’m grateful for all the messy and the learning, especially learning how to communicate and not to take myself too seriously.

I heard something amazing today.

AMAZING.

From my supervisor while we were in session.

Slight sidebar.

Nothing says starting a busy week at work and internship better than getting up extra early to go to school to get that one piece of paper that the supervisor has to sign so that I can be registered for another class this fall semester.

And I went back to school after meeting with my supervisor to make sure it was filed correctly before I went into work and did my full shift.

Yeah.

Like that.

Anyway.

We were talking about communication and how a client communicates with us and my supervisor quoted Lacan to me.

It just about fell off the couch.

My supervisor quoted, “every time we speak we communicate less than we want and more than we know.”

Holy shit.

Story of my life.

I had never heard that before and it resonated with me on a very deep level.

I am communicating all the time and most of the time I’m not saying what I want.

I have spent years, decades probably, trying to say what I want and so often I am not getting it all out.

I am afraid to say what I want for fear of not getting it, so I’m not going to ask.

That, however, presumes that the person whom I’m engaged with can read my mind and well, that maybe magical thinking, but it’s certainly not logical thinking.

No one can read my mind.

And yet.

There are clues.

There are clues in my voice, in my body, in the way I respond to someone.

It’s pretty obvious if I don’t like you and I want to say it’s very obvious if I do.

There are grey areas and I have found that when I don’t like someone it often times has to do with seeing some characteristic in the person which reminds me of something I don’t like about myself.

Which, I just realized, makes me realize what I do like about myself when I think about people in my life whom I do like, they must represent parts of me that I like.

I have smart, capable, hard-working, brilliant, funny, loving friends.

I must have some of those qualities myself or I wouldn’t be involved with such high-caliber people.

I just wouldn’t.

Like attracts like.

So I was happy, so happy, to get to hear this woman tonight who has what I want and is smart and busy and educated, grateful and full of solution.

I’ll take some of that please.

And then happily pass it on.

That’s what I do best.

Share my experience, strength and hope with another person so that they may do the same and the learning deepens and the love grows and my life expands and grows and it is extraordinary.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I also have an awesome job.

It was so good to see the family I work for today, I missed them and was grateful that everyone was feeling much better.

I got lots and lots and lots of hugs and I got lots of compliments on the food I cooked and loads of snuggles and it just filled me right up.

So much love.

I am loved.

And I get to love right back.

It’s a pretty amazing job.

So.

Yeah.

Radiant.

Full of light.

Oft times full of bullshit too and perhaps a touch of crazy, but for the most part, I really do feel the grace rather than the drama.

Grace over drama is one of my favorite acronyms for God.

Great out doors is another.

And.

Good orderly direction.

There’s a few more, but those are my tops.

I feel grace.

I feel full of grace.

I feel graced.

And am.

I’ve not been dropped.

I have just been carried somewhere unexpected.

It’s so lovely I don’t always know what to do with it.

But.

I am happy.

And that, in the end, is all that matters.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

News!

June 6, 2017

Aside from the fact that I am super tired.

And.

Hello.

It’s Monday.

Bwahahahahaha.

Ugh.

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

I usually am.

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

My God.

The amount of stuff I have to get signed.

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

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

Then.

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

I was like.

Oh, no you don’t, motherfucker.

Not leaving any paperwork to be stolen.

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

And just.

NO.

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

I did not want to risk it at all.

Anyway.

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

I got some good news today.

I don’t have to stop writing my blog!

OH MY FUCKING GOD AM I HAPPY OR WHAT?!

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

And then.

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

So.

Hurray!

I am so very pleased.

But.

Yes.

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

My end date on it is this Wednesday.

I am not longer posting on Twitter.

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

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

That is a start.

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

Fact is.

I have no clue.

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

I have never used it.

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

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

But.

I can do that.

I can keep writing this blog.

Oh.

I know.

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

He is a fantastic supervisor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Especially now as I begin my therapeutic endeavors.

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

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

I am so lucky.

Blessed.

Graced.

You pick.

To get to do this kind of work.

And.

Really.

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

Grateful for every damn thing that has brought me here.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I absolutely believe that.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

I mean, I didn’t get up until 9:15 a.m.

So sleeping in, especially considering that I am up three hours earlier tomorrow so that I can meet with my supervisor–whom I would have met with today but it was a holiday.

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

I went to a yoga class that I used to be able to go before I started my current nanny gig.

I had lunch with my favorite, most loved person in the entire world.

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

I got to have lunch with the person I hold in the highest esteem, who loves me unconditionally, who sees me, who supports me without question, who witnesses everything I do, who helps me see when I am self-sabotaging, and how to change that and be better and stronger and sweeter and softer and live my life to the fullest full definition of happy, joyous and free.

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

We met at Souvla on Divisadero and had great big salads and talked and got totally caught up and I revealed myself and there was no shying away from me or judging, only complete sunshine and love.

I am beyond grateful for this man in my life, I wouldn’t have the life I have without him.

He is a human, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting him on a pedestal, he shows me how to be more human myself, more vulnerable, more willing to show up and more present in the moment when I do.

He is the greatest gift and I do not know what I would do without him.

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

We travel in a similar way, carry on only, get situated, go get connected with fellows and then walk and see and witness and art and churches and more art and museums and cafes and sitting still next to each other and also knowing that we both are self-sufficient travelers, that neither of us is afraid to say, give me space, I want to do a wander on my own or nap or whatever.

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

We are talking about going to Barcelona together and maybe taking the TGV to Paris or Marseille, probably Paris as we have friends there too and I will need very much to see my Parisian girlfriend and her new family.

Next May.

When I graduate from my Masters of Psychology program, a grand European tour with my mentor, I couldn’t really think of a better gift, his company means so much to me.

So.

Yeah.

Lunch was fucking fabulous and we also dished and laughed and I talked about needing to set firm boundaries around any extra nanny work that may try to weasel its way in when my employers are away in July.

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

I wanted to catch the last day of the Matisse/Diebenkorn show.

Of course.

It was sold out, even as a member of the MOMA I couldn’t get in to see it.

And truth be told, I don’t really care a fig for Matisse, and I’ve seen so much of his work in Paris that I didn’t feel that I was missing out.

I could have my girl date with myself just fine wandering around all the other galleries without having to stand in the huge, and I do mean HUGE, line that was queued up for the show.

I strolled through the second floor galleries and got acquainted again with one of my favorite artists in the museum–Clyfford Still–1906-1980.  I adore his work, there is one painting especially that always gets me and I did my stare in awe and wonder at it for a good fair amount of time before taking myself for a cafe au lait at the Sight Glass cafe on the 3rd floor of the museum.

I sat and dreamily dreamed and people watched while sipping my coffee–days off always included cafe breaks and nursing a coffee while people watching.

Then I hit the Larry Sultan photography exhibit, which was extraordinary.

And.

Since everyone was in line for the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, the gallery was practically empty.

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

Then having some time and seeing that the sun had decided to cut through the fog and make an appearance, I strolled through Yerba Buena Gardens, and yes, got another coffee, this time iced, and planted myself on the sheltered terrace of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sipped ice coffee and watched the clouds scut through the sky.

I am always so overwhelmed and grateful for the gardens and the art and the fountains and though the skyline has changed dramatically in the fifteen years I have been in San Francisco, there is still all this familiarity for the place I was sitting in.

How many times had I gone through that park high or drunk?

Smoking cigarettes and slamming extra caffeine to keep up with the high-end dining restaurant that I worked at, Hawthorne Lane, how many times had I caught cabs in front of the Metreon to go to my dealers or to have myself carried to the End Up or 1015 or some underground party.

So many times.

And the dread and the terror that was just below the surface of my skin, beating my heart with fear as I walked the paths through the garden to work, short cutting on my way to the restaurant to work a double to make up for all the money I blew on blow.

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

Coiffed, sweetly dressed, yellow silk flower in my hair, expensive shoes on my feet, Hobo purse in my lap, having just left an exquisite show at the MOMA, I sit happy and serene, joyous and free, in that same space, quietly and consistently showing up to make amends to the area and to assuage that damage I did to myself.

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

I have to say I will always keep striving to find them.

Grateful for sunshine, clarity, serenity, communicating my needs, being emotionally transparent.

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

Life is more than fair, you know, if it were fair, I’d be dead.

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

The Not A Date

May 29, 2017

Date.

I mean.

Fuck.

I thought it was a date.

But.

In the end it just seemed to be hanging out as friends.

Note to self.

Clarify.

44 fucking years old and still learning how to communicate.

Ah well.

I had a nice time going to the Summer of Love exhibit and my friend was a good friend, just not the experience I thought I was having.

I didn’t have expectations about it, in fact, when he’d asked me out I was surprised, but I had said yes, trying to keep my word, promising that I would date, I would try.

I am tired of trying.

I am tired of dating.

I don’t want to do it.

And yet.

Here I am trying.

Frustrated pacing the walls of my head, the walls of my room, and just trying each moment to be as honest and upfront as I can.

I can’t have what I want.

I get what I need.

Isn’t that the trope?

Learning, always this learning, this experiencing and I’m not mad or curious or, what resigned, resigned isn’t the right word either.

Acceptance tastes like it.

Humility, most likely that, a tasty snack, a tidbit of humility, mmmm, here, wait, have another helping.

I made my friend feel bad, well, take that back, I’m not that powerful, I can’t claim to be responsible for anyone’s feelings, but I was surprised at the laissez-faire approach to us hanging out together, which clued me into it not being a date.

I expected to be picked up at noon.

I was picked up at 1:45p.m.

UGH.

I have a life, I have things to do, I am important, don’t you know who I am, I don’t want to go on this date.

Oh.

Hahahahhaahahahahahaha.

Joke’s on you lady.

It’s not a date.

My brain.

Oh how it likes to tell me some stories.

I have another “date” tomorrow, but let me tell you, I bet it’s just to have coffee and go do the deal.

It’s not a date either.

Clarity.

I have to ask for clarity.

I have to know that I am beautiful and worthy, that my time is valuable, that I am worth making the attempt for.

I fucking deserve to be courted.

I mean.

That’s what I believe, but maybe that’s a fallacy too, an expectation that I am to be pursued in a certain way by a certain type of man, it just doesn’t seem, after many years of trying to figure this out, ahhaha, ugh, I have not done it any favors, my romantic state or lack there of.

I am still just bumble fucking along.

I get to change.

That’s the only thing I can do.

I can change.

Or not.

I mean.

What is wrong with my life?

Do I need to be in a romantic relationship?

Throat strangles with sadness writing last line, note to self, write about that tomorrow morning.

Fuck.

I wrote a lot this morning.

Eight pages?

Yes.

Eight.

Just wrote and wrote and wrote.

Had a nice breakfast, drank some good coffee, wrote, and waited for the date not date to show up.

And the thing that happened is that I got work done that I needed to do.

So.

A gift, the tardiness of another, my powerlessness over others and their actions held true.

What can I do, how can I use my time and not be mad, not be pissed at my friend who was just taking care of stuff that he had to do.

I set up my voicemail for my internship.

I activated my e-mail account.

I set up my phone line.

I read through the employee hand book.

I discovered I have to also pay to get liability insurance, another unknown out-of-pocket school cost, which makes sense, but was a cost I wasn’t expecting.

Anyway.

I’ll be getting a little bit of money back from the financial aid I applied for, most of it goes to paying for my practicum supervisor, but I’ll get a smidgen that will help with my out-of-pocket therapy costs and this insurance and whatever else comes up.

I still have secrets thoughts and desires about getting out-of-town sometime during the three weeks my family I nanny for will be traveling.

I have a $480 ticket voucher and if I hold steady with my expenditures I might be able to pull off a short vacation, four or five days, somewhere the airlines fly.

I had been thinking San Juan Puerto Rico as a friend does a lot of business there, but I’m not sure I can make Puerto Rico work, maybe.

I don’t know.

I do know I have to use the voucher by October.

I also don’t know when I will get the opportunity outside the three weeks in July.

I guess that’s what bothered me the most.

Having set time aside to go on a date, ok, not a date, I wanted it to go my way, on my schedule, so that I could do all the other things I was going to do, like I totally fucking skipped yoga to get ready.

Note to self.

Don’t do that.

Gratefully.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I’m not working and I will go to yoga in the morning and then to lunch with my person and dump my stupid emotional juju ass baggage about dating and being stupid and annoyed with myself and get it off my chest and then go on another date not date for coffee and laugh at myself.

LOUDLY.

Because I am funny and my little plans and designs get nowhere.

Show up, be of service, stop thinking about myself.

And life will be just fine.

It already is.

I have fucking luxury problems.

Dating is a total luxury problem, I am alive, sober, housed, clothed, fed.

In other words, totally fucking taken care of.

So what?

I have problems in areas I used to never have.

I am lucky.

I am graced.

I am happy, motherfucking free, and joyous.

Most of the time.

And when I am sad or in self-pity or whatever it is, I’m more important than you and your agenda and needs, I see that I am not in humility and gratitude and I can change.

I can awaken.

I can say.

How may I serve, how may I help.

And take the motherfucking focus off myself.

That usually does the trick.

So me and my luxury problems are going to have a nice fucking day tomorrow going to yoga, getting to go to lunch with one of my most loved humans in the entire world, coffee with a friend, a gathering of fellows, some get right with God, and that’s my day.

Or not.

I can’t make plans to save my life.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I certainly don’t.

Obviously.

 

God Damn

April 28, 2017

I got a lot of shit done today.

I am, in fact, still getting shit done.

I am cooking a pot of chicken soup as I blog.

I am trying to do some peremptory food preparation for the next weekend of school so that this Saturday and Sunday I can give my full attention to the papers that I have to write.

Speaking of writing papers.

I got a lot of my Trauma paper mapped out.

I have four pages of notes and references from four different sources all set up and notated.

In fact.

I laughed at myself when I was finished listening to the podcast for the second time (in full, a couple of the segments I listened to three or four times) and I had all my paper notes and references complied.

Fuck.

I have a 10 page paper with all the work I complied today.

The paper is 5-7 pages.

I will have more than enough material to cut a fine suit from.

I am actually excited about writing the paper, I have such a clear idea of what needs to be done, I thought about writing it tonight, however, I wanted to wait until I had a clear swath of time.

And I like to have my down time when I get home.

Of course that down time tonight includes a couple of loads of laundry and making homemade chicken soup with veggies and brown rice, but it’s not writing and focusing in a scholarly way.

I am awful proud of taking the time to do the work that needed to get done though for the paper, I spent a great deal of my breaks this week working on the Trauma material.

I will be ready to pop out that paper Saturday and then turn my full attention to the Community Mental Health project that I need to do on Sunday.

I will work on that all day Sunday, nothing else planned, on the books or off, for that matter.

Tomorrow at work during my break I will go over my Community Mental Health notes and the half hour interview I did with the program that I am writing on.

I will basically do the same thing that I did for my Trauma paper, map it out, make notes, post-it note my notes, and go back over the reading material that I am going to utilize for my paper.

I’ll provide my frame-work for the paper and then be able to sit down on Sunday and write it.

That one is 8-10 pages.

I feel like it should be the other way around, my Trauma paper has so much richness to it and so much to explore, it should be the bigger paper, but I don’t make the rules, things might be different if I did.

Ha.

I’m super grateful that it’s coming together.

As I get closer and closer to my Paris trip.

Today to incentivize myself I wore my Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick that my dear French friend gave me as a birthday present.

Nothing like getting a gift bag of Chanel makeup for a birthday.

It was such a lovely gift.

Part of me, a very large part of me, is so thrilled that I will be wearing Chanel makeup on my trip, I know it’s silly, but Chanel products are above my paygrade, so when I got them, I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.

The first time I went to Paris I discovered Sephora.

Oh my god.

I wasn’t able to get myself much, I was there on the slimmest of budgets.

I remember I actually got my sister a lipstick, as they had a brand that was the same as her name, although slightly different spelling, and I got myself a set of red barrettes.

I loved those barrettes so much.

Today, when I put on the red lipstick it reminded me of those hair clips and I realized, yes, that’s definitely a souvenir I will let myself get when I am in Paris, hair clips.

Maybe some red ones like the ones I got my first time there.

It seems surreal that I will be going back.

I remember when the woman I was working with in Paris told me that it was going to be ok that I moved back home to San Francisco, that Paris would always be there, that I could come back and make another go of it.

I’m so grateful that I had my time living there and I can contrast it with the life that I built and then re-built here.

I have it really good.

Oh.

Sure.

I make half the median income that the city recommends to get by and I am taking out student loans for therapy, hahaha, but ultimately, my life is really rich.

REALLY.

Abundant.

It’s gorgeous.

I have so much.

I have an amazing job.

I have a great therapist.

I have an internship.

I get to go to graduate school in San Francisco.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I get to write every day.

What writer doesn’t long for that?

Every day.

I get to live a recovered, full, useful life.

I get to travel.

I get to go to Burning Man.

I get to ride a scooter to work.

I get free parking when I’m there.

I have laundry in the garage, I get to wash my clothes for free.

I have chicken soup cooking on the stove and hot sheets in the dryer.

I am listening to amazing music on my Macbook Air.

I have a lot.

I have happiness.

I have self-esteem.

I do estimable acts, that helps.

I have red lipstick.

I have pretty perfume.

I have love.

I have friends, family, chosen and of origin, I have my cohort.

I have Ocean Beach a hop, skip, and jump away.

I have beautiful tattoos.

I have poetry.

I have abundance, joy, happiness, freedom.

I have.

All the things.

All the things.

 

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.

Congratulations

April 6, 2017

 

Congratulations Burner!

Hello Carmen,

You’ve been awarded a Low Income Ticket to Burning Man 2017: Radical Ritual. 

Here’s what you need to know about your Low Income Ticket:

Holy toledo

The best news ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but.

LOOK MA!  I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Woot.

Heh.

Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.

Fuck.

Who the hell am I kidding.

Over the motherfucking moon.

I’m going.

11th year in a row.

It’s a special year for me too.

It’s Shadrach’s tenth anniversary of his passing.

He’s the reason why I went to my first burn.

“You really should go to Burning Man, you are such a burner,” he told me at my first Decompression party.

He had a loft in the Dog Patch neighborhood, close to Esprit Park where the Decompression Party is held annually, the after Burning Man party, which until I went to Burning Man was super exciting until I went to Burning Man and then it’s a little anti-climatic.

One of the best San Francisco street parties.

But.

It cannot hold a candle to the actual event.

I mean.

What the hell can?

There is nothing like it on Earth and every year that I get to go I am excited and nervous and I don’t know if I’m going to e able to swing it this year and then.

Well.

Heh.

I do.

Even when I was only able to go for four days last year.

I still went.

I have been out as long as 23 days.

That’s when it starts to get weird, FYI.

My burn this year will be the standard event.

When I was there for long stints of time, 14 days, 18 days, 19 days, two years in a row of 21 days, the infamous year of 23 days that was one of the worst dust storm years ever and long, slow, painful hours stuck in a trailer, I was working.

This year.

Well.

This year, this lady is not working.

No “Working Man” for me.

I mean.

It’s always a lot of work, no matter how you slice it, I spend a lot of time getting prepared, but I won’t be tied to any job this year, I won’t be nannying, I won’t be doing a thing but enjoying the event.

I even pulled a few shifts last year, though they felt pretty negligible, I helped where I could and I’m not the person who shirks from work, I’ll help out where I can when I go this year too, but I won’t be working scheduled shifts.

I’m going to Burning Man.

Pinch me.

I need supplies!

I need a new bike.

Sigh.

Although resigned to the loss of my playa bike, I am still sad to be without her and I will be sourcing a new bicycle.

Fuck.

I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.

So.

That’s a nice thing, I can exchange that or give that to anyone who can give me a ride.

The ride will come together.

My gear will come together.

I really have the majority of it anyway.

I have my own tent, I have an air mattress, a cooler, clothes, boots, bandanas, hats, camp chair, flowers for my hair.

I will need to get a bicycle.

A new air pump for my air mattress.

And possibly a second cooler.

I did well with one cooler last year, but I was just up there four days, I may need a second one, nothing to be super concerned about.

The bicycle will be the first acquired thing, the rest will follow.

I already have a coffee date with a lovely Siren from Siren’s Cove, the camp that flew me home last year, that was one hell of a gift let me tell you, when I posted up on social media that I had scored a low-income ticket she immediately requested girl time coffee date at Center Camp Cafe.

I was like.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Oh my God.

This is going to be some kind of crazy new experience for me.

Not having to be tied to anything, being able to hang out, not having responsibilities, I mean, other than keeping myself alive and hydrated.

Heh.

I am going to have all the adventures.

ALL.

Of them.

Yes.

A friend of mine laughed when I posted the announcement as well, gently giving me shit about how I am always surprised that I am going.

But.

I always am!

It seems like such a big deal, how will I make it work, how will it happen when I’m in Paris, when I’m between jobs, when I don’t have money, or it’s conflicting with school.

Or.

All the crazy stuff that my brain manufactures.

And I don’t have that so much this go around, once I found out that school didn’t conflict and that I got the balls to ask off from work, well it only seemed to follow that I was going to have to go.

It would just be a matter of getting the ticket and the ride.

I always say, if you want to go, you’ll go, and once you have the ticket, it’s pretty much guaranteed.

At least for me.

And granted, like I’ve said, I’ve gone and I’ve gotten rides and tickets and I have worked my ass off out there.

Some years more so than others.

But, really, every year, even my first year, when I was “just” going to take my best friend’s ashes to the Temple, I ended up working.

That was 2007 and the Man was vandalized and burnt early and the organization rebuilt it for the burn night.

I ended up being in the cafe when a worker for the Man Crew came in and told the cafe manager I had just spoken to about signing up to volunteer and they didn’t have any shifts, I was literally walking away, and she grabbed me, “you’ve got shifts now!”

Boy did I ever.

I ended up pulling three or four ten-hour cafe shifts.

And that started something for me, being a part of, being involved, and though I am a little scared, let me be honest, to be untethered, I am also excited, I am so excited to get to go and just be a participant.

No.

I won’t roll in the fucking dust when the Greeters greet me, there’s enough dust in my bins in the garage to carry me through that experience, I will be seeing the event with a new set of eyes.

Fuck.

I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Ratchet It Down

March 31, 2017

I’m trying to get mellow.

It has been a long day, much was done, much accomplished.

Biggest accomplishment was getting out to do the deal at a spot up in Potrero Hill that I don’t get to very often anymore since it’s an 8:30 p.m. gig and I’m trying to not be out that late on ‘school nights’ but, I knew when I was watching the lights of the city come up as the sun set that I needed to go and get my connection on.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a while and get reconnected and get some good hugs and see some sweet faces.

Always a plus.

And now I’ll be able to go into work tomorrow and be a kind, tolerant, generous person, the kind of woman I want to be.

I told myself it was going to be a long weekend.

No days off for this lady.

So I wanted to be getting the connection in.

I will also be doing the deal all through the weekend, but there’s not much down time for me.

Super grateful I got all the school stuff out-of-the-way.

So much stuff.

I met with my advisor today who is also the head of the department, which is fun, I get to share my experiences and suggestions with someone who has a vested interest in creating positive change in my program.

I’m not quite sure how we got on topic, something to do with the goal of pursuing the PhD and how I will need to do a lot of writing and I just chuckled and told him that my writing is fine, that I have a writing practice that I have been doing steady as she goes for ten years.

And this little blog that I have been doing for 7 and 1/2 years.

I have a practice you might say.

I told him that there are some folks in my cohort who have expressed some jealousy at how fast I can whip out a paper.

But.

That I have a method to it, yes, the practice is super helpful, I mean, fuck, it keeps my typing speed at a maximum I’ll tell you that, but it also is a practice and the more I do it the easier it becomes.

And.

I have a method to my madness when I am writing a school paper and I shared that method with him.

His eyes lit up.

“Do you think you could do something for me?” He asked.

I nodded yes and he laid out his idea for a teaching panel about how to write papers.

He wants me to sit on it and help incoming students with the process of writing papers.

I was very flattered.

And I’m always willing to share my experience with doing the work.

Of course.

It’s work.

That’s the thing, it’s not hard per se, but there is effort involved.

Sometimes when I talk to people about what I am doing or how I am doing I apparently give off this casualness about the work, but it’s work, I show up and do every day.

EVERY DAY.

Twice a day.

And let me be honest.

It saves me, it nurtures me, it is art, it love, it is poesie, it is pretty flowers in my hair.

I can make up the most fantastical amazing things the words and ideas and images I can suddenly be standing on the Trocadero in Paris and be transported to the sound of the Seine and the batobus going by, the cars rolling over the bridge or me, on my bicycle rolling along the bike path headed towards Rue de Commerce to see some fellows and get to down and do the deal.

I can see squares with green grass and gravel paths and benches under beech trees.

Or.

Like tonight.

Riding my scooter home from Potrero Hill the moon, oh the moon, a heavy-handed ladle of butter in a midnight blue velvet enamel coated spoon, the syrup of sweet heady jasmine floating to me through the cool air.

Or.

How that one turn from Fell Street as it becomes Lincoln Avenue and the open swath of green grass that leads into the park proper, how the air there is always cooler and brushes over me like a cat with cold fur from being outside in the night.

Furry and soft and petulant.

Then the over blown smell of cut clover at Keezar Park, a rounded bend in the road and the moon now to my right peeking and booing from in between the Monterey Pines in the park.

Divinity.

I mean.

Shit.

I could go on like that forever.

There is a logic to how I write and there is a rhyme and reason.

Sometimes I can explain that desperate call in my heart and sometimes the words fail.

But.

I keep showing up anyway.

And that is the trick.

“Just breathe and show up,” I told myself this morning as I walked out the door, saying good-bye to my little home by the sea to scooter off to school and jump through the next hoops to do the work to eventually, one day, be a great big grown up therapist instead of a junior baby in waiting.

I jest a little.

But.

It is a long road ahead.

Nonetheless.

It is important that I acknowledge the movement forward.

It is a big deal.

All my papers signed off and turned in.

All the “t’s” crossed.

All the “i’s” dotted.

I even talked with the financial aid department today.

I wasn’t expecting to be in practicum this summer, it just came together that way.

The summer practicum costs about $2200 to do.

Basically $1,098 per credit, was what I was told, with the caveat of “don’t quote me on that, but I believe that will be the cost” from the financial aid admin I spoke to today.

I decided at one point that I don’t want to take out any loans for school this summer.

I have a little in savings from my tax return.

Then.

I  got a financial aid e-mail from the school and I thought, maybe I should, that way if anything happens I won’t have to dip into my travel savings.

I really want to give myself a nice break in May and be able to do all the things in Paris that will make going to Paris all the fun that I need.

So.

Tomorrow.

One more little hoop to jump.

My paperwork is turned into the registrar and it’s official, I am an intern.

But.

The “course” needs to be paid for.

I will do the application, give myself the gift of a worry free trip in May and get my grad school on when I get back.

Internship begins May 22nd.

I will be ready.

Yes.

Yes, I will.

Made It

March 25, 2017

To the weekend.

And I’m just hella happy to be home writing my little blog and it’s not even 9p.m.

I’m already in my bunny slippers.

At least I have some good music on.

There is a dance party up in here, y’all.

I’m listening to Parov Stelar, Mama Talking.

So fucking good.

I’m not quite sure what to call it, Neo Swing,  Electro Jazz, maybe Electro Swing.

Whatever.

I fucking love it.

I definitely dance my ass off when it comes on and I’m quite happy to have discovered some new tunes.

Dancing makes me happy.

And I haven’t had very much chance to do it recently.

I don’t think I have been dancing since right after New Years Eve.

To be honest, I’ve been pretty bushed with the work, the school, the internship, the supervisors, the finding a therapist, the whole damn deal, it’s taken a bit out of me, but I’m grateful and I know it won’t be forever.

I do suspect that it’s going to be about a year or so of being pretty exhausted and trying to keep whatever equilibrium I can.

I also suspect that it will be exhilarating and exciting and overwhelming and sure, why not, I bet it will be fun too, it’s fun to be on the path, to be headed somewhere, to have a direct goal, a vision, I feel like I’m fighting the good fight and doing the work and I know that is its own reward.

Yeah.

I also look forward to a time when I’m actually taking real clients and making money, like real money, I’m just getting by at the moment, it’s not a bad getting by, but it’s a tight getting by for living in San Francisco.

Especially when I start to contemplate having to start to pay out-of-pocket $120 a week for therapy.

The money will be there though, I know it, I have faith, and I’ve a bit socked away for a rainy day.

In Paris.

Actually, I fucking hope that it will not be rainy in Paris when I get there, I will want to devour every last bit of the city and I am hoping for sunny days, warm nights, long walks through the markets, the Marais, where I will be staying, a lunch at a cafe by Place de Vosges, a visit or four to Les Rouge Enfant Marche, a trip out to see the Louis Vuitton Institute out in Parc de Butte Charmont, a walk through the Pompidou, a tattoo, I mean, hello, that’s what I do, at Abraxas, a shopping visit to Fleux, a hat from a vendor in the Bastille, an afternoon at the Jeu de Paume, the Orangerie and the D’Orsay, a walk along the Seine, a walk up to Sacre Couer, a dinner at Odette and Aime, maybe a visit to a Brocante, grab a book and some postcards from Le Merle Moquer, fuck, as long as I’m in that neighborhood I suppose I’ll have to hop to Pere Le Chaise for a stroll, oh the places I’ll go.

I’m allowing myself to use half of my travel savings when I go to Paris.

The rest will be used for Burning Man tickets, travel to and from, supplies, food, and camp gear and that infrastructure.

Of course.

I haven’t gotten the ticket to Burning Man yet.

I have, though, to Paris and I have a place to stay, so I’m allowing myself to spend some money a few nice things and experiences while I’m there.

Not extravagant by any stretch, but for me, decadence.

I’ll eating out, I’ll definitely be drinking cafe cremes in cafes, I’m for sure going back to Cantine, that was fabulous, plus, I know my friend whose place I am staying at in the Marais, will have all sorts of good recommendations for me.

I swear.

Paris dreaming is what is helping through this part of the school process.

I’m in the short stretch of the semester, I’ve got to write a paper this weekend, I remind myself, there’s only two weekends of class left.

I e-mailed my advisor regarding all my paperwork, the supervisor, the therapist, and the internship hours, all the things, and I will be going in next Thursday to get his signature and turn over all the forms to the practicum office and registrars office.

This is happening.

I’m pretty happy with this turn of events, it’s been, yes, a bit nerve-wracking, a bit anxiety inducing, my own doing, but, to be able to walk into my next weekend of classes, two weeks from today, and have my internship nailed down, my schedule of hours, my supervisor set up and scheduled and have started my therapy requirement for the Master’s program requirement, big fucking stuff for me.

I was hoping to have my Community Mental Health project done too, but I’ll be ok with what I just mentioned.

Plus.

I have been knocking back the reading for my classes.

I may try to finish up Couples Therapy this weekend on top of writing my paper for my Trauma class, I will be working next weekend, so I don’t think I’ll be writing any papers.

The kids are also on Spring Break and the family is not going anywhere.

The big yummy hours of reading time I had this week will evaporate the next week.

I’ll get as much prep done this weekend and really, I’ll be damn fine with what ever comes of it, I’ve really been kicking it out.

So.

NO.

I’m not at all sad that I am not out at some club tonight celebrating Friday.

I am happy to be here, at home, rocking the fuck out of some good music.

Besides.

I’ve got a yoga class in the morning.

And.

I will make sure I spend some time hanging out with people tomorrow.

Some fellowshipping and some socializing.

Now.

Excuse me.

I need to dance around my room a little more in my bunny slippers.

Happy Friday!


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