Posts Tagged ‘hard work’

Little Gold Star

January 20, 2019

Today I got my 14th star tattoo.

14 stars.

14 years of being sober.

I decided I need to give myself a gold star.

It’s been that kind of year.

When I reflected on all the things that I went through and all the places I’ve been, I think that I definitely earned it.

This past year I traveled to DC, New York, Paris, and Marseilles.

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology.

I went through a buy out and moved.

That was some serious stress let me tell you.

I also started a private practice therapy business.

And.

A PhD program.

I also got my grades back from said program.

All “A”s.

ALL.

I was a little surprised to tell you the truth, I had an issue with a final paper I turned in for one of my classes and I didn’t think it was going to fly, the paper, that is–I digressed from the specific instructions the professor gave and did rather what I wanted to do.  It was the only paper for the class, although there were so many discussion posts that I feel like I actually wrote seven papers for the class, and I ran a huge risk doing it.

The risk paid off.

So, yeah, a gold star felt really appropriate.

2019-01-19 20.54.20-2

Yes.

It did hurt.

And it felt really right and I was, obviously, very happy with it.

Not only was I pleased with it, but it filled out the space perfect.  I am very satisfied with the way all my tattoos look and really have little desire to put anything else in that area.

Not sure where I’ll put the 15th, but let’s just let me focus on the 14th star.

It really was quite a year.

I walked through some really challenging things and came out the other side.

I reflected on a lot of that today as I went about my day.

I saw clients at my office, did lots of writing, read for one of my upcoming classes for this next semester (school starts next Thursday!), went to Let it Bleed on Polk Street, got an iced coffee for a treat, walked around the Tenderloin and took graffiti photographs, caught up with my friend DannyBoy at the shop, took myself out to lunch in Hayes Valley, had a coffee with a friend in the Mission at Maxfield’s House of Caffeine, went to Divisadero and got my nails done, and then hit my Saturday night commitment and did the deal.

It was a day.

I’m really happy with my life right now.

Oh, sure, romantically it’s strange, but you know, that will work itself out.

Or not.

I have ceased (fighting anyone or anything) trying to figure it out.

I’m just showing up every day and taking care of myself and I feel really good about what I did today for myself and my own care.

I also thought a lot about what I want to bring forward for this next year.

Get through the next semester of classes, add clients into my private practice, travel.

I also want to get through the Below Market Housing Homeowners workshop.

I really am going to go after buying a house in San Francisco.

My friend whom I met for coffee happens to be a realtor and we spent an hour going over what I need to do to get myself in line to actually do that.

She gave me a good idea of how much money I will need to have saved up, which will take some time (or not, who knows, money may fall out of the sky) to save, but I can do it.

Plus that I should get a credit card.

Which I’m not super stoked on the idea.

I had one that I’d gotten last year and then never used as it made me uncomfortable.

But.

My friend insisted I was really going to need a credit history that showed me paying off a card.

She said get one, pay it off every month and always pay more than the minimum payment.

If I do get another card, and that’s an if, I will definitely not let a balance roll over.

I just do not like the idea of having any credit card debt.

I do, however, like the idea of having a good credit score and something that shows I am a good risk for a home loan.

I shall take it under advisement.

I actually tried to re-open the credit card I had closed but I could not figure out how to do it and just sort of set it aside tonight when I got home.

I feel like I did a lot today just by sitting down and talking about it.

I will manifest a house in San Francisco.

See if I don’t.

In the mean time there is plenty of other things for me to do.

I do want to keep a soft focus on it though, always have it in my mind and see where I can expand my awareness of abundance.

I am continuing to practice that opening up to the universe, to the flow, to God, to abundance, I have continued to give away a little more than I typically do.

More tip in the tip jar, more money in the basket, continuing to pay my bills within 24 hours of getting them.

And!

Oh my gosh, this is definitely part of the gold star, I got approved to become an employee at my internship.

Which means that I will start bringing in more money.

I am so psyched about that.

I’m excited for this year.

I feel like all sorts of incredible things are going to happen.

I really do.

Faith.

I like that.

Faith, abundance, joy, honesty, integrity, serenity.

Words to live by.

Principles to underpin my gold star.

And!

Love.

Let me not forget that one.

Never forget that.

Seriously.

 

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Abundance

May 9, 2018

Of tears.

Of tissues used for said tears.

Also of acknowledgements and validation and super sweet holding.

I do quite like my therapist.

I had so much happening this morning that I literally was at a loss as to where to jump in.

But jump I did.

We didn’t even cover half of what I was thinking I was going to talk about, which was fine, the one big issue I had awoken to this morning I dealt with my person on a phone call over my morning latte.

And though there was a lot of work that was done and an abundance of dumping, I even apologized at one point, I don’t normally dump, but I just had to get it all the fuck out.

She said, “bring it on, get it out.”

So I did.

It was a relief to do so.

I talked quite a bit about how much pain I have been in and how I felt like it was beginning to really make me weird in the head, she reflected that my body is working over time to keep me in balance and that it’s a hard thing to do right now.

It really is.

And it’s been pretty relentless these last few days.

I shared that I haven’t really dropped into being done with school, about how I almost fucked up my paperwork, but not really, but my head space has been foggy with dealing with getting everything done and being in pain whilst trying to do it, and that I didn’t beat myself up but that I was flummoxed at how side tracked I got doing what should have been a pretty simple tasks.

Simple tasks are not so simple when I’m busy and also trying to navigate through this experience with my body.

My sweet body that is just trying to get by and I am doing whatever I can to help it.

Second day of oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch, oatmeal for dinner.

I will admit, I haven’t had time to do decent food prep and not much energy for cooking when I get home.

Do a big therapy session, cry a lot, then go work a full-time shift with a teething baby and then after that go see two clients and be emotionally and empathetically available for them and expect myself to make a big fabulous dinner?

Nope.

Oatmeal.

I like oatmeal, so that’s not really an issue, but it does speak to me that there’s a lot happening inside that’s not in equilibrium.

I very much want to get back on track with my health.

I am grateful that I have an appointment soon to find out what’s happening.

And grateful for a therapist who let me dump for a while and then I got to talk about the other hard stuff.

I will be terminating a client on Thursday and there was a lot to process around the situation.

So we did that for a bit too.

And it was super helpful.

That my therapist went to the same school and did the same program as I really is such a helpful thing.

I get such nice perspective.

She doesn’t self-disclose much, but she does relate to me and I know that in the therapeutic alliance we have together that her experience helps me with mine.

Then.

I got to talk about the fun stuff, the happy stuff, the amazing I got a private practice internship!

It was such a joy to talk with her about that.

Especially since working with her helped me see that it was possible.

When my supervisor recommended it to me I was rather at a loss as to how to go about it.

My therapist opened that door, shared insights, and gave me places to look.

She did not tell me to approach the person I did, but she helped lay the foundation for that experience to unfold and I am so wildly grateful for that.

And that when things are supposed to happen, they just fall beautifully into place.

She reflected to me the amount of work I do and also what I could expect to charge as an intern would be higher than others just starting out as private practice interns.

She told me without a doubt I can charge $80-$100 per session.

Of course.

I won’t get that full amount.

But I tell you what I will get half of it at the minimum.

And that means $40-$50/hr.

So much more than the $0 I make now.

I have pretty much decided, you have heard it here first, that I will give up my internship where I am at as soon as I get my AMFT # from the BBS.

Once I have that number I can be paid as a private practice intern using my supervisor’s number, the woman I just basically got hired by.

We’ll have to set up W-2’s and there will be taxes taken out and other things I am sure.

I will have to pay for her supervision and I will have to pay a portion of the lease for the office.

She will take that out of the amount I am paid by my clients, and then she will pay me.

I will be making money and I will build a practice an I will have abundance.

That was the biggest take away from my therapist today, that I have striven so hard, all my life, worked and worked and worked and studied, and now, I am almost there.

That I am close.

In fact.

That I am closer than I even think I am.

I will be done with my current internship by September 1st.

That’s the plan.

I figure I will have my intern number by that point, it does take a little while for BBS to get all the paperwork and assign a number.

I am hopeful that I will be able to start seeing clients at my private practice internship after Labor Day.

Which feels about right and will be just after I have done the intensive for my PhD program.

I am so ready to step forward, ready to transition out of where I am, ready to start seeing the fruits of my labor.

I am excited about it.

I really am.

And I am ready to embrace all the abundance.

I.

Am.

So.

So.

Ready.

Dorked Out!

March 21, 2018

I am totally all geeked out.

I literally just cooked dinner in my cap and gown for graduation.

Hehehehee.

They came in the mail today!

It’s really really real.

I’m graduating.

It still feels surreal.

I also put the hood on backwards, and then laughed my ass off at myself as I stood in the hallway to my studio admiring myself.

In my bunny slippers.

I will probably wear different shoes to the ceremony.

Probably.

Heh.

My slippers are cute.

But who the hell would take me seriously in my slippers?

They are cozy little things, but perhaps not to walk the stage as I receive my diploma for my Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology.

I’m so excited to graduate.

It has been such a journey.

I still can’t quite believe it’s happening.

Like that horrible nightmare I used to have every once in a while that I hadn’t actually graduated from high school and I have to go back and take some test or turn in some assignment still.

No fucking thank you.

I received the official invitation to graduate from the school yesterday.

That was nice.

Really nice.

I still have hoops to jump through and forms that will need to be signed, but academically, everything is set, I’ve been cleared to graduate.

I will have to turn in my therapy form–my program requires that I do a year of therapy with a licensed MFT while I am in practicum.

A requirement that I was upset with for a little while, not the therapy part so much, but that I would have to be with a licensed MFT which costs quite a bit more than working with a trainee.

Then again.

I really like my therapist.

She’s great.

And.

Man.

We did some work today.

I sat down and said and today we’re going to talk about ______________.

And we did and it was good and I got some perspective and a different frame then what I had expected and I was super grateful for that.

Sometimes I just need someone else’s perspective.

My perspective is not always true.

And often misleading or anxiety inducing.

My therapist gave me a very different way of seeing things and for that I am so very grateful.

And.

I was able to forward that experience onto a client tonight.

I didn’t disclose my therapy session to my client, rather, I just helped my client see things different.

And the response was great.

I am always so happy when I get to be of service and help someone see something that they couldn’t on their own.

Therapy is work and anyone who tells you different is lying.

It’s hard work.

But.

Fuck.

It so pays off.

Frankly, everyone could use therapy.

I mean, who couldn’t use a person to sit and empathetically listen to them for an hour once a week?

It’s so nice to be able to talk about all the crap in my head and get it sorted and processed and let it go and not stuff emotions and have feelings and see what they are and how I want to move through the world.

Therapy has such great value for me and I am so pleased that I get to be a therapist and I get to help my clients and it really moves me when they get something from the work I do with them.

It’s work on both ends.

Which is exciting.

And I get to constantly learn things.

I had a huge amount of stuff come up around a client yesterday in my supervision then I met with the client in the evening and just sitting there and being with them and using all the work I had done earlier in the day was so gratifying.

It was amazing.

It can be hard.

I won’t lie.

Sometimes I think wow, this is some hard work, but it is so good to be helpful to others.

I am happy that I have found a career that lets me do that.

Of course, I have that too with my nanny career, but this feels bigger and feels like I will have more impact.

Although I do not, by any means, disparage the work I do with children, nor how important it is.

It is really fucking important.

My little monkeys mean so much to me.

And that I get paid to love, well, that is super special.

And I will get paid to love too, as a therapist, that’s one of my biggest goals, to provide my clients with love, empathy, kindness, to help, it’s a different kind of loving relationship than a romantic union or a friendship, it is a special relationship because of confidentiality and knowing that there will be times, many times, when the client needs to work out something and that something is going to be hard to hold.

But I get to try to and in the trying I learn and in the learning I grow.

It’s really a lovely relationship full of reciprocity and though, no, I wouldn’t call it altruistic, there is something of that flavor to it as well.

I never thought this would really happen.

Me, graduating from a Master’s degree program.

Although it was something I always knew I wanted, I never quite knew how it wold happen.

But you know.

I had faith.

And

It’s actually happening.

Really.

REALLY.

Happening.

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles

September 12, 2015

Begins with a single step.

Foiled again.

I just put down Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching–The Tao of Leadership.

I had never known who to attribute this quote to, although it resonated with me so much so when I first heard it, I was 17 or 18, that I used it for my senior year quotation.

It was either that or I was going to use the Fear Prayer from Dune.

I will leave to your imagination the challenges of my growing up.

I have written of them often and I don’t see them as good or bad, wrong or right, I certainly don’t apply these terminally ugly words either–would, should, or could, to my experiences.

They are just experiences.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with them and I have to get out all my feeling words and vocabulary and try to parse something from the experience, rather than just be in it.

I was trying to do something akin to that on my ride home from school today.

My ride home from my campus, my ride home from my graduate school program, my first day of school, my first day, truly, as a graduate school student.

It was a full ass day.

It started at 9 a.m. and it ended at 8p.m.

Tomorrow will be much the same, the day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 8p.m.

I will have diversity training from 9 a.m. until 2p.m.

Then Group Dynamics from 2p.m. until 4p.m.

After that an hour break and then convening from 5p.m. until 8p.m. for Psychodynamics.

Class will be the same for Sunday, 9 a.m. until 8p.m.

Fuck.

Work is going to feel like a picnic, like a break, like a rest.

And work is not necessarily restful for me.

I digress.

I get ahead of myself.

I leave the moment, where there is nothing wrong, where I am doing the best I god damn can, and I am writing, even though I could be reading more, my brain will only hold so much and if I don’t lay some of it down, like a good yeoman dropping the plow to rest, I won’t have the space in my brain to take in more information.

There will be more information.

There will be more learning.

There will be more not understanding what is happening and just letting it happen.

There will also be the happy coincidence of having actually taken a good photograph for a student id!

I was shocked.

I figured there would be thirteen chins and my nostrils would be flared and I don’t know, all my photos for ids are wonky, but it actually turned out and there it is.

I have a student Id.

Where are my discounts bitches?

I jest.

Really the only thing I want with my student id is to be able to access the gated and locked space where I can park my bicycle, a space that is outdoors, but also covered.

Hallelujah.

It’s such a nice thing.

Just not having to worry about my whip.

I was grateful.

I was also grateful to get on my bicycle at the end of the day.

To ride away from campus and head home.

Despite the wind kicking up and the night being a little blustery, it felt good to be in my body, when I could get my mind off my classes and actually be present for the bicycle ride.

There was the same old song and dance in my head about how I work so hard and I am doing all the things and how come I am working so hard again, and that phrase popped into my head, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” except that I transmuted it to my bicycle pedal.

One pedal at a time.

One stroke at a time.

Push down.

Pull up.

I wanted to be stuck in my head.

I wanted to feel isolated.

I wanted to cry out.

Just because you read my blog does not mean you know what I am feeling!

I am lonely.

But not alone.

I know that.

And the lonely will pass.

I am busy and I have made this choice to go to graduate school, to take on the awesome and amazing adventure of becoming more me and more of service and more available.

My needs are met.

Despite my pay check being $0.00 today–really why even send me a pay stub?

I had forgotten that.

No pay for me while I was at Burning Man.

Sigh.

But I am ok.

I have what I need.

I paid my phone bill today.

I have a beautiful body that I get to walk around in, bicycle in, sleep in.

I have food.

Although I am going to have to manage eating better, I can’t afford to eat out twice in one day three times a weekend, that’s just too much.

I will be bringing food with, I just have to find time to go grocery shopping.

Probably Sunday night after my last class ends.

I don’t think I’ll be doing my normal cooking for the week like I usually do, but I don’t think anything about my schedule is going to be “usual” any more.

This is ok.

I am learning.

I am growing.

I will continue to do so.

And.

I am loving more.

I did find that I wanted to wall up a little my first day of class, that there was a struggle, internal, to be open, to be present, to be with my cohort and to let them see me.

Despite my “newly” pink hair (new to folks in my class, not that I have dyed it again) and safety orange pants.

I was grateful to reconnect with friends and classmates and to have met a new professor who is eccentric and smart and called me right the fuck out in class when we did our introductions, “oh, yes, you ARE smarter than me, I can tell.”

I did not mean to put on my smarty pants, but I felt inadequate.

I am just a nanny after all.

Not a clinician or lawyer or social worker.

I haven’t studied Gestalt for the last two years.

Hell, I don’t even know what Gestalt is or Freud for that matter.

But.

My professor picked up on both my insecurity be hearing the language I used and gently and succinctly put me in my place.

I am not smarter than she.

But I am smart.

And just because no one validated me the way I needed to be validated growing up doesn’t mean that I can’t give it to myself, that I can’t move forward, that it is all hard work with no validation and approval.

I approve myself.

I have worked so fucking hard to get here.

And the journey is beautiful.

And one step at a time.

And once in a while.

I will stop in that step, look around, and be so grateful that my journey has brought me here, to this place of privilege.

“How do you do it?” He asked me in the hall way between classes.

“How do you manage to live in San Francisco and go to school?”

I don’t know and if I speculate too hard on it I will freak out.

I just get to do it.

I get to.

Being the operative language.

I am a lucky motherfucker.

I am.

And.

The journey?

Why.

It is glorious.


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