Posts Tagged ‘high school’

Salad Days

July 7, 2018

After some lovely eating in New York last week I have become a kale salad girl today.

I needed some roughage and being back in California with a semblance of actual summer in San Francisco, I have definitely gotten my salad on.

I forget sometimes that I will have these little runs of certain types of food.

I always identify kale salads with sitting outside on the back porch with my feet up on a wrought iron chair soaking in some sunshine.

I will miss salads on the back porch.

I don’t know where I am going to be yet, but I can’t imagine being here much longer.

Even though I did so much inventory yesterday and prayer and mindfulness, even though I had a clear feeling for what needs to happen next, I got up in my head last night and couldn’t go to sleep.

I kept having angry conversations in my head.

I literally said out loud, “enough!”

I tossed and turned and sleep took too long to come.

I was mostly angry.

But a few times I cried too.

I would distract myself from the angry with pleasant thoughts and then those would turn around and bite me on the ass and become sad.

I gave up.

At some point I did fall asleep, but when I was supposed to get up and go to an early morning yoga class, well, I just couldn’t.

I will try again tomorrow.

Today I just let myself have the extra hour of sleep that I should have gotten last night.

I kept myself busy today to try to not ruminate too much on what is going on and to be in the uncomfortable place of not knowing.

I really don’t know how this is all going to turn out.

I feel like I am in a very dark hallway.

So.

I took whatever actions I could today to be positive and to take care of my own business.

I made a car payment.

I paid my phone bill in advance.

I paid my student loan in advance.

Yeah.

That.

I had not known that the loan company was going to sock me with a payment, I got hit when I was in New York and it made me burst into tears.

I had spent many minutes on the phone a few months back, right before I had graduated, making sure that my student loan company knew that I had been accepted into a PhD program, that I was enrolled and registered.

I was assured that all was good.

Except.

Well.

Haha.

Jokes on you.

The school hadn’t sent in my deferment paperwork, so the loan company went ahead and pulled money from my account.

I called the school and they told me that there would not be deferment paperwork sent out until I had completed my first weekend of classes.

Oh for fuck sake.

So I am basically paying on my loans.

Which was not in my plans.

Then again nothing this summer has been quite in my plans.

God laughs when I make plans.

Anyway.

The next payment would fall when I am in Paris and I decided that I would rather have it out of my account now than when I am in France and see something pretty and want to buy it and then go spend money that I should be spending on my student loans.

It felt good being proactive.

I’m glad I did it.

I also picked up a scooter cover today as well as getting a new bathing suit.

I got a competitive suit.

I tried on a pretty lounge by the pool suit first and I was like, um, no.

Hello boobs.

Good gravy.

Not going to work.

I like a little coverage.

I found the competitive swimsuit section and had much better luck.

I also immediately, without much thought, grabbed suits that I would have worn on swim team in high school.

Racer backs in black in a size 38.

I tried them on.

I squeezed myself into them.

I was like.

Hmm.

Not quite the high school fit.

Got to go up one size.

I was a touch bummed out.

But then I thought, wait, I’m only one size bigger than my high school swim suit size?

How many folks can say that?

I’ll happily keep eating kale salads all summer!

In fact.

I might actually go swimming this upcoming week.

I bought the suit because I will be going to Il de Re, which is an island off the West Coast of France, with my dear friend whom I am staying with and there is a pool at the house we will be staying at.

Plus.

Well.

It’s an island, there will also be beaches.

But I will get a chance to break in the swim suit this Wednesday when I go visit a friend in the Berkeley Hills who has a hot tub and I just checked out the schedule for lap swims at Sava Pool and there are times that I can make it next week that I normally would not be able to go swimming.

Mid to late afternoon.

I have debated many times getting up and going to Sava during the week, they have lap swim M-F from 6:00 am until 7:30a.m.

It’s tempting.

It could fit into my schedule and then I would be getting a bit more exercise than I have been.

Plus.

Well.

I love swimming.

The thing is though.

6 a.m.

Ugh.

But if I got up at 6 a.m. and just climbed into my car and drove there, wouldn’t be more than a ten minute drive, I could be in the pool for a half hour to an hour and then drive home and have breakfast before having to leave for work.

It’s a thought to tease around.

I’ve wanted to explore the pool before making that commitment and I don’t know that I would want to always get up that early to swim.

I would probably not do my morning pages.

I don’t know.

It’s something to think about.

I’m just happy I got the suit.

I am also happy that I picked up a motorcycle cover for my scooter too.

Tomorrow after I do my morning yoga I’m going to start my scooter up, clean her off, top of the gas, ride her around the neighborhood then cover her up.

My previous cover was stolen.

I will be locking this one down.

All in all.

Not a bad day.

Plus two clients and conversation with my friend about the paid internship I am exploring.

Pretty damn good for a Friday.

Pretty damn good indeed.

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Dirty Dishes

June 13, 2018

For the first time since I have lived in this home I came back from a long day to dirty dishes in the sink.

I always wash my dishes.

Always.

But.

Fuck.

I totally screwed up this morning.

I was late and I had no idea.

I mean.

I had not one single clue.

I had gotten up with my alarm, took a nice hot shower, dried my hair, got dressed, made the bed, chatted with my best friend, did some morning reading, did some prayers, I had made breakfast, a lovely latte and I was slowly digging into some emails when I had this moment of.

Oh.

It looks like I need to go in about fifteen minutes.

I had just started eating my breakfast.

Does not compute.

I looked at my watch.

I looked at my computer clock.

What the hell was wrong?

I’m doing exactly what I would be doing on a normal morning and I’m not writing and I, oh shit, I realized right then and there.

I had set my alarm a half hour later than I should have.

If I have a shower before work I have to give myself an extra half hour, mostly for dealing with my hair.

But I hadn’t factored that in.

Oh.

I thought I had.

I mean I was right on schedule, except for being a half hour behind.

I shoveled in my oatmeal.

I mean.

It was not pretty.

I tried to drink some of my coffee down but it was too hot.

I like to leisurely sip my coffee, look over emails, check my schedule, peep my blog see if anyone’s read it, then do my morning writing.

Mornings that I shower before work I also don’t typically write, so my brain was all wired that I had this extra half hour.

In reality.

In that half hour I had to be at therapy in Noe Valley and I had not put on my face yet.

Oh no.

I mean.

I was dressed and I could have gone out without make up on, but you know, I like to put on a face.

I made the executive decision to not wash my breakfast dishes, dashed into the bathroom, did the fastest make up ever, grabbed my stuff and flew out the door.

I made it.

I found parking with three minutes to spare to dash down the block, let myself in the building, and have a cup of water from the fountain in my hand as my therapist open the door to her office.

I sort of sat and had to catch my breath.

It was a good session though, not a lot of tears, a little when I got into the feeling zone of what it was like when I heard the news that my landlady wanted me to move out, but for the most part I was able to make some serious connections, talked a lot about fear and moving forward and about self-advocacy and how it allows others to have strength and how I wanted to grow.

I talked about things I have to walk through, partially for myself, and also for my clients, as a therapist I always need to be doing some growing.  I need to always be integrating new experiences into my life and though I may never tell a client what is going on in my life, it will be in the therapy room.

My experiences are pure freaking gold.

I caught up with my old friend from high school today.

And although we did not get a chance to talk as long as I wanted, it was so good to hear his voice and to catch up.

I got to tell him a bit of what has been going on, but our conversation was cut short when the mom came back unexpectedly early.

One thing that stood out to me though, was his perception of me always being a therapist.

I had been telling him about the process and graduation and getting in my AMFT# application to the BBS and accruing hours and all the things and he laughed, because he didn’t understand half of what I said, but then when I said, “you know, all the stuff one needs to become a therapist,” he replied, “you mean what you’ve been doing all your life?”

I laughed out loud.

He was right.

I have been a therapist all my life, although I had no idea that was what I was doing.

Being kind, lending an ear, giving so many of the people I worked with a shoulder to cry on, I had an open door policy at one of the places I worked and managed and people would just come in and talk about things and tell me stuff that no one else was privy to.

I liked it.

I liked feeling needed and I liked listening.

I am a good listener and I remember a lot.

I also have a very good way of seeing something with perspective.

Oh.

Sure.

Not about myself, my vision there is skewed, but in others, I can see things fairly quickly and clearly make connections that they might not see.

Or might not want to see.

“If a client doesn’t want to take it in, or can’t accept it, they won’t,” my supervisor once told me.

It’s ultimately not up to me if the message lands or not, but it is up to me to show how I see it and to be an advocate for what the client wants to change in their life.

So being in my therapist’s office today I could see very clearly that the challenges ahead are an extraordinary opportunity for growth and for service.

I have to walk through this for my self and I have to do it for others to.

“It’s a political act,” she ended, my therapist, in regards to some actions I’ll soon be taking, “I’m in awe of how beautifully you just put it, thank you for letting me witness you.”

Anytime.

And hopefully next time I’ll remember to set the alarm another half hour early.

Fingers crossed.

Nobody likes to come home to dirty dishes.

At least not me.

Emotional Attachment

June 12, 2018

I woke up a tiny bit off.

Not a lot, but just enough to notice.

I felt a little flat.

Sometimes when I feel this way it’s because I am trying to avoid feeling anything.

So I disassociate a little, go about my day, do my things, make my bed, get dressed and do my hair, make breakfast, get lunch ready for work, look at my calendar, make coffee.

You know.

Routine.

I can check out a little in my routine.

But.

It all came clear when I peeped social media.

Oh hi there.

I wasn’t expecting to see that.

But.

I should have.

I have been sensing it in the air.

I thought about it a couple of days ago.

There’s a birthday coming up, isn’t there?

And yes.

Thanks social media.

There it was on Facebook.

Hi papa.

Happy birthday.

Today you turned 69.

Sigh.

I haven’t seen my father since he was in a coma over four years ago.

I ceded responsibility for his health to the State of Alaska.

I sat by his side for four days and cried and talked and held his hand.

I wrote him a long card that I had bought at a gift shop in the Anchorage Museum a friend had taken me to one afternoon.

“Enough, you’ve had enough time in the hospital, come out, get some air, let’s do something not related to the hospital and the ICU.”

I found a really cool card with raven totems on it.

I bought it for my dad.

I left all my information in it.

My phone number.

My address.

My email.

I said I loved him and hoped he was going to get better and be safe and be happy and get healthy.

I told him I forgave him.

I’m actually not sure I wrote that in the letter, but I told him that.

And I asked him to forgive me.

He wasn’t always the best dad.

I wasn’t always the best daughter.

And I let him go.

My last  night there before getting on the plane the nurses encouraged me to talk to him more, that thought that he might wake up to my voice.

He never did.

I waited until I couldn’t wait any longer, I had to come back to San Francisco, I had to go back to work.

I had to take care of myself.

I kissed him on the cheek.

I was surprised by the warmth of his face and the softness of his skin under my lips.

My eyes welled up with tears and I left.

He woke up about a week later.

On my birthday of all days.

I saw it was the number of the hospital in Anchorage.

I answered.

It was one of my dad’s nurses, “your father’s awake and he wants to talk to you.”

“Hi ___________________ I said softly, I call my father by his first name.  A psychological defense of distancing that I learned at a very young age.  My father ceased being papa when I was six although there were a few scattered times in my adolescence that my father reclaimed the moniker, he’s always been known to me by his first name.

He said, “my balls itch and the nurse won’t let me scratch them.”

Sigh.

Happy birthday.

That really wasn’t what I wanted to hear from my dad, but then again he was awake and that was something else.

He’d been in the coma for two weeks.

Then he cawed at me.

“Caw! Caw!”

Like a crow.

Like a raven.

I teared up.

He’d gotten my letter and either he’d read it or someone read it to him.

He understood and he was letting me know that he’d gotten the message.

I felt big crashing waves of emotions.

And then.

The nurse had to get him off the phone, for he kept trying to take off the bandages around his skull where the craniotomy had happened to relieve the brain swelling he’d had as a result of the accident he was in.

And accident that was propelled and fueled by his alcoholism.

Those were the last words I got from my dad.

I wondered about him today.

I felt a similar feeling last year around this time.

An urge to reach out.

An urge to connect.

I tried a cell phone number that I thought might work.

It was disconnected.

Just like I was.

Detached.

Removed.

Far, far, far away.

I checked in with my person today, I told on myself about my father’s birthday and some guilt and shame that was coming up.

I got lovely perspective and calm soothing words and an invitation instead to get a candle for my father and light it and that it be a scented candle, a smell that I like.

And when I smelled it I would send a little prayer up to God for my father.

I lit that candle tonight when I got home.

Kona coffee scented.

Seems apropos.

My father was born in Hawaii.

I miss you papa and I hope you are well and happy and content.

I won’t reach out further.

There is too much illness and disease and dysfunction there for me to get involved in an emotional imbroglio.

Rather.

Today.

I reached out to those who are my chosen family, friends that have seen me through rough stuff with my parents, friends who love me.

I called an old friend from Wisconsin from my undergrad days.

I got a hold of a friend of mine from high school.

And I reached out to my two best girlfriends from my graduated school program.

Then I loved hard at work.

“I think we are all emotionally attached to you,” the mom said, so sweet, with such tenderness and vulnerability.

I am a soothing presence in their lives and that was sweet to hear and much appreciated.

I got to help put the baby down for a nap when he was super upset.

I got to hug the little lady and make her all sorts of her favorite foods.

And.

Oh.

The oldest boy just crawled right up into my lap today at the dinner table.

He wasn’t feeling well and he just wanted me to hold him and scratch his back.

He put his head on my chest and asked me to sing him a lullaby.

It was the most heartbreakingly sweet thing ever.

Having this eight year old boy curled up on me listening to me sing “Hush Little Baby.”

My family of origin may not be the family I wanted to have in my life.

And I’m ok with that.

They did the best they could.

Besides

I have such amazing family in my life.

My family of choice.

And for that I am beyond grateful.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

 

Oh The Things People

March 7, 2017

Google

Cocaine and vodka enema.

Still going strong.

What?

It’s an old blog post, one I wrote six, maybe seven years ago.

And yet.

It still gets hits, every day.

EVERY DAY.

I haven’t read it since I wrote it, I almost never re-read the blogs after I have published them.

Oh.

Once and a while I do, or I might go back and do a fast edit on a piece.

Occasionally I will go back and re-read one if someone comments on it in a particular way, but for the most part, I write them, I send them out to the Universe, then I move the fuck on.

I can’t see who reads my blogs.

This is probably a good thing.

Although.

I can figure out once in a while that someone has a thing for one of the pieces I have written.

Perhaps it is about them.

I suspect an ex boyfriend of reading a certain blog I posted after our break up.

I have no recollection what I wrote.

But I do know that it resonated with a lot of people, I had folks coming out of the wood work to share about how they had gotten through a painful break up or that what I had written helped them through a break up.

Or when I was in Anchorage while my father was in a coma.

Tons of response to those blogs.

And often someone reads a blog and suddenly I’m getting something sent in the mail or someone is helping me out when I’ve been in a pinch.

All those kind, sweet, generous, anonymous folks who helped when I had the horrible ankle incident.

Or when I was the starving, literally at times, artist in Paris and I got some support from unexpected places.

I have been given a lot from this blog.

Sometimes it bites me in the ass.

Words that make me cringe, sometimes with gratitude, sometimes with a hand thwack to my forehead, when I am told the following, “I read you blog.”

Well.

Fuck me.

That can be great.

And.

Sometimes.

Well.

Not so great.

Doesn’t seem to matter how many times I write it here, I am more than my blog, you are not getting the full Carmen Show, but.

You do get a great bit of it and despite my protestations, people will read what they want to read and see what they want to see.

I have had people tell me they read my blog then tell me a completely different narrative than the one I wrote.

It makes me laugh.

We all see what we need to see, what we want to see, not necessarily what is reality.

Not my place to teach or direct or give a damn, I suppose, I’m trying here just like I’m trying elsewhere, just to tell my story in this moment.

The moment changes.

I change.

Things change.

But folks keep reading certain things and though I jest about that blog, it’s about recovery and I find it sort of funny that it gets so many hits, but maybe someone gets what they need from it.

No directions though.

No “how to” there.

Just a sad story about a sick woman, and not me, it wasn’t about me, (but I bet you a dime that most folks think it is me writing about me) it was about a woman my friend was dating and the things that they would do when they were fucked up.

Oh the things we do when we are fucked up.

The stories I have heard.

Funny, hilarious.

Fucking tragic.

I’ve been criticized for putting too much out there, cautioned too.

I have had moments when I absolutely agreed and other times where I felt like, fuck off, I’m not interested in editing myself more than I already do.

I do edit myself.

I don’t write about it all.

I think about it sometimes, but I have made amends twice about things that I have written here and both times it was painful enough to make it very clear to me that the only person I can ever write about here is me.

My experiences.

My pain.

My joy.

My life.

No one else’s.

Oh.

Sure.

I do live in relation to other humans, so there are interactions, but I don’t presume to write about people, I can observe, but I can not hurt another person.

Because.

I could.

Oh.

I could be a scathing fucking bitch about some of the things that I have heard or witnessed or had done to me.

But.

Well.

I would end up getting hurt then and this is a place where I come to heal and to learn.

If I wasn’t still learning seven years of blogging later I wouldn’t still be doing this, if it didn’t fulfill some need in me I would have stopped.

There is still so much to write about though.

Which is just fucking lovely.

I’ll keep writing until there’s not, and maybe, I will still keep writing then, because things change, even the past changes, more will be revealed and when it is, well, I want to be there to bear witness and to write about that too.

How many times can I write about the House in Windsor and all the things that happened to me there, and all the things that happened that I don’t know that happen.

How many times?

I could write every year about the seasons and the changes in the weather, how the house was never really hot, even in the depths of summer, because of all the old growth oak trees surrounding it.

Or.

The lilac trees the soft rot of the blooms in high July heat and the intangible biting sweetness in cool water when they first bloom in May.

The reminder, always, of how that grass in summer time grew so high in the back yard and how it felt on my bare feet.

Playing catch with a softball with my aunt Marybeth.

Damn.

She had an arm.

Dreaming about the boys I had crushes on at school.

Sitting in my room listening to music on my boom box.

Joining the Columbia House Record club and the utter joy of opening that first cardboard box full of tape cassettes.

Feeling alive and feeling the magic that could happen, feeling like I was just on the other side of a plate of glass and how to get to the other side were everyone else was and how they seemed to know what to do.

I did a lot of pretending.

I did a lot of walking tall and faking it until I made it.

I remember once running into someone I had gone to school with when I was working as the floor manager at the Angelic Brewing Company; he told me how much he had admired me in school, he was a grade or two below me, about how he’d observed the way I walked and how I carried myself, that he had emulated me.

That I had been cool.

I have had many a compliment, but that one haunts me.

I walk tall now, but I am not always so confident.

I love myself more and have less fear of fear.

Although not perhaps less fear.

Just a better way of getting through it.

I love that young girl in that house, she was brave and strong and so much more courageous than I ever gave her credit for.

And beautiful.

I wish she knew how beautiful she was.

Singing to herself in her room, late at night, dreaming of intangible things while cutting out photographs from fashion magazines to collage onto the wall.

And knowing, although not knowing how, exactly.

That one day.

She was going to get the fuck out.

And you know what?

I did.

 

Late Night

October 19, 2016

For a school night blog.

But.

I was just on the phone for over an hour and got to talking and when the conversation is good, the talking it just happens.

I don’t always get a chance to connect with people on the phone.

Like actually a phone conversation.

Not texting.

Not messaging.

Talking.

Communicating.

Sharing.

It has become something special.

I remember when I was a teenager and my sister would get on the phone with a boyfriend and how jealous I was of her sitting in the kitchen on the phone, the long tangle of cord drawn taught as she pulled the receiver further and further away.

Then.

One day.

I was on the phone with a boy.

Oh my heart.

How it pounded when I answered.

And how we talked.

It wasn’t much, the talk, about going to a movie if I recall correctly.

I remember how we had met and it was cute.

In a total nerd kind of way.

It was at a debate meet.

Yeah.

I know.

I was captain of the debate team for three years.

Shut up.

Oh!

Hahaha.

I just remembered his name, Jeff.

I don’t recall his last name, probably better, leave the innocent boy out of it.

He approached me in the lunch room at the visiting school where our team won our first ever debate.

I was a senior that year.

That was the year that we swept.

That was an amazing year.

We started to win.

I had finally figured it out, not really, I have never really figured it out, I still cannot figure it out, oh how I wish I could figure it out, maybe if I think harder about it I can figure it out.

Oops.

Sorry digressed.

Anyway, the team was doing great.

Irony?

Our debate coach was sick that day.

He had sent us off alone.

We were alone!

I mean, I think about that now and I wonder, did we even have a chaperone?

Of course, there was the bus driver.

But for the most part I think we went in there and ran the tournament completely on our own.

Perhaps it was that freedom and the lack of pressure.

Perhaps it was that I was feeling myself.

I can even remember what I was wearing, which hello, that was a long time ago, but it felt special, I felt special in my clothes, not something I often did when I was in high school.

The funny thing.

I was wearing men’s silk pajama pants.

And I’m not sure how the hell I had come across them, but I loved those pants, they were a soft sky blue with piping and I felt sophisticated and I was wearing a white button down shirt and black suede flats that were really too small for my feet but so adorable that I had bought them anyhow and loved them to death and wore them until they did fit.

I remember meeting Jeff in the cafeteria.

And he remembered me.

He remembered me from another school event a year prior.

Not even debate.

It was a forensic’s event.

I also, yes, nerding out some more, was on the forensics team.

I had done poetry then got introduced to extemporaneous speaking, which it turns out I was really good at.

Jeff remembered me from that, from the year before.

He remembered.

And I was high on the feeling of doing well at that debate, that we were doing well, although it wasn’t until after lunch until after the third round and making it to the finals and then finding out how well we had done, that I realized, this boy was flirting with me.

This boy liked me.

Oh.

Oh!

Oh my gosh.

You like me.

Insert obligatory Sally Field reference and no I’m not that old, fuck you.

I mean.

You really like me.

Holy shit.

I am so blown away.

It still didn’t completely dawn on me.

I was too high from winning.

Yeah.

We won, our first time ever that I had been on the debate team, we won, and it felt really good, I mean so very good to carry that trophy back to school and leave it as a surprise for the debate coach, Mister Stewart, to find that next Monday morning.

He was over the moon and kicking himself for not having been there.

I remember too how the team ran up the auditorium in the darkness toward that bright lit stage, how they pushed me forward to take the trophy, how it felt in my hands.

I said something, thank you I’m sure, accepted it on the behalf of our out sick coach and walked back to our seats with it heavy in my arms and a bit dazed and dreamlike.

We passed it around.

Every one got to hold it.

Then.

On the bus heading back to school.

They team decided I should carry it home.

I held it in my hands the whole way back.

I also realized as we were pulling into the school parking lot that not only was I coming back with this enormous first place trophy, but also that a boy, Jeff, had asked me for my phone number and holy moly, I had given it to him.

Would he call?

He did.

As it turns out.

I was brushing my hair.

My sister had dashed down the stairs to answer it and I hadn’t bothered to move, it was never for me anyhow.

“CARMEN!” She hollered up the back stairs, “it’s for you, and it’s a boy!”

Oh my God.

I don’t remember what we talked about.

I just remember the sunlight streaming through the window in the kitchen nook and how it struck the linoleum and how the phone cord looked wrapped around my fingers, the yellow curling cord proclaiming to the world–a boy had called for me.

It’s a powerful thing being wanted.

I don’t know that I have ever quite understood it.

I don’t suppose I ever will.

My friend tonight on the phone said I was blind.

And.

Perhaps I am.

Blindly fumbling my way along, heart on my sleeve, trying to not try to figure it out.

Trying to not be breathless and teary.

Trying and failing.

Falling under and over and for.

I have fallen for some and thought.

I should not.

No.

I should not.

I have thought of that often today.

And then.

It happens and there is no disentangling the cord.

There is only the acknowledgement, like the sunlit kiss curl of phone cord winding around my fingers, of love.

Here.

There.

In between the lines on the page.

In the shadow of the oak tree dappled with sunlight.

On a full mooned night.

Even when it has waned.

Love.

Love.

It is everywhere.

Sit The Fuck Down

April 22, 2016

And write.

Martines.

Jesus.

It ain’t Friday yet.

But it’s so close I can taste it and I am so ready for the weekend, it’s been on my tongue for days.

Confirmed date tomorrow night.

Confirmed will be shaving my legs.

Wink, wink.

Nudge, nudge.

Yeah.

Like that.

I was going to go on a blind date with a gentleman and hit a dance club, but I was pinged yesterday by a lover who I would rather hang out with than someone new and well, I already know how the date will go.

REALLY, REALLY, REALLY.

Fucking well.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

That being said, I was looking forward to dancing and this specific paramour does not strike me as the dancing type of guy.

Although he does remind me of the slightly sad, Russian dancing bear in a John Irving novel.

I don’t know that I will ever tell him that, he’s got a lot of swagger and bravado.

And sexy.

And well, most guys don’t want to hear that they remind me of a morose bear.

I don’t know that he knows quite how sad he is.

However.

That is none of my business.

He is also hella fun and we hit it off and yes, hit it, the last time we hung out.

So.

More of that, yes please.

But the dancing had to happen.

My energy is high, the moon is full, and I am all yoga’d up.

“You must be really flexible,” a possible date messaged me after I mentioned I was heading out the door to the yoga studio.

Thank you God for the yoga studio on my block.

REPEAT.

On my block.

So freaking convenient.

Seriously.

I had such a great experience with it today too.

I had reverie at that end of the class when I was in the last and final resting pose, after doing a terrific heart opener and I had this epiphany and massive amount of gratitude overwhelm  me.

I realized that this man, a friend of mine to this day, my first love, my first crush, unconsummated love, unrequited love, disaster of a best friend, but the best and longest friend and someone who no matter what or where, I am still connected to, I realized this man saved my life.

I mean literally.

When I was not able to check out via drugs and alcohol, when I didn’t have a solution that was stuffing substances down my throat or up my nose, I was in need of some sort of relief or I might have died, I am not kidding, and this man was my relief.

I loved him and in that love I found a kind of solace and comfort that I couldn’t find in myself.

Never mind that it was fantasy or unrequited.

One, it was safe, it was unrequited, he wasn’t interested, able, or other, to engage in a romantic love with me.

Two, it was a way to check out and not be present in the horror of what was happening in my life when I was in highschool.

The house wasn’t burnt to the ground.

But there was definitely a scorched earth policy happening in my home.

And as it got worse I found myself escaping into what ever I could and often that was books and or fantasy.

It was a few more years before I was able to find relief in alcohol and drugs from the disease of discontent that I was absolutely full blown in, although it would not be without much time, work, and perspective before I reached that conclusion.

Today on the yoga mat I had a sudden vision of myself as a ballet dancer and I remembered my friend and how he impersonated me my second semester freshman year at UW Madison.

I think the statute of limitations is up, so yeah, um, ha, I defrauded UW Madison for the grant and scholarship monies due me and my friend, a guy friend, my best friend, went to all my classes and got away with it until someone from our high school busted him.

He was a great actor and pulled it off until that point.

And when he had to leave, well, I didn’t drop out officially, so I just took some more failed grades, except.

Ha.

In ballet.

My friend pulled a C in the class.

He told me later the teacher had a crush on him.

Yeah.

Like the whole world at the time probably did.

He was improbably attractive then.

Not that he isn’t now, just, well, different.

So.

Here I am in yoga having this reverie about floating through the air like a ballerina and also some cross dreams of floating in blue green water-I was a swimmer in highschool–and I am blasted with love and gratitude for my friend.

He loves me.

We love each other.

Haven’t seen him in years, five maybe, but we still are connected.

And in that moment, in the yoga studio, on my back, breath flowing in and out of my lungs, my heart just blew open with joy and the realization of how much I owe this person for letting me just have those great big love feelings.

They, the feelings and the fantasy, really did save my life.

They buoyed me up through very trouble waters and times.

They got me through.

And for that I have unlimited love for him.

Not unrequited.

Not needing to be fulfilled, just this deep special, enduring awareness of love for this man and how affecting it has been and how lucky I am to have had it.

To still have it.

We talked earlier today as he was leaving the house on a beautiful spring day in Minnesota with his twin girls heading to their first music recital as first graders.

I could hear how joyful and happy he was and it made me happy to hear it.

I had him on my mind after the yoga class and then something else reminded me as I was at the park with the boys and I called him out of the blue.

“You will let me know if you get to Wisconsin, I mean it, I will drive to see you,” he emphatically stated on the phone.

He’ll be in Madison for family late June early July.

I’ve been thinking July 4th weekend to go back and visit my best friend who lives up in Northern Wisconsin in Hudson, across the river from the Twin Cities.

“I’ll drive to Hudson, it’s actually closer than Madison,” my dear friend said.

“I haven’t made a decision and I need to see what my summer is going to look like, but yeah, since I’m not going to Burning Man, well,” I paused.

And said it.

“I’m feeling a big pull to come to the Midwest, I’m not sure why, but it’s been there for a few months and I feel like it’s time,” I smiled up at the trees, the playground swings full of children, I felt full of joy.

“You come and I will drive to you, I got to run, one minute warning,” he chuckled.

“I’ll keep you posted,” I said and hung up the phone.

I didn’t say I love you.

It’s implied.

He loves me.

I love him.

It’s all just love, love.

And once and awhile it’s making love to a man who reminds me of a sad Russian circus bear, who really, when it comes right down to it, reminds me in a way of my friend.

If that means having my cake and eating it too, who am I to analyze it?

I’m just here to have fun.

And my God.

I’m this much fucking closer to Friday.

And the music is good.

So excuse me.

I have a little more dancing to do under this full moon before my night is through.

And my weekends begun.

See you Friday y’all.

Or.

Ha.

Depending on how my date goes.

Saturday.

Heh.

 

A Room Of Ones Own

February 13, 2016

I was reminded how lucky I was tonight to have the small, sweet, kind space that I have made into a room of my own.

A space to dream.

A place to dance.

A restful place.

“I would never leave,” my friend sighed as she walked in my room.

I smiled.

I sometimes feel like that.

I might get a little lonely though.

We re-connected in class and decided we would be coming out here to my side of town to hang out, she’s staying in a place in the Haight.  Like a surprising number of people in my cohort, she commutes into school once a month.

There are folks from Miami, Fl.

Nevada.

Mexico.

All up and down the Western Coast line from Santa Cruz up to Portland.

There are lots of folks in the Berkeley, Oakland, Bay Area too.

I feel like there may be more folks from out of town than in town, but I may not be correct in that, although if they don’t outweigh the in town students, it’s a darn close call.

Anyway.

My friend came out here to spend time with me tonight.

It was a great Friday night date, girls night out.

We met here, I dropped my books off and prepped my notes and readers and texts for tomorrow (they are in the fridge, I kid you not, I have a large insulated liner bag for the basket on the back of my scooter, I pretty much packed my lunch and dinner for tomorrow in the bag, put my readers and books and notes on top, zipped it up and put it on the bottom shelf.  There may be more text books than food currently in my fridge) and we scooted down the street to Java Beach.

It was perfect.

Apple cinnamon tea, the sunsetting down by the beach, the locals coming in and out, the hum of the cafe, my dear, sweet, kind friend, all ears and eyes and heart.

It is so good to have girl friends.

“Well,” I said defensively, hands on the hips of my periwinkle blue dirndl (this was way back in the olden days when I worked at the Essen Haus in Madison and all the staff wore traditional German costumes.  I used to joke that the dirndl was the German’s idea of a Wonder Bra) “it is a mom cut, she totally looks like someone’s mom,” I repeated back to my friend.

“You’re not used to having girlfriends are you,” my friend said to me.

“What are you talking about,” I tried to knock the defensive tone from my voice, now I was just curious, how did she know that.

“You just don’t tell a girl friend that her new hair cut makes her look like her mom, it’s just not kosher,” my friend explained.

“Oh, I was just telling the truth,” I said.

“I know, she probably knows that too, but it’s just not the nice way to say it,” my friend continued, “you didn’t really have girl friends in high school did you?”

“Nope,” I said.

And to a point that was true.

But there were girls I really wanted to be friends with, some whom I actually got to reconnect with after high school that was really quite amazing, the power of social media, girls who I thought were smart or kind or funny, girls I wanted to hang out with.

And it happened sometimes, I got to be with a group of girls, I was in a peer group, I can see that, but my family dynamic was so messed up, I could never really have friends over.

The friendships that might have developed never really had a chance to flower.

Then there were times, when looking back with some perspective, that I just didn’t trust women, I had a mom who didn’t have a lot of girl friends and if she did, they tended to be women she was partying with.

It has taken time and effort.

I have had some girl friends too that were not good for me and I saw myself needing to get out of the mix.

I have learned.

And loved.

And lost a few relationships, but also kept a few too.

That one dear friend, the one who was so insightful about my not having girlfriends, well, going on 21 years now, 22 maybe.

Not bad.

And new girl friends at school.

Having classmates I want to hang out with and who want to hang out with me is a huge gift.

Women who want to hear my story and I theirs.

It is a lovely reciprocity.

We all have stories.

Some I connect with better than others.

“You just have such a big heart,” my friend said over tea.

To be seen.

To be validated.

To be known.

It is a powerful thing.

And to be told that I am attractive for being my colorful, exuberant, authentic self is such a gift.

First, it encourages me to continue acting from that place of self-love, if only to show other women it’s doable, commendable, and available for them too.

You want to dress as a princess?

Please get the hell on it.

I was in the shower, just now, washing my hair and wondering when I was going to have to retire the hair flowers.

I wore a white daisy in my hair today.

And a chiffon shirt in dandelion yellow with white polka dots.

I felt light and free and full of spring vibrancy.

I realized that I was never going to be too old to wear flowers in my hair and that I was going to give myself the permission to buy some more flowers for my hair if I felt like it.

I digress.

It was just nice to be myself and to spend sweet time with a dear new friend.

We also had dinner and I felt so warmed and lightened.

Blessed, really.

I am such a lucky girl.

Really.

The luckiest girl in the world.

I have the best friends.

Ever.

I do.

 

First World Problems

September 10, 2015

That’s a reflection paper I will be writing tomorrow.

I thought, briefly about writing it tonight, but I don’t have it in me.

First world problem–having job that is at times exhausting.

Keeping up with the boys can sometimes wear me out and on top of them wearing me out, I successfully wore myself out before I even got started today.

The free-floating anxiety I experienced today as I get ready to head into my first weekend of classes was enough to give me a stomach ache this morning that I really thought was going to make me throw up.

I realized that there was not much to do about it but try to spend some time organizing where and what and when I will be in class.

I made some outreach texts and e-mails and figured out a few things.

First, that I was not the only person who was a little adrift in the process.

Second, that there would be a master list posted on every floor of the school for all classes, so if I should fuck it up and show up naked, oops, sorry that’s a nightmare from high school.

Aside.

Mr. Bohage passed.

I had an old friend from high school reach out to me and let me know that my favorite history teacher at DeForest High School (home of the Fighting Norskie–I shit you not) had passed at the age of 79.

I’m not sure what he passed from, but it brought a sigh of sadness to my day and also a kiss of gratitude, he was a great teacher and I admired the hell out of him.

I like to think he liked me too.

There were a couple of us in that class that I think he liked, not as pets, but rather as respected intellects and occasionally as students of life with a little bit of wit to us.

Ryan, Henry Hall, Ted, myself, a few of us that seemed to get his droll sense of humor and also to command a little respect from the man who instilled in me a sense of their being something beyond the halls and rooms of that high school.

I will remember you with fondness and much gratitude, Mister Bohage, may you rest in peace and finally forgive yourself for having voted for Nixon.

End aside.

This current going back to graduate school does feel a little like high school, but also a little like nothing I have done in some time and it feels overwhelming and makes me want to hide underneath the covers.

I know that being a person who shows up is the biggest thing, so I am going to show up, prepared, unprepared, ok with whatever happens and just know that I am doing the thing and that one day at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time, I’m ok.

My dear friend who graduated from a nursing program a few years back reminded me that I was going to be ok and that I only had to focus on today.

I intrinsically know this, but sometimes I have to hear it said out loud.

I must have someone to speak the crazy to and get it out of my head.

I know that all I had to do today, really, was show up for my job and show up for my commitment this evening.

The rest of it would sort itself out and that focusing on the “problem” was not the solution.

So.

I made some calls.

I left some messages.

I scheduled myself some time to meet with my ladies.

And I confirmed my work schedule.

Which has changed drastically and I am trying to get into the swing of.

I’m now working 1p.m.-8p.m.

This makes things easier and weird all at the same time.

I am going to have to change-up all my doing the deal places and spaces.

Except for Wednesday night, I have a commitment and I wanted to keep it and it felt important to tell the mom that today, so on Wednesdays I will go in at 12:30p.m. and get done by 7:30p.m. so that I can make it from the Mission to the Outer Sunset by 8:30p.m. to do the deal and cover the commitment I picked up.

I won’t be making a lot of other things that I have been used to getting to and going to.

I’m not sure where exactly I am going to land during the week.

I suspect I’ll be seeing a certain group of folks at the spot on 7th and Irving at 11 o’clock in the morning before heading into work.

More will be revealed, I am certain of it.

Just like I know that the only thing to rely on is change, change is always happening and I can’t even get into a comfortable rut to settle myself with.

No rut for me.

I get to keep moving, like a shark, sink or swim.

I choose to swim.

I will rise up through the sea green sea, the emerald light, the blue sapphire kiss of water, and I will fly, transcendent into the warm light.

It helps that I got a friendly little message today right in the middle of the afternoon as I was getting the ducks in a row at the house.

I spent the first part of my day organizing and shopping and cooking for the family, then the boys come home from school and it’s on.

But on in such a delirious sweet way.

“I’m going to marry you!” The eldest said to me tonight as the mom took over for me, then he kissed my hand and held it to his cheek.

“Snuggle me, kiss me, hug me,” the youngest said to me earlier when he got out of pre-school.

Yes sir.

I could perhaps use those same words with a certain fellow I know.

I was making the boys their dinner–I usually prep it in advance so that I can just set their meal in front of them at dinner time and not have to make it on the fly, when I got the message.

It was a nice banter.

I felt uplifted.

I felt sexy.

And I felt sweet.

And desired.

That helped the day.

Thanks God.

I needed the pick me up.

And as I look at all the open tabs on top of my computer–all the login ins and class room locations and the syllabus for that class and this class and the other, the financial aid disbursement notification, the academics page, and the incoming e-mail from a TA in regards to a question I had for a paper that is due on Friday before I hit class, I will pause with gratitude that I have a little nugget of delicious thoughts to distract me once in a while from the academia exploding all around me.

Plus I’m listening to The Orb and that puts me in an excellent space.

All is good.

Grateful for these challenges.

Grateful for this growth.

Grateful to be on someone’s mind.

It’s the little things.

Like a lost earring in an RV.

A small reminder of time completely removed from the daily grind of my life.

A kiss of magic in the day.

A token of the yet to come.

Early To Blog

April 24, 2014

Early to bed.

Not that I will.

Not that I want to.

Just that I should.

I am going to go into work tomorrow an hour early to help out my Thursday family get ready for a trip to visit the grandparents and I will be done early.

In fact, they alluded to me being done by 11:15 a.m.

I am not 100% sure that is going to happen, but it seems as though the family will have to leave by that time to get to the airport.

It was just sprung on me last week that they would be off on this Thursday and as I am their regular nanny on Thursday, they are compensating me for the full day.

Which is nice and as it’s supposed to be.

Now, add to that the family I normally work for on Fridays is also taking Friday off to go camping and I suddenly have a three and a half day weekend.

Sure, I will come in early tomorrow.

Not that I want to get up at 6:30 a.m. and not that I want to skip my morning pages, I always write in the morning before I go to work unless I can absolutely help it, but I am not going to get up at 6 a.m. to do it.  I figure I will hit the sack a bit early and then get up and go straight into the job right after I get up and get breakfast in me.

Breakfast and waking up and making the bed and doing my morning routine takes a little time anyway.  I don’t just instantly fly out the door even with not doing the writing, but skipping that will give me a little wiggle room.

And I figure I will do the writing when I get back from the gig.

Then it’s the weekend.

I have my commitments, I always do, but I will have some extra space in there to navigate.

One thing, fill up the tank on the Vespa, I am going to ride it to my Thursday commitment at Church and Market and I don’t want a repeat of this past Sunday.  After that commitment it’s the weekend for real.

And this weekend, Friday at least, I am going dancing.

A group of us will be meeting up Friday at Our Lady of Safeway, then grabbing burgers at Burger Meister, then, yes, fools, off to the End Up.

Where the dance floor will be empty and we will take over the club.

Until midnight or so and then I bounce.

I am not into being there when the party people show up and I don’t have the patience to deal with that scene any longer.  As well as knowing that after a few hours of dancing I am going to need to scoot back to my side of town.

Yes.

I said scoot.

That’s the plan anyhow.

Although, looking at the weather forecast I may not, it might rain.

I don’t like the idea of taking public transportation back from that neighborhood, it could take five years to get me back out to the Outer Sunset from the SOMA district, but I have a friend who gave me a free ride on Lyft and maybe I will use it.

Although, from knowing so many taxi cab drivers in my life I hesitate to use the service, but well, who knows, that is jumping the gun, that’s Friday.

Not that I don’t jump the gun constantly.

I had a highschool friend message me this morning on Facecrack for getting together for a cup of coffee when I go visit Wisconsin.

I said, sure, joking, if you’re in the neighborhood, why not, but I’m not going to be in Madison, I will be in Hudson, which is many miles north.

He said, shouldn’t be a problem, I’ll fly up.

Uh.

Ok.

He’s a pilot and he owns a small plane, so that doesn’t sound as far-fetched as it might, but outside of FaceCrack I haven’t seen this guy in years and I wonder, why the sudden interest to have coffee?

You’d really fly up to see me for a cup of coffee?

Really?

I didn’t question it or him or his motives, but I am curious.

I don’t have a lot of recollections of us being particularly close.

Though I will admit, he was more in my circle of acquaintances then a lot of folks in my grade.  And I do remember getting dropped off in his car at my house from some event or another at school, but I can’t remember and I wonder, did anything go down between us?

I don’t think so, but then, it was over twenty years ago.

I started thinking about those old friends from highschool, there are some I would love to see again, who I didn’t see at the reunion, or who I didn’t get to see enough of at the reunion.  Now that I think of it, this guy didn’t go.

Who know what his reasons are, I suppose I could ask.

I am not going to give it much more thought past these sentences, then I will be focusing on whatever else is taking up space in my brain pan.

Like.

Oh, will this guy that I have a some attraction for show up for the dancing on Friday?

I invited him, only to find out that he may already have something on the back burner.

Dang it.

I still want to flirt it out and dance, but I am not interested in someone’s honey pot if they already have someone dipping their fingers in it.

Then there’s also the recollection, which I jumped when I remembered today, I asked out a guy, sort of (my friend said, “did you ask him on a date?  Or did you say, let’s hang out?”) who returns to the city next week.

I do want to hang out, but date like.

All the stuff percolating in the brain.

So many things to ruminate on and so much silliness.

I looked at a tree in the Pan Handle today as I was walking back from the park pushing the stroller with two very boisterous little boys in it singing our silly songs and realized that the tree had been there longer than I have been alive and that it would be there long after I had gone.

So, if I want to know why dude from high school wants to see me, ask.

If I want to go on a date with this other guy, ask.

I know this much, I want to dance and getting to bed early tonight will be the start to that.

I believe a good start has been officially made.

Here’s to a long weekend.

See you on the dance floor soon.

Where I will be leaving all my inhibitions.

 


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