Posts Tagged ‘holy mother of god’

Tuesday, It’s a Good Day

July 3, 2013

For a panic attack.

I shit you not, I had my first panic attack in about oh, six years.

Man that was not fun.

In tears, on the floor, trying to desperately regulate my breathing.

All because I am powerless over BART and my life is fucking unmanageable.

Fortunately it was a baby panic attack, probably more of an anxiety attack than anything, but the lead up to it was hella sexy.


I was trying to juggle too many people and too many schedules.

Attempting to figure out how I was going to make it back to East Oakland tonight so that I could bicycle commute to North Oakland in the morning for a nanny gig.

Throw in I had a 6pm meet up at Dolores Park Cafe, followed by a 7:30pm commitment at the Women’s Building.

Add to the crazy I was leaving the house sitting gig, so like a good hermit crab I was going to have to pack up all my belongings and trundle them along with me to the East Bay.

Oh, yeah, and I was attempting to figure out how to pick up the keys to the house sitting gig I am doing starting Thursday, here in SF.

Then, the final cherry on the top, I am nannying on Thursday and Friday here in SF.

Holy mother of God.

No wonder I was freaking out.

All I could do was make a cup of tea and sit down and be grateful that the baby was sleeping.

I posted something to facecrack, then got a few responses but nothing that quite seemed to make the proper connection, in fact, it all seemed to get bigger and more blown out and more complicated the more I looked at it.

Then the mom in North Oakland shoots me a text saying, we’re still on for tomorrow, right?  And I’m in the city until 8pm if you need a ride back to the East Bay.

I do, but I have a bicycle that won’t fit into your car along with the timing on picking up the keys and I suppose I could leave the bike here, but then how do I get from Graceland to North Oakland–it’s seven miles and um, yeah, the BART is not going that away either.

I mean I suppose I could take the bus?

Cue the unset of panic, the baby is waking up, the texts are whistling in, and I just about blew a gasket.

I stopped, turned off the phone, well, I turned it to silent.

Then I realized I could probably ask for some help and guidance and I didn’t need to figure it out on my own, even though I was still trying to figure it out on my own.

I knew in my heart I was going to have to cancel one thing.

Either the pet sit.

Or the nanny in Oakland.

I was going to have to be on one side of the bay or the other.

The back and forth was just not an option.

I wanted to crawl into a five gallon bucket of mint chocolate chip ice cream and cry.

Instead I ate half a bag of baby carrots and some organic humus and I started making the phone calls.

The first three I was in such a panic explaining what was happening that I think I actually did not leave a cohesive message.

I called John Ater first and said the breathing is not working, I can’t catch my breath, but I could hear him in my head, “just breathe, just breathe, take another deep breath.”

I left my inchoate message on his voice mail, tears rolling down my face, talking to myself out loud to breathe and called the next person on the list.

I called four people, left four messages, and on the fifth hit the jackpot.

I got a live person.



She just listened and made some suggestions and asked me what I could do and next thing you know I am telling her all I really care about is meeting this person at 6pm at Dolores Park Cafe and then going to the Women’s Building, that I know everything else will fall into place, the keys, the transportation, where I am going to stay, how it will work.

I don’t know how, but just focusing on that, just getting from 5 o’clock to the baby is getting picked up and then get on bike and go to the cafe.

Just that.

Oh, yes, and take care of the baby.

Which I managed to do and was most likely the reason why I did not go into full-blown attack, I had a responsibility, a little life, a person completely reliant on me.

I knew that he was my only true concern at the moment and that it all was going to suss its way out.

I listened to my friend’s suggestions, made eyes with the baby, flirting with a boy always helps, then took the next action in front of me.

I called the people I nanny for and was house sitting for in Cole Valley and asked if I could stay two more evenings (I work as a nanny here Thursday and Friday).  Dad is back and there is no need for me to be here.

Mom said yes, just clear it with dad.

I text dad.

Dad said it’s a go.

I have a place to stay.


I called the person who had offered to give me a lift if I needed it and said thank you, but I am going to pass, I’m staying put.

Which meant calling the family in the East Bay and saying those words I so dread, “I have to cancel, I am sorry, but I am staying in the city.”

Of course the mom was entirely sympathetic and we worked it out that she is actually going to bring her daughter here.

So I won’t lose a gig, I won’t lose my mind, I won’t be hurting myself trying to shuttle all my stuff to the East Bay and then back to the city and I won’t be having any more panic attacks today.

Thank fucking God.

Just like that, just ask for help, just stop figuring it out.

Figure it out ain’t a god damn slogan.

The show’s officially in town all week, pull up a chair.

A Little Help From My Friends

August 3, 2012

I got this in my gmail inbox this morning:

Hi Carmen! Paris is the place to be as a writer. I can give you a list of all the best cafes. You’re off to a good start with a place to live already. Which neighborhood will you be in?

It’s ok to be freaked out, but Paris loves creative people. You will be fine! What type of work are you looking for? Perhaps I can help.

A bientot! (That’s the extent of my French after 2 years…)


I have no clue who this woman is and who referred her to me, but there it was, a helpful little sign, a little note from the Universe, a small little love letter from Paris.

I am going.  I am being helped.  Hold the freaking faith.



Tomorrow booking the ticket.

I don’t care the price.

Ok, I care a little, but letting go of it.  Having complete faith that it will be ok, no matter what.  I realized this morning as I was doing a little more thinking of researching the courier route, that simple is the best way for me to go.

Buy a ticket.


Screw trying to arrange it, manipulate it, make it work.

The only thing different that I am going to do is use Priceline.  I had forgotten that they offer a “deal” if you name your price and if they find it you are obligated to buy blindly, it usually means weird layovers, but whatever.

I can do that.

I have slept over night in an airport before, it is not the worst thing to do and as long as I have my laptop or a notebook or a book, of which I just don’t travel without, I will be fine.

Tomorrow after work, after doing the deal and my typical Friday night commitment, I will touch base with Barnaby and pull the trigger.

Holy Mother of God.

I am really going to do this.

I saw Pauly tonight and it was so good to see him again.  It has been a few months and it was wonderful to share with him what is going on my life.  He was always there for me with a kind word and a big hug and the offer of a couch if I needed a place to crash when I was actively couch surfing earlier this year.

The last time I saw him was at the Muddy Waters on Valencia and 18th, it was the night of the show at the Elbow Room where I performed with Sunshine Jones and Co.

I told him I was going to get up and go travel about that I did not know how or why or when, but that it was time and I was doing it.

He said, “do it.”

Then, to see him tonight, to hug him tight and say, “I’m moving to Paris,” it was a blessing, a gift, a joy.

His face lit right the fuck up.

He thanked me for sharing my experience with him and for pursuing my dream.  A man overheard our conversation and wistfully said, “I have always wanted to move to Paris, I just could never get it together.”


You never will get it together.

I don’t have it together.

Fuck, I am as far from having it together as a person can be.

I am just going any way.

The absolute joy and freedom in this is invigorating and moving.  The fear is lessening and I am feeling caught and held in an updraft of pure faith.  I don’t feel like I am leaping, I feel like I am soaring, caught, lifted, held aloft.

Pretty freaking wonderful.

I am inwardly re-arranged.

I shared about that last night and the financial insecurity fell away like the husk of old ideas that have held me so tight for so long.

I still have plenty of work to do.  I still have to meet with Carolyn before work tomorrow and continue doing what we are doing.  I have set up a Skype account, carmenreginamartines@skype (add me to your phone book friends) and I know that Carolyn Skype’s.

We talked about it last Thursday when I was finishing up with my inventory.  Should we not get done with the work ahead we will finish via Skype.  Then I will find that person or persons I need to work with in Paris.

I already have me some ideas.

I am utterly blown away by my life.  And I am not doing anything more than acknowledging that I have a dream and I am going after it full-bore.

Approximately 24 hours from now I will be reserving an airline flight to Charles De Gaulle International.

One of my favorite airports in the world.  Mostly because it means I am in Paris, but also, absurdly enough, for the up escalator from the international travel section.  After you clear customs you go through this hallway and up this enclosed tube of an escalator.  It looks like some wild water slide tube made of clear plastic.

It is surrounded by a large atrium of light and mottled French sky.

Weather.  I am going to have weather.  I am going to have seasons.  When I was talking with Tanya about it she told me of her time there it was cold, December, Christmas Eve.  She went to a raw bar by herself and splurged on a huge shell-fish platter.

I am doing exactly that.  On Christmas Eve.  Oysters and mussels and clams and shrimp.  Sparkling water.  Cafe creme. I will walk the stairs to Sacre Couer and go to Midnight Mass there.  Christmas day, services at Notre Dame.

Good gravy.

My birthday I will be in Paris.  Christmas I will be in Paris.  New Years Eve I will be in Paris.  Can you imagine?  I will dance until dawn on a house boat riding the waves of the Seine (there are house boat parties with djs that float up and down the river) watching fire works explode over the Eiffel Tower.

I had a rough end of year last year.

I think this one will be one for the books.

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