Posts Tagged ‘homework’

Hobbled

November 24, 2017

I did not do much today.

I did not go very far.

I stayed at home most of the day with a brief three and a half hour outing mid day.

My ankle really was tender this morning.

It took a while to get going and I was really gentle on myself.

I have had it elevated most of the day and I’ve iced it three times already.

I’m actually thinking maybe I should ice it again while I blog.

Hang on.

This may take a minute.

Ok.

Frozen bag of peas going on.

It’s a party.

Actually the party was up on Portola from whence I have just come.

I spent the late afternoon and evening with six of the most fabulous gay men.

God.

I am so lucky to have the fellowship and community I have.

I got propped up in a big comfy lounge chair, got an ice pack and had constant refills on my sparkling water.

Plus loads of chat.

I am a little out of the loop with some of the cultural stuff the guys were talking about, I don’t get out to as much of the social stuff as they do, really my head’s been so far up my ass with school I’m surprised I even knew what day of the week it was.

I did a good bunch of homework today.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s a holiday, but it really made the best sense of my time.

Especially since I was reminded by a member of my cohort that the paper for Transpersonal is not due the last weekend of classes.

No.

It’s due next Friday.

Fuck me.

I sort of remembered that, but as I had been thinking in terms of my online classes have the components that needed to be done by the weekend, not really my in person classes.

This is also a class I have a final project presentation for.

Which frankly is a little fucked.

To have a final paper and a final group project really feels like too much work for this class.

Sigh.

Anyway.

When that came to my notice and my need to be slow and gentle today, all else sort of drifted off.

I did do a lot of writing this morning.

And I did laundry.

But then.

I did homework.

I got a webinar out-of-the-way that was an hour-long and wrote a response paper to that.

Then.

Yes.

I did.

I completely finished my take home exam for CBT.

I don’t have to do anything more for that class but attend the last webinar on December 3rd at 7p.m.

Done and done.

Super happy to have that take home exam done and turned in.

When I finished I gave my mom a call and wished her a Happy Thanksgiving and then I hobbled out to my car and drove up to the highest part, or just about of Portola.

The view was so pretty.

There were few cars on the road.

I listened to music and found good parking.

And then I spend three hours with some of the sweetest guys ever.

I was loath to go but I also needed to come home and have dinner.

There really wasn’t anything there for me to eat and I knew that going in, so I had a late lunch and wasn’t really hungry anyway.

But as it got close to seven p.m. I could feel that I would be soon and it was a good idea to go, get home, get my foot elevated again and put on the cold peas.

Meaning.

I’m chilling out.

Literally.

And it’s early and I could do more homework, but this is where I will say, hey, it’s ok to not do more homework tonight, it is a holiday, albeit an almost done holiday, and I don’t have to push myself further.

I got done a lot today and I really don’t want to watch any child or elder abuse videos right now, I’ll save that for tomorrow.

I get to go get my massage tomorrow.

Looking forward to that.

I won’t do any yoga tomorrow and probably not either on Saturday.

But.

I do think I’ll try for the restorative yoga class on Sunday, I think that will be helpful.

And I’ll keep taking it slow.

Aside from a grocery shopping run and the massage I don’t have other plans.

I may go do the deal in the Inner Sunset.

That’s probably the best idea for me.

And I’ll keep chipping away at the work and I’ll get my papers written.

And I’ll get my final group project sussed out.

I will.

Things come together, they always do.

Just taking it nice and easy and slow.

One day at a time.

And real fucking mellow.

Like.

Easy does it.

Mellow.

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Thanksgiving

November 23, 2017

Is just a few hours a way and I keep forgetting its Thanksgiving.

It’s a holiday so all about the food.

And.

Well.

I’m not really in that place anymore.

For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what I’m thankful for.

I have so, so, so much.

Love.

A home.

A bed.

A closet full of clothes.

I have food in the refrigerator.

I have a laptop.

An Iphone.

Recovery.

Sobriety.

Abstinence.

Shit.

I have THREE vehicles.

I ran into a neighborhood friend out walking his dog this afternoon as I was headed into a job in the Mission and he saw me getting on my scooter, “not taking the car?!”

And I told him that since I was going to the Mission for a five-hour job and it’s only two-hour parking it was easier and cheaper to ride my scooter.

Five hours of metered parking for a scooter in the Mission is $1.55.

I don’t know what five hours of parking at a meter in the Mission would be, but I know it’s triple if not quadruple that.

Fuck.

Probably more.

“Nice to have choices!”  My neighbor said and strolled off with his dog and a “happy holiday!” over his shoulder.

Damn.

He’s right.

It is nice to have choices.

I used to not have any choice but my feet.

I was so broke for so long, especially in the early part of my recovery, even taking a bus sometimes was out of the question.

It took me a long time to get financially stable.

A fucking real long time.

It feels surreal to know that I have a car on the street, add that to the list of things to be thankful for, I own a fucking car.

I really never expected that to happen this early into my therapy career path, I figured it was in the hazy future, not like, this past Monday!

I have choices.

I have a bicycle.

I have a scooter.

I repeat, but, it still is amazing to me.

That.

I have a car!

Wow.

Yeah.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have a job.

I am in graduate school.

I have wonderful friends.

I have better relationships with my family than I have ever had.

I have perspective.

I have faith for the future and a deep abiding belief that I am being taken care of.

I don’t have great big plans for the holiday.

Like I said, the food part paled for me many, many, many years ago.

Tomorrow I will be with my person and some other friends in the Upper Castro/Twin Peaks area, I think I still am waiting on the address and details, for “pizza and Netflix.”

I obviously won’t be eating the pizza.

But I will be enjoying the company, that is a given.

And that’s all I really need to do.

I will sleep in and rise without an alarm.

No yoga at the studio.

I got a good work out today and frankly my body could use a rest.

Not sure how, but I once again sprained my fucking right ankle.

I am currently icing it.

Same ankle that I sprained right before I left for Paris in May.

Not as bad as that sprain, but still it’s gotten tight and swollen, so I took some ibuprofen and I have it elevated and I’ve got a bag of frozen peas on it.

I’m sure it will be fine after a couple of days of chilling out.

God’s way of saying, slow down.

I’ll do homework.

I might even knock out a bit tomorrow, depending.

Then Friday I’ve got the massage in Pacific Heights and I’ll do a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

I’m not really a Black Friday kind of gal, but there are a couple of stores on Fillmore Street that I want to pop into, mainly Nest, I got a very sweet Christmas ornament there last year.

And the rest of Friday and I suspect all day Saturday, will be homework.

I’ll finish up a CBT assignment, do all of my Child an Elder Abuse homework assignments and finish up the readings for my other classes.

If there’s motivation to do so Sunday, I may write a paper, or work on my final project presentation for my Transpersonal Psychology class.

All the things.

They will get done.

The big push towards the end of the semester.

One more weekend of classes!

Whatever I don’t get done this weekend will be attended to next weekend, then, yes, one more weekend of class!

Very excited for that.

And I’m going to call it a night.

My ankle feels pretty numbed out.

Time for some tea and some rest.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May it bring you many blessings.

And.

Much.

Much joy.

 

Slow It Down

November 22, 2017

I left my therapists office very, very, very aware that I was not going near my brand new car.

No way.

No how.

I needed to just take a walk for a moment, slow down, get regulated, be in my body.

Then when I felt like I was not going to crash into anyone I walked back to my car, drove it a few blocks and got right back out.

I was up in Noe Valley and I wanted to take a moment and let myself have a little self-care and to sit down and grab a coffee and enjoy the fact that I wasn’t going into work.

Usually after I get out of therapy I make a quick run to Whole Foods on 24th and then skeedadle to work.

Today I wanted to go grocery shopping, but I also wanted to window shop a little and really just to slow down and appreciate that I had some time off.

Oh.

There was a little bit of a niggling voice that reminded me, hey lady, don’t get too comfortable, you’ve got a fuck ton of homework.

Nothing brings that home more than getting an e-mail from a professor reminding me that all assignments for that class need to be turned in by December 9th and um, I haven’t turned in any of those assignments yet.

I have been waiting for this week off to get all caught up with that class.

I had started the readings, but really not gotten too far.

This time off, fyi, is going super fast, I can’t believe tomorrow’s Wednesday already.

And I have been doing homework diligently every day, every damn day, reading, getting caught up, getting ahead, or finishing the reading.

I’m done with all my readings for Jungian Dream Work and all my reading for Drugs and Alcohol.  I’m 3/4s of the way done with Transpersonal and about the same amount done for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

So not bad, but all those classes also have a final paper, one of them has a final project as well.

I need to get as much work in as I can this week.

And.

Oops.

Fuck.

I’m working tomorrow.

I sort of want to kick myself over it, I should never had said I was available and not think that the mom wouldn’t take me completely up on it.

Not my current family, they are on vacation.

No.

The family I used to work for.

I got a huge mournful face of longing on the last day of school pick up from my former charge and a deep sweet ask for a play date, “when are you going to come over?” He asked with such sweetness and desire I just couldn’t say no and when I bumped into his mom I mentioned I would have down time.

I thought maybe an hour or two, a playdate, something fun and easy.

I got asked to work five hours.

Ugh.

Of course I said yes, the mom had already told the boys I was going to see them and I didn’t want to disappoint them.

I also think I knew, at least in the back of my head, that though I like and respect the parents, I have a much more enjoyable time when I am, or have been, alone with the boys.

So I have a hunch the parents are going to take an afternoon day date and go see a movie or go out to lunch and I will have my two sweet guys to myself.

And maybe the dog, she’s a sweetheart, it will be good to see her too.

It’s not a bad thing the work, it’s just a little like come on kid, you’re busy, even though you’re not working, you’ve got a lot of reading and homework that needs attending to.

But.

Ugh.

Sometimes I have a hard time saying no.

Not always.

And I have said no to this family before when some requests were made, so it feels like a sort of concession, as well as, yes, an opportunity to make a little cash and to get some boy snuggles from my little guys.

I have gotten to do a play date with the youngest and one of my charges that was super fun and sweet, but I haven’t had any alone time with the older boy and I think he may need to see me.

I just got the sense.

And I can often times say no to a parent, especially if I’m busy, but wow, it’s super hard to say no to a child that needs you.

So with a tiny touch of chagrin, yes, I’ll be working tomorrow.

But.

I won’t go in until 1p.m.

So.

Yoga in the morning.

I haven’t been in over a week, or just over a week?

My back’s been sore and I’ve been busy, even though the work hasn’t been happening, oh man has the homework, so tomorrow will be good to get back into it.

I had thought originally with the time off I would be at the studio a lot, but I let myself get some sleep this past weekend and when my back was feeling super tender it felt better to rest than to push it.

I don’t express pain a lot, but I was definitely in some pain, still am, but it seems to be easing up a bit.

I’ve made a doctor’s appointment and I’ve been taking ibuprofen, but the appointment is not for a few weeks.  I’m going to try to be gentle and fingers crossed another few days of not carrying the baby around in the carrier will be good to my back.

And.

I was super nice to myself today, and I got a load of work done.

I re-parked my car in Noe Valley and went to Bernie’s Cafe and got a cafe au lait and sat on a bench and let the sun hit my face.

I got into being in my body and letting go of the material I worked on in therapy.

Suffice to say my therapist is recommending more therapy.

Ugh.

EMDR.

Just check the link, I don’t feel like describing it 100% however, I will say that it is a trauma treatment that is often used for PTSD.

I did it in a session once ten years ago with a therapist and I will say it worked, but it was close to the end of my time with that therapist and I didn’t have more follow-up.

I am ready to do it again.

Although I am loath to go and get more therapy, once a week at $120 a pop is enough.

Then again.

I want to work it out, get it out, process it, I want it out of my body, I want my body to be free, my heart to be free, my soul to move about the world and not go into traumatic reliving.

I need to be in the light.

And I know that means more work.

Fine.

I’m ready.

I told my therapist today that I feel like I can do it now, when I couldn’t before, I could barely touch into the trauma without falling completely apart.

I am much, much, much stronger now.

Internally, externally, emotionally, spiritually.

I am ready to do the work, and I suspect that I will finally get to resolve some things that have been burdening me for decades.

Let them go.

Embrace my life.

Help others.

It was good for me to take the moment today to sit on that bench, to get sun on my face, to slow down, I did some window shopping, I got some groceries, I came home and ate a nice lunch, I sat outside on the back patio.

Then.

I jumped back into the homework.

I kicked out three more hours of reading and I did two of the eight assignments.

Sigh.

There’s a lot to do, but I’ll get it done.

Even with working tomorrow.

It will all fall together and I have absolutely no regrets about being easy with myself at the beginning of the day.

I’m a fucking therapist.

I have got to practice what I preach.

Let me reframe that.

I get to.

 

 

 

Got The Shot

November 17, 2017

Thank God.

For a minute today, and oh did I get to practice acceptance, I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to get the shot, but I did.

I did.

The shot I’m referring to is the professional photograph that the producers of People Who Usually Don’t Lecture requested.

They want a photograph for publicity purposes.

Eek.

Publicity.

Scary and kind of cool all at the same time.

I sent them a photo I had taken of myself mid-summer, but they requested I send them a photograph that wasn’t taken on my phone.

Sigh.

I’m pretty damn good at taking a selfie, I’m not sure what that implies about me, narcissist, vain, self-involved, maybe, but I do know my angles when it comes to taking my own photo.

I usually take a lot and from certain angles.

I know my best side.

But fuck.

When it’s someone else taking my picture I’m horrible.

Weird ass smile, wrinkled forehead, strange faces, odd ball angles, I manage to look much heavier than I am, I have no clue what to look at where to focus and I’m goofy.

Thank goodness for my dear friend who took time out of her very busy day to help me.

At first I felt like it just wasn’t going to happen, she had a lot going on and I felt a tad guilty about asking her to spend time doing something pro bono, but she told me to get my butt to her studio in the Mission and we got the job done.

I sprung for lunch and got take out from FarmHouse.

And I must say, slight aside, fucking good food.

Really good.

I was impressed.

And I just had the Tom Kha Soup with chicken and some brown rice, but fuck, it was delicious and might be the best Tom Kha I’ve had in the city.

I will be going back, if the soup was that freaking good I’m sure the rest of the food is.

Plus I really liked the decor and it had a warm, vibrant feeling to it.

Anyway.

I picked up lunch and we got a chance to connect and I gave her the down low on life and school and all the things.

So good to reconnect.

And to get the shot.

Yes.

A lot of them were absolute duds.

Not her fault, nope, me and my self-conscious posing.

But we got there and I’m super happy with the resulting photograph.

I’m not sure how many she took, but probably close to a 100 frames.

Which we narrowed down to 16 shots, then six and finally two.

I sent the two off to the producers and I’m done.

Well.

With this part of the process anyway.

I still, obviously, have to do the lecture, but the photograph was a stress that I wasn’t expecting.

Gratefully my friends studio is close to my internship, I wasn’t on my scooter today with the rain, no thank you, and I didn’t have to travel far from her spot to where I needed to be next.

I had a bunch of time in between the photo shoot and my client, so I popped into a cafe and did two hours of reading.  I finished my Jungian Dream Work reading for the semester and got a good bit into my Transpersonal reading.

That felt great.

And I had done a good hour of homework before I headed out the door to do the photo shoot.

I finished almost all my CBT reading, which is good as I have a webinar I have to attend on Sunday.

I also finished all my reading for my Drug and Alcohol class.

So for Jungian Dream Work and for Drug and Alcohol I could actually start writing the final papers for the class if I wanted to.

That also is a nice feeling.

I feel like I won’t start the writing for that yet, I want to focus on getting the rest of my reading done for my other classes and finishing the online components for the classes that have that requirement.

There’s still so much to do, but having made a big jump into the material today, I feel like I will be able to address all the reading by the end of the weekend.

Even with seeing three clients tomorrow and having to go in before my group supervision on Saturday to do a rehearsal for the People Who Usually Don’t Lecture folks.

It will be the first rehearsal with all the people who are speaking.

There are seven of us.

I’m super curious.

I know one of the participants, it was his story that had a bit of our relationship in it that piqued the producers into wanting to meet with me.

It will be great to see him and hear his piece.

I’ve read a good bit of it, it’s a great piece.

I’m certain that the caliber of speakers is going to be quite high.

I have rehearsed my piece once a night since writing it.

I don’t want to let down the producers.

And, well, it’s a fun thing to be participating in, and it’s not school related or work related or client related.

Although.

Ha.

I do talk about all those things in my lecture–work, school, my internship–just with a much different slant than I typically think about my life.

It’s my story and I know it really well, but they, the producers, had me sharpen certain things and I’m eager to do the work to be polished and participate in the project.

It feels like an honor to have been included.

I don’t want to let anyone down.

So it was really with much gratitude and happiness that the photo turned out so well.

Super grateful.

Super excited.

And ready to focus on the next thing in front of me.

Lots of life, lots of school work, and no little love.

So much love.

Grateful to focus on that too.

Beyond my ability to write about it.

But something I read earlier really summed it up, so perhaps I will end on a little quote from my Jungian Dream Work class reading.

“I falter before the task of finding the language which might adequately express the incalculable paradoxes of love.”

C. G. Jung

Wow!

November 15, 2017

What a gift.

My boss totally surprised me today with a gift certificate to go to the spa while they are on vacation.

I was so touched.

I mean.

They’re going to be gone for ten days and I will be getting paid while they are away.

I am basically on vacation too.

Although, sure, not really, I have a lot of obligations at my internship, but, ah, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday of Thanksgiving week, I have, wait for it.

NOTHING.

No clients.

No supervision.

Nada.

l have plans for Thanksgiving, but that’s it.

So even though, yes, I will be seeing clients, I will still have a nice swath of completely free time.

I will, of course, be doing homework, that was my big plan for the time off, and I do have plenty to do there as well.

But.

Well.

Now I have something else to do which will actually feel like having nothing to do, I get to go to the spa.

And not just any spa.

This aint’ the Imperial Day Spa on Geary where I can get into the spa for $25 and hang out all day, oh no, this lovely space is in Pac Heights.

The spa is voted one of the best in the city.

And my boss gave me a $200 gift certificate!

I mean.

Holy shit.

I was not expecting that.

Like I said, just that I get the time off from work and will still get a paycheck is such a gift that to have even entertained the thought that I should get more is ridiculous.

She expressed that she wanted me to have a chance to relax too, to take some time and I just am so freaking touched by the gesture.

And yeah.

I’m so looking forward to a spa day, it sounds fucking awesome.

I just checked out the website and starting drooling.

It’s called International Orange, it’s on Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, above the, wait for it, haha, Ralph Lauren Store.

So if I’m exhausted from trying on Ralph’s winter collection I can just take myself upstairs to the spa and escape the urban environment.

Ha.

And.

Relax in the Finnish Spa.

Yes please!

And.

Get a deep tissue massage.

Oh yes, that too, please.

Or relax on the rooftop deck.

Although I doubt that it will be warm enough for sunbathing.

So maybe.

I’ll just hang out in the lounge.

In a big fluffy robe in front of the fireplace.

FIREPLACE!

Jesus.

They may not be able to get me out of the spa at that rate.

I can’t decide if I want a facial or a massage.

The place is freaking pricey, I can’t do both.

One or the other, but who cares, they’re both lovely things.

I don’t have to figure it out right now, I’m just thrilled though, that I’m going to get to have the experience and really, it’s sort of funny, I have been thinking about it, going to the spa and getting a massage, I just figured I’d got to Kabuki or the little Thai place in the SOMA I’ve been to twice.

Not some super posh spa in Pac Heights.

I should make a day of it.

Go to some bougie place and have lunch, treat myself to a fancy pants coffee, maybe get a mani/pedi somewhere, although that neighborhood is hella pricey for that, go window shopping.

Buy a Christmas ornament.

There are two stores on Fillmore I actually like to grab Christmas ornaments from.

I usually get myself one every year.

I discovered the shops last year when I was going to Hair Fairies when I got lice from the kids I used to nanny.

God.

That was a shit show.

And the parents paid for the lice to get removed, it cost hundreds of dollars.

Hundreds, I mean I had three sessions to get it all, I have a lot of hair, the first session cost $325.

This will be a much more pleasant way of spending Thanksgiving weekend then the isolation I did last year.

So much better.

Good grief.

I can’t think of a bigger difference a year can make.

I have some really lovely things in my life, last year I was so lonely, crawling with lice, sorry, had to go there, and miserable.

This year I’m loving my boss, have a great deal of love in my life, don’t feel lonely, get to do a lecture and be a part of a community, and I’m going to buy a new car next week.

Who’s life is this?

Oh.

Yeah.

Haha.

Mine.

And tomorrow is my last day at the job for ten days.

I also don’t have clients tomorrow.

I’ll get done with work, come home, cook dinner, see and be seen, love and be loved, hang out with my fellowship, feel the love and go to a god damn yoga class the next morning.

It will be glorious.

One more day on the job.

I’ll be busy, but light-hearted as a feather.

With merry thoughts of a soon to be happening spa date.

Yippee!

Luckiest girl in the world.

So lucky.

 

 

And. End Scene

November 13, 2017

I made it!

I got through the school weekend.

Only one more left in the semester.

Holy shit.

Very excited about that.

Although not at all excited about the extraordinary amount of work I will have to produce for the last weekend of classes.

Four papers.

One final group presentation.

Plus wrapping all my online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) webinars and assignments and doing all the work for my online Child and Elder Abuse class.

Whew.

It’s a lot.

But.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I did have a moment today, though.

I was pretty wiped out by the class, a lot of emotional content for me was coming up, shocker that, go get a degree in psychology and watch the stuff surface, and I really couldn’t even decide what the hell I was going to do with the day.

I had some ideas.

Maybe I’d go shopping.

But.

I’m trying to hold out from purchasing anything as it looks like I’m getting quite close to actually putting down money on a car.

My application for a car loan was approved and I can go into the Fiat dealership in Berkeley and get the Fiat 500 Pop that I’ve been eyeing.

It seems surreal that it’s actually happening.

I even transferred the money out of my savings account today.

I am not sure exactly when I’m going to go and get the car, the dealership actually offered to deliver it to me!

But I want to go into the dealership and go with a friend and make sure I’m doing all the things correct.

I have never bought a new car before so it’s all completely outside the scope of my experience.

Anyway.

Clothes shopping, though tempting, did not seem like the best idea.

I vacillated between rushing out and getting over to the Mission by 12:15 p.m. to do the deal, or just taking it easy and seeing where God wanted me to go.

Rushing is not what I wanted to do and so I meandered towards the Inner Sunset.

I realized I was super hungry and though I needed to do grocery shopping and I could just make food when I got home, I was too distracted and it felt like too much and when a friend in cohort asked what I was doing for self-care today, it struck me that I had no good answer for her.

“Maybe yoga?” I replied.

And it struck me that maybe I wanted to treat myself a little.

So.

I went to Marnee Thai in the Inner Sunset and got my favorite dish there–banana curry with duck and brown rice and a big mug of tea.

It was perfect.

And I did do some clothes window shopping and even tried on a few things, but didn’t buy anything.

Instead.

I went and got a manicure and perused a trashy magazine.

I got a decaf, yes, I’m that person, past a certain point in the afternoon I go decaf, cafe au lait at Tart To Tart and finally did my numbers from my spending plan for October and then did a spending plan for November.

After that.

I went grocery shopping after and that felt very good and proactive.

I did some work around the house and attended to a few small things and did some food prep.

Then.

Yup.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I re-wrote the narrative completely for the “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” folks.

I meet with them again tomorrow in between supervision in the early morning and work.

I think I had been dreading doing that work and not having an idea of how to get it going, but as I finished balancing my check book and I was sitting by my computer, I just did it.

I just kicked it the fuck out.

Then when I finished it I realized I could make the 6:15 p.m. restorative yoga class at my studio.

Yippee!

I scurried into my yoga gear and walked over, getting nice and settled in as they dimmed the lights and light the studio with candles.

So pretty.

So relaxing.

Such a nice gift to give to myself.

An hour and fifteen minutes later I came home, made a hot dinner and proofed my narrative.

I just sent it out a few minutes before starting my blog.

Super fucking happy.

I’m going to go take a shower and chill out.

Fuck yeah.

 

Oh.

And here’s the piece in its entirety, I may still change it, but well, I thought you’d might like to read it.

Enjoy.

 

Running Away From Myself

I ran away from home to San Francisco. I was 29 years old. I had just graduated from college with my undergrad degree in English Literature, which would translate to a career of asking “wilt thou like fries with that?” I had also just gotten a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, and I had won an award for a manuscript of my poems from the UW Madison Book Store. I was on my way. I was going to be the next great American novelist. I had a plan.

I was going to find myself in San Francisco. A friend later told me that she was quite concerned for me, one does not find themselves by moving across country in their two door Honda Accord with all their possessions and a two month sublet in the Mission District. I, however, was convinced that I needed to move to San Francisco, it was home, Madison, was not. I never considered it to be running away from myself. I just thought I was getting the hell away from the craziness of my family.

I was running away from my mom who was smoking crack, from my sister who was shooting crystal meth with dirty rigs, from my homeless father, who would spare change for beer money outside the brewing company I was the manager at. I had been to San Francisco to visit a friend the year prior and knew it was where I wanted to be. I moved here Labor Day weekend of 2002. I had a blast. I drank, I danced, I partied, I went to clubs, I cut lines at 1015 and DNA Lounge, and one day did blow in the bathroom with a friend, maybe it was the Mezzanine or the bar at The W Hotel. I had arrived! I made so many new friends my phone could barely handle all the numbers. I was having the time of my life.

Then I started to have repercussions from all the partying. Drugs are like that, fun, fun with problems, then just fucking problems. The problems led to me getting really creative with my money, stashing it in my bra or sock or back left pocket of my pants so I wouldn’t spend it on coke. But inevitably, after a few drinks, I would call my dealer. And the money ran out, really, really, fast. I was gregarious and the life of the party, and as a dear friend told me later, “just because you didn’t go to prom in high school doesn’t meant that you get to be the prom queen now.”

Yet, I kept going. I got ominous warnings from my friends, I got warnings at work, and I pissed off my roommate for bringing the after party back from the clubs at 4 a.m. I accidentally did a line of meth in the bathroom at the End Up one night, with a new friend who I thought was giving me cocaine and two days later found myself still awake deconstructing Laura Croft in a trailer in Brisbane where my new best friend was making banana walnut pancakes in the kitchen.

I still don’t know how I got home. I started making deals with myself. Don’t drink tonight; I noticed I was quick to call my dealer after a beer. But didn’t you see how hard my job was, what assholes I was working with, and how much my feet hurt? It had nothing to do with the three grams of blow I did the night before while dancing at DNA Lounge in platform Steve Madden heels, no, it had to do with the head manager at my restaurant giving me a shitty section where I had to run all night long to serve my tables.

Things spun out of control. Faster and faster. One night I was just going to go home and a friend convinced me to grab a bottle of wine from the restaurant and go back to her place. A bum outside her door spare changed us as we were going into her apartment, I gave him a cigarette. Hours later when I left, he was still there and he offered me some crack cocaine. Of course I smoked it. And twelve hours later I found myself hiding on a piece of cardboard between parked cars on Minna Street smoking rock with a homeless man who was angling for me to become his girlfriend.   It had to stop. It had to.

I tried a number of ways to control and enjoy my drinking and using, but things just never took. No matter what I did. I lost that fine dining restaurant job, I lost friends, and I lost a lot of dignity. I left a $500 a month rent controlled room in a large Victorian house in the Mission for a room on Potrero and 25th for more than twice the rent. I figured I wouldn’t spend my money on cocaine if my rent were more expensive. I was wrong, was I ever wrong. I remember waking up one morning for a lunch shift and wondering what I had done the night before and when it finally came to me as I was getting out of a cab in front of work I was so overwhelmed I leapt out, and ran and vomited in the bushes before going in for my shift.

Finally, on January 10th, possibly the 11th of 2005, I hit the bottom that would change my life. I went to the restaurant I used to work at to see a friend, I wasn’t going to drink. Nope. I wasn’t, but the bartender put up my regular, a double dirty martini on the rocks with extra olives and a pint of Sierra Nevada. I drank a sip of the beer and called my dealer. I rang a friend, he met me out, and we went all over the city and at one point ended up at my house. He left his drugs with me, “you won’t do them will you?” He asked as he left. I did them. I stole from my friend and in that moment I made the decision, I was done, I don’t know why stealing a few grams of coke from a friend was how I smashed into my bottom, but it was. I made a cry for help. And it was answered.

It came from unexpected places. I thought I was just going to go to rehab. Instead I got introduced to a community and an amazing fellowship, and I drank a lot of coffee, a lot, I still do. Twelve years and some change later, notice my star tattoos? One for every year I’ve been sober, I still don’t know how the magic all happened, I am grateful beyond belief that it has. I get to do and be someone I never even knew I wanted to be. I am a nanny, I’ve been one for over a decade, I get to give children the kind of love and attention I missed getting as a child. I’m also a third year graduate student in psychology, I go to a full time graduate program on the weekends at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) which is located on Mission and 10th in the SOMA. The back of the building abuts Minna Street.

That same street where I gave a homeless man a cigarette, and he smoked me out with crack, I was once again twelve years later. I will never forget coming out of my Psychodynamics class at the end of the semester, holding a paper I had just gotten an A+ on and hopping on my scooter to go home. As I pulled out, I heard the roll of a lighter be flicked and the inhale of breath, there was a girl, a young woman, hair up in a messy bun, eyes downcast, smoking crack on a piece of cardboard between two parked cars. She was I and I was she. I can never, not now, not ever, express the tremendous gratitude I felt in me at the moment. As I zoomed off on my scooter, from my grad school program to my little studio by the sea. I was no longer running away from myself. I was just going home.

What I Should Do

November 10, 2017

Versus what I am going to do.

Which is blog.

I should just got to bed, I had a ten-hour work day with the family I nanny for and then I had two clients this evening after work.

I got home 49 minutes ago.

Threw laundry in the dryer, chatted on the phone, threw some food in a pan and ate some dinner.

I should just go to bed.

Right?

I’ve got school tomorrow, a client tomorrow, plans in the evening, more school Saturday, school Sunday, a narrative I have to completely fucking re-write on Sunday for “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture,” I have no days off.

I won’t have a day of for some time yet.

Although.

Whatever.

I will have some day time free coming up soon–the family I nanny for will be out-of-town the 16th through the 26th.

I will have some down time.

I will have plenty to do seeing clients at night, but a lot of my clients are gone for the holiday and I will have off completely, like nothing at all on the books for the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday of Thanksgiving week.

I’ll spend the actual holiday with my person and some fellows here in the city, but aside from that, I will have some big swaths of time off.

So sure.

I’ve got to be up early and I should just go to bed, but, of course, now that I’m home and ensconced in my bunny slippers with some food in my tummy and some water, I feel bright and alert again.

I also had a couple of really good sessions with my clients and there is something so energizing about that, not thinking of myself for an hour, paying close attention to another, being really present and empathetic.

It can be draining and I have had challenging sessions and have felt zapped to bits afterward, but that didn’t happen tonight.

I had the, “I really like being a therapist!” moment again tonight after my last client left.

And I just floated out of my office and zipped home on my scooter.

I’m hoping I can use my scooter tomorrow.

There is some rain forecasted, but I might be able to hit the window.

The rain looks late morning and early afternoon.

If I can get to school before it hits I should be in class longer than the predicted rain, thus allowing me to get out after the rain and get to my internship.

I have just one client tomorrow and I am coordinating an earlier session time with her so that I might just maybe have a few minutes to do some homework and some grocery shopping, because God only fucking knows when I will get to it otherwise.

I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will allow me to ride.

I just get here and there and around so much faster, it’s so efficient.

Although, I hate riding in the rain and I won’t ride if I get up tomorrow and it’s raining.

I’ll either take the train in or grab a car.

I want to get up early too and get in a shower and shave and pack up my stuff.

I will probably be taking my laptop with me so that I can do some work on it.

I don’t like doing that, but I also will have time between the end of my classes in the afternoon and whenever my client rolls in.

I may have two hours and that’s a lot of homework reading to whip through.

And a good deal of the reading I have left to do is online.

Which I do not like, but that’s what it is.

I can hardly even believe that I’m in class tomorrow, it feels surreal.

I have not been anxious, oh, a little, I always am a tiny bit before the weekend of classes commences, but nothing like it was before.

I know I can get through the weekend on slight sleep.

I know that I just have to show up.

I know that I need to participate.

But ultimately.

My focus is on my personal life, my work life, and my clients.

I am not really as wrapped up in the school work and the class room time and my weeks are full so that the time in between class weekends seems to have gone by quite quickly.

After this weekend I will have one more weekend of classes and then the semester is over!

That is the best.

Then.

Oh.

One more semester.

In which I will only have three classes, as opposed to the SIX I have now.

Did you know that?

I’m running six classes, working full to over time hours at my job and seeing 8 clients a week.

I am amazed that I have gotten to have any time for play.

But it sneaks in there.

I get brief little blissful moments.

Kisses of time.

Nibbles of passion and sweetness.

Not enough.

No.

Not enough by far.

But enough to sustain.

Just get me through this semester I keep telling myself, I can do this, just get through this semester.

Life will not always be at this pace and I will find more time for myself and my pursuits.

I don’t want to work hard to just work hard all the time.

I want to connect.

I want to dance cheek to cheek.

I want to sleep in.

I mean.

Maybe that’s a stretch.

How about I want to sleep 8 hours.

That would be hella sexy.

I want to read a book that is not psychology related.

I mean.

How nice would that be?

All the things on my mind.

No wonder I am not ready to go to bed right now.

And you know.

That’s ok.

I’ll get rest.

(when I’m dead)

When I want something badly enough.

I will get it.

I know what I need.

I have a lot of clarity around that recently.

I think I understand.

Love.

That’s all I need.

And a little self-knowledge.

It goes a long fucking way.

Seriously.

 

 

Hot Bowl of Soup

November 8, 2017

Cookies baking in the oven.

I needed some comfort time when I got home.

Cookies are not for me to eat, but I had some left over dough from making cookies last week and I figured I might know a person who would like them.

I think I just wanted my oven on.

It’s cold outside kids.

I was going to call this blog, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, but I think I already have a blog, maybe even two with that exact title.

So, Hot Bowl of Soup it is.

Self-care.

I needed some.

I just got exhausted today.

I don’t know why exactly, I felt pretty damn good most of the day.

I did a lot of work in therapy, so there’s that, sometimes the sessions can be big or cover big stuff and I will have well, not exactly an emotional hang over, but a touch of tenderness about me the rest of the day.

I also, I swear it’s true, think that my boss was exhausted and it sort of rubbed off on me at the end of the day.

Plus the kids had really big energy and it felt like it took a lot for me to be present and accountable.

I made a nice dinner for the family, spaghetti carbonara, roasted chicken legs, spinach salad with roasted pears, bacon, Toma cheese, roasted almonds, and roasted garlic sweet potato coins.

The cooking helps me to connect with my charges and also, puts a sort of ending on the day before I head off to see my clients at my internship.

I suspect that the barrage of client e-mails at the end of my day did not help either.

I got a lot of incoming e-mails right at the end of the day and juggling making dinner, wrangling the baby and coordinating with the mom for a big play date tomorrow and an early start to my day on Thursday and I just got smacked with overwhelm.

I had a hard time shaking it off.

But I managed to scrape myself up and get to my internship and I felt much better after my first session.

Which was a phone session.

My first one.

Not my first choice, but rather that than nothing and I can count a phone session towards my hours, although only to a certain degree, it’s called Telemedicine and you can only accrue about 375 hours of it.

I don’t dislike it.

But I don’t like it as much as face to face therapy.

So much is missed over the phone, I can’t see my clients expression or body language, a lot gets lost.

Then again, I think that the phone allowed my client to open up about a few things that it might have taken a few more face to face sessions to get to.

Never the less.

I felt better after getting off the phone session.

I feel better after doing therapy sessions, I can tell I have been of service and spending an hour focused on someone other than myself is really helpful.

Then I got the sweetest damn message in a text and my whole night got turned around.

It’s pretty amazing and it was unexpected and I felt light and buoyant and loved and I knew I would make it through my last session and get home and have a hot meal and I would be ok.

And voila!

I am.

I even rallied some energy up to do a load of laundry and suss out a few more things for school.

Because.

Oh yeah.

I have school this weekend.

So there’s that too.

Trying to get all my reading done before classes.

I did manage to finish my Jungian Dream Work reading assignment, and I turned in the paper on Sunday, plus I got into my Transpersonal reading and I finished my Drug and Alcohol reading.  I’m a bit behind on my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality reading, but have at least dipped into so that I’m not completely at a loss when class rolls around on Friday.

I also had a client cancel on Friday so I can take that time and do a little bit of catch up there.

I will have the next couple of days and get done what I get done and not fret too hard about what I can’t finish.

I typically do manage to get it in or damn close to it.

I have been a lot less on my phone during the day, taking Facebook off it was one of the best decisions ever, and I’ve been assiduously reading when ever I can.

I got nearly an hour in at work today.

A half hour at lunch then another stretch on the train and in the school yard waiting for my charges to finish up with school.

If I keep that up I’ll be sitting pretty damn good come Friday.

And tomorrow will not be as draining, I’ll get some sleep, I’ll have a good day at work, the play date I’m managing happens to be with one of my previous charges and I just adore him to bits, it will be special to have some time with him.

And I’ll get out a little early to hit up group supervision and then go to the deal with my people.

See and be seen by those I need and love.

Grateful to have hot food in my tummy, warm bunny slippers on my feet, and the cookies, although not for me, smell delicious and it’s nice to be cozy in my home.

I am really grateful for what I have.

My life is good.

I love.

And.

I am loved.

Big Day

November 7, 2017

I got to work and walked in and sighed.

I already had a super busy day and I was tired before I even walked into the door at work.

Not in a bad way, just in a sort of thrown into unexpected places way and reflecting on what had transpired in the time before I got to work.

Super intense meeting with my supervisor and a lot of deep work around a specific client, who I saw this evening and got to apply all the things that I had worked on with my supervisor.

Which was really fulfilling and also a little exhausting.

And exhilarating too.

I felt like I was really being a good therapist and that my client was making some amazing headway.

I feel better and better the more I get to see my clients and learn about them and those that show up consistently and let me bear witnesses to their growth is really an amazing thing to witness.

At times exhausting, the work is challenging, but as I expressed to my boss today I am so grateful for it.

I didn’t even see my boss until after 4p.m. today, I was at work at the house, picking up my charge from school, and she was off and running her Monday as well.

I think we were both pretty tired from the day, but it was good to connect with her.

She’s great to work for and super flexible with my schedule.

Which is good since I’ll be going in late one more time next Monday.

I’ve been asked to come in again next week to work further on the lecture series, “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

The women that are running the project have a certain vision and they have produced so many of this lecture series they really have a clarity about what needs to come across and what resonates with the audience.

So.

Although all the work I did on the narrative was not for naught, ugh, I still am going to have to re-write it.

I could heavily edit what I wrote, but I think a fresh rewrite with the direction they want from me will make it a far stronger piece.

I have a very clear idea what they want and I know how to write it and I have the opening line in my head so I know where it will go.

Sometimes, most times, all I need is that opening line or thought, the idea opens the door, I walk in and then I start describing what I see, it’s like walking into a warm room with a rag hook rug on the wood floor, a fire burning in a stove, a rocking chair with a soft throw on the arm and a pillow against the back.

I just need to settle into that chair and write what I see on the walls, tell the story in the pictures I see.

There I am running away from home to San Francisco at the ripe age of 29.

What happens.

Here’s a snap shot of DNA Lounge.

Here’s a picture of me in the back patio of The End Up after having been up all weekend.

All the things and crazy dark adventures, a Polaroid on a push pin board.

That time I made out with my best friends boss at The Elbow Room in the photo booth.

And forgot that I had a strip of photos of us kissing.

It fell out of my wallet when I was looking for something, and my friend picked it up.

“Oh my God!  You made out with STEVE!  YOU MADE OUT WITH MY BOSS?!  He’s gay!”

He wasn’t that gay that night.

Here’s another one of a night at Bruno’s on Mission Street, all dressed up for Halloween and getting ready for a night out on the town when my dealer calls and hey, he just got out of 850 Bryant (the jail here in San Francisco) and how much do I want?

Well.

Fuck.

I’ll start with three grams and go from there.

Hung over.

Cracked out.

Dancing at strange parties with strange people and all the misadventures there of.

The producers wanted a little more of the nitty-gritty of my using and then what happened.

I had put too much of an ellipses in the narrative and it made it seem like I did a line of blow and then suddenly got sober.

They wanted to hear more about the despair.

Because.

Well.

Drama.

It gets your attention, and it provides the vehicle to show how far I’ve come, the things I went through, and who I am.

They also wanted me to talk a little bit more about my nannying.

And what it means to work with children.

“Oh, I think I know what you mean,” I said to the woman speaking to me, “that I get to give the kind of love to a child that I never had for myself growing up.”

She teared up.

Yes.

That.

Let me pull your heartstrings.

Let me show you how resilient I am.

It’s not necessarily a drama play, it’s what really happened, but I have ten minutes to cover all the things and they wanted to sharpen certain points for power, so that it lands with the audience and connects them to me and my story.

Whew.

That’s just going to have to sit on the back burner for a little while and percolate.

I have a full client load this week, therapy tomorrow morning before work, group supervision mid-week, when I normally don’t have it until Saturday–but I’ll be in class Saturday so I have to do it this Wednesday, and yeah, that, school, it’s a school weekend.

No wonder I walked into work and already felt exhausted.

Sigh.

It won’t be that bad.

It’s not that bad.

And I am grateful I get to do this project, it is nice to be wanted, it’s nice to know that I have been chosen because I have something powerful to share and that I am someone who knows how deliver a story.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

But the re-write has got to wait until Sunday after I get out of class, I just don’t see getting to it before then.

I still have reading for class I need to attend to, and well, the week full of stuff.

Grateful that I have pockets of respite and some lovely things planned too, that have nothing to do with work and school and clients.

A girl needs a little fun too.

Especially when there’s so much else to attend to.

I need to let myself let loose a little too.

All work and no play makes me a very dull girl.

And I’m so not dull.

Seriously.

Halloween

October 28, 2017

It’s going to be interesting.

I agreed to go out with some girlfriends to Oakland.

I am fucking crazy.

But.

Well.

Dancing.

Friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Fellowship.

Costumes.

Which sound great, but on my ride home from my internship tonight the shit show of traffic that is already happening and the crazy, San Francisco likes it some Halloween, the crazy is already on.

Tuesday is Halloween.

But everyone is out celebrating this weekend.

So.

Today when I was feeling all sorts of sassy, before the week caught up with me and bitch slapped me and stomped all over me, christ almighty I was drained when I left work to go to my internship–I worked overtime at my day job this week, I was all worn the fuck out and thought, I am nuts to want to go out tomorrow.

It’s going to be crazy town.

I mean it already is crazy town.

It’s just going to be more of it.

And how am I going to juggle the costume?

I sort of have an idea.

I was thinking I could do a sugar skull.

I don’t have all the right makeup to do it, but I could probably pick it up.

The thing is coordination with my girlfriend and where she’s going to be in the city and where I will be in the city.

I’ve got my internship from 1p.m.-5:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Yeah.

I was not expecting that, but then again, I did say I was open for consults this Saturday, so there it is, I am no victim, I volunteered for it.

I also had a client cancel this week and a few cancel next week, as Halloween is on a Tuesday–both clients cancelled that night, so I was eager to make up some of the hours.

It just puts a little crunch on coming home and getting ready and going back out again.

I have 7pm plans in the NOPA to do the deal and afterward my person and I are going to get dinner at Brenda’s Meat and Three on Divisadero.

I figure we’ll be wrapping up dinner around 9:30p.m.

My friend wants to get over to Oakland around 10p.m. for the Halloween dance.

A lot of folks in my community will be there, so it’s good fun, but I just feel a tiny bit pressured.

Then again.

Dress up?

Makeup?

Dancing?

Girlfriends?

Um, yeah.

That actually sounds good.

So I am going to make the effort, I am going to try not to be the old lady who is going to bed early on a weekend night since she’s fucking drained from the week, I’m going to rally.

I am sure I will have a good time.

And then I can say with all honesty that I did something for the holiday.

I haven’t celebrated it in a while.

The last time I went out on Halloween was with this same friend and a bunch of other folks, I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts and my date went as a character from Game of Thrones.

I was nervous as all hell to have a Halloween dance date and it was weird and as it turns out, it was so not a good match, but I went out and had some dancing with my girlfriend and she and her boyfriend actually won the fucking costume contest!

They dressed up as Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction and they actually did the fucking dance on the stage.

It was brilliant.

I do recall that the music at said dance rather sucked, but it was fun to hang with my friends.

That was what, three years ago?

Yeah.

I suppose it’s about time I did something on Halloween.

I know I didn’t dress up last year, I’m sure I could have, I’m sure there was a party or five I could have gone to, but grad school, that’s been the thematic for the last two and a half years, I want to, but um, homework.

And yes.

Sure.

I have some, I have plenty.

But.

I want to play dress up.

I want to be social.

So I’m pretty sure I will go, even though it felt like too much effort to even think about after I got out of work tonight.

I have other Halloween things on the mind.

I have an interview on Halloween.

No.

Not for a job.

I love my job.

I’m not looking for another.

Unless it will help me get hours for my MFT licence and pays better than what I make now.

I suspect that won’t actually happen until I graduate.

Anyway.

No.

I was asked by a group that do this thing called “People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

It’s not a Ted talk, it’s not about big ideas, but about rather about unique life experiences and personal life journeys.

I was referred to it by a very dear friend of mine.

Said friend with whom I get to enjoy a lunch in North Beach on Sunday and catch up on all the things.

My friend did a lecture for these folks and in his discussion he brought up a poetry project that I did in collaboration with him a couple of years ago, my first semester in graduate school.

They were intrigued and asked if he’d forward my e-mail, they were interested in hearing my story.

It seems they have been doing this series in Tel Aviv now for three years and are taking the series to a global platform.

I was really flattered to be considered and I messaged with the director, I think he’s the director, of the project today.

And set up a time to go and interview with them on Halloween.

I am super excited to do it.

Of course I am.

I like to talk about myself.

Who doesn’t?

But I also like to share about how I have gotten through struggles, hardship, overcome difficulties, thrived and been resilient, how I have said yes to things, and therefore lived in Paris with my tattoo artist, flown to Rome to spend a weekend with a woman I had met in Paris at dinner, gone to London to spend Christmas Eve with a barely known acquaintance, gone to Burning Man 11 times, written thousands, yes thousands of blogs (2,286 to be exact, plus a few hundred more that I either scrubbed or archived off the site), how I met a woman in New Orleans and she collected me as an artist and took me to lunch and drove me all over New Orleans one afternoon, how I meet people, connect, talk, like the man in Green Point Brooklyn who’s sculpture I was so admiring of that he came out and talked to me and before you know it I have a private showing of his studio and the promise that when I could afford one of his pieces he would be happy to recreate my favorite one he had in his studio and ship it to me, (Doug Beube, his stuff is extraordinary) how I am a nanny, how I have worked with kids for over a decade, including nannying at 7 Burning Man events.  Or my most recent adventure, working full-time while interning part-time and going to graduate school full time.

Yeah.

That.

No biggie.

Or my spiritual life.

Which is the penultimate reason why I can do all of the above.

Regardless.

I have things to talk about.

I’m intrigued, and flattered, and more than a touched humbled that someone who I respect and admire referred me to this group of people.

It feels like a big deal.

And.

Some nice validation of who I am and what I do on a daily basis to do all the things.

So.

Yeah.

I will rally tomorrow and get my Halloween on.

I said yes, didn’t I?

And when I say yes.

Well.

Magical things happens.

They

Always.

Do.

 


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