Posts Tagged ‘honesty’

You Are My

August 19, 2017

Eucastastrophe.

You are my euphoria.

You are my sudden joyous turn.

You are the opposition ending the couplet in Shakespeare.

You are the happy ending to the fairy tale.

You destroy me from within.

When all joy seems to be lost, you find me.

You grant me beauteous hope.

You light a fire in me.

You have burned me down and I am built back up.

I babble in tongues for you.

I am overwrought and emote arrows of hearts.

I flail in my fear and shake in my desperation.

And then.

You see me.

You show me the beauty of the story.

A narrative I thought I wrote alone.

For I have written my own dark ending so long ago, that I forgot.

Happily ever after is possible.

With you.

I can glimpse the underlying truth.

I am in awe of you.

Of us.

Of alchemy and passion and love songs.

You wield the sight of angels.

You see me.

I cannot lie.

I have tried.

I need to be truthful in all things.

I need to be passion.

I need to be fire for you.

You encompass me.

I will slay dragons for you.

You are the impossible problem overcome.

You resolve me.

You are the joy that brings tears.

You are the laughter after terrible adventures.

You.

Yes.

You.

Love.

Are my everything.

 

 

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Cherry Popped

June 14, 2017

I had my first client.

It went well.

That’s all I’m going to say.

That and holy shit.

I had my first client!

I did my first session of therapy with a client.

The client has rebooked for another session.

So it really begins.

As though it’s not been beginning for a very long time, all the time training and studying and reading and writing papers and working with my cohort.

All that.

Plus.

Years of other kinds of service, sitting and listening to another person check in, being honest, being accountable, showing up, doing the deal.

I mean.

Fuck.

I have been working hard for a god damn long time to get here.

I had my first client session.

I know I won’t ever forget it.

And I am grateful for it.

It was a good day.

A sunny day.

A lovely day.

I did a lot.

Showered and wrote and coffee and reading and making sure I had a back up outfit for work, just in case I get nannied in the line of duty.

Last week the baby spit up on both my arms.

Nothing says “let’s create a therapeutic alliance” more than smelling like regurgitated breast milk.

Ha.

So.

I have a back up outfit at work.

I actually have two.

I have one just for work, if I need to I can do a quick change out and being able to work the rest of whatever hours I have work and run my stuff through the wash.

And now.

I have a second outfit that is more appropriate to looking like a professional.

Oh.

I’m still pretty casual in my attire.

But.

I today I was was also softly polished.

Black leggings, long drop waist charcoal grey dress, baby blue cardigan, and my new Fluevogs.

I wanted to look nice, warm, inviting.

I also liked dressing for the part.

I love dress up.

I love clothes and shoes and I have secretly waited to arrive at the day when I can start to be a little more polished and professional.

It was really nice to transition from my nanny clogs to my therapist shoes.

It felt like I was putting on my superhero cloak.

Nanny by day, psychotherapist by night.

I’ll be seeing all my clients in the evenings after I get done with work.

I was talking to my own therapist this morning, I see her on Tuesdays before work, so it’s like my day is completely bookended with therapy, about how lucky I am that I have the job that I do and how much it fills me up.

My therapist and I talked a lot about how strong I am and how I don’t always know how to let myself recognize that, that I do the work.

I can logically see it, but sometimes when I have felt like I have had no other option, no one else to rely on, just me doing it on my own, how devastatingly lonely that can be and how hard.

It has taken getting pretty beaten down by a few accidents during the last twelve and a half years to help me see that asking for help is a valuable experience for me and when I am more vulnerable.

Well.

I am stronger.

There is such strength in vulnerability.

The more I can allow myself to be seen, to be vulnerable, the more I learn and the more I am able to use my own inner resources without having to feel like I’m justing working hard to work hard.

I am so grateful that wall has dropped.

It goes back up at times, but I find the more I can let it down the happier I am and the fuller my life become.

I am incorrigible in my aliveness and lust for living.

Absolutely defiant with my need to feel more happiness and joy and see more and go further and have as many experiences and have as much growth as I can.

Yeah.

I know that might be courting some painful things too, but there is growth where there is pain.

I do hope to reach a point in my life when I can make changes before I have to experience pain, a place of simple humility about what I can and can’t do, rather than a forced feeding of excoriation because I am simply unwilling to let go of some characteristic of myself that I think still serves me.

Not acknowledging my strength today in my therapy session would have been akin to that.

I acknowledged it.

And.

I also had to hold the fact that there’s an inner critic who still holds a lot of sway and likes to smack talk me quite a bit.

Not enough.

Not smart enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not lovable.

Not good enough.

But.

Those things are simply not true and they taste older and more and more faded and dusty and the cloth binding is falling apart.

Let me drop it to the floor, sweep it out the door and find something fresh and new and lovely.

There is so much loveliness for me.

I am sure of it.

“Your capacity for love is enormous,” my therapist said, “you have the biggest heart.”

Hearing a basic stranger, I mean, we’ve had, like what, eight sessions, tell me that my capacity for love was not just big, but enormous, I was floored.

I was validated.

That is what I hope to do for my clients.

To see them.

Honest in who they are with whatever they bring.

I know that I can do it and I am honored that I got to do that today.

And yes.

Log my first freaking hour of individual therapy.

It feels amazing to be logging hours.

I have a long way to go.

But I am on the path and that is all I need to be present for.

I don’t have to know where it ends.

I just need to continue moving forward.

One baby step at a time.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

–Lao Tzu

Help Me

February 23, 2017

To see what I need to see.

And let go of what I can.

I have had this on a loop in my head all day.

Help me to see what I need to see and to let go of what I can.

I close my eyes.

I open them.

I see leaves scuffling by along the pavement.

I see a tree, tender and green with new growth against the luminescent blue sky.

A man drives by in a delivery van, smiles and waves.

I feel the sun on my face.

It is warm.

Very simple these things.

I don’t have to exert myself so much.

I don’t have to force things or make things happen.

Things have their own damn schedule and time frame.

God’s timing is perfect.

I did a big inventory over the weekend and it is still resonating with me.

I basically inventoried the institution of being single.

Yeah.

I know.

No biggie.

Hahahahahaha.

I told my person I only had one resentment and that it was about myself, as per usual, I’m thinking about myself.

And when I told her it was because I was single she suggested that I look at the inventory differently, that I inventory the institution of being single.

Ooh.

I like that.

I am resentful at the institution of being single because.

I don’t feel like I’m enough.

I am broken.

I feel jealous of other people.

I am less than.

I am lonely.

I have to do everything by myself.

I feel like people are pitying me.

I feel angry.

I feel entitled.

Yeah.

Nothing to unpack there.

Fuck me.

Affects everything about me.

I can see my selfishness really well in holding onto this, so much so, playing the victim, holding on to self-pity, being less than, loads of moral inferiority.

And the funny thing is that when I realized that when I think people pity me, that means I think people are thinking about me.

So not true.

Oh my God.

I am not just all that and a loaf of bread.

I mean.

I’m a pretty decent, kind, loving, human being, but most people are not going around thinking about me and my dating dilemmas.

I mean.

Holy shit.

Selfish much?

God damn.

And of course I’m seeking self-esteem, and more self-pity, it’s a self-pity party, I mean, didn’t you get the invite?  I’m also definitely seeking control, and to be the director.

“Stop exerting yourself more!” She told me, “You’re still a work in progress, God’s timing is perfect.”

Heaving a big sigh of relief at that one.

The dishonesty part was easy for me to see too, that I control my life, ahahahahah, that’s a joke.

And the fear is awful basic–abandonment, never being in a romantic relationship, dying alone, unlovable.

Then she asked me something that I had never even thought about, “where have you been inconsiderate in regards to this resentment?”

Oh.

I’ve been inconsiderate?

Shit.

I have been inconsiderate.

I had my eyes opened in a big way.

Where have I been inconsiderate?

In denying someone my company, my higher power wants me to be happy.

Damn.

I mean.

I never, ever thought of it that way, that I’m denying someone the pleasure of my company.

Fuck.

So this week I have said yes to a dinner party with classmates and a former teaching assistant.

I have said yes to working on a class project with someone in my cohort.

I have a lunch date with my friend and art patron from Burning Man on Sunday in North Beach.

I have said yes to those people who want my company and who have asked for it.

I have not chased after experiences or people who aren’t interested in me.

I said yes to camping at Run Free Camp for Burning Man because the head of the camp asked me to join them this year.

“Go where the love is,” a friend of mine often reminds me.

Yes.

That.

God, please help me to see what I need to see and to let go of what I can.

Help me to stop trying so hard to try so hard.

I felt lighter today, to tell the truth.

Maybe because the rain lifted and the sun came out.

Maybe I just feel things shifting and I am more and more accepting of who and what I am.

That I am not broken, I don’t need fixing, that everything is working out in my favor, that I have done the work and I don’t have to constantly be grinding.

I mean.

That being said, when time does permit, I do need to keep on homework tip.

I did well today.

I finished all my Community Mental Health Reading and I got a good chunk of Couples Therapy kicked through.  I have finished the Trauma reading too and I have the idea for my Trauma reflection paper sketched out in my head, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or so to kick out.

I’ll do it in between doing the deal with a lady and my dentist appointment on Saturday.

Leaving me Saturday evening to have a dinner party with school mates and a weekend where I am not wondering about the drama show, the horror story, the fright that I try to entice myself with, the Carmen show.

“You’re the director, main character, scriptwriter, casting agent, staging crew, lighting, I mean, you are doing it all, just stop exerting yourself so much, stop,” she finished.

I laughed.

I cried.

I let it the fuck go.

Oh.

I may pick up the show again, but for the moment I have stopped trying to revise the script and make it into something other than the awesome reality of my beautiful life.

I am a beautiful creature.

Lovable and worthy of love.

You don’t pity me.

I don’t need to pity me.

God please help me see what you want me to see and to let go of what I can.

Seriously.

I am done.

Over it.

All yours.

Ready to stop being inconsiderate.

So much so.

Disingenuous

October 6, 2015

This is how I feel.

I thought about it for a minute.

“Well,” he paused, on the other end of the phone line, waiting for me while I thought hard, while I pulled my thoughts together, when I got honest.

With him.

With myself.

“It doesn’t feel right,” I said.

“As soon as you said “disingenuous” I knew,” he said, “it’s not about what he wants, it’s about what you want and being a 42-year-old woman who is working full-time, in recovery, and going to grad school, well, sport fucking doesn’t suit you, now, does it?”

Well.

Damn it man, when you say it like that, I suppose not.

I have been in a quandary.

I have been on the fence.

I have been holding my counsel and keeping things tight to my breast.

I have been keeping them tucked between tongue in cheek.

Hidden between the corsage on my label and the heart skin under the velvet sheath dress.

“I don’t want you to write about me,” he asked.

Sure.

But then.

When do I write about me?

How does that affect me?

When does not writing about him influence me.

Am I writing for an audience?

No.

I am writing for myself and I may rue this blog.

Or.

That blog.

Or the other one over there.

But.

I am restricting myself in my lack of not writing about what has been sitting on my chest.

See.

I have been seeing someone and I won’t say who.

That is private.

I have been dating.

It’s been fun.

Hell.

It’s been more than fun, like when my face hurts from laughing so long and so loud or I find myself inadvertently snorting, gah, I wish that would not happen, but it does on occasion slip out, when I make the sushi face in front of a man, when I am myself times fifteen, when I am vulnerable and me and silly and seen.

Well.

After awhile I have to start writing about some of it.

Some of what lies in that dark night of my heart.

I feel that ache there, just underneath my skin, that pulsing and pulling.

The nerves.

Because.

Well.

He reads my blogs.

Hi you.

I know, I know, I can hear what you are saying–you my friends and fellows–don’t put your heart out there, don’t write about it.

But.

That’s like being in Paris in the rain and not writing about walking the wet streets with shoes soaked in water and cold toes and cold nose and the umbrella bought at a book shop is not holding up and you go into the Pompidou and see Kandinsky’s Accent en Rose and you don’t write about that.

I get art high.

He gets me high.

Laughing high.

Sweet high.

Delirious and sweet and soft and goofy and me.

And the gift is that we are friends and the gift is that we are not naming it and the gift is that we are dating but not in a relationship.

So what’s the problem?

Well.

Dating other people.

We are adamantly not in a relationship.

This is agreed upon.

There is not a bone in my body that says I have to be this man’s girlfriend or that’s it, it’s over.

There is so much more to it than that.

A romantic relationship is off the table.

Although the signifiers are there and I argue that there is romance and sweetness and grace and goodness and moon eclipses over the city and moon sets on the beach and the hand holding are all signs for romance.

Courting.

I like being courted.

I like being pursued.

Who the hell doesn’t?

What I realize that I can’t do.

What I realize that is disingenuous to me.

Is that I don’t want to date other men, it’s not about the non-exclusivity clause or the I want to be claimed or titled or anything.

I am happy with the present moment.

It is a gift.

He is a gift.

My life is full of gifts.

So much so that I sit in awe just looking around my beautiful little studio, the colors and the light, the framed Marilyn on the wall–it’s up!

Finally, the amazing Sturteveant “Double Trouble” print of the Black Marilyn Monroe that I got at the MOCA in LA months ago.

it is so gorgeous and dreamy and rich and luscious.

So like my life.

And my life is rich and wonderful because I am looking deeper inside my heart at every moment that I can stand to.

I realized in talking with my person this afternoon that it does not matter what he, the man, or the men, or whomever in my life wants, even when it seems so important and so tantamount to me making a decision about what I want.

In the end what he wants doesn’t matter.

What I want does.

I don’t want to date anyone else.

It feels wrong.

It feels like not being present to the unfolding magic.

It doesn’t feel right.

And.

Yes.

I know.

I am free to change my mind too.

But my mind and my heart are not on the same page.

My mind says, great! Date everybody!

Go out and get it girl!

And then.

Write about it!

Yeah.

Let’s get titillating, shall we?

I’ve done that though.

It doesn’t serve.

It may not mean that it doesn’t serve others.

What others need is not my business.

I have to stay inside my own hula hoop.

I don’t feel right taking another man into my bed when I am seeing someone else, regardless of the title of what that relationship is or lack of title, I know what my heart needs and it’s not to sleep around until the person I want to be with is fully available.

He’s perfectly available for what I have to offer.

And.

The best thing.

I don’t have to do anything about it.

I can not date other men without having to make a big deal out of it.

I’m not about to go running outside and tell all the neighbors or put it out on Facebook, I’m in a relationship with so and so.

No.

I’m his friend.

He is mine.

And I am open to there being more, but I have not expectations.

That’s the change.

That is the big deal for me.

I don’t have expectations.

Sure.

There are desires.

I am 42 and woman and well aware I desire.

That’s well and good.

My heart desires more.

And that is good too.

All hearts are allowed to desire more.

Whether or not the more is down the line is ultimately not my business either.

What is mine is that I can’t go out and date others, I have committed too far in my heart, there’s too much there to ignore it.

Potentially lonely.

Perpetually human.

Suspended and open.

Open.

With what ever risk that involves by being out there.

I am happy putting it out there.

I am ready to fly further out over the dark seas and tie my heart-strings on the tail of comet flaring out over the ocean, a bright streak of light, my precious time on this plane too short to not honor my feelings.

Not his or his.

Or his either.

Mine.

All mine.

To thine own self be true.

I remind myself as I finish and lay the poetry on the table, the sheaf of my hair falling in my eyes as my heart aches already with words and feelings.

And love.

So much damn.

Love.

Who knew there was so much?

Text Me No Texts

July 2, 2015

Part deux.

I mean it was an honest mistake.

Then I thought later, and not much later at that, there are no mistakes in God’s world.

I received a text this afternoon as I was heading to the park with the boys, they had been scrumptious today, although the day was long, and I was ready to be done well before I was.

I was a bit nervous about my travel plans for the evening.

As I write I am at many thousands of feet above the Earth, the empty plastic cup of orange juice testament that I am flying elsewhere.

I only drink orange juice when I fly.

I have no clue why.

Perhaps it is because it’s a treat, I don’t drink juice in regular every day life, coffee yes, juice, not so much.

The flight has already been a bit challenging, we sat on the runway for over an hour and a half before we were cleared to fly—there was a woman who dropped a cell phone and it somehow slid between the wall of the cabin and the seat and could not be retrieved. The mechanics had to ascertain whether or not the signal from said phone was going to interfere with the navigation equipment of the airplane.

That’s a new one for me.

It was an intense hour and a half as well, the engines were at a half throttle and the sound was overwhelming, I felt trapped in the a horror of metallic noise that would not abate.

I have never said the serenity prayer for so long, a constant and continuous loop.

“Wait,” he said, “and took me by the shoulders, “pray with me, say one word at a time, and breathe,” as I stood at the security check point at SFO in December about ready to fly to Anchorage to see my father, in a coma, when last I had seen him framed in my sister’s doorway in Madison, babysitting my nieces.

He was drunk.

Not obscenely so, but buzzed and he smelled of beer, a saturated smell and the soft rot of regret, cigarettes and sweat that I have long associated with my father.

Flash forward a dozen years and I was going to see my father in another kind of door way, one I was not sure he would cross over or stay, just here, on this side of the threshold.

I stood, shaking at SFO, trying to breathe, trying to muster the strength to go forward, through the fear, and out the other side, knowing only that I knew nothing and had no compass for what was going to happen next.

I breathed in and out and said the words.

I followed his lead.

He hugged me and I walked through security.

I feel now that my father’s trauma and how I walked through it were a harbinger of the end of the relationship.

Or perhaps, its mid-point.

It was never going to get better than that.

The relationship went down hill and though it was short it was intense and though it was hard, it was sweet, and though there are things I won’t ever say in my blog, I did a lot of work to work through all the things that came out and up and I kept showing up to the page, to my heart, to my self.

When I thought I was going to go mad with the aloneness that can sometimes overwhelm me and I was walking Ocean Beach crying on the phone with my person, missing my ex, or better, the theory of my ex, the company, the shoulder that I momentarily leaned on, the person who taught me to breathe that prayer, I felt as though I was always going to be alone.

That even though the relationship was never the right fit, that it was the only one that I would have, that I wasn’t deserving of more and that, was it.

It’s not it.

It wasn’t it.

I have more in me.

So much more to give and have and hold and receive and be and I can see so clear how it, the relationship, was the stepping stone to the knowledge of who I am and what I want.

Funny that.

A two-month relationship, nine weeks total, and all the things I learned.

And lo.

There is still more to learn.

The photograph popped up on my phone from an unknown number.

A couple of bunnies jumping.

And a goofy tag line.

“Ahahaha, that’s hysterical,” I texted back.

I didn’t recognize the number, “who is this?” I added.

Then I sent it without thinking anything.

Who sends me memes?

Nobody.

Oh.

Shit.

Oh.

I typed my ex’s name followed by a ?

There was a long time before there was a response.

The text response was odd and I don’t remember it, I don’t recall it, or really the others that follow, only that after a few back and forth messages, well, I stopped engaging and I deleted it—the string of messages, I didn’t want to reread them or think about them or argue about he misunderstood me.

The gist of his understanding was that I had deleted him from my life, like I had the number.

Huh?

That our relationship meant nothing to me and that I just erased him out of my life and WTF? And yeah, ok, I get it, blah, blah, blah, “it’s a defense mechanism” and a few other things.

I was sad.

No.

That was not what I meant.

And I don’t owe and explanation, so I didn’t give one, but no, that’s not what I meant.

No.

Not at all.

I did not know what to say, I know he saw some bunnies, he obviously thought of me and he reached out and when he did, well, gosh, I had forgotten him, I had just scratched him right out of my life.

I don’t suppose I ever will, I haven’t forgotten the men I have been in relationships with, though more than one of them I am not in touch with and will never be.

Jesus.

I don’t like texting.

I didn’t like it when I was dating my ex and so much of the communication was via text. It feels rudimentary, solipsistic, unformed, emotionally small, non-communicative, and overall, vague in the worst way.

An emoji is not an emotion.

I can’t read a person’s mind.

I can’t see their face or hear the tone of voice being used.

So much is lost.

So much.

I felt sad.

Sad that this man, who I do care about, from a distance, who provided such support and kindness to me during a horrific time in my life, misconstrued my meaning.

But that’s not my fault.

Texting is vague.

Easily misunderstood.

And I feel a way to engage without being fully emotionally present and aware.

It is subterfuge.

It is not conversation.

It is flat and one-dimensional at best.

I deserve more.

I want to be here, in this moment, full and alive and loving.

What I want is reality and not a one-sided conversation with a fantasy person.

It’s hard to show up and be present.

It’s vulnerable and tender and I don’t always want a person to see me.

I was shellacking my eyelids with glitter earlier, layering it on thick, I felt sad.

I was missing someone this morning, I had not been in communication with my friend who I had been talking to a lot since the LA trip and the emotion hovering just there was a touch lonely, a touch melancholy.

“I’ll miss you when you are in Atlanta,” he said to me.

I’m going to miss him, I thought, and then realized, oh.

OH.

Oh damn it.

My person was right! I do hide behind the make up.

I saw myself, pretty, yes, done up and shiny and sparkly, and who’s that hiding under there? Who’s glamming it up to not show how they feel?

I realized as I got ready, I felt so at ease around my friend that by the time the trip was over I was barely wearing make up, let alone lip gloss and yet, I felt more beautiful and more seen and more myself than I have in years.

Communication.

With myself.

Another layer and another depth of personality plumbed.

This is a meandering blog and I’m not sure how I can tie it up neatly and communicate what I want to communicate.

I want to be seen.

I want to be heard.

I want to see you and hear you.

I want to connect.

I want to love and be loved.

These are all so true and simple.

To the best of my abilities I try.

I may not understand the language God is speaking to me, but I don’t know that it will be via a text that I will begin to comprehend the totality of my person.

I don’t want to hide behind glitter or emoticons.

See me.

Hold my hand.

Walk this world with me.

And let me be.

Present.

As I walk beside you.

Hello Sunshine

June 21, 2015

Good bye fog.

I am actually going to where the sun is, where the clear skies are, where the weather is what most of the rest of the country thinks about when they ponder travel to California.

Not this cold, chilly, overcast, grey, did I mention cold?

Fog.

I tried to go swim suit shopping today.

Epic fail.

I bought a scarf.

Yeah.

I know, its June 20th and all I could do is buy a scarf.

And a bag, and a cute bag at that, I’m looking forward to using it for some travel time adventures.

But I could not muster it to get a swim suit.

I did manage to get my nails done and that was nice and relaxing and a treat, especially as there was no one else in the salon and I was getting all the pampering and attention.

I’m a good tipper and I usually get some solicitous treatment when I come in, and I engage with the woman, we like each other and talk about my hair color, which is rapidly becoming blonde and will likely be blonde for the next two weeks.

I am just not going to go pink again until after I know I won’t be in the pool for a while.

The last time I went swimming at UCSF with the family, the chlorine stripped just about all the Manic Panic Hot, Hot Pink, and Cleo Rose from my hair.

Although there are a few spots underneath the bed of hair that is on my head, that have licks of bright pink in them, I am assuming that a week of working in Glen Ellen and swimming with the boys will leach the rest of the color out.

Yup, that’s right, tomorrow I will head out to Sonoma, land of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 80s to low 90s, and there will be pool time.

I am going to head out to the airport tomorrow, late afternoon, and pick up the rental car from SFO then head back towards the city, I’ll have to go back through San Francisco and cross town to get to the Golden Gate Bridge and over to Sonoma.

I figure I will hit the Sports Basement in the Presidio.

I’ll take a quick detour and grab a real swim suit.

The one I have is more of a lounge by the pool and rub sunblock on yourself will sipping iced tea, swim suit.

Not a “I’m going to be nannying two rambunctious boys and their playmates (another family will be there for three days with their two boys and baby girl) in the pool for hours” swimsuit.

I figure I’ll get a competitive suit like I used to wear on swim team in high school.

I was relating some of my adventures in high school to my new friend last night in front of the fire in the back yard.

Yes.

That’s right, there’s a fire pit in the back yard and the old white-painted Adirondack chairs were pulled up and he started the fire on one wooden match and it burned merry and bright for hours as we talked.

And talked.

And talked.

And decided.

Wait for it.

To be friends.

Sigh.

I knew it was coming at some point.

It was too good to be true.

But.

And this is such a big pause, such huge rearrangement of my inner landscape, I am grateful and feel great joy at having gotten to a place where I can hold a man’s hand and be completely vulnerable, completely myself, and listen to what the other person is saying.

Really be present.

So present that you don’t realize how late it’s getting and it’s 3:30 in the morning and my feet are cold, but my heart, oh it is on fire.

I felt so tender today when I woke up, tender, smitten, sad, full of love, full of the feels.

I didn’t want to get out of bed, the weather was not helping, it may be summer everywhere else, but Ocean Beach, San Francisco?

No.

This is winter time and it’s grey and it reminds me of how I can slide into depression if I’m not cautious and aware.

My disease wanted to harangue me and poke me and for a moment, it might have gotten under my skin.

I picked up my phone and called a girl friend while still in bed, burrowed under the blankets and head snug down in the pillows.

I said my piece to her voicemail.

I sniffled.

I cried.

I felt sorry for myself.

I put on the self-pity party hat and asked to be passed a very small violin, or in my case a junior size cello.

I mean really, I’m not a violin type of girl.

Then I called my person and said some more stuff on the voicemail.

Then I looked at my room.

All the colors, the blues and corals and the postcards and the laughter and stories that I told about them last night, last week, the last few days as I have spun through a metamorphosis of becoming, yet again, a little more my authentic self.

I got up and drank some water and tossed myself in the shower.

What had happened?

We moved too fast.

And the best thing that happened?

We talked about it like grown ups with spiritual words and kindness and compassion and utter vulnerability.

I have not had all that many relationships in my life and I am full well aware as to the whys and whereof’s; however, I will say without much thought, as it is clear and true, that I shared more with this man about myself, how I feel, what I believe, what my dreams have been and where I am going, than I have with any other man (well, any other man other than one other man, who remains anonymous here and will only be alluded to) in my life.

And I dare say, he shared at the same level.

There are no mistakes in Gods world.

I read.

I prayed.

I got on my knees in front of my fresh made bed and felt grateful, felt joy, felt such an overwhelming field of love engulf me that I knew that nothing that happened last night or the days and nights previous had been wrong or hurtful or malicious.

Just warm, bright, as honest in each moment as a person can be with the other.

There is more to come.

It’s just going to be pulled back a bit.

“I can’t be your boyfriend right now,” he said.

I deign to say how it was said or with what emotion, the words suffice, the feeling is mine to have and to cherish inside my wide open heart.

But we can be friends.

So we move forward by backing up and seeing what a friendship looks like and as I look at the void left in my life by the changing of my friendships over the last few years, the loss of some, some to marriage and babies, new careers, new cities, new states, some to relapse into the horrors of drugs and alcohol, I see quite clearly how desperate I am for such a friend.

A companion.

Someone to stand in front of a Rothko and hold hands with while the luminous colors wash over our faces.

We’re still planning on going to LA.

Sonoma is not the only place where I will be getting my fill of sunshine.

The museum adventure is still a plan.

Just with a friend.

Rather than a boyfriend.

And that.

Surprise.

Is just right by me.

My heart grows ever bigger and I know that I am becoming ever more me.

Just one more step towards God’s, not mine, perfect image of me.

Unadulterated Auntie Bubba on tap at a foggy beach near you.

At least for the next 24 hours.

I Still Read Your Blogs

April 28, 2015

Good to know.

Good to see you again, friend.

Really fucking good.

Although the time catching up over tea fucked my commute, it was well worth it.

When the fog comes in, it comes in with a vengeance.

By the time I was on the Wiggle it was already crazy, I got pushed so hard by the wind and the fog that I felt as though I was about to topple off my bike.

When I got to the Pan Handle it was like riding through soup.

I actually got splattered, big heavy wet drops of fog gathering on the leaves and falling on your head like fat ass raindrops.

It was worth it though.

My heart, oh, you messy thing you, was so happy to catch up.

Cautious.

Curious.

A touch afraid.

I mean we had not parted ways on the best of terms, nor had we acknowledged each other the last few times we had bumped into each other.

That’s the thing about this town.

It’s rather small.

And eventually you’re going to run into folks.

Whether you want to or not.

Or they want to or not.

It happens.

And it typically happens when it’s supposed to.

I can see that very clear.

Crystal like.

So, to run into my friend and acknowledge him and then get the nod on a hug.

Priceless.

Worth the glare downs and the stare downs and the weird and then even, a cup of tea.

A reunion of sorts.

Or, perhaps, a refreshing, a rebooting of the friendship and who knows what’s going to happen or where things are going to go.

I can only see so far ahead, the fog blocks my view, but it felt good to re-connect and get right with each other.

Life is too short to not have your good friends beside you.

I don’t have a lot of close friends.

Despite what Facebook may suggest.

“You are as much of a Facebook junkie as I am,” my ex-boyfriend said early on in the relationship.

Not really.

I thought to myself, sure, I have a lot of “friends” but that doesn’t mean they know me all that well.

Although I still get a kick out of having some one message me and let me know that they read a blog or two and how much they got out of it.

It’s a really nice by-product of doing the work, my insights helping another person.

Sometimes it’s family.

My sister, a cousin, or an aunt.

Most times it’s an acquaintance from around the block, a friend of a friend, if you know what I mean.

Occasionally I will have some one reach out and talk to me and relate their experience, especially when I was going through the initial break up with my ex, or when I was in Anchorage with my dad, or when I moved to Paris, or when I moved back, and I will get support, love, insight.

And that is lovely.

And delicious.

But most of the time.

I don’t know who reads my blogs, unless you’ve subscribed, then I have a list of folks who are following, although they may not necessarily read my blog, they get it sent directly to their inbox on the e-mail account they request.

I currently have 266 followers.

And as it read in my OkStupid profile, before I deleted it, there are people who read my blog who aren’t my friends.

There are people who follow it whom I have never met, yet they too, will once in a while reach out and it’s like getting a kind tap on the shoulder, a psst, hey, thanks for writing that, it helped.

And I feel grateful.

But I write with no one in mind.

I write with not particular audience.

Well.

Maybe God.

God’s always a good audience for me.

“Santa brought me my basketball hoop, what do you want from Santa?” My little charge said as I changed him out of his nap diaper (so close to being potty trained, not quite there, still has to wear a diaper at naps and at bedtime, but almost) to his big boy pants.

“A boyfriend,”  I said, smiling.

“Hey Santa, I mean God, I mean Santa,” I laughed out loud, but continued, “please bring me a boyfriend!”

“But don’t wait until Christmas ok?”

“Santa and God are sort of the same thing,” I told my charge, “they both have white beards and know your hearts desire.”

I continued with my theological discourse as I gathered him up in my arms to head down stairs and off to the park where it was glorious and warm and sunny (which is why the fog was so fierce tonight, the heat from today draws it into the city from the coast), “although I don’t really have a conception of God having a long white beard, God is just love, that’s how I see it.”

“I love you Carmen,” my charge said.

I teared up.

“I love you too, bug,” I said and kissed the top of his head.

“Meow loves you too,” he continued and then bestowed tiny kitten kisses from his stuffed cat on my face as I carried him downstairs.

Tell me I don’t have the best job in the world.

“I can’t decide,” she said to me one day as she watched me from the door of the nursery at the old Burning Man offices on 3rd and 16th (where the new UCSF Mission Bay Hospital is), “if you have the best job in the office or the worst.”

It can go either way.

And I have had my bad days.

But most of the time.

My job, and not just the one that I do to pay the bills, but my primary purpose, it is so fulfilling, that whatever the passing pain that may come from a growth spurt around a person, place, or thing, is well offset by the love I receive back when I am willing and accepting to receive it.

I got some of that tonight.

And though it was not the same sort of hug I received from my charge.

It was one of love and God and all the good stuff.

All the things.

My friend.

I wish for you all the things.

Always.

He Walks Away

January 18, 2015

The sun goes down.

He takes the day.

But I am grown.

My tears dry on their own.

And like that.

I am single again.

The man and I ended it last night.

Nine weeks to the day of our first date.

It felt longer.

I dare say because I was so present for so much of it.

Oh.

There were things, issues, stuff, the stuff of life, the things that happen, the shut down, me, I can shut down.  I can get silent, I can step away and my heart can break even when I know that there is no going backwards only forwards into that deep unknown of intimacy.

Into me you see.

Yes.

That.

When I am not being my self than I am not allowing for intimacy and boy have I learned a lot about myself over these past few months.

Again, really, it was just two months.

Jam packed months, my father’s accident, the trip to Anchorage and back, my birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, my sobriety anniversary.

I knew on my anniversary that it was over.

I knew last Friday that it was probably over after we had our get right with God conversation about what we both wanted from the relationship.

I am not going to focus on what he said to me, because that is not for your eyes, just for my heart and the confidence of a few close friends and mentors.

And thank God I made plans to be out dancing and celebrating my anniversary.

I was surrounded by people who love and care for me and told me how much they did and I was deeply moved, to tears, a number of times by the outpouring of love from my friends.

I am so lucky to have these relationships in my life.

I cannot help grieve that which is passing, I’m on the verge of crying right now, the grief it is very much there, sitting on top of my throat, heavy on my heart, but I know that I can walk through it and come out strong, more valuable and tempered, like steel in fire.

I have become that much more realized.

For having realized what I need in a romantic relationship.

Hell.

In all my relationships.

And that relationships, romantic or otherwise, take work.

Gobs and gobs and gobs of work.

It is easier to be single, I found out.

To do what I want, when I want, regardless of anyone else, to have my own agenda, to be safe, to be in a cocoon, to rest and take my leisure.

I want, however, to be in a relationship and I am going to keep dating.

I am not putting my heart up on a shelf to grow old and dusty and insensate with time.

Nope.

I mean, I’m not going to go re-open my OkCupid profile and I’m not going to Tinder and I am not going to go scroll through Face Book and find that special someone tonight.

My heart, she is sweet and needs to have a moment or two to let the man go.

Move aside and let the man go through, let the man go through.

To let go of the fantasy too.

He’s a perfect man.

I am a perfect woman.

And the relationship was exactly what it was supposed to be.

I can still have grief around it and sorrow and have feelings.

But I don’t want to wallow.

I don’t want to not put it right back out to the Universe.

Hey God, who do you want me to date, please show me and help me to move toward the man who you want me to be with.

A-fucking-men.

I didn’t know if I was going to write about it tonight after getting my dancing on with my friends at Public Works, which, in case you were wondering, was fantastic.

It started a little slow, but the groove was great and the Fleetwood Mac remixes and disco beat with a little Northern Stomp and Detroit four on the floor, was a delight to get my hips moving.

I needed that.

I needed that bad.

Sometimes a girl has to dance.

Sometimes a girl has to cry.

I’ll do that too.

I did a bit today, it would come and go in waves.

The sun on my face as I sat and ate lunch at an open table in the cafe and suddenly my eyes start leaking.

Or when I showed up to see my girlfriends at Firewood Cafe.

I dreaded going.

I dreaded walking up the hill in the Castro to the restaurant, I did not want to tell them, although I had already told my three best girls, that the relationship was over.

Done.

Kaput.

No more.

Although he wants to be friends.

And that’s a possibility, a good likelihood, not now, I don’t think now is the time, we both need space.

In fact we agreed to no contact for 90 days.

Which is actually longer than we dated, but felt right when we were discussing it.

And as I mentioned, the conversation, that’s private, but the actions taken, the sincerity of the speech, the honesty, the showing the fuck up and wo (man’ing) up, the being brave and walking through, not doing it over the phone or in a text, but person to person and with integrity.

That was an amazing experience.

Painful?

Fuck yes.

Jesus.

Please.

Bring me the box of tissue ok.

But honest, sincere, right-minded, real, I am blown away by how we both walked through it with the best of intentions and the most honesty that I have ever had in a break up.

I am extraordinarily grateful for that.

I sort of wanted to pat my teary self on the back for doing it and being open and allowing myself to be exactly there and me.

Well.

There was some self-deprecating humor on my part on one point, but really the levity was there and we parted ways clean.

It all feels very grown up and real.

Tiring too.

I am going to sleep better tonight I think; I hope.

It was hard to go to sleep last night and harder to stay in bed, I just got up and got moving.

I suspect I am going to have to sit in some feelings and not check out.

Just sit and feel them.

Let them pass through me and over me.

And when they go I will turn, stronger, face forward, and walk on.

Toward the man I am supposed to be with.

And when I meet him.

I will be ready.

You’ve Had Quite The Year

January 6, 2015

Well.

I mean, it’s only five days in.

It’s been alright.

Oh.

You mean, this past year?

Yeah, I sort of forgot about the six months of ankle recovery, the flying down to Florida last year to see my sister for the first time in seven or eight years, the seeing my father for the first time in twelve years, the hoo ha that happened at Burning Man, getting a scooter, deciding to go to graduate school, actively pursuing dating, getting into a relationship, navigation of said relationship through the holidays, turning 42, writing, blogging, doing the deal, being open and honest as much as possible, going to Northern Wisconsin to see my best friend and her brood in July, riding my bicycle all over San Francisco, taking the motorcycle safety course and getting my motorcycle licence, interviewing all over the place for months and then when I least expected it, getting a new job in September right after getting back from Burning Man.

Oh and going to New York for the first time, let me not forget that either–the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, walking around Union Square, wandering around Chelsea, going to the piers, eating oysters on the half shell with friends, walking the High Line, sitting in Tavern on The Green and watching the world go by, one fat horse-drawn buggy after another, splashing about the fountain in Washington Square Park, eating fat steak at Peter Luger’s.

I have indeed, had a year.

Who knows what’s going to happen in this one.

I cannot predict it, nor, really do I want to.

I am no good at mind reading, predicting the future, or knowing what’s best for you, despite often times wanting to pretend that I do.

I know this much, when I have expectations I get bummed out.

When I show up expecting nothing, things happen.

Wild things.

Unexpected things.

I find love in interesting places.

I meet new people.

I have found tender new reserves within me that I knew not and have grieved relationships that I did not even know needed to be grieved.

Real and imaginary.

I have had numerous children say sweetly from the bottoms of their adorable hearts, “Carmen, I love you.”

I have had long walks on the beach and quiet long meditations in the sand dunes at Ocean Beach, listening to the Universe, asking God what he wants from me, looking out to the sea and letting go to the moment.

I have written a lot.

According to WordPress I have had over 10,000 views on my blog this past year.

In 2014 I wrote 316 blogs.

I actually wrote a few more than that, but some needed to be deleted for privacy reasons.

Every once in a while a girl has got to scrub her blog.

I had a total of 10, 516 views.

I had, I love this stat, 5, 422 visitors.

Over five thousand people visited my site.

I know that’s small peanuts in the general scheme of things, but 5,000 people found my blog and liked it enough to read it.

I currently have 263 followers.

That means that 263 of you subscribe to have my blog delivered to your in box every time I publish a blog.

Again, not screaming numbers in the over all scope of writing and writers, but then again, come on, 263 people want to read my stuff.

I am beyond flattered by that.

Most of the people who read my blog are in the United States, but I have a number of folks in France and Great Britain that read it.  I have been read by folks in Costa Rica, Canada, Germany, Australia, Italy, India, Denmark.

I am pretty happy with that.

I was looking back and it turns out the 2012 was my best year for visits and views, but let’s be honest, it was also the same year that I was in Paris and I was posting one or more blogs a day.

In fact, that year I not only posted every day, I posted an additional 27 posts.

That didn’t happen with this year, a new boyfriend happened and that dropped my numbers down.

I also stopped writing about dating, and shocker, when my audience was not as titillated by the content, the numbers dropped too.

However, I try to not write for the audience, I try to write by just sitting down and writing.

I have to say, I want at times to write about my relationship, all the things that I am learning about myself, about how to show up for romantic love, what that entails doing, being, feeling.

Let me say.

I have a lot of feelings.

However.

There’s another person involved and I am not interested in writing anything about that person.

I have learned to keep certain secret rooms of my heart a little more secluded.

Oh.

The door pops open once in a while and the heart I wear on my sleeve tries to do a little polka dance out onto the stage, but I push it back and suck it up and then write in my morning pages.

I have been writing a lot of those.

I took it up a little over the last two months that I have been dating my fella.

The times that I was not blogging I was making sure that I was writing more long hand and that’s where the relationship has played out, where I suss and sort my feelings, where I ask for guidance, where I pray for unselfish action, and how to be of service to the relationship.

I learned one thing that I am willing to share.

Being in a romantic relationship makes all my relationships better.

The more I communicate, the more I learn, the more I am able to bring that learned knowledge into my relationships with friends, my employers, the women I work with on a daily basis, the children I care for.

The more contact I have and the more I strive to find equilibrium and serenity in my daily life in this romantic relationship, the more I grow.

“Romantic relationships are Miracle Grow for defects of character,” she told me with a knowing laugh.

Uh.

Yes.

Yes, that has indeed been my experience.

And I am astounded, awed, and amazed that I have so much more to learn.

I mean.

I just keep learning, about myself, about what I need, what I think I need, and how I am most certainly a proponent of wanting to be happy versus right.

Right it does me no good and certainly does not give me that warm fuzzy feeling when I concede the higher ground on principle.

Yeah.

I have had a year.

I wasn’t intending to write a prospectus on my past year, but hey, I don’t always get to choose my topic, it often chooses me.

I still got the words.

And I still have the commitment.

And I will still keep showing up here to share with you my experience, strength, hope, love, joy, grief, journey, dreams, and desires.

It’s the least I can do.

You’ve really been there for me.

It has been a year.

But I couldn’t have done it without you.

I love you.

And wish you your best year yet.

Happy New Years!

Five days in.

 

You Sound Exhausted

October 4, 2014

Well.

That sounds about right.

Although, of course, now that I am at home and the door is open to the ocean air and the night is young, well, you know, I’ve got a second wind.

However.

When I chatted with my friend earlier I had just pushed a heavy stroller to Juri Commons in the heat of the afternoon and was pretty beat just from that, let alone the week, which did in spots kick my ass.

Today was a great deal better for me though.

The mom and I conferred more and we are on the same page with what I do and am doing and they are super happy and I am happy and I also don’t have to be a crazy perfectionist and make things always just so.

I can let some things slide.

Not the boys safety or well-being, of course, but if I don’t fold the laundry until tomorrow, that’s going to be ok.

They are thrilled and I am thrilled.

Although I wasn’t much thrilled when I received my electronic notice about my direct deposit.

Holy shit.

They took a lot out for taxes.

Then again, I claimed zero, knowing that I wanted them to take the most out.  I always look at it as a forced savings account–claim zero dependents they take the biggest chunk, then there’s usually a little I get back at tax time.

It’s a chunk, but I am happy to be above-board, completely legit, not sneaking anything by anyone.  It feels right and I didn’t really feel or have any drama when I saw my paycheck.

On one hand I am making less than when I was working my three previous nanny gigs (they didn’t take out taxes), on the other, I am making more.

Plus I get a health insurance stipend and a lot of paid days off.

I have paid vacation galore.

I got the holiday calendar today for the days I will get paid off in the next year, holidays that the dad gets with his job, and they total, not the standard 5 I am used to, but.

Wait for it.

Fourteen.

Fourteen paid holidays.

I was blown away.

For instance I get Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas as paid days off–normally I have just gotten Christmas day off, or just Thanksgiving, I get the day after Thanksgiving off as well.

Woohoo.

I am thrilled.

This is on top of the two weeks paid vacation I get as part of my package.

And when I was checking in with the mom today about the insurance she said we’re going to cut you a check for this month and for last month too.

What?

I wasn’t even fully employed with them last month.

But they are going to give me a back month of health insurance.

Right the fuck on.

I feel super appreciated and I really like them.

It’s a good fit and I feel that I can grow with the family as they grow too.

I feel like I can have this job for a while, that it will be a great segue into graduate school; especially since I want to be working, but can’t work full-time when I am in school.

The little guy today had a great nap and I was able to get all the household stuff taken care of far ahead of schedule.

So I sat down after my lunch and I did my spending plan for October having tallied up my September expenditures, and I saw clearly that though the income is slightly less, it is enough.

And it’s stable.

I wasn’t sure week to week last year if I was going to have full-time work and often times I would have to pick up weekend shifts or part-time gigs here and there to cover my costs.

The income is stable.

I know exactly how much I can count on.

And with the health insurance stipend and the cash that I will get paid if I work over 40 hours, which I did this week, I am quite nicely taken care of.

My out going expenses are pretty small.

Student loans.

Scooter payment.

Which I only have two more months and it’s mine free and clear.

Although what I am going to do with it is still up in the air.  I want to sell it but nothing has coalesced yet.  I am certain once I have the financials all clear I will want to move forward rapidly to find another ride.

The bicycling is great, but when the days get shorter and colder and the nights long, I am not going to be wanting to be doing the commute.  Two weeks of bicycling and I can tell I am going to want a better commuting solution.

It will happen.

Just because I can’t see it right in front of me doesn’t meant that there isn’t a solution to my scooter dilemma.

This is not a problem either.

It’s just another opportunity to grow and have another experience.

Granted I would rather it be easier than it has been, but the solution will find me if I keep putting it out there.  I want a scooter I can ride and I know that it’s in my cards to find that.

And it’s the weekend.

Like that.

I made it.

I have little to do, a commitment tomorrow in Noe Valley, a speaking engagement in the Mission on Sunday, a tea date and check in with a lady tomorrow, grocery shopping, cooking, sleeping in.

Small, simple, honest things.

I’ll read.

I’ll meditate.

I will take the next action around graduate school–Saturday’s will be my go to-day to do work on graduate school admissions.

I will sit in the sun.

I will get a manicure and a pedicure and have someone wax my eyebrows and I will drink an iced coffee or three in my wanders.

I will take at least one day off from riding my bicycle so that my legs can rest.

I will relax and take it easy.

My life is pretty damn awesome.

Even when I am tired.

It’s rocking the hell out.


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