Posts Tagged ‘hope’

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

Forgive

April 9, 2017

Forgive.

Forgive.

That’s what the message said.

I forgive you.

I hope you had joy while you ate my chicken soup.

I roasted that chicken last Sunday then used the bones to create a stock, it has garlic, onions, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, and brown rice.

I hope it fed you.

I hope it nourished you.

I wish you well.

I forgive you for taking my soup.

I forgive you for taking my gift, the one I was going to give to my friend in the cohort who is getting married.

I hope it brings you love and light and joy.

I do.

I forgive you.

And more than that.

I forgive myself.

I was not to blame, I didn’t do anything wrong.

I will, however, remember the feeling of what it was like to mystify myself.

Because I didn’t believe you could do this to me.

Take from me.

Take my things.

Take my little piece of home in a Mason jar.

My warmth and succor after a long day of class.

I was not expecting to have that happen in a space where I practice so much vulnerability.

Please God.

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

I forgive you because I have to forgive me.

Some things are valuable.

And some things are ,well, just things.

“It’s just stuff,” he said and looked into my eyes and held my gaze, “you get to grieve the loss of it, don’t shove off the feelings, but don’t hold onto it, let it go, they’re just things, and as crazy as this sounds, the Universe has something better for you.”

I did not think that sounded crazy at all.

I believed every word of it.

I also took what he said to heart and let myself feel the sorrow of the loss.

I cried my tears.

I also know that the soup and the gift were symbols of other things that I had taken away from me, a sense of safety, a sense that the world is not a scary place, an inner equilibrium, home.

So.

I find solace and safety within myself.

That I am enough and that I can take care of myself.

I was able to source another gift for my friend.

I was able to go to The Market and get dinner with one of my favorite people.

I was able to accept hugs and shoulders to lean into and validation that what I was feeling was appropriate.

I took some action too.

I reported it to the school, if someone is rifling through the student lounge and stealing it should be shared with the students at the campus.

Food is a sacred thing.

We all need to eat.

So.

I forgive you.

I hope my soup warmed you, fed you, nourished you, gives you sustenance.

For that is what it has done for me.

I am proud of myself for taking care of myself, for having the good cry, for letting my T.A. approach me in the cafe and actually have a conversation about it that was both sweet and intimate, but affirming of me and my abilities.

“You are amazing, you have so much light,” he said and gave me such a hug.

I felt seen, validated, and empathized with.

I am grateful for that.

It was an unexpected gift in the wake of the loss.

He was right too.

It’s just stuff.

I have unshakeable faith that God took something from me that needed to be elsewhere, those things, all things really, are for God to appropriate, I had them for a little while, they are needed elsewhere.

I now have open hands to accept the things that God wants for me.

One of the biggest gifts were all the interactions I had with my cohort, my friends, and my T.A.

I was smitten with the love and affection that I was showered with.

I still am.

I had some wounds open.

Sure.

It felt that I my home dumped out and stolen.

It felt like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I could almost see the person searching through the refrigerator and going, “Ooh, this looks yummy, and then seeing the gift and thinking, “Ooh, I must have that.”

I understand.

There is a thrill in theft.

I have stolen.

I know.

It has been a long time, but I have.

There is entitlement in stealing.

There is adrenalin.

It can be addicting to swipe something.

To gain vicarious thrill from a source that is unwitting.

But this is just a story.

There is a narrative, an arc of action.

Perhaps there is guilt and shame.

I don’t know the persons story.

I do wish for them the ability to get what it is they need.

That is unconditional love.

I do not like what happened, I don’t care, not one fucking bit, but I do hope there is relief for the person, I wish them the best.

Because you can’t steal what I have in my heart.

In my strength of person.

You only took some stuff.

Stuff does not make the world go round.

You can’t take my sense of value, self-worth, or safety.

You can’t take away my experiences, pains, joys, loves, laughter, growth or healing.

Those things are nonnegotiable.

They are mine and you are not going to ever take that from me.

No one puts Baby in a corner.

I am my own woman and I am grateful for this, already, I grow stronger.

Something got moved around today, an opening was made for some unexpected healing, perception, awareness, and growth.

Actually.

I should be thanking you, Soup Thief, you unwittingly gave me an absolute firm sense of my core and my abilities.

I learned how to use my resources and how to accept help.

I learned it is ok to grieve for something, whether a thing, or a concept.

I softened and I grew.

Pretty amazing day when it all comes down to it.

I will say, I am freaking tired though, it was a draining afternoon to evening.

So.

Another cup of tea.

My apple and some blueberries.

A comfy pillow behind my back.

Half an episode of Billions.

And a good nights rest.

Conflict.

Resolved.

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.

And That’s A Wrap

February 5, 2017

Holy shit.

I have had a full day.

But.

It all got done.

I mean, it just flowed, it was smooth as silk, one thing to the next to the next.

Yoga in the morning.

Hot shower.

Hot breakfast.

Hot coffee.

Writing.

Having a lady over to do some reading and some work.

Taxes.

Yes.

I did my taxes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I am getting a refund.

I am happy for that, travel money!

Oh the places you’ll go.

Burning Man.

Portland.

Anchorage.

Puerto Rico.

Paris.

Barcelona.

Mallorca.

Venice.

Well.

Maybe not all those places on my tax refund, I’m getting a few thousand back though, thank you education credit, almost makes up for taking out $20,000 in student loans this year.

Almost.

I’ve no complaints though, I am super grateful that I can take out loans, that I get to go to grad school, that I have what I have.

And I have a tax return coming.

Taxes got done.

Then I did some cooking and made a nice hot homemade lunch and I made a big batch of chicken and vegetable stew with brown rice and garlic and stuck a bunch in the freezer for the work week and for the upcoming weekend of classes.

Then.

I sat and I wrote my first paper for the semester.

5 pages.

1,653 words.

Not too long, took about an hour and a half.

It was a reflection paper for my Trauma class and it wasn’t too hard a stretch to come up with things to write about, it was harder to keep it contained to the brevity of the paper requirements which was 3-5 pages long.

Mine was the full five pages and I could have written much more, extrapolated much more, gone quite a bit further.

But there wasn’t a need for that and I was happy to proof it and get it printed off and into my school folder.

I made some tea then sat and kicked through 3/4s of a 40 page paper for my Community Mental Health Class.

I took a small break and wrote out some Valentines Day cards.

I love giving out Valentines Day cards.

Probably because I haven’t had much success with Valentines in my life, and I so enjoy bringing a little touch of sweetness and love and silliness and humor to the holiday.

Last year in class I gave every single person in my cohort a Valentine.

It felt wonderful.

Yes.

I am a dork.

And I don’t care.

When the clock struck 6:30p.m. I headed out the door and hit the MUNI to the BART to the Oakland.

My friend came and picked me up at the 19th Street stop and we went and grabbed dinner at a taqueria in the hood where I was not shamed by the counter guy when I ordered a steak burrito without the wrap.

Yeah, it’s a thing.

After Mexican food, we went for coffee, I got a decaf thank you very much, at Gaylord’s where I ran into friends I hadn’t seen in a while and we all got caught up.

Finally arriving at the spot a little while later and doing the deal and saying the stuff and getting up and sharing and not really remembering what I said, which is good, that means I was honest and didn’t have an agenda.

Although I always have an agenda.

I want to look cool and hip and sexy and smart and oh, so available for dating.

Usually I am just honest and speak from the heart and yeah, I don’t remember what I said and that makes for the best kind of sharing for me.

I can’t fuck it up.

My friend was a total sweetheart and didn’t just drop me off at the nearest BART, but actually drove me all the way home here to the Sunset.

I wouldn’t actually be blogging right now, I’d be on a train, if he hadn’t driven over the bridge.

Such a gift.

A ride home.

And we talked loads of Burning Man.

He was at my first Burning Man camp and is one of the few people on playa who actually knows my first playa name and still calls me by it.

He encouraged me to come and camp with his camp again.

I haven’t actually camped with them, he started an off shoot of the one that I went to my first year, but I have spent lots of time hanging out around their camp fire on playa and I know many of the people who are a part of the crew.

They are definitely my fellows.

And yes.

I know.

It’s February and I’m already talking about Burning Man.

It’s in my fucking blood.

Of course I want to go.

And I will.

Not sure how.

But I will.

Not sure how I’ll get the time off from work.

But.

I will.

It always works out.

Just like today, smooth and sweet and falling into place, showing up for each moment as they come and living in that moment.

It’s a grand way of life, being present, not living in fantasy, just being in the here and the now.

A gift, the present.

All my life, so many presents, and so often I was too far inside my head to realize what was in front of me, I missed life because I was focused on what I didn’t have and what I wanted and thought I needed.

I was always provided for.

I have always been taken care of.

I have such faith that this vein of love and care will continue.

As long as I show up.

Do the next indicated action.

And.

Let go of the results.

Simple.

Not easy.

But really.

Quiet simple.

It is an elegant design for living.

Beyond grateful that I have been gifted with it.

Just for today.

I have it all.

Right here.

Right now.

Perfect.

Love.

And.

Grace.

 

Space Cadet

January 27, 2017

I’m a little zoned out.

It was suggested to me that I stop beating myself up for not doing enough, let me see, yoga, homework, work, doing the deal, dating, not dating, cooking, cleaning, laundry, blogging, writing, photography, dancing, hanging out with girlfriends, looking for a boyfriend, getting interview clothes for practicum, figuring out where to apply to practicum, writing my resume, re-writing my resume, re-writing my re-write of my resume, updating my LinkedIn profile (which haven’t used in literally years and may still have my old yahoo e-mail address linked to it), doing my taxes, figuring it out.

Yeah.

I sort of fell into that hole again.

But it was a shallow hole and I climbed out pretty fast.

It was suggested that I take it easy this weekend and go to a movie theater, like the Balboa and maybe hang out at the coffee-house across the way and have Chinese food for dinner at that one place that has the best fucking Miso Shrimp ever.

I could stand that.

I don’t know that I’m going to.

I really do like taking suggestions and I find that they are super important to me.

They are given to me with kindness and perspective and to save my ass, because I get so spun trying to get it all in that I forget to slow down and enjoy my life.

But.

I have homework I said and I have to do my taxes.

Girl.

He was not having it.

I got my marching orders.

I’ll see if I can squeeze it in.

No guarantees.

It was a conversation that was set off when I teared up explaining that I have only been able to manage getting to yoga on the weekends since starting the new job and trying to navigate the school and work balance.

It was pointed out that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that I certainly was doing more than enough.

I was basically told to knock it off.

I knocked it off.

I am slowly letting myself do and be as much as I can and trying to spend time outside of my regular routine any time that I can so that I am getting some socializing in and also not just doing school and work and recovery.

Which is all good but I need fun in my life too.

I do.

I have a date for diner and dessert on Saturday.

That will be nice.

I shared that with my person and that was met with approval,  a little fun and canoodle is much-needed.

We were going to try to meet tonight but his coming into the city plans changed up.

Which, in hindsight, brief hindsight, is probably good.

I want to end out the week with the family and not be sleep deprived.

Work has been busier this week than I have experienced, the little lady was home sick again today and I suspect that tomorrow will be much like today.

But in between the bouts of dealing with a fussy, sick, temper tantrums, I did get some sweet snuggle and stories in.

The parents were both around much of the day and when you are four you want mom and dad, not the new nanny.

So there was much telling me I was “stupid” and “go away.”

I’m used to it and wasn’t much fazed.

“You are not my friend and I don’t love you and you don’t have any friends,” she told me a couple of times today.

“No friends?” I asked, “none at all?”

“No. No friends, not, ___________ or _____________ or___________.”

“Ok,” I said, “I feel sad, but maybe one day we will be friends.”

“NEVER.”

And five minutes later she was playing peek-a-boo with me and then curling up in my arms, “will you rub my back again,” she whispered into my shoulder.

Sweet little pumpkin.

Probably a good thing I didn’t have my date tonight, although I was much looking forward to it.

I loved his message, “want to stay up past your bedtime?”

Heh.

Always.

It’s nice to have a lover peep you out of the blue.

I could stand for more of that.

I’m not actively doing any dating at the moment though.

It feels hard enough to commit to making it to friend events.

I have a birthday dinner invite tomorrow that I am trying to figure out how to work so I can do the deal and do the dinner.

Next weekend I have a double anniversary dinner to go to.

And I’m speaking in Oakland again.

It’s a busy couple of weeks.

Fuck.

When isn’t it busy?

So, to be pursuing dating seems frivolous and distracting and not where I need to be putting my energy.

Although I did have a gentleman ask for my number last night.

I wonder if he will call.

I have no expectations around it at all, but it would be nice.

I’m going to continue to let the pursuing happen rather than try to do any pursuing.

I don’t have time to chase.

There is enough time though, to do all the things, and as long as I do a little every day, all the things will get done.

I did a little homework today before work.

I did a little reading at lunch today.

I’m doing my own personal writing every day in the morning, my morning pages, four today.

I am keeping up with my blog and managing to get to all the places I need to go.

So grateful that I have had my scooter for the last couple of days and not been reliant on the trains or cars.

Super huge time save.

And tomorrow is Friday.

It feels like a long week.

And that’s ok.

I haven’t been sick, I have gotten more and more comfortable with my new job and I really am happy with how school is going even when it feels overwhelming, it is such a great thing for me to be doing and I’m find myself extraordinarily pleased by it.

I have done a lot of work and grown a tremendous amount.

I guess what I’m saying is life is good.

I’m taken care of.

And I will try to take my person’s suggestion.

They always serve.

I wonder what’s playing at the Balboa Theater.

Anyone want to go see a movie?

Seriously.

Solidarity In Solitude

January 22, 2017

No.

I did not march.

Although I was giving myself a complex about it, I did not go.

I did the deal.

I did the laundry.

I did the homework.

I did the writing.

I did the grocery shopping and the cooking and then, the more doing of the homework.

I’m a feminist for being in grad school, paying my own way, working as a self-employed woman, being sober, radical isn’t it, not smoking, being kind, using my voice and my experience to help others.

I could list lists of lists to convince you.

But the only person I really needed to convince was myself.

As I found myself feeling judged by friends for not going.

I think a lot of this had nothing to do with friends, I don’t think anyone gave my presence a second fucking thought, except that whenever I got asked if I was going, or it was assumed I was going, I bristled.

So I wrote some inventory.

First thing that came out is that I was afraid of being judged, that I was in judgement around myself, my experience, and god fucking forbid, whether or not my friends on social media saw pictures of me marching around with a pink cat hat on.

Sorry.

But no.

And I support Planned Parenthood.

Fuck.

They sure as shit supported me.

Years and years of service and sliding scale and birth control.

I went there in early recovery when I slept with a man and didn’t use a condom and found out he was an ex-heroin junkie who used to shoot dope with dirty rigs.

Oh my fucking god.

Get me to the doctor.

Planned Parenthood.

HIV test.

Negative, thank you.

And out the door.

I have donated plenty of money to them and I believe in them.

I believe in love, liberals, random acts of kindness, activism, resistance, raising your voice.

I mean.

I do live in San Francisco.

But I also believe in radical self-care.

And when I recalled, after doing some great work at beating myself up for waffling on whether I was going to go to the march, was that today was my first day off in two weeks.

Of course I didn’t want to go to the march!

I wanted to go back to bed.

I wanted to cancel on my yoga class.

I wanted to hide under the covers.

I did not.

I did get up.

I did go to yoga.

I did lots of breathing and I knew, even as I sat in solidarity with my sisters, mothers, friends, aunts, cousins, girl-friends, mentors, teachers, I need to do self-care today.

When I finished my inventory and realized, that yes, once again, I am just in abject terror or being unloved, abandoned, and alone, I felt a lot better, made a phone call, did a check in, got on the train, got a cafe au lait at Tart to Tart and went an anniversary celebration of a 70-year-old institution here in San Francisco.

It was amazing.

It was sweet.

Lots of old-time experience, strength, and hope.

And though I knew part of me might feel a little untoward for not going to the march I wasn’t horribly upset to be missing it, for I was making connection, radical spiritual connection with many people quietly doing something that has been consistently saving lives for decades.

I’m ok with that.

And I was also ok to go get a mani/pedi and sit in the window and watch the trains go by.

Trains so packed with people that it wouldn’t pick up more and the stop in front of the beauty parlour was overflowing with women and picket signs and pink hats and supportive spouses, boyfriends, kids.

It was a beautiful thing to watch and witness.

And yeah, there’s a part of me that wishes to be there, but the part of me that gets overwhelmed by big mob like crowds was more than happy to sit back and focus on doing reading for school.

That’s a pretty radical thing.

Working full-time and going to school full time.

I had no compunctions about coming home when the rains came in and curling up with my homework and doing a bunch of reading and roasting a chicken in the oven.

So many years.

So many decades of doing for others before doing for myself.

I felt immense gratitude for this expression of humanity, for allowing myself the quite reprieve of a day off and not trying to work hard to work harder.

I really needed a break and I am glad I got over the guilt of taking it.

If I had isolated, if I hadn’t made an effort to go out and see my fellows, to talk with a friend on the phone, to connect with the clerk at the grocery store, then I would feel bad.

If I had spent all day lolling about pleasure reading or watching Netflix, I would feel bad.

But I didn’t.

I did a lot of work.

Shit.

I am doing it again.

Rationalizing and justifying why I didn’t go.

I didn’t go because I didn’t want to.

There.

Done.

Moving the fuck on.

Tomorrow.

Yoga in the morning.

Meeting with a lady in the afternoon to read and share experience.

Getting a tattoo after that.

Meeting with a friend after that for dinner, catch up, and doing the deal.

It’s a nice weekend, this, especially when I don’t need to feel guilty, not enough, or bad, for making decisions that are ultimately mine to make.

Not to people please.

Just to show up the best way I know how to today.

Right here.

Right now.

This is ok.

Seriously.

It really is.

Getting Laughed At

January 20, 2017

Carried my umbrella all day long.

Did it rain?

No.

Is it going to rain gangbusters the next few days.

Yes.

Was it supposed to today?

No, and I prepared to ride my scooter out into the great big blue sky that was finally peeking through the grey clouds.

I emptied out my bag, transferred gear to the appropriate spots and got my riding jacket out, I took the cover off my scooter and came in to sit down to do some writing and have another cup of coffee before heading out into the day.

Then.

What the fuck?

Down pour.

Deluge.

The sky got dark, it happened super fast, and the rain just flooded down.

Um.

Ha.

I guess I’m not going to ride my scooter in this mess.

I went back outside and put the cover back on my scooter, getting a bit wet in the sudden onslaught of weather, secured the cover, came back in, transferred all my gear into different bags, hung my scooter jacket up.

I finished my coffee.

Finished my writing.

I got out my phone and saw that I wouldn’t have time to catch the train, so I sent for a car, grabbed my umbrella and stepped out into the bright sunlight.

Hmm.

Well, fuck, it stopped.

But the forecast was saying it was going to start back up early evening and did I want to be on the scooter in the dark and the rain?

I patted my scooter cover and waited for the car to pick me up.

No rain.

All day long.

Oh, it’ll be back, but it made me laugh, plans, I make them, God laughs at them, here, a change of plans.

Hey, here a change of careers.

Oh, wait, no, try this, go here, do that.

Oh hey, dating?

How do you like them apples?

Fuck I suck at all this living, all these things.

Plans, plans, plans.

Plans don’t save me.

Managing my life so that I am safe and secure doesn’t work.

I can’t control the outcome.

The MUNI.

The weather.

None of it.

But I can show up to it without expectation, anger, resentments.

And that is something really lovely.

Like.

I don’t know what the weekend has planned and I’m actually trying to not plan anything.

Tea and conversation with a lady this Sunday.

A tattoo after that.

Yes.

I will be adding star number 12.

I have it narrowed down to one of two places.

But that’s it.

My person is out-of-town this weekend, so we won’t be meeting and all the rain, rain, rain, well, I have no idea.

And I tire of plans.

Fuck the plans.

Fuck my expectations and desires and wants.

My needs are amply, and then more, met.

I have everything I need.

And.

More.

I have a lot more.

Grateful for all the gifts.

All of them.

Perspective.

Better than a plan any day.

Bravery.

Sounds like courage and walking through fear when my plans don’t go my way.

Faith.

Belief that something has a better plan than I do.

Love.

That I am loved even when my plans are stupid and short-sighted.

Joy.

I am allowed to have fun, despite my best laid plans.

Hope.

That someone else has a better idea than I do how I should live my life.

Happiness.

That none of my plans matter anyway, I can be happy no matter what, no matter where, no matter how.

You catch my drift.

I want to let in some time to be spontaneous, to say yes, to say ok, I’ll show up to that.

I don’t know yet what “that” is, but I’m saying yes.

Because so often I want to say no.

Nope.

Don’t do that, don’t give me that, I don’t deserve it.

Don’t love me, I’m not enough.

No, really, I am fine on my own, I’m good.

I got this.

Hahahahahaha.

Oh.

Yeah.

I got this.

Heh.

So funny.

But in that knowing, maybe there is something, a small inkling of relief, sotte voce of the stars, the music of the spheres and the poetry of language pushing out of my heart, blowing the top of my head off with hot-house flowers of desire and bespoke romance.

I’m doing pretty damn good.

Just hanging on the corner laughing at the inside jokes I tell myself.

Insight, roses in the tall Mason jar on my table, cuddled up close to a lighted globe of incandescent love and desire, traveling all over, a map of longitudinal lust and lush tales from the wide Sargasso Sea.

I swim in this blue-green firmament.

I am home.

I am in my heart.

My arms await me.

Don’t forget to water the orchids tomorrow, I whisper in my ear, and then laugh.

Always so practical minded.

Yet.

They bring me a sense of constant renewal.

An acknowledgement that extraordinary beauty opens slowly, takes time, that the unfurling is just as exquisite as the full bloom.

That stunning flowers can come from bare and barren sticks.

The green leaves signs of plenty of life.

Water them, let them go, don’t have plans, give it to God.

And when you’re least expecting.

Flowers, buds, burgeoning growth where there was none before.

Don’t force the flowering.

Leave it be.

Let it grow.

Have dreams, aspirations, hopes.

Have faith.

But fuck your plans.

They are so limiting.

At least, let me speak for myself, because ultimately that is the only person I speak to and speak for, my plans are so limiting.

There is so much more.

Allow yourself to have it.

I stand where the light is pure.

The moon is on fire.

My hand upon the door.

I’m burning like a white wire.

It’s an inside job.

But.

It’s a job I’m grateful to show up for.

Day after day after day.

One fucking day at a time.

Doing the God

Damn.

Deal.

Get it.

Got it.

Good.

One Dozen

January 14, 2017

Long stem blushing pink roses.

One for each year I’ve been doing the deal.

That was what greeted me this morning.

Actually.

The full moon setting this morning from my back door is what greeted me, all pearly and low hanging, incandescent in the first blush of morning.

I took out my camera and shot a few photographs.

I don’t believe that I did it any justice, that moon, that opal jewel in the dark indigo wash of sky over the ocean, but I gratefully pulled out my camera to give it a go.

That camera a gift.

Something that I can frame my world with, a poetic extension of my world view, a way to take the moment and hold it, like a poem in my mouth, a moment luxurious with depth and meaning and love.

I awoke to love.

Great love.

Outpourings of love.

Messages of gratitude and sweetness, kindness, reflection and beauty.

I felt blessed.

I felt more and more blessed as the day went on.

I had school today, my first day back in classes, first day, second semester, second year.

I had some trepidation after I was ensconced in all the readings prior to class, but by the time I was a quarter of the way into my first class I knew, this was going to be a different semester and yes, loads of work, every fucking semester has been so, it would be good, soul enriching, spirit broadening work.

I am looking forward to the semester and the learning in a way that I had felt disconnected from and dissatisfied with in my experience last semester.

Those cobwebs got blown away and I feel refreshed and re-invigorated by the work and reconnected with my cohort and really alive with the school.

Oh.

There’s still wonky crap, but what academic institution doesn’t have it’s foibles?

I had a surprising and wonderful discussion with my advisor and I have an appointment to talk to one of my professor’s about a letter of recommendation for practicum tomorrow after my morning class.

Things move a pace.

I made some executive decisions regarding where I am going to apply to practicum and I feel hopeful that those will suss out.

I had to face the fact that unless money suddenly falls the fuck out of the sky I’m probably not going to be able to do the UCSF practicum.

The program is looking for a 25-40 hour a week commitment.

And it’s not a paid internship.

Most aren’t.

But to work 25-40 hours a week on top of a full-time job and full time graduate school feels.

Well.

Fucked.

And impossible.

I had a chat with a third year student who is also in the weekend program and works full-time and he told me about where he was doing practicum.

The Liberation Institute.

Which is in the Mission and would be handy to my work and school commute.

Plus I found out after attending the workshop and practicum fair that the institute has weekend and evening hours available to interns.

Yes and yes please.

If I’m going to accrue hours and not get paid at least let them be during times that will facilitate me working full-time.

I live in San Francisco and I need to keep paying the bills.

And well, that would allow me to do it.

My current job is flexible with me having one Friday off a month to go to classes, but I can’t imagine that I would be able to work a job with benefits for less than full-time hours and the family needs me 35-40 hours a week.

There is a way forward and this may be the way.

Sure.

I’d love the acclaim of working for UCSF, but maybe this is better for me, not trying to cram so damn much into my schedule and still letting me do the deal.

Because doing the deal for the last twelve years is what has gotten me to where I am.

I would not be in graduate school if I was still out there using and drinking.

I’d be homeless.

You bet.

I’d be dirty and broken and soul less.

I might be dead.

If I were lucky I’d be dead.

But I’d probably drag along the bottom of the gutter terrorized and blank and shattered.

No thank you.

So a balance needs to be made.

I have always believed that it was of utmost importance to not put the life that I was given before the way of life that I had learned by taking the simple suggestions made to me in the very beginning of my recovery.

Simple, daily practices that keep me going one day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One fucking minute at a time sometimes.

And here.

Twelve years later.

Fierce and free and strong.

Joyful and happy.

Content and blessed.

So many gifts I have been given, so much life to live that I have been graced with.

It boggles my fucking mind.

Yes.

Yes it does.

Boggles I say.

And I know that as long as I put my recovery first.

Well.

Everything else will follow.

That’s been my experience.

When I didn’t know what to do or where to go.

I always knew where to go.

Church basements and funny rooms in the backs of odd buildings.

Holding hands with strangers that became family.

Sitting in cafes reading from blue bound books and sharing my experience, strength and hope.

How this works?

I can not tell you.

I don’t know.

I just do my best to take the suggestions given to me and to turn around and give it all away.

You can’t keep it without giving it away.

A crazy paradox of love and altruism that isn’t really so altruistic.

I mean.

I don’t want to fucking die in the gutter with a crack pipe in my hand sitting in between cars on Minna Alley on a piece of scavenged cardboard.

Been there.

Done that.

God’s got better plans.

Yes.

Thank God.

And thank you.

You know who you are and I love you more than I can possibly express here.

But when I see you on campus you know I will give you a hug and perhaps in the circle of my arms you feel just a small expression of the depth of gratitude I have for you.

I have so very much.

Yes, love.

Love.

For you.

Always.

Forever.

It’s Been A Day

January 9, 2017

And I haven’t left the house.

Well.

I tried.

I thought about it.

I was going to.

Then.

I didn’t.

I took care of all things domestic and necessary–laundry, cooking, food prep, cleaning.

I took care of all things personal and grooming.

Even knowing that I might end up spending the entire day indoors I still got up, took a shower, did my hair, my it looks fine, and even put on make up and a cute outfit, because, well, I like to dress for myself.

And I was to have a visitor and I like to be nicely put together when I have people over.

I am so glad she and I met.

It’s been about a month since we sat down and did the deal, it was so good to get caught up and hear about her life and listen and be present.

Such a gift, that, being present for another, no expectations, just me here at the table reading a few words from a blue bound book and listening to fears and love and faith and joy and happiness and challenges.

Getting to share what I have gone through, knowing my experience can be of service, that nothing, and I do mean nothing, is wasted, that every moment, triumph or painful fall, has meaning and can be shared with another.

My life has meaning.

That is a great gift to know.

My greatest assets are my experiences and knowing that another can make use of them is incredible.

So there was that and it was good.

Then there was the overwhelming feeling of it wasn’t enough.

That I wasn’t enough, that I hadn’t gotten enough done, that I had left too much undone during my vacation time.

Meaning.

FUCK ME.

I am already behind on my school work.

Fuck me.

I mean.

Holy shit there is a lot more reading than I thought there was.

I really took a look at my syllabi today.

And get this.

I did read an entire book yesterday on the train.

Granted, it was a small book, only 87 pages, more a pamphlet than anything.

But.

Shit.

I did not see the rest of the syllabus readings until today.

Whoa.

There was a lot of reading there.

I also, before the discovery that I wasn’t nearly far enough along, done a bunch of reading for my Trauma class.

Maybe 90-100 pages.

I only have one of the books yet, so I read what was assigned from that book.

I need to read about another 150 pages between two other text books for that class and at this point I am just hoping I get them in the mail this week.

Just to have them.

I mean.

I have plenty of other reading to keep me going.

I had been warned by two of my friends in the cohort that the reading for the first weekend of Couples Counseling was beyond the pale.

I didn’t think much of it until I look up the work after kicking through what I could of the Trauma class.

Holy fucking shit.

Whoa.

I mean.

Does this teacher realize that we have other fucking classes this weekend?

Good gravy man.

Fuck you.

I texted a friend and just sort of lost it, what the hell is up with ___________ class?

We commiserated about the amount of reading and that the reader wasn’t available yet, so he’d sent a fuck ton of downloads to the class to read.

I am not great about reading on a computer screen, it’s super hard for me and I also knew that I wouldn’t get through all the reading unless I was able to take it with me and read a little here and there while waiting for the train, or on the train.

Fucking weather.

Fucking fuckedy fuck fuck fuck.

The storm is also why I didn’t really get out.

I didn’t need to, I had done all my shopping and errands previous to this weekend because of the impending doom of the storm.

And it was big and is still going on.

I was going to leave for a moment, I got on the coat, I got my umbrella, I grabbed my purse and I walked out the door, locked it, opened the gate, popped open my umbrella, took five steps and said, “nope.”

I turned right back around, shut the gate, unlocked the door, put my umbrella back and hung up my jacket.

Then I went back to the syllabi.

I messaged my friend a few more texts and then discovered that the grades were up from last semester.

Wait for it.

Straight A’s.

And Passes for the classes I had that were pass/fail.

Which I still think is hilarious that some of our courses in a graduate school program are pass/fail.

Then again, thank God that some are, I tend to get caught up in them and then realize, hey lady, focus on the ones that have a letter grade.

Which means.

Yes.

I have straight A’s through three semesters of classes.

I am half way through the program officially.

Officially I didn’t do dick today in regards to my practicum stuff.

But I did buckle down after a bit of freaking out and needing to get talked down off the ledge by my friend in school and a couple of phone check ins I did with my people.

“Your timing couldn’t be more perfect,” I said as I answered the phone.

“Lay it on me mama,” he said.

And I told him about it all and how I felt overwhelmed and I have had nightmares recently.

Ugh.

Recurring nightmares that haven’t had in years, but hey, here you go, have a nightmare, not stressed at all are you?

hahahahahahahaha.

Vomit.

“It has to be enough,” I said to him, “it has to be, I already did more today than most people do all weekend.”

I felt the tears well up and slide down my cheeks.

Sometimes it feels like there is just so much work to do and no one to rely on but myself and my God I better make this work or I’ll be homeless in the park.

Thanks brain, really needed that added incentive.

We talked it through and I felt the pressure valve open and the emotional steam hiss out.

Then.

I expressed some plans for the weekend.

Yeah.

It is a school weekend, but it’s also a big anniversary for me on Friday.

So.

I’ll be leaving school, I decided, a half hour early so I can go sit in a church basement and make a little announcement where I have made a few before, eleven other to be exact, but who’s counting?

I am.

That’s who.

I’m also going to go to a special church on Sunday and have dinner with some friends before hand and pick up a little something that evening.

A sort of talisman if you like.

A special token of time and effort and work.

If I only do that.

If I only did that work today, the sitting across from the lady bug, the listening, the sharing, than it was a good day.

Fuck.

It was a great day.

An amazing day.

To help another.

Spectacular.

With those thoughts and feelings I got off the phone, ate a home cooked, I told you I did food prep today I have meals for every day this week and all my meals at school all portioned out and ready for take off, made a cup of tea and got onto the reading.

I watched a two-hour movie required for one of the classes and then read two clinical papers.

I did over two hundred pages of reading today and watched that movie.

But most importantly I acknowledged to myself that I am enough.

I am doing enough.

I have enough.

There is no scarcity.

No.

I have all I need.

I am so grateful.

Because the one thing that I may have the most of is perspective.

It is astounding to realize how well I have taken care of myself and how far I have come.

I’ve come a long fucking way.

Just saying.

And though I have a long way to go.

Well, they say, “they” who the fuck are they, it’s the journey not the destination.

I’m on the path and though I don’t know where it leads exactly.

I’m happy to report that I made some nice strides along it today.

And at this juncture the most important thing is to acknowledge it and to take my rest.

There will be more work to do tomorrow.

But for tonight.

I am done.

Seriously.

l am pretty much toast.

Which means.

Time for tea.

And listening to the rain beat against the glass on the back door and the deep hallucinatory roar of the ocean as the waves smash upon the beach.

Warm.

Safe.

Cozy.

And loved.

That too.

I believe it.

I know I love me.

And that is enough.

It was even when I did not realize I was enough.

Perspective.

Seriously.

Where it’s at.

 

No News

November 11, 2016

Is good news?

I think.

I guess.

I don’t know.

As I haven’t heard back yet from the mom in regards to my cost of living ask.

Ack.

It could go either way.

But.

I have a feeling, fingers crossed, that what is going on is that they are working on putting together a contract.

I hope that’s the case.

I was giving myself a case of anxiety checking my e-mail all day long.

Nothing.

Not a peep.

But hey!

Guess what time it is?

Time to fill out my FAFSA forms again.

Ah.

Sure, more student loans, why not?

Just what every girl needs this time of year.

And, heck, all times.

I’m not mad though, it’s just another thing that has to be done on my journey through grad school, through life, through this next twist in the road.

I was thinking, ooh, I know, it gets me into trouble, watch out, that I could have worded it different, my ask to the family, or that I should have waited until they had sent me the contract, or….

And then I realized.

Hey.

It’s ok.

If it was a mistake, that’s ok, I get to make mistakes.

I’m allowed to fuck up.

I will be taken care of.

It still is uncomfortable waiting to hear back, but I also realize the last couple of days have been an intense time for a lot of folks and they may just have a lot on their plate.

No need to panic.

I’ve got other things to panic about anyhow.

I have a great big paper to write this weekend.

I have great big amounts of reading to do.

Sigh.

But.

So it goes.

I have done a lot of reading in the past week, more so than I thought I would get in, heck, I even snuck in two and a half chapters at work today while the boys were in quiet time, which never happens.

Ever.

But there is still much to go and I really will need to focus my time and energy on all things school this weekend.

Not like I had date plans anyway.

No dates since last Saturday’s MOMA coffee date, which was my last of the last Tinder dates that was floating out there.

I haven’t been asked out and I haven’t asked anyone out and I don’t have plans to.

My monkey brain wants to make something of that, but at the moment, I am just trying to keep my mind on the big Psychopathology paper I need to kick out this weekend.

But maybe I just need to focus on what is in front of me this next day and not worry too much.

Just do what I can when I can.

It will get done.

Doesn’t it always?

I actually had a classmate reach out and ask me for some directions on the paper and I broke it down and I was like, hmm, I think I actually understand how to write this paper better than my brain wants to let on.

Good old brain.

You just love creating some anxiety don’t you?

Tomorrow is Friday and I am grateful.

It’s been a big week.

When tomorrow wraps I’ll have put in 41 hours.

Which on one hand is not so much.

But when I throw in grad school reading, meeting my person on Monday, meeting another lady on Tuesday, and just the day-to-day out and about and doing the deal.

It feels like a big week.

Full time, full tilt, full on, boogie.

Friday how I do love thee.

The weekend always goes by fast and it’s hard to believe that it’s November.

I’ll hand it to grad school for that, the days they do go by quick when they are so filled.

I do wonder when I try to add dating into the mix if I am just trying to distract myself from thinking about all the work I have to do.

But.

I also don’t want to wait until I’m done with grad school to be dating.

Although it’s been suggested that I not worry about getting into a relationship while I’m in school.

Sure.

What’s another few years?

And how come?

I mean, I am actually in the minority in my class, most of the people in there are partnered up and or married.

I’m a slow learner, I suppose.

And there were so many other things I needed to work on that I know relationship stuff tended to get tossed into the back yard.

Here’s a funny.

Guy who stood me up on a date a month and a half ago, yeah, which one, anyways.

Now following me on Instagram.

What is up with that?

He is hot though.

Ha.

Ah.

Doesn’t really matter, I don’t foresee a hottie in this weekend, I’ve got too much to do.

The weekend before the weekend of classes is often the biggest work weekend for me of the month.

I have to prep food for work, for school, and for the following work week–although, hey!

I just realized, maybe not so much.

It will be a short week as it’s Thanksgiving.

I am so looking forward to going out-of-town with my girl friend from school.

Slumber party!

It’s going to be nice to, to have Thanksgiving plans.

Last year was awful.

That was when things were actively falling apart for me around an unrequited love relationship.

Every once in a while I think about him.

He popped into my head today.

Some one read a blog in my archives about him and it made me think about him for a moment and wish him the biggest love.

That was nice.

To wish love for someone with no strings or expectations.

I have a few of those in my life.

I am lucky to have the love in my life that I have experienced.

No.

It has not always, um ever, looked like what I thought it should or would.

But that’s ok.

It’s been love.

And for that.

Well.

I am grateful beyond words.

Love.

 


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