Posts Tagged ‘hugs’

And Another Thing

May 1, 2018

Just printed off my therapy verification form for my therapist to sign.

Meaning, that I will have proven, as is required by my program, that I have done a year of therapy while seeing clients at my practicum site.

I have therapy tomorrow before work.

I am ready!

I don’t know that I have ever been this excited to go to a session.

Granted.

I do like my therapist and I get a lot out of working with her.

But don’t get me wrong.

It is work.

And I feel pretty worked out right now.

In fact.

I just got back from doing the deal and there was a mediation, a candle light meditation, and yes, ahem, I did, in fact, fall asleep.

Thank God I didn’t snore.

I was a bit abashed, but I don’t think anyone noticed.

It was warm and quiet and honestly, I think I was more tuckered out today than I was expecting to be.

I think I was thinking I was going to be elated, uplifted, super energetic, I finished my last paper, I turned it in, I’m done!

But I’m not.

Not quite anyway.

I still have to go to class.

I still have to turn in paperwork, I’ll be reviewing my check list tomorrow to make sure I have all the things I need as I walk into the last weekend of school.

I really want to have all the paperwork done.

REALLY want that.

I did also, have some homework to do today, it was fun, not too hard, and I could have been annoyed by it, but I just let myself get into it.

Our professor asked that we write a little note of appreciation for each person in the class.

To the general eye roll of most of us.

I had started a few of them last week and I realized this morning that I had fifteen yet to go.

So I brought them into work and did a few while the baby napped and then when my little girl charge got home from school we sat down together over tea and snacks and she helped me with them.

She also got strawberry juice on a bunch of them, but fuck it, I thought it was sweet.

I wrote notes and she put stickers all over them.

I actually found them quite charming after she had decorated them and it was a nice little thing to do with her.

I had an extra one in the pack of colored paper squares the professor had handed out, which I couldn’t figure out who I was missing, after I looked over the class roster five times, then realized, oh, ha, it’s me, I’m counting myself and though I appreciate my efforts these past three years, I don’t need to write myself an affirmation on a piece of construction paper.

heh.

But I wrote her one.

For being such a good helper and being the best hugger ever.

She likes to call them “huggies.”

It’s pretty adorable.

Thank God work wasn’t too stressful today, I did feel pretty damn tired all day, I think I had a homework hang over.

It’s been such a big push to get all this work done.

Plus negotiating my supervision hours this week.

I finally got two different options sorted out that will allow me to get supervision and also to not miss class and if it goes well, I will also be able to do the closing ceremony with the cohort.

The Wednesday supervisor got back to me and said show up and I will ask if anyone is willing to skip so that you can attend.

I don’t care for that so much, but fuck it, I’m fine to do it.

I’d rather just know that I can attend.

Hoping that someone cancels and I don’t have to make a mea culpa pitch to the group, but whatever if I have to, I have to.

That day’s going to be a doozy.

Wednesday that is.

I’ve got an early start at work.

The GI appointment.

And hey, thanks reflux for making an appearance today, just in case I had forgotten what it felt like.

Ugh.

After that though, comes the exciting bit, my interview for a private practice internship.

Oh snap.

What the fuck am I going to wear?

I hadn’t thought about that.

Something to think about.

Then if all goes well I’ll be in group supervision at 5:30 pm.

If it doesn’t go as I hope, I can also opt to do supervision with my regular supervisor on Saturday after class, missing the closing ceremony, but getting the needed supervision I need to see clients this week.

I have seven on the books, six after tonight’s session.

Grateful for all the things falling together.

And tired.

I am ready to call it a day.

It’s been a long week already.

hahaha.

It’s only Monday.

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Feel The Burn!

March 16, 2018

Although.

Honestly.

I’d rather not.

I’m rather over feeling the fucking burn.

It fucking hurts.

I’ve been having some horrendous silent reflux.

Silent, as in I don’t burp with it, there’s not a discernible regurgitation happening, but, oh man, it’s there, and the pain, well, it’s not silent at all.

I, on the other hand, have been pretty silent about it.

I’ve been rather, grin and bear it.

But about four, five months ago I just could not do it anymore and I went and saw a doctor, with whom I had a follow-up appointment with today.

As my symptoms have not gone away despite being on a three-month dosage of medication to ease the acid in my tummy.

After going over all my food stuff again–no citrus, no peppers, easy on the tomatoes, nothing sour, no alcohol, nothing too fatty–I pretty much cleared everything but coffee.

I have definitely lessened my intake of the beverage, but I’m still drinking it.

I sort of feel like you can pry coffee from my cold dead hands.

Because frankly that’s what it’s going to feel like to not be able to drink it.

I have noticed that the reflux is worse if I drink any in the afternoons, it got bad Saturday when I was in school and had a coffee on a break with one of my friends in cohort.

And today, although it was decaf, I did notice an upsurge of the acid this afternoon and despite taking a second dose of the medication, it’s been pretty horrendous all day.

Then again, it could also be stress.

And let me not belabor the point.

I have stress in my life.

I work full-time in a caring profession, my doctor warned against ‘care taker burnout’ which is feasible, I work a lot for my family and it was a stressful past three weeks with a lot of sick kiddos to contend with.

(Then again, I’ve been a caretaker all my life.  I’m not sure I know how not to be).

And.

I also am a psychotherapist in training, so holding space for 7-8 clients a week, after care taking the family I nanny with, could, yes, contribute to burn out.

Oh.

And let me not forget I’m in grad school full-time.

Plus.

Well.

Personal work and relational grief have been at the top of my charts now for months, god, of course I have an upset stomach.

But.

I think it’s not just the stress, although it is very likely to be a contributor.

I think there is something else wrong and so does my doctor.

So I have to rule out a bunch of stuff.

Number one.

H. Pylori.

Which is a stomach infection that causes ulcers.

If it’s this, which in some way I sure hope it is, the lab test will let me know.

I have to, ugh, do a stool sample.

Never fucking though I would be writing that in a blog post.

If I have the infection it is easily treatable with a heavy dose of antibiotics.

The doc said I’d have to do two weeks of antibiotics four times a day.

Not the most fun, but doable.

The other thing that it could be is that the sphincter muscle in the esophagus is not working right, thereby not closing and allowing stomach acid up into my esophagus and throat, my nose and mouth.

I have acid in my mouth all the time.

I hate it.

I can’t taste it.

But I can feel it.

Hurts my teeth.

I also have a pretty constant sore throat and a tickle that leads to a cough.

I am not sick like a traditional cold, but it sounds like I have a cold.

I also have a great deal of nausea.

I haven’t thrown up, but I have had dry heaves a few times and once or twice did think I was going to vomit during some super stressful emotional moments.

What ever the cause.

I’m over it.

It’s been a pretty consistent life thing to deal with and I am tired of it.

The doctor referred me to a specialist, who can’t see me for a month, so I’m going to try to book another appointment with another on the list of doctor referrals given to me.

Hopefully I can be seen sooner than a month.

I was also warned that should I vomit blood or pass blood I have to go to the ER immediately, that such a symptom is indicative of a bleeding ulcer and I’d need to be seen right away.

Great.

Just what I wanted to hear.

Or that it, the acid, could cause me to have esophageal cancer.

Nobody wants the cancer word thrown about.

Nobody.

So yeah, it could have been th decaf coffee I had with my charge at Maxfield’s today as he enjoyed an afterschool treat with me and wrangled the promise of me teaching him how to play Monopoly, the kid’s going to be great at it fyi, or it could have been the stress of being told I could have bleeding ulcers and cancer.

Happy Thursday!

Ugh.

I was pretty shook up after leaving the office and I had to go to a lab cross town to get the stuff for the stool sample, ugh, ugh, ugh, and then over to Walgreens to pick up more prescriptions for it, and I ended up being pretty teary at work when I showed up.

The mom just gave me the biggest hugs.

It was very sweet, she is so sweet to me.

Hell, I’m tearing up writing about.

And I realized.

I could use a lot of hugs.

So if you see me out and about, stop and say hello and give me a squeeze.

The hugs they do help.

And fingers crossed, this will all get figured out and it will be a very simple solution.

I’ve got faith.

I am being taken care of.

I always am.

 

Birthday Weekend Wrap Up

January 15, 2018

It was good.

So good.

I mean.

Super sweet and special, and full of so much love.

And dancing.

And hugs.

And love.

I know, I mentioned that already, but it was just a lovely weekend.

I mean.

Not all of it.

Going over the bridge yesterday, the Bay Bridge, the traffic was so bad I had a moment of why the fuck am I going to Oakland to do this party?

But it was worth it.

So worth it.

I had such a lovely time and got to see folks that I haven’t seen in a while and hear great music and dance and giggle and laugh.

I laughed a lot.

I felt very happy, joyous, free.

It was spectacular.

I still feel like that and also a wee tiny bit emotional, not a lot, but a tiny bit, I was surprised just a few moments ago when I was up in the Castro Most Holy Redeemer to find myself having the anticipation and anxiety of getting a little round metal chip with the Roman numerals ten and three ones on it.

Thirteen

Thirteen years.

It still astounds me.

It felt really, really, really special.

I saw folks there that saw me when I first came in, who helped me and talked to me and bought me coffees and bummed me cigarettes and made suggestions about what to do and shared their experience, strength, hope with me, in such strong graceful ways that their message still stays with me.

Show up.

Suit up.

Be of service.

Say yes.

And extraordinary things will happen.

It is astounding how many things have happened for me.

I had an inkling that this past year was going to be a big one, I remember writing about it in a blog that would have been around this time last year, feeling that it would be fortuitous, that big, big, big things were happening.

My God.

Did the big things happen.

They really did.

I am not the same woman who turned twelve, I have grown so much this past year and really walked through some things that I had no idea I was going to get to experience.

I am so loved.

So blessed.

Graced.

And grateful.

I cannot imagine how, but I feel that this year moving forward will be much the same–full of excitement, growth, travel, love, adventure.

School.

Graduating from one program.

Starting another.

Work of course, internship, of course, recovery, the big of course.

Travel.

I will go to Paris to see my best friend there, although I don’t have set dates yet, I’m still waiting for my work to sort itself out as far as their holiday, summer, travel.

I may be going with them for part of it.

And I want to do other little trips too.

Fun things.

Weekends out of the city.

New places to go and experience.

I feel abundant.

Expansive.

I feel that my capacity for love has grown and opened wide my heart so much.

I have all these images of things  and words and endearments in my head, I am suffused with this feeling of love and I am so happy for it.

My love.

So happy.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be beyond anything I have yet to experience.

It’s a wondrous thing to have faith and be taken care of and show up and really live.

I mean.

Passionately live.

I am so alive.

I am so lucky to be alive.

Frankly.

I should be dead.

Or.

Just scraping along the gutter, in the filth and the muck, trying to make beautiful things and failing.

I have made so many beautiful things since I started this journey thirteen years ago.

Poetry.

Photographs.

Friendships.

Love.

I have made huge leaps of faith.

I have made decisions that I didn’t even know I could make.

I have made music, or collaborated in making music.

I have been in a film.

I have made my way into foreign countries, sat in cafes under many different skies, and scribbled away in so many notebooks I lost count long ago.

I have ridden bicycles all over the place.

San Francisco to LA.

Oakland to Berkeley.

The Outer Sunset to the Outer Mission.

Over the Golden Gate bridge numerous times, down into Sausalito and over to Tiburon, and one memorable day, up to the top of Mt. Tam.

And in Paris.

Nothing says amazing adventure like bringing your own bicycle to the city of Lights and taking a ride down the Champs Elysees.

Although.

Truth be told I only did that a few times.

The Champs Elysees is cobblestone and that was not a pleasant ride but fuck, it was fun to do it a couple of times and say that I had.

Or past the Eiffel Tower.

I did that ride a lot on Sundays.

I have ridden my bike at Burning Man too, not the same bike, but one that I loved for many years, ridden off into many a dusty sunset to dance at the edge of the desert and sing with joy at the heavens.

I have gotten up in front of people and performed my poetry.

Spoken word in Paris at Le Chat Noir.

In the downtown office of Form4 Architecture for their principle architect.

On stage at The Elbow Room and in the studio of Sunshine Jones.

I have done plenty of mundane, every day, simple, day-to-day things too.

Often times, more often than not, with gratitude for just getting to stay in San Francisco.

That’s some kind of miracle, that I still get to live here.

The miracles are innumerable, the gifts astounding.

I can only keep it by giving it away.

The paradox that I love.

Here out by the sea, in my little studio, listening to jazz, writing to you and letting you know about my day and how important you are to me.

So important.

I am overblown with gratitude.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Thank you for thirteen years.

It’s been freaking amazing.

Smashed With Love

September 15, 2017

I had a reunion today with one of my favorite charges.

I have been on the look out for him since school started.

The family I used to work for and the family I work for now have their children in the same school.

I do school pick up for my charges four to five days a week.

And.

I ran into one of the boys I used to work with today.

Or.

I should say.

He ran into me.

Literally.

Full tilt gallop from across the playground.

I was nearly bowled over.

I had no idea he was coming.

I was looking for my charge and then heard my name being called out, and it took a moment for me to realize that the voice calling my name was not the voice of my current charge, but a past charge.

And then.

He leapt into my arms.

He knew I would be there to catch him and I was.

My whole body responded before my brain had a chance to even register what had happened.

All I knew was that my arms were full of this sweet little boy.

“I miss you! I miss you! I miss you!” He cried and hugged me so hard.

I told him how much I have missed him and how much I love him and it was such a sweet reunion.

I nearly burst into tears.

This situation, being at the same school, with two different families, is a new one for me.

The first few times my former charge saw me were so achingly painful I dreaded going to do school pick up.

Part of me yearned to see them, my boys, such sweet, sweet boys.

And.

Part of me couldn’t bear it.

I missed them so badly and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t with them any longer and was with my new family and when was I coming back?

Now.

8 months later.

They seem to have gotten it.

And there’s some distance from the hurt and the loss and the grieving I did when I said good-bye to them.

Now it seems tender, but it doesn’t have the same sting, and though I thought I might cry, I did not, yes, oh yes, I gave him many fierce hugs and told him multiple times how much I loved him, but I didn’t lose it.

He ran off with my little girl charge and they went to the monkey bars and it did my heart something good to watch the two of them play.

It did my heart real good.

My charges were all about the love today.

There was much holding hands, there were many hugs, there were no tantrums.

It was magic.

I even had a little time before the mom came in this morning to make a few check in phone calls and get myself oriented for the week.

And get my clients sussed out for the next few weeks.

I have been given another client.

And with that.

I now have eight.

Which is where I will stay, at least for the semester.

I will pick up consults on Saturdays that I am not in class, but aside from that, I have my eight clients.

I am a therapist.

I mean.

I really am doing this.

“What’s a therapist?” My oldest charge asked me today, “is that what you’re in school for, and how come you’re still in school, is it like a career thing?”

He’s very astute for seven.

“Yes,” I told him, ruffling his hair.

He and I were solo at this point in the day, mom and little sister had a dance class to go to and he and I were headed home on MUNI.

“A therapist is someone who helps you communicate with your emotions, sometimes they help you communicate with other people too,” I told him.

“A therapist helps you with your feelings,” I continued.

“Oh yeah, I remember,” he said and reached for my hand, “and you’re a therapist!”

“Yes,” I smiled, “yes, I am.”

“But you’re still my nanny, right?” He asked, a tiny note of concern in his voice.

“Yes, I’m still you’re nanny,” I replied, slowing down a little as he thought it through.

“But you won’t be forever, you’ll graduate from school and you’ll be a therapist all the time?” He asked, then stopped walking and added, “but that’s not for a while yet, right?  You’re still many nanny for a while.”

“Yes, it will be a while before I have a practice all my own and we’ll have lots of time together before that happens,” I assured him.

“And then you can be my therapist!” He concluded and grabbed my hand happy to have figured out a way to keep me permanently in his life.

Oh my heart.

It just was squashed with his love.

I hope you never, ever, ever, need a therapist darling boy.

Although, I know how helpful it is, it’s super helpful.

Just to have someone listen to you, to attend to you, to help you navigate through emotional states and processes.

Even if there’s not a trauma to work through.

Therapy is some super helpful stuff.

And really, if I’m honest about it, in a way, I am this child’s therapist.

We do a lot of play therapy and a lot of narrative therapy.

Of course.

I don’t tell him that.

For him, it is just play, that’s how children process emotions, they play.

So he and I play a lot, we color, we tell stories, well, he tells me stories, all the time, and I get to listen and ask questions.

He’s very excited, for instance, about the new Iphone.

“Are you going to get one?” He asked me.

“Nope, I don’t have a $1,000 to spend on a phone,” I told him.

He was not pleased with this answer, he’s very pro Apple products.

“Don’t you have something you can sell?” He asked, “you know, to get money to buy the phone?”

I laughed out loud.

I love how he thinks.

He’s very solution oriented.

I love my charges.

Past.

And present.

I’m so grateful for them, for all the sweet love I have gotten to have, for the laughter, for the naps, for the snuggles and hugs and the joy of them.

Children astound me.

The bright faces of God shining with love.

How lucky, graced really, I am to get to do this work.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

It’s Awful Nice

May 24, 2017

To be missed.

It was obvious that I was missed.

I got so much love at my job today, it really was something else.

From the appreciations I got from the mom for the work I do, to the little ladybug running to meet me when I picked her up at school, to the oldest boy leaning his head against me and just hugging me, and letting me kiss him.

The little girl couldn’t stop kissing me and telling me how much she missed me and that she wasn’t ever going to be mean to me and that she loved me, very much, very, very, very much.

Nothing like having a warm, soft paw in your hand all day and soft sweet kisses–when we walked home from school she insisted on holding my hand the entire time and would kiss it constantly.

I was utterly charmed.

It was a long day, but I mustered through and probably drank a lot more coffee than I should, but I made it and actually don’t feel too jet lagged at this point.

I still woke up too early, and found myself so sacked out last night that I could barely check in with the folks I needed to check in with, but I did get a good night’s sleep.

And a good hot shower in the morning, lots of writing, big mug of coffee and getting myself organized before heading out to work helped a lot.

I also got a few errands run before I headed into work, including mailing my mom a package–I hadn’t been able to send out her Mother’s Day gift before I left for Paris.

I got to get lots of face to face time with the mom at work and we talked about summer schedule, the kids schedule, work, travel, and my internship, which starts on Thursday.

I will have a busy week, but I also will have Monday off next week, it’s a holiday, and I’m super happy for that.

I know that I am busy, that life will be busy, that life is full, but there are moments of reprieve, idyllic hours when the unexpected and sweet happens, the hand in mine, the press of lips against my skin, a kiss bestowed upon me, a sowing of love.

“Carmen, you need to sleep over soon!” She said to me, tugging my hand again and again, “and bring me more stickers.”

I laughed.

I also made them dinner and the kids got their favorites, alphabet pasta with cheese and butter for the oldest boy and alphabet pasta soup with carrots in chicken broth for the little lady, I bounced about while the mom ate–slightly fancier stuff for the parent dinner–sautéed asparagus in olive oil and garlic, bechamel sauce over grass-fed seared beef, quinoa pasta with butter and parmesan, mixed greens salad–with the baby, who’s bright happy smile met mine many times today, I felt he recognized me and it was wonderful to get his big smiles.

It’s nice to be appreciated and I felt that in spades today.

When I went to leave the little lady jumped up from her chair at the dinner table and hollered “NO!”

But I told her I would be back soon and that we would have more adventures tomorrow and she can’t wait, “cuz I have a dentist appointment tomorrow!”

Dentists are a lot more fun then they were in my day.

I have a dentist appointment on Saturday, I am not nearly as excited as my charge, not by far, of course I’ll be getting novocaine shot into my gum line instead of a big red balloon, so that may be why.

And while my little charge was chatting excitedly, her older brother said, soft and under his breath, but audible to me, “but I get you when she’s at the dentist, we get to be all by ourselves, I get you for me.”

Aw!

Love buttons.

I felt adored today.

Not just appreciated, but adored and that is a damn fine way to feel, especially at work.

I am grateful for the family and all that I get to do for them.

It’s so much easier to be present and available when I am appreciated and then I just want to do an even better job.

That’s how I am.

It makes having to work full-time while I am doing school and my internship and all the other things, so much easier.

It really does.

It’s work, don’t get me wrong, I do a lot for the family, but it is also a joy and I am beyond grateful for them.

And for my life.

It is rich and varied and so full of unexpected happiness I am constantly surprised and joyful in my person.

In my tired, still slightly jet lagged but yes, very happy, person.

I think I’ll have the jet lagged licked by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest.

I have an appreciation for it though, everything seems dreamy and surreal, the fog, the soft coolness on my skin, the music I have been listening to, the hot showers and the warmth of my bed when I crawl into it at night.

Dreamy and swaddled in.

Softened and bending.

Surrendered to the woozy and the swoon.

The drowsed light and the refracted love notes of jazz.

Cocooning me in succor.

Baby, sweet baby.

Slumber drifting on the swell of moon rising in the night.

Ghostships of desire.

Latent and laden.

Tipsy in the cusp of dawn.

The cashmere softness of pre-sunrise and smoked grey of early morning.

Plush with promise.

And.

Smocked velvet kisses.

And I Made It

January 16, 2017

Through the first weekend of the second semester.

Whew.

I was tired.

I am tired now.

Of course, I also have some adrenalin, which naturally seems to arrive at the times when I might wish to be winding down.

As opposed to the middle of my Trauma Class or towards then end of my Couples Therapy class when I was so sleepy I didn’t know if I was going to make it awake the rest of the day.

I was at that point when caffeine stops working and the tiredness was kicking in and it was touch and go and sort of woozy and sleepy and dreamy.

And then class ended and I got zipped up and a bit more energy as I got outside and out of the school and into the air.

I met with a few friends from my cohort at Reveille Coffee in the Castro, then on up to Firewood Cafe for dinner and fellowship and then doing the deal in a church basement up the road.

It was good.

It was really good.

I saw lots of folks that I don’t get to see often enough.

I got lots of hugs and asks for dinner and coffee.

I found out one friend and his mom are going to be in Paris at the same time that I am and we made plans to chat about that, I can be the tour guide he never got.

His first visit was supposed to be when I was living in Paris and we just missed each other.

I love touring people around Paris, makes me happy, especially those friends that don’t speak French, I love being of service, makes me feel useful.

So that was lovely.

And just the feeling.

To be seen, to be witnessed to take a moment and acknowledge love, struggle, surrender, doing the deal, showing up.

All of it.

And to get to be showing up for the rest of my life as well.

Like my new job tomorrow, I got a sweet text from the new mom asking after my weekend and also that I make a slight change to my schedule, which I am happy to accommodate, so that the oldest boy and I have a solitary date to go to the Academy of Science.

Super excited.

I’m a dork like that.

I love field trips.

And that I get to have the oldest on a solitary field trip means we get to do a little bonding.

I think that will be quite fun.

Plus it’ll be nice to ease back into the week and the new family and the new schedule.

Tomorrow is a holiday, not for me, but for the school, and so it’s nice to have something already planned and something to do outside of the home will be fun.

I’m happy I’ll also get another hour of sleep tomorrow.

I am ready for it.

I am grateful for the time in school this weekend, albeit feeling some stress about getting my practicum stuff together, I know it’s all falling into place.

I do need to make some proactive steps around it this up coming week and weekend and I’ll start in on my reading for the next semester here pretty quick.

Probably not tomorrow, but soon.

There’s a lot to cover in between the weekends of class.

I do like to give myself a little down time after a weekend of classes, but I also like having the reading on tap and completed for the next weekend and there’s so much that a little bit really has to be done on a pretty regular basis.

Plus.

One of my classes, Community Mental Health, I have to go out in the field and interview a clinician and gather data and do a lot of extra work, which, when the fuck am I going to do that as I’m working business hours and most community mental health programs are not open nights and weekends, but I get to work on that and ferret out some place I can go and talk to a clinician in a diverse community setting.

This is the semester of getting really prepared in the next steps for interning, getting into the community, starting to practice the craft that I have been learning, not just in school, but in my life.

I am absurdly grateful for this and I am astounded when I think about how it all came to be and where it is all going.

Well, I don’t know exactly where it is going, but it is exciting.

And it’s exciting to think that maybe, just maybe, my nanny days are coming to an end.

Oh.

I don’t think it will be for a few more years yet, but there is something really exciting about being with this new family and getting to have a job that could spell out longevity to match the end of my program and the work that I will have to do when I am interning and collecting my hours towards MFT licensure.

3,000.

Just a few.

I’m not there yet.

I am, however, happy to report that another few small steps have been successfully taken down that path.

I know that those little steps, one day at a time, add up so much faster than I could ever realize.

“Didn’t you just start this program?” She asked me with a hug, “and look at you now, already into your second year!”

It feels interminable at times, slow, and sticky and the long classes and the huge reading lists.

And then it seems like, wow, she was right, two years ago this time I had just sent off my application for the school.

Two years later I’m half way through the program and looking down the line.

A possible PhD in Psychology.

A career as a therapist.

A teacher in the community.

A helper.

A giver.

A worker amongst workers.

A friend.

All the things.

So grateful for it all.

So, very, very grateful.

Seriously.

Unexpected Visitor

July 23, 2015

And no I don’t mean Aunt Dot.

Just my friend coming over when I was not planning on seeing him and it’s nice to have him here, across the room, on his laptop while I’m on my laptop.

It’s rather endearing.

Lucinda Williams on the radio.

I haven’t listened to her for a time.

Thinking, as I sip my tea, what was my principle today, did I practice it well, was I of the world, or distracted and in my head and in review it seems that I was pretty present.

I took a few more actions in regards to school–got my last two syllabi printed, forwarded the Master Promissory note and Loan Counseling paperwork to my school and let it all go.

All of it.

I am just super grateful I’m going to graduate school and no matter what happens, just taking those small next actions always do seem to pull the trick.

I’ll pick up my readers this weekend and go from there.

And.

I will have myself a little fun.

I forgot that I bought a ticket to go see Space Cowboys at Public Works this Friday.

I bought the ticket over a month ago because a dear friend shared the page on social media and I wanted to spend time with her.

Of course, today, late morning when I was feeling exhausted and stupid with chasing the boys around and potty training and scheduling and not the greatest night of sleep, I was ready to throw in the towel.

What the fuck was I thinking?

Go out on a Friday night.

Go out dancing.

Fuck that.

I’m too tired.

But.

I called a girlfriend instead and said, can I just run something by you and she listened and said, hey, you don’t have to go all night, hit the club at ten and bounce by midnight.

Such truth.

I don’t have to be the party animal I used to be a long time ago in a land far, far away, the service industry, and stay out and rage all night long.

Besides my knees would kill me.

I can go for a few hours, shake my ass, and feel good about listening to some good music, seeing some friends I haven’t seen in a while, and playing a little before getting all serious about school, readers, course work, financial aid, life.

“Fun and flexibility,” she told me.

“Happy,” I told another lady today.

I’ll use all of those.

I’ll be fun and flexible and allow some happy in my life.

Dancing is a really happy place for me, in case you’ve never been dancing with me, or haven’t read any of my blogs about dancing our have any awareness, as I do, that dancing is a spiritual experience for me.

It’s my “get right with God” place.

If you don’t mind me borrowing some Lucinda to emphasize the point here.

So, as of now, I am going to go dancing.

I don’t have a ton of obligation on Saturday, I’ll be meeting my person at 12:15pm at Tart to Tart in the Inner Sunset, then, well, hopefully hanging out with my friend who has offered to run me down town so that I can go to Copy Central on Mission and 2nd and purchase my readers.

Then.

The weekend.

And yeah, I’m a little bummed that work stuff changed up on me, that I’m not going to be able to do the Grand Canyon this weekend, but you know, the Grand Canyon ain’t going no place.

I’m still going to get the heck out of dodge next week and have some camping–either Yosemite or Crater Lake.

Two other places I have not been.

Yeah, I know.

But hey, I’m going to see one of them soon.

I got to kick it out the rest of the week, and I’m going out to dinner Friday night too, with the family, at RIntaro at 14th and Folsom.

Uh, yes please.

They asked if I would join them for dinner.

Uh, yes please.

I mean, you don’t have to ask me twice.

Granted they have asked me before and I was unable to go for having a commitment I had to cover, and I still have a commitment to cover on Friday, but it’s not until 6:45 p.m. and it’s fair close to the restaurant, Church Street Cafe at 16th and Church, so I should be cool.

Yeah.

We’ll be eating dinner hella early, but that’s the deal when you have two little boys that are growing up so fast, we’ll be at the restaurant by 5:30p.m. at the latest.

I usually get the boys started on dinner by 5p.m.

Tonight was pretty simple, cheese omelet, made into egg sandwiches on buttered toast, with sliced avocado and fresh fruit salad I made from the last of the fruit that I picked up last week at the Mission Community Farmer’s Market at Bartlett and 22nd.

I am grateful again and again for this job, even when I feel punked and can’t imagine dancing or doing anything fun this weekend.

I can be fun and flexible.

So when my friend said would I like company tonight, I was like, hell yes.

I could use a cuddle.

A hug.

An arm around me.

Please do come by.

I love a surprise.

Most of the time.

And even when the surprise isn’t the greatest, like the clarification I received in regards to my financial aid award, I am still able to see the gifts inherent in the experience.

I rode my bicycle home through the park and I saw that the buffalo where out in the wild buffalo paddock by Chain of Lakes.

There were six buffalo on the hill, silent, stoic, a page out a history, a picturesque moment in the twilight.

I thought of my friend who would have been running the San Francisco marathon this weekend.

He used to run out past the buffalo and sometimes I will have chats with him when I whiz by, some part of him always with me, inked on my heart, some part of him always in the park–his ashes scattered over the falls by the Chinese Pagoda–a breath of wind on my face, a kiss of mist on my forehead and he is with me.

“Hey Shadrach,” I said, out loud, that’s how I pray, that’s how I communicate with those I love, whether here or there, in the ether of the air, and unexpected, yet felt visitor, there, just there riding on hood of my heart.

“You’d be pretty proud of me,” I said, I felt my heart swell.

“You really would, big guy, thanks for being so patient with me while I’ve been figuring it out, any other words of wisdom?” I looked at the bison.

“Be the ball, Martines,” his voice in my ear.

Oh shoot.

Yup.

Thanks for the reminder honey.

I love you.

I miss you.

May you always run through the park ahead of me.

I see you in the twilight gloaming and you always there for me, a gentle reminder to be kind to myself, and laugh at myself, to be fun and flexible and to keep on keepin’ on.

Getting right with God.

Letters Are Love

November 18, 2014

Made out of paper.

Hugs sent to you in the mail.

Not e-mail.

No, the real deal, the postman rings twice sort of deal.

I got the most amazing and unexpected card and gift from my best friend in Wisconsin and a gorgeous little necklace with a chopper bicycle on it.

My friend knows me.

Knows me well.

“Well, honey, I mean, I think they’re cute, but you may not think so,” she said as she stirred the giant hurricane glass at Jolly Bob’s Jerk Joint in Madison.

We were there to have my best friends bachelorette party.

“NO PENIS CRAP,” was her only demand for the party.

No penis straws, hats, pins, jewelry, drinking accoutrement.

But I couldn’t help myself when I saw the tiny wind up penis at the counter of the wildly vanilla sex shop on Williamson Street in the Gateway Mall (folks think Good Vibrations is pretty vanilla, they have never been to this store in Madison, beaded curtains and feather dusters and all).

I hid it in my hand and then wound it up to hop across the table toward the bachelorette.

She rolled her eyes.

“I said no penis’,” she might have flicked it over with a fingernail, I don’t recall, but I do recall laughing, and feeling how wonderful it was to be a part of this group of women who were just amazing and I felt like the outsider still, my odd duck self, a little band apart.

And every time I did, my friend would reel me in and make me feel one of the girls, wanted, appreciated, loved.

Again and again and again.

All the while giving me the utmost of shit.

I saw a sock monkey today in a mural on the side of the Community Thrift Store on Valencia Street and it made me think of her.

I almost sent her a photograph, but for years, I mean years, I have been trying to live down the notoriety of the night, the bachelorette party and the personification of my personality, that like my Auntie Bubba moniker, I have not quite been able to live down.

“No, come on, tell me, you can’t not tell me,” I said, demanding an answer.

One friend was an owl, because of how his hair tufted up in funny spots, so he was enduringly called “Owly.”

Another friend was a little turtle.

My best friend was a strawberry.

Of course she was, all pink and roses and fair skin and blonde hair, blue eyes and her heart-shaped face, she was, a pretty as a berry in a bowl of heavy cream, a strawberry.

“I want to know,” I repeated drinking down some of the aged rum in my glass, heady with the jerk chicken and the warm night, the smell of the rum wafting up, the hurricane candles warm in their red globes.

“Well, alright, and I repeat, I think they’re cute, but you, well, you’ve always reminded me of a sock monkey with your big red lips.”

“A sock monkey!”

My friend screamed with laughter at the crestfallen look on my face.

In my wildest imaginings I could never have put it down to that, a sock monkey, I was a sock monkey.

Fucking great.

Big red lips and all.

“Your mouth does scream blow job,” my friend laughed harder, tears streaming down her face.

I had gotten my comeuppance for having the audacity to be the only girl at the bachelorette party who had brought a penis party favor.

I was forever now the pornographic sock monkey.

My dear friend has been delightful enough to never let it go.

I still get a ribbing once in a while, a Christmas card with a sock monkey snow angel on it, or she’ll ask me to take a photograph next to a giant sock monkey at some boutique store we happen to be walking by on a rare visit back to Wisconsin.

“No.”

“No, I will not,” I say and cross my arms with a huff of annoyance.

My mouth twitching with a mixture of bemused irritation and pure love.

If she wanted it bad enough, I would take pictures of myself with sock monkeys.

I would do just about anything for her.

Scratch that.

I would do anything for her.

She is my person.

She has been there through the thick and the very scary and dark thin.

So when I got home today and saw a package sitting next to my door that had her name on it, I was surprised and gleeful.

Who doesn’t like getting a package in the mail?

It was thin, a bubble mailer, a card fell out.

I read it, I got tears on my face, god I love my friend so much and I am so grateful for her.  She saved my life, literally and figuratively and then literally again, and I owe her everything.

Yet.

She takes the time to write me a card and let me know that even with three boys and a husband and a full-time job and a house and it’s already snowing in Wisconsin life, she takes the time to send me something so small and dear and sweet.

I swoon with the magic of it.

That I get to have people like this in my life is such a blessing.

It’s not Thanksgiving yet.

Yet I have so much to be grateful and thank full for.

I am overwhelmed with love and good tidings and friends.

Blessed I am.

Graced.

And well accessorized.

I will be wearing my new necklace on the morrow.

And I may even make my way to Sycamore Street in the Mission District to take a picture of myself next to a flying sock monkey.

I did mean it when I said I would do anything for her.

 

 


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