Posts Tagged ‘Human Development’

Almost There!

December 10, 2015

I said to her tonight and gave her a big hug.

She looked a little glassy eyed with sleep deprivation.

She, the woman with whom I was commiserating, is a third year graduate school student at the same school I am in.

This is her last push.

She finishes this weekend and she will have her Master’s degree.

Granted we are in different programs.

And different years.

But the feelings were the same.

Come on you can do it!

I actually got a little sick to my stomach when she described what she had to do to finish with her program.

Then I thought.

Not my program, my program may be very different when I get to my third year.

Oh.

And yeah, haha, I’m still in my first and I’m doing ok.

In fact.

I am doing fucking awesome!

I got back my fourth reflection paper grade from my Human Development class.

Here are some of the comments:

Amazing and brave. It is so life-affirming to read your journey.

Beautifully descriptive narrative imagery, Carmen.

Grade: A

Great essay!

There was more, but, um, haha, no need to toot my own horn.

Besides.

What I am more thrilled about is that I am off the hook for writing the third optional paper.

Unless I fall flat on my fucking face in class with my final presentation project, I will get an “A” in the course.

Small happy dance of joy.

And back to the blog.

The other thing, that I just acknowledged in a phone call with my person, I have done the work.

I mean.

For the first time all semester, I am completely up on all my reading.

I did it all.

I finished it all.

I read it all.

ALL OF IT.

I am that person.

I am even re-reading a little of it before class on Friday because I can and I will need to have a better grasp of my Psychoanalytic readings to be able to write the last paper for the class.

Oh.

I liked typing that.

The last paper for the class.

I have tentative dinner plans to celebrate with a friend on Sunday.

I’m going to give my friend the biggest hug ever.

Ever, ever?

Ever.

I remember the warmth of congratulations given to me when he heard about my getting into the program and also when I shared about my scholarship news.

I feel like I have had this friend in my pocket, like an ace up my sleeve, helping me, giving me rides to class, grabbing me coffees before class, helping me grocery shop, so many things.

Probably too many to recount here.

But I wrote them all out this morning in my journal, my morning pages, my morning routine.

It just poured out, this river of gratitude for the gifts I have received.

There are so many.

Countless.

I have also received unexpected gifts from the school program.

The first being the simple acknowledgement that I belong where I am, that I am on the right path, even if I’m not certain exactly where it is going, that I am talented and smart and capable and can do the work.

The next is the surprising friendships I have struck up with women who I never would have met otherwise, and who I cannot imagine moving forward without in my life.

So very graced.

So blessed.

I have school “girl” friends!

I mean.

Heh.

I almost just blushed with that.

I am so pleased.

Happy.

Loved.

I feel loved.

I know that sounds silly, but I have new girl friends and that makes my heart happy and I know that I will have them always in my life.

Maybe not under the exact same circumstances, we won’t always be in school, but I know, they will always be in my life.

Such gifts.

A wealth.

An abundance.

Then.

I was thinking of a group of girlfriends.

Sort of my first group of solid out in the real world girl friends.

How they got out and ahead and I somehow faltered and fell behind.

It’s not much of a secret what happened.

I fell down into the selfish hell hole of my addiction and the narrow parameters of living a lie coupled with a complete inability to be a friend to anyone, not myself, not another human being, in any true manner of the word, and of course, my friends left me.

Out paced me.

Out grew me.

Said, hey, “I love you, but I can’t be a part of this anymore.”

“I’m done.”

That hurt.

But it hurt in a way that it sunk home.

Of course, it didn’t stop me.

I still kept on.

Not for much longer though.

Of those three girlfriends I am in touch with just one.

Nurse.

Public Relations maven.

Lawyer.

Nanny.

Which one of these is not like the other?

I realize today, as I was getting ready for work and did a quick scroll on facecrack and saw one of those ladies post a life event (we are still all connected on social media) that I have finally, almost, not quite, but kind of getting there, catching up to them.

They all have Masters degrees, law degrees, nursing degrees.

They are smart capable women, all with children and husbands and careers.

I’m the weirdo.

Single, tattooed, artist, Burning Man attendee, bicycle commuting, pink hair, sometimes in a faux hawk or studded with fake flowers, odd duck who lives in San Francisco.

Or I can flip it and say I am a powerful, realized, self-acknowledged, hard working, graduate school student, who works full time as a professional nanny (a job that I would not have gotten without my undergrad degree, fyi, not for the money I’m making as a nanny), who has overcome what on the outside looked like insurmountable poverty, neglect, trauma, physical abuse, abandonment, stress, PTSD, clinical depression, rape, incest, being stalked–to getting sober, writing a book, no not just a book, but three manuscripts about those aforementioned “misadventures,” being published in Paris, blogging for five plus years, being a world traveler, having love and friends and community in abundance around me.

I am more actualized and realized than I ever was.

More authentically me.

So.

It took me a little longer to get here.

“I wish you a long, slow recovery,” she said wisely.

What the hell does that mean?  I thought, but hugged her back.

I know now.

And I am so utterly.

Completely.

Inexhaustibly.

Grateful.

Beyond words.

So grateful.

I ache with it.

Ache.

But in a very good way.

The kind of way that tells me I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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So Happy

December 6, 2015

So very, very, very.

Happy.

I’m currently listening to Coleman Hawkins–At Ease, With Coleman Hawkins.

Because.

I am officially.

At fucking ease.

I did it.

I finished my final project presentation for my Human Development class.

Yes!

God damn was I sick of thinking about that fucking thing.

However, I realized that I knew a whole lot more than I was letting on last night, to myself, when I talked the ear off the guy driving me home from work.

We got into this crazy discussion about, ha, of all things, human development.

By the time I had finished telling him about my findings in the research that I had done about babies and using sign language, he was a convert.

You should have seen the photo of his three month old he showed me!

Beautiful, funny, horrible, and amazing all at the same time.

Big huge pink bow, huge swath of black hair underneath, serious chubby cheeks, and the cutest (and somehow horrifying) pink Hello Kitty onesie ever.

It was just too much and absolutely perfect at the same time.

By the time he had dropped me off I realized that I had done enough research, that I did not actually have to go to the library and do more.

That, in fact, my wanting to do more was an act of martyrdom and not very becoming on me.

I admitted as such to my person this afternoon when we met at Tart To Tart.

“About that,” she said, with a knowing look in her eye, “when you left me that message yesterday regarding all the things you were going to do I just thought to myself, where is the fun in any of this?”

I teared up.

I admitted that I was not having any fun today.

I also admitted what I wanted to do rather than go to the library.

Nails, I desperately needed a manicure.

And.

Shoe shopping.

I needed to get a pair of shoes to go with the dress I got on Modcloth for the ballet in Paris.

“You do that instead, you go have fun, you go buy some shoes!” She said and smiled.

You know what they say about suggestions.

Well.

I do.

It’s suggested I take them.

I am so much happier when I do.

This life is not a vale of tears, we absolutely insist on enjoying life, there is much fun to be had in it all.

So much fun.

I got my fun on.

I did.

I took myself to Fluevog on Haight Street and I got me some shoes.

Oh.

Darling.

They are so beautiful.

I got a pair of the “Dots” in Arbus.

A gorgeous t-strap heel in black leather with plum, gold, and white polka dots of various sizes.

And.

Oh my!

I found the perfect coat to match the shoe!

I went in to Fluevog and knew I pretty much wanted the Dots version of the Arbus, the other, though equally adorable was in patent leather and does not compliment the matte black fabric of the dress, so the Dots version was the right choice.

But.

I wasn’t certain I was going to be able to find anything in a coat that would work with the shoe.

Plus.

The shoes were just a tiny bit tight.

My left fit perfect, but the right, which is a 1/2 size bigger than my left, felt tight and I knew I was going to be uncomfortable wearing it for long.

I didn’t feel like dropping a big, for me, amount of money, on the shoes if they weren’t the perfect fit.

I told the salesman I would think about it.

I relayed that I really liked them, but the tightness on the toe box of the right shoe was worrisome.

I shook his hand thanked him and headed out the door.

I was stopped in my tracks though when he said.

“Oh!  We can fix that, we can stretch the shoe to fit you, it’s very easy to do.”

Oh.

Yay!

But the color?

Was I going to be able to make it work?

Heh.

Turns out when God wants a girl to get her shoes on, he will provide the perfect coat to go with them.

I found a gorgeous, on sale, swing coat in plum at Tatyana, a few blocks down on Haight Street.

It’s a modified swing coat with rusched sleeves and big black buttons.

It was so perfect it shocked me.

Then the price shocked me.

Then I said screw it.

I’m buying the coat and going back for the shoes.

And that is exactly what I did.

I pulled the coat out and showed it to the folks at Fluevog and they were astounded that I had found the exact match to the color of the plum polka dot on the shoe.

I pointed out a scuff on the right one and they said, only pair in that size, so we’ll take off %15, which basically covered the cost of the coat!

Win.

And.

Winning!

They had me try on the shoes again and the owner saw exactly where the right shoe needed to be stretched and I go back tomorrow to gather up my glorious new shoes.

Sigh.

Life is lovely.

Despite what my head can say and how I felt a little lonely tonight and a little woe is me to not be hanging out and seeing my friend, who is still very sick, and after a trip to the grocery store and some homemade dinner in my tummy, I could not shake the feeling.

A little sad.

A little lonely.

A little left out.

Irrational feelings of being avoided.

Out comes the God box.

Out comes some paper.

Some writing.

And I put a couple of folks in Gods hands and asked for direction and guidance to do what I needed to do next.

Work on my fucking Human Development final project presentation.

I so did not want to.

But.

I did it!

I just fucking started and a few hours later.

Boom.

I have it done.

Well.

Not quite.

I have to practice it a bit, it’s rough, but the hand out that I have to have for it is done and I can practice all week long and time it.

With what I have I either need to gloss over certain things, or I need to talk really fast!

I also have to write the bibliography.

In APA format.

Ugh.

But since I have the presentation done, bullet points, graphics, and all, plus a short video, I felt like I could give myself a break for the rest of the evening and do the bibliography tomorrow.

And you know what else I can do tomorrow?

I can have more fun!

I am done with my homework!

For the first time this semester I have done all the reading that is due for the classes before the classes!

I have done two papers and a final project presentation.

I have two papers left to do before the semester is done.

One down today.

Two to go.

I can do it.

And there is nothing, really to do tomorrow, but meet with my ladies and go back to Fluevog and pick up my gorgeous shoes.

I will likely do a little food prep for the week and a little run to the market, but I have most of the day free.

Maybe I’ll go to Free Gold Watch and play some pinball after I pick up my heels.

Or down to the beach.

I hear the waves are still quite big.

Regardless.

I have time to have fun.

Hell.

I proved that today.

Here’s to taking suggestions.

So much better than my little plans and designs.

They always.

Always.

Are.

Better.

And.

They have much better shoes!

Heh.

It’s Beginning

November 30, 2015

To look a lot like Christmas.

Except.

Well.

No tree this year.

No tree for me.

Although I did, temporarily consider it.

But it doesn’t make sense for me since I’ll be leaving for Paris and there will be plenty of Christmas trees for me to see there.

I just love having a tree in the house at Christmas.

There is that warm feeling and I feel nostalgic and recall past Christmas times and there is always a sweet moment when it’s just me in the dark with the Christmas tree lit and all things seem possible and all things are.

Magic.

Christmas is a dark time.

But it is also a time for magic and when I let the dark and the cold get into me too much I have to shake it off.

This meant getting out of the house tonight and going for a bicycle ride over to St. Gabe’s to get right with God and see my people.

I had been too much stuck in my own head today.

A touch on the isolated side.

Despite meeting with a lady earlier and having a really sweet phone call with my mom.

I felt a bit isolated.

I miss my friend who I see all the time from the neighborhood who has been out of town visiting family in the Midwest.

And I miss my girlfriends from the city who don’t live in the city anymore.

This four day weekend was an epic fail at phone tag with the two of them.

But what is a lady going to do about that.

We are all busy.

A doctor.

A nurse.

A graduate student.

All of us doing the deal and working and family and relationships, and friendships are hard to sustain through the distance, but I still reach out and they reach out and even though contact was not made, in the effort I felt connection.

But I felt a little maudlin today too.

It could just be that it’s Sunday and I didn’t quite get done the work I wanted to get done this weekend.

And then there’s that.

The perfectionist me.

I don’t have to have it all done this weekend.

I just wanted to have as much done as I could.

I did a lot too.

I have to acknowledge that.

I wrote the two papers and I did a ridiculous amount of reading.

In fact.

I finished all the reading for the semester for my Psychodynamics class.

ALL OF IT.

This, despite being an accomplishment of patience and will and just sitting in the same spot for awhile–yesterday at the cafe in Noe Valley, today all day long at my trusty kitchen table/desk–and batting through it, did not feel like enough.

I wanted to write the paper too.

Finish it.

Get it out of the way.

But I realized, after looking over the notes I took from the last lecture, the notes are insufficient.  There is a lot more that needs to be covered and my professor just didn’t get to it last time.

I could possibly write the paper but I may not be doing it any justice if I don’t understand the material and I don’t know that I am going to get the gist of what the teacher wants without hearing her lecture more on the topic.

Technically the paper isn’t even due until December 22nd.

I have time.

I just don’t feel like I do.

Feelings, I remind myself, are not facts, and so, I am going to let myself off the hook on the paper and just attend class and after I hear the two final lectures from the professor I feel like I will be able to put together a coherent and well written paper.

I also did not get to do the work for the final project for my Human Development class.

But.

That I don’t feel as weird about.

And I also did a shit load of reading for that class as well, finishing up the last chapter in the text–which means I officially read every page of that ridiculous text book, 600 pages plus of good, good times.

I read a few articles out of the reader for the class too.

I should have the reading for the semester then complete by tomorrow before work or Tuesday at the latest.

Which means I will devote the time that I normally would be reading to doing work on the final project before I go to my job job.

Yeah.

That thing that pays the bills and stuff.

Which by the end of a weekend where I have put so much time and effort into my school work, actually feels like going on vacation.

All I have to do is fold laundry and make dinner?

(Aside from the plethora of other things)

I don’t have to understand Post-Freudian Kleinian theory on death drives?

SWEET.

There was a little lightness in my day.

I will acknowledge that too.

I did open a gift my mom sent me and was happily surprised by a sweet basket for the beach with a little pillow and folding mat for sitting in the sand dunes accompanied by a book of poems and a card with $50!

Not at all what I was expecting from my mom and I was grateful to open the gift, although my birthday is still a few weeks away.

My mom was so excited to send it to me that I opened it early for her.

Which led to one of my breaks today–a walk around the neighborhood while I chatted with my mom and got some sunshine on my face.

The next time I had thought to go for a walk it was already sunset and I had been reading for another couple of hours.

I made dinner instead, texted a dear friend in my cohort, and prepped my food for the week.

Opening the present had made me a little nostalgic for the holidays and so I opened up my box of Christmas ornaments and pulled out a few.

I may not have a Christmas trees this year, but I do have snowflake ornaments hanging from the antlers in the corner and a bowl that says “Noel” on it filled with glass bulbs and ornaments sequestered in a little corner.

Plus.

A wreath of jingle bells on my door.

That and a few Christmas cards and it will be just the right balance.

I also enjoyed my bicycle ride through the neighborhood and if I feel the need for a tree all I have to do is ride down the block and look in the windows of all the houses.

The holiday house at the corner of Kirkham and 46th has a magnificent one, as does a lovely little house on the corner of Noriega and 46th.

My upstairs housemate has been decorating her’s all day today with the help of her daughter and the drift of Christmas carols down the stairs into my studio is also a sweet, unexpected gift.

Christmas.

By the way.

Is everyday for me.

As I am constantly showered with gifts.

Friends.

Family.

School.

Work.

Recovery.

Community.

So much love.

All the love.

All the things.

Happy Holidays.

Let’s go through them joyfully together.

Delighted and Dumbfounded

November 15, 2015

I finished my paper.

I finished my Group Dynamics paper.

I FINISHED MY PAPER!

Oh my God.

The relief.

Ten pages, 3,357 words.

In fact, I wrote eleven pages, so I had to cut and that is fine, good really, tightened the work and it’s always better to have a little too much rather than too little.

I was not expecting to get the paper done today.

However.

I realized this morning when I was sitting and doing some writing that though it is not at all about school, turns up to be so important to me being able to facilitate so much of my school work, that I was perhaps going about my school weekend prep plans backwards.

That it might actually serve me better if I wrote the Final Paper project today rather than putting it off until tomorrow.

The paper is not due until the 17th.

But I wont have time outside of this weekend to really devote to paper writing.

I can get into a groove where I do a little reading here and there, and it’s become a lot more reading as the days have progressed toward the end of the semester, but it’s hard for me to stop and start writing a paper.

That was the “dilemma” I faced today.

Do reading for other classes or focus on getting to the final paper, even if it meant cutting it in two segments of time.

I didn’t sleep in.

I wasn’t expecting to.

But.

I had not set an alarm, just in case I wanted to lie about for an extra hour.

Glad I got up.

Glad I got going.

Dumbfounded.

Still.

By how much I got in today.

My regular morning routine, plus the laundry, and marketing, and making food for the week and beyond into the school weekend, meeting with two different ladies, sitting and hearing the end of an inventory, reading for my Human Development class.

And.

Writing the final paper.

I still can’t believe it’s done.

So relieved.

I am going to focus tomorrow on Therapeutic Communications, getting as much of the reading done for the class as I can and also I am going to write the reflection paper as well.

That will leave me with the reader from Human Development, five articles, and all the reading for my Psychoanalytic class.

I mean.

I still have a lot to do.

But.

I feel so much better having this huge paper off and into the world.

Plus, having done my food prep today I don’t have to tomorrow.

I will meet with my two Sunday ladies.

Do the deal.

Get right with God.

Then read away the day.

I promise myself I will take a walk outside and get some fresh air.

That I will also sit in the sun and eat my meals without looking at a text-book.

I will watch the ravens swoop and sing through the air.

Have you ever heard the song of wind through raven’s wings?

Oily.

Thick.

Ruffled.

Heavy.

Dark.

Yet seductive, when I lift my face to the sun, prop my feet in a chair on the back porch and let my eyes close under the warmth of the sun.

I am hoping for sun tomorrow.

I know there was some today.

I did get out of the house for a brief moment to buy eggs and coffee and persimmons from the local market.

Persimmon season’s almost over.

I will miss you my sweet orange pumpkin friends.

I don’t want to jinx it but I am hoping to have all the reading done for the next weekend of classes, um, ha, before classes are in session.

I haven’t manage that yet.

I have managed to stay on top of the writing and I haven’t turned in any papers late, yet.

I hope not to.

There are only two more weekends of classes before the end of the semester!

How did that happen?

Of course.

I can barely see ahead of myself to know how I am going to feel heading into the final weeks of the semester.

Probably feeling that I am still behind.

There’s a lot of work and I have to acknowledge to myself, if only to myself, that I did real good today.

I got the massive amount of reading finished for the paper earlier in the week, I took notes, I made notations all over the book, it was full of little blue post-it notes, I used supplemental materials, and I wrote a really good paper.

I also learned how much I learned.

Which, I feel, is the signpost of a successful class.

I learned as I was writing and I made connections and correlations and my mind was a frenzy of activity.

I may have talked to myself a few times too

Ahem.

I learned that I can be flexible.

Or try to be more flexible.

I went to a friend’s house with a different agenda than what was previously discussed and watched my brain throw itself into spasms trying to figure out what to do.

Then.

I realized.

I was just panicking and looking for a way to not do the paper.

Any excuse will do!

Put it off one more day!

My friend helps me get accommodated and I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, stopped listening to my head, and listened for my gut.

Ok.

This here.

This notebook there.

My laptop here.

This book here, these notes here, my pens, turn off the phone, sit down.

Accept the help and suggestions being offered.

See what happens.

And what do you know?

There was nothing wrong.

I got lost in time.

Forgot that food had been ordered.

Wrote and wrote and wrote.

Took a break when my stomach said, “hey! I’m hungry,” and my bladder said, “yo, bathroom break!”

A bowl of corn and chopped chicken with egg drop soup, and some prawns with snow pea pods.

Yum.

Then back to the paper.

And about 45 minutes, maybe an hour after dinner, I was done.

I spell checked.

I edited.

I tightened.

I clarified.

I opened up my e-mail, composed a note to my professor, attached the paper and sent it out into the Universe.

And now.

I rest.

I actually have a sore arm, shoulder, and stiff forearm from typing so much.

I mean, what with my morning pages, the final paper project, and this blog, I have written over 5,000 words today.

No wonder my head is sore.

But.

It’s done.

I am truly.

Absolutely.

Over the fucking moon.

And Now It’s Time

October 12, 2015

For a little night music.

Since it’s Sunday.

That would be jazz.

Colman Hawkins.

Chet Baker.

Soothing.

Sexy.

Satiating.

Mostly soothing and easy for me to palate since my brain has been on fire with my Human Development paper and final project proposal.

I sent them both off tonight.

Minutes ago in fact.

Well.

The reflection paper, the second of five that the class requires (ok, ok, that I require, the class only requires four, I can opt out of one, but since I only got a B on the first paper–I got docked for formatting issues–who the hell asks a student to write in 1.5 paragraphs instead of 2.0–I will be writing all five.  I can get extra credit for writing the fifth which will bring my grade up to where I want it) I sent off about 45 minutes ago.

It took me a little longer to write then I thought it would.

But.

I got it done in under three hours.

My brain hurts though.

My ass too.

From sitting in a hard chair for hours.

I also sat in this chair to do my morning pages and to meet with two different ladies back to back before I got started on the paper.

Plus, I sat a while organizing my notes and notebooks and my gigantic ass text-book and the reader and well, my tush is half asleep.

Hopefully this blog will be quick and I will get my butt out of this chair soon.

Ah.

Getting old.

Thanks for the reminder body.

I was actually surprised to find myself finishing up the proposal for the final project tonight.

I was going to put it off until tomorrow night.

But.

I did not want to sit down to a cold proposal tomorrow night, I figure I may be too tired, I’m going into work early and both the boys have the day off from school for the holiday, so I’ll have my hands full.

And.

I am meeting my person after work to do some reading and do the deal.

So.

I started making some notes and gathering my information and looking about the internet and I ended up writing out my proposal and sending it off as well.

Today’s reflection paper was on issues in human development–nach, that’s the title of the course–around racism, micro-aggression in families, sexual fluidity, same-sex parenting, parenting styles, and effects of violence and media on children.

Yeah.

Like that.

Except it was seven pages (at 1.5 fucking paragraph line spacing, so it felt like ten pages) and 2,953 words.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Now I go vomit in my bathroom.

My proposal for my final project presentation is on using sign language with babies to help parents communicate before verbal skills have developed.  It will be mainly a theoretical research project, but there will be color from my own personal experience, plus a video on signing, and a hand out with 20 common signs, some of which I plan on teaching the class.

I am still rather shocked that I got the proposal done and sent off.

Relieved too.

I need to focus on my other classes a little bit.

And.

Start the reading for the next weekend of classes.

Ugh.

The Human Development class has three chapters of reading in the text-book and six articles in the reader.

I don’t know what I need to read for my other classes at all.

I don’t know when the papers are due either.

Although I have a vague inkling that I must have my Dubitzky paper on Freud before the next weekend of classes and my Therapeutic Communication class always has a paper due right before class too.

That’s two papers.

Plus the paper for my T-Group.

That one isn’t due until November 17th, but there is a lot.

A LOT.

Of reading I have to do for it.

Ah.

Finding balance.

Oh!

Excellent.

I just got a response back from my Human Development professor.

She received my second reflection paper.

The professor also has a policy that the student is responsible for making sure she, the professor, gets the paper.  If I don’t hear back within 24 hours or so of sending out the paper I need to check in with her to ascertain whether or not she has gotten it.

I suppose this negates the possibility of that old saw.

What do you mean you didn’t get my paper?

I sent it!

Computers!

I feel like I do a little too much housekeeping for this particular class and too much grunt work.

But.

So it goes.

The price of admission.

OH!

Hey!

This is nice, check it out.

How delightful!  I am looking forward to your presentation Carmen.  Go for it!   

I just received another e-mail from the professor.

She likes my project proposal!

Sweet.

I don’t have to think about it too much more.

I will have to make a trip to the library, in fact, I may just buy the book online, the one by Dr. Joseph Garcia, called Toddler Talk, if I can find a cheap copy of it on Amazon and of course, do the presentation, but I have some space to work on it and I figure that I will be doing a bit of that work after this next weekend of classes, which is not until the 23rd of the month.

I have twelve days to get done another two papers and read another load of words.

And life.

There’s always that basic maintaining that has to be taken care of.

Self-care.

I was good to myself today.

I slept in.

Not a lot, but I didn’t use an alarm, probably the only day this week that I didn’t, and I bought myself flowers–a sort of incentive to get my paper writing done.  I also did some grocery shopping and I cooked food for the day and for the week.

Dinner and lunch was brown rice with tarragon chicken and mushrooms.

Food for the work week is homemade “fried” rice with turkey bacon, chicken, mushrooms, peas, carrots, and sweet corn.

I also finally caught up on my spending plan and wrote out my expenditures for September and made a plan for October.

I knew I was procrastinating on writing the paper when I started playing catch up with my spending plan.

I mean, hello.

I would rather work on a spending budget for the month then write this paper.

But.

It’s done too, October, and where all my money is allotted.

Clothing allowance excepting.

I spent that all yesterday.

Heh.

Life it moves a pace.

Oh!

And I wrote another sonnet.

That’s eight done.

I should have the full ten by Tuesday after which point I will take the roughs from my notebook and put them into my laptop and edit them and send off the bunch to my collaborator.

I wasn’t busy today.

Hahahaha.

Not at all.

Breathing a sigh of relief.

Drinking hot cinnamon spice tea.

Soft jazz on the stereo.

Winding down for the day.

Time to rest up for the week.

It’s a big one.

But at least I have one last paper over my head to worry about.

Good night all.

Sweet dreams.

 

Giddy Like A School Girl

October 8, 2015

It’s how he makes me feel.

Then I laughed to myself, as I shut the gate to the house, catching one last glimpse of him as he sauntered down the street.

I am a schoolgirl.

Ha.

And like a good school girl I am here writing.

Yeah.

I know, this is not home work.

But I do my best work when I am able to also do this, this sitting, this coming to the page, this writing it all out, all down, falling down that dirty little hole of word lust and wanderlust and rumpled and tossed on my bed kissed with heat and desire and shake it off girl, you got papers to write.

I do have papers to write.

But I still have reading to do.

So.

The reading runs a pace.

I got in more today and I am happy to announce I have a plan.

(God laughs at my plans)

I will read as much as I can and then outline my paper on Saturday afternoon, writing it in the afternoon completely on Sunday.

I have a few ladybugs that I am meeting with, then doing the paper writing deal.

My week is actually pretty damn full up.

When isn’t it?

Tomorrow I meet with my person after work at Church St. Cafe.

Friday I meet with a ladybug at the same cafe, again after work.

Saturday I meet with another one of my people.

Yeah.

Like that.

It takes a village to keep me straight, as in not bent.

Then.

A speaking engagement at 7th and Irving.

After.

I will treat myself to my small indulgence and go out to a solo lady lunch and then go to my mani/pedi/waxing spot and get my girl on.

Why?

Because I like to pamper myself and this is one of the few things I allow myself, once a month I get the full deal and it’s so nice.

I would actually be getting my nails done more frequently, but between juggling work and school, well, I just don’t have the time.

I looked at my nails today and cringed, it’s been too long, but, it’s going to wait until Saturday, there just is no time otherwise.

After I do the girl’ing out, back to my house, a shower, a shave, shake out my hair, curl it up (like I have anything to do with that, it will just do it all on its own) pull out a crinoline and put on a pretty dress.

I gots a date.

Super stoked to be going to a restaurant I have never been to and heard lots of good things about.

Range in the Mission.

In fact, the dad who I work for, it’s his favorite restaurant.

The mom’s is Michael Minna’s.

I have never been to either, although, ha, I have known people who have worked in both places.

Even after a decade of being out of the service industry (I was in it for 21 years) I still know lots of people in it.

I like this dating thing.

I am having fun.

The going slow is good too.

Although, on one hand there is no going slow.

The intimacy, emotional, has been deep and intense and also relaxed and easy.

I’m not going anywhere.

I’m in school, giddy like a school girl, remember, for the next three years.

I was working this morning on my three pages of journal writing, my morning pages, and acknowledging the slight bit of anxiety about getting my Human Development paper done and getting my date on and doing the deal with the ladies, I’m meeting with three of them this weekend plus my two people–it’s like having another job, of course the most important job when it gets right down to it as it allows me to do everything else that there is to do, and I do mean everything–but I know it will happen.

I just have to sit down and do it.

I am also working on the sonnets for the Burning Man collaboration with an artist I met at the burn and I am happy, nay, excited, thrilled, over the moon, that they are going well, they make me tingle when I am writing them and I had to put them down today after I wrote the fourth one in full.

I actually spoke to myself out loud.

“Ok, now, read, put down the poetry, Martines, pick up your reader.”

And I did.

I read for a while before getting on my bicycle and going to work.

Work.

Adventures in nannying.

Adventures in asking for what I need.

I am taking a day off in November to go over to Corte Madera and do a little speaking engagement that I was asked to do before I had started school or even headed off to Burning Man.

I realized when I asked for the day, that I obviously couldn’t take it as a sick day, but the family and I haven’t sussed out whether or not I get vacation days or pay or time off or sick days or, shit, a lot of things have yet to be discussed.

So.

I must to send them an e-mail tonight requesting it off officially, so they have a reminder and I need to ask for clarity.

Such a small thing.

I thought I would feel some anxiety, but I don’t.

I just need to clear it up so that I don’t have it on my head running around in circles, just being present is the hardest thing to be and it is an absolute must when I am nannying.

Being completely present for the boys and for myself.

Knowing how I best can take care of myself is a part of that.

Knowing that I can balance it all out is good to know too.

I am.

I will continue to do so.

Moment to moment.

Taking a minute.

Once in a while.

To get giddy like the proverbial girl and let my hormones, just for a minute, tumble me about.

Then back to the grind.

Back to the books.

Back to the page.

And.

Back to work.

There’s always something to do.

Grateful.

Grateful for it all.

At the end of the day.

I am happy.

I am happy today.

No regrets.

No cause for worry.

Not in my wonderful.

Full.

Loved.

Creative.

Poetic.

Enchanted.

School girl life.

Get Used To It

October 4, 2015

Yeah.

I know.

Get used to the busy.

Get used to the overwhelmed.

Get used to it, kid.

You’re in graduate school.

And.

You have seven hours of T-Group tomorrow.

Ugh.

But.

Yippee!

I mean.

REALLY?

T-group is great, it’s just a lot of work, constant emotional work, I am working, let me tell you.

Working.

And hella grateful that this morning I reminded myself to not wear eyeliner and to make sure I was wearing waterproof mascara.

Done and done.

Because, this lady cried a lot today–T-Group brings it out.

The tears.

They flowed.

And.

The catharsis happened and I got insight and I felt better.

Had the catharsis happened without the insight, I think I might not have felt the way I did by the end of the group, but I got a load of insight and a lot of self-awareness around how I put up walls and where I need to work on being vulnerable.

And also how to process emotions that clients are going to bring up in me that are not pertinent to the client experience.

In other words, I am learning to deal with conflict in a calm manner.

I still am emotional and I cry easily, but I am coming to terms with that and also seeing that I consistently show up for the work and I do a lot of it.

I carry my weight in the group.

Perhaps a little more.

But then I am a greedy girl, I want to get every last drop out of it, I want to wring out the learning, I am paying an arm and a leg, yes I am, for the experience–I want to get every dollar out of it that I can, I am after all borrowing a lot of money to be there.

In that spirit I am grateful too for my Psychodynamic course and how the professor is teaching it and how she wants us to learn.

I was expressing to a fellow in my cohort at lunch what it was like, the experience of learning Freudian analytics, with this professor and how she reminded me of a professor I had in undergrad who taught graduate level TS Eliot.

I learned more than I could ever have believed.

Whenever I wrote a paper or took an exam I found that I had absorbed and rearranged the material in my head in a way that was new and interesting and I did not even know it until I was challenged to react to the work and respond.

This professor is like that, I like how she teaches, she uses everything, she is dramatic and smart and amiable, and quick-witted and a character and she makes learning exciting.

I find myself answering her rhetorical questions out loud in the class and interacting with her and the lecture and having a dialogue about the material.

It’s fucking fascinating.

That doesn’t mean it’s not exhausting.

My brain could use a little break from Freud.

I mean I spent three hours tonight, 5p.m.-8p.m., going over theories on hysteria, mourning, and melancholia.

It was a lot to take on after having a really raucous start to the day with some poorly handled treatment of a touchy subject in my Human Development class and then three hours previous in an emotionally charged T-Group.

By the time I was in the Freud class I was pretty kaput.

Then.

We wrap up the case of the infamous Dora and her notorious relationship with Freud and hysteria and move into Melancholia and Mourning.

Grief and depression.

Two things I have had plenty of experience in.

And yet.

I learned more.

The learning.

It just keeps happening.

I’m not caught up on all the reading either, but I am so much further ahead with it that I am able to keep up with my classes, and in the Freud class I am entirely caught up (in fact, I got into one of the vignettes in the reader and realized that I was actually reading ahead of the assigned class work.  It was so fascinating that I contemplated continuing to read it, but realized that I needed to focus on my T-Group reading and get my butt going on the Therapeutics of Group Dynamics–say that ten times fast).

The class I am least caught up with is my Human Development class and I just don’t care.

The professor is not a bad person, but she is a poor teacher and in the over reliance upon the work assignments and regurgitation of ideas, really with little to compel me towards further learning, I am loath to spend any extra time or resources on her class.

Of course.

Her class is the one with the highest work load and amount of reading.

Five response and reaction papers, one group project, on solo final project, a reader–a gigantic reader (bigger than any of my other classes, additional videos online, extra handouts (outside of the enormous reader) and the biggest text-book I have ever carted around in my entire academic career.

It’s not that I can’t do the work or won’t do the work, it’s just that when the work is so uninspiring and there is so much material to parrot back that I feel lost in the muck of it.  Overwhelmed by the sheer volume and what feels like frankly, the most boring of my classes.

C’est la vie.

There will be classes like this.

There have always been classes like this.

I am going to show up and do the work and let go of the results and not care too much about the content, that feels the worst somehow, as a writer, to be writing so much volume but to not have an emotional or even intellectual resonance with the work.

That is the work.

That is the exhaustion.

That is the rub.

But.

I know it and though it is a slog, it is a slog I can do.

And tomorrow I won’t have to slog through her class.

I will have to work on her paper over next weekend, there is no getting around it.

I have done one response paper and my chapter outline project, the group project, for the class.

Which leaves four more papers to write and one final project–I’m going to write about using sign language with babies and toddlers and language development and emotional response to communication thereof.

Scintillating.

I promise.

Ah.

It’s been a day.

I am in school.

I had no clue it was Saturday or where the day went.

It just went.

I am grateful to keep showing up and that I feel better and more prepared for the work then I did the last weekend of classes.

Here’s to showing up one more day, amongst many, tomorrow.

And.

Getting used to it.

Just Sitting Here

October 2, 2015

Waiting by the phone.

And.

Not for that boy to call me.

Er.

Man.

There is a man around you know.

Oh, you didn’t?

Well.

That’s cause for another blog another day.

Yeah.

I know, I’m cheeky like that, but don’t worry you’ll hear about him one day.

Or.

Not.

Tonight.

I am waiting by the phone for my partner in my Human Development class to get home from her job and call me so that we can confer about tomorrow’s assigned chapter outline on Toddlerhood.

I really don’t want to be waiting by the phone and I really do wish this assignment was a thing of the past, I dislike group projects.

I don’t dislike groups per se, but I find that I work better on my own when I can squeeze in what I need to squeeze in where I need to squeeze it in.

I mean, time wise.

I like doing things on my own time.

But who the hell doesn’t?

Everybody’s got their own agenda.

Right not my agenda wants me to crawl into my new bed and really get a nice full nights sleep on it.

That’s not about to happen though.

I figure if i’m in bed by midnight and up by 6:30 a.m. I’m doing alright.

I have a friend who is going to pick me up and drive me to class tomorrow.

Thank you friend.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

The time that I don’t have to be on my bicycle is a big deal, I budget 45 minutes in for my commute and my friend is going to do the same for me in case there is any morning traffic and so that I can get to campus a touch early and stash my meals for the day in the kitchen.

So very grateful that there is a kitchen facility for the students to use.

I made food up for the weekend and I’m all ready in regards to that and I will be taking much better care of my feeding then I did last weekend I was in school.

I will also cut myself a little slack, I was just getting back from Burning Man and previous to that two weeks of work outside of the city and a week of school at the retreat, so I was pretty damn wonky that first week of classes.

But I don’t want to have that experience again.

I suspect I’ll be tired.

There’s that.

There’s always that.

But.

I will also be bringing in cold brewed, at home, thank you very much, coffee with me and stashing that in the kitchen as well, so that should I need it I can just dash off and grab myself a cup of joe, I left a mug in the kitchen for myself to utilize as well.

So the food tip is taken care of.

The transportation to and from school tomorrow and Saturday is taken care of.

My friend is helping me both days and being a pumpkin about doing it.

“Listen,” he said, “let me help you.”

And I acquiesced.

I am learning.

I am learning to ask for help where I never would have before.

I am learning too to find ways to say what I need and to express what I need and to be alright in the expression thereof.

What is really amazing about doing the deal for as long as I have is that I have a basic understanding of certain psychological and spiritual modalities, and I have applied them to my graduate school program.

But what is also astounding to me is that in the brief amount of time that I have been in school I have also learned huge amounts about myself, how I communicate, the assumptions I make and the fact that I take myself just a little too damn serious.

Seriously.

“I was just kidding,” he told me.

I did not realize that.

I mean.

I get the joke now, but last night, ugh, I really thought I was failing somehow, doing all the work and not having the pay off and don’t you see, oh God, how much work there is to do and can’t you see how much I want to be with you?

Oh woe is fucking me.

I am such an anxiety monster sometimes.

He was joking.

I made an assumption, had a conversation in my head, and then felt ashamed at how busy I am, how I’m not available enough for social interactions, and what the fuck is wrong with me?

Nothing it turns out.

Just a slight soul sickness that creeps in when I least expect it, right where it is vulnerable, right where the love is and says, see that, that wonderful person who you care about so much, they are going to run away screaming when they see the real you, you’re a shit.

Thanks head.

Thanks for sharing.

Now.

Fuck off.

But the wonderful thing about inventory and working with someone who can show me some perspective, linked to the studying of all the therapeutic models and the group therapy theories and Freud, yes even him, and non-violent communication, and human development, and learning how to be empathetic (like I could be even more), is that I am learning not only how to help another–I am getting a masters in Psychology to be a therapist–but also how to help myself too.

Especially when it comes to communicating.

It really is amazing.

“I know I’m only going to get slivers of your time,” he said to me tonight when he dropped me off from work, “for like the next three years.”

You’re getting more than most my dear friend.

And not nearly as much as I liked to give.

But there will be vacations and there will be summer breaks and there will be time.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

I do dare.

I do dare to say that I will find the time.

To love.

To dance.

To sleep on the chest of a man I adore.

To find the ways in between the pattern of the days.

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
All these minutes that pile up one against the other.
The pressing love hands of time.
The pushing head of a daisy in my hand.
The kiss on the side of a neck.
Warm.
Breathless.
There.
Next to the pulse of my heart.
And there.
While I sit and wait.
For the phone to ring.
Excuse me.
Human Development is calling.

Panic At The Disco!

September 27, 2015

I mean the SafeWay.

I mean the MUNI.

I mean in the garage.

I mean.

Ugh.

I woke up much later than I had planned, I obviously needed the rest, I remind myself instead of flagellating myself, which is sometimes so much easier to do–beat myself up.

I woke up from a weird dream.

I woke up to the phone ringing and the feeling that I had too much to do and nowhere near enough time.

One foot in front of the other.

Just do one thing at a time.

Breathing, always helpful, do that.

Breathe in again.

I forget sometimes that I have actual clinical anxiety and clinical depression and it sneaks in there sometimes, I have had times when I was on medication for it, but it’s been years since I have and I forget that I can get to that place of anxiety if I am over stressed.

I mean.

I don’t have reason to be stressed.

Please.

Graduate school group projects.

Panic.

Work.

Just asked for a raise.

Just took out 20,500 in student loans.

No biggie.

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, if not the world.

Stress?

What stress?

Bwhahahahaha.

So.

I did what I do.

The next thing in front of me.

Make your bed.

I mean, yeah, I break it down that damn simple.

Make the bed, kneel and pray, read some stuff, say some stuff, go brush your teeth and wash your face, put some clothes on, put the hair in pigtails, stick a flower in that shit, make coffee, make oatmeal with fruit in it–yay! Persimmons are back in season! Sit down, check e-mails, eat breakfast, drink coffee, try to not freak out about already being an hour behind on the day, look about my lovely home, purposely ignore stacks and stacks of readers, books, notebooks, all the effluvia of the student life, and focus on the beauty of your home, eat your oatmeal.

Write.

Write it all out, put the neurosis down, put down the plans for the day, laugh out loud at the idiocy of my schedule, get panicked, but not acknowledge it quite yet, write some more, make second cup of coffee, decided to go do the deal, because really, that’s what has to be addressed, and go out the door and into the world.

Wait for MUNI.

Wonder why I didn’t take my bike.

But then immediately have gratitude that I didn’t, because I did stash my Human Development reader in my bag and I was too overwrought with the feels to actually have paid good attention to the traffic.

Besides the car traffic in the Inner Sunset on Saturday afternoon is idiotic.

I don’t need to die today.

I got on the N-Judah and called my best girl in Castro Valley and had a good commiserate talk about work, school, orientations, doing the deal, dating, more work, more school, not enough time ever, ever, ever.

By the time I got off the train at 7th and Irving I was feeling much better.

Still a bit overwhelmed.

But still trying to just put one foot in front of the other.

I sat for an hour.

I got my head screwed on better.

I cried a little.

I shared.

It was good.

I went to the nail salon and got a super fast manicure, then over to Crepevine for a late lunch and more Human Development reading.

I contemplated going clothes shopping, but I did not have it in me to really shop and I only lasted 20 minutes at Cross Roads.

The good news.

I found four tops–two sweaters, one a Helmut Lang!! And two button downs, which I desperately need.

Then back on the MUNI.

I had the panic creep back in.

I started making phone calls.

I left a lot of messages.

I took out my reader and read the ride home.

I hopped off the train, hopped to the house, hopped on my bicycle and rode off to SafeWay to grocery shop.

While I was in line one of my friends called me back and asked me where I was.

I told him and he said, I’m on my way, go buy some more groceries and I’ll throw your bike in the back of my truck.

Thank you jeebus.

I paid for my groceries and made a second trip through and thoroughly stocked up.

That had been part of my stress, figuring out how I was going to get all the grocery shopping in for myself.

Not only to have groceries in the house, but also an adequate amount of things to cook and prep, because next weekend I’ll be in school full-time and I won’t be able to do any cooking or grocery shopping.

I left the store with an over full messenger bag, a super big thing of toilet paper, and two more bags of groceries.

My friend was parked right next to where my bike was locked up.

We tossed it in the back and I just about burst into tears.

I started hyperventilating a little in his car.

I started the full on panic attack and practiced breathing and staying in the moment and my, look at the ocean, look at how pretty it is (look at the ocean and everyone at the beach, they’re not worried about having their Human Development reading done, asshats, they’re having fun in the sun), look at the sky, look down in my lap and let the tears fall.

My friend talked me off the ledge, dropped me at the house and gave me hugs.

I wiped the eyeliner off my face, hey, hey, Tammy Faye, and went ahead and did the next things in front of me.

Put away the groceries.

Balance the check book.

Heck.

I even made food–black bean and chicken chili with corn, yellow bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices, and a pot of brown rice.

Then.

I sat my ass down with a cup of tea and an apple and I read.

And read.

And.

Yes.

Read some more.

I finished all the chapters in the fucking Arnett book of hell, thank you Human Development.

Plus a bunch of articles.

Then I faced my Waterloo and opened the Power Point presentation my Human Development partner had worked on and I dove in.

I actually got a lot done.

A ton.

I was elated.

How the hell did that happen?

Next thing I know, text from a friend, how you doing, almost done?

And I was.

I ran out, grabbed some sushi, thanked my friend for talking me off the ledge, and in turn gave him a quick hand moving some stuff into his new place.

Then.

Home again home again.

Jiggedy jig.

I gave my friend a Mason jar with homemade chili in it and got back in the saddle.

I communicated with my partner about our project and lined up the readings for tomorrow.

And.

Guess what?

No more panic.

Because.

As noted before, and as I will, I am sure, note again and again.

It is the showing up that is the deal.

I showed up to do the reading and it got done.

When I am in my head though, where there is no time and the world is collapsing around me and I am just not ever fucking enough, then I am screwed.

I don’t see how far I have come.

Oh.

And baby.

I have come so far.

So very far.

I am so lucky.

Perspective is what I have.

Much preferable to panic.

Let me tell ya.

And love.

I have lots of love.

Thank God for friends.

Love you all so very much.

I could not be doing graduate school without you.

Seriously.


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