Posts Tagged ‘identity’

Stood Up

July 17, 2016

But not angry about it.

In fact.

I was rather relieved.

I sort of expected the guy to stand me up.

And since.

I had spent the previous half hour slowly sobbing into a puddle at Tart to Tart with my person and doing some inventory.

I was indeed relieved.

I was a hot mess.

Fact is, I still am.

Which happens, I forget, despite my exhortations to the universe to have a magical and amazing Saturday.

Instead it was just tender and raw, or it wasn’t, I was, I am.

I just have to change some stuff and I don’t feel comfortable with it.

Fear.

Fuck everything and run.

Or.

Face everything and recover.

I got some big prideful pants on right now and they are not serving me at all.

I have been having some issues with work, not being able to set a boundary, hoping that instead it will magically happen.

That somehow my employer will read my mind and know that I need a break.

But.

Nobody’s a fucking mind reader and people are too busy thinking about themselves, hey, look at me, I’m thinking about myself right now, and nobody knows what I need, except.

Well.

Fuck.

Me.

So.

I’m not getting the kind of break I need at work.

And I feel appalled to admit it, that I’m not some fucking super hero who can do it all.

I can’t.

I’ve been trying.

I know that I am owed a break and I don’t know how to ask for it or to express that I need a break from the whole family, not just the kids.

It’s something I keep going back to and feeling this horrid shame that I need something from my job other than the paycheck.

That to do my job well I have to get more of a break.

That being in the house with any kind of responsibility to it is not a break, it doesn’t matter that I have done it in the past, rolled along, taken my break when the kid is sleeping and sometimes the nap is long and it is lovely and sometimes the nap is short and hey, as a nanny I just roll with it.

But the family I work for, work’s from home and I feel like I have to be on at all times, that I am always being observed and it’s fucking exhausting.

And I keep saying.

Everything is fine, fine, fine.

But.

It’s not.

See, I know my job’s hard, and the people I work with, not my employers, but the people I do do the deal with, know it’s hard, a lot of friends and my school cohort know it’s a hard job. But the parents, they don’t see it that way.

Or maybe they do, I mean, I can’t read their mind either.

I just know that being in an environment in which the parents are always there is like being constantly supervised and scrutinized and I’m just not in a good spot with it at the moment.

I didn’t get out at all from the house this past week, except once to the farmer’s market with they boys, I didn’t go for a walk, I didn’t get to take them to the playground, I didn’t have respite or the relief that I find when I am out of the house and not under the eye of the parents or the monitors and camera’s.

I also know, acutely, that so much of this is also of my own making, that I need to speak up.

I have once.

It was really hard and the parents had a hard time hearing what I said and I got what I asked for, but it went away, slow and sure, and now I’m back at that point where I wonder if it’s just not time to go back to working with babies again.  Or have the conversation once again, I need a break, that I’m not getting enough structure to allow myself the flexibility to the job as well as I could be.

“There are so many jobs out there,” she said to me today, “so many.”

I have to do some more writing.

She suggested I write out exactly what I want and then just say it, regardless of consequence.

Fear says, oh conflict, oh confrontation, oh shit, you’ll lose your job and wind up being abandoned and alone and homeless in the park with a cat.

Fuck off.

I am so sick of that fear and I am so tired of doing this same fucking work.

So.

Change.

I have to change.

My employers don’t have to change.

I have to change.

I also have to lay off the beating myself up about it.

It doesn’t help.

I hate feeling tender and vulnerable and asking for what I need leads to those feelings.

I suspect because I had a lot of denial around my needs during times when I needed to have things met.

The basic things, shelter, food, clothes, love, nurturing, unconditional support.

I got what I got and it was good enough.

I am good enough and I don’t have to look to my job to be my joy or my identity.

I also get to practice in this relationship whatever it is that God needs me to be working on.

There is stuff here.

Obviously.

I’m in the job until I learn what I need to learn.

I am in the job until I fail to be of service to it.

Ironic that I can’t be of good service if I’m not taking care of myself, so the uncomfortable task of self-searching and being open for something new, whether it’s a new attitude and approach to this job or it’s looking for a job that will fit my needs better.

I need to know what my needs are.

I can surmise that the discomfort of not asking for a break is rapidly becoming harder to bear than the discomfort of not taking said break.

I am not a super hero.

I can’t be a super nanny.

I don’t want to burn out and I can’t be the best nanny if I’m nursing resentments.

All of them pretty much aimed at myself.

I’m a sitting duck.

I’m tired of shooting at myself.

I give up God.

Got some guidance?

I’ll take it.

Thanks man, I’m tired of learning this lesson.

I surrender.

Which.

In some circles is considered going over to the winning side.

I rather like the way that sounds.

The winning side is where it’s at.

Seriously.

 

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Round One

May 7, 2016

Fight!

But.

Actually.

It wasn’t so bad.

Yeah.

I was tired today.

The first day back to the weekend of classes is always a little fraught with lack of sleep.

I went to bed at 11p.m.

I woke up at 6:30 a.m.

However.

Did I toss and turn and have to tell my brain, “hey, thanks for sharing, but can we just go to sleep now?”

So.

Maybe six hours?

Which is often what happens the night before my first day back, thoughts ranging from what am I going to wear, yeah, I know, shut up, I think about that, to who I am going to see–who I want to see, who I don’t want to see–what I am going to share or not share about in my therapy dyad.

Now.

That was different.

Maybe it’s because I am just in a nice place in my head, my heart, my body–doesn’t hurt to have the stars on one’s neck kissed in recent memory, and um, huh, heh, other things–perhaps it’s because I was ready and prepared for the weekend, the work, or what have you, the therapy dyad with my classmate went really quite well.

Relief.

We talked about my scooter, the childcare parking permit, not wanting to victimize myself or be woe is me about it, be an adult, also, that there is residual child hood lingering thought that since I lost it I should be punished, even though I had absolutely nothing to do with the thing falling off my bumper or that, heck, it could have been peeled off my scooter too, who knows.

Which led to talk about my bicycle.

Which, huh, led to tears.

And then we talked about Burning Man.

And though there weren’t tears, there was sadness  there for the not going, for missing what would have been my tenth year there, in a row, at that.

How I get a certain, this is my own wording, ego satisfaction out of being that girl.

You know.

The one speed riding, fixed gear owning (not that I have ridden my bicycle in fixed for the last two and a half years since my knees really started to get blown out), tattooed, bad ass on a bicycle wheeling through the mean streets of San Francisco.

I mean.

Hella sexy, right, I’m over 40, 43 to be exact, 44 this year in December, and still riding a one speed, with my crazy hair flying out behind me.

“Oh, I totally knew it was you,” he said, pedaling quickly to catch up to me.

“How?” I asked, a little incredulous, I mean I shouted “on your left,” when I whipped past and it was dark, after 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night riding through a stretch of Golden Gate Park with little light.

“Come on, Carmen, the bike, the hair, the tattoos, there’s only one you,” he chuckled and caught his breath.

Hmmm.

Yeah.

So, I have this “bad ass” identity in my mind.

That coupled with the “I nanny at Burning Man,” and the picture, well, forgive me, it’s compelling, interesting, vivid.

Now.

Who am I?

Just some chick in a psychology program in grad school on a scooter.

Or so one might think.

I am so much more than that and it’s nice to let things, parts of me go, relinquish the idea that I am this one thing here or that one thing there.

I am so very much.

And as I was retelling the story and the tears arose, I also realized that I have used my bicycle as a means of escape.

Ever since I was a little girl on my tricycle.

I have this awesome photograph of me that my mom gave me years and years ago, right as I was leaving for San Francisco, in fact, I think she gave it to me as a going away present, although I may be mistaken about that.

Anyway.

I’m two.

Sitting on my trike.

Hands gripping the handlebars, little wide leg cord flares on, brown I think, a lamb skin brown coat with the little shearling collar, my hair in a little messy bun up on my head and well, this smile.

This smile that said, you can’t stop me and here I go and come on world, let me at you.

I was just raring to go.

And that is not to say that I’m not still raring to go.

But, it’s changing.

I’m changing.

“The only thing that will always be the same is that change will happen.”

Change happens whether or not I give it, my body permission to be something other than it is and well, my body is tender and sore and I could use a fucking back rub and a leg rub, and my knees don’t hurt today, but they ache, and yeah, you know what, fuck, it’s going to rain tomorrow.

No scooter tomorrow.

I already threw my cover over it.

I did ride in today, just barely making the window before it started to get wet out there.

And happily it was dry and the rain had stopped by the time I got out of class.

But it does not look like that for tomorrow.

MUNI or taking a car.

Just depends on whether they’re still doing work on the Cole Valley Tunnel, if they are, there will be buses running and it will take too long to ride the train, but if the city is not doing work I’ll catch the N-Judah in and take a car home.

There’s a little party for the cohort to celebrate finishing up our first year together after class tomorrow.

I am not super interested in going, I joked with a fellow student, I really would like to sleep, but I also know that despite having old knees, this lady likes to cut a rug.

So.

I’ll make an appearance and be grateful for that.

That is a change too.

Granted one I never saw coming.

She was bent over a crack pipe in the alley on Minna Street between 11th and 10th, I could smell the crack cooking and shuddered.

Thank God for change.

Thank God I got to change.

Thank God I’m not sitting on a piece of cardboard on Minna Street smoking crack.

Been there.

Done that.

My luxury problems are a gift.

My body a gift.

My home, this life, my experiences, my family, my friends, my job, all the things I get to do.

All the love I get to give.

And receive.

I do not regret this new change in my life, though I am allowed a moment to mourn it, I am not definable by those things–bicycle rider, tattooed dragon girl, Burning Man nanny–I am just discovering another layer or myself, my identity, my person.

As long as I love as hard as I can.

Show up to the best of my ability.

And.

Am my complete and honest self in the moment.

I will be ok.

No matter what change comes.

Good or bad.

It’s all God.

It’s all good.

It’s all.

Really.

Just.

Love.

Love.

 

Don’t Freak Out!

March 4, 2015

Freaking out!

Not really.

Not any more.

Not after talking my own self down off the ledge.

That’s not my tax return, I thought when I saw the mail waiting, all sly and innocuous next to my motorcycle helmet on the bench to the entry way to my studio.

I’M BEING AUDITED!!!!

Fuck my mother.

Fuck me.

Fuck.

Fuck.

FUCK!

Wait.

Calm down.

Go inside, open the letter, don’t freak out.

I said.

DON’T freak out.

There’s nothing wrong.

My house, lovely, sweet, clean, pretty, go light some candles and stretch out and roll the back roller on your sore shoulder and take off your earrings and hair geegaws and make a cup of tea.

And relax.

What ever is happening it’s for a reason and you are ok.

I need money for grad school!

You haven’t been accepted yet, relax.

Please.

Ok.

I guess I should open the letter and see what it says.

It says IRS, run away and hide, but.

I didn’t.

I opened the missive and read it.

I didn’t make sense at first.

I had to read it three times before I got the gist of what I was supposed to do.

Either, a.) call the 800 number listed or b.) go to the website listed and fill out the little form there.

What is it?

A confirmation of identity.

Oh.

Huh?

I remember, way back when, I think it may have actually been when I was applying for financial aid the first go around, that’s right, way, way, way back, when I was 17 going on 35 and trying to get into school and it came up then.

I had to verify my identity.

I am not the only Carmen Regina Martines in the world.

Even with the last name being spelled slightly different from the average bear.

And I’m not sure it’s true, but there was some weirdness when I was first working, like the very first job that I had that I had to fill out tax papers for, that I have more than one social security account.

Not number.

But two accounts.

Again, I put it to the weird spelling of my last name.

No I am not Mexican.

No, I do not speak Spanish.

Family legend, according to my mother, and maybe I’ll actually get this confirmed when I go see my grandmother, that there was a misspelling on an ancestors citizenship papers.

That the correct spelling is Martins, but it was pronounced, I’m going to spell this phonetically, Marteens (think saltines), and thus, the immigration people threw an “e” into the spelling and voila, Martines.

So, once I got my under pants un-bunched.

I’m not being audited.

Whew.

I went to the website and verified all my information and hopefully that will clarify everything and I will get my federal return back post-haste.

I have been watching my bank account like a hawk since my state return landed over two weeks ago.

I filed on February first.

When the rest of the world was watching the Super Bowl, I was doing my taxes.

Anyway.

Quite glad to have responded the way I did.

I didn’t fret needlessly.

I didn’t stash the envelope and not open it.

I followed the directions and breathed and went to the website and got clarification about what was needed.

So often in my past  would make an assumption, usually based in fear, and run with it.

And so often, I was to learn, and am still learning, really, that assumption was all about making an ass out of myself.

I will jump to many a conclusion without sufficient evidence to back it up.

I’m grateful I got to see myself respond with such serenity.

Yeah.

There was some dread when I saw the envelope from the IRS, I mean, come on, who doesn’t blanche a little when the tax man cometh.

But it was just a generated piece of computer mail that was to make sure I am who I said I was and that I live where I say I live.

That’s all.

Nothing more.

Quote the raven.

Never mind.

Er.

Never more, I mean.

And back to my regularly scheduled business.

Looking for airline flights to go down to San Diego to see my grandmother.

I checked in with my Uncle who wants to co-ordinate his trip with mine and we briefly discussed what dates make sense and how we would get there and for a hot second I thought, ooh, if he drives, I could skip the air fare and save some money.

But, then I realized, it’s out of his way to come and get me and I am not going to be able to take a lot of time off from work.

I’m saving my vacation days for the retreat for graduate school.

And, fingers crossed, for Burning Man.

I’m not going to buy a ticket until I hear back from the graduate school, another response, rather than a reaction.

My first reaction was to ride with my uncle, my second to buy a ticket, tonight, but then after the stuff with the IRS letter, I realized, I myself am missing some vital information.

If I can avoid taking vacation time I will.

I will go down and do a quick weekend visit.

If I get into graduate school, that is.

Because I would save my two weeks of vacation for the retreat that the cohort does in August and the other week for Burning Man.

If, however, I don’t get into graduate school, there’s no restrictions on my time and I could take a longer trip down, not that it would be much longer, I don’t want to over stay my welcome and I suspect that I should probably just make my trip a short one–more for myself than anything.

I can get overwhelmed with family stuff pretty easily and I need to test the waters and before I leap full on into the family reunion.

I could, also, I am realizing, take a day or two from my sick days.

I haven’t used them all up.

And, then, there’s also the thought, when I get my tax return I could just ear mark a part of it for an extra day off from work.

If I go slightly over my paid days off it’s not like I will suddenly be homeless and in debt.

What would it look like if I just had faith I was being taken care of and book the time I want?

I’ll know more soon.

I should know by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest, whether or not I got into the program.

Until then.

I’m fine.

I’m not being audited by the IRS.

And my rent is paid.

And I have clothes on my back.

New glasses on my face.

And faith that I am always being taken care of.

Despite the fear factory in my head.

I’m just fine.

Perfect, actually.

Thanks for asking.


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