Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

Baby, Oh Baby

July 25, 2017

I got some good snuggles today from my friends twins.

Oof.

The gorgeousness of them is devastating.

The heft and weight of a baby sleeping upon my shoulder has to be one of the most beautiful feelings I have gotten to experience.

I’ve held a few of them.

The smell of baby, too, such amazingness.

Makes me feel very human.

I joked with my friend that it was a good thing I was on my period or I would spontaneously conceive holding the babies.

I’m 44 years old though.

I am pretty much at the point where if it was going to happen it would have by now.

I wonder if I had things different, if I had gotten better faster, had a better childhood, yada, yada, yada, if I would have had children.

I certainly could have gotten pregnant in the past.

I was not always the most on top of it lady in regards to my sexual interactions.

I.E.

I was not using protection.

I guess I just got lucky.

Or unlucky.

Depends on your perspective.

“You are going to make such a great mom,” is something that I have heard more times than I can count.

It is always such a compliment.

“I see you with children, I can imagine you with twins,” said a woman I used to work with years ago.

I was a twin.

Maybe there’s something there, but twins tend to skip a generation in my family, it’s doubtful I would have twins from that perspective.

I have done a lot of nanny shares, so juggling two babies is not outside my realm of experience.

Being with my friend and her twins reminded me of that, doing the nanny shares I have gotten to do.

Huge gifts those experiences.

I have been a nanny for over ten years now.

I have had so many children, from that perspective.

I have raised many children.

Sure.

None of them have been mine.

But.

Oh.

They have all been mine.

I have gotten to experience a depth of love that is vast and profound and I am always, ALWAYS, surprised that I have this deep capacity, this well, of love that seems to be infinite.

I have thought.

“I can never love another child as much as I love this child, this baby, this little one, right now in my arms, fallen asleep on me,” all the heavy, sweet, luscious love that has been in my arms, there is no way I could have more of that.

But.

Every child.

EVERY child I have picked up I have felt that love, vast and universal and profound.

It astounds me.

The profundity of it.

The gift of it.

I think.

See.

You have gotten to have all the experiences of unconditional love that you didn’t get when you were little, you got to see all these children being loved and taken care of, you have witnessed so many first smiles and laughs and the sweet dreams and yes, all the other milestones that are not as much fun but help shape the vast enormous and extraordinary experience of watching a child grow.

I have borne witness to miracles.

Again and again.

Each child a mystery and opportunity to again learn the face of God, the rosebud mouth that purses for milk from the bottle, the drowsy scent that arises from the warm body, like some sort of baking bread smell that intoxicates me and lures me back for another long inhale of sweet baking baby.

I must have smelled the twins every other minute.

Fresh baby.

So delicious.

I don’t know if I am sad that I haven’t had my own children, for I have had a wealth of children.

I do know and I can acknowledge that for many, many years I would not even entertain the idea of having children.

I knew my sister wanted babies.

And she had two.

But I always thought, nope, no children for me.

And.

I have not had a one.

Nor a pregnancy.

Not once.

Not even really a scare.

Knock on wood.

But yeah, since I’m currently on my cycle, I don’t think there’s anything happening there.

Ha.

I know so many women who have agenda, must get partner, must get pregnant, must, must, must.

I have heard it from contemporaries, community, women in my fellowship, desperate and straining against their own body clocks.

I feel it.

I have felt the clock tick tocking in the corner of my uterus, and there were times when my hormones had me clocking any man who gave me a spare glance, but nothing ever took.

I used to think, after I got sober, you know, give it a year and I’ll be in a relationship and then you know, a great job, and you know, a book contract, and a movie adaptation and then a house, and you know, a couple of kids.

That was a drawing I did in therapy.

I might have had about two years of sobriety at the time.

Shit.

I forgot about that picture.

It was an assignment my therapist asked me to do.

Draw my home, draw my goals.

I feel I might have that drawing stashed somewhere in my piles and stacks of notebooks, but I can describe it pretty well.

I am standing, pregnant, with a girl, I think I somehow indicate that it was a girl in my belly, with a little boy holding my hand, blue eyes, dark hair, and there was a man next to me holding my hand and we were all smiling, the house was three stories, I mean I went for it, and had a back yard and garden and a brick patio, it had a swing set and slide and a tire swing, I mean, come one, everyone needs a tire swing, it might have had an apple tree.

The inside of the house that I can remember having colored in was a library, with a fireplace and a big deep leather couch and a cat curled up on the hearth in front of the fireplace and bookshelves so full of books.

I had a study on the third floor, my own office.

I also drew things in the a small circle around a globe.

I wanted to be a world traveler.

I drew an airplane circling the globe and a tiny Eiffel tower and I think islands somewhere.

So.

Yeah.

At two years of sobriety I figured, won’t be too long now, I’ll have a husband and a little boy and a little girl, a house and office and books and I’ll be a writer and we’ll all travel together and it will be perfect.

I was 34.

Now.

I am 44.

None of those things happened.

Well.

That’s not true.

The travel did.

I have gotten to do a lot of traveling since I drew that picture.

The house I modeled it on was an Italianate red brick Victorian in the Mission that has a back carriage house and I could envision there being a garden back there and a swing set.

The man.

Well, he was a mystery.

Life hasn’t given me what I expected.

Fact is.

I have been given more than I could have dreamed of.

I have been given an astounding amount of love and so many opportunities to grow and so many times have I gotten to experience the unconditional love of a child that I don’t feel that I have lost out on some important life experience.

If anything I have heard from many people that they envy the life I have created for myself.

It hasn’t always looked pretty and I’ve fallen down and had to start over and I am now in the process of becoming something entirely different from what I set out to be.

But ultimately.

What I really wanted.

The thing that I wanted the most, the most, the MOST.

Was love.

And I have been showered with love.

Washed in love.

I have been given so much love I can’t breathe sometimes when I see it.

My heart is so full and I get to love right back.

The extraordinary experience of letting myself be loved.

Love in all its forms and sweetness.

And there is no end to it.

There really isn’t.

And I feel that is the key.

That I am not searching for something I think I am missing.

I know what I have.

And it is invaluable.

There is no price tag on it.

And it worth everything.

This love.

Well.

Not only is it worth everything.

It is everything.

And so.

I wish you the same.

That you be so graced and so touched with love.

You must know.

Deep in your heart.

How much you are loved.

So much.

I haven’t the alphabet for the words to spell it out.

But you.

Love.

Well.

You are poetry.

 

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It’s Been A Day

August 17, 2016

One in which I spent too much damn time in my head.

However.

I called in the cavalry.

I amend that.

I texted in the cavalry.

I also got myself out to a little hoe down of my fellows in Sonoma and got right with God and then made some phone calls from there.

I can fall off the beam easily and have really black and white thinking.

At one point today I was ready to call it complete quits at my job.

Not because there’s something screamingly bad with my job, rather, there’s something off in me, something where my ability to speak up for myself and my needs gets lost in the shuffle and the next thing you know I’m doing a job that is not compatible with my needs and I’m a wreck.

I have to communicate.

Ugh.

No fun.

Except.

Maybe it can be, maybe I am here having this experience because I need to learn, again, how to do this thing called life, how to reconcile conflict and draw up some boundaries that are good for me and empower me.

I deserve the job I want and I can probably have it here and now as soon as I can draw upon the resources that are available to me.

My friends.

Who bolster me all the time.

I don’t see myself very well and sometimes I forget that I am a valuable asset, that I am smart and capable and worthy of my hire.

I have had this come up before.

How many times have I gotten to suss this out, many.

However, I am feeling a lot more stable in my need to articulate what I need and to ask for the compensation due the nature of the accommodating that I do for my family.

See.

I’m happy to accommodate.

But what I have discovered is that I need to be compensated, to continue being flexible and rolling with the punches and what have you, I need to get properly taken care of and I have lost my ability to speak up for what works best for me.

There is no malicious intent with my employers, god am I aware of that.

The malicious intent is within me, those things that I grew up with, the danger, and it was very real, of asking for what I needed.

I knew better than to ask for what I wanted, those things never got met and as for what I needed, I didn’t know, my needs were overwhelmed with the needs of my family.

There have been plenty of times in the past where I was asked what I wanted and I couldn’t tell you to save my life, it was so much easier for me to just ask what you wanted and roll the fuck over.

I didn’t even realize what I was doing and I did a lot of shoving down of unpalatable things to keep the balance going and to save myself from being annihilated.

That sounds extreme, but you get beaten for asking for what you need or asserting your needs, for a little while and get back to me on your stance then.

That shit stays with you.

I have done work.

I will continue to do work.

This is part of my work.

Recovery is integral and an absolute necessity.

School has been amazing.

Friends.

Oh my darling, dear, sweet, loving friends who advocate for me when I am not always so inwardly supported, have been instrumental in this.

Finding the support to take the actions that to me and my personality feel absolutely mind blowing and devastating to do has been crucial.

All the walking through the fear.

I have taken in so much love and support, especially this past week, to know that I can take the next steps to ask for what I need at the job.

And.

The best part?

I will be taken care of.

I always am.

I get to fuck it up.

I get to make a mess, I’m messy, it might be messy, I might fall on my face.

That will be ok.

Part of the process.

Part of living.

Learning and bearing witness, gently, when I can to my own process.

Really when I think about it after all the trauma, drama, and agonizing shit that happened to me it’s a fucking miracle that I am who I am, that I have what I have, that I have gotten to break out and make something of this life, that I didn’t roll over and die.

I am alive.

I am fucking resilient.

I am a living fucking testimony that you can get out and you can get better and that life is exquisite and amazing, astounding in it’s joys and astonishments.

The fawn that I startled out of the bushes today on the edge of the rental property.

The red tail hawk in the sky shrieking for its dinner.

The quails chasing through the underbrush.

The sun, warm on my face, I again turn toward the nut brown skin that is in me and glow with fire and heat.

The black berry brambles tumbling down the hill full of fruit.

The sun through the trees as it sinks golden and full with possibility as I climb Sonoma Mountain Road.

The boys, both of whom have found ways to further endear themselves to me as though sensing that tremulous moment when I was offered a job today, the mom having gotten my number through a friend at school, desperate to hire me and get the ball rolling.

Except.

I don’t want to work 50-60 hours a week and go to grad school.

No way.

No how.

In reality.

I already work that much.

My job fluctuates during the summer between 35-45 and since I started school between 28-35 hours a week.

Through in my recovery and that’s easily another 15-20 hours of my time.

I can’t even imagine trying to work more than that and go to school.

I knew that and gently thanked the woman to whom I was speaking and said thank you so much, but I can’t do the job you require.

She begged me to keep her in mind and I will, but not for me.  I also suggested an agency that she could go to.

There’s plenty of jobs out there should I fall flat asking for what I need or my needs are unable to get met at my current position.

It doesn’t mean that my needs won’t get met.

They will.

I just have to speak up for them.

And.

Big.

Deep.

Breath.

I will.

 

 

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.

 

Getting The Swing of Things

August 13, 2015

I am feeling so much better than yesterday.

Although I have to say, this morning.

Not so much.

I had a moment of, “fuck this.”

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I did.

But I also knew that moment was fleeting, a feeling, not a reality, an emotion that would go once I gave it some space to move on.

I was emotionally hung over from the night before.

I cried so much yesterday in my last class of the day and the emotions were so high for everyone involved, I was not the only person experiencing that and the flavor of the morning was subdued.

Suffice to say, I got to move through it, although I did find myself in tears again this morning discussing a point of view with the class, articulating how I was feeling and have felt some contempt prior to investigation with the program.

How I really have spent some time talking myself into this.

Is this the right program?

Am I doing this right?

I don’t fit in?

Or do I?

What are my goals, what do I want out of the experience, how do I move forward in a cohesive way, how to balance work and needing to cover my expenses with what is happening and what I have to do and the expectations of the teachers and what they each are looking for.

I leaned over to my class mate after I said my piece and how I felt that it was way too soon to already be crying.

She laughed and said she’d had a big cry before coming to class, so I was right on time.

And I know.

Get used to it kid.

It’s terrifying and awesome and amazing and completely new.

I have never had an experience like this and I am only three days into a three-year process.

When I extrapolate it out it’s going to be a much longer process than that, but from here to the degree is three years.

Three years time is going to pass no matter what I do, might as well get my Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology, I mean what else am I going to do?

And that’s not the full story, it’s just a part of the narrative I tell myself, because I have tried other programs and I have tried getting into other schools and the door was always shut, always blocked.

I have checked out education programs at San Francisco State, I have sat in on open houses, I have gone to City College, I applied to and was turned down by UCSF for their creative writing MFA program, same with a number of other places and spaces and programs.

But this program has opened to me and when ever I was uncertain something would happen, something would shift and I would get clear direction about how to continue to move forward.

Always, every time, every day from the first day that I posited maybe I should do this.

Maybe when he said to me last year at Burning Man, “you’re a child psychologist being paid babysitter wages,” I could have balked at it, turned away from it, not allowed myself to hear it.

But I was so open and hurting from the conflict with my boss, which was really just a conflict with myself and how I have to find the words to ask for what I need and if the job, whatever job, is one in which those needs can’t be met, I find another.

There are absolutely no scarcity of jobs for me.

In fact, I was offered a job today at lunch.

At least, I was felt out for a possible job and that felt good.

Not to say I have any plans on leaving the family I work for, but if they can’t provide me with what I need and I am going to have to ask for a raise, I should have already, but should have doesn’t serve, I just get to look at what i have been given, acknowledge that I have job security, that I have financial security.

Whether it comes from the family I am with or another.

I will be taken care of.

The more I learn these lessons the more I am going to be of service to my future clients.

I like saying that.

Clients.

I am going to be a therapist and I can tell I am going to be a good one.

Perhaps that feeling of knowing is where I find the most fear and also the most freedom, to acknowledge a set and defined career goal.

Not that I necessarily know where that path leads, or what divergence it may take, just that I am on it, I am on it for a reason, and I am going to be good at it.

I am good already.

Meaning.

I showed up.

I have not left.

I have not dropped.

I am on time.

i have been doing my best to keep up with the readings and I take notes like a motherfucker.

In fact, I can see I will be investing in a lot of pens, I am a note taker and a underliner and I like that, it helps me to assimilate the knowledge in my head.

I am learning more than I know as well.

Not just about the coursework, but about myself and these small revelations are just as worth note as the bigger ones, the “I made it into graduate school ma” kinds of epiphanies, I am learning about myself, my way of being in the world and showing up the way I do has been noted.

I am seen.

I am heard.

I am getting into it.

I am grateful for this.

And that I have a fucking awesome professor for my Therapeutic Communications course.

I’m excited by working with him.

Anxious too, but happy, and enthralled and he makes me sit up and pay attention.

I was in his class six hours today and it whipped by.

I was almost surprised when it was time to go and I look forward, very much, to working with him more and I am over the moon to feel the connection to the class and to the professor and to myself.

I can do this.

I am doing this.

I am a graduate school student.

Holy shit.

I’m doing this!

It’s a nice feeling.

I have trepidations still, but, I also have faith.

And that is where I will plant myself.

Secure in the knowledge that it’s all happening and as long as I show up with integrity and kindness for myself today.

The rest will follow.

It always does.

Every Body Talks About You

April 1, 2013

Back in San Francisco.

Oh jesus.

That is not what I wanted to hear.

“I have heard so much about you!” She said to me tonight, bringing me cheerful news of friends back in San Francisco.

She is here visiting with family, having moved from Seattle to San Francisco five months ago; basically at the same time I moved to Paris.

“How long do you plan on being here?”

Ah.

Well, fuck my mother.

I leave in a month.

At least that’s the plan for the moment.

My room-mate and I discussed options last night and he’s going to buy me a round trip ticket leaving sometime the first day or two of May.  I may or may not get out on the same flight as him.  His stipulation is that I repay him the cost of the ticket within a year.

I would like to do that as soon as possible.

I would like to not have him pay for it at all.

However, I will also not look a gift horse in the mouth, that is often, to mix my metaphors, my Achilles heel.

Please, God, let me play this forward.

That is really all I ask.  At some point may I help out a person in the same crazy circumstances as I.  Let this experience not be for naught.

I actually do not believe the experience has been for naught, that is just my drama pants self coming to the forefront.  Which it does, frequently.

Although I will say my ego tried mighty hard to step in this evening when I met my new friend.  I did not want to tell her I was going back, I did not want to admit that I had not been able to figure it out, that I was ultimately powerless over the French government and the Visa process.

That my life is an unmanageable mess.

That I am having thirds on the humility pie and I am loosening the belt for more of the same.  It is sort of the same idea I had when I went back to my highschool class reunion.  I wanted to be more than a professional nanny, I wanted to have something to show for myself, aside from my copious tattoos.

Thing is, I do have plenty to show for myself and no one to prove anything to.

Not even myself.

I came here.

I gave up everything I had to take a risk.

So the risk did not pan out.

So.

Fucking.

What.

I get to start over.

Try again.

Pick myself up and go forward.  There is no going back in that sense of the word.  I am not going back to San Francisco defeated.  I am going back to San Francisco stronger (and I have not got the ticket yet, it is still hanging out there in a nebulous space-time continuum) and wiser and with new experiences under my belt and new avenues of thought and new perspective.

Tell you what, I am now and always going to be humbled by the ease by which I can get a job in the states.  Being here in Paris jealous of people working in cafes or schools or as au pairs simply because they can, gives me a new humility about wanting work.

I will take what ever I can get.

I will go to a temp agency.

I will intern.

Fuck, at this point I am ready and willing to go to a McDonald’s.

I will work in a cubicle, wash dishes, whatever it takes.  Just to walk in and be able to apply anywhere, regardless of the outcome, is a huge gift.  I don’t have to have a grandparent with a passport or marry my room-mate or do something illegal.

I can just get a job.

Any job.

And a job is not a career.  My career is this, being a writer, I am a writer no matter what, no matter where.  I am not whether or not I am published or successful in the financial meaning of the word.

“I envy your discipline,” he said to me.

The fact is this and nothing less or more.

I write every day.

Twice a day.

Three times a day.

That makes me a writer.  Putting pen to paper.  Surrendering to a practice, making a habit of having a habit.  Not a habit that is going to kill me either.  A habit that brings me joy, even if it feels difficult and unruly.  I am ultimately more myself when I allow myself the time to sit and drop the words, onto the screen or into the notebook.

Then I let them go, wild geese, into the wilderness.

There need not be an audience, although one is nice and I appreciate those that do watch, just me, watching the twilight sing of the backs of the stories I send forth.

That is all.

My ego wants it to be different, to return to San Francisco triumphant and full of glory, pockets full of money and book contracts.

If I return, when I return, it will be with abundance and joy.

Experiential.

Which when my life closes will mean more than platitudes and fistfuls of cash.

Not that I wouldn’t like a few handfuls, in the end, it is not the number in my bank account either that will be the measure of my success.

It is how often I listen to my heart and leap always knowing that I have succeeded when I let myself jump instead of sitting on the sidelines watching others do the things that I want to do.  I have not stumbled, I have not failed, I have, rather, watched myself grow and evolve.  I have been of service both acknowledged and unacknowledged.

I have been willing to try new things and go new places and be afraid and walk through it.

I do not need your approval to approve of myself.

Even if you are all talking about me, which, really, that is about the only I do doubt!


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