Posts Tagged ‘joy of living’

One Dozen

January 14, 2017

Long stem blushing pink roses.

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

That was what greeted me this morning.

Actually.

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

I took out my camera and shot a few photographs.

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

That camera a gift.

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

I awoke to love.

Great love.

Outpourings of love.

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

I felt blessed.

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

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

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

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

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

Oh.

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

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

Things move a pace.

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

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

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

And it’s not a paid internship.

Most aren’t.

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

Well.

Fucked.

And impossible.

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

The Liberation Institute.

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

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

Yes and yes please.

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

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

And well, that would allow me to do it.

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

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

Sure.

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

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

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

I’d be homeless.

You bet.

I’d be dirty and broken and soul less.

I might be dead.

If I were lucky I’d be dead.

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

No thank you.

So a balance needs to be made.

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

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

One hour at a time.

One fucking minute at a time sometimes.

And here.

Twelve years later.

Fierce and free and strong.

Joyful and happy.

Content and blessed.

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

It boggles my fucking mind.

Yes.

Yes it does.

Boggles I say.

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

Well.

Everything else will follow.

That’s been my experience.

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

I always knew where to go.

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

Holding hands with strangers that became family.

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

How this works?

I can not tell you.

I don’t know.

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

You can’t keep it without giving it away.

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

I mean.

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

Been there.

Done that.

God’s got better plans.

Yes.

Thank God.

And thank you.

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

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

I have so very much.

Yes, love.

Love.

For you.

Always.

Forever.

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Deleting Photographs

November 3, 2016

Listening to jazz.

Specifically Art Tatum.

The scratchy sound of the needle dragging though the vinyl is succulent and the glow in my cozy, sweet home is warm and inviting.

I’m deleting photographs in waves.

I had over 10,700 on my hard drive.

They have all been safely moved to my external drive and I’m now in the process of deleting them off my laptop.

I have to say it’s challenging.

There’s a tiny part of me that wants to not delete them, what if they didn’t transfer?

But they did.

And the photos are taking up way too much space on my laptop.

It’s been running slow, telling me constantly to delete files, disk is full.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear you, I’m working on it computer.

Thanks to my special help, it takes a village, it does, I was able to secure my pix and now, ha!  Now I can take more.

Well.

Not yet.

But soon.

I’m figuring January.

I’ll be flush enough to get a new camera.

I’m not sitting horribly at the moment, but I did buy a ticket to Wisconsin and a ticket to Paris this past month, just paid rent, just wrote the check from my health insurance and bought my mom her birthday present.

I’ll be sending that off tomorrow.

I love sending presents.

I love the idea of seeing someone’s face when they get something I have gotten for them.

I like to give.

I’m a giver.

Shocking.

I know.

When I have been in financial straits I tend to make things, and truth be told, I’m thinking about doing that this year.

I’m not really in straits, I’m just not as flush as I would like.

I’m doing ok and I’m not going to stress, but I was also thinking that I love cooking and it might be nice to make chicken soup for friends at school.

Last year around this time I went over to a friend’s house and cooked food for him for what probably lasted him weeks if not a month while he was going through a challenging time.

Cream of broccoli soup with cheddar cheese and bacon.

And.

Chili with sirloin and three kinds of beans.

Plus a huge pan of cornbread.

It was right around this time, I do remember, it might have actually have been Halloween, I remember there were trick or treaters going around and I used candied corn and bacon, because I roll like that, in the pan of cornbread I made.

I miss baking.

I don’t miss eating it, though I can get nostalgic for it.

But I do miss baking.

Sometimes I wish I could just get all the stuff and bake up a storm like I used to when I lived in Wisconsin.

Sugar cookies with frosting.

Brazil nut toffee.

Popcorn balls.

Fudge.

With and without nuts, but frankly, it’s so much better with nuts.

I miss making cheesecakes and pies, pumpkin pies and apple pies especially at this time of year.

I miss that feeling that, warm, soft glowing feeling that I got as I puttered around my kitchen, mixing and measuring, baking, and kneading, frosting sugar cookies.

I do.

I always get a bit nostalgic for it when I’m heading into the holidays.

The photographs I have been deleting also reminded me of that.

I’m currently in the middle of the 1,000s of photos I took when I lived in Paris.

And I have to say.

Fuck.

I’m a pretty damn good amateur photographer.

There were some really good shots.

And I loved seeing the Paris around Christmas time photographs.

The lights were so gorgeous.

Definitely different from what you see in the states, but they had an allure.

I was also so broke when I lived there, taking pictures was all I could afford to do.

Although I did splurge during the holidays.

Mostly on postage.

I sent my family and friends postcards and Christmas cards from Paris.

I found a photograph of my table, one of my favorite perches at the neighborhood cafe at that was on the same corner where I lived, Rue de Bellefond, in the 9th, Odette and Aime.

I had a glass of water.

A cafe allonge, which is basically an Americano, or a black coffee–I was already skimping on the milk, the cafe cremes were just too pricey.

My notebook.

My bag of pens.

And tons of cards and postcards and stickers from the librairie that was by Square D’Anvers that I made myself a nuisance at.

I couldn’t really afford the pens and paper there, but I would treat myself once in a while, I would buy a card or if I was feeling extravagant, a Claire Fontaine notebook, I would wander the aisles and look at everything.

I was very polite to the owners and once that got used to me and the fact that I always bought something, even if it was tiny, went along way.

Bonjour Madame.

Bonjour.

And I would wile away the time in the aisles longingly caressing the notebooks and smelling the good paper smell.

I love paper.

I love books.

I love, love, love the way they feel and look and well, Paris was a hard place for that luxury when I was living there.

When I went back last Christmas I gave myself carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted to paper wise.

I actually had a challenging time with it for a little while.

Grow up poor and in scarcity, even when there is none, even when I had fat Euro, for me, in my pocket, Euro that was not needing to go to rent or groceries, or god forbid a cafe creme, I had a hard time spending it.

For a few days I was acting as though I couldn’t part with them.

I actually forced myself the first time to buy a notebook at a papeterie my first day there.

Yes, there are paper stores there.

Exclusively paper and pens and auto collants.

STICKERS.

God I love me some stickers.

Shut up.

I did get past it and I did allow a few splurges.

But truth be told.

I could have let myself have more.

That’s a thing.

Letting myself have more.

Nice coffee.

Nice candles.

Nice hair products.

It’s ok to take care of myself.

I still want to give, I do love gifting, there is just something about it, but I also want to let myself have things.

Whether it is an experience, which is usually where I spend my money–traveling.

Or.

A nice pair of pants.

I deserve to have nice things.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Lest I forget.

And the best thing about the photographs?

They remind me, gently of how far I have come.

When I moved back from Paris three years ago I was broke.

I mean.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

I have come a long fucking way.

Let me tell you.

And I’m so grateful for the perspective.

And that I documented my experience.

The photographs have been a joy to relive.

Looking forward to making more.

Having more.

Allowing more into my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Free.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Yes, always.

Cures For The Every Day

July 18, 2016

Emotional hang over.

Get eight hours of sleep.

Get up and drink cold brewed iced coffee from the last of the Mojo Coffee I brought back from New Orleans.

Go to yoga.

Cry on the mat.

A lot.

Then do the fucking pose.

Breathe.

Do it again.

Go home.

Shower.

Realize that it doesn’t matter that I am terrorized to have confrontation.

Will do it anyway.

Finding over the course of the day as I focus less and less on the “problem” and more and more on the solution, that it will work itself out.

Even though I am afraid.

That’s ok.

Be afraid.

Just don’t not take any action.

Today’s actions also included meeting with two ladies back to back and doing some reading and sharing experience, hope, strength, faith versus fear, and lots of letting go.

I had a nice breakfast too.

More coffee as well.

Did some writing.

Wrote a really long gratitude list in which I also expressed being grateful for the challenges in my life as I get to grow from them and through them.

Get my ducks in a row and then headed out to the MOMA to visit with a couple of friends and get a dual membership.

Seriously.

This is the way to go.

My friend and I split the dual membership which is $150 for the year.

So, $75 a piece and I can go any time I want for the next year.

Considering that a one time ticket to the museum is $25 I’ll pay it off in two more visits.

Plus.

I get to bring in 2 people with me as visitors.

So.

You want to get your MOMA on.

Let me know.

Even if I just go down and get you in and do a gallery or two, I figure that may happen once in a while, pop in, just see a few things and pop out.

Plus.

The place is huge.

They really added onto it and it’s now 7 floors of art.

So much scrumptious, delicious, devastating art.

I was so happy.

I got to see some of my favorites from the permanent collection that I always love to see–Warhol’s Triple Elvis, of course the various Marilyn’s, the Dolly Parton’s too, so good.

Rothko.

Gerhard Richter.

Hopper.

All the Calder pieces, so many!

Diane Arbus photographs.

And the Oculus bridge!

I was so happy to see that they kept that part of the museum.

It is one of my favorite bits and I walked across it happy in the moment and also softly aware of the moments prior when I walked it first.

That being back in 2000.

Wow.

Sixteen years of going to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

I have always had a membership since I moved here in 2002.

Excepting while it was closed for the renovation.

My information was still in their system and it was a lovely little trip down memory lane layered with so much gratitude.

See.

I used to work down town, at Hawthorne Lane, which is now Benu I believe, and I used to go to the MOMA cafe on my way into work and sit in front of the museum and smoke cigarettes and drink lattes and people watch.

A lot of times I was also recovering from a hang over.

Or I was still high from the night before.

I used the bathrooms all the time.

But.

I never used in them.

I couldn’t ever bring myself to.

It was sacrilegious.

It was my church.

Art still is my church.

Museums are where I go to commune with God.

Get high on art.

I just couldn’t do it.

I don’t recall a single time being able to allow myself to do it.

I didn’t have a problem using the bathrooms at the park across the street, or at Starbucks on 3rd and Howard, or at the Metreon.

Fuck.

I could get high all over the city.

The W Hotel bar right there on the corner.

Or.

Dave’s sports Bar on 3rd at Market.

But the MOMA?

Fuck no.

I just couldn’t do it.

And I was so grateful to know that my bastion of art and love was never tainted with that.

Granted I don’t have a problem going places I have used before, but I am quite grateful that I never did there.

It was sort of like how I felt about music.

When I first was in the club scene here in the city I was all about the ecstasy and the cocaine and the dancing and the getting out.

But.

Eventually I didn’t enjoy it anymore.

Spending too much time in the bathrooms and not enough time on the dance floor.

Or.

Just wanting, desperately to be home in my room before the sun came up so that I could use the way I wanted to use without anyone bearing witness to it.

It was not a good scene.

And.

Eventually I couldn’t even use at home with the music on.

It got real quiet.

And.

Real uncomfortable.

Real fucking fast.

All the small reminders as I was downtown, which is a different downtown than it was eleven and a half years ago, but still, plenty of sense memories to recall and remember and to get to be at the MOMA.

A place, one of the first places, I went to when I first came to SF in 2000, that I revered and loved and still do.

So much.

It was an honor and a privilege to buy my membership.

Despite my fears of financial insecurity.

Despite my over magnifying mind trying to blow up a simple boundary request at work into a scenario where I am homeless and alone living with a feral cat in the park.

I got to amend my behavior.

I got to drop a few bucks and make good on my promise to live this day fully, with love and presence and the gift of being there with friends and running into my sweet Parisian friend from school and her husband.

I am so graced.

And.

I don’t have an emotional hang over at all.

It dissipated in the groundswell of gratitude flooding my heart.

Happy.

Joyous.

And oh.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Free.

 

A Possible Solution

July 13, 2016

Day by day.

One small action at a time.

Things are falling into place.

I bought my ticket last night.

I made some calls today.

And.

Ooh.

I got a message that will need some exploring, but it looks like I will have a fabulous friend’s set up at Burning Man.

In fact.

It may work out really well for both of us.

I have to go early and leave early.

She won’t be able to get there until the day or the day after I need to leave.

I can go, take her gear, tent, sleeping mattress, etc, and get her tent set up, have it for the first part of the event, then leave it there, all nice and set up for her to take over for the second part of the weekend.

I mean.

Freaking fabulous.

I will be conferring with her this Thursday.

Last Thursday I had the heart to heart with me, myself, and I, did some inventory, got right with God and made the leap to go to Burning Man.

Less than a week later, ticket purchased and possible camp set up, well, set up.

Freaking amazing.

Rather like the show I just came from.

Diana Ross.

DIANA ROSS!

So freaking good.

The woman is what, 72 years old?

And she can still sing.

I mean sing.

Here’s the set list from the show, In The Name of Love Tour:

  1. “Overture”
  2. I’m Coming Out
  3. More Today Than Yesterday
  4. My World Is Empty Without You” / “Baby Love” / “Stop! In the Name of Love” / “You Can’t Hurry Love
  5. Love Child
  6. “Instrumental Sequence”
  7. The Boss
  8. Touch Me in the Morning
  9. Upside Down
  10. Love Hangover” / “Take Me Higher” / “Ease on Down the Road
  11. “Instrumental Sequence”
  12. The Look of Love
  13. Don’t Explain
  14. Why Do Fools Fall in Love
  15. Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)
  16. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  17. “Instrumental Sequence”
  18. I Will Survive
Encore
19. “I Will Survive” (Reprise)

 

The encore was actually shorter than I thought it would be, but her voice, by the end of the show was tight, it was just starting to get a little noticeable in her last two songs, but her energy was super high.

I was hella impressed.

And quite happy to see so many friends in the audience and to be there with my friend from school.

I felt super happy to be there and to see an icon and be in the theater with so many people who obviously just adored her.

So much joy.

“You are hitting musical jackpots,” my person texted me this morning.

She had asked what my principle was for today and I responded happy since I didn’t think fabulous was a spiritual principle, though, I could be wrong, it seems to fall under “joy of living.”

And she’s right.

I got to see Paul Simon at the Greek.

I have gotten to see Diana Ross at the Orpheum.

I am going to get to see Mike Doughty in somebody’s living room in Burlingame in September.

And who the hell knows who I will see at Burning Man.

Odds are generally good that I will see some good music.

The dj set I caught last year on top of the Mayan art car deep in the playa was astounding.

And since I won’t have to work, I will be able to go play and dance and not worry about getting “home” at a reasonable hour.

More like getting home, to San Francisco in time to see Mike Doughty play and get myself ready for the first weekend of my second year of school.

I had a moment of thinking about going to Outside Lands, but one, it’s sold out, and two, it’s sold out, and three, I’m not always great at great big festival thingy’s.

Too many people.

Yeah.

I know.

I’m going to Burning Man, but it’s pretty spread out.

It’s about as big as San Francisco in circumference.

It covers about seven square miles.

That’s a lot of space.

Outside Lands happens in Golden Gate Park and it has about oh 40-50 thousand people.

Per day.

That’s a lot of freaking people in a space that is not all that big.

I should know too, I live by the park and it is always a bit of a shit show the weekend of the festival.

I have only been once and that was almost three years ago when I first moved into this studio.

I had been given VIP passes by my employer for the last day of the event.

It was actually really a lot of fun to see Hall and Oates from VIP.

I saw a dj, who I can’t remember now, who was really good, and some fun people watching but I was pretty over it, pretty quick.

Too many people.

I did resolve though, tonight, watching Lady Diana Ross up on that stage, girl, she changed three, no, four times!  That I should make an effort to keep going to live music shows.

There is something about it that just fills me up.

And I love music.

Radio Head will be at Outside Lands, that might be fun to see, and Grimes.

But yeah, not too worried about missing the shows.

I will be busy with plenty of other things.

My weekend is getting a tiny bit booked up already and it’s just Tuesday.

A tentative MOMA date with a friend in the afternoon on Sunday.

A blind coffee date on Saturday in the early afternoon.

Doing the deal with the ladies.

Doing some yoga.

Really glad I got up this morning and went.

I will definitely be hitting the yoga again a few times this week.

Not tomorrow though, early to work and a longer day for me, it’s the dad’s birthday.

Ah.

Anyway.

Happy feet.

Sore feet.

Busy feet.

One step at a time.

Doing a little happy dance of joy.

Getting my diva on.

Diana Ross.

Getting my Burning Man.

Fuck yeah.

One foot in front of the other.

Life is fucking fabulous.

Seriously.

 

 

 

Doing All The Things

May 23, 2016

I mean.

Seriously.

I broke it off today.

And I don’t feel broken, albeit tired, albeit a little keyed up from the day, but so in love with myself and the gift I gave to myself of doing this trip.

Now.

Don’t get me wrong.

I have had some moments of dis-ease (disease) and had to quietly pull myself back and get real and be grateful for all the things I have been given and all the experiences I have gotten to do.

Twice over the last two days or so I had moments of wishing I was not alone having a meal or walking through Brooklyn.

I wanted to be with someone.

I wanted to be holding a hand.

I wanted to be sharing conversation.

I wanted to be coupled up.

And those things are not wrong, that’s just human nature.

I just have to tread carefully in those areas because I can fall into the self-pity pot all to easily and frankly I’m all for avoiding potholes at this time in my life.

I’m being a good girl.

I mean I am being a very, very, very good girl.

I did no Tinder’ing while I was here, frankly the idea of trying to figure out how to hook up with someone out here was just too much to even fucking contemplate.

And yeah.

I like sex.

A LOT.

However, I don’t need it that bad.

I’m not desperate.

And I’m not an addict.

Although I play one on tv.

Just kidding.

Oh.

And I had the opportunity.

Believe me.

It was on the table.

However.

I turned down the offer after finding out said offer was not in my best interest–really too complicated and stupid to even write about here.

And.

I also ran into someone I met at Burning Man in 2013.

“I’m sorry, I know it seems I’ve been staring at you for the last hour,” he said to me sidling into my space yesterday afternoon after we had closed up and said the prayers and did the deal.  “I mean,” he eyed me up and down (I can’t remember the last time I was that blatantly, to my face, scoped out), “I really like your look.”

“Thanks I said,” and I his, let me be honest.

“And I remember where I know you from,” he added, “you go to Burning Man, you’re hair’s different, but I recognized your tattoos.”  He paused, “you’ve gotten a few more I see, and you’re hair was blue the last time I saw you.”

He handed me his card and asked what I was doing the rest of the day.

My friend swooped in, “Hey, _______, I see you met Carmen, she’s one of my oldest friends, I’m stealing her back now,” he said and took my elbow.

I mean, tall, dark and handsome was tempting, but my friend, my old friend, my friend from the early days of the crazy, he was who I wanted to spend time with.

And there was a time when I would have ditched a friend in a heart beat for a piece of action.

Not so much now.

My friends are treasures and I don’t get out here often, twice in the eight years my old friend has lived here–we caught up at the deal in Atlanta last July and I usually see him for a minute if he gets out to SF, but he’s busy, I’m busy, so no getting busy for me.

And I’m grateful for that.

Then.

Another gentleman who had reached out to me this trip.

I texted him back.

“Hey, when you get a chance, give me a call,” I wrote earlier this afternoon.

I was surprised to not get a call for awhile then just a few minutes back, he finally did.

“Ah, I knew it was coming,” he said to me on the phone, his voice thick with the chagrin and the knowing of what I had decided I was going to tell him.

“You’re first year is a gift I don’t want to intrude on,” I summed it up, “I don’t date guys when they’ve got less than a year.”

It’s not my place, I don’t want to mess up anyone’s shit, and yeah, I know my pussy’s not that powerful, I’m not the reason some one relapses or stays sober, but I see a lot of folks that get focused on the dating deal and not doing the deal and I respect and like this guy.

So after consulting with the powers that be, “I need to tell on myself,” I told my person as I walked around Chelsea today after an amazing afternoon at The New Whitney Museum.

“It’s just really nice to be told how beautiful you are, that someone who is attractive finds me so compelling, I mean, it’s super ego feeding and I know that I can’t see this guy, I know it’s not right, it’s just, well, yeah, tempting.”

“Good on you for telling on yourself, and now you won’t do that, because that’s not the woman you are,”  I was told.

Yup.

“Get your year,” I said, “don’t let me interfere with it.”

He knew, he told me that was what he thought I was going to say.

He was sweet.

And I hung up the phone feeling like.

Well.

An adult.

Perhaps an adult with the hormones of a horny sixteen year old girl, but an adult.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I don’t want to hurt anyone.

Sometimes it’s inevitable and someone gets hurt and I can be sorry for that and still not engage, and that’s what an adult does too.

And sometimes God blows magic fairy dust all over me and I am suddenly Alice in the looking glass.

“OH, I was just about to bring that in,” he said as I was snapping pictures of this spectacular piece of sculpture art in the front area of one of the historic brownstones in Fort Greene Brooklyn.

“I love it,” I said, “It just, well, it’s amazing.”

We started to talk.

He was the artist, Doug Beube.

He told me a few things, we chatted about me and my travels and being a nanny and a grad school student and then somehow onto Burning Man and I asked, I don’t know why, serendipity, God, what have you.

I told him about my favorite piece from last year-Storied Haven.

And then.

He cocked his head at me and said, “I don’t suppose you want to see my studio?”

OH my God.

I was so floored.

“I know, trying to get a beautiful woman into my house, and all, but,” he paused, “I think you’ll like it.”

I joked, “as long as your studio isn’t in your bedroom, I’d be honored.”

I was not only honored.

I was blown the fuck away.

The man’s work is amazing.

AMAZING.

I was in tears a number of time, over awed by the depth and breadth and beauty of his work.

I took a lot of photos-they’re up on my facecrack page and on twitter and intstagram, and I’d put them here, but they just do not do them justice, my photos, so check out his website.

www.dougbeube.com

So good.

He works with old books and cuts them up and remakes them and he does photography and organic art and found art and these cunning little sculptures and so much political art that was poignant and beautiful, so insightful, so thoughtful, it was just such an over the moon experience.

I mean I got to go to the Brooklyn Museum, the MOMA, and The New Whitney and then, to top it off I get a private tour of this amazing artist out of nowhere?

Who is the luckiest girl in the world?

Me.

Hands down.

And perhaps I should change that up as I realize I have been a woman.

A proud woman, a respectful woman, a woman who looks the world in the face and who above all is not afraid to smile and thank someone for their contributions.

We all want to be seen.

And when I am allowed to see someone and the things that they do that make them artists, I am so very grateful.

I am blessed.

I am graced.

I am loved.

Thanks New York, thanks Brooklyn, thanks to my friends who drank coffee with me and the ones I called and said, hey where should I eat today, and all the friends who said, hey check this place out and to all those people who smiled at me in the city and said, “nice outfit!”

I like being seen too.

It’s been special New York.

Thank you.

From the bottom of my heart.

Which I left in San Francisco.

Time for me to go back home.

But you will not soon be forgot.

I promise.

Kisses.

And.

Big.

Big.

Big.

Love.

 

Give It Up

February 8, 2016

Give it up.

Come on darlin’ give me your love.

A little bit of love and some affection.

Keep me moving in the right direction.

God I love music.

Just sitting here listening to Steve Miller.

Yeah.

I know.

I am sure there are better artists and better music, but sometimes just a little old school 70s rock does it for me, and I like to belt it out and sing along and dance a little and be silly.

I also listened to a lot of Masters of Reality this weekend.

I downloaded the entire discography the other day and it really is quite splendid.

I don’t know why I haven’t done so before, I have just always listened to Sunrise on the Surfer Bus.

Which may be one of the best album titles ever.

Plus.

The album cover is a rabbit on a bicycle.

Heh.

You know I like the bunnies.

Fuck.

It’s just such a good album.

I may be putting it back on the stereo to write the rest of my blog.

I listened to the entire discography today in between doing the things that I needed to take care of for school, self-care, work prep, and yes, just enjoying living life in one of the most beautiful places in the world–San Francisco.

It was a glorious day today.

Mid 60s and though the neighborhood was busy, it wasn’t as busy as it would have been if there hadn’t been that sport ball thing happening.

I mean, it was gorgeous out there today.

I did make a point of being out in it for a little while too.

I knew I would not be a happy girl if I just stayed inside all day and did homework.

I did do a lot of homework too.

I have started doing the Applied Spirituality assignments, the professor signed off on my proposal, so I started doing that work yesterday and continued today.

It’s been interesting and I am looking at it differently and realizing that although there is no need for me to improve myself, man I can get on a self-improvement kick like no body’s business, self-acceptance is where it’s at for me, but I can deepen my practice.

So with that in mind I found a spiritual reader that I had forgotten I had and read it after I did my regular routine this morning, my writing, et al, and then I colored for a while meditating on the little card I had in front of me.

We been working so hard 

Come on baby let’s dance.

Pardon me, Steve Miller interruption.

The music’s calling.

What I chose to read is a Just For Today card that I discovered in my wallet when I was looking for something else entirely.

Serendipity.

Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once.  I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Fuck do I know that.

And that’s what I focused on.

Ok.

There are some things that I need to do and I would find it appalling if I thought that I had to do them every day for the rest of my life, I would vomit from the sustained effort.

However.

If I break things down, small pieces, manageable bites, I can accomplish a lot.

Like.

Laundry, grocery shopping (freaking mad house at SafeWay where it would seem the entire Outer Sunset was trying to buy snacks and beer for the football thing), cooking for the week, my Applied Spirituality homework, writing a paper for The Clinical Relationship, doing the deal, going for a walk, making program calls, checking in.

Not checking out.

I was also determined, as I mentioned earlier, that I was going to allow myself some outside time today.

I knew I had to write the Clinical Relationship paper and if i timed it correctly, or well, there’s really no right or wrong, nor a need to be perfect, but if I set myself up well, I knew I was going to be able to have some outside time for myself.

Which is huge.

I love being outside.

Perhaps because I love coming home so much.

But I am over the moon when it is nice out and I am outside.

I actually put sunscreen on today.

It’s February.

I love California.

Just sayin’.

Anyway.

I did all my early work, the errands, and shopping and household stuff and one big phone check in, then I made myself a fabulous lunch and cooked food up for the week and extra for next weekend’s classes, then I ate my lunch outside, in the sunshine.

My feet up in a chair, the sun on my face.

No phone.

No computer.

No book.

No magazine.

Just sunshine.

The blue sky.

My food.

And some Masters of Reality booming out of the stereo.

Then.

I came inside and had to do some praying.

I get fucking anxious before writing a paper and I can at least recognize that I am feeling the dread, but it’s freaky, how intense it is.

I laughed with a friend later this evening when I was talking about the feeling and how I never had it when I was getting my under grad degree and I realized.

OH.

Of course I didn’t feel anxious.

I was drinking.

Even if I felt anxious, which I probably did, I have historically had anxiety, shocker, no?

I wouldn’t have felt it as I was covering it up with the booze.

Boy howdy.

l feel it now.

Grateful beyond words that I have had a sustained and active recovery that shows me my fears are overblown and that I can’t fuck it up unless I don’t do it.

I cleared my upset tummy, prayed, drank a big cup of tea and got on it.

I read and re-read my notes, and skimmed back over the portions of the texts I wanted to use, then I launched into the writing.

An hour and a half later.

I had my paper.

Granted.

It’s not finished.

I have to go back in and properly cite using APA format.

But, the basic paper is done, five pages, 1,685 words.

My current blog, the one I am writing at this moment currently is at 1,067 words.

Add to that my morning pages and I’m way over 3,500 words for the day.

Not bad.

But if you told me that I was going to sustain that for a lifetime.

You bet your ass I would be appalled.

Yikes.

But I can sustain if for today.

And that’s just what I did.

Then.

Yes!

I had indeed timed it well, small success, and I caught the last half hour of the sunset down at the beach.

I took a big walk around the neighborhood, mailed a postcard to a friend in Wisconsin, called a girlfriend on the phone and made plans for the week of the 15th, and then hit the beach.

The light was amazing and gold orange.

It was the kind of light that you could swim in.

I am so lucky.

I have such an amazing life.

I have a beautiful little home.

A great big heart.

Music.

Friends.

Recovery.

Grad school.

God.

You know.

All the things.

 

Stalling

January 25, 2016

But not stalled out.

Although, I admitted to a person of mine that I did indeed feel like I wanted to bail, that I have had enough, I’m done, I’m not doing my homework, stamping foot.

Stamp.

Stamp.

Stamp.

But I did do a lot of homework anyway.

As I sometimes explain to the five year old when he doesn’t want to do something, “you can not want to do it and do it anyway, you get to do it.”

Most of the time not wanting to do something for him is not the horrendous nightmare of being fed kale or broccoli, rather it’s not wanting to stir off the floor to go out to the park.

“Come on, you love the park,” I cajole him.

“No.  I want to stay inside,” he will reply petulant.

I don’t know what’s up with that, I always wanted to be outside, out of the house, on my own, doing my bit, playing how I wanted to play, exploring, adventuring, sallying forth with no regard to time of day and when or how I would get back home.

I however, was escaping what were often intolerable home situations and experiences.

Being outside was my great escape, my first experience with God, or as I like to think of it, the G.reat O.ut D.oors.

I was talking with my person on the phone about a conversation I had with my mom recently, school stuff, and the ramifications of realizing how vulnerable I feel when I am reading about a psychoanalytical theory and how the manifestations of so many issues arise from my childhood.

It seems that I ache with every theory and postulate, I see myself, my experience, the things that happened, the way I choose to disassociate, or check out, if you will, the self-medicating I used to do.

Basic stuff that I realize I almost never do now.

Except when I do them.

And it will be a shock, a surprise, a moment of realization, oh, I’m doing that, what need do I have that I am not fulfilling?

How can I better take care of myself?

What do I need to do to bolster my own self-esteem?

Or self-worth?

I did not get the kind of primary nurturing and attending to that children need to grow up with a strong stable sense of self.

I am not blaming my mom.

I am not blaming society.

I am not blaming my grandparents.

I am not blaming the nature of alcoholism, sexual abuse, trauma, neglect, addiction.

I am not looking even for an answer.

If I had the answers would I feel any differently?

I am just accepting that things happened and that there is still work to be done and attention to be paid and actions to be taken.

I get to have this experience.

School reading, psychology theory, brings it up.

What’s wrong with client x?

He was abandoned, neglected, beaten as a child.

What’s wrong with patient z?

She was neglected, ignored, improperly nourished, as a child.

What’s wrong with patient, ad infinitum.

So much seems to stem from these early basic child hood patterns and seeing them, reading about them, recognizing characteristics and traits in myself, I am sometimes saddened.

Often times grateful.

I somehow made it out and through and beyond.

(My own creation of friends, family, fellowship which has nurtured me, raised me, really)

I will be literally struck by how challenging these things are to a young, budding psyche and be amazed that I am not curled up in a fucking ball somewhere, hiding under my bed.

Or.

In my closet under a pile of clothes.

Or anywhere I can have a wall at my back.

In other words.

I am resilient.

And I love that about myself and that I get to forgive all those things, that I don’t have to continue holding onto them, that I can let go, but down the boulder of shame and the burdens of other people’s guilt, they are not mine to carry and I am not interested in doing their heavy labor any longer.

I am, rather, interested in doing what makes me happy.

Going blonde.

What satisfies me.

Having dinner with a dear friend.

Oh my God, that sushi was awesome.

What fulfills me.

Working with a ladybug today and talking about defects of character.

Doing good self care, which included pulling out the chaise and sweeping up the dust bunnies in the corner and cleaning my rugs and sweeping and doing laundry.

Grocery shopping and buying food I like.

Cooking for myself.

And.

Yes.

Doing my taxes.

I laughed out loud though, when I realized I was doing my taxes to avoid doing my psychology homework.

So.

I made some calls and outed myself and when it was done and I had lunch in my belly, I sat and I read.

And I read.

And I read some more.

I got a lot done.

I finished up the reading for one of my classes completely and got a good start in on the next.  I also ascertained a due date on a paper and started doing a little preliminary tabbing and marking in my text to make notes for the paper.

And when the reading got hard, it did, partially from the standpoint of this is new material and partially from the stand point, of ouch, damn it, I relate a little too much to this, can’t wait til I’m in therapy again, ouch, stop it.

I stopped.

I took a breath.

I went outside on the back porch and caught some sun.

It’s pretty sheltered so if the wind isn’t too blowy and the day is not overcast, there’s a nice little spot to get some sunshine on my face.

Or.

I made some tea.

Actually.

I made a lot of tea.

I was a tea drinking fiend today.

It’s a kind of self-soothing for me.

It warms me up, I feel safe, somehow, taken care of, it’s nurturing.

Granted I may go to the bathroom a bunch, but it does the trick.

And it’s much healthier than some other things I have tried to make me feel better.

Cigarettes.

Vodka.

Cocaine.

Donuts.

And it was literally something suggested to me as a way to self-soothe.

“If it gets bad, take a hot bath, and bring a cup of hot tea in the bath with you,” my therapist said.

Sometimes it was too hard to even get myself into the bath.

I am not at that place any longer, I have done the work to move forward and I shall continue doing the work that arises, but once in a while, it will sting, and it will reveal things about me and my life and I will be tender.

And that is ok.

I got to my place of being ok with it.

I got my small procrastination on and did my taxes.

Heh.

But mostly.

I just let myself be a student and I let myself be seen by myself with unconditional love and positive regard.

“You’re doing a good job, kid,” I said to myself this afternoon.

And you know what?

I am.

The One Thing I Don’t Like About You

October 14, 2015

Whoa.

Hey there cowboy.

It’s too early to have my inventory taken.

It got taken anyway.

I got an apology that was very sweet when I pointed out how it felt to be scolded.

My friend, I know, I heard him, did not mean it to come out that way.

The way, I think, I could be wrong, hind sight is never truly 20/20, is, “hey, there’s this thing you do and it detracts from who you are and what an awesome person you could be, why, you’re amazing, you could be even more amazing if you changed this thing about you.”

I bristled.

I always bristle at criticism.

However.

Thank you grad school work, specifically, yes, I am going to say it, thank you T-Group.

Ugh.

All the fucking work I did in that class, and have yet to do, there is a big paper due for the class, one that I won’t focus on quite yet as I have a few other papers ahead of it, but one I do have to address some reading for really soon, although perhaps not this week, all the work.

Well.

It paid off.

I don’t see myself the way that others see me.

My friend says I have all this talent for writing and creativity and such.

I quibble.

I say.

Nah, shucks, I ain’t all that good.

I don’t know the caliber of my writing or the goodness or lack there of.

Or.

Any of it.

I do know that I have gotten better and so much of that has to do with the constant, daily, showing up to write.

I write, on average, 2,500 to 3,000 words a day.

My blog is about 1,1200 to 1,500 words and then I write three pages long hand in the morning.

The days that I write a paper, like Sunday, I wrote over 5,000 words.

5,000.

Damn Gina.

That’s a lot of words.

Even if I started out with just a middling talent for writing, all the practice is going to produce better results.

I will say, I will agree, that I have an ear for words, I like them, they sing to me, I like finding different ways to look at them and arrange them.

Even.

I would argue.

How they fall on the page.

When I started breaking up my lines and sentences more often in my blogs, I liked the way they looked better.

They, the blogs, also felt better.

I don’t have a cognitive theory behind it.

I just like the way it looks.

Plus.

I feel like I am actually transmitting my thoughts and ideas as they fall out of my head.

My writing is extraordinarily stream of thought.

“It reads like you talk,” one of my dear friends told me, “I feel like I am having a conversation with you when I read it.”

So nice to know my voice comes across.

The voice of the blog, Auntie Bubba, is not always the voice of the woman, but it is always damn skippy close.

The two are very entwined.

The only difference is that I have more honesty in my morning pages and less manipulation of words, patterns, rhymes, poetic schemes, or poesie.

I love that word.

Just say it with me.

Poesie.

Of course its French.

Don’t be a silly rabbit.

So.

My friend has noted my skills at language, but also noted my lack of skills around some things which are considered basic self-care, the criticism received was that, man you’re an amazing woman, but you sure put taking care of others a head of you.

REALLY?

Wow.

How insightful.

Fuck you.

I jest.

I know I put other people first.

It’s a survival skill.

Now.

What my friend perhaps doesn’t see, and I won’t argue his assessment, he’s certainly not the first to make it, if it looks like a spade call it a spade, is that I have come so far from how bad it used to be.

Progress.

Not perfection.

I also heard concern for me, which I have heard echoed to me a lot lately as I embarked on the journey of 8 million miles, graduate school, take better care of yourself.

The thing is.

People.

I am trying.

I am trying so hard.

I bought myself flowers on Sunday.

I cooked food for myself to take to work.

I take long, hot showers.

Man, the one tonight, you could have scraped me off the bottom of the shower stall.

I take care of the physical stuff when it arises.

Hello.

You know.

The sexy stuff.

I almost didn’t tonight.

Even though I was thinking about it and the timing was good, home earlier than usual, early start at work, no housemate around, no housemates kid around, light some candles and set the mood Martines!

And I just felt, well, tired.

But.

I also knew that it was time to take time.

And.

Yeah.

Like that.

Better now.

Thanks!

And though I am not rankled by my friends words.

Specifically, what the conversation went like was something to the effect of, “the only thing I don’t like about you is that you don’t take better care of yourself.”

He meant.

I need to put myself first.

My feelings were hurt.

But.

There was also this underlying awareness.

Ok.

Well.

He’s not the first one to say it this week, so what exactly am I doing that doesn’t look like good self-care?

I go to work, I’m on time, I show up, I do a great job with the boys, I ride my bicycle to and from work (most days, got a ride in today which is when the conversation happened), I bring home-made food with me.

I drink a big glass of water as soon as I wake up.

I brush my teeth three times a day.

And.

I fucking floss once a day.

Who out there flosses?

Exactly.

I keep my house clean.

I listen to music every night when I blog.

The Orb is playing right now.

I eat organic food.

I make really nice coffee.

I have pajamas.

Although, I think it might be time for a new set.

I know that I work a lot and I work hard, but you see, there’s no one but me and I have become accustomed to a certain kind of living.

It’s simple, but it’s mine.

Shh.

Me thinks she doth protest too much.

What self-care I need is to implement more joy of living.

Which is why I love Burning Man so much, it’s play time, even when it’s hella hard work.

“I noticed something,” my friend said, “you only go to the beach when you are sad.”

Ouch.

Fuck.

He really does see me quite well.

So what did I learn from T-Group, from my friend, from my people, and my cohort, from my community?

That I could stand to have some more laughing and silliness and how I am going to manage that, I don’t know.

I suppose, start by surrendering to the idea that I am going it all alone.

Rely a little more on others.

Give myself a break.

Walk down to the ocean for no reason other than it’s there.

Go to a museum.

I have not been to one since my trip months ago to LA, way back, to that wonderful time when I had time, before school started.

Any kind of fun.

Something for myself.

I fully acknowledge that the first feeling that comes up is sadness.

Grief.

Fun is some how equated in my mind with grief.

Now.

This is something I am only now, I mean now, in this moment realizing.

I have some sort of negative correlation to having fun with loss.

There is so much to unpack here, I am not going into it after a long day at work and having already devoted an hour to reading my Human Development text.

Which in and off itself can sometimes be a challenge to read when I reflect on where I come from and how many battles I have had to soldier through growing up the way I did.

The deck was stacked.

It was so stacked against me.

But.

There is joy too.

In the memories of my childhood.

The orchard in Windsor.

Climbing trees.

Flying kites at Warner Park.

Riding my bicycle.

Ice skating.

Playing relay races at the park during the long slow twilight of summer nights.

Sitting in the back yard, the grass high, watching the clouds roll by.

Maybe that’s all I need to do.

Go lie outside somewhere and watch the clouds go by.

What were the skies like when you were young?
They went on forever and they, when I, we lived in Arizona
And the skies always had little fluffy clouds
And they moved down, they were long and clear
And there were lots of stars at night

And when it would rain it would all turn, it, they were beautiful
The most beautiful skies as a matter of fact
The sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire
And the clouds would catch the colors everywhere
That’s neat, cause I used to look at them all the time when I was little
You don’t see that

Layering different sounds on top of each other
Layering different sounds on top of each other

Little fluffy clouds and little fluffy clouds and
Little fluffy clouds and little fluffy clouds and

There’s Carmen!

July 17, 2015

“I just wanted to let you know that’s been me hollering at you on the way to work,” she said with a laugh and patted me on the arm.

“I see you all the time and you wave, but I don’t think you know who is yelling at you,” her eyes twinkled and I laughed.

“That was you!”  I smiled, “I was wondering who’s been giving me the hello’s.”

It’s nice to be seen.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

Allowing myself to be seen.

“You have to know that whatever happens, you meet the love of your life at Burning Man,” I pushed my friend’s shoulder, “no, I mean it, that whatever happens, this is important.”

And it is.

And there was a lot more said, but I am not comfortable relaying all that here.

Suffice to say.

I am being seen.

And as for meeting the love of my life at Burning Man.

I already did.

It’s me.

I stopped Calling in the One when I realized that I was the Beloved and that I was the love of my life and no one will love me as hard or as well as I love me.

That being said, it’s a constant practice, a constant, not struggle, it’s not a struggle any more, it used to be; rather a concerted and continuous work of being kind to myself, taking care of myself, loving myself.

Letting myself express myself and be who I am.

I am many things and as I learn to be continually open to vulnerability and emotional connection in the very real and the very present time, I get to see how deep the damage has been in my life.

And.

How far I have come.

I mean.

Really.

I have made amazing strides in my life and to not acknowledge that is a kind of affront to the work I have put in.

It is not all work though.

I must have some fun in the mix.

For instance.

I had two unexpected cancellations for this Saturday.

I have to get some fun in my Saturday.

I do still have plans, I’m helping a friend with some stuff, but I have extra time on my hands to find a little fun for me.

Whatever that looks like.

Some fellowship, some cards, some pinball, a museum jaunt.

I would love to see the Turner exhibit at the DeYoung.

I keep hearing great things about it and I have not been to the DeYoung in a while.

I do have things I need to attend to, book gathering, loan deferment paperwork, cooking, et al, the stuff and routine of life.

A mani and pedi.

The small pleasures that I allow myself to have are important to the quality of my life.

Framing the Marilyn print from the MOCA and hanging the Diebenkorn up in my room.

I am negotiating a ride out to Cheap Pete’s in the Inner Richmond to get that together.

I’m navigating other rides too.

It does indeed look like I will get to have a little more summer vacation before the work, the study, the balancing act of what my life is going to look like come school start, begins.

I am currently in the planning stages of going to the Grand Canyon.

I have never been and I am over the moon excited.

My friend and I would leave on a Tuesday, July 28th and head to the North Rim and a secret special spot for camping that a friend of his knows about that is not heavily touristed.

There has been talk of Monumental Valley and Bryce Canyon as well.

To tell you the truth.

I know nothing.

I really have no conception of what is out there and what it looks like and what I exactly want to see.

Except.

I want a road trip.

I love the open road, I love seeing new things, I love the vista from the car seat, I love watching the sky scroll by, I love singing along to songs on the radio, I love putting my feet, bare feet, up on the console of the car and scrunching up in my seat and being just simply free, happy and content, and I love telling stories on the road.

There is just something so soothing and satisfying about it.

Plus camping?

Please.

Bring it on.

Campfires underneath the stars, country, out of the city for a while, back roads, which I suppose we won’t actually do if we are going to get in what my friend has suggested, there’s also been talk of Death Valley and maybe squeaking in the top part of Yosemite, not going into the valley itself but driving along Tioga Road.

Again.

No clue.

No conception.

I suppose I could google some images, but open road, is well, open road.

And I love me a road trip.

Plus, more time with my friend before the onslaught of school.

More being seen.

More being myself.

More allowing abundance and joy and fun and flexibility into my life.

“Joy of living is my principle today,” I said into the phone and smiled at the imprint of flower blossoms, pink and fat and truculent against the sky blue sky.

It might have been because I got a ride to work and that’s a treat.

It could have been that the weather was kind and sunny and inviting and I do so much better in the sun than out of the sun.

It could be that tomorrow is Friday.

Whatever it was I was going to enjoy it, to keep enjoying it and be as present as possible every inch of the way.

Even when it was hard.

“Hit Carmen! Hit Carmen!” The oldest brother instigated his brother in a game of, well, I can’t tell you what the game was, it was high energy though, and when I went to pick up the three-year old for our outing to the park I got hit, hard, in the face, brought to tears, this kid does not know his own strength.

“You,” I said to the five-year old, “to your room, five minutes, no talking.”

I pointed to the door and he fled.

I picked up the three-year old I had abruptly set down on the bed.

I looked at him.

He looked at me.

We saw each other.

His eyes got wide and teary.

“Please, please, please, don’t hit me,” I said to him.

Then I paused.

I could see he was about to get pretty upset and I wanted to be stern, but not too stern.

I wanted him to see me, to know that I was hurt.

I also knew that he would probably forget, as he did in about five minutes, and I would get smacked again (he’s in a phase, but I think it’s passing), but for the moment, in the moment we connected.

He saw me.

“I’m sorry Carmen, what can I do to make it better?”

Oh.

Out of the mouths of babes.

“I could use a hug, sweet pie.”

He gave me a hug and burrowed into my arms, then off we went on our adventure.

The grandparents accompanied us to the park for one last outing before they left on the plane today.

There was much digging of sand and pouring of buckets and shovels flying and dump trucks dumping and when that became mundane, there was grandma to push the swing.

And.

One sweet five-year old boy.

“Carmen,” he said plopping down next to me on the cement wall, “I just want to sit next to you and eat grapes.”

He leaned into me.

“I love you too much.”

Oh.

My heart.

Little pie.

I love you too.

I love hard.

I live hard.

I try hard not to be seen.

Yet.

There I am.

Being seen and allowing myself the freedom to be exactly who I am in the exact moment of whatever is happening.

It is an amazing gift.

Astounding.

This love.

Bright.

Sweet.

Tender.

All encompassing.

All the love.

All the things.

Sometimes It Takes All Day

August 3, 2014

But I got there.

To my happy place.

Or at least my place of serenity.

Peace with myself, with the world, with the fog and the whistle of it pushing in through the open window of my friend’s car as we drove deeper into the incoming thick of it down Lincoln, headed to the ocean.

I felt my mood elevate, finally after it had been pretty glum all day.

It was just a mix of glum, grey, moody, cranky, can’t quite get my head on straight.

But it got there.

It did.

I just had to keep taking action and then more action and suggestions and inventory and write that down and let go of that person with kindness and go have some fun.

Fun.

What?

Ugh.

The f word again?

Really?

I made my way to the Inner Sunset and got right with the world for an hour over coffee and made a plan of attack for the rest of the day and the week and my life, not really, I exaggerate a little, but I did get some pretty basic instructions on what to do.

One thing, continue to take a little action every day around finding work and we discussed what that would look like and I have a plan of attack for tomorrow and how to begin that.

And also, to not limit myself, I was arguing against Craigslist and she said, why limited yourself, look at it all, look at Craigslist, look at nanny agencies, look at referrals, check in with your people, hell, look into everything, maybe your next job is not being a nanny.

Although that certainly feels like the next obvious thing.

“Maybe you need to do some inventory about why you chose a career that you have to say good-bye to people, children you love, every couple of years.” She said with some deep wisdom that I immediately combatted.

“I did not choose this career!”

Vehement denial.

“It choose me.”

But there’s got to be something there, I do make decisions every day–pay for MUNI, or sneak on the back door; pay your rent early so you don’t have to think about it, or stress while at Burning Man about how to pay your rent; write your blog every night and be accountable to your art, or putz away your life glut watching videos on Netflix; ask a man on a date, or bemoan being single; take a trip to New York when some one invites you to crash at their place, or regret not ever having been to the city that never sleeps, never gone to the Met or eaten at Peter Luger’s (which is on the menu, bring me the steak, bitches) or walked over the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk with a darling friend–so in some way, I made the decision to be a nanny.

I didn’t choose writing code.

I didn’t choose marketing.

I didn’t choose doctoring or nursing or law school.

I didn’t choose retail or waiting tables or dentistry.

I choose being a nanny.

But as the child studied me in line today at the cafe and I looked at his deep brown eyes, this level of communication and honest curiosity and love passed and I know that I have chosen well.

Life, the Universe, God if you will, may choose different for me at any moment.

I get to keep working on that, seeing where I am best of service and going with it, how can I help best, where are my talents utilized best, how am I being my best person, what am I putting out into the world.

What place of love and creativity can I come from?

How to access that and pass it along and inspire?

Being a writer, even in this small capacity is so important to me.

I was trying and doing a poor job of explaining to my friend who drove me home, that I was not attempting to break a plateau with my blog, to burst to the next level of things, to make money from my blog.

It is here to serve me, or I to serve it.

I don’t have that many followers, but I feel like every single one of them is a brightness in my being, a little flame of love that I have gathered to me by showing up and being my honest, heart on my sleeve person.

I am more myself because I do this.

And that is service.

Doing what I love allows other people to do what they love and I know that being a nanny has helped with doing that.  I get to be surrounded by loads of love and it’s not often that I take my work home with me.

Yes, it does affect me in other ways, there are a lot of times when I think it might do me good to interact with adults, but there is a kind of core communication that is enacted between me and a child that I don’t always get with the grown up world.

The filters that I place before myself before I engage with the world in general are not up so much with the children I take care of and I laugh with them in ways that blow open the doors on my heart in a way that I cannot full explain without sounding like a complete goon.

“You are such a nanny!” My friend said tonight as we were catching up in the cafe.

I had suggested that if he thought naps were fun he could organize a nap party, get together with a bunch of friends and some sleeping pads and boxes of carton milk and a couple of cookies and soft fuzzy blankets and have a snooze party.

I giggled.

Yup.

I also gleefully opened up my messenger bag, which in my head I had called a book bag, harking back to my days at elementary school and not buying the things I wanted to for school supplies because the family funds were so short, to show off my day of taking action to get my joy on.

I left the Inner Sunset on a mission to have fun and that meant going to Flax before heading up to Noe Valley.

I got stickers and a Claire Fontaine notebook and a new pencil sharpener and pencil bag (I already have a pen bag, but I got one specifically for pencils), a set of twenty-four colored pencils, and yes, friends, I bought a coloring book.

Granted, it’s the Tattoo Coloring Book by Megamunden, so not like I got some Disney Princess bullshit, but yes, it is a coloring book.

Because sometimes that’s how I have fun.

I color.

I also collage.

I also do sticker art.

Shut it.

It makes me happy and so, when I opened up my book bag, er, my messenger bag tonight when I got home, I was happy to pull out my little treasures and know that in between kicking nanny butt and taking action to find new families to work with and new babies to love, I get to have some fun for me.

It took all day.

But I got my fun on.

In twenty four different colors of joy.

 


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