Posts Tagged ‘joyous’

One More Week

August 12, 2019

Of freedom.

From school.

Which is fucking hilarious as I carted around two gigantic text books today on the off chance of being somewhere I was going to read.

I learned to always carry my books with me, because inevitably the day will come when I don’t, (this past Saturday) when a client no shows and I have down time to read.

Or I’m at work and unexpectedly get time to read.

I probably won’t at all be able to do that at work tomorrow, I just don’t see it happening, but sometimes it does and as my time is super precious I use whatever I can get.

I have finished one of my text books for the fall semester and started in on another one and I am simultaneously reviewing a few articles for the class I will be guest lecturing on the 21st of September and reading a book for that class as well.

I did question myself a little about that today as I sat in a training in Berkeley for my agency, what am I doing teaching a class too this semester?!

But, I feel it’s good for me to do and I’m excited for the topic and the few people, outside of school, I have run it by, really like listening to me talk about it.

I find that encouraging, if someone who doesn’t have a background in psychology finds it fascinating, those who are pursuing the Master’s degree should like it too.

Or so I hope.

Regardless of whether they do or not,  I am learning as I prepare to teach.

Which is always how it goes.

Want to learn something on a deeper level?

Teach it.

I have had that experience over and over and over again.

And I’m grateful to get to go before an incoming Master’s cohort who are just beginning their journey and say here I am, in my second year of a PhD program, as a licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with a burgeoning private practice.

I get to model what they can become and that’s really a sweet gift to give back.

I didn’t know how much work it was going to be and I’m pretty glad I didn’t, I did know I was right where I was supposed to be and I want to share all the things that I have gotten to learn over the past few years.

An hour and a half lecture will not encapsulate that, but it should be enough time to lecture on Reverie, which I find totally fascinating.

Reverie is something that happens in sessions where daydreams, wayward thoughts, fantasies, visions, intuitions, come to the therapist.

The first time it happened to me in a session, a dyad at school with a classmate, I got spooked.

I thought I had drifted off.

But there was something so potent about it, the image that came to mind, that I mentioned it to my professor who then told me that I had experienced  reverie and that it was clinically significant.

We discussed what I saw, how it was clinically relevant, and how to make an intervention around it.

It was fascinating.

It still is and there’s lots to talk about, and I won’t bore you with it at this time, since I don’t know that you’re really here to listen to me practice my lecture in Psychodynamics.

Heh.

Who knows why you’re here anyway.

I don’t.

I mean.

This blog has been dark for almost two years now, maybe actually it has been a little more than two years.

I don’t link it to social media.

I don’t post it anywhere.

This is just me noodling away at my keyboard.

There are perhaps of handful of folks that still follow me out there who know me, but most of the people that read this have no idea who I am.

Once in a while it gets read a whole bunch and I’ll be curious who has discovered it and why is it so fascinating.

Recently it was getting a ton of reads in, of all places, Hong Kong.

No idea why.

But for a few days, on and off for the last couple of months, literally hundreds of my blogs were being read in Hong Kong.

That was kind of cool to see.

I don’t know how many blogs I’m going to get out before the semester starts, I’ll be starting with some new clients this week and trying to get some homework done before the intensive.

One of my classes doesn’t have the syllabus up yet, which always makes me nervous, but the other two do and there is going to be some major work and a lot of reading to do this semester just for these two classes.

But.

I am not going to stop blogging.

Especially since I am going to actually try to incorporate my blog into a “Work In Progress” assignment for my class in Arts Based Research.

I know that I won’t be able to do a blog a day like I still managed to do with my Master’s degree.

That became really evident I am sure when my blogs took a total nose dive once I began my PhD and started building up my private practice.

The blog took such a hit.

But.

I have never stopped writing and I’m going to keep sending out these little missives to the Universe whenever I can.

It helps me to keep my writing chops and it helps me process all the things.

Like not speaking or being in contact with my ex and what that feels like.

Good and super hard all at the same time and scary and sad.

Or thinking about the time I was in Cuba, just recently and had an overwhelming spiritual experience at a Catholic church where Santoria is practiced.

Floods of tears, praying on my knees, and asking for forgiveness in front of a black Madonna.

Or when I was walking the cobblestone streets of Old Havana with my hair up, a long white dress on, a bright turquoise parasol protecting me from the sun and the feeling of awe in wonder at who I get to be in this life and where I get to go.

And.

Where I get to go home to.

San Francisco.

I am still here.

Hanging on at the edge of the city.

The ledge of the Western seaboard.

Two blocks from the Ocean.

The moon rise and the the dark breach of universe turning above me.

I am so fucking grateful to be alive.

It’s ok that I got my heart broke.

It’s ok that my rent’s ridiculous.

It’s ok that I’m still a nanny.

I get to do all these miraculous things.

It’s ok that I’m busy with my PhD and nervous to teach the class.

I get to do all these things.

Because.

I am graced.

Happy.

Joyous.

And so very.

Very.

Very.

Free.

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Take One Step Towards

August 9, 2019

The Universe and the Universe throws hella new clients at you!

Holy crow.

Last Thursday I took a, for me, leap and connected with a woman who has an office in the same building I have my therapy office in.

She had tagged me in a post on social media about having office hours available.

I was really interested in one of the days, but, also, well, nervous, can I take on more rent?

I brought it up last week in Group Supervision and my supervisor interrupted me and said, “Who here thinks that Carmen should rent the office?”

Everyone raised their hands.

EVERYONE.

Ok then.

One of the members in my group succinctly pointed out that I have been steadily adding new clients and building my practice.

At the time of the conversation I had 15 clients.

I had 16 but one client moved.

And.

My group member was right, I have steadily increased my client load and I had the sense of “if you build it they will come.”

So  reached out that day and sent a direct text and inquired.

I got a response that it was available, but/and two other people had expressed interest.

Shit.

But they hadn’t confirmed.  I was adamant that I wanted the office, especially when I found out what the rent was and it was much less than I thought it would  be.

She said to be fair she would re-contact the interested parties and see where they stood and then let me know.

I thanked her and realized that I was ok no matter what happened.

Sure.

I wanted the office space, but really, having taken the action of just reaching out really felt good and positive.

Take action and let go of the results.

She got back the next afternoon.

I got the office!

Apparently my vigorous yes to taking the space swayed her and that I was ready to take on the space this month.

The lease is all drafted and dealt with–connected her to my agency and I get the key tomorrow!

I start with a client in the space next Monday.

I am using it for a client that had to cancel a standing session.

It was so nice to be able to offer the alternative space.

Then it gets crazy.

After the phone call with my new landlord I have my individual supervision and I excitedly share with my supervisor about the new office.

She is surprised and happy for me and adds that she knew I was interested in extra office hours but she didn’t realize how serious I was about it and would I also like to have Thursdays in the office?

HOLY SHIT.

My individual supervisor is also my landlord whom I sublet my office from, we share the office space.  She recently became core faculty at CIIS, my alma mater (my current “mater” for that matter, my PhD intensive is two and a half weeks away!) and has cut back her office hours.

Whoa.

I knew that was happening and I had soft ball pitched wanting extra office hours about a month ago but it didn’t seem like it was going to happen.

Until it did.

She told me to think about it and let her know.

I clapped my hands in glee like a small child in front of birthday cupcakes and said “yes!”

And like that.

I have office hours now Monday-Saturday!

My hope is that once I fill up on clients I will actually be able to stop seeing clients on Saturdays.  I need to right now, I see four clients and that’s a good chunk of change.  But if I can fill up the weekdays I can transition out of working Saturdays.

I haven’t had a full weekend off in years.

Literally.

I have been working six days a week and going to school full time for the last three and a half years.

I am so ready to have my weekends back!

Granted.

I will likely be working on my PhD, but who cares!

Weekends.

And!

I have a potential new client for next Thursday.

That part about saying yes to the office and yes to the Universe, well apparently the Universe heard and I got four referrals yesterday from Psychology Today as well as a referral from my individual supervisor.

I made contact with three of them, leaving the others messages but not hearing back.

I did two phone consultations yesterday, immediately landing one new client.

I also did a phone consult tonight and again, landed the client!

I have another phone consult tomorrow early evening in between clients and feel very positive about it having already made good e-mail connection.

I am over the moon.

I now have 17 clients!

My goal is 30 and then I can stop nannying.

I am so close.

I can almost taste it.

My charges can too, the little lady tonight asked me when I was leaving and I knew it wasn’t about when I was leaving at the end of my shift.

I told her not for a while yet, she was probably going to get me for another five or six months and I was planning on always being in her life and that rest assured she was my favorite client.

She gets very jealous when  leave to go see my clients, let me tell you.

My goal is six months tops.

I would love to be done by the end of the year, that has always been my original goal, but I figure I will just say six months from the first day I am in my additional office.

So by February 12th of 2020 I will be done being a nanny.

Fingers crossed and the river don’t rise.

Bring on the clients.

I am ready.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

To not be a nanny anymore.

Rendered Speechless

December 27, 2018

I don’t often look at old photographs.

I just did.

Work photos from over sixteen years ago.

Longer, perhaps, though not much more than eighteen years, I’ve been in San Francisco for sixteen, so they have to be at least that old.

There’s a private Facebook page with photographs of a place I used to run for six years.

1996-2002 I was the Floor Manager at the Angelic Brewing Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

A lot of the photographs are ones that I took myself.

Although I don’t have the album that they are located in.

I used to take a lot of staff photos.

Before Facebook and camera phones.

I kept a photo album in the office and I would put it out during big staff events.

Most usually the annual holiday party that I was in charge of organizing and running.

We got silly.

I remember one year I bought a bunch of disposable cameras.

Oh the pictures on those cameras.

Many stories.

I was rendered speechless though when I saw a photograph of myself that may have been at my heaviest weight when I was working there.

I don’t actually know what I weighed.

I didn’t like to use the scale.

But I do know that the shirt I was wearing was a size 26.

I now wear a size eleven.

So much has changed.

I just sat on my couch before logging onto my computer and I had an abstinent meal.

Abstinent for me means no flour (of any kind–almond, oat, coconut, corn, wheat, etc) and no sugar.

I do eat fruit, so I get sugar that way, though I tend to not eat fruit with my dinner.

I will.

Just not always.

Fruit is a sort of desert for me.

For dinner tonight I had about a 1/2 c of sautéed broccoli with a cup of brown rice and a roasted chicken leg and thigh.

I had some bubbly water and I listened to jazz.

When I think about the way I ate when I ran the Angelic.

Oh my God.

Freaks me out a little.

Sort of like how the picture did.

I almost want to post it here but I’m not actually sure how to do that and I am also not really sure I want to post it anyway.

I am grateful though for the changes I have gone through and for the good reminder that although my body doesn’t look the exact way I want it to, it looks a hell of a lot better than it did.

I mean.

I used to have a double chin.

I haven’t had a double chin in a long ass time and I am hella grateful for that.

The amazing thing about the photo is that I’m doing the splits on the bar.

I was a lot more limber then than I am now.

I was also studying to get my black belt in Kung Fu.

That also blows my mind, that I got a black belt at the weight I was.

I wonder sometime what it would have been like if I had lost the weight sooner.

But really that doesn’t do me much good to think about that, it’s just fantasy and speculation.

I also had to have some recovery under my belt before I could get abstinent, recovery, therapy, self-care.

A lot of that.

Self-love.

I am really quite proud of myself when I see how very far I have come.

All things considered.

I shouldn’t be where I am at today.

I am very, very, very grateful.

I’m also grateful to have gotten through Christmas.

Three gay boys, two movies, and one sushi dinner.

It was an official San Francisco Christmas.

Matinee at the Kabuki, hanging out in the Castro, then the Metreon in the evening.

I am grateful too for the people I spent time with.

I am grateful for San Francisco being my home.

I am grateful for all the lovely gifts I was given.

The biggest one, always does seem to be perspective.

That’s why the photo hit me so hard.

Just how far I have come.

I’m 46 now.

I look so much better at 46 than I did at 26.

I may have been a little older in the photo, but my weight would have been about the same.

It got bad there for a bit.

But then I think, I needed to be the way I was, to feel safe.  I ate to feel safe in a body that was not a safe place to inhabit.

I ate because I had been hurt.

I did not want to hurt anymore.

I also ate because it was a compulsion.

There were times when I would find myself in the dark raiding the desert fridge at work– shoving an entire piece of Irish Cream pie into my mouth, one, two, three pieces in under five minutes.

I hated it and I couldn’t stop it.

I also didn’t realize that once I put sugar into my body it was sort of on.

Sugar is just as addictive as many narcotics.

Sugar activates the same place in the brain that cocaine does.

I loved cocaine.

And before I had cocaine.

I had sugar.

I had a lot of it.

God.

Just thinking about how much soda I drank too.

Ugh.

I mean.

I worked in the service industry for two decades.

I did not drink diet soda ever, I scoffed at it.

I drank straight up Coca Cola.

I drank vats of it.

When you work in the service industry you usually get free soda.

And because I was in management, I got free meals.

French fries dipped in sour cream.

Fried fish sandwiches with buckets of tartar sauce.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms and cream sauce and parmesan and bread sticks.

OH bread sticks.

Idaho nachos–cottage fries instead of corn chips–with heaps of cheese and chicken and black beans and guacamole and sour cream.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Beer cheese soup.

And it was a brewery, so yes, lots of beer too, many, many, many pints.

Ex-employees used to joke about how they would lose the “Angelic 20” when they stopped working there since they weren’t always drinking the beer.

Which was not light in any sense of the word.

Oh.

How things have changed.

For the better.

I might have a nostalgic moment once in a great while for something.

But not ever looking like that picture again?

That will kill any craving I might have.

Fact is.

I don’t crave food, when you don’t have it in your system, the urge goes away.

Hella grateful for that too.

So here’s to not having to make New Years resolutions.

I am resolved every day.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Abstinent.

And.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

Girl Date

June 24, 2018

With me, myself, and I.

Soon to be followed by girlfriend dates with a number of ladies who have reached out to me over the last few weeks and some ladies I have reached out to.

I have lots of friends, aquaintances really.

But no good close girlfriends that live in San Francisco anymore.

I have realized that I need to cultivate some new friendships and I have been talking to some ladies and exchanging phone numbers and getting re-connected with old friends that I haven’t much seen in the last three years what with grad school and all.

I started today by getting my hair cut by my super fabulous friend who has a salon in the Flood Building downtown.

It’s her own salon.

She has one chair.

And a huge space and it was super cool and she’s also an MFT who’s close to finishing up all her hours and she has an office space at the Flood Building for her therapy practice as well.

I got to see both spaces and I was super happy to re-connect with her, get caught up, compare all things CIIS, we both went through the same program, talk about how hard it is to get hours while working full-time, which is what both of us do, me as a nanny her as a hairdresser, and that we love what we are doing.

I not only got a fabulous sexy adult hair cut.

I got plans for coffee dates when I get back from New York.

It was a marvelous way to start the day and I followed it up with a splurge of shopping at Anthropologie.

I do not often go there, it feels a bit outside of my price range for what I want to spend on clothing, but I had a desire to pick up a couple of dresses for New York and I scored.

I got a pretty simple but sexy little black dress for an evening excursion out in the city.

Of course.

Having gotten it home and tried it on with every pair of shoes I have I realized I will need better shoes to go with the dress.

Sigh.

And I got a super cute day dress in bright deep red that looked really pretty against my skin.

Sometimes red looks weird on me.

Sometimes amazing.

This red really worked and I could see myself sauntering through Brooklyn in it.

I also picked up an amazingly cute skirt and a white sleeveless blouse.

Perfect attire for walks through the museums.

And all the clothes will work well with my therapy clients.

Well.

Maybe not the little black dress.

I don’t want to be the sexy therapist.

I suspect I push it anyway with my tattoos and such, no need to push the envelope further.

But the other clothes will transition nicely.

I was about to consider going back downtown tomorrow when I realized, um, no, it’s the Pride parade, downtown will be a crazy mess.

I mean.

I may have screwed the pooch on getting the dress, but I see what I can find and I’ll pack it anyway, I might run across something in New York.

After the clothes shopping I headed over to the Mission and did my group supervision.

It was good to check in, it was good to connect and I also was able to really feel it sink in that I will be leaving out-of-town for a week, no clients at all next week, no supervision.

I actually felt like I was about to go on holiday when I left the supervision group.

I went and got more of my girl day on by going to the nail salon and getting my eyebrows waxed and a mani/pedi.

I’m ready for the travel!

Then some doing the deal and here I am back home.

A nice bite to eat, some laundry working in the dryer, and I’m happy to be home and feel really mellow and laid back.

I’ll be meeting a couple of ladies tomorrow as well as my person up in the Castro.

Note to self, leave early, the Castro will still probably be overrun with folks.

I’ll probably do yoga in the morning too, just thought of that, time to sign up for a class.

Monday will come and I will take care of my car and maybe I’ll do a fly by a shoe store or two, aside from the car service which will only take a half hour, I don’t have any Monday plans except the flight, which being a red-eye does give me some time to tool around.

I think it’s finally landed.

The realization that I am off for the next five weeks (excepting two weeks of clients), that I am actually about to go on vacation.

What a lovely feeling.

Truly grateful.

And.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Life is beautiful.

Like my new hair cut!

heh.

One Week From Today

June 19, 2018

I fly to New York on a redeye.

I am so very ready.

I was writing about that this morning, how ready I am for some vacation time, a break from clients, a get out of dodge, celebrate my Master’s degree, be away from the landlady scene and situation and just have some fucking fun.

I am very, very, very excited.

I just have four more days of work and one more day of supervision before the fun begins.

Work was pretty mellow and I had a late start, which was nice.

So, yes, I did sleep in.

However, today was it for sleeping in.

The rest of the week I’ll be up early doing therapy tomorrow before work.

An early music class for the baby on Wednesday and who knows what Thursday and Friday look like but I’ve already gotten the heads up that my help will be appreciated.

There’s a lot to do for a family of five traveling to Europe for five weeks.

So I’ll probably go in early on Thursday and Friday.

But really.

I am just fine with it.

It’s the final push before the down time starts for me.

I have a fairly light schedule this week too with clients, so it’s not too bad, going in early a few days, not bad at all.

Considering, as well, that I’m paid for the full five weeks that they are gone I have no qualms with the extra helping.

Besides, it will make the week go by faster.

I figure I will also sneak in a little extra doing the deal, tomorrow I have a client cancellation so I’ll hit something up at 8 o’clock near my hood.

It’s always a good thing for me to do, get in a little more recovery before I travel and also when I am busy, keeps me in balance.

Plus.

I will be getting some personal things together, planning my outfits for the trip and my accessories and toiletries, et al.

I almost bought a new suitcase last weekend but did not as they didn’t quite have what I wanted at Nordstrom Rack.

I don’t really, really, really need a new suitcase, but I’m a touch concerned, and have been for the last two trips, that one of the wheels on the suitcase will soon be meeting its end.

It might be a good idea to look into it.

I’ll be downtown on Saturday getting a hair cut, so maybe I’ll poke around.

I’ve got my shoes, dresses and accessories pretty much sussed out in my brain.

I’ve been watching the weather and it look like low to mid 80s.

Which is perfect for me.

Warm.

But not too warm.

Just about perfect.

I’m envisioning lots of walking around in sandals and sundresses.

Not something I would have done here today, super foggy this morning and cold and windy now.

Hello summer in San Francisco.

The warmer weather is definitely a draw for New York.

And the art, and the fine company I will have, and the culture, friends, recovery, warm air at night.

Heh.

And the big ass bathtub at the Air BnB.

I am taking myself some bubble baths, let me tell you.

Depending on when I check in I figure I will be making a trip to Whole Foods, stocking up the place and then going out and exploring a little, maybe do the deal if I can connect with a friend of mine early enough.

I need to hear back from the Air BnB host as to when I can get in.

The check in on the site is listed at 5p.m.

I get into JFK at 10:30 a.m.

I reached out and asked and the host had said it was not a problem to do an earlier check in and we’d connect closer to the date.

I figure I’ll reach out in the next few days and see what the deal is.

If I can’t get in as early as I would like, which is basically when I get there, I figure I’ll be there by noon at the latest, I want to be able to at least drop my luggage off.

I think the late check in has to do with making sure the unit is cleaned for the next guests, my suitcase should not get in the way of the place getting cleaned if that’s what needs to happen.

Anyway.

I am quite sure I will be fine whatever happens.

I feel really quite happy, I have to say.

Good dreams last night.

Feeling settled about what next actions I have to take regarding my living situation.

Four days away from a five-week vacation from work.

And though I will have clients during that five weeks, only for the two weeks in between New York and Paris.

The down time will also be good for me getting prepared for the private practice internship.

I have my next meeting with my new supervisor July 11th.

Very exciting.

Life is exciting.

Wonderful things feel like they are happening and I am no longer in dread about going on vacation knowing what I know from all the foot work I got to do regarding my living situation.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Four days from my real summer vacation.

The count down has begun!

Sometimes

May 30, 2018

It’s nice to get mail.

Sometimes it’s really, really, really nice to get mail.

Especially from the IRS.

Holy shit.

I got home today, as per usual, a little tense, a little upset, a little in bafflement, as I have been over the last few days since I was told that I needed to move out, to a few items of mail.

One was a very sweet and unexpected card from my grandmother with a $20 bill congratulating me on graduation.

So sweet.

The other from the aforementioned IRS.

And it looked like a check.

But.

I already got back my tax returns, both state and federal, and I filed electronically so the returns were sent directly to my bank.

What was this check looking thing?

Could it possibly be?

Could it really be?

I was almost afraid to open it.

I had a thought, but my thoughts are not always the nicest to me, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Cue an earlier thought, that I sort of joked about, but not really to my boss that it was ok, me getting asked to move out, because I have a tent, and I can hang out on the beach.

My boss laughed, but she was horrified to hear my news and also very supportive, there will be no beach for me necessary.

I can stay in the spare room that is currently the kids play room if worst came to worst.

Such a kind offer.

And one I hopefully will not have to take up, but it’s always good to know that I can.

I did once before when I was in transition, stay with employers, actually, former employers, who were remarkably generous and let me stay in their attic room with private bathroom and yes, with both my cats, while I was waiting to get into my next place.

Nothing says worst nightmare to me than homeless with cats, but in a sense that was exactly what I was.

I used to say I was in transition, but it was a transition that was horrendously uncomfortable, especially at seven years of sobriety.

I used to beat myself up about that, homeless with that much sober time, but it was just God preparing me, winnowing down the unnecessary things in my life, so that when the time came a few months later when the opportunity to move to Paris was presented to me, I was able to go without much thought about stuff and things.

I didn’t have much.

I don’t now when I look around.

The only furnishing in my studio that is mine is my bed.

That’s it.

The chaise, end tables, chairs, kitchen table, bookshelf, all my landlady’s furniture.

She’s a realtor and I believe they were used for staging at some point.

Anyway.

I won’t have much to move when I move, just the bed and the things hanging on the wall, the clothes hanging in my closet, and my kitchen stuff.

I could very easily move and do it quite efficiently.

It’s just a matter of finding a place to move to.

I began slowly putting out more feelers today.

I got a tip on an in-law on Silver Terrace, but out of my price range at $2,000.

I figure I will be comfortable spending $1500.

And if I have to I could go as high as $1800.

But that would be super freaking tight.

And I know this sounds crazy, but whatever, I have a feeling it won’t be that expensive, I do have a feeling the right thing will come and it will be what I can afford.

I told my therapist today how scared I have been and upset and angry and how it’s been hard to fall asleep because my brain will attack me with horrifying scenarios about not finding a place to live or not being able to afford what I find.

So.

Last night I said, enough brain, knock it off.

I can’t live in a future where there is no God.

God is right here.

Right the fuck now.

I am being taken care of.

I have paid for June rent.

I only have to be concerned with today.

Stop with the future tripping.

And if you have to think about the future, think about it with faith.

Magic.

God.

Love.

Abundance.

Light.

Envision where you want to live.

Think about what it looks like, really get into the details.

Hard wood floors, light, oh man, give me some light, I have been living in my little cave for almost five years, I could use a god damn window.

High ceilings.

Or at least higher than they are now.

I have low ceilings.

A nice kitchen, a gas range, a washer and dryer on site.

A place to park.

A big closet or two.

I mean.

A bathtub!

Oh.

Fuck wouldn’t that be nice?

Ruminate on the nice things, not on the bad things, see it, visualize it.

It will come.

It will!

I don’t know what exactly will happen next, I have to go to the SF Tenants Union on Saturday and do the drop in counseling.

Until that point all that I can do is what I have been doing.

Reaching out quietly to friends, avoiding social media, but just texting a friend here and there and asking them to keep ears open.

And practicing staying in the moment.

Where there is nothing wrong.

And.

There is only a little envelope to open from the IRS.

So open it.

I had put away all my stuff from my day out and about and put away my groceries, and I was heating up my dinner when I opened the card from my grandmother.

I left the envelope from the IRS alone.

But I really wondered.

If.

Well.

Could it possibly be?

And.

OH.

OH.

OH!

It was!

It was!

It was!

It was my refund from 2014!

2014!

In January of 2015 I did my taxes early and I did not have all my paperwork, I didn’t realize this until after I had filed.

I received some paperwork a month later and realized that I had fucked up my taxes and that I actually was due a bigger return than what I had filed for.

So.

I filed an amendment with the paperwork that I had left out and sent it in.

I never heard anything back.

I don’t know what I was expecting.

But.

Well.

I was hoping for something.

I sort of forgot about it after a while.

Although it would peek up above the surface of my unconsciousness every year after when I was filing and I would remember to make sure that I had all my necessary paperwork available to me before filing.

Certainly didn’t want to make that mistake again.

And there it was.

My fucking amendment refund check from 2014!

I laughed out loud with joy.

I’m going to be ok!

I mean.

I know I’m going to be ok.

But now I can stop stressing about the money I wanted to have for my traveling this summer.

I was afraid that I would find a place and have to use up my travel savings to put down a deposit to move into a new place and then have nothing left to travel with.

Maybe I would have to break out that credit card I got months ago but have never used.

Maybe not!

Not when I got a check from out of the blue for.

Wait for it.

Like you haven’t this entire blog.

Heh.

$2,126.34!

Boom.

Can you say happy?

I can!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking free to travel about the country.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Happy

May 26, 2018

It struck me as I was folding clothes and looking at my nice clean studio.

I’m happy.

I’m really happy.

My Master’s program is complete and I have graduated.

I made it through the week unscathed.

I had a light client load.

Two cancellations tonight meant I got to go to the Inner Sunset and do the deal and run into folks I haven’t seen in a while and get my head on straight.

My boss gave me flowers for all the extra help I did this week.

And honestly, it didn’t feel like it was all that extra, but I do not mind at all being appreciated.

I love flowers.

I wrote out thank you notes to the folks that gave me graduation presents and stuck them in the mail.

I did laundry.

I went grocery shopping.

I signed up for two yoga classes this weekend.

I have plans to hang out with my best friend this weekend.

Life is really good.

I feel so content right now.

Very full of gratitude.

I even have a course of action for the reflux.

I went to the GI this week to do a follow-up with him from the endoscopy I had last week, as well as the results from the swallow test and the Ph wire test.

Never, ever, ever want to do that wire test again.

NEVER.

Gah.

It was bad.

Anyway.

Yes, I have reflux, but not apparently as bad as I think it is, I know that sounds weird, but the levels of reflux the test came back with were low.

I don’t have ulcers.

I don’t have cancer.

I didn’t have any damage to my esophagus.

I have a small hiatal hernia, which can cause some reflux.

But.

What the GI told me was that he suspects I got an infection months ago that damaged the nerves in my esophagus.

So a course of medication has been prescribed and I take three of the tiniest pills I have ever seen at night before bed as they may cause drowsiness.

I checked and double checked that the pills were non-habit forming or narcotic, and got great big negatives to the question.

They will, however, take some time to kick in.

And get this.

It’s an anti-depressant!

How freaking weird is that?

However, the dosage I’m taking is super small, wouldn’t affect mood at the dose I’m taking it and it isn’t very often used any more for depression as there are apparently more medications out there that work better.

But.

It also happens to work on the reflux.

According to Wikipedia: Desipramine at very low doses is also used to help reduce the pain associated with functional dyspepsia.

Reflux, ulcers, gastroenteritis.

Which is what the GI said I had, there was evidence of gastroenteritis from the endoscopy, infection of the stomach, symptoms are flu-like, including diarrhea, fever, chills, abdominal pain.

I know exactly when this happened.

It caught me way off guard and I had woken up in the middle of the night with a fever, cramps, bad, bad, bad diarrhea, I was hot and cold and it was horrendous.

I thought I had food poisoning.

It might have been, but this makes more sense.

Especially since the reflux seemed to kick in a little after that incident.

Anyway.

The GI said what happens is the nerves in the esophagus get damaged and then everything is more sensitive.

So.

The low dosage of Desipramine is supposed to lessen the pain and also help the nerves regenerate and heal.

Fingers crossed.

I so much want to be back to normal.

I have had light reflux the last few days, but nothing full-blown.

I have a touch right now.

But I am hopeful that it will pass.

I have signed up for a yoga class tomorrow morning and also one for Sunday morning.

I am ready to get back into it.

Albeit nervous.

It’s been a couple of months and my attendance prior to that was thin as I was so busy with school and any time I had bad reflux I was skipping.

I am hopeful that this solution will work out and that I will feel better.

I am super freaking grateful that there was no damage to my esophagus, no cancer, no ulcers.

I have faith that my body will repair and regenerate.

And I also hope that after a three-month course of the medication I can be clear of it.

I am a touch leery of some of the side affects, which seem to be mostly from using it in much higher doses for depression, but still, I don’t like taking stuff, it makes me a little nervous.

Then again.

I have hated being in the pain I have been in.

I’m very grateful to have addressed it and thankful that there is something that I can do.

So all in all.

Content.

Serene.

And yes.

Happy.

Even joyous.

And most definitely.

Free.

 

Birthday Weekend Wrap Up

January 15, 2018

It was good.

So good.

I mean.

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

And dancing.

And hugs.

And love.

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

I mean.

Not all of it.

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

But it was worth it.

So worth it.

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

I laughed a lot.

I felt very happy, joyous, free.

It was spectacular.

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

Thirteen

Thirteen years.

It still astounds me.

It felt really, really, really special.

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

Show up.

Suit up.

Be of service.

Say yes.

And extraordinary things will happen.

It is astounding how many things have happened for me.

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

My God.

Did the big things happen.

They really did.

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

I am so loved.

So blessed.

Graced.

And grateful.

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

School.

Graduating from one program.

Starting another.

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

Travel.

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

I may be going with them for part of it.

And I want to do other little trips too.

Fun things.

Weekends out of the city.

New places to go and experience.

I feel abundant.

Expansive.

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

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

My love.

So happy.

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

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

I mean.

Passionately live.

I am so alive.

I am so lucky to be alive.

Frankly.

I should be dead.

Or.

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

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

Poetry.

Photographs.

Friendships.

Love.

I have made huge leaps of faith.

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

I have made music, or collaborated in making music.

I have been in a film.

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

I have ridden bicycles all over the place.

San Francisco to LA.

Oakland to Berkeley.

The Outer Sunset to the Outer Mission.

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

And in Paris.

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

Although.

Truth be told I only did that a few times.

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

Or past the Eiffel Tower.

I did that ride a lot on Sundays.

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

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

Spoken word in Paris at Le Chat Noir.

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

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

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

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

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

The miracles are innumerable, the gifts astounding.

I can only keep it by giving it away.

The paradox that I love.

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

So important.

I am overblown with gratitude.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Thank you for thirteen years.

It’s been freaking amazing.

Taking Bribes

November 27, 2017

I’m serious.

I dangled a manicure in front of my face to get myself to sit the fuck down and write my Transpersonal Psychology final paper.

It took a minute.

Granted I started the day off wonky.

Fuck my life.

I was supposed to wake up to my best friends call this morning for breakfast and I remember as I rolled over thinking, “why haven’t I got a call yet?” as I went to check my phone, thinking maybe I had a few more minutes of…

Oof.

Fuck.

I had been called, and texted.

Shit.

Shit.

Shit.

I had the volume off.

I don’t know how that happened and I was so mad at myself, miserable with it, and I sent off a quick text hoping my friend was still in the neighborhood.

And.

Yes.

Though breakfast was off the table, only time for a quick coffee, but thank God.

I would have been devastated if I had missed seeing my person.

Dear God it would have been a much different day.

Suffice to say I got some sweetness, not enough, I’m going to miss my friend who is traveling now, but thankful, so much so, that I was able to get a little face time.

It meant the world.

And once I was up I got going.

Striped my bed, washed laundry, did some writing, drank more coffee, ate breakfast, tried not to think about the work I had to do today, but didn’t really succeed at that.

I get anxious before I have to write an academic piece.

My blog?

Pshaw.

I can’t hardly wait to write this, or my Morning Pages, but an academic paper where I have to cite sources and have an idea about what the fuck I’m going to write about.

Um.

Anxiety.

So cleaning, and cooking, did food prep for the week, although, really, there wasn’t much cleaning after yesterday.

And a cursory look over my calendar for the week.

My hopes for next weekend being a time that I will devote to my other three papers vanished as I looked it over.

Fuck my mother.

I have to do the dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture, for four hours on Sunday and I have my last Webinar for CBT.

Ugh.

I might be able to get one paper written that day in between the dress rehearsal and the webinar, I’ll try.

I think I can do my Drug and Alcohol paper that day, it’s pretty straight forward, compare a 12 step recovery meeting with a Harm Reduction therapy model.

Which means attending a meeting and participating in the harm reduction group that we had in class last weekend.

No problems there.

I basically have it all written out in my head anyway.

I still have to do citations, but I won’t have to do that many, and it’s a smallish paper, five to seven pages.

I’ll knock it out in an hour and a half, two hours tops.

Today, when I finally settled down to write my paper, it took less than two hours.

I had to do everything else that had to be done in the house before I could start, like I said, sparkling clean house?

Must have a paper to write.

Heh.

I had done some cursory work, looking over notes, then I got serious, after I had met with my ladybug and did some other reading and get right with God stuff, and she’d gone back out into the rain, I dove in.

Not true.

I ate lunch.

Then I dove in.

Meh.

I lie.

I washed the lunch dishes.

Seriously, I was like an anxious bitty dashing around my house looking for anything to distract me.

Then I sat down and wrote my paper.

WAIT.

No.

I didn’t.

I wrapped my charge’s birthday present, she turned five today, I got some super sweet photos of her at the carousel with her family, for taking into work tomorrow.

A pink glitter notebook and a big packet of stickers.

Unicorn stickers.

Bunny Stickers.

Funny animals in hats.

Flowers.

All the fun stuff.

Then.

Aha.

I wrote my paper.

Wait, um, no, I hemmed and hawed and then suddenly.

Oh!

I had a sudden surprise idea.

I pulled out a deck of Tarot cards.

I know what that sounds like, shut up.

But.

I really decided that that’s what I was going to do.

Active Imagination.

It’s a form of Jungian Dream Work that helps the person to engage with the unconscious.

Jung developed it for people who couldn’t remember their dreams.

We had done it a few times in class and I thought, well, heck, this might be a way to launch into the paper.

So.

I sat with the deck.

I asked it a question about love.

And.

Wow.

Did I get an answer.

About strength and fire and love.

Sensuality, star shine, holding on.

About perseverance, about not giving up, about staying strong and in the light.

It was a beautiful moment and suddenly I was in, I was in the paper, I was finding all the citations, I was following this beautiful serendipitous thread through my notes, finding poetry that I had written in class, seeing connections, making leaps, and voila!

I did it!

Fucking wrote the paper in about an hour?

Maybe it took total an hour and a half with the citations, and the editing.

But once I got moving, I was in.

It was amazing.

It really always amazes me that I can kick out a paper that fast.

Grateful does not even begin to express how I felt.

And yes.

I did have time to get out and go to the nail salon and get my nails done.

I even popped into my spot on 7th and Irving and got right with God.

That was fabulous.

I drove home listening to my current favorite playlist, “Music for Slow Dancing,” and talked to my best friend until I found a spot to park my car.

Yes.

I found parking in my neighborhood, block away, not bad, considering everyone’s back from the holiday.

And it was a small spot, it wouldn’t have fit a bigger car, so happy I have a little gal and not something bigger, it’s really so much better in this city.

I double, triple checked that I wasn’t parking on a street cleaning side and then I walked home in the warm, dark night, thinking sweet thoughts to myself.

My life is pretty good.

Oh.

Sure.

There’s still more work to do.

But.

I will get to it.

For now.

I can take the rest of the night off and have some tea and watch a video and get ready for the week.

I’m back in it tomorrow, full-time work, clients, and getting ready for the lecture.

But it’s all good.

It really is.

I’m happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Hello Again

September 4, 2017

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

I have missed my little blog, I have.

I got back from Burning Man last night.

I am back a day early and I cannot be more grateful for it.

I needed to get back, I was missing my world.

I also wasn’t wanting to sit in any kind of exodus line, the last time I had tried to leave on Sunday morning I ended up being in line for almost four hours.

Four hours on playa.

Four hours to go three miles.

No fucking thank you.

And I had to be back by today to give myself enough time to recuperate and unpack and unwind.

And.

Um.

Shower.

Holy Mary, mother of God.

Fuck me.

That shower was something else.

A spiritual experience for sure.

I knew when I heard that the temperature was going to rise and peak out on Sunday that I wanted to come back Saturday.

I didn’t need to see the Man burn.

I have seen it burn ten times.

I wanted to get home without a shit ton of traffic.

I asked the woman who I had traveled with to the event if she would be amenable to leaving a day early and she was quite down for it.

And in given that there was a death last night at the burn I am extraordinarily grateful that one, I did not witness it.  And two, that I had left before the event turned morbid.

Death happens.

But I am relieved that I did not witness it.

I had a very different burn than I have in the past.

First, of course, because I was not working it.

I had to laugh, even when I tried to pick up a volunteer shift at Artica slinging ice, I got turned down, they had more volunteers than they needed.

Every time that I thought I might have worked, it was pushed down and away.

I spent a lot of time sitting in Center Camp Cafe writing.

I sent lots of cards and post cards off and I did a lot of journaling.

I hung out at my camp with the ladies of the Nest, a sweet group of women that I have known for years and witnessed their growth into extraordinary beings.

It was super sweet to have such a girl centric time.

I wasn’t on the prowl for the playa boyfriend.

I didn’t need to look for anything.

I have everything I want.

I went dancing twice.

Once in camp, an amazing dj came and played at our potluck dinner for the camp.

The music was the best I had experienced in years at the event.

I danced hard for two hours.

Happy in my body and light on my feet.

Although, the knees felt a little rough the next day.

I got to know a few folks in my San Francisco fellowship whom I have known for years but not really connected with.

I went on bike rides with the posse.

I got caught in dust storms unlike anything I have experienced before.

Prior years I was always working very close to my accommodations and they included access to trailers.

A dust storm would spring up and I would be hiding out in a trailer.

A huge dust storm came up and I was obliterated in it.fullsizeoutput_ed1

The “clean” spot on my face was where my dust mask was.

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I mean, you can’t even tell I have tattoos for god’s sake.

I had been caught off guard and though I saw the storm coming, it came up too fast for me to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I spent about an hour of it laying on a bench outside of the Temple.

Completely exposed.

I rested my head on the bench, curled up next to the fencing it was by and held on for what literally felt like dear life.

I kept my eyes closed.

I wasn’t wearing goggles.

My bad.

Stupid too, since I have a pair.

I was, thank god, wearing something, my big aviator sunglasses, but my eyes still got totally coated with dust.

It was an extraordinary experience.

Not exactly pleasant.

But I surrendered to it and rode it out saying prayers inside my head and breathing slow and steady.

There was a break in it and I thought go!

I got my bike, made it five feet and it whipped up again.

I was told later the wind was roaring along at 45 mph.

The dust battered me and I held still straddling my bike for about another hour.

There was a man standing next to me on a trike.

He might have been three feet away, probably less and he was invisible to me.

I could have reached out to him and touched his arm.

I didn’t.

But.

Knowing there was someone else there made it palatable.

The experience was mind-blowing.

No pun intended.

It also lead to an experience that I had never had before.

I got topless at Burning Man.

That has never, ever happened.

I stumbled into camp, with another of my campmates who had gotten blasted by the dust too and we let the women in camp strip us down and clean us up.

She got completely naked.

I couldn’t quite do it and in fact was walking away to wipe myself down solo when I realized what a monumental task it was going to be and I started crying.

I went back and said, “help me.”

And they did.

I dropped all my pretenses, and my clothes, well, I couldn’t step out of my under wear, there really is a limit for me, and just surrendered.

I got sprayed with a vinegar and water mixture and then a baby wipe down.

I got all the dust off my eyes and eyelashes.

I actually left my hair up in the puffs and antlers and let it be the way it was.

I was told it looked pretty spectacular and just let it be.

I had to have help getting dressed and it felt as though I was a priestess being made ready for a ceremony.

We all went out that night in a mutual friend’s, who is staff at the event, car.

I wore a long white dress and fresh makeup.

I had my hair up and added some goggles to the mix, I wasn’t without them the rest of the event.

We rode around the playa, the six of us, sitting regal in the back of the Jaguar convertible, the “Shaguar” which was painted hot pink with black spots on it.

I felt like some sort of playa princess.

And I was happy to be with the women around me.

All of whom I wouldn’t have met outside of recovery.

I am lucky and grateful to have them in my life.

I felt seen and loved.

Really loved and really included.

What more could I ask from Burning Man?

I’m so glad I’m home though.

I missed it more than I had expected.

And my heart is glad to be here.

Despite having a bad tummy today, which happens sometimes after coming back from the event, especially after being smacked so hard by the dust, I am happy to be home.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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So very free.


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