Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

Bear Witness To

August 20, 2018

That’s what got me today.

Not the music.

No.

I was careful about my music choices people, I’m learning.

But the wanting to share something with you today.

I wanted so much to pick up the phone and talk and tell you how my day has been, how my week as been, how I feel overwhelmed and that I can’t do it and then you would tell me I could.

I was going through my private practice folder, trying to figure out some things and I touched the leather of the binder and I suddenly lost it.

I remember standing outside the restaurant after brunch when we were on vacation and looking at these soft, supple leather folders and purses and bags, gorgeous hand-made, hand tooled, beautiful pieces.

I bought a bag for files and a folder for my legal pad and I was so happy, over the moon, to be there walking through the city with you, the sun shone down, and yes, there was some sadness that day too, we had some talks, but there was the etherealness to it to.

I remember how you always offered me bites of your food, how you know me so well and in my abstinence you always took care to be kind about my food choices, well, maybe you teased me a little, but you were so sweet.

I was struck by how, later in the day after much walking, you grabbed a hotdog from a street vendor and had a couple of bites, then you ripped off the bun from the un-eaten end, and offered it to me for a bite too.

All the small, sweet, considerate gestures that do me in.

But it was that folder today.

I cried out loud.

I wanted to tell you about what has been going on, how things are moving forward, that I have an office to sub-lease, that I have rent to pay, that I have things happening, that I printed off another syllabus and read from one of my new books, that I had struggled today to not be anxious about all the things unfolding.

When I picked up the folder I realized that you were no longer here to witness me, to tell me how proud you were of me.

I know logically that I don’t need someone to pat me on the back and say, hey you’re doing a great job, I can do that for myself, most of the time, but it just struck me hard, I wanted to tell you and I can’t.

All the things I want to tell you.

I wrote you another letter today.

I told you a little fantasy I had.

I wished for you happiness and joy and kindness, sweetness, and grace.

I pray for you every day and every night and I pray to make it through to the next thing that I have to do.

I have a lot of things to do.

I did get a lot accomplished today and I am proud of myself for doing as much as I did.

I cooked.

I roasted a chicken and I made a turkey and vegetable stew with brown rice.

I cleaned my house.

Aside.

Man oh man, put a syllabus in front of me with homework on it and watch my house suddenly become sparkling clean.

I mean, I cleaned my house.

I have even started tackling some things like cleaning out the freezer, I figure I won’t be here much longer and if I tackle small bits of a big job they will get done eventually and not all pile up on me right as I’m making my move.

Second aside.

I have a place I am going to see on Wednesday.

I know, I said I was waiting.

But have I told you how loud it is here?

It is loud.

And it is uncomfortable.

I saw an ad last night on craigslist and I thought, wow, I should respond to that.

It’s not in a neighborhood I would have ever even thought to look, Sea Cliff, and it’s a unique housing situation, an Au Pear (which means guest cottage), with a drastically reduced (for San Francisco) rent with the caveat that when the family that owns the main house is away the tenant takes care of their dog.

I went to bed thinking, do I want to clean up dog poop and get up early to walk a dog a couple of times a month/year?  I don’t know how often the family travels or what exactly the schedule of care looks like, but yeah, do I want to clean up dog shit for a lowered rent on a cottage in Sea Cliff?

A cottage.

A stand alone, one bedroom with a library!

Oh my God, my little PhD student heart went pitter pat.

In Sea Cliff.

Now if you don’t know San Francisco that means nada to you.

But if you do, you know that Sea Cliff is crazy high-end, big houses, big sprawling yards and gardens, by Baker Beach with all the iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge you could shake a stick at.

The house is literally across the street from the ocean, the cottage has ocean views.

There is also very little traffic in Sea Cliff, no buses or municipal vehicles go through it, no trains, it’s not quite a gated community, but it is super high-end fabulouslity.

A cottage in Sea Cliff would probably rent for $7,000 and upward, I may be lowballing that number too, I think it’s pretty rare that anything in Sea Cliff would actually be rented, and if there are rentals, well, they are freaking expensive.

So a cottage, again, a one bedroom with a library and the biggest freaking windows and wood floors for $1680 a month that includes utilities and parking and laundry?

I’ll pick up some dog poop people.

I have an appointment to see it on Wednesday.

I’ll keep you posted.

And in the meantime.

Love of mine.

I think of you often and wish we could talk and dream of a time I can once again be in your arms.

And yes.

Of course.

I cry.

In cafes with my confidant, at home holding things close you gave me, in the car listening to our music.

I hope you are well, I hope you are muddling through.

I miss you.

I love you.

Always.

Always.

Your baby girl.

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Officially Astounded

December 4, 2017

And just a tiny bit exhausted.

Just a tiny bit.

I did it!

I got all the things done today that I needed to do.

I did not think that was going to happen and I started to resign myself to the idea that maybe I was going to have to write my Drugs and Alcohol paper sometime over the week.

But.

Fuck yeah.

I did it.

I just printed off the paper a few minutes ago.

About twenty-five minutes ago to be exact.

I sat through my last CBT Webinar (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and when it was done I made the executive decision to just crank out the paper.

I had done some reviewing of the material before the webinar and I felt like I had a really good idea of what I was going to write about.

In fact, I was sort of, sort of, haahahaha, fuck this online webinar class, annoyed with the CBT webinar, I really did not like the format, and wished that I did not have to sit through it as I had the Drugs and Alcohol paper so in my mind I wanted to get right on it.

But sit through it I did and when it was finished I flipped once more through my notes and got it done.

I’m done with it!

So much fucking relief.

It’s printed off and in my folder.

I still have a couple of small things to do to be prepared for the final weekend of classes, but the two big papers I needed to do are now done.

The relief is real.

I have a worksheet that I need to spec up for my final group project presentation, but I’m not going to go in with an actual paper script, I know so well what I am doing that I will be able to speak extemporaneously.

Thank God for extemporaneous speaking.

I did a bit of that today as well.

I had the final dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

I got to hear all the talks and I was pretty engaged.

The project is really going to go off well and I’m very grateful to get to be a part of it.

Mostly to get to be in the same group of people doing big things in community.

It is really a nice feeling to be a part of something human and getting to connect with yet another group of folks that I might never have met except for having been invited to participate in the  project.

It is a blessing.

And I’m beyond grateful that I get to do it.

Granted.

Still nervous.

I get pretty nervous before speaking and this will be in front of 150 people as well as being on stage, lit and video recorded.

In fact, I was video taped today.

Which I was not expecting.

I wore a flannel and jeans.

Sigh.

Oh well.

I think I’ll be wearing a dress for Tuesday’s performance.

I want to look pretty and I have a feeling that I will be more confident dressed up.

I also just want to give a good talk.

The person going after me references me in his talk and it’s an honor to get to be on the same stage.

I leaked tears the entire time he was speaking and it was really just such a nice moment to hear how he was affected by me and also that he got to know, via my blog and various other ways, how much he affected me.

I am still mystified how that works, but human connection is something so powerful.

I am a creature who needs companionship and people and I am just so grateful for all the people in my life that I have gotten to know and be around.

It’s amazing.

It’s amazing too that I’m almost done with this semester.

By this time next week I will be done.

Well.

I might still have one last paper to write, might, that’s funny, I do have one last paper to write, it’s due the 15th of the month.

My last class is the 10th and it ends at noon.

So.

I’m going to go out to sushi with a girlfriend from school to Domo in Hayes Valley to celebrate, and then, yes, I will go home and write my last paper.

I’m not really looking forward to doing more work on that day, but it really makes the most sense, especially as the paper is due on a Friday.

I won’t really have a good block of time to work on it except that Sunday.

What I’m hoping is to enjoy a good lunch with my girlfriend and hang out and spend quality time with her and then get back here to the house and kill my last paper.

I want to get my Christmas tree next Sunday.

That’s the goal.

Finish my Jungian Dream Work paper and then go celebrate by getting myself a Christmas tree.

That’s how I like to roll.

I still can’t believe that I got all the two papers done this weekend that I needed to do.

Considering how overwhelmed I felt yesterday heading into my group supervision it really is something else to be on the other side of it.

Now I just have to get through the performance Tuesday and I’ll be golden.

I’ll be able to roll up on my last weekend of the semester very mellow and relaxed.

So, so, so grateful it’s almost done.

So very grateful.

Now.

Tea and climbing into my bed.

I’ve got a big week ahead of me.

Seriously.

Sleep

September 29, 2017

It does wonders.

I still could have slept another hour or fifteen, or so it felt, when I woke up, but I had gotten nearly 7 hours and that was miraculous after a long slog of a day with little sleep.

I am super grateful that tomorrow is Friday.

And that the mom had gotten mixed up with dates and I don’t have to come in early tomorrow.

I will next week.

But tomorrow.

Fuck.

I might even get eight hours of sleep.

It sounds so sexy it makes me shiver in delicious anticipation.

And just being the end of the week brings me some relief.

I’m almost there.

I still have a rather long day tomorrow, full day of work, client at my internship, but I don’t have a second client in the evening until next Friday, so I’ll be out by 7:30p.m. and able to make a friend’s birthday dinner at Fang on Howard Street.

I am also supposed to go dancing with the posse of ladies afterward at Public Works for Afrolicious.

I’m on the fence about that.

Originally I wasn’t going to be able to do dinner and felt an obligation to make a commitment to my friend and say yes to the dancing.

Now.

Well.

Fuck.

It’s been a long week.

I mean.

It really has.

And I’m still not in the clear.

I don’t have a day off until Sunday.

So.

Yeah.

I’m keeping the door wide open to just doing dinner and saying, love you, but I can’t make the dancing.

And.

I love dancing.

I haven’t really danced since Burning Man and god only knows when before that.

But, yes, I do like to dance.

And the music is sure to be good.

I mean.

Really good.

I’m not committing though, not yet, I just need to see how I feel and not try to be a hero and push too hard.

If I have the energy, I’ll go for it and bounce home by midnight so that I can still get up and go to yoga in the morning on Saturday before I go into my internship.

I do know this much.

I am getting a god damn mani/pedi/waxing on Saturday.

I hate looking sloppy and my nails look like ass.

It’s always an indication to me that I am busy when my manicure looks bad.

It’s a time suck, an enjoyable one, but it takes time and when I have a school weekend, like I did last weekend, I don’t have the time.

Oh.

I tried.

I had a little tiny window Saturday between my last class and my first client, but the salon was full and couldn’t get me in for even just a manicure.

Note to self.

Make an appointment so I can get a spot.

I can’t go another week without doing the nails.

It’s a part of my self-care and it’s something I very much like to do for myself.

It’s a couple of hours of sitting still, flipping through magazines, letting someone pamper me, relaxing, using the massage buttons on the chair.

Yeah.

Definitely making some time to do that.

Then my normal Saturday night get together with my fellows over in the NOPA.

I might go out to dinner that night too, but not certain.

I also have homework to attend to, I do need to do some reading.

I actually got in a couple of articles yesterday evening, despite the fact that I had such a long day, I did a 45 minute stretch and got my CBT reading done so that I can actually know what the fuck is being talked about in my webinar on Sunday and I knocked out an article in my Child and Elderly Abuse class.

Little bits and pieces as I go.

It will get done.

I didn’t have much down time at work this week to address homework, but I have brought a book with me every day, just in case.

I never know what the time will bring, just that it’s important to utilize it when it occurs.

I hope to let myself have a little down time too.

I do what I can.

When I can.

I believe in abundance, my time is expansive.

I also acknowledge that my schedule is fucking full and it’s a lot when I step back and look at it.

But boy.

The time goes by.

And.

It won’t always be like this.

It just won’t.

It’s part of what I have to do right now.

Get the degree, get the degree, get the degree.

Eye on the prize.

Eyes softly on the prize.

I don’t want it to be the sole focus of my life.

I have people in my life who are my life and I can’t just be a soul hiding in a room studying all the time.

Or working all the time.

I need connection.

I need love

I need sunshine.

I need star shine.

I need love.

Oh.

I already said that.

But.

For the sake of telling myself that I am allowed.

I need love.

I can’t just send it out, to my clients, my family, my friends, to my job, without getting some back.

And thank God.

I am getting it back.

I am so grateful for that love.

Beyond words.

I realize that I have strength.

But I cannot be strong in a vacuum.

So.

I will do my best this weekend to let myself balance all my commitments and comings and goings and be nice to myself and maybe, I’ll get some flowers, or something else sweet for myself, be romantic, woo my heart, be gentle.

Heh.

See.

I’m making an opportunity to go shopping.

I see myself here.

Oh.

But.

It’s allowed.

Let me allow myself some sweetness for all the hard work I put in.

It’s allowed.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

And.

Maybe.

Yes.

A new pair of shoes too.

Heh.

 

Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

I mean, I didn’t get up until 9:15 a.m.

So sleeping in, especially considering that I am up three hours earlier tomorrow so that I can meet with my supervisor–whom I would have met with today but it was a holiday.

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

I went to a yoga class that I used to be able to go before I started my current nanny gig.

I had lunch with my favorite, most loved person in the entire world.

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

I got to have lunch with the person I hold in the highest esteem, who loves me unconditionally, who sees me, who supports me without question, who witnesses everything I do, who helps me see when I am self-sabotaging, and how to change that and be better and stronger and sweeter and softer and live my life to the fullest full definition of happy, joyous and free.

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

We met at Souvla on Divisadero and had great big salads and talked and got totally caught up and I revealed myself and there was no shying away from me or judging, only complete sunshine and love.

I am beyond grateful for this man in my life, I wouldn’t have the life I have without him.

He is a human, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting him on a pedestal, he shows me how to be more human myself, more vulnerable, more willing to show up and more present in the moment when I do.

He is the greatest gift and I do not know what I would do without him.

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

We travel in a similar way, carry on only, get situated, go get connected with fellows and then walk and see and witness and art and churches and more art and museums and cafes and sitting still next to each other and also knowing that we both are self-sufficient travelers, that neither of us is afraid to say, give me space, I want to do a wander on my own or nap or whatever.

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

We are talking about going to Barcelona together and maybe taking the TGV to Paris or Marseille, probably Paris as we have friends there too and I will need very much to see my Parisian girlfriend and her new family.

Next May.

When I graduate from my Masters of Psychology program, a grand European tour with my mentor, I couldn’t really think of a better gift, his company means so much to me.

So.

Yeah.

Lunch was fucking fabulous and we also dished and laughed and I talked about needing to set firm boundaries around any extra nanny work that may try to weasel its way in when my employers are away in July.

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

I wanted to catch the last day of the Matisse/Diebenkorn show.

Of course.

It was sold out, even as a member of the MOMA I couldn’t get in to see it.

And truth be told, I don’t really care a fig for Matisse, and I’ve seen so much of his work in Paris that I didn’t feel that I was missing out.

I could have my girl date with myself just fine wandering around all the other galleries without having to stand in the huge, and I do mean HUGE, line that was queued up for the show.

I strolled through the second floor galleries and got acquainted again with one of my favorite artists in the museum–Clyfford Still–1906-1980.  I adore his work, there is one painting especially that always gets me and I did my stare in awe and wonder at it for a good fair amount of time before taking myself for a cafe au lait at the Sight Glass cafe on the 3rd floor of the museum.

I sat and dreamily dreamed and people watched while sipping my coffee–days off always included cafe breaks and nursing a coffee while people watching.

Then I hit the Larry Sultan photography exhibit, which was extraordinary.

And.

Since everyone was in line for the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, the gallery was practically empty.

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

Then having some time and seeing that the sun had decided to cut through the fog and make an appearance, I strolled through Yerba Buena Gardens, and yes, got another coffee, this time iced, and planted myself on the sheltered terrace of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sipped ice coffee and watched the clouds scut through the sky.

I am always so overwhelmed and grateful for the gardens and the art and the fountains and though the skyline has changed dramatically in the fifteen years I have been in San Francisco, there is still all this familiarity for the place I was sitting in.

How many times had I gone through that park high or drunk?

Smoking cigarettes and slamming extra caffeine to keep up with the high-end dining restaurant that I worked at, Hawthorne Lane, how many times had I caught cabs in front of the Metreon to go to my dealers or to have myself carried to the End Up or 1015 or some underground party.

So many times.

And the dread and the terror that was just below the surface of my skin, beating my heart with fear as I walked the paths through the garden to work, short cutting on my way to the restaurant to work a double to make up for all the money I blew on blow.

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

Coiffed, sweetly dressed, yellow silk flower in my hair, expensive shoes on my feet, Hobo purse in my lap, having just left an exquisite show at the MOMA, I sit happy and serene, joyous and free, in that same space, quietly and consistently showing up to make amends to the area and to assuage that damage I did to myself.

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

I have to say I will always keep striving to find them.

Grateful for sunshine, clarity, serenity, communicating my needs, being emotionally transparent.

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

Life is more than fair, you know, if it were fair, I’d be dead.

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Kindness

March 10, 2017

I was blown away by a conversation I had with my boss today.

It started out as a bit of a joke around how I didn’t strike yesterday for International Hooha day yesterday.

That’s Women’s Day for you.

But you know what I mean.

I told her it just didn’t feel right to strike on my job when I work for a mom who runs her own business and has three children.

We joked a bit and the conversation turned to family and I found myself sharing things with her that I have not shared with previous employers.

I found myself sharing as though she were my friend.

Cautiously.

Yes.

I mean I needn’t go into gory details.

But.

I did tell her a bit more about my family.

Specifically my dad.

Which I found myself quietly feeling out the words to explain the relationship and also, and here I was really surprised by my openness, that I was thinking about going and seeing him this July when the family is traveling in Europe.

They will be gone for three weeks.

And.

I was just told tonight as I was leaving that they have the dates for their trip and also the dates for a work trip the dad will be taking at the end of this month.

I am going to help out while he is away for a week.

I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but I will be helping out more.

I also suspect that I won’t mind at all.

She, the mom, is really becoming my friend and it’s a different relationship with a boss than I have had.

Granted.

I have had some amazing.

AMAZING.

Parents that I have gotten to work with.

Let me repeat that.

Amazing.

I am really lucky to call the majority of them my friends.

But I would also say that it was more after the fact than during the beginning of the work relationship.

I just find myself so at ease with her and I feel like I am a different person than the nanny I was when I first started.

I am also much more sure of myself and I am very aware of how good I am.

Which is not ego, but humility.

It would be false pride to belittle what I do or to downplay it.

“I could not do what you do,” my person told me last Saturday, “you really do astound me with how good you are, I still remember how you just pulled out a bag of snacks that one time I ran into you with the boys.”

She recounted a time years back when I was first began doing recovery work with her and I had a nanny gig at the time in Cole Valley.

I ran into her and some fellows and I had one of my charges with me and I had snacks and diapers and back up clothes and milk and wet wipes and god only knows what else, probably a teething ring or three and bags to put wet clothes in and hand disinfectant and the kitchen sink and…

She remembers, though and recounted it, not for the first time, with awe, and I don’t think anything of it, that’s just how I roll, prepared.

There used to be a time though when I was a lot more uncertain of myself and my worth.

I don’t think I was ever uncertain of my abilities, just not of my worth.

I  remember fondly an “intervention” some friends of mine did at Samovar Tea Lounge after I had just moved back from Paris.

It was a combination welcome home and you’re amazing and should be making more money at your job and we want to help you do that.

Eventually all that peer support sunk in and I got the picture.

I started to advocate more for myself and I started to get better jobs.

And now.

Well.

It may really be the best nanny gig I have.

Health insurance.

Paid vacation.

Sick leave.

Invitations to imbibe of their food, nice food, organic food, really nice procured stuff.

I drink nice tea and have all the coffee I could possibly want.

I get to be out and about with my charges.

I have a credit card in my name.

Of course, I can’t get cash with it and they are fully aware of what I use it for, but it’s so handy, I pick up dry cleaning, I use the card, I run to Whole Foods or Rainbow, ditto, I have it to put extra money on the Clipper card (the MUNI pass for the trains), or to take my charges to Dolores Park Cafe for mini pizza.

I have the dream nanny job.

And.

I LOVE my boss.

I feel appreciated, understood, and we talk.

Like we have conversations about the world, the state of the nation under the current administration, art, Paris, Burning Man, San Francisco, homelessness, the mayor, rent and rent control, health insurance, school stuff.

I mean.

I have shared a lot.

So today it was not new exactly, it was just sharing on a slightly deeper level and twice I found myself tearing up in empathy for her kindness and good heartedness and how she just looked at me with her big blue/green eyes and it seemed as though she got it.

She got me.

In fact.

I felt like I was in the field with her.

The field is a psychology term that I liken to be in a therapy session.

There is intuition there and connection and things are seen from both sides, the therapist and the client.

There is often a kind of subconscious connection and things pop up and out and it happened today.

I thought something as she handed me the baby and then she said exactly what I was thinking.

I have found things like that happen to me when I am in tune with another, but I don’t know that it has ever happened with an employer, although as soon as I write that I have curiosity about that statement.

Regardless

It happened.

We connected.

It was a moment of awe that I got to take in and I was just super grateful for her.

And for the little lady bug who tonight when I was making dinner stopped me, looked up, and said, “Carmen I love you, and Carmen,” she said and paused almost shyly, “Carmen, you’re beautiful.”

I stopped stirring the pot and looked at her, this little fairy elven woods creature with big saucer blue eyes and the fey downy blonde eyebrows on her face rose as her eyes widened, and she looked up at me, “you want to hug me now don’t you?”

“Yes,” I do, F__________.”

“Ok.”

I put the wooden spoon down and gathered her up and hugged her.

“I love you too.”

And I do.

Very.

Very.

Very much.

I am such a lucky girl.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And.

I’m also a school girl.

Tomorrow is my first day back to school.

So.

Off to bed I go.

See you on the flip.

Sweet dreams my loves.

Sweet dreams.

Made It!

March 14, 2016

I got through the last day of my three day weekend of classes.

With a little help from my friends.

I got a ride in this morning again.

And a ride after school, although I did not go straight home, no, I headed to the Castro instead and did something that I may rue at a later hour.

I had an Americano at 5p.m. while I was waiting for my friend to join me and go to dinner.

I probably should not have but I was trying to get out of the rain and the mindless milling about the Castro.

It’s fun to window shop, but not when it’s pouring out and the wind is blowing your umbrella inside out.

I ducked into Revielle and the coffee was delicious and I may be awake a little longer than I suspected I will, or.

I may not.

The Day Light Savings Spring forward made for a short night of sleep and I am pretty sure I’ll be able to find my way to sleep.

The question I’m actually debating is whether or not I have the chutzpah to go to yoga class tomorrow before work.

I would like to, especially since I was unable to make any yoga classes this weekend.

But.

Sleep may really be the answer.

Not like I have some challenging week ahead of me, but running three days straight on a slight sleep deficit does tend to add up.

I was joking with a member of my cohort about being sleepy and how that must mean someone in my class was a pathological narcissist as one of the transference characteristics is extreme sleepiness in response to the defensive structures that the narcissist has built up.

If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, I don’t exactly either.

But.

I am beginning to see that I may, that is, I may be getting it.

The material is really starting to ooze in everywhere and also I see parts of myself that are beginning to have more cohesion with the program and with my cohort, with the process of doing the work and the work, well, working on me.

I joked around a little yesterday about realizing that I had dated a closet narcissist, a melancholic and depressive, and a probable borderline personality.

That’s so sexy.

Not.

I have, however, not dated them for as long or I have avoided going out with them again and really, hey, hey, look at that, it’s not them who are the problem.

“So I realized,” I said to my dinner companion as we swapped stories and caught up and loved on each other, I am so happy to have this new friend in my life, “I needed to let him go and walk away.”

No texting.

No reaching out.

No waiting for the phone to ring.

Because all the people that I have dated have one thing in common, aside from mental illness, ha, just kidding.

They have all dated me.

I am the one with the issues.

As I shared with my new “therapist” today in our first dyad session.

I was a bit challenged by being the client, and it’s just me, being me, but I worked my way through it, and realized, even if the therapist didn’t, that I have done a lot of work.

Oh so much work.

On myself.

And the work, well, it can ease off, I could use a break.

I don’t feel like working on myself right now.

I feel like taking a break.

I feel like.

Perhaps.

Yes, perhaps.

This is a good time to not self-improve and just be delighted with who I am and the work I have done, to acknowledge, if just for a moment the work and I then accept it and let it sit for a while.

That feeling of acknowledgement.

Not that I’m going to sit too long.

I am like a shark.

I must keep on moving or I will die.

I joked with my “therapist” that a moving target was harder to hit than a still one.

And that’s really it in a tidy little package.

(Nutshell)

I get to sit with my results, not for too long, I don’t want to rest on my laurels, but I do want to take a moment and just notice for myself that I showed up every day on time with the readings done and the papers written.

I showed up and I participated.

I showed up and I connected with people.

“I just want you to know how much I appreciate the service you do, just by being here, just by being you,” she said today at lunch out of the blue.

I was not expecting that.

I was also told by someone in my cohort that my colorful outfits and flowers in my hair and my authenticity of self was a really refreshing thing, he called it, in fact, “a breath of fresh air.”

Grateful that I get to be of service just by being my authentic self.

Such a gift.

I had a really good day today and maybe that’s the coffee talking, but I really felt connected to my friends at school and then this evening up in the Castro, a roast chicken dinner with my new friend and an hour or so in a church basement to set me up just so for the rest of the week.

It’s just a work week.

Just.

Heh.

I will probably give myself the day off tomorrow from school work.

At least a day of grace period before I dive back into the reading and the next round of papers that will need to get written.

But I am officially half way through second semester, first year, of graduate school.

Midterm.

Crazy.

Crazy good.

I made it through March.

I have two more months left.

Then New York.

And a summer off.

I am more than certain I will be busy with other things between here and there, more adventures in dating, in letting go, in soft surrender, in acceptance, in lightening up.

And yes.

Having fun.

Yes please.

More fun.

Please.

Just as I am certain that I may not rest on my laurels, but I will take a moment to appreciate, with kind eyes, the work I have done.

Good job kid.

Good freaking job.

Close

January 9, 2016

But no cigar.

Or.

No reader.

I should say.

Frustrated.

Yes.

Anything I can do about it?

No.

Er.

Wait!

Practice acceptance, patience, tolerance, kindliness, and love.

Well.

I did my best.

I was nice to the woman on the phone and I could tell that I was not the only impatient student wondering where the fuck their reader was and why was it not already ready and don’t you know how important I am and how valuable my time is?

Well?

Except.

I didn’t.

I just laughed.

And I got grateful that I once again, called before I took action.

One of my readers is actually supposed to be done tonight, as of 10p.m., that was the report from the woman I spoke to.

The other?

Early next week.

I was about to say, “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” but I restrained.

Ah.

Restraint of pen and tongue (and occasionally e-mail) how you save me all the time.

I laughed instead, was sympathetic to the woman on the phone, said, I might come down tomorrow and grab one of the readers.

Or not.

I’m indecisive,to tell you the truth.

My time is valuable and it feels like a waste to go down to that neighborhood twice to pick up readers.

Especially since I have been down once already.

I have been doing the reading online, which is not preferable, not at all, I’m such a better reader when it’s paper and in front of me and I can underline and highlight and stick post-it notes to things and star things, and yeah, hard to do that online.

I do spend considerably more screen time on my computer than I ever thought I would, but I am not to the point where I feel comfortable doing that much reading on it and I’m certainly not the type of person who takes notes on it during class.

Aside.

I see to many of my classmates not paying attention in class, on their laptops or phones or whatever device they have that they are taking notes on and it’s a text or it’s facecrack or social media or youtube and I find it distracting, and I’m not even doing it.

I can’t imagine how I would not succumb to the lure of being online.

Sit at my desk, typing happily away, taking “notes” when in actuality I’m surfing the web.

Nope.

I just have a notebook and a lot of pens.

I suppose I am a little old fashioned.

But that’s just how it works for me.

So.

To go downtown tomorrow and get the one reader that is available or wait until next week and get both the readers I need.

My time is precious so I’ll probably wait until they both are available and focus on being patient and continuing to read what I can online.

I also have received three of my text books for this next semester of classes.

I will be spending some time looking over my syllabi and seeing what I can read for the class with the texts, the syllabus wasn’t posted the last time I checked, but I heard a rumor that it was up.

I haven’t gone to my files to look at it yet.

I have gotten lots of e-mails and updates and this, that, the other in regards to the upcoming semester.

All sorts of fun stuff, from here’s more to read, to hey, guess what, even though the semester is starting next week, you don’t get your financial aid until February 10th!

Hello.

I might re-think my hair geographic.

Although I think I can pull it off.

January does have five weeks in it, that’s an extra pay period.

I shall see.

I don’t want to cancel and when I did my spending plan I had not included the monies that I was expecting to receive from financial aid disbursement, although it was definitely in the back of my head.

I am not going to fret.

There really is nothing to fret about.

I’ll have the cash.

Or.

I won’t.

If I don’t do my hair this month, I will next.

But.

I believe it’s there.

I’ll just be clever and re-locating money from one category to another in my spending plan.

The nice thing, that, knowing, to the penny, how much I spend on things helps me to know what kind of money I actually have to spend.

If I want something that is more than the amount budgeted in that category, I can relegate funds from another area.

My overhead is pretty low and I’m creative.

I have abundance and I am well aware of it.

The fact that I have clean, somewhat dry clothes (it started to rain on my way home) on my back, a sweet, clean, well lit, cozy home to come home and dry off in, food in my fridge, a phone that works, a scooter in front of the house, a bicycle in the garage, I have so much.

I am super grateful.

I have enough.

I am enough.

It’s awesome.

Sort of like the dinner I had tonight at work.

Swordfish sashimi; kimchi, black salt cod, chicken yakatori, and trumpet mushroom yakatori.

Amazing.

I went with the family to Rintaro on Folsom at 15th.

So tasty.

Plus lots of soba tea.

The family took me out for a late birthday dinner, which was very sweet of them to do.

And it’s nice to be so well thought of and so cherished and taken care of at my job.

I suppose because I cherish and take care 0f them.

It’s a two way street of lovely reciprocity.

Yup.

Life is good.

Even when I’m not getting it when I want it, my readers, or the weather dumps some rain, on my bicycle parade, I am so loved and taken care of, I can’t really fathom complaining about a thing.

I am.

A.

Very.

Lucky girl.

Getting The Swing of Things

August 13, 2015

I am feeling so much better than yesterday.

Although I have to say, this morning.

Not so much.

I had a moment of, “fuck this.”

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I did.

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

I was emotionally hung over from the night before.

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

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

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

Is this the right program?

Am I doing this right?

I don’t fit in?

Or do I?

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

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

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

And I know.

Get used to it kid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are absolutely no scarcity of jobs for me.

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

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

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

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

I will be taken care of.

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

I like saying that.

Clients.

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

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

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

I am good already.

Meaning.

I showed up.

I have not left.

I have not dropped.

I am on time.

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

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

I am learning more than I know as well.

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

I am seen.

I am heard.

I am getting into it.

I am grateful for this.

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

I’m excited by working with him.

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

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

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

I can do this.

I am doing this.

I am a graduate school student.

Holy shit.

I’m doing this!

It’s a nice feeling.

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

And that is where I will plant myself.

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

The rest will follow.

It always does.

“Pet Me”

August 6, 2015

Oh baby.

Of course.

Curl up in my arms and I will hold you and pet you.

I stroked his small, warm back.

We had us a day.

it started out with one hell of a temper tantrum.

Screaming.

Outside.

Yikes.

It escalated and then.

It stopped.

He blew himself out and then got tired and we sat down on a neighbor’s steps and I held him against my heart and when his breath had slowed I looked at him, “take another breath for me, big deep breath,” I said and demonstrated.

He breathed in.

His wet eyes, mashed eyelashes, brown pools of sweet soft little boy.

“How old are you sweet pie?”  I asked him, brushing the hair off his forehead.

“Three,” he whispered.

“Three more breathes in and out and then we’ll talk about what we can do to make this better,” I cradled him on my lap while his brother hid in the stroller with his hands over his ears.

I am sure that the older brother was not the only one with hands over ears on the block for the duration of the tantrum.

But.

Then.

Peace and the struggle was over.

It was about his stuffed cat, who, yes, I refer to it as a who, sometimes a she, sometimes a he, Meow Meow, has become a source of such comfort for the littlest guy that now, this last week especially, he has insisted on leaving the house to go to the park with the stuffie.

Unfortunately.

The once white cat is now grey.

“Look!”  The five year old said at the park yesterday, “Meow Meow is camouflaged!”

And indeed he was.

The stuffed cat blended right into the dirty sidewalk.

Ugh.

It’s not that I really care all that much if the stuffed toy gets dirty, it’s more that Meow Meow has become a weapon of destruction when the three-year old loses his ability, slight at this age, to communicate his needs.

Reminds me of myself at times, I will lash out unhesitating in my necessity to claim what ever security I can grasp in my small little world.

But the reaction has gotten pretty bad and the cat ends up being used as a device to beat his brother or worse.

He’s used it to hit other little kids at the playground.

So far no real cats have been hurt in our capers, but I am concerned.

“Meow Meow is a lover, not a fighter,” I explained to him today.

More than once.

But we’re working it out.

The summer is coming to a close, in a manner of speaking, for the boys.

School camp starts next week, which is the school’s way of integrating the new students into the system, the pre-school kids and the new kindergarten kids into the system, as well as providing a nice little segue for the parents into the school year.

It is handily timed, as I will be out-of-town next week myself.

I’ll be in school too.

Oh god.

This is happening.

I got a little freaked today and wished for a minute that I could be a little cat, curl up in someone’s lap, hide away from the world with my blanket and be pet and stroked and taken care of.

But it’s just me here doing the deal, so to the best of my ability, I’m taking care of myself with kindness and compassion and breathing through the moments as calm as possible.

Being 42 years old I wonder if I should be taking that many breaths when I get overwhelmed.

It’s not a bad idea.

I had to remind myself to just take the time to sort and look at my books today, get a little more organized, I still have loads of reading to do before I hit the retreat on Sunday.

Check in time is 4p.m.

Granted, classes don’t start until Monday morning, so I do have Sunday to do some reading as well, but I really want to have the majority of it done before I head to the retreat.

I would like to also ask the cohort how the hell I’m supposed to enjoy the retreat if I’ve got hundreds of pages of reading to do to be prepared for just the retreat and as far as I can see I also will have two papers due relatively soon thereafter the retreat–which will be written while I am working with the family in Sonoma.

Retreat my ass.

It feels like boot camp.

But that’s just my perspective.

I had to take manageable little bites with the reading.

And also to be kind to myself.

“MOTHERFUCKER!”

I shouted this evening when I got home from work, looking over the syllabus for one of the classes.

I realized I had overlooked a book on the list of readings that I had to do and it precipitated a great deal of anxiety as I looked over the stack of books and yes, did indeed confirm, that I was missing a tome.

I got online immediately and ordered it through Amazon.

Most of my books I found online and I have bought all of them used.

I would not be able to afford them all at list price and I’m willing to overlook the used quality of the books to just have them in my possession.

Fortunately I discovered that the reading out of that book was not listed for the retreat.

Whew.

And I’ll have it by the time I do have to have it.

And breathe.

I’m sure the retreat will actually be good for me.

I’ll meditate.

I’ll get outside.

The great out doors.

(G.O.D.)

Get right with the trees and hills and sky.

I’ll take walks.

And, fingers crossed, I’ll get myself into the hot tub underneath the bright stars outside the city lights and I will soak away the worry and fear.

I’ll let myself be myself and I won’t be afraid.

Or I will.

But I will remember to breathe and when I have that feeling that I just need someone to hold my hand, someone to pet me, to console me, and stroke my hair, I’ll ask for God to hold my hand through it.

And I’ll get by just fine.

I always do.


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