Posts Tagged ‘letter of recommendation’

One Hell of a Day

July 10, 2018

I’m still not sure how I got through it.

But.

I did.

And I just had breakfast for dinner to celebrate.

Sort of.

I just made oatmeal and had a hard-boiled egg because I did not have the opportunity to get out and do grocery shopping and by the time I was done seeing clients tonight.

Well.

I was done.

I didn’t want to go out to eat either.

Besides.

I did have a very nice lunch at a place in the Castro today that I have never been too with my person and he convinced me to have the grilled romaine salad.

It was really good!

I will be back.

So.

I did  have some nice food today and you know, I do like oatmeal, it wasn’t a hardship for me to eat it.

It’s not like I’m eating stale nuts and flat water.

It was more that it was a big day, I had a lot going on, I did a lot, I did the deal, I spoke, I had a lot of things to organize this morning, research that I needed to do, places I needed to call.

Stuff and things.

I’m being a bit vague as not all of it is sorted out and I don’t need to report on something that hasn’t happened it.

Suffice to say.

Things are moving.

And after some intense moments, hopefully in a direction that is beneficial to all involved.

Speaking of moving.

I am really looking.

I did get a response back from one place, but no follow through.

I feel like this may happen a bit, I figure the demands for housing are so high that people who are posting are probably inundated with requests.

I will soon be posting to social media that I am looking too, so that may be another avenue of possibilities.

I haven’t done so yet, being in a sort of limbo here.

Clarity is on the horizon, it feels and things moving enough to say that I am actively looking, hell I’ve been actively looking for a bit, but that I will be letting my friends, family, and social  networks in on it as well.

I haven’t yet done that.

I’m hoping that is where the juice is at.

That someone I know will have something or know of something.

Word of mouth always feels like the best way to find something.

And it’s not a resource I have availed myself of yet.

I have also done other work these last couple of days, lots of emails about the internship.

I have already gotten back one letter of recommendation!

Which was so good to read!

It made me really happy to read it.

Especially right after I saw my clients tonight.

I had some big sessions tonight.

Here’s the letter:

Dear ___________________
I am very pleased to write this letter of recommendation for _________ AMFT. I have
worked with ______ for over a year at The Liberation Institute of San Francisco, and as her clinical supervisor in weekly group supervision and periodic individual consultations, I have close knowledge of her work with clients.

_______ possesses the qualities of an excellent professional psychotherapist. She is self-aware, compassionate, mature and fully dedicated to her work. She provides a caring, consistent holding environment for her clients and has the ability to form a solid working alliance with clients from a range of backgrounds, experiences, diverse life styles, and cultures.
________’s personal qualities and life experiences have informed her capacity to be a healing force for her clients. She has established effective therapeutic relationships with clients dealing with very challenging issues and has sustained long-term work with many as they have stabilized and made important changes in their lives. Given an interview opportunity she may share some about this.
In group supervision _______ has been a very valued contributor. She listens well to others and offers astute insights in a supportive way. She is open to others input and comes prepared with questions and things to share about her own work. Carmen also knows how to establish boundaries in the clinical situation, has a good grasp of professional ethics, and has helped others in the group by sharing her own experiences.
I believe ______ would be a strong asset to your organization and have no reservations
whatsoever in recommending her for a clinician position.

Yay!

God that was nice.

I don’t know if I’ll see the letter from my other supervisor or not, but he was happy to write me up one and I feel very comfortable that he will portray me well.

Grateful for the kind words, it’s nice to see how others think of my skills and abilities and I am happy to have another little piece of the next part of the puzzle in place.

And I got a response back from the woman who was going to be my supervisor and she expressed excitement for me and also that she would like to talk further about it.

We’re going to establish some contact tomorrow and figure that out.

I also made another coffee date with a friend for this week.

Which is super nice.

I am going to be coffee’ed up!

But I’m glad for that.

I have a coffee date tomorrow, a hiking/hot tub date and meet the new baby in Berkeley date on Wednesday, a coffee date and possible walk around the Mission Farmer’s Market on Thursday, and not one but two coffee dates on Friday! Plus maybe dinner Friday night too?

Grateful to get some connecting in.

I need it.

As I have alluded to, it’s been some stressful times and making plans with friends has really helped.

Really helped.

And soon, I feel certain, everything is going to fall into place.

And!

Let me not forget.

Paris.

I leave on Sunday.

Paris always makes everything feel better.

I am a very lucky girl.

Very.

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Being Proactive

July 9, 2018

I got a lot done today!

I also forgot a couple of times what day of the week it is.

Heh.

It is not often that I have the luxury of forgetting what day of the week it is, but I did today.

It was sort of nice to just do the next thing in front of me and let go of the results.

Life goes pretty smooth when I do that.

I am happy to report I got up and went to yoga.

Two days in a row!

And despite having the next few days “free” in the mornings, I won’t make another yoga class until Thursday or possibly Friday.

The classes available don’t quite fit my schedule.

A schedule that does have a few time slots of delicious opening, but that I have made some time to see friends and do lunches, grab coffees, catch up and connect.

I’d rather connect with friends right now than worry about making another yoga class appear in my schedule.

Suffice to say.

I am glad I went though, it felt good and I felt good for going.

I also did meet with a lady today and do the deal and I got a lot of work done to apply for the paid internship that I have been researching.

Namely.

I updated my resume for the position and I reached out to two supervisors to write me letters of recommendation.

Both gave me a resounding yes they would be happy to do so.

That felt really good.

I’m about half way done with what the application requires for the internship.

There’s a lot they want to see.

The rest of it is a matter of sitting down and doing some writing and figuring out a mission statement for myself and my vision of a private practice.

Fortunately, in my last semester one of my classes, Integrative Seminar, made a big point about this and I feel like all I have to do is go back through the notes I took to be able to give the internship what it’s looking for.

I also have to do a business plan.

That feels a little more challenging, but they have some templates and I’ve been reading over everything and I believe I can come up with something that will do the job.

It is certainly good practice no matter what comes of it.

I do feel good about the internship though, my friend whom I spoke to about it really felt that I would be a good fit and after speaking with her, I feel the same.

I also have to acknowledge that in the 8 days since I found out the internship that I thought I would have had fallen through I have done a lot of footwork to find a new one.

I have researched and reached out.

I had a coffee date to sit with my friend and find out if it was a good fit for me.

I reached out to two supervisors for letters of recommendation.

I also reached out to the woman who I was going to intern with and asked her if she still had any interest in renting out office space to me.

I don’t know that it makes sense for me to rent my own office.

In fact.

I don’t think that I could afford it.

Hell.

When I look at what’s available on craigslist as I navigate through my current living situation, I can’t afford what’s out there to rent, let alone a full-time office space.

The best bet for me is to do what my friend does, she shares the office she works out of with another therapist.  She’s in her office two days a week with clients, the other five days the licensed MFT is using it.

I figure that the woman who was going to supervise me does have office space availability, I mean she did when we talked and unless something has changed she probably still does.

Thus the email inquiry.

I also asked if she might still want to supervise me, but under the auspices of the internship who would pay her the rent on the office and pay her a fee for supervision and then the internship with take out admin fees from my account and whatever is left over would be my paycheck.

It will probably take some months before I even get money, but if I do it right and I work at it in a steady way, I could be making a decent amount after about half a year.

Not enough to quit being a nanny, not by far, but enough to help pay the bills and maybe go down to part-time nannying instead of full-time.

Of course.

I also have my school program coming up to contend with.

I have been thinking it will be much like my Masters degree the last year of it, working pretty much full-time as a nanny for my current family, seeing clients after work, and then doing my homework on the weekends.

I will slowly accrue hours.

And that will be alright.

As long as I’m not stagnating.

It’s work, but work towards an end goal.

And I really like being a therapist.

It feels good and right and it feels like this is how I bring more love into the world.

I saw the Mister Rogers movie, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” today with my person.

It was so good.

I was so happy he persuaded me to put aside our recovery work for an afternoon and just go duck into a movie theater and watch an amazing movie.

If you haven’t seen it, go!

It was astounding.

And I grew up watching Mister Rogers, so it felt especially poignant.

I also appreciated it and the principles of spirituality, basic child psychology, inclusion, and love that he was obviously basing his life work around.

It was a beautiful movie and I left feeling hopeful and happy that as things progress it’s all going to work out.

I just have to keep love in my heart and be honest in my person.

I have faith I can do that.

I really do.

I’ll Just Leave This Right Here

February 9, 2018

For: CARMEN MARTINES

To whom it may concern: I am writing this letter on behalf of Carmen Martines, in strong and unequivocal support for her in applying to the Transformative Inquiry doctoral program. I have known Carmen since she started here in the Master’s Degree ICP Weekend program in 2015. She was remarkable, astute, smart and dedicated then, and she has only gotten better in all the areas of competence, of heart and of relatedness that are central to being a therapist. Carmen has been a consistent, always ready and engaged learner, able to manage course load, timeliness and presence in classes. Evaluations by faculty of her clinical and theoretical work and progress have been consistently high, but more importantly, have emphasized her empathic presence, social justice awareness and interpersonal care. Overall, she makes good choices, works hard at staying personally and interpersonally aware and engaged. I trust her, and truly believe that she will benefit herself, the TID program and the community by getting that doctorate. There are many more positive things I can say about Carmen in support of her application, but I think you get the picture! Please contact me right away if you have any questions or any hesitations about accepting her in this journey! Thank you,

 

Um yeah.

THANK YOU!

So freaking happy when I read this.

I reached out today to my advisor, who also happens to be the head of the department for the program I am in at school, and asked him how my letter of recommendation was coming for my PhD application to the Transformative Inquiry Department at the school I am currently enrolled in as a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology.

Wow.

I was not expecting the quick response.

And.

The funny thing was that I was so busy at work that I had forgotten I had even reached out to him.

I had this little moment today when I was putting the baby down for a nap that I should check in with my advisor about the letter.

The application to the PhD program is due by the end of this month.

I haven’t done a lot of work on it as of yet.

I have filled out the really basic stuff and I have notified the school that I will be graduating my program in May and thus able to apply to the PhD program.

My transcripts look great.

4.0.

And even if I was to get less than perfect grades for the last semester, it wouldn’t matter, my application will be processed far before I graduate, two months, perhaps even two and a half months before I will wrap my last weekend of classes.

So for all intents and purposes I’m applying with a 4.0 to the program.

Thank you, thank you very much.

I have done a lot of work in the program.

So much.

Intense personal work.

And let me tell you, never was I more grateful for it than tonight.

I had the client session to end all client sessions.

I obviously cannot divulge what happened in session.

Confidentiality.

But.

It was one of the most intense sessions I have ever had, if not the most intense.

I had to work, consciously and with great compassion and awareness of what was happening not just for the client but for myself.

I had to not let myself get swallowed up in the session.

I held my own.

But I have to say, it took some time to shake it off after the session wrapped and the client left.

I did a lot of deep breathing.

I shook myself out.

Literally.

I stood up after writing my progress notes in the file and I shook my arms and legs and stomped my feet and brushed off my arms and prayed.

Then I went to the bathroom and slowly went out to my car.

There was a lot of activity, drug activity, happening on the street, and though I wasn’t parked too near it, I was hyper aware of being a solo woman walking down the street where there were a good-sized group of men using openly.

I got into my car and called a friend of mine in cohort.

I told her what was happening.

Not the contents of the session, again, that’s unethical and illegal, and breaks the client confidentiality.

But.

l was able to share with my friend that I was deregulated and that I had just walked past a bunch of guys using, and I was alone and I just needed to connect with a human.

Thank God for my car.

So, so, so grateful to be warm and safe and able to use the bluetooth to talk to my friend while I drove home.

We caught up, made lunch plans to eat together at the break tomorrow, talked about her kids, my job, life, and by the time I was home and parking my car, I was calm and together.

But wow.

That was one hell of an experience.

Super aware too how much I will have to process with my supervisor on Monday about the session, but for now, well, I can shelf it and attend to getting ready for the weekend of classes.

I am pleased to report my lunch is packed, my books and notebooks and folders are all set, I have my coffee ready to go, all I have to do is take my lunch out of my fridge and put it in my bag and off I go.

I will be taking my scooter to class.

My campus is downtown, a block away from the Twitter HQ.

There is no parking.

None.

Not for a car.

Not on a Friday.

But there is plenty for a scooter.

Parking aside, I also have a lot to do tomorrow.

I’ll be leaving class a little early to go to my first optometry appointment with UCSF.

Then some doing the deal at Irving and 7th and then back to my internship to do a consult with a referral.

I got a referral!

And after.

Dinner with my best friend.

It’s a full day, and a day where I will need to be in multiple places with expediency.

I will need the scooter.

Grateful for the option to use it.

Although, I admit I was sad to park my car, I have gotten so fond of driving her, I even briefly entertained driving it, but to park, if I even found a spot, would be exorbitant.

So, the scooter it is.

I’m ready for classes, all my work done, all my reading, the paper turned in.

I just need to show up and participate.

I can do that.

And if I play my cards right.

I will get my PhD application done this Sunday after I get out of class.

If I don’t, I still have a couple of weeks.

I’m just super happy to have gotten the letter.

It was so nice to read after I got home.

Really.

Really.

Really.

Nice.

And Then There Was This

January 24, 2018

January 22, 2018

To:

I am writing to strongly recommend Carmen Martines for your doctoral program. I work with Carmen at the _________________ in San Francisco where I serve as the Director and one of the Clinical Supervisors. Carmen is a masters level psychotherapy intern here, providing psychotherapy services in our non-profit community mental health center.

As a counselor here, Carmen is able to help a large number of clients to grow and heal. I can not over emphasize the valuable and unique set of experiences, drive, compassion, and intelligence that Carmen brought to her work here and is capable of offering to the world.

Carmen has overcome tremendous obstacles in order to now be in a position to increase her knowledge and skills. She has an innate drive and professionalism that I believe will be a good match for your program.

I myself am a graduate of _________, where I received a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology. I understand well the intellectual, academic, and practical aspects of the work involved and feel that Carmen has all the skills, natural abilities, and resources to excel as a doctoral student.

In short, the current and future potential of Carmen to be a gifted force in the community is undeniable. Her education in your program and subsequent contributions will surely increase that potential. Please consider her to be an exceptionally strong candidate.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

That is from my supervisor at my internship.

I found it in my file tonight in office.

I was thrilled to say the least.

I was expecting a good letter of recommendation, but this letter really hit my heart and made me realize, I am really going to do this.

REALLY.

It still fills a little strange and as I was sharing with a friend today whilst scurrying from one place to another, I already feel behind for this semester, that I am going to apply to a PhD program.

But.

Yes.

Indeed I am.

It was a nice letter to get.

It was affirming and it was just another soft layer of nice on top of a day that has been surprisingly less painful than the past week has been.

I have been in such excruciating emotional pain that I cannot even believe I made it through the week, then to add the getting a crown shoved in my mouth to the whole deal and navigating my way through my first weekend back in class, well, fuck, it’s been a tough week.

Let me also add I haven’t had a day off in I forget now how many days, but ten?

And I’m on track to work overtime this week at work.

I got a message from the mom asking me to come in early tomorrow, one of my charges is sick.

Sigh.

I said sure.

I could use the money frankly.

The unexpected out lay of $1300 for the dental procedure rather stripped me down on my reserve.

Plus.

I am getting a tattoo on Saturday.

Two pieces actually, and I’m not sure how much that’s going to be, although I have a ballpark feel for it.

So sure, I’ll come in two hours early tomorrow.

Sigh.

I feel like I can do it though as I actually got some sleep last night.

It was the first night in a week, longer? That I didn’t fall asleep crying.

There’s been a lot of nights falling asleep crying, but this last week it wasn’t just slippery tears and sadness, it was all out weeping and consternation so deep it felt like I was being torn in two.

Emotionally shredded.

I haven’t been able to write my blog for a few days, there was so much emotionally happening for me, I can’t even begin to know how I got through the week.

But it started to ease last night.

Thank you God.

I got some sleep.

I didn’t wake up crying.

Oh yeah, crying, like that’s what it was.

It was more like.

Falling on the floor and sobbing.

I went to bed weeping every night and by the time I hit my knees to do my morning prayers I was crying again.

Now.

I won’t lie.

I had therapy today, so there was crying there too, but not the deep gut wrenching, heart-sick, soul rending crying that I had been doing all week.

It was more of a processing cry.

The session went by fast.

I had so much happen this past week it still rather astounds me.

I grew a lot.

Inevitable that, when I go through a lot of pain I either grow or I wither.

I was forced, it felt, in a way, to grow and grow in ways I never even imagined I could or would.

But fuck me.

I certainly did.

I suspect the growth is still going to happen, I don’t know how it can’t, but I feel that I am through some of the hardest parts of it.

I sincerely fucking hope so.

That kind of pain is just not sustainable.

I don’t know that I could have taken much more of it.

I ran into an acquaintance tonight who remarked on how different I looked, saying how obvious it was the amount of pain I was in on Saturday.

Of course, he thought it was all about the tooth pain, and truth be told when I saw him at the spot, it was painful.

 

 

 

 

 

And oh.

There.

Look.

Pain.

Again.

And again and again and again.

Hey, surprise.

You don’t get off the hook that easy.

Thought you were going to make it through the day didn’t you?

Fuck.

I’m just going to go now.

I’ve lost all ability to string a cogent sentence together.

I’ve been crying for the last hour.

I don’t know why I even bothered to try to write.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

May god bless you and keep you and hold you tight, warm and safe and secure in the knowledge of all the love I have for you.

I can’t express all the love there is for you.

I can only go and cry my heart out some more over you.

Cry and cry and cry.

And.

Fucking cry.

 

           

 

Graduation Application

January 5, 2018

Holy fuck.

It’s happening.

I mean.

It’s been happening for years now, when I think about it, the getting to graduation bit.

But.

Whoa.

It’s really happening now.

I got a notification from my cohort’s student representative with the program that the deadline for the application to graduate is February 1st.

I have two more weeks before I’m heading back into the first weekend of classes for my last semester and I have to be on this shit in a major way.

There are quite a few hoops to jump through,

I am a tiny bit surprised that there is so much paperwork that has to be done, and at the same time, not at all surprised, the school is small and there often times seems to be a lot of unnecessary hoop jumping on the part of the students.

This is not something new.

So good information to have as I navigate the next couple of weeks before the semester begins, because I will also have another application due in February.

The application to the PhD program through the Transformative Psychology program.

That application is due at the end of the month.

The application to graduate from my Masters in Counseling Psychology will be due the 1st of the month.

Nicely bookending my weekend of classes and all the other things that I need to take care of to get through the month.

Plus.

I am going on a trip in February to the East Coast.

Holy bats.

February is going to be a big fucking month.

And although it’s only January 4th I can feel that this month is going to fly by.

This week certainly has, I was like, wait, what, tomorrow’s Friday?

How the hell did that happen so quick?

Back to clients, back to work, holidays over, get yourself busy.

Gratefully this week really was an easing in.

I didn’t have my solo supervision, that revs back up on Monday, just my therapy this week, and I also did not carry my full load of clients.

I’ve had three this week so far, two of those session were tonight, and I will have a phone session tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

My last client of the week cancelled.

So I will actually get out in time to do the deal.

Maybe I’ll pop over to Our Lady of Safeway and get right with God.

It’s been a hot second since I’ve been in that neck of the woods.

I’ve a full day Saturday, dentist appointment at 9 a.m., hoping to get out with just a quick cleaning and get back to my neighborhood in time to go to yoga, then a shower, some late breakfast, and getting over to group supervision in the afternoon from 2-4p.m.

I’ll have a lull in between, maybe time to get a manicure.

I’ll hit my spot at 7pm in the NOPA and call it a Saturday.

Sunday I do have a ladybug coming over to do some work and I’m looking forward to that for sure.

Of course, I’ll want to get in a yoga class, and perhaps another bike ride, I really enjoyed doing that.

If the weather holds.

It’s been raining a fuck of a lot the last couple days and it looks like there’s still some more in the upcoming days.

So grateful for my car.

Really, so much.

Especially coming home tonight when the sky just sort of opened up out of nowhere, to not be on my scooter in the rain, such a blessing.

Anyway.

Sunday may be the day to kick out the graduation application.

I do want to get it out-of-the-way fairly quickly.

I don’t want it looming over me during the school weekend, especially as I will be occupied getting into my class routine.

Plus.

I will want to have the rest of the time to work on my application for the PhD program.

Which reminds me.

I need to talk to my advisor, who just so happens to be the head of my department, about getting a letter of recommendation from him.

The PhD program requires that one of my letters come from my academic advisor.

I don’t believe it will be too hard to get a good letter from him, he was one of my first teachers in the program, I had him my first semester, he admires me, he has asked me to help advise others regarding writing academically and he’s asked after my experience with teachers in the program and some interesting internal conflicts my cohort has gone through.

I really like him and he likes me and he’s been a great advocate of mine.

I have to make an appointment to meet with him ASAP.

I’m going to be talking to the Dean from the Transformative Psychology department on Monday, I want to line up my advisor for the following week when I’ll be heading into my first weekend of the semester.

But.

First.

A little fun.

And.

Oh.

A tiny bit of pain too.

I have my anniversary in 9 days and a dance party to go to–the fun.

And.

Yes.

A thirteenth star tattoo to get–the pain.

I’ll be heading into see Danny Boy at Let it Bleed on Polk Street on the afternoon of my anniversary after I get out of my group supervision.

Danny Boy’s done the last three stars for me.

I’m planning a pink one this go around, a small’ish one, on the right side of my neck, above the big black star that I got, my 11th year, which also happened to fall right after David Bowie’s death–Bowie was sober and his last album was Black Star–seemed quite apropos.

I’m excited.

There’s some big stuff happening.

Anniversary, graduation application, PhD application, life, love, doing the deal, work, clients.

All the things.

All of them.

You Look Much

December 31, 2017

“Better than when you came in!”

And.

“I remember you from 19th and Dolores, I mean it, you look amazing.”

He said to me with a big grin.

It’s nice to run into folks who remember me from when I first got sober.

I have changed quite a bit.

I mean.

So much.

It’s extraordinary.

Hell, I feel like I’ve changed a bunch in these last four years and certainly since I’ve been in my graduate program with school.

My life really blows my mind at times.

My great job.

My relationships.

My new car.

Um, hello.

I got her washed today.

First of all, fuck, it’s pricey in the city, but oh, man, she looks so pretty when she’s clean and I just know it will keep the life of the car up to take care of it.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to go check out the place on Bayshore that you can get a membership to and get unlimited car washes for $29.99 a month.

I paid $33 today at the one on Divisadero.

I got a wash a few weeks back, my last weekend of classes, at the place on Van Ness and that was $30.

The one on Divisadero did a much better job.

However, $33 is a bunch of money.

If I can get unlimited washes at the place on Bayshore for $29.99 a month, I go once and it’s pretty much paid for itself.

It’s a place called Shine-N-Seal.

It’s a bit out of my way, but I was thinking today when I left my group supervision that it’s worth checking out on a day when I’m getting out of group since I’m in the Mission and the Bayshore is not so far away, maybe a ten minute drive.

And after dropping the $33 at the place on Divisadero I’m ready for something a little more economical, especially since I’m realizing how much I really like having my car and I like having her clean.

Like.

A lot.

It’s super nice.

Plus.

Grocery shopping today, being warm, being able to bring more back than when I’m on my scooter, listening to music in the car, I really dig on that.

Anyway.

I have reflected a lot today how good I have it and I’m super grateful for that perspective.

I also got hella sleep today.

I was up for a little while this morning but then decided screw it, back to bed.

I didn’t go to yoga, I have a hard time committing to the instructor for the class I could have gone today, I just do not like his classes and when the option to crawl back into bed was happening, well, I just rolled with it.

I mean.

Fuck.

I felt like a million bucks today.

Super rested.

I got lots of laundry done, all fresh linens on the bed, all my towels done, and a run to the grocery store before I left for supervision.

Which was so chill.

There were only two of us so I got to go over a load of my clients and also check in about some school stuff, intern stuff, applying for my intern number, which will happen after I graduate in May.

Some talk about the PhD program I’m considering going into.

Yeah.

I said that.

I am getting pretty serious about it.

My supervisor at my practicum site told me he would support me through the process, he did the same thing I’m considering, like almost to a “t.”

“Carmen I worked full-time, I ran this place, and I got my PhD at the same time, you can totally do it and I’ll write you a letter of recommendation for the program.”

He went to the same graduate school program that I am in.

He also remembers me from 19th and Dolores.

And basically I got, “baby you’ve come a long way,” in no uncertain terms.

I have done a hell of a lot since getting sober, it is incredible when I think about.

Super grateful.

Over the moon grateful.

Blessed.

Crazy graced.

Lucky as fuck.

I don’t know how else to express it, but that I want to keep doing the deal and staying in the boat and doing the work, man I want to live this life and keep getting to do all sorts of amazing things.

Like get my doctorate in psychology.

Because.

Why the fuck not?

I’m only going to get older.

Plus, I can put off my student loans for a while yet, I have a place to accrue my internship hours, I will go for my MFT license and I will be a licensed MFT with a PhD.

Yes, please.

Today I had a few moments before showing up for group supervision, I went to Gus’s Market and got a salad from the salad bar and some stupid expensive blackberries, but gosh they tasted so nice, and a bottle of bubbly water, because I roll like that, and when I was walking down the hall on the fifth floor to supervision there it was.

“Take a Peek!”

A sign on one of the offices.

Oh yes, yes please.

Let me take a peek.

Look at that.

It was a big office, bigger by far than most of the offices I work in out the building.

I totally took a moment today dream my private office.

The space smelled of fresh paint and had a big window, double the size of most of the offices I am in, and it got sunshine.

I envisioned book shelves and file cabinets and a couch and a therapist chair and a place to have a tea-pot and a little mini fridge and oh, I could put down a nice cozy rug and hang art on the walls.

I just got into it.

It’s years away yet, but it’s not that far down the road.

My own private office, my own private practice.

I’ll be Dr. Martines licensed MFT and psychotherapist.

I’ll set my own hours, so that I can go to yoga in the morning and do the deal whenever I fucking want, I’ll make good money, I will have great health insurance and I will take nice vacations, I’ll have parking in the private garage in the building and live in a home that’s not next to the garage and below a barky dog, oh, man, I can see it.

It’s really not that far off.

It was super sweet to just have that moment in the office and I know that I might not be in that office space, but I will be in one, and I’ll be taken care of as long as I keep doing the things that I need to do to stay in recovery.

My life is fucking amazing.

REALLY.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Whole Lotta Nothing

December 30, 2017

Not that it was bad.

No.

It was divine.

I only left the house today to go to yoga.

And.

I almost didn’t go.

My brain said, hey, you were sick yesterday really bad, you should lie in bed and make sure that you’re ok.

Even though I was pretty much back to my normal self by the time bed time rolled around last night, no nausea, no headache, so no reason for me to lay in the bed this morning.

I got up and got dressed and walked over to yoga.

And it was good.

I got nice and warm and sweaty and had a good work out and stretched and my back is slowly feeling better, between a couple of chiropractor visits and doing a little more yoga, I have a much happier back.

Sure, some poses still not great at and I couldn’t hold a few of them today, tough on the tender ankles, but I know that balancing is helpful for strengthening my ankles and I also did some foot exercises today that my chiropractor recommended to me for strengthening my ankles.

I went though and I am happy I did.

It was the only time I went outside today.

I ended up taking a huge hot shower, wrote many pages in my notebook, and then had my best friend over for hang out time.

Lots of talking, hanging out, getting caught up, and I made some yummy food.

I cooked up my version of a Cajun gumbo/jambalaya.

Sans the crayfish.

I used shrimp instead.

It wasn’t really a gumbo and it wasn’t really a jambalaya, but it was somewhere in between and it was tasty.

I am very happy I made it too, knocked out some food prep for the week, what wasn’t eaten was put up and frozen and I’ll probably run some over to my person too, who’s recuperating from a hip replacement surgery.

I got the best text message from him regarding one of my soups that I had given him.

I made him an Italian sausage with white bean soup and then my version of chicken soup with veggies, brown rice, and Andouille sausage.

He was very, very happy with them both, but I think the latter got the big applause.

I do like to cook, it’s a nice way to show someone who you care for that you love them.

Since I don’t eat sugar or flour I don’t make super intricate stuff for myself, but since I know how to cook and have cooked plenty with those ingredients, I know how to combine flavors.

Sometimes I have no idea where the stuff comes from, I’m just like, hmm, put that with this and see what happens.

It’s a nice skill to have and I’m always surprised that so many people can’t cook or don’t know how to do even basic stuff.

I’m not a great cook, but I’m good and I feel like I’m definitely better than the average bear.

My friend seemed quite happy to eat the food.

I don’t recall any complaints.

We hung out past sunset, which really isn’t that late since the sun goes down around 5p.m. and by the time my company had left and I washed up the dishes and put everything away I had absolutely no desire or urge to go outside.

It’s just too cozy in my little house and I’m happy to stay put.

It feels rather nice to not have clients tonight, to not have work either, which is why I was able to go to a 8:30 a.m. yoga class today, the family I nanny for went out-of-town for the weekend.

I’ll be going back into work on Tuesday.

Back to therapy, back to seeing clients, back to it all.

Fortunately the kids will be going back to school by that time as well, working early every day this past week, with the obvious exception of yesterday having called out sick, is a bit of a grind.

I don’t mind it horribly and I’m always glad I can be flexible for the family, but it will be nice to go back to my regular hours.

In the meantime I don’t have a lot planned for the weekend, and no plans at all for New Years.

I would just rather skip it.

I have my dance party on January 13th and that will be my dancing fun, I don’t need to go and be out amongst the hoi poi over the weekend, I’m more than happy to skip lines, drunks, amateurs, and Uber and Lyft crazy drivers from out-of-town.

Not sure what I’ll do, if anything, to celebrate.

More yoga.

The studio has classes on Monday, so technically I could do yoga tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday, making it a four-day run for me.

I think that’s the best idea.

And maybe I’ll take a little trip to Stinson or Muir in my car.

I got my FasTrak in the mail today, so I can pay tolls via that instead of cash and it’s a no brainer to get over the bridge.

I do have group supervision tomorrow, lest I forget, though it was a very, very quiet week for clients, only one client, I only have to attend group, which is nice, but I do have to attend.

My solo supervisor is still out on Monday, which is New Years Day, so I won’t start back up with him until the 9th of January.

A tiny bit more of a break.

School is back on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of the month, January that is.

I still have a few weeks before I have to start thinking about it, although I already have a tiny bit.

I just checked my grades, I’m still carrying a 4.0!

Huzzah.

That’s always nice to see.

I also need to start looking seriously into applying to the PhD program at my school if I’m going to do that.

I think I have to apply by February or March.

My supervisor at my practicum site already said he would write me a letter of recommendation.

I definitely want to have that!

Plenty to think about and do over the next few months, but for the rest of this weekend, I’m just going to chill out, do lots of yoga, cook some nice food, maybe I’ll even buy a book that’s not related to psychology.

Maybe.

 

Cold Hands

December 1, 2016

Warm heart.

I spent a lot of today being just a little bit cold.

Not horrible.

But my feet have been damp all day long and that gets to a person.

Granted.

My heart has been full.

Lots of love from my charges.

So much love.

Just smashed with it.

I wasn’t expecting to go through the day wet, but I got caught in the rain on my way to work on my scooter and just got soaked.

It also meant that soccer practice for one of the boys was cancelled, so I had multiple charges today when I would have just had the baby for the first half of the day.

I had brought homework.

Ha.

Ha.

No homework today.

That being said, however, I did have something pretty freaking awesome happen today at work.

I asked for a letter of reference and got a resounding yes, of course, we’d love to!

Both the parents for this particular family are psychiatrists.

They met in graduate school.

Hello.

Too cute.

And I’m always so shocked that they’re doctors, and practicing and have been for a while.

Both of them were ready to write me a letter.

I may get two out of the deal!

Super stoked.

Like.

REALLY.

I prefaced my ask with I know I haven’t worked with you for very long, and it’s true, I haven’t, but, they have seen me balance my job with my school work and have commiserated with me about the hours of reading and they’ve been witness to my rapport with their children.

And um, I’ll probably work with kids, heh.

So.

Yes.

Very excited for that piece to fall into place.

I will be going to a practicum fair this next weekend of classes and I will be getting more information about sites then.

I also will be making time to meet with the co-ordinator of the practicum placement team and asking for suggestions about resumes and where I should be focusing and what to do next.

I do know I need to get my advisor to sign off on my readiness, which I have already received verbally, but paperwork has to be submitted.

I shall be submitting the next weekend I’m in classes.

Especially since it’s the last weekend of the semester.

Ah.

Warming up.

Hot tea.

Sorry, ha, back to school.

My last weekend of the semester is almost here!

Party.

Well.

Not yet.

I looked over the paper guidelines today for my Psychopathology class and I have gathered my books and notes and want to at least take a stab at getting some thing of an outline sketched out.

I also looked over the final paper that is due for my Family Therapy class.

It’s a little more involved than I first thought, but a much shorter paper than my Psychopathology class, 5-7 pages.

I am thinking I may get it started and possibly finish it on Saturday.

Then, give myself Sunday, after I meet with a couple of ladies, to start the Psychopathology paper.

One of the parents got excited today when I described what I have to do to write that paper, I almost wanted to give her the vignette to look over.

But I know that would be cheating myself of the experience and this is all stuff I have to learn and re-learn and remember before I go into my practice, I have to do a lot, A LOT, of reading and practice myself.

But I’m grateful for it.

It’s really nice to have a goal.

I have drifted for a long time wondering what I should do, what was I going to be when I grew up?

I never thought I would be a therapist.

But.

You know.

It makes pretty good sense.

I’ve been an ear for many a tale.

Many a secret.

Many a confidence.

And a rather empathetic one at that, if I can toot my own horn.

Just grateful to have these experiences to draw on as well.

So many things.

So many ways of seeing and being seen and gratitude for all of it.

True and sure.

The parents expressed to me again, as well as signing off on doing letters of recommendations, how much they will miss me when I transition to my next family.

Which is really sweet to hear.

I have two more weeks with them.

I will be sad, I do like the family  a lot.

And I got the ‘I love you’ today from the 4-year-old.

The last hold out of the bunch and in ways the most squishy, snuggly one of the bunch.

He just looked up at me at dinner time and said, “Carmen, I love you.”

Big awed brown eyes.

I have had that told to me so much this week, I have to say it’s been so nice to hear and get confirmation that I’m on the right track, doing well, having an influence and giving just as much as I’m getting.

I also found out that my next family is really excited to work with me as well.

Early this evening as I was getting dinner ready for the bunch, a family friend swung by with some shoes for the oldest boy, she happens to have a very sweet 6-year-old in the same school as my main family.

“Oh!  I was hoping I would get to say hello, it’s so nice to see you,” she smiled and handed off the shoes.

“And, I heard you’re moving on soon?” She asked, eyes bright and inquisitive, “buy you’re staying within the _____ (private school they all go to ) family, right?”

I smiled, “I am, I’ll be working for ________ and __________ and their new baby, I’m super happy to stay within the ‘family’.”

“I saw her today when I went to pick up __________ from school, she’s so excited for you to start with them,” the family friend said, “really excited.”

“Oh, that’s so nice to hear,” I said.

And it was.

I mean.

It’s one thing to hear it from the mom when I interviewed, but to hear that she’s talking to other parents at the school and that she can’t wait for me to start.

Well.

That made my day.

It might have been a little grey and a little cold.

But.

l was so warmed by the effusive outpouring of love from my charges and the lovely words from the parents and their friends.

I barely noticed the cold at all.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And recommended, referenced, referred, and totally taken care of.

I mean.

Totally.

Hey, God, It’s Me

November 20, 2016

Carmen.

And hey, I’m listening.

I heard you and well, yes, let’s do it.

Yes please.

Yes, oh my God.

Yes, I’d like to.

Yes, yes, yes.

Heh.

I had a little serendipity come and find me this evening when I was in the student kitchen at school having my dinner break before my last class of the day.

One of the women who is in the program, but a year a head of me, came into the kitchen to get her dinner and I thought as she was putting together her dinner, I should talk to her.

I had seen her yesterday at the practicum workshop and hadn’t the time prior to class to speak with her, I had, very in passing, talked to one of the team and made a tentative appointment to see him today at lunch, but decided to have lunch with one of my friends in the cohort.

We had such a nice lunch and a good catch up.

And.

HA.

I got another invite to travel.

Not sure when I’m going to do it, but I am.

She lives in Miami.

I have always wanted to go down for Art Basel and maybe this upcoming year.

Not this year, it’s like in two weeks and I have already made all my travel plans for the year.

But it’s nice to know there’s another place for me to go and I have a living amends to make to Miami.

The last time I was there, well, I was smoking crack and wasn’t perhaps the best citizen in Dade county.

I wasn’t the worst either, let me be clear, my ex might have had that title wrapped up.

But that’s another story.

A book actually, but yes, for another day.

My friend had extended the invitation before and I just said yes this time.

When?

I don’t know, but yes, I’ll be going.

So.

Yes.

I missed the 12:30p.m. lunch appointment, but I had bumped into the person at school and I think he’d forgotten about me anyhow, he’d mistaken me for another student.

I just smiled and walked on.

Then dinner tonight.

I sat and eat my dinner, coconut curry chicken with brown rice, carrots, and cauliflower.

And a persimmon.

Have I ever told you how much I love persimmons?

So much.

To the moon and back.

A thousand times.

Just saying.

LOVE them.

And I had the little voice inside my head, say, you really should talk to her.

But I kept my silence.

Then.

She paused at the door to the kitchen.

I sat and watched her.

She was having some internal dialogue.

She turned and chuckled, acknowledged what she was saying  to herself and grabbed a cup of water from the tea kettle.

“Actually,” I smiled, “I’m glad you turned around, I saw you yesterday at the practicum workshop and I was going to see Jeff today and it didn’t happen, and well, I have a couple of questions for you.”

We talked.

She gave me all sorts of fantastic suggestions.

I asked questions.

She clarified.

It came out what my interests where, where I had thought of applying, what I needed for the site approval, when it made the best sense to apply to a site and where I should look.

She made a suggestion.

I just about died with disbelief.

What?

What?

You don’t say?

No fucking way.

Ok.

I’m so checking that out.

In our conversation I had said that I was overwhelmed a little bit, that I was a full-time nanny and that it was hard sometimes to just get my papers and reading all done on time, let alone do all the extra work that I was feeling I had to do for practicum applications.

She broke it down in nice little chunks for me.

Then I asked about references and letters of recommendation and then I had a thought.

And it was like she read my mind.

Spooky.

“Wait, you’re a nanny?” She asked.

“Yes, I’ve been doing it professionally for the last ten years,” I replied.

“And you’re interested in psychodynamics and psychoanalysis, and Gestalt?” She cocked her head, “well, of course Church Street (where I was planning on applying, which is the Gestalt orientation school site), since you’re interested in Gestalt, but have you looked at the UCSF program for infants and mothers?”

What?

No fucking way.

Yup.

UCSF Infant Parent Program.

Well, hello.

I found it on the placement site and I’ll probably be applying there, along with the CIIS sites, Church Street, Golden Gate, and Pierce Street.

They, the administrative team for the program I’m in, recommends that you apply to 6-8 sites.

I have four in mind.

And.

I realized, um, heh, I know one of the people who I will be asking for a letter of recommendation.

One of the parents I work with as a nanny is a psychiatrist at UCSF.

Heh.

And the verbal recommendations she has given me to my face have been pretty amazing, the information she’s shared with my main employer, and the fact that she has been super kind and nice and appreciative of my efforts as her nanny, well, heck, I think I will need to ask her post-haste.

It’s nice to be making some head way around this.

It’s nice to say, I’m three-quarters of the way through the weekend of classes.

It’s really nice to say, I have two more classes then I’m free.

I’ll have to do one big presentation in Child Therapy, a big paper for Psychopathology, a 15 page assessment, and a 5-7 page paper for Family Therapy.

Two papers and one presentation to go.

Then the semester break and holidays.

Yes.

But for right now.

Well.

Fuck.

It feels good.

I have some direction.

I have some ideas.

I have a course of actions that I can begin to take and that feels really good.

So.

Excuse me while I get my snack on, some more persimmons please, and a cup of tea and a bit of a video.

Then bed.

And back to school in the morning.

One more day of classes.

Almost there.

 

Just About Ready To Dance

November 8, 2014

In fact, if it weren’t for the lack of willing friends, I would be out tonight shaking it.

I am feeling ready, after last Friday’s brief bit of dancing, to get out there again.

My ankle is ready to do the deal and I need to get out there and shake my crazy out.

I have a busy day tomorrow, so doubtful that it will happen this weekend, but soon, I feel soon.

I’ve got meet ups at noon and at 7p.m. tomorrow for an hour each one for some reading and some perspective change, and yeah, oh yeah, a whole lot of perspective change.

Then a dinner with a former family I used to nanny for, I am super excited to see the little girl, it’s been a few months and I miss her little self.

Plus, the mom and I have some chatting to do, she’s agreed to write my letter of recommendation for graduate school and I am excited to be getting further into that whole thing.

And I have some art to wrangle back to my house.

A beautiful print of Baker’s Beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the back ground and a woman in a bathing suit in the foreground.  The woman reminds me of myself, but I also love the richness of the print, the colors, the beach and the bridge.

Plus it’s done by one of my favorite artists, and people, Arin Fishkin, I can finally have a signed Fishkin hanging in my inlaw.

This is exciting.

I was heading into the Mission last weekend on Saturday to finally get the print from her studio when I touched base with my friend who recently returned from his Sabbatical to New York.

We had a confab and it was agreed that he would pick me up from Noe Valley in the evening and head back to my place for tea on his motorcycle.

Which immediately negated bringing home my print.

So, it’s in a bag in the Mission, in a garage and I want it.

Damn it.

I’m thinking I will ride my scooter over to the NOPA to see my former family and their sweet petunia pie girl, then zoom over to the Mission and see if I can wrangle it to my scooter then on up to Noe Valley for my 7 p.m. meet up at the Starbux.

The print is 11×7 but the frame is a little larger.  I think I can manage it, and if not, then I am going to take MUNI on Sunday, though I loathe it, I do, and get the print.

I have contemplated rigging it up to my messenger bag, but I don’t want to risk it, and since I have been holding a spot for the print for almost a year now on my wall, I’m willing to take a little time and care to get it home.

Other than that, no weekend plans.

I will probably look over the admissions requirements for the graduate program more, I mean, to first be able to talk intelligently about what I am looking for in regards to the letter of recommendation as well as get myself moving into the next phase of development with the process.

I have a paper to write.

I can tell you it’s been some time since I have written an academic paper and I am not even sure where to start as I have not written in that vein in sometime.

I also have to write a statement of purpose as well as an introduction letter.

Those two I am fairly certain I can sit down and kick out in a few hours.

This is the time to start all that up, a week from tomorrow the admissions open for next fall.

I know that it’s early for me to have an application ready for it, but well, I like being ready on the early side of town.

I like paying my rent early.

I like paying off my debts.

I like having my ducks in a row.

I suppose there’s some question about safety and control of my environment, if I get it just so than everything will be alright and I can breathe and be safe.

The thing is with this application and this segue into a Masters program, I feel like I actually have a really good shot at getting in, it makes me nervous, it makes it feel quite real, this is the path I am supposed to be going down.

I was speaking with my mom recently and she asked if I was still intending to pursue a PhD, which I am not, and I explained what the process was for my coming to consider this specific program and what my goals were.

Goals that are much smaller and less grandiose than my awkward strivings for money, power, prestige, recognition, fame, through my writing.

And my mom didn’t disagree with me, but she also said that I would still get published and there was still time (There will be time, there will be time) for my art and writing.

I don’t know anymore.

I suppose I have surrendered to this process of writing and I know that I will keep on keeping on writing my blog, but other things, other projects I just don’t know, I get befuddled by it all, self-publishing, editing, writing fiction, not writing fiction, the memoir, all of it.

I get fucking overwhelmed and then why, yes, it would seem prudent to have a career that is not contingent on making it as a writer.

The writing is happening, the writer is writing, I just get to humbly be an artist for a much smaller audience (yet larger than any I would have thought to have had), a much more intimate audience, than I had thought I wanted or needed.

Anyway.

That’s my weekend thoughts, plans, designs, I don’t have a date.

Unless it’s with destiny.

And I know better than to expect anything to happen.

But I am going to show up for whatever does.

I will have friends, dinner, fellowship, love, art.

It’s not a bad plan.

Just a humble one.

 


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