Posts Tagged ‘luckiest girl in the world’

Belle Femme!

July 20, 2018

I ignored the yell.

I got a few of them.

I really don’t mind being called a beautiful woman, but I wasn’t comfortable in the area of Paris that I was in and did not turn to look.

I am, however, comfortable being here.

I’ve been here since Monday, and yes, I know, it’s Friday, but I have been staying with friends and decided to do something different than usual.

I haven’t blogged, but rather, gone out with my best friend, walked everywhere, oh my God have I walked, played with her beautiful twin babies, hung out and drank coffee, been leisurely and warm, it’s been hot in Paris, eaten steak very rare, went to museums, and sometimes just rested on the couch in the fifth floor walk up where I am staying with my best friend in the Marais on Rue de Temple.

Yes.

You read that correctly.

Fifth floor walk up.

You know that app on your phone that tells you how much you’ve walked and how many flights of stairs you’ve done?

A LOT.

Let’s just say I have walked and climbed a lot.

Jesus.

Today it says I walked 6.4 miles and climbed 12 floors of stairs.

It lies.

I did more than that, I just didn’t carry my phone the whole time.

I probably did 18 or 20 flights of stairs.

Yesterday I walked even more than that, 23,188 steps, 10.6 miles, 14 floors (but more likely 24).

Plus.

Heh.

I’m staying in the loft of the walk up.

The flat is at the very top of the house, and when you go in through the door there is another flight of stairs and then I have to climb one more flight to get to the loft I’m sleeping in.

Now I know how my friend keeps her marvelous figure.

Fuck.

Imagine doing all that climbing with twins?!

She also taught me today to not wear face makeup, “you don’t need it.”

And.

To part my hair differently, “much sexier.”

And.

To wear matte lipstick, “gloss makes you look, well, you know.”

I do.

Slightly trashy.

So.

For the first time in I don’t know how long I wore no coverup or powder, I just did a little eyebrow makeup, mascara, and a matte lip.

She also said I should not wear any lipstick in the daytime, because you want to “pop” at night and how do you pop if you are already wearing lipstick?

I was going to go out tonight and eat in the neighborhood, I still could if I wanted to, it’s only 9:34 p.m. on a Friday night, everywhere is serving dinner, but I’m a bit tuckered out from my walking and stair climbing and I’m not sure I have it in me to do those five floors up and down again.

So yeah, I just did my sexy hair and matte lip to go to the Franprix and buy milk and fruit and sparkling water.

IMG_4108

But you know.

I felt sexy as fuck.

It’s fun to feel sexy just going to the market.

I did other things today, too, ate a big fat steak, very rare, at Comptoir de l’Arc, a resto near the Arc de Triomphe that is just off the tourist path and very much a neighborhood haunt.

It was full of true Parisians and it felt fun to be there.

I had gotten the tip-off to the restaurant from a friend when I lived in Paris 2012/2013.

It was specifically designed for the locals and unlike the majority of restaurants in the neighborhood which have jacked up their prices, it is really affordable and very good.

I was happy to be back.

And it was nice to hop out of the sudden rain that sprang up.

Not that I minded the rain all that much, not when it’s warm.

Paris in the summer and a light rain?

Lovely.

I’m on my own for the next few days as my friends are off to a wedding over the weekend, so I’m fairly sure I’ll be keeping you updated at least through the weekend.

But come Monday I’ll probably go radio silent again.

I’ll be heading out-of-town for a few days.

Originally it was to Ile de Re, an island off the West Coast of France, but the house became unavailable.

Next time.

Instead!

I’ll be going with my best friend to Gard de Nord on Monday morning and grabbing a TGV high-speed train to Marseilles!

Yes.

I am going to the South of France.

I am over the moon.

We booked a hotel for two nights and my friend is going to rent a car too.

We are going to stay the nights in Marseilles, but one of the days we are going to drive to Aix-en-Provence, where she used to live, and go see the markets and drive around and be hot.

It’s going to be very hot in the South of France.

But.

We will also be going swimming in the ocean, so you know, I’m ok with that.

Have I said luckiest girl in the world yet?

Yeah.

Like that.

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Sold!

July 11, 2018

And bye-bye scooter.

I am no longer the scooter queen.

I took my scooter down to Scooter Centre today and sold her.

I knew once I had found out that they would sell used scooters that it was what I wanted to do.

No more mucking around with craigslist.

Then only inquiry I received via craigslist was actually someone trying to sell me a service.

No thanks.

This was just so much easier and I knew I didn’t have time to mess around with showing it off, talking about it, dicking around, making extra time for people to test drive it.

Nope.

I just wanted to turn over the keys and let it go.

Which is what I did.

We negotiated a price and I signed off the paperwork, the owner of the shop cut me a check and I was out the door.

I celebrated by depositing the check and taking myself out for a poke bowl for lunch.

Love some nice ahi tuna.

Especially on a warm day.

I decided to enjoy said warm day and I had packed up a book and a magazine that I planned on enjoying reading in the park that is close to my internship rather than taking a car share home and picking up my car.

I walked from Mission and 10th to Folsom and 14th, swung into Rainbow Foods, picked up some cherries and a Rau raw chocolate drink and meandered to the park.

I sat in the sun.

I read for two hours.

It was brilliant.

So to the sunburn on my feet.

Ugh.

I mean.

I wore sunblock everywhere else today but I did not think about the tops of my exposed feet.

Oops.

Oh well.

It was worth it.

To sit quietly.

To reflect.

Today was a super big day.

A lot of emotions.

A lot of movement through them.

Acceptance.

Sadness.

Joy.

Love.

So many things washing over me.

With big transitions thrown in.

Like.

The supervisor I want to work with underneath the umbrella of Grateful Heart Therapy replied back.

With a resounding yes!

Yes!

Yes!

She was super happy to work with me regarding supervision and she’s got the full supervisory accreditation completed.

All she has to do is some paperwork with the non-profit and she can supervise me and they can pay me out and do all the taxes and book-keeping for her.

Win freaking win!

And!

Oh the best, the best, the best!

She does have office space available for rent.

And she will rent to me!

So I have an office.

And.

Yes.

I received back the second letter of recommendation for the internship.

So, office secured, supervisor secured, letters of recommendation secured, updated resume.

All I have to do is fill out the rest of the application and submit it by August 11th.

I plan on having it done before I leave for Paris.

I want to be free and clear to enjoy my trip and leave everything in San Francisco for a while and give it all some breathing room.

Space.

Like the new space I will be moving into.

It’s officially unofficial.

I am moving out.

I accepted the terms of the buyout negotiations that I have been in with my landlady.

The paperwork is being drawn up and I will be signing it before I leave for Paris.

I am not quite ready to splash it about social media yet.

Until the paperwork is signed and I have the buyout money in my account it seems foolish to plaster it all over the place.

Suffice to say.

I am actively looking.

I messaged about a place earlier today while I was waiting for my office to open up at my current internship.

The one I had previously applied to turned out to be a scam.

If the price seems too good there’s probably a reason.

Not going to wire money anywhere before I see the place.

Anyway.

I am looking.

You know of something you let me know.

I have some buffer time, I don’t have to leap at the first thing that lands in my lap.

I can take some time to make sure wherever I go next is a good fit.

But.

Yeah.

I will be out by November 1st.

That’s the end date of my being here in my little studio by the sea.

I came home tonight and thanked her, my little spot, for all the lovely time I have had here.

I really am grateful for the five years I have gotten to spend here.

I have a few more months.

I don’t think anything will happen before I leave for Paris, aside from signing the paperwork and closing up the deal, but should it happen I would be happy to move on out when I get back.

Having space to do so is big.

It means I can be flexible, if someone says something great is opening up but not for a couple of months, I’m ok.

I am ok.

I keep reminding myself that.

It’s been a super stressful experience and the amount of anxiety and fear I have walked through is tremendous.

I am proud of myself for doing the work.

It was hard.

And I am very grateful to all the friends who I went to with questions, concerns, fears.

The shoulders I literally cried on.

I cried a lot this last month and a half.

It’s no joke out there.

I am hopeful though that the right place will come now that the wheels are in motion.

I doubt very much that I will need until November.

But.

If I do.

It’s ok.

I’m covered.

Taken care of.

Held.

Carried.

I always have been.

Even when I refused to see it.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Emotional Attachment

June 12, 2018

I woke up a tiny bit off.

Not a lot, but just enough to notice.

I felt a little flat.

Sometimes when I feel this way it’s because I am trying to avoid feeling anything.

So I disassociate a little, go about my day, do my things, make my bed, get dressed and do my hair, make breakfast, get lunch ready for work, look at my calendar, make coffee.

You know.

Routine.

I can check out a little in my routine.

But.

It all came clear when I peeped social media.

Oh hi there.

I wasn’t expecting to see that.

But.

I should have.

I have been sensing it in the air.

I thought about it a couple of days ago.

There’s a birthday coming up, isn’t there?

And yes.

Thanks social media.

There it was on Facebook.

Hi papa.

Happy birthday.

Today you turned 69.

Sigh.

I haven’t seen my father since he was in a coma over four years ago.

I ceded responsibility for his health to the State of Alaska.

I sat by his side for four days and cried and talked and held his hand.

I wrote him a long card that I had bought at a gift shop in the Anchorage Museum a friend had taken me to one afternoon.

“Enough, you’ve had enough time in the hospital, come out, get some air, let’s do something not related to the hospital and the ICU.”

I found a really cool card with raven totems on it.

I bought it for my dad.

I left all my information in it.

My phone number.

My address.

My email.

I said I loved him and hoped he was going to get better and be safe and be happy and get healthy.

I told him I forgave him.

I’m actually not sure I wrote that in the letter, but I told him that.

And I asked him to forgive me.

He wasn’t always the best dad.

I wasn’t always the best daughter.

And I let him go.

My last  night there before getting on the plane the nurses encouraged me to talk to him more, that thought that he might wake up to my voice.

He never did.

I waited until I couldn’t wait any longer, I had to come back to San Francisco, I had to go back to work.

I had to take care of myself.

I kissed him on the cheek.

I was surprised by the warmth of his face and the softness of his skin under my lips.

My eyes welled up with tears and I left.

He woke up about a week later.

On my birthday of all days.

I saw it was the number of the hospital in Anchorage.

I answered.

It was one of my dad’s nurses, “your father’s awake and he wants to talk to you.”

“Hi ___________________ I said softly, I call my father by his first name.  A psychological defense of distancing that I learned at a very young age.  My father ceased being papa when I was six although there were a few scattered times in my adolescence that my father reclaimed the moniker, he’s always been known to me by his first name.

He said, “my balls itch and the nurse won’t let me scratch them.”

Sigh.

Happy birthday.

That really wasn’t what I wanted to hear from my dad, but then again he was awake and that was something else.

He’d been in the coma for two weeks.

Then he cawed at me.

“Caw! Caw!”

Like a crow.

Like a raven.

I teared up.

He’d gotten my letter and either he’d read it or someone read it to him.

He understood and he was letting me know that he’d gotten the message.

I felt big crashing waves of emotions.

And then.

The nurse had to get him off the phone, for he kept trying to take off the bandages around his skull where the craniotomy had happened to relieve the brain swelling he’d had as a result of the accident he was in.

And accident that was propelled and fueled by his alcoholism.

Those were the last words I got from my dad.

I wondered about him today.

I felt a similar feeling last year around this time.

An urge to reach out.

An urge to connect.

I tried a cell phone number that I thought might work.

It was disconnected.

Just like I was.

Detached.

Removed.

Far, far, far away.

I checked in with my person today, I told on myself about my father’s birthday and some guilt and shame that was coming up.

I got lovely perspective and calm soothing words and an invitation instead to get a candle for my father and light it and that it be a scented candle, a smell that I like.

And when I smelled it I would send a little prayer up to God for my father.

I lit that candle tonight when I got home.

Kona coffee scented.

Seems apropos.

My father was born in Hawaii.

I miss you papa and I hope you are well and happy and content.

I won’t reach out further.

There is too much illness and disease and dysfunction there for me to get involved in an emotional imbroglio.

Rather.

Today.

I reached out to those who are my chosen family, friends that have seen me through rough stuff with my parents, friends who love me.

I called an old friend from Wisconsin from my undergrad days.

I got a hold of a friend of mine from high school.

And I reached out to my two best girlfriends from my graduated school program.

Then I loved hard at work.

“I think we are all emotionally attached to you,” the mom said, so sweet, with such tenderness and vulnerability.

I am a soothing presence in their lives and that was sweet to hear and much appreciated.

I got to help put the baby down for a nap when he was super upset.

I got to hug the little lady and make her all sorts of her favorite foods.

And.

Oh.

The oldest boy just crawled right up into my lap today at the dinner table.

He wasn’t feeling well and he just wanted me to hold him and scratch his back.

He put his head on my chest and asked me to sing him a lullaby.

It was the most heartbreakingly sweet thing ever.

Having this eight year old boy curled up on me listening to me sing “Hush Little Baby.”

My family of origin may not be the family I wanted to have in my life.

And I’m ok with that.

They did the best they could.

Besides

I have such amazing family in my life.

My family of choice.

And for that I am beyond grateful.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

 

Sometimes

May 30, 2018

It’s nice to get mail.

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

Especially from the IRS.

Holy shit.

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

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

So sweet.

The other from the aforementioned IRS.

And it looked like a check.

But.

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

What was this check looking thing?

Could it possibly be?

Could it really be?

I was almost afraid to open it.

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

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

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

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

Such a kind offer.

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t have much.

I don’t now when I look around.

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

That’s it.

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

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

Anyway.

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

I could very easily move and do it quite efficiently.

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

I began slowly putting out more feelers today.

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

I figure I will be comfortable spending $1500.

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

But that would be super freaking tight.

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

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

So.

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

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

God is right here.

Right the fuck now.

I am being taken care of.

I have paid for June rent.

I only have to be concerned with today.

Stop with the future tripping.

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

Magic.

God.

Love.

Abundance.

Light.

Envision where you want to live.

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

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

High ceilings.

Or at least higher than they are now.

I have low ceilings.

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

A place to park.

A big closet or two.

I mean.

A bathtub!

Oh.

Fuck wouldn’t that be nice?

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

It will come.

It will!

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

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

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

And practicing staying in the moment.

Where there is nothing wrong.

And.

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

So open it.

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

I left the envelope from the IRS alone.

But I really wondered.

If.

Well.

Could it possibly be?

And.

OH.

OH.

OH!

It was!

It was!

It was!

It was my refund from 2014!

2014!

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

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

So.

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

I never heard anything back.

I don’t know what I was expecting.

But.

Well.

I was hoping for something.

I sort of forgot about it after a while.

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

Certainly didn’t want to make that mistake again.

And there it was.

My fucking amendment refund check from 2014!

I laughed out loud with joy.

I’m going to be ok!

I mean.

I know I’m going to be ok.

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

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

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

Maybe not!

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

Wait for it.

Like you haven’t this entire blog.

Heh.

$2,126.34!

Boom.

Can you say happy?

I can!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking free to travel about the country.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Made It Through

May 21, 2018

The weekend.

I graduated!

Pretty spectacular.

Grateful for the pomp of it and also, well, grateful that it’s done too.

It was a lot of work getting ready for it and I could use a little break from all the hullaballoo.

Granted.

All the ceremony was lovely and I was glad that I attended even if the walk across stage happened so quickly, it was an important walk for me to make.

It was nice to have my mom there too, we haven’t seen each other in a few years and it was good to reconnect.

I’m ready to reconnect to my regular schedule though.

It was nice to have the time off to do the special things, and the not so special, the endoscopy and that damn wire test took up some time and mental space, I got a text from the doctor’s office today that my lab results are in and that I will discuss them with the doctor on Wednesday.

Note to self, make sure to tell the mom at work.

Back to work tomorrow.

Although since I don’t have supervision in the morning, it will be a late start for me.

So I get to gently wind down this weekend of festivities.

The graduation party was fabulous.

Though a bit breezy.

A lot of people didn’t come out to it due to weather being cold and windy, but those folks who did brave the conditions really had my heart.

And my best friend who set up the whole she-bang, man, I am so grateful for all that work.

Throwing parties is work, especially when it’s an offsite event on the beach.

Especially when it was freaking Bay to Breakers today!

They had the whole parking lot cordoned off for the event.

Bay to Breakers is a notorious drinking run that starts at the Bay and ends at the “breakers” at Ocean Beach.

Had I known that it was today I would never have done my party at the beach.

I had to park my car at SafeWay and walk a couple blocks, not horrible, but when the time came for breaking things down and getting things back, it was a bit daunting.

Fortunately I had some great helpers and the one good thing about Bay to Breakers having all their gear set up in the parking lot was that there were gigantic lights put up everywhere, the beach was bright as day.

I had some worry about having enough day light to break everything down, but the lights from the parking lot saved the day.

It was still a bit of a hassle getting things off the beach, but the crew that was left at the end of the party were great and helped me by sitting on my stuff and waiting until I had gotten my car and I was able to get everything in and back to my house.

And.

I am very proud of myself for this.

I unpacked everything and put it all away.

Including throwing all the beach blankets into the wash and putting away all the sodas and sparkling waters that did not get drank.

There were a lot of left overs.

As I said quite a few people didn’t show, but the sweet company of those that did kept me warm on the cold beach and I was happy to celebrate.

I even wore my cap and gown for a little while.

Until the wind blew off my cap and I got too cold.

But like a good San Franciscan, I had two back up layers, a sweatshirt and a jean jacket, plus fingerless gloves and an infinity scarf.

I just bundled right up.

Plus there was the fire and dancing to stay warm and a couple of times hopping into the tent that was good wind protection and actually felt warm.

The family I work for even came.

All the kids had hot dogs and s’mores and they were super sweet and the family gave me a crazy nice graduation gift.

I got some amazing gifts.

I am so grateful for the expressions of love and affection I received this weekend.

I really am.

It was also nice to be witnessed and seen.

To have the acknowledgement of all the work I have done in the last three years meant quite a lot.

There’s still plenty of work to go.

I suspect there will always be work to do.

But.

I am going to take this moment and really let it all soak in.

The flowers in vases all around my house, from my best friend, my mom, my boss, my mentor, help me to see how much I am loved and appreciated.

The beautiful gifts I got.

The sweet cards.

The drawings from my little five-year old charge.

The hugs.

Even the congratulations from strangers as I was walking down the street in my cap and gown with my arms full of flowers, felt really good to get.

Acknowledgement.

Hard work.

Achievement.

And a moment or two to bask in it.

I found parking really quickly when I got to Hayes Valley, there’s always one spot I check first, I used to park there almost all the time when I was going to solo supervision, and sure enough, it was open.

It’s tight, but my car’s small and I just barely fit.

Because I didn’t have to look for parking I had an extra twenty minutes before I had to be at the theater.

I stopped at Arlequin to get a latte.

I sat outside and sipped the hot coffee and really looked at the street and the people walking around and as I realized that I was sitting next door to Absinthe, Arlequin is their sister property, a more casual, but still upscale cafe, to Absinthe’s fancy French pedigree.

Sipping a latte, in my cap, about to walk the stage at the Nourse Theater, and get my Master’s Degree, quietly reflecting on how far I had come.

Absinthe was my first job in sobriety.

I got hired there 19 days after I got sober.

I sure have come a long fucking way since waiting tables there I though.

I smiled.

And as I sipped the last of my latte a busser from Absinthe came dashing over.

“Did you graduate today?”  He asked.

“I’m about to, I head over to the theater as soon as I finish my coffee,” I said and smiled.

“I’m so proud of you!” He said, he grinned.

I grinned.

It was a moment.

It surely was.

In a weekend filled with so many of them.

Of pure unremitting gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

I Tried

April 15, 2018

But I did not go.

I got up.

I didn’t feel so hot.

I didn’t feel so bad either, except in my head, let’s be honest, the head wanted to have some make me feel like shit say, but I didn’t feel great either.

I ended up last night having some reflux before bed, so I didn’t get off scot-free, but it wasn’t a bad day for it.

So to today, I feel like there’s a little happening, but it’s not been a bad day.

The, sigh, the part that has been challenging, is that I’ve been bloated.

I have no idea what that’s all about, may have something to do with whatever’s going on, that’s what it feels like, another symptom of whatever the issue is that needs to be addressed, but a symptom that’s a bit noisome, frankly, not one I’m a fan of.

And there’s a feeling of always being rather full, even when I haven’t eaten.

I felt like I could muster the will power to go to yoga class, but then I just felt like I was going to be nauseous the whole time.

I talked with my best friend on the phone and I realized when I was in tears that I was mostly frustrated because I had made plans in my brain and those plans weren’t happening and I was mad at myself and mad at my body.

My friend suggested a nice long walk instead of yoga, go move my body, but just in a gentler way.

Fuck.

I honestly wouldn’t have thought about that, I would have beat myself up for not going to yoga and then felt bad.

Instead.

I took the suggestion and since I was in my yoga clothes anyway, I went for a long walk on the beach.

Sometimes I forget how close it is and that it’s right there, just three scant blocks away, the big beautiful Pacific Ocean, and the big swath of Ocean Beach that I’m at in about five minutes from leaving my house.

I walked for an hour.

I felt better.

Oh.

Sure my stomach is not itself, hasn’t been in some time, but I felt better, I felt better having sunlight on my face, I felt better because I was active, mildly active, but still, and I felt better for having the sound of the ocean in my ears, which was meditative.

So too, the sight of the water, calming and soothing.

I am so lucky to live by the ocean.

I remember growing up how much I wanted to get back to California, how much I missed it, how important to me the ocean was, the dream of being by it, of living by it.

I still want a home and I often think, that although it’s crazy to think I could possibly buy a house in San Francisco, I still think that I could, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a place by the sea?

I have found myself rather fond of it out here.

Oh I know.

It’s not all that central, but it’s sweet and has a neighborhood feel that I much appreciate, and there’s the ocean, which is such an intense and wonderful source of power for me.

I appreciate living in the outer most reaches of the city for reasons I could not have expected when I first moved to San Francisco.

The Outer Sunset felt like another country to me.

But having a scooter and more recently, a car, it’s not too bad getting around, and well, there’s actually parking most of the time.

Oh, sometimes I have to park further away than I want, but I generally find it pretty quick.

Granted.

My car is hella small so I probably find spaces others can’t fit, but I wager I would have a much harder time in other parts of the city.

I mean, I cannot fathom the idea of having a car in the Mission.

Not unless I did own a home or have access to a garage.

So being out here is great, the parking, the ocean, the quietness of it, and the feeling of being a part of the neighborhood.

I do like that.

And I like how that walk on the beach rather set a different and unexpected tone to my day.

I felt resourced and taken care of and I came home and had a nice breakfast, which in hindsight does really speak to the fact that something is happening for me, I got up at 8:15 a.m., did laundry, put fresh sheets on my bed, talked to my best friend, went for an hour-long walk on the beach, and I didn’t have breakfast until nearly two, two and a half hours later.

Normally, before the tummy trouble, I would have been bats if I waited two hours to eat.

But I didn’t feel hungry, it was just something I noted as I went about making my breakfast, the thought that it was late in my morning to just then be eating.

I don’t know if I will do yoga tomorrow or not.

I’m not going to sign up tonight, I made that decision, but if I feel ok in the morning I can sign up for a class.

And if I don’t, well, I go for another walk, I at least take the time I would have been doing yoga to move my body and get fresh air.

Or I go for a bike ride, I thought about that too.

Then home, a good hot shower, a nice breakfast, meeting with a few ladies to do the deal and then some food prep for the week and some work on my Research Methods paper.

After which up to the Castro for my Sunday night commitment and then off to Frances for a late dinner with my best friend.

It’s going to be a really lovely day.

I feel it in my bones.

So grateful for the sweet unfolding of my day today and all the small unexpected beautiful moments therein.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Dot An “i”

April 9, 2018

Cross a “t.”

One more small bit of paperwork in the works.

I have had this gnawing feeling for weeks now that I was missing some paperwork for my school.

My God.

The amount of paperwork that is required to prove I have been doing the deal for the last three semesters is horrendous.

I have had four supervisors.

Two that I primarily work with.

Two that I accrued a couple of hours with.

Hours that no matter how small, matter quite a lot, little by little those hours are going to add up to me being licenced and every single fucking one of them is important.

So I have four separate pieces of paper with all their relevant information on them for the BBS.

And then I must have another set of papers, not the original signed ones, but facsimiles or copies thereof to show my school.

Plus.

Every hour.

EVERY SINGLE HOUR.

Has to be signed off by a supervisor.

I have had one main supervisor.

I will, in fact, be seeing him tomorrow.

And he’s the one that will be doing the majority of the signing.

I have had another, my group supervisor, who will also be needing to sign a fair amount of paperwork.

What I did not know is that there needed to be a Letter Of Agreement between my site supervisor and my school, CIIS, supervisor.

I had no clue.

No one ever told me.

It just slipped through the cracks.

So that nagging feeling of there’s something missing was not wrong, I just didn’t know what it was that I needed.

I found out yesterday and today when I got done with school I zoomed over to my internship and left the paperwork on my internship supervisor’s desk with a big fat note saying please sign this ASAP, and oh yeah, pre-date it.

Thankfully he got my email and I just now received a response and all is good.

I will still have to pick up the paperwork and take it to my other supervisor who is not affiliated with my organization, and have him sign it, then return all that paperwork to the school.

That will all happen next Monday.

Tomorrow I will just go meet with my supervisor and we will start my review.

I received it today while I was in class and it was something else to read while I was on my lunch break.

Carmen continues to demonstrate an amazing work ethic.

Aw.  Thanks man!

Carmen has done extremely well at Liberation Institute and is currently seeing about eight regular patients. She is on track to complete her hours for graduation.

I have completed them!!

I needed 225 to graduate and as of the last time I checked I have 244.

I actually have more hours than that, 385.75, but some of those hours while counting for the BBS requirements, do not count for CIIS’s graduation requirements.

The school’s requirements though, have been met!  I have enough hours, I will graduate.

Pending signing of a fuck load of paperwork, but my hours have been met!

Regarding supervision, Carmen attends every session on time, is eager and prepared to
speak about many patients, and appreciates the time together. She is a quick learner and
leans on her supervisor to help interpret difficult situations and seems increasingly
comfortable with handling her treatments.  Carmen is demonstrating an aptitude to manage the amount of psychic space and time that she allows her patients to consume and is making mature decisions.
Carmen is ending her last semester of practicum and seems ready for the next challenge.

You bet your ass I’m ready for the next challenge, bring on graduation.

I am also ready for a break, truth be told, but that will have to wait for a little while yet.

Carmen’s treatments have been diverse. She sees both men and women. She sees both
straight and gay patients. She has a culturally diverse practice. Carmen is able to manage
cultural diversity well.

That was nice to hear, I do see a great range of people and I am quite grateful that I can hold more than one type of client.

Carmen has met her goals for practicum. She shown that she can do intakes (consults),
get patients interested in a treatment, and retain them. She can build alliances. Her
patients come regularly and seem to enjoy their relationship with her. Carmen is able to
be herself in session, manage her anxiety, negotiate boundaries and the frame, and deal
with the rudiments of transference (i.e., idealization / devaluation).
Carmen enjoys her case work and is progressing beyond what is expected.

I am enjoying my work!

I really like my clients, and I feel like I am a good therapist.

Carmen shows an aptitude for intuiting transference and countertransference issues.

I am very proud of this.

It may not mean much to a lay person reading that, but I remember how confused I was just defining those terms when I first started my program.  I still need a lot of work around theory, but as my supervisor writes I will have years to work on theory and that my beginnings have aptitude.

That makes me happy to hear.

And then there was this:

Carmen has done extremely well in her practicum. She establishes a solid frame, sets
good boundaries, builds trusted alliances and is increasingly comfortable conducting
treatments with her patients. Carmen is an extremely hardworking and reliable therapist for her patients, listens well, empathizes and provides support. By listening to her countertransference, Carmen intuits patients’ motives and conflicts. She has the capacity to progress her treatments in deep and generative ways. Carmen’s patients are extremely lucky to have such a gifted and committed therapist.

That last sentence.

Oh wow.

That was so nice to read.

To be told by someone who I respect, and perhaps revere a touch, the man is a fucking genius, that I am a gifted therapist, that my clients are lucky to have me, my God, that just amazed me.

I am so, so, so grateful for this opportunity to get to be of service and to get to use what I know to help others, it means so much.

And it doesn’t hurt that I have a real career that I am investing myself in, a chance to become more and do more than I have done before.

To help others and also, truly, myself.

I am so blessed.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Where Do I Start?

April 2, 2018

It’s been a really busy weekend.

You may have noticed.

I was quite absent from the blogging.

Which is unusual and not like me, but things came up and I got to have some amazing life experiences and make some connections and also.

Yes.

Get some much deserved sleep.

Sometimes lying in bed is just the best option.

I got to do that today, and I cannot begin to express how lovely it was.

So lovely.

I did  a lot today too, which, really, when I think about it was fueled by that laying in bed, by the leisurely way I let myself be this morning, by letting myself have a late start.

I actually got a fuck ton done.

I met with two ladies, did all my laundry, bed sheets, duvet, name it, it got washed, and I worked on my case study presentation for my Integrative Seminar class, getting all seven pages polished and just now sent out.

I hung out with my best friend.

The best fucking time.

Seriously.

The best.

We had an amazing brunch.

The company, well, spectacular seems an understatement.

I also met with my person up in the Castro, did the deal, and went to my Sunday night commitment and had great connections there.

I got to share my big news.

Which was lovely.

I mean, really so nice, to share that with folks in my community who have watched me all these years change and grow.

Of course.

The big news!

I haven’t blogged since receiving it.

Dear Carmen, Congratulations! I’m delighted to inform you of your provisional acceptance to the California Institute of Integral Studies Doctor of Philosophy program in Transformative Studies for the 2018-19 Fall Semester.

That’s right!

I got in.

I’ll be getting my doctorate!

I nailed the interview, I mean, I just nailed it.

Best interview I think I have ever done, I was a little surprised to hear the things coming out of my mouth, but I didn’t let that surprise stop me from talking.

I was told that my story was fascinating, that I have so much to offer, that my dissertation idea is unique, not one that the department has ever had or heard of.

I was told my writing was really good, compelling and deeply insightful.

I was rather blown away by how I was received, it was an amazing experience that ended with me being told I was accepted into the program!

Although, the head of the department said, “unofficially accepted, they keep telling me to not tell anyone that they’re accepted, but frankly, you’re being accepted.”

I just was asked to not make it an official announcement until I received the letter, which I did.

I got in!

The provisional part is that I have to graduate from my Master’s program.

I’m so close!

So freaking close.

I have my next weekend of school coming up and I just finished the third part of the 30 page final thesis paper I have to write for Integrative Seminar-the case study I will be presenting this weekend in my class.

I’m the first one up.

Hoping to hit it out of the park.

I don’t think it will be a problem, I’ve been working with this particular client for ten months I could talk about the client easily for the 20 minutes I need to present.

I wrote up a seven part, seven page case study and zipped it out to my writing partner for any editing suggestions.

I will present on Friday.

I’m so ready.

I also have done all my reading for my other class, Research Methods, and I feel really on top of that work too.

I still have to write a final research paper for that class, and, but it will happen.

I still have a month.

In the last month of school I am going to have a lot to do, get all my graduation paperwork ready, get my paperwork ready for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences), and of course, finish the coursework.

So the provisional acceptance means that I have to do all those things, then I get to keep going to school.

Which is great because I can defer my student loans for another two years.

Those motherfuckers were Johnny on the spot, I got a letter a couple of days ago about my loans coming out of deferment and how I will need to start paying on them, one month after I graduate.

But.

hahahaha.

No.

I’ll be taking out more student loans instead to get my doctorate.

Which is fine, I keep telling myself that it’s ok, that the money will get paid back and that the investment, me, is so fucking worth it.

I really am.

I am super happy to be able to continue on, to get a doctorate is a dream that I haven’t told many and as the process was unfolding it felt so surreal that I am actually able to continue forward, that I am going to get it.

The program is intense, four semesters, a five-day intensive at the beginning of each semester, a cohort of 30 people, on-line classes and forums, but also, I don’t have to go to class, I don’t have to show up on campus, so that’s the bonus, the way that I can do it, that I can still keep working full-time and seeing clients and accruing my hours towards MFT licensure.

There’s lots of work, but I know I can get it done.

Before all that though, I just need to get through the next few months.

Ack!

Not even months!

I have to get through the next six weeks!

It’s happening, it’s all really happening.

So grateful I gave myself this weekend of fun and joy and sleep.

Ready for what the week has to bring.

Really ready.

One step closer to being Dr. Martines

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Did You Get Your Ticket

March 8, 2018

To Burning Man?

My friend asked me tonight.

“My what?” I asked.

“Your ticket to Burning Man, aren’t you going?” He replied, “I saw they went on sale today everybody was posting about it.”

“Oh, I don’t know if I’m going this year, I probably won’t be, if I get into the PhD program I applied to I won’t be able to, I hadn’t even really thought about it,” I said.

“But, I did get my ticket to Paris!”

Burnign Man, what’s that?

Heh.

But oh.

Paris.

Yes, Paris.

 

I bought my ticket last night after confirming times and dates with my dear friend who I’ll be staying with.

In the Marais.

The Marais!

My favorite part of Paris.

I am so lucky I get to stay with her.

She’ll be busy, I was told I’ll be pretty much on my own as she’s studying for her exams for school, and I, well, I have no problem with that at all.

I can entertain myself just fine in Paris.

I have before I certainly can again.

Long walks.

Window shopping.

Sitting outside at cafes and writing.

People watching.

Wandering through the museums.

Going to the markets.

Sitting on benches in parks and getting sun on my face.

It will be warm.

Sun dresses and sandals!

I booked my ticket to fly out Sunday July 15th.

It’s a direct flight, which is awesome sauce, and with the time change I will arrive in Paris around 4:30 pm in the afternoon.

I’ll hop the train from Charles de Gaulle and transfer onto a Metro Line, and take it all the way to the Temple Metro station and then walk with my luggage to my friend’s house.

Oh my fucking God.

I’m going back to Paris.

I am so excited.

I do love it so.

I will also be taking a three-day weekend with my friend to her family’s summer-house on L’il de Re (I haven’t yet figured out how to get the French accent marks over the words) which means swimming pool lounging and beaches and sunshine and my friend.

And a road trip!

In France.

It’s not a long road trip but it’s five hours.

I think that it will be a blast to drive outside of the periphery of Paris into the country side and then to the coast.

I’m so happy I got the ticket.

And I got a good, I mean, damn good price on it, I found a ticket for $788.

I was over the moon.

A round trip ticket from San Francisco to Paris for under $800 is fucking amazing.

I’m quite pleased to say the least.

It will be my graduation present to myself.

And.

Heh.

Speaking of graduation.

I also ordered my cap and gown.

Things are really coming together.

It’s been a busy time, though, I can assure you.

Today felt like a really big push and I was a bit beat by the end of it, but I accomplished quite a lot.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, my heart was beating so loudly in my ears it took a while to drift off.

Although, drift I finally did, despite the loud sound of my blood in my ears and the ruminations in my head, I did sleep.

I also got up pretty early and was at work by 7:45 a.m. and spent the majority of the day with the baby and doing a lot of laundry.

A five person family makes for a lot of laundry.

A lot.

The baby was also super fussy, he’s teething pretty bad, so much carrying and snuggling was had.

It was not a bad thing, but I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to get to the work that I had brought with me.

Specifically getting the annotated bibliography written that I needed to do.

Fortunately for the second nap of the day facilitated me being able to do some work.

The only thing was the baby was in a carrier.

So.

Yes.

I did in fact write three-quarters of my paper with a baby strapped to my chest.

I felt a little like Wonder Woman to tell the truth.

Or something of that kind.

Super Nanny maybe.

Super Nanny also made a fucking fabulous meal–slow roasted ham that I studded with cloves and rubbed down with brown sugar, garlic smashed potatoes with butter, cream, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper, and yes, I did, cream cheese; asparagus in a Meyer lemon brown butter sauce with shaved pecorino, and two salads: tomato and red bell pepper in olive oil and balsamic with parmesan and a fresh kale salad with chopped apples, carrots, red onions, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and an olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.

Plus, three loads of laundry washed and folded and put away and all the general tidying and straightening up I tend to do anyhow.

In hindsight it’s obvious I had to do the homework, the paper writing, I was attending to so many other things, of course, I should note I was at work, and I like to do a good job.

I like my job stability and it was nice to have the baby, albeit a slight inconvenience to have him swaddled upon my chest, while I was doing my homework.

I also read an article.

Then I got home and cooked myself a quick simple dinner and finished my paper and read two more articles before heading out to do the deal.

Burning Man.

Well.

I’d forgotten clean about it.

But the truth is.

I wasn’t planning on going this year.

Too many other things to do.

Oh.

All the things.

All the things I get to do.

I am so very lucky.

Really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Although sometimes I think I should just put busiest girl in the world.

I am, truly, lucky to get to do the things I do.

Or graced.

Probably that more so than luck.

Yes.

That.

Grace.

 

Just A Tiny Bit

January 13, 2018

Surreal.

I turn 13 in an hour and a half.

I have already received a few congratulations and warm sweet gifts, my god, the thoughtfulness of some people astounds me, though my anniversary is not until tomorrow.

I am grateful that I have this time to reflect and think and be in a place of gratitude and warmth and all wrapped up for the week.

It’s been a week.

I’ve plenty to do tomorrow, but I suspect that it will be done with much joy and laughter and hopefully, no little grace.

My morning will be a typical Saturday morning, yoga and shower and breakfast and coffee and writing.

Then I’m hoping to squeeze in a manicure before I have to go to group supervision at 2 p.m.

Something snazzy and flashy and definitely glittery.

Giggle.

I treated myself to a dress from Modcloth that’s super fun,

It’s also super simple and a bit basic, which is good, I wanted a comfy dress to dance in.

It’s pretty much a little black dress with a scoop neck and a skater skirt.

And.

Glitter.

Heh.

I also allowed myself to pick up some glitter fishnets, because, sparkle.

And thirteen years, thirteen years of working it out and doing the deal and showing up and being of service, well, that deserves some fucking glitter, at least so I think.

I had wanted to wear some fabulous shoes but I also want to dance, so my pink velvet Tretorns will have to do, I think they will go perfectly with a glittery dress and fishnets.

Sexy, but hella comfy.

I’ll wear some heels when I go meet my person in the Castro for dinner on Sunday.

Fancy shoes are great for sit down meals, maybe not the best for hours of dancing.

I mean.

I used to do that, a long, long time ago, when my knees were younger and I had a lot of extra chemicals coursing through my veins to keep me going and ignore the painful, numbed out feet I was mashing into the floor as I stomped along to the music long into the night.

Or.

The next morning.

It’s funny.

I’ll be up much past my bedtime, the party goes until 1 a.m. and as one of the hosts I know I will feel responsible to make sure it all goes off well.

I’m not super excited about coming back from Oakland at bar time, but it looks like that will be happening.

At least I got my FasTrak in the mail and I won’t have to pay cash at the toll bridge.

It should be a pretty quick commute back.

Sunday I do have plans, but they’re all spaced out and I should be able to take naps intermittently throughout the day if so needed.

I don’t care in the end.

A girl only turns thirteen once.

Knock on wood.

I don’t have any reservations made for future drinking or using, but I am quite humbly aware that I have been given a gift and that I need to keep passing it along.

I have seen people drift away and they usually don’t drift into wonderful waters.

I have never had a relapse in my recovery and I certainly don’t want one.

I feel really fortunate to have what I have, the community I am in, the resiliency I have been gifted with, the fellowship, my friends, the love that surrounds me.

So.

Yeah.

I’ll be up a little late tomorrow night, but it’s so well worth it.

It’s been an amazing year when I look back.

New relationships.

Vast amounts of love.

Entering my third and final year of my Master’s program.

Starting at my practicum site and seeing clients.

A new job.

A new car.

Travel to Burning Man and Paris.

Therapy.

Internal growth.

So much of that.

Holy mother of God.

So much spiritual work.

All gifts.

I could never have suspected thirteen years ago when I reached out for help the life I would get to have.

It doesn’t even make sense.

I couldn’t imagine the places I would go or the adventures I would have.

So many adventures.

So much travel.

More travel please.

Friends, art, writing.

Oh. My. God.

The amount of writing, I mean I talked about writing before I got sober and I wrote some poetry and I tried my hand a few things, but I never had a real writing practice, I just talked about it a lot.

A LOT.

The book I was going to write, the poetry, the essays, la, la, la, la, la.

All vacuous words spouted from the vapid drunk girl at the end of the bar.

Now.

Well, I can surely tell a story, and I might hold you hostage to it, but I don’t talk about things I’m going to do for hours on end.

I actually do them.

I show up.

I suit up.

And I’m thrilled beyond words that I have a baker’s dozen of years to substantiate that.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Fuck yeah I am.


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