Posts Tagged ‘luckiest girl in the world’

Smashed With Love

September 15, 2017

I had a reunion today with one of my favorite charges.

I have been on the look out for him since school started.

The family I used to work for and the family I work for now have their children in the same school.

I do school pick up for my charges four to five days a week.

And.

I ran into one of the boys I used to work with today.

Or.

I should say.

He ran into me.

Literally.

Full tilt gallop from across the playground.

I was nearly bowled over.

I had no idea he was coming.

I was looking for my charge and then heard my name being called out, and it took a moment for me to realize that the voice calling my name was not the voice of my current charge, but a past charge.

And then.

He leapt into my arms.

He knew I would be there to catch him and I was.

My whole body responded before my brain had a chance to even register what had happened.

All I knew was that my arms were full of this sweet little boy.

“I miss you! I miss you! I miss you!” He cried and hugged me so hard.

I told him how much I have missed him and how much I love him and it was such a sweet reunion.

I nearly burst into tears.

This situation, being at the same school, with two different families, is a new one for me.

The first few times my former charge saw me were so achingly painful I dreaded going to do school pick up.

Part of me yearned to see them, my boys, such sweet, sweet boys.

And.

Part of me couldn’t bear it.

I missed them so badly and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t with them any longer and was with my new family and when was I coming back?

Now.

8 months later.

They seem to have gotten it.

And there’s some distance from the hurt and the loss and the grieving I did when I said good-bye to them.

Now it seems tender, but it doesn’t have the same sting, and though I thought I might cry, I did not, yes, oh yes, I gave him many fierce hugs and told him multiple times how much I loved him, but I didn’t lose it.

He ran off with my little girl charge and they went to the monkey bars and it did my heart something good to watch the two of them play.

It did my heart real good.

My charges were all about the love today.

There was much holding hands, there were many hugs, there were no tantrums.

It was magic.

I even had a little time before the mom came in this morning to make a few check in phone calls and get myself oriented for the week.

And get my clients sussed out for the next few weeks.

I have been given another client.

And with that.

I now have eight.

Which is where I will stay, at least for the semester.

I will pick up consults on Saturdays that I am not in class, but aside from that, I have my eight clients.

I am a therapist.

I mean.

I really am doing this.

“What’s a therapist?” My oldest charge asked me today, “is that what you’re in school for, and how come you’re still in school, is it like a career thing?”

He’s very astute for seven.

“Yes,” I told him, ruffling his hair.

He and I were solo at this point in the day, mom and little sister had a dance class to go to and he and I were headed home on MUNI.

“A therapist is someone who helps you communicate with your emotions, sometimes they help you communicate with other people too,” I told him.

“A therapist helps you with your feelings,” I continued.

“Oh yeah, I remember,” he said and reached for my hand, “and you’re a therapist!”

“Yes,” I smiled, “yes, I am.”

“But you’re still my nanny, right?” He asked, a tiny note of concern in his voice.

“Yes, I’m still you’re nanny,” I replied, slowing down a little as he thought it through.

“But you won’t be forever, you’ll graduate from school and you’ll be a therapist all the time?” He asked, then stopped walking and added, “but that’s not for a while yet, right?  You’re still many nanny for a while.”

“Yes, it will be a while before I have a practice all my own and we’ll have lots of time together before that happens,” I assured him.

“And then you can be my therapist!” He concluded and grabbed my hand happy to have figured out a way to keep me permanently in his life.

Oh my heart.

It just was squashed with his love.

I hope you never, ever, ever, need a therapist darling boy.

Although, I know how helpful it is, it’s super helpful.

Just to have someone listen to you, to attend to you, to help you navigate through emotional states and processes.

Even if there’s not a trauma to work through.

Therapy is some super helpful stuff.

And really, if I’m honest about it, in a way, I am this child’s therapist.

We do a lot of play therapy and a lot of narrative therapy.

Of course.

I don’t tell him that.

For him, it is just play, that’s how children process emotions, they play.

So he and I play a lot, we color, we tell stories, well, he tells me stories, all the time, and I get to listen and ask questions.

He’s very excited, for instance, about the new Iphone.

“Are you going to get one?” He asked me.

“Nope, I don’t have a $1,000 to spend on a phone,” I told him.

He was not pleased with this answer, he’s very pro Apple products.

“Don’t you have something you can sell?” He asked, “you know, to get money to buy the phone?”

I laughed out loud.

I love how he thinks.

He’s very solution oriented.

I love my charges.

Past.

And present.

I’m so grateful for them, for all the sweet love I have gotten to have, for the laughter, for the naps, for the snuggles and hugs and the joy of them.

Children astound me.

The bright faces of God shining with love.

How lucky, graced really, I am to get to do this work.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

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That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.

Or.

It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.

Both.

And.

I had a client working through some traumatic stuff in session yesterday and I realized later that I had taken some of it with me.

It was hard to shake.

Why was it so hard to shake?

I talked to my therapist today about it.

We isolated it and moved through it and all sorts of stuff came up.

Jesus fucking Christ.

All the stuff.

Fortunately, and I mean this in the sincerest way possible, fortunately, I have been doing self-examination and inventory and work on myself for such a long time that I was able to work through it.

I can’t and won’t divulge what happen in session with my client.

That’s a breach of ethics and I am honor bound to keep those things within the walls of my office.

But.

I can say that what happened had a resounding feel to me of something that had happened to me.

I couldn’t quite pin it.

I know that there was an extraordinary amount of emotion in the room when I worked with my client last night.

I relayed to my therapist things that happened for me in my body, what it felt like, the counter transference that happened and the transference.

And.

That I recognized that some of what I was feeling was my clients and some of what I was feeling was mine.

Thank God for a great therapist.

We isolated it.

Or.

I isolated it.

She did what therapist do, good therapists, she held the field, she let me find my way, she made some connections for me that I didn’t see, she held me with empathy, she validated my experience, she reflected and gave me perspective.

And.

Holy shit.

There it was.

And I broke down and bawled.

Great big ugly tears.

Relieved to get it out.

Although it tried to stick for a second.

It tried really hard.

It did not want to come out.

I was choked with grief.

Stricken.

I got it out though and I named the emotions I was feeling.

Trying to stuff them all into the crumpled ball of tissue in my moist hand.

Guilt.

Shame.

Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”

Bwahhahahahaaha.

Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.

Meh.

Anyway.

Though I may have a fuck ton of student loans, fuck it, I’m worth the investment, I am, I am, I also have a modicum of financial security and I have a nice little home and I have nice little things.

I have a scooter.

I have a bicycle.

I have security.

In so much as I continue working at the pace I am working.

I don’t have much of a security blanket in the savings account.

But hey.

I have a savings account.

When I think about how successful I am in comparison to my mom or my sister and how I have always managed to find a way out, I sometimes, more so than I want to admit, have guilt.

And then.

I belittle my experiences or my own traumas, because, man, they had and have it bad too, and I’ve found a way through.

There is no way through but through.

It’s painful.

But.

Fuck.

It’s so worth it.

And I also see that I am not responsible for my sister, for my mother, for my father, my nieces.

I am, and can only be, responsible for myself.

But the guilt.

It hit me hard.

I was feeling awkward about an upcoming birthday in my family and I was relaying how many times, so many, too many to count, that I have sent gifts trying to foster some sense of connection and love to my family.

And.

Have not received it.

Oh.

I know there’s love.

But I haven’t the emotional connection to my family that I was trying to cultivate, a sort of reciprocation of love and that I need to let go of trying to get it the same way I have been doing so for decades.

We, my therapist and I, talked about how I might be able to establish connection, about what I could do.

I have to say it felt futile.

I was fucking flummoxed.

Then.

As I sat and the grief washed over me and I saw how hard I had tried to do something, taking the same action time and time again, that maybe there was another way.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

But I sussed a few things out and suddenly I had an answer.

It may not be “the” answer.

But.

It felt good to process it all out and find the connections and see how the traumatic experience that I bore witness to when I was with my client last night led me to work through and settle out something that has been nagging me for decades in my relationship to my sister and my nieces.

I don’t have a lot of close family.

Just my sister.

I have almost no relationship whatsoever with either of my nieces.

Although I helped significantly in the first years of my oldest niece’s life.

And I love her so much.

After I moved away from Wisconsin our relationship grew very thin.

My sister had troubles of her own and many challenges that I could not face for her.

Fuck.

I had to deal with my own shit.

The last time I saw my oldest niece was over fifteen years ago.

She was nine.

In a few days she will be 25.

I was nineteen when she was born.

I was the first person to hold her.

I saw her crowning.

I saw my sister endure the most excruciating pain.

I rocked that baby to sleep so many nights, I sang her songs, I can feel the heaviness of her carrier in my arms now.

I loved her beyond any previously known capacity to love.

And that is enough.

I gave what I could when I could and when the paths of my family and mine diverged, it was right to go the way I did.

To allow others the dignity of their own experiences.

To allow others to feel the weight of their choices, the consequences, good, bad, indifferent, to their actions, and not interfere.

I can still love my sister, my mother, my father, my nieces.

I can still love my cousins and aunts, uncles, my remaining grandparent.

But.

I don’t have to do so at the expense of myself.

I don’t have to lose myself in care taking.

I mean.

hahahaha.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

I’m a therapist in training, I may very well lose myself in it all over again, the care taking thing, but I also get to have boundaries and frames and I get to help in a way that won’t drain me.

At least that is what I have hope for.

I have a deep capacity for love and my experiences have borne this out.

I have and will always love my family.

I just won’t put their needs before mine any longer.

I deserve better.

And.

Well.

Fuck.

So do they.

Who the hell am I to decide how they should live their lives.

They have their own God.

As do I.

Thank God.

Grace.

Over.

Drama.

For the most part.

I was a hot mess yesterday and today in therapy but it got worked out and it got worked out fast.  So grateful for that.

Beyond words.

And though it may not seem cause for celebration.

It is.

And.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I am.

Reunion

September 6, 2017

And it was good.

She ran to me with the biggest smile on her face and threw herself into my arms.

Good thing I was ready for her or I would have been bowled over.

I picked her up and snuggled her in for a great big hug.

“I asked _______________ what the best part of school was,” the mom told me today, “and she replied, ‘getting picked up!'”

And so pick her up I did.

She was so happy to see me and I was so happy to see her.

I got to get her early from school and she and I had 45 minutes to kill before her brother got out of his class, so we went to get special treats from Bi-Rite.

Bagels and plums and boxes of milk with straws.

Bubbly water.

She likes it as much as I do so now I always get two bottles or she’ll drink all of mine and then burp at me and laugh.

God I love this child.

I love all the children I have gotten to work with, and I am always surprised to find that there is more love in me to hold and to give.

This family, though, they are special, and I am so blessed to get to work for them.

I got to talk to the mom about Burning Man and show off my photos.

I got to snuggle with my little lady and hold hands, I mean, there was no shortage of holding hands, she was literally on top of me from the first minute I picked her up from school.

I got to have marvelous conversations with the oldest boy and also I made him his favorite dinner.

Roast chicken.

“OOOOOOH,” he said, when he saw that I had a chicken in the pan on the counter, “roasty chicken!!”

I almost had to tell him not to touch it since it wasn’t cooked yet, it was pretty adorable.

And I got the sweetest text later in the day when I was at my internship after work, the dad sent me a message saying welcome back and thank you so much for the roast chicken and cauliflower, it was so good.

There were many “o’s” in the “so” part, it was pretty damn cute.

I made my salt and pepper roast chicken and then topped it with tarragon brown butter and I roasted off cauliflower with coconut oil, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt.

All sorts of yum.

The baby even seemed excited to see me.

It was a warm and sweet and kind welcome back.

I am super lucky to have this family and it feels like they think they are super lucky to have me.

It’s a mutual thing.

And it’s a short week at work, which is a nice thing to.

Helps to get me acclimated to being there again and helps to ease the transition into the next few weeks which will be busy weeks for the family.

I’m grateful for them, the job, the environment, the freedom to be myself.

I realize more and more how important it is to be my authentic self.

In work, in relationships, in my internship, at school.

I also realized that I don’t need Burning Man to do that any more.

That I have fully embraced my authenticity, that I live an out loud, passionate, committed, loving life.

I don’t have to run off to that thing in the desert to find expression for myself and who I am.

And thus.

I feel.

I may be saying goodbye to Burning Man.

I had a sweet burn, I had wonderful talks with many a lady out there and I feel like I deepened some relationships that I didn’t even know I was needing to deepen.

But the fact is I am not searching for anything or anyone and I don’t have to work so hard to work so hard to enjoy a vacation.

Maybe, just maybe, I want to go somewhere with a hot shower.

Maybe I want to lay on the beach.

Maybe I want to be pampered and not have to do a ton of work and organizing and fretting and figuring it out.

My God.

The amount of mental free space I currently have for not trying to figure out how to get to and from the event is mind-blowing.

I have so many other things that I would rather focus my time, attention, energy, and love on.

So.

Yes.

I believe this last burn was my swan song.

Ironic that I saw nothing burn.

I spent my time writing, getting blown up in dust storms, connecting with ladies I love, hanging out at camp and talking with people in my community.

It was perfect and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I feel that I have been asking Burning Man to give me something for years.

And that expectation only hindered me and my growth.

Having finally seen that.

Well.

It doesn’t feel like I need to go so badly anymore.

Next year I’ve got the Aids Life Cycle ride.

And.

And!

AND!!

Graduation from my Masters in Psychology program.

The school has set a tentative commencement date.

Saturday, May 19th.

I can’t wait.

It’s going to be epic.

You should come.

Seriously!

Because you probably won’t see me at that thing in the desert next year.

Might as well catch me when I let my mortar board sail into the air with joy.

It’s going to be great.

It’s going to be amazing.

Because.

Well.

My life already is.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Luckiest damn girl.

 

Getting Into A Groove

September 5, 2017

It took a minute.

It was slow going at first.

I still felt a bit sluggish and slow.

I slept late.

I went to bed fairly early and slept super hard.

I went to yoga and that helped a great deal.

I was stiff and needed to shake the rest of the dust out of my body.

My nose was still tender and I was a bit congested, but by the time the class ended I had sweat up a storm and my breathing was clear and clean.

It felt great to get into the class and I was super happy to find out that my favorite yoga teacher had moved back, I knew he was going to be visiting from out-of-town some holiday weekends, so I just thought, oh my God, he’s on the schedule, you got to go.

And it turns out he’ll be a permanent fixture again, which I am super grateful for.

His classes are hard, but hard in a really good way.

I have had very emotionally clearing classes with him and today it was just clearing the rest of the Burning Man out of my system.

I got back into my routine, a tiny bit, got some grocery shopping done, small run to the market in my neighborhood, I returned a ton of internship e-mails and did some scheduling stuff with clients.

I did lots of writing.

I had a super sweet engaging phone call with my best friend.

I am so lucky to have the people in my life I do.

So damn lucky.

And then.

Yes.

I did.

I got into my homework for the next school weekend.

I outlined what I need to read.

I did some reading.

I went over my syllabi.

I also wrote out a homework assignment and turned it in.

Super grateful I took the time to open up my school stuff and check in with my syllabi as I discovered the assignment for my Cognitive Behavioral class was due tomorrow.

“Oh fuck!” I said out loud.

Followed by a “damn it!”

Then I just sucked it up and got into it.

I had the time and I let myself dive into it.

I had plans to meet my person up in the Castro and I needed to run a few quick little errands before meeting with him.

So I read and did homework until I had to leave and yes, I got the assignment written and turned in.

Grateful for that.

I also did some writing for my Jungian Dream class that was good to work on.

And I got a tentative date for the commencement ceremony.

May 19th.

I like having a goal to shoot for.

It helps me to see what I am moving toward.

Although I don’t want to live in the future, it’s nice to have a carrot.

Graduation.

Ooh.

Man.

It just sounds really good.

I still have the majority of the year to get through, but it goes fast.

I know from experience.

It does go fast.

The time it whips by.

It does help that I have a full schedule, that makes the time go by.

And that I have things that I look forward to, people I get to see, snippets of sweetness that keep me moving forward.

Before I headed out to Burning Man I sat down with my employer and mapped out the year, well, not quite, we mapped out until my last weekend of school.

The school calendar for my charges was given to her, so we just went through each month and some days I’ll be going in a little early to help out with the brood when there’s a parent/teacher conference, or a bit of vacation for the kids.

I’m going to get out a little early this Friday, for example, as the family is taking a long weekend.

And.

In November, oh yes, I’m getting a ten-day stretch while they are away for a long vacation around Thanksgiving.

They’re European and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

I’m super stoked.

I figure I’ll do lots of homework and maybe a kind of staycation.

No need to figure it out now, just something to keep on the back burner.

Things really do seem to be flowing well for me, keeping the personal life balanced with the recovery life and work life and school life.

Yes.

It is a lot.

But not having Burning Man prep on my mind and being done with that chapter seems to have freed up a great deal of mental space for me and now that I have readjusted to being back in San Francisco I feel ready for whatever comes next.

I suspect it will be marvelous.

My life is not boring, let me tell you.

It’s full of passion and dreams and love and it blows my mind how much I have been given and that I can be of service here in the community and my fellowship is simply grace.

The love that I get to experience fills me and I feel expanded and buoyant with it.

Awed.

Amazed.

Astonished

I am wonderstruck with love.

How did I get so lucky?

I don’t need to know the answer, only that I am and grateful and not taking anything in my life for granted.

Alive.

So very alive.

There is so much yet to experience and do and feel and go.

I was chatting with my person tonight over a big salad, salads are very appealing right now after a week in the dusty dust, about moving on from Burning Man, that maybe I don’t go next year.

That maybe there are other places to travel to.

I have been doing a list of places in my affirmations and I think anyone of them may be a better alternative.

They all have showers, that’s for sure.

And though I adore the event and everything that I have gotten from going, maybe it’s time for a new adventure.

11 burns is nothing to sneeze at.

Even with a nose full of dust.

Anyway.

Enough Burning Man.

It’s time to move on.

At least for right now.

I have much more important things to focus on.

It’s going to be a good week.

I can feel it in my bones.

Seriously.

Bring it on.

 

 

Packed!

August 21, 2017

I’m ready for Burning Man.

All I have to do is get through the week.

And what a week it’s going to be.

Oof.

I have supervision tomorrow morning in Hayes Valley.

Then work, nannying, up in Glen Park.

I might, depending on what is going on with my supervisor and some paperwork, have to spin by my school and drop off a practicum trainee review.

I have seen the review and tomorrow we will be discussing it.

I’m not super excited to tell you the truth.

It wasn’t as great a review as my other supervisor, but then again, this supervisor is tough and smart and I doubt he gives very high marks to anyone he supervises.

I did good.

Don’t get me wrong.

Although I didn’t like his additional comments about how my schedule, school full-time, working full time, the practicum hours at the internship, how I’m working six days a week and have to be careful to not get overloaded and to take time to recharge.

Sigh.

I did a lot of recharging today.

And.

I also did a lot of work.

Laundry, cooking–made a pot roast (god damn was that a great supper, I marinated it over night in olive oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, adobo, thyme; then roasted it super slow and low for almost three and a half hours, I also soaked it down with homemade chicken stock to keep it moist while it was cooking and surrounded it by baby potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips.  I ate a nice juicy slice of it for dinner over some brown rice and put a pat of butter on it and some salt, because salt, and my fucking god, heaven), went to yoga, cleaned my house, and yeah.

Packed for Burning Man.

Four large bins, one medium bin, got my cooler ready to load up, but I won’t load it until the day I head out, which is next Sunday.

I’ll be keeping everything in the freezer until the very last moment.

My four man tent, a folding chair, and my parasol.

Ta da!

I’m pretty good at the packing for the desert trip, it’s just a matter of getting my bins sorted and having laundry done.

It used to be that my wardrobe was pretty small and basically I was wearing whatever I owned out on the playa.

A little time and a little bit of purchases here and there and I have slowly acquired a playa set of clothes, although a good bit of my wardrobe still does hop into a bin, it’s not my entire closet.

And there are some things that I absolutely won’t wear out there, which is relatively new in the last couple of years, I would just dump everything I had in my bins and empty my closet.

I do need to get a pair of sunglasses, some good aviators, I couldn’t find my sunglasses and then I realized, oh yeah, stupid, paid way too much for a set of Oliver Peeples prescription sunglasses and lost them at school last semester.

Ugh.

So.

Yeah, that’s about all I have to purchase for the trip, that and the things that will wait until I get out-of-town, like ice and water, that I’ll pick up in Reno at the 24 hour SafeWay.

My ride is coming to pick me up at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

The drive takes about 8-9 hours.

I figure we’ll land on playa around midnight–the stop in Reno and any other pit stops or gassing up that needs to be done.

My ticket and the vehicle pass are at Will Call.

I was gifted a low-income ticket from the organization, it’s still $198 and the vehicle pass is $80, but it’s cheaper than the regular ticket, and I got a ticket, there’s always so many people who can’t seem to get a ticket since the event started selling out years ago.

I remember very well the first time that happened, I was nannying for the head of Media Mecca and there was a great kind of awed hush that came over her when the announcement was made over the radio channel.

It was astounding to think they sold out.

Used to be you could just buy a ticket when you got there.

You could buy a ticket at Rainbow Grocery for fucks sake.

Now it’s a big deal, it’s a lotto, they’re more expensive, they are much harder to get.

But.

Well, I keep getting lucky, I keep getting to go.

I get to keep wearing big flowers in my hair and pretty dresses and my cowboy boots and crinolines.

I don’t show much skin out there per se, sure, my bra top will show, but I always wear a bra, I’m not a run around the desert naked kind of gal.

I like a tan, but not that much.

No.

I wear gingham dresses and crinolines, or fun tights and frilly panties and loose cotton tops.

At night I wear leggings and jean shorts, and layers, I have a cheetah print jacket with a pink silk lining that I only wear at Burning Man.

I have my goggles.

And I have my box of makeup.

Really.

What I like to do is wear lots of geegaws up in my hair and put on pretty makeup.

Throw in a crinoline and my cowboy boots and that’s it.

Oh, yeah, and a few bandanas, always, one around my wrist and sometimes one around my the top of my boot, it’s nice to have a spare for the dust that kicks up.

And like that.

My day is just about done.

I need to get the last of the laundry out of the dryer and wrap up a few loose ends here at the house.

Then my full week, supervision, work, clients, therapy, and let me not forget my first weekend of classes.

Whew.

It’s going to be busy.

But good.

I know my week will be very good and I will have my moments, my quiet, sweet moments in my little home by the sea to ponder how good I have it and how much I am loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And packed for Burning Man!

Fuck yeah.

Waiting

August 16, 2017

For more to be revealed.

I am waiting.

And.

Yes!

It’s happening.

Oh my God.

I have a ride to Burning Man.

Holy shit.

And the best part?

She’s a 74-year-old first time burner.

I want to have that much spunk when I’m in my 70s, let me tell you.

She and I were connected via some mutual friends who suggested to her that she contact me as someone who has experience going to Burning Man.

I said, sure, I’ll let her pick my brain, happy to share about food prep, how to get there, how to get back, how much water to bring, etc.

I had seen a post in a community forum for my camp that I will be staying with and it appeared that she was also looking for a ride to the event.

So.

Imagine my surprise when I get a message from her saying that she’s decided to not only drive to the event, but she wants to give me a ride.

What?!

I was not, in any way shape or form expecting to go to Burning Man with a 74-year-old woman virgin burner from Santa Cruz.

The playa hath provided.

Or.

God.

As the case may be.

I will not have to rent a car!

I will share drive cost, split the vehicle parking pass with her, and give her all the Burning Man tips she can possibly handle.

I can’t believe I have a ride!

I am so relieved.

And that she’s willing to go on my time frame, which allows me to go to class on Sunday.

The weekend the event opens, next weekend, holy shit, is the same weekend as my first weekend of school.

I have to go.

I’ll be in class Friday 9a.m.-4p.m.

Saturday 9a.m.-8p.m.

And.

Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I’ll hop on my scooter, get home and throw myself together.

I will have to be packed and ready by 1p.m.

I’m sure there will be a little wiggle room, but the fact is we’ll want to get on the road as  soon as possible, it’s an 8-9 hour drive depending on the traffic.

Which on a Sunday really shouldn’t be too bad.

We will stop in Reno at the 24 hours SafeWay and buy ice, dry ice, water and anything that may have been forgotten in the melee to get out-of-town.

I am pretty seasoned at going, like I said, this is year eleven, and I pretty much have all my stuff ready, it’s just not all in the same spot.

And considering that I don’t live in a big space it won’t take me real long to compile everything and have it ready to go.

Really.

The packing shouldn’t take me more than an hour.

I figure I’ll suss that out this Saturday.

Get all my bins out, shake off the dust, so to speak, the dust never seems to quite go away, and get it all organized in one spot in the garage.

Depending on how much room she has in the car, which doesn’t sound like a ton, I may only take my one big cooler.

I have a large cooler and a medium size cooler.

The large one is the one I invested in for this year, it’s on wheels and holds a lot more than my medium size one, plus, it’s a much better insulated cooler than the one I’ve taken the last few years.

I have a ride!!

I am over the moon.

Aside from the fact that I get to be of service, I mean, she is an elder states(wo)man and it’s an honor and a privilege, I believe, to take someone who means a great deal to her community, to her first Burning Man.

At the age of 74.

How freaking radical is that?!

I love it.

I get to be of service and she’s really happy to have the company.

I think it is a total win/win scenario.

I also feel like she’s not going to have any issue leaving a little early from the event, I’m pretty much hoping to leave as early as possible Sunday morning and get out an on the road.

I want as much time Monday to recuperate and take 18 different super hot showers and time to wash all my clothes and get the dust out of my hair.

Wow.

I am over the moon.

I have a ride.

Such a relief.

And yes, the thought of driving my own car was a lovely thought, but not the possibility of losing a big deposit on a rental from Burning Man dust.

One day.

Perhaps sooner than later.

I will have my own car.

And I will offer someone else a ride out to that thing in the desert.

Until then.

I am happy as a clam.

A dusty one, mind you.

To have this opportunity.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Or at Burning Man.

Seriously!

Sneaky Work

August 15, 2017

It’s Monday.

The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.

I bounce out of bed, turn on the lights, run to the loo.

Brush teeth, wash face, wander naked to the kitchen, I sleep in the nude, yes, indeed the first ten minutes of my morning are bare ass, drink a glass of water, take three vitamin supplements–iron, glucosamine chondrotin, Flax seed oil, then I go make my bed.

After that I get dressed, put on my shoes, watch, and pull out the layers I plan on wearing.

Hello.

It’s August in San Francisco.

Best to have at least three layers.

Cardigan, sweatshirt, scooter riding jacket.

I lay them out on the bed and then go do my morning reading and say some prayers and ask for some direction and then.

Breakfast!

Today was oatmeal with banana and figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa and unsweetened coconut/almond milk; 1 hard-boiled egg and an unsweetened almond milk latte.

While said food items are busy boiling, cooking, and frothing, I pack my lunch for work and whatever homework and internship paperwork, texts, and syllabi I need for the day.

Today it was solo supervision, so definitely needed my pink glitter notebook.

Who says grad school has to be all seriousness.

Glitter makes it better.

Trust me.

I also packed my Jungian dream book, even though my brain said, what’s the point?

There’s not a spare minute to do reading today.

But, from experience, this is not true.

Times when I think I am going to have hours of reading, I don’t and days when I think, I couldn’t possibly spare thirty seconds to look at a paragraph, I suddenly have unexpected time.

Life happens.

All the time.

That’s what life does.

But.

I find these weird, sweet, odd pockets of time and that’s when I use Stephen King’s advice.

And if you don’t think reading Stephen King is a highly psychological endeavor you’re not reading his works very well.

Anyway.

He wrote this awesome little book a while back, non-fiction, called “On Writing” and it gives his basic formula for what he does and his routine.

First.

He reads.

A lot.

And not his stuff, but everyone else.

His biggest suggestion and one that I took very much to heart, especially after starting grad school, is, carry a book with you at all times.

You never know when you may get stuck in a line or your appointment gets pushed back, or you’re riding the train or the bus or the subway.

I notice most folks these days are looking at their phones.

I read my homework for school if I have down time.

And like I said, I often have a snatch of it when I least expect it.

Today it happened at supervision.

My supervisor lost his keys and had to run home to get the replacement set.

So, my session was cut a little short but, hey!

I have my Jungian Dream Work class text-book.

Whip it out!

I knocked out another couple of pages.

And very glad for it.

I got another text-book in the mail today and I have it already packed in my travel bag for tomorrow, along with the Jungian book, I doubt very much I’ll actually have time to read the two chapters for the class I still need to kick through and have time to get into the next text I have assigned myself.

But.

Well.

You never know.

I just don’t anyway.

Another thing King recommends is that you write everyday.

Yup.

I do that too.

Before I head out.

And when I get home in the evening.

Sometimes I am still not sure how that all happens.

I do the morning writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks from Paris, or whatever notebook I have handy.  I of course have a preference, but I will write on anything.

Although I hate recycled notebooks, the quality of the paper is ass.

I write three pages long hand.

I write about what I’m doing, the things that happened the day before that I don’t write about in my blog

Oh.

Haha.

There’s a few things that I do not write about here.

That all gets covered and rehashed and processed in the morning writing.

The evening, this, my blog, I am also pretty damn consistent.

I used to be super anal about it and I couldn’t not write every day.

That’s eased up a little in recent years.

Years, I say, I have been writing this blog for so long.

Seven, eight years.

I have over 2,200 blogs posted.

And that’s after two different scrubbing sessions where I probably deleted a couple hundred blogs just to make sure I wasn’t leaving a thumbprint or, yes, I had said something unkind about someone in my life.

Typically a boss.

Occasionally a bad date.

Ooh, man I had some bad date blogs.

Which I stopped doing when a blind date stumbled on a blog I wrote, I’m thinking he probably stalked me a bit, let’s be real, and sent me a text which said, “I read your blog.”

Ack.

I had to delete it and make an amends.

I swallowed that pride, deleted the blog, called him, he answered, and apologized.

That was an uncomfortable conversation.

But.

Better than the alternative.

It still was an awful date, but I had said some pretty not so nice things.

I learned my lesson, words can cut deep and it’s not my business to malign.

I stopped writing anything about other people and really tried from that point forward to keep the focus on myself.

I have plenty of flaws I can poke fun at, I don’t need to point out anyone else’s.

So.

That’s the writing routine for the day.

The rest of today looked like work, cooking for the family, doing the baby’s laundry, lots of bouncing around with the baby–he’s teething horribly–playing race cars with the oldest boy and letting the little lady watch Frozen, since she wasn’t feeling well.

I was supposed to go to my internship today and see a client.

But.

She cancelled.

So.

After work I zoomed to the grocery store and picked up some staples and then zipped over the hill to 7th and Irving and hit up the spot, got right with God and got home.

Garbage, recycling, compost out to the curb as a favor to the landlady who is traveling, check the mail, another text-book from school!

I know, it’s exciting, right?

Reviewed my calendar, personal, work, and internship, printed off some forms–I have a new client consult at the internship tomorrow, and ate some dinner.

Checked e-mails, popped over to my “Track My Hours” my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) approved MFT hours tracker, and added in my hour of supervision from the morning.

And um.

That’s the day.

Not exactly exciting.

But really full.

Hell I even snuck in a trip to the bank and the post office to return a package in between supervision and work, and a run to Walgreens for some more school supplies–two packs of my favorite pens and a new pink folder.

Because.

Pink.

It’s a lot.

But.

It’s a gift.

This life, my life, getting to be this person who is busy and of service, getting to learn how to be a better therapist, advocating for my self-care, taking time to do my own writing, eating well, being kind, just living.

Life is going to happen and I can choose to look at it as a grind.

Or.

Fuck.

I can say, look at my amazing life!

I live in San Francisco for fuck sake.

I have such a bounty of gratitude for what I have.

It awes me every day.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Really.

I am.

Evaluation

August 8, 2017

Of Trainee.

That would be me.

Psychotherapist in training.

I picked up my evaluation from my supervisor today from the office at my internship.

I zipped up to the office before seeing my client at 6:30p.m.

I have two new client folders that I needed to look at, but not too long, I needed mostly to grab my evaluation and scoot on out.

I almost didn’t want to read it before I saw my client.

But.

Ha.

Well.

Of course I did.

Oh my gosh you guys.

It was really nice.

I mean.

Really good.

I got the best marks.

I mean seriously.

Of the four pages of the evaluation I scored the top score in all categories.

I got fives and fives and more fives.

  1. Serious difficulty with performance
  2.  Needs improvement
  3. Performs as expected
  4. Performs above expectations
  5. Performs far above expectations

Holy cats.

I got fives on everything but for three categories, and for those I still got 4s.

I am blown away.

Feels pretty motherfucking good, I have to say.

And the written comments, swoon, wowzers, you can say I’m pretty happy having read them:

“_________________ is an exceptional trainee, performing far above expectations for a first semester as a trainee.  Her level of enthusiasm, and compassion combine with a natural intuitive therapeutic ability give her a positive edge in helping her clients.  ____________ will continue to grow as a therapist as she gets more experience.”

Exceptional.

God damn that is so nice to see in print.

I need to remember that when I get bogged down in the details and the scheduling and the figuring it out.

You should have heard me as I was putting on my therapy shoes before I left work today to go to my internship, “pick up files and paperwork in room 533, meet with __________  in room 352.”

I must have repeated that five times like a little mantra before I had my shoes on, my scooter jacket zipped up and my purse and scooter basket bag in my hands.

Every day that I go into my internship–five days a week, thank you very much, I am in a different room.

I have it just about down as to where I am going to be on any given day, but I have to say I end up repeating them or double checking or looking at my calendar.

Where am I today?

Speaking of.

I need some tech support.

There has to be a way for me to access my Google calendar from my Iphone.

I haven’t figured it out yet.

I keep looking at my Gmail and trying to find where the calendar is hiding.

I mean.

I have a calendar on the phone, but I also have a personal calendar through my own Gmail account and another through my internship.

I got assigned another client today and I knew what spot to offer her and when I got the confirmation e-mail that she wanted the spot I sent my assistant director, who is in charge of the calendar, a message, but I really want to be able to access my calendar immediately.

I am at my house in the morning on my laptop and in the evening, but I am out all day long for great swaths of time, there has to be a way for me to access the calendar on my Iphone.

Add to list of things to figure out.

Like, oh, getting my paperwork to school by Friday.

I mean.

Ugh.

Either I get up early and go before therapy tomorrow or I go before work Wednesday or Thursday.

Hmm.

I wonder.

I bet I could just go after my client tomorrow or after work on Wednesday.

Oh.

That works.

I usually have something going on right away after work on Wednesdays, but not this week.  I’ll get done with work Wednesday and zoom over to school and drop of the evaluation to the practicum office team.

I also got some things ironed out with my practicum schedule and group supervision and my school schedule.

Once a month, for five months, August-December, I am in school for three days, Friday 9a.m.-8p.m. Saturday 9a.m.-4p.m. and Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I have group supervision on Saturdays from 2p.m.-4p.m.

Obviously there is a conflict.

And I can’t simply get away with not having supervision for that week.

I now have five clients this week.

I will have six clients next week.

And seven the week following.

For every five client hours I have I have to have one hour of supervision.

Having more than five clients I have to go to supervision twice a week.

And.

Now.

I have openings starting in September for Saturdays.

Yes.

I will be taking clients on Saturdays after I get back from Burning Man.

I will see clients from 4:30-6:30p.m.

That leaves me a half hour afterward to zip over to my commitment on Divasadero and Eddy by 7p.m.

I will have group supervision first from 2-4p.m. then clients until 6:30p.m.

If it’s a school weekend I’ll have school until 4p.m. and then zip over to my internship and see clients.

Of course.

Nothing is booked yet, but for the fall semester they want me to run with 10 clients.

So.

Yeah.

Saturdays.

By Spring semester I am supposed to have 13.

Ugh.

I don’t know how that’s going to happen and I don’t need to figure it out right now.

Spring semester will also be much lighter.

I will be taking five classes this semester.

In spring it will be three.

So there will be more space and less homework.

I get so way far ahead of myself.

I keep reminding myself.

Pull back ladybug.

My worst fears about my internship and not being able to handle it have all been conflagrated beyond any sort of reality.  I can look back and see I was anxious for absolutely no good reason.  I was able to handle what was handed to me.

So.

I will be fine and my classes will be good, my work will be good, life will be good.

It already is.

And.

My boss agreed to let me go an hour early on Wednesdays once a month to offset my group supervision and was very sweet about it.

So grateful for my job.

And my life and love and all of it.

Life is full.

Busy.

Yes.

All the things.

But ultimately, I am alive for it all, exquisite and sometimes painful, but so bright and moving and wonderful.

I have no complaints.

NONE AT ALL.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Never doubt it.

Hello My Old Friend

August 7, 2017

So nice to get re-acquainted.

Not.

Fuck me man.

I got anxious today.

Now.

That should go without saying, having been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and clinical depression about a decade ago, that I would have anxiety now and then in my life.

But.

Shit.

I’d sort of forgotten.

Good grief.

It snuck up on me today.

Perhaps because I had suddenly some unexpected down time and that can make me a little tight in my chest, a little thread of something is wrong running down my spine, unscheduled down time, what the fuck will I do?

And I had plenty to do, I always have something going on.

I did loads of writing.

I did loads of laundry.

So happy the landlady replaced the washing machine, the gift of not having to go to the laundry mat next to the 7-11 on the corner of Judah and 46th is no joke.

I did yoga.

I had lots of lovely phone conversations today.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked food for dinner.

I had a scrumptious salad for lunch on the back porch during the half hour of sun that came out in the Outer Sunset.

Man.

It has been foggy.

I’m about ready for that to be over weather wise.

I went and got right with God.

I did some meditation.

Life is great!

And.

I ordered books for school and looked over another syllabus that got published for my fall semester.

That’s when I noticed it, the corroding of my nerves, the odd feeling in my body, the small shivers of panic.

Oh.

Hello.

I had forgotten you.

And.

Oh.

Hello.

Fuck off.

I don’t need you around.

I mean.

I really don’t.

Anxiety pulls me out of the moment, catapults me into the future, where there is not god, there is nothing, there is only fear and terror and pain.

And it’s always a bad future.

It’s not a sweet, kind, gentle, loving future.

Nope.

It’s a.

YOU’RE GOING TO FUCKING FAIL SO YOU BETTER MOVE YOUR ASS NOW.

Kind of future.

And I still might fail.

And that’s ok.

I mean.

It is at least familiar.

I know this feeling, I have had it before, and I can live through it.

And I didn’t have a panic attack.

I had the scattering of one at the beginning of the last semester when I was super uptight about practicum and getting my internship nailed down.

Fortunately I was having a work day where the mom and baby were at her office and I was going to pick up the monkeys from school.

I had some down time at work to do cleaning and fold laundry and prep stuff for dinner and I got an e-mail regarding some financial aid thing and then another about registering for practicum and something in me just popped.

I got super wound up and it felt like a cement bucket of fear was riding on my chest and creeping up my throat.

Yay!

Anxiety.

For two and a half years I took antidepressants to deal with the depression and anxiety.

I stopped right around my five years of sobriety.

I came off them real easy.

I had been on the lowest dosage anyway.

But.

I felt like I didn’t need them anymore and I was riding my bicycle a lot and nannying some pretty energetic kids and I was doing ok.

I was also began eating a diet abstinent from processed flour and all sugars (except those occurring naturally in fruit, bring on the apples!) and that was a big thing too.

My diet got really clean, I got daily biking exercise, and I was out in the sun a lot pushing a stroller to and from multiple playgrounds.

The anxiety dissipated.

And.

The depression fell away.

I lost lots of weight.

I got happy.

Sure.

Shit happened.

Life happened.

When it was a dark and rainy winter the depression would slide back in a little, but for the most part.

Nothing.

Until.

I started grad school.

Anxiety nightmares.

Stress dreams.

Mild depression each winter semester.

Nothing that I couldn’t titrate with a touch more sleep or with a little more exercise and then I added some flax oil into my diet and rode it out.

The anxiety was easily the worst my first semester of school.

Now.

Today.

Not so much.

But.

It was there.

And truth be told.

It annoyed me.

It pissed me off.

I was like.

No.

NO.

I am not doing this again.

I know what this looks like and I know how to handle it and.

AND.

It never has been that bad.

It never has been the nightmare of not having enough time to do all the things and read all the things and write all the papers that my over active imagination likes to tell me it’s going to be.

Not once.

Not.

Never.

I never stopped blogging, which I told myself I would drop if it got bad.

I never stopped doing morning pages, ditto, I’ll stop if I can’t handle the writing load.

Oh.

Sure.

There were days here and there when I didn’t.

But I was pretty steady through it all.

I also know from experience, this for me is the most basic form of faith, that I always get things done.

And that there really is no need to be anxious about things.

I sent out a few messages, got some sweet responses.

Made a phone call to my person.

Wrote out a gratitude list.

And went about my day.

There are things I am going to have to do and my fall semester this year will look different from my last two as I am in practicum and I am seeing clients and I’m basically a practicing psychotherapist.

Not a psycho.

Haha.

Sorry.

Gallows humor is probably not the most attractive thing in a therapist.

Or is it?

Anyway.

I reached out to my supervisor about my schedule and I saw some openings and some things that I may have to adjust to and change-up.

But.

Overall.

I got this.

I got my books ordered.

I am still waiting for the release of one more syllabus though, I may still have to purchase a few books, but that’s fine.

I got my first text-book in the mail and I started reading it yesterday and yes, it will start traveling with me as I go about my week.

I worked through the anxiety.

I had a nice quiet talk with myself, assuaged my worries, gave myself the you can do it pep talk and basically really breathed into it.

All in all.

I can handle this and I was told that this would be a challenging year.

Haven’t they all been?

But.

That I have seen others walk through it and I know if they can do it so can I.

Plus.

I have a pretty amazing support system, fellowship and community.

I’m going to be just fine.

Because.

I already am.

Today.

Right now.

In this beautiful moment.

There is nothing wrong, and my life.

Well.

Let me just say.

It’s fucking fabulous.

Amazing really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Sunshine

July 19, 2017

I’m listening to an old Mike Doughty album of covers, The Flip Is Another Honey.

It just seemed appropriate.

I feel sunny.

I had a super yummy day.

Literally.

I cooked some good food today.

I had a first stab at recreating a dish I had yesterday at Samovar by Yerba Buena Gardens.

I had gone there for lunch with a darling friend who I don’t get to see very often anymore, we used to meet up on a weekly basis and now, well, between my schedule and hers, it’s more like once every couple of months.

However.

Thanks to the time off from my day job, I was able to go with her to the MOMA yesterday.

We saw the Edward Munch show.

It was good.

Dark as fuck.

But.

Um, that’s Munch.

There were also some super sexy, lush paintings that I hadn’t really known were in the artists oeuvre.

I was impressed and it was a good show.

My favorite artist?

Nope.

But nice to have some exposure to his work and I love going to the MOMA.

We had coffee in the cafe and got caught up on life.

Then we went to the 7th floor of the museum and wandered through the sound installation, which was super intriguing, but made me feel bad for any kid that might wander through, the desire to touch and tinker with the little wooden machines and instruments would have been too much temptation for my little paws when I was younger.

I was, however, able to restrain myself.

The part of the exhibit that really got me though was a room full of video screens with a synchronized song that was being played by six or seven different artists in different rooms of an old mansion in upstate New York.

It was so well done.

I was stunned and moved and completely captivated by it.

I got the chills and was dreamy and in reverence.

I love art.

I love it when I am surprised by beauty.

I love music.

And the two were just the most elegant conceptualization and moving amongst the screens and seeing how well synched the videos were and the sound was arranged so that there were speakers not just for each screen but also in the ceiling above.

It was like literally being inside the song.

I get a little shiver thinking about it.

Of course.

I stood the longest in front of the screen with the woman playing the cello.

I have such a soft spot for cello and again it went through me, time, soon, when, I don’t know, but it is there, that longing, get a cello again, practice when, fuck if I know, but do it, get lessons, start again, start again, start again.

I have enough on my plate.

But I do dream on it once in a while.

I also recognize that I was so lucky to have had the cello when I had the instrument in my life, that I was given an inordinate gift beyond any comprehension that I can now just barely muster.

I got to play the cello for four sweet, stirring, amazing years.

How many people can say that?

It was a gift and I love classical music and Bach’s preludes can make me inflamed, like I have to go buy a cello NOW, as can the passion of Chopin, although I feel his music is more piano than string, and Debussy, ack, be still my heart, Claire de Lune?  Please.

Exquisite.

So much music.

So much joy.

That’s what I felt like today.

Suffused with joy.

Sometimes soft.

Sometimes furious with passion.

I am so alive.

Even the little mundane things I did today, laundry, cooking, making check in phone calls, taking out the trash, they all were filled with this light and I just felt a glow.

I also felt full.

I ate well today.

And my tummy seems back to normal.

Yesterday, as I mentioned earlier, I had a dish at Samovar that I replicated this morning.

It was their Salmon Egg Bowl.

Brown rice, smoked salmon, poached eggs, sauerkraut, and ginger soy dipping sauce.

I took a few liberties and made one mistake.

I over poached the eggs.

One of my liberties was to poach my eggs in Miso broth, which did not give me a clear broth and I couldn’t see the egg white form on the egg, I don’t normally time things when I cook and I should have just timed the eggs.

They ended up being soft/medium boiled.

Not horrid.

But I missed getting that super creamy yolk that would have pulled the whole thing together.

The other liberty I took was to add pickled ginger and sliced pickling cucumber, the cucumbers weren’t pickled, but just the tiny little ones they use to make pickles, so fresh they added a nice clool brightness to the salt brine of the sauerkraut and the richness of the salmon.  I also used turmeric spiced brown rice, to give the rice color and I thought the plate was actually quite pretty.

It was not great.

But.

It was good.

It will be better the next time I make it.

I also roasted some asparagus, still going through the asparagus my employer gave me last week, wrapped in bacon.

Mmmm.

Bacon.

That was breakfast.

A slight departure from my normal oatmeal and fruit and hard-boiled egg, but a welcome one.

Once and a while I get to shake it up.

For lunch I roasted a chicken with a salt and pepper crust and made brown rice.

Nice and simple.

And that’s what I had for dinner.

With, ha, um, some more asparagus.

Heh.

I think I will pull the chicken and shred it up and make a cream of asparagus soup with brown rice and chicken.

That will “kill” the asparagus.

Otherwise I don’t think I will be able to finish it up before it goes bad and its a shame to waste asparagus.

And in between the cooking and the tasks I saw people I love.

I connected with fellows.

I sat in a cafe in Noe Valley and reconnected to my people, two back to back.

And I had a really good therapy session.

Also up in Noe Valley.

I was supposed to have a client after all my meetings and sessions in Noe, but it was cancelled by the client and I found myself able to quickly zip up and over the hill and hit the Inner Sunset and get right with God at Irving and 7th.

Such an unexpected gift.

Ran into some folks I hadn’t seen in a while and got my God on.

A damn fine day.

I really, really am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.


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