Posts Tagged ‘luckiest girl in the world’

Not Quite So Dark

June 18, 2017

Oh.

For fuck sake.

So here I am trying to be all low-key and down low and not post anything via social media so I stay anonymous.

And.

Um.

hahahahahaha.

Oops.

Turns out I’m completely transparent and known on my own fucking blog.

My “About Me” page had, I say had since I just pulled it down, a photo of me and link, failed link, but still a link, with my gmail account linked to it.

My gmail account is my full name.

Rolls eyes at self.

Ugh.

Fortunately a friend caught it and gave me the heads up.

And the post has been updated to reflect that.

No more photographs of me, no more name on the page.

Just me and my thoughts listening to some Bill Withers.

When I wake up in the morning love and the sunlight hurts my eyes.

…..Just one look at you and I know it’s going to be a lovely day.

Up a little late.

Up a tiny bit wired.

I went to an anniversary party this evening after doing the deal over on Turk and Divisadero this evening and saw a swarm of folks that I hadn’t seen in a while, including one of my best friends who came into the city and my god, it was good.

I had my internship today and lots of errands that I wanted to do and some down time in the afternoon to do laundry and get myself caught up, and I realized that I hadn’t done a good bit of this kind of socializing in a while.

It took me a moment to catch my stride.

I can be charming and funny and outspoken and a character, but the truth is that sometimes I get a bit over my head with social stuff, which is hilarious and most folks have no idea.

I am not going to label myself an introvert or an extrovert, I’m not going to pigeonhole myself, but I will say I felt awkward and I realized it was going to pass and I had a minute to get settled and be in my skin and let it be ok that I was in a big social situation with a lot of people I am acquainted with but perhaps not that close to.

I also needed to be there and be seen and just let myself be not at work or at the internship.

I logged another two hours today at the internship, even went in a little early to do some paper work and get myself situated and eat a lunch quietly in the office before the other interns got there for our session.

I got some good info, gave some good feedback and was mightily pleased that I had clients to talk about.

I am just dipping my toe into the mix and it’s a lot to carry, but I’m starting to do it and I can see that I am doing the thing that I am supposed to do.

Granted when I logged into track my hours I realized that I had done five hours this week, two client hours and three training hours and that my supervisor at the internship wants me to carry a load of 15 hours.

Three times what I did this week.

Sigh.

Granted I may not get up to that speed for a while and there will be times when I’m able to do that and times when I won’t.

I can’t get too focused on it and I also told myself today that in the service of keeping a tiny semblance of sanity that maybe I don’t have to get as many hours as is possible for me to collect while I am in school.

I just need to get the hours required by my program to graduate.

Granted.

I say to myself.

Fuck that shit.

GET IT ALL.

But.

I don’t want to kill myself and I want to have some socializing.

I need face time with people.

I am thinking specifically of a few friends that are just too dear for me to let go of and I will squeeze them in where and when I can and I will be tired and I won’t give a fuck and you only live once and get it.

Get it girl.

Some things may feel overwhelming, but in the day-to-day of it, I’m doing it.

Slowly building up my client base, learning how to be a therapist, learning how to keep loving and taking care of myself and finding those odd hours and minutes in the hollowed spaces of golden sunned afternoon light when I can pause, catch my breath and get hella grateful.

I mean.

Hella.

Grateful.

That I have what I have.

“You look different,” my friend said to me tonight.

And she’s right.

Things in my life have altered in an amazing way and I am beyond myself with happiness and succumbing to all the feelings therein.

Without expectation or thought for future moments.

Ok.

Small white lie, I do have some plans for future travel, but I am trying to really keep it to this day, these scattering of moments, dipped in old school R&B, or Elvis ballads, old love songs and lyrical movements in time, the stars framed by the trees overhead, a snapshot of a moment.

Astounded with beauty.

Awake to every feeling in my body.

And that’s all I can wish for.

This moment.

Where I am alive.

Oh.

And I am so alive.

It is glorious.

Sure.

Might have something to do with the peer pressure cup of coffee I accepted gleefully at the party and perhaps I might have racing thoughts but I have had racing thoughts for weeks now and I am rather used to it and the heart beating in my chest going fast just lets me know how fully alive I am.

It is exquisite and I am unabashed by the feeling of it.

Love.

Love.

That’s where it’s at.

The word that flutters in my chest.

The ache and longing.

The aliveness.

The song on my lips.

The poem in my eyes seeking yours.

The smile that I cannot help but smile.

So fucking good.

This life.

My life.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

News!

June 6, 2017

Aside from the fact that I am super tired.

And.

Hello.

It’s Monday.

Bwahahahahaha.

Ugh.

It is what it is and I know once I’m in the groove of the week I will be just fine.

I usually am.

I just need to hit my stride and there was some extra work that I hustled into my schedule today aside from my work and going to meet with my supervisor, I also went to school to take care of some more paperwork.

My God.

The amount of stuff I have to get signed.

I know it’s a necessary evil, but man, there’s a lot of stuff to keep track of.

I had a moment when I was going to leave something in my scooter basket, just a cloth sack with a file folder in it.

Then.

I had this vision of someone breaking into my scooter basket and taking that file.

I was like.

Oh, no you don’t, motherfucker.

Not leaving any paperwork to be stolen.

Not that I think that anyone wants my BBS forms (Behavioral Board of Sciences) but they might break into the basket to see if there’s anything of value and rifle through shit and drop that in the piss and used rigs on Minna Street.

And just.

NO.

I spent too much time and effort getting just a couple of those forms filled out–one of them has four different signatures and also three different initialed spots, spots that are not my own signature.

I did not want to risk it at all.

Anyway.

I took it with, popped into the practicum office at school, had a really nice chat with the woman there and got some more paperwork and went to another floor of the school and got some more paperwork there, all the papers, and then scootered off to work with a big smile on my face.

I got some good news today.

I don’t have to stop writing my blog!

OH MY FUCKING GOD AM I HAPPY OR WHAT?!

I brought it up again with my supervisor and what the group of interns at my internship had suggested and while I was talking he gets on his phone and says after a minute, “don’t bother, you’re not coming up on any searches, you’re buried.”

And then.

“Take that with a grain of salt,” he continued, “you get a stalker client, and I’ve had my share, you’ll get someone who will find your stuff, but you are anonymous enough, I think you’re going to be fine as long as you don’t post your blog any longer to social media.”

So.

Hurray!

I am so very pleased.

But.

Yes.

I am going to be going off social media with my blog pretty damn quick.

My end date on it is this Wednesday.

I am not longer posting on Twitter.

In fact, I tried to deactivate it today, but it had me a bit flummoxed, man when you’re on the site they want to keep you there.

I did log out of it and I took it off my phone and I won’t be linking my blog to it any longer.

That is a start.

My supervisor also prescribed all the privacy actions that I have already taken with my Facecrack account and then told me to make sure that my LinkedIn account is not public.

Fact is.

I have no clue.

I set up a LinkedIn account over six years ago, maybe longer?

I have never used it.

I have no idea what it may say about me, but I need to clean it out and make sure it’s private and obviously update it.

A bit has changed in the last six, seven years, to say the least.

But.

I can do that.

I can keep writing this blog.

Oh.

I know.

A client might find it and my supervisor and I talked about that too and how that can be handled and how that can be brought into the therapy and I felt really good discussing it all with him.

He is a fantastic supervisor.

He scares me a little, he’s just that smart, but he’s good and I’m learning so much from him, I am beyond grateful we are working together.

So I was pretty happy to walk out of his office knowing that Auntie Bubba will ride again, not that she’d been stabled, but that I did think I was going to have to put her out to pasture.

I have gotten some amazing responses over the last couple of days from folks who want to continue getting the blog or some semblance there of and I am happy to report you, my dear reader, that you can still read the blog right here on WordPress.

I would suggest you either subscribe to my blog and get it e-mailed to you or you can, by signing into WordPress set up an account and become a follower.  I have about 11 people who get it e-mailed to them and 284 followers.

You’re welcome to become 285, or 286, or whatever the number may be.

I don’t have many followers, but I feel like I have rapport with many of them.

I feel honored that some folks have been reading from the very beginning and that many, most of the reader who follow me don’t even know who I am.

Which, hey, is how it’s supposed to be, right?

Especially now as I begin my therapeutic endeavors.

“You have your first client this week?!” A friend asked me tonight, “they are a super lucky person, they really are.”

I could tell my friend was sincere and in his warm face I felt all the love and strength and trust and faith in myself that I could ever hope to feel.

I am so lucky.

Blessed.

Graced.

You pick.

To get to do this kind of work.

And.

Really.

When I look back over my life, I have been in so many situations where I was privileged to hold a confidence, to listen to someone walking through pain, to be a shoulder, literally and figuratively, I have been prepping most of my life, it would seem.

Grateful for every damn thing that has brought me here.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I absolutely believe that.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

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

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

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

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

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

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

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

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

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

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

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

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

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

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

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

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

Next May.

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

So.

Yeah.

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

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

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

Of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And.

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

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

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

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

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

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

So many times.

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

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

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

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

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

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

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

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

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I’m A Psychotherapist!

May 26, 2017

Holy shit.

“And there you go,” he said to me, wrapping up our first training session, “now when someone asks you what you do you can say, ‘I’m a psychotherapist’ because, now you are officially.”

I repeat.

Holy shit.

Psychotherapists swear, right?

I sure as fuck hope so.

Granted.

I don’t think I’ll be swearing in my first session with my first client, I don’t very much that I will ever be swearing in a session with a client, then again, one never knows.

Still.

Holy shit!

I’m a psychotherapist.

I had my first day of training at my internship tonight.

It wasn’t very long, mostly just a sit down to debrief about what the next steps are for, we met for an hour and I got my training packet, and my room assignments and we hashed out a schedule for me.

Which is pretty much what I thought it would be when I was looking at it yesterday.

The only difference is that my group supervision training won’t be as long as I thought and I don’t think I’ll be taking any clients that day, which is Saturday, so Saturdays, starting next week I’ll be at the space training from 2-4p.m.

They will be starting me slowly, but I will be seeing my first client in less than two weeks.

I will go back next week and do a tour of the facility, get my key card, my set of keys, go over the protocols on how to buzz clients into the building and do a bunch more paperwork.

Fuck.

The paperwork, there is just so much of it.

However.

I understand the need for it and I just have to do a little bit for right now.

Mostly I have to get acquainted with my training packet and also set up a separate time to meet with another supervisor, the assistant director at the internship, who will officially process my paperwork.

In between now and next Thursday I have to do that and I have to set up my e-mail and my voicemail message.

Then next Saturday I will begin my group training and supervision.

And.

The following Tuesday.

Yes.

I will have my first client!

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017.

That will be my first official day as a psychotherapist.

Not today.

But.

Man.

It felt good to hear my supervisor say that.

You can say you’re a psychotherapist now.

Such a lovely thing to hear.

All this work.

So much work.

And still so much more to come.

But.

It’s lead here.

One small baby step at a time.

My supervisor also told me that he had a client in mind for me already who’s been on the waiting list waiting for a therapist like me.

A therapist like me.

Whoa.

This.

This is happening.

I left my supervisor, popped into the bathroom, took care of bio needs and then washed up, grinning like a banshee in the mirror, “I’m a psychotherapist!”

Then.

I stuck my hand in my pocket and squashed a ball of wax cheese in my hand.

Ha.

I’m still a nanny.

Snacks are in my pockets, anyone want a Baby Belle?

I’ve a long way to go before I give up being a nanny.

Years and years.

“I was sad, I thought, well, it made me cry,” he told me, in his sweet little voice, a little distant and soft.

“What made you cry?”  I asked him, stroking his soft blond hair.

“Well, I thought, maybe you weren’t going to be my nanny anymore,” he said looking out the window of the train.

“Oh!  When I was on vacation, when I went to Paris?” I asked him, my heart melting.

“No, not that, no, I had this awful thought that when school was done you’d be done too, like my favorite teacher who I won’t get to see again when school stops for summer,” he corrected my assumption.

“Oh!  Sugar, I won’t be leaving, I will be with you all summer, in fact, I will be with you for a really long time.”

“Really?” He asked me, brightening.

“Yes, really,” I ruffled his hair again and kissed his forehead, “I promise.”

“A long time!?  Like twenty years?  Like!  Oh! I know! You could be my kid’s nanny, I mean, you might be old, but you won’t be too old, that would be perfect!”

I laughed.

He called out to his sister and said, “Carmen can nanny for you too when you have kids!”

They started to conspire with each other and plan on who they were going to get married to and when they’d each have babies and where they would live and what they would do for jobs, which wouldn’t matter, so long as they had me.

Ok, now.

Maybe I’ll be a nanny for a few more years yet, but I am also a psychotherapist, in training, in one more week of training, then I start with my first client.

And it won’t be twenty more years of being a nanny, no not at all.

The time it will go.

The time it always does.

But until it passes.

I am grateful for my sweet, darling charges, and all the love they bring into my life.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ahem.

I mean.

Luckiest psychotherapist in the world.

Yes.

That.

 

No Rest For The Wicked

May 22, 2017

But.

I am going to try.

I am zonked.

It’s been a long day.

It started at 5 a.m. today, yesterday?  I don’t even know, what day is it?

Yes.

Sunday.

And yes.

I already have my alarm set for the morning.

I have to get up early and go meet with my supervisor.

My internship starts this week.

I’ve the meeting tomorrow and then training starts on Thursday.

And.

You know.

Work.

And um.

Hello.

Jet lag.

Current Paris time is 4:53 a.m.

That means, 24 hours ago I was just about to get up and finish my packing.

And it was a great big last day of a last day.

One last morning of having coffee on the houseboat and then off to Clingancourt.

Which I almost bailed on.

Crowds cause me some anxiety.

My friend I went with pretty much noticed that ASAP.

“You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to,” I was told, and I knew that, but I also wanted to make the effort.

I’d never made it in to Clingancourt before, I had only gone one other time and it was closed.

I wandered around and took street art photography.

The thing about the market is that it’s in not the prettiest neighborhood, lots of low-income housing tenements, it’s just at the Periphery of the city, so it can get quite a bit sketchy, it’s a haven for pick pockets, and there’s a lot of dingy, trashiness to it, plus there was a lot of construction going on.

However, once you make it into the actual market, it’s great.

It’s just getting through shark infested waters.

I’m bad with pushy tourist scam artists and crowds and what feels very edgy and compromised.

I also recognize that I am sensitive and it takes a lot of work for me to shut out that kind of lifestyle and edge.

I used to do it pretty damn well, but truth be told I haven’t had walls up that high in a bit and it felt exhausting and I was a little ashamed that I wasn’t able to keep it better together, apologizing to my friend too much for how I was dealing and it just left an uneasy taste in my mouth.

But.

I did have fun in the market itself, I saw some beautiful things and actually bartered a little bit with a vendor and got 10 Euro knocked off a pair of vintage earrings.

Scoring them for 20 Euro instead of the 30 Euro listed.

Great deal.

Especially considering that the other pair of earrings I had seen that I was very drawn to were 1750 Euro!

Of course they were, but my god, so gorgeous.

I also had a sweet chat with the woman running the stall and it felt nice to be able to at least tell her that I was so grateful for her time showing me her beautiful jewelry and I felt pretty damn good about remembering the word for earrings in French.

The longer I was there the more came back, although when I got tired, which was often, I don’t think I actually ever got a big full eight hours of sleep, I would lapse in the quality of my French.

Still.

Overall.

I think I did pretty good.

And though Clingancourt was a challenge for me, I can say, I did it, and I also got a very cool poster, a 1955 Scandal sheet, that I was able to score for 10 Euro.

Felt fun to do that.

Although I ended up missing seeing a few people I had hoped to catch up with, after I got back from the market I was too zonked out to try to do anything else.

I sat on the prow of the houseboat and I wrote awhile in my journal and just enjoyed the hell out of the sun.

Super grateful that my last day in Paris was sunny.

Not as warm as I might have liked, but really nice.

And.

After I got packed and sorted a friend and I went out to grab a bite to eat and I decided to get dressed up a little for my last night in Paris and wear my earrings and put my hair up and if only for that I am super glad I went to Clingancourt, my earrings were such fun to wear.

It was lovely to take one last walk along the Seine, to see all the folks lined up at the Musee D’Orsay, to window shop a little, and oh God, yes, get one last little souvenir for stuffing into my suitcase.

Or, as the case may be, for wearing around my shoulders.

I picked up a gorgeous black cashmere (my first cashmere) wrap from this beautiful little shop.

I met the owner and chatted and she called me out as being an artist and then showed me the book her little sister had just gotten published and then told me about Nice and Picasso and Miro and art and al the artists that used to come through their home–the photograph of the book her sister wrote is the woman as a young girl with Pablo Picasso making faces at her.

It was super sweet and she asked me for my information so she could follow my blog.

Which frankly was an interesting moment, when she asked if I was an artist and I am, I’m a writer, a poet, a dreamer, an arranger of colors and sounds and atmospheres in myself, but when someone asks me if I am an artist I always seem to have a moment where I pause and think, no, no, not me.

I’m not really an artist.

But.

I am.

I write poetry and once in a while it is good.

And once in a while I will write a blog that makes me think, yes, I got it, that was art, that was beauty.

But do I paint or draw, no, not so much, do I make music, nope, although I do aspire to be lyrical in my writings.

Nevertheless I gave her my blog address and for a moment I was again a woman artist in Paris, talking art with another artist in a beautiful shop full of soft, delicious things to touch and wrap around me.

It was a comfort on the plane to have the cashmere wrap and I don’t doubt that I will wear it often.

Sensual and soft, warm and engulfing.

All the lovely things.

And now.

My darlings, my dears.

It is time for rest.

I must be up early and I have been going for 24 hours.

Good night my dears.

From a very.

Very.

Grateful.

And.

Lucky girl.

Who’s Life Is This?

May 13, 2017

I said to my friend as I sat on the deck of the houseboat we’re sharing on the Seine, eating my salad in the sun slanting golden through the clouds over Le Grand Palais.

My friend pithily replied, “it’s yours.”

Oh shit.

It is.

I felt my heart swell up with gratitude and tears well in my eyes.

The tears they always well easy, but sitting on top of a houseboat in the middle of the Seine, located at Place de la Concorde/Champs Elysees, I felt blown up with joy.

This is my life.

And I’m on a houseboat in Paris.

It’s a pretty fucking amazing life, this.

I say it all the time, luckiest girl in the world, but it really feels that way, I can also see challenging things as lucky too, I have perspective, part of the reason why it felt so shocking to me is how I left when I moved away from Paris.

Broke.

Or.

How I left it last Christmas.

Heartbroken.

To just be sitting on the top deck, under an awning, waving at the Bateaux Mouche going by with their decks heavy with tourists, eating my dinner, in Paris.

In Paris.

It astounds.

I am grateful to be here, ready to be settled in one spot for a while.

It’s felt like non-stop moving at certain points and I’m happy to be moored for the rest of my time here.

I got up super early this morning.

Which was not my intention.

NOT AT ALL.

But.

I woke up at 4 a.m. wide awake.

And as much as I tried I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I rolled around, drifting in and out of thoughts, half dreams, revery, but never sunk back into sleep.

So.

I got up at 5:30a.m. and took a super hot shower, god I love hotels for super hot showers, plus huge over head rainfall shower heads, and let the water wash away the travel and the weary and washed out my hair.

Oh my God.

People.

My hair.

It’s huge.

The humidity isn’t bad, but it’s greater than what I am used to in San Francisco.

I have a lot of hair.

But right now.

It feels like.

I have.

A LOT.

It’s pretty huge.

It, my hair, has led to some interesting conversations, mostly with men, actually, all with men.

I got propositioned this morning as I left the hotel to take a morning stroll around Pere LaChaise Cemetery.

I mean.

I was basically offered cunnilingus for breakfast.

I was like.

Wow.

Paris.

It’s 7 a.m.

I’m going to wait though, and grab a cafe creme before entertaining that thought.

Yeesh.

I also was told by a way too friendly taxi cab drive that I had an amazing smile.

Thanks.

Now stop looking at me in the rearview window and drive, you’re making me nervous.

I’m pretty friendly and gregarious and sometimes I forget that doesn’t always translate here.

Smile?

Sure.

You must be a hooker and want to blow me in my cab and pay an extra fare.

Douche bag.

I also forgot, and it took me longer than it has in the past to pick up on it, I don’t think about it at all living in San Francissco, that I have tattoos.

And.

It’s warmer than the last two times I was in Pairs, I was here over two different winters I was not showing any skin.

And though I am not showing a lot, one can see that I am sporting more tattoos than the average bear.

As I was standing in the lobby to check out of my super hip boutique hotel the woman at the front was telling the other clerk that his tattoos were too big and that she couldn’t get anymore if she ever wanted to have a job outside of working at Mama Shelter.

I wanted to intervene, in French, and say something, but I played restraint of pen and tongue, nobody asked for my fucking opinion.

But.

Folks here definitely have some ideas about what tattoos mean.

Whore.

Anyway.

Like I care.

Like I give a fat god damn.

I am sitting on a houseboat in the Seine writing my blog.

This life, my life, is so fucking amazing and you know, I’ll probably go get another tattoo while I’m here, because, well, that’s what I do.

Heh.

I get to do whatever I want, well, as long as I accept the consequences.

So, I smile, and I’m joyful and if that means I get some over reaching flirting once in a while I can deal or stares or comments.

It isn’t any of my business what people think of me.

Shit.

It’s none of my business what I think of me.

I don’t always think well of myself, so I try not to think too much of myself.

Just enough.

Just barely enough.

But.

The truth is, I am more than enough and I deserve to be here and I work really motherfucking hard.

I’m happy to be on a boat in the Seine rocking on the waves of the boats rolling by.

It’s an experience I quietly dreamed about my first time walking the Seine by myself in Paris in 2007.

Seeing all the houseboats, dreaming about owning one or renting one.

When the cab dropped me off I had gotten there early and I knew which one it was by the photos from the reservation, but no one was around, just the tabby cat sunning itself on the deck.

I stood for a while, then the cat got curious, as they do, and came over and gave me the once over and deigned to let me stroke him and then I just said, fuck it, and hopped on the boat.

Standing with a goofy too big smile on my face in the brilliant afternoon sun over Paris.

On a boat.

I’m just going to keep going with this.

It will fade off I am sure.

But for right now.

Well.

Basking.

Just glowing with it.

All the things.

For.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Me.

How Did I Do All That?

April 17, 2017

I mean.

I am not really sure, but man, it flowed, lovely and smooth from one experience to the next.

Until now.

Sitting here at my table doing my little evening routine, listening to some old school-house music, Tortured Soul, in my bunny slippers, it is Easter after all, with my belly full of warm homemade soup, I am rather astounded.

I am.

I got a lot done.

There is still so much more to do, I have so much paper writing yet to attack, but I know how I am going to handle two of my papers, which is a relief, sometimes just knowing what I am going to write about makes the process so much less stressful.

It’s still anxiety making.

I mean.

I have three papers due.

Yet.

I took a huge leap forward today.

It started slow and it started with not wanting to get out of my bed when the alarm went off, but I knew that danger, and I knew I wanted to go to the earlier yoga class this morning, I had to be up in the Castro to do some homework by a certain point and going to a later class wouldn’t have worked.

And.

I just knew I needed up and out.

The class was hard, but really good and I’m grateful I went.

I had a lovely breakfast here at the house (organic oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa, sea salt, and blueberries; a soft-boiled egg,  and an amazing toasted coconut/almond milk latte) and did some morning page writing.

I checked my syllabus, packed my books, got my notebook, my class folder, and put on some makeup, pulled my hair up in a bun, hopped into my rain boots and headed to the MUNI.

I caught the N-Judah to the J-Church.

I read the entire time.

I finished two chapters in my Trauma reading.

As well as getting into a third on my ride back from the Castro.

I got off the train at the Castro Street Station and marveled with glee at the little rainbow lights lining the escalator.

How I do love you San Francisco.

I do so much.

I strolled through the main drag with my umbrella and my rain boots and smiled at all the fellas in their Easter finery.

I ran a couple of errands then went up to Firewood Cafe.

I met with my person and another friend for lunch then we adjourned to another friends apartment up on Noe and 19th.

God.

Rent control.

How I envy folks who have it.

The apartment is a huge one bedroom with front room, dining room, big bathroom, hard woods, fireplace, huge kitchen.

I was definitely having some apartment envy.

It was the perfect place though, the big couch in the front room, the table, the chair I put in front of the couch.

We all got settled and I started the recording on my phone.

And this time I got it!

I got a half hour session of a Couples Therapy dyad.

“You’re good!” They both exclaimed after we finished the session.

Thank you guys!

It felt really good.

I had a few moments when I was unsure which way to go or what to say, but I didn’t think to hard about it and I noticed my counter transference and actually noted to myself in the session, “hey!  That’s countertransference! Remember that!”

Of course, now, in this moment, I have no solid clue what it was or what it was in regards too, but I knew I had it and I used it in the session and I know that when I go back and listen to the recording again I’ll be able to hear it in the recording.

So happy I got that out-of-the-way.

And while I was on the train riding to the Castro to meet with my friends who were going to help with the project, I had an idea about what to write for my Trauma paper.

Very happy about that.

Part of my “stress” if you want to call it that, is that I need to listen to things again before I write the paper, I can’t just pick up a book or a class reader or an article or my notebook and get the information there.

I have to take an extra step for each paper and listen to a recording, break down what is happening in the recording and use it for the papers.

It is a lot more work than a normal paper for me.

That being said, I feel so much more competent about what I will be writing about and I feel a lot better about the state of my papers.

No.

I did not do any paper writing today.

Although I did write a lot.

I thought about it, but I also didn’t want to stress myself out about it.

If I got to it, great, but that I did so much footwork for the material that will go into the writing, for two different papers, is huge.

I actually accomplished a lot.

Plus.

I got to see two wonderful men in my life who mean so much to me and have a nice Sunday lunch and walk underneath the cherry trees in the Castro and be seen and be helped.

It was truly lovely.

I hopped back on the train and was heading back to the house and my smart feet actually hopped up when I hit Church Street Station.

It was ten of four.

Oh!

I could go check out a spot I used to go to way back in the day.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time and get grounded and then hop back on the train and come home.

Home.

Home to cook my soup.

I made homemade hot and sour soup today.

I took a large Mason jar of my chicken stock (made from last weeks roasting chicken), 1 bag of large wild caught shrimp, a container of organic tofu that was cubed, a small box of Hen of the Wood mushrooms, a small box of crimini mushrooms and tossed them in my soup pot.

I added a good heavy splash or five of Bragg’s Amino Acids, instead of soy sauce, loads of fresh ground white pepper, some rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and sliced in a fat organic carrot and some chopped Swiss Chard (I would have used bok choy, but the store was out and the chard actually worked really well).

I put it on the stove, set it to simmer and then realized it was going to be at least an hour before it was ready.

I could do more reading.

Or.

I could sneak in another yoga class.

Yoga won.

I slipped into the studio three minutes before it started.

It was not Vinyasa yoga, like I did this morning, but restorative.

I could not have done another Vinyasa class.

But restorative, lots of slow, soft, warm stretching, yes ma’am.

It was perfect.

I got back, tasted the soup, oooh, added a little more white ground pepper, lit some candles, put on my bunny slippers and had myself an amazing dinner.

The soup was so good.

Umami bomb.

I am astounded and I have a new favorite.

I am very happy how my Sunday went.

Not upset that I didn’t get the writing done I was thinking I might, but I got the things done that I needed to do and I did exquisite self-care.

Happy day.

I saw friends, chosen family, ate delicious food, did yoga, not once, but twice! Made tons of progress on my homework and walked underneath blooming cherry trees in one of the prettiest cities in the world.

Where I live does not suck.

Nope.

I am the luckiest girl.

I really am.

And now I’m ready for Monday.

Night all.

xoxoxoxo

 

 

I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Congratulations

April 6, 2017

 

Congratulations Burner!

Hello Carmen,

You’ve been awarded a Low Income Ticket to Burning Man 2017: Radical Ritual. 

Here’s what you need to know about your Low Income Ticket:

Holy toledo

The best news ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but.

LOOK MA!  I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Woot.

Heh.

Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.

Fuck.

Who the hell am I kidding.

Over the motherfucking moon.

I’m going.

11th year in a row.

It’s a special year for me too.

It’s Shadrach’s tenth anniversary of his passing.

He’s the reason why I went to my first burn.

“You really should go to Burning Man, you are such a burner,” he told me at my first Decompression party.

He had a loft in the Dog Patch neighborhood, close to Esprit Park where the Decompression Party is held annually, the after Burning Man party, which until I went to Burning Man was super exciting until I went to Burning Man and then it’s a little anti-climatic.

One of the best San Francisco street parties.

But.

It cannot hold a candle to the actual event.

I mean.

What the hell can?

There is nothing like it on Earth and every year that I get to go I am excited and nervous and I don’t know if I’m going to e able to swing it this year and then.

Well.

Heh.

I do.

Even when I was only able to go for four days last year.

I still went.

I have been out as long as 23 days.

That’s when it starts to get weird, FYI.

My burn this year will be the standard event.

When I was there for long stints of time, 14 days, 18 days, 19 days, two years in a row of 21 days, the infamous year of 23 days that was one of the worst dust storm years ever and long, slow, painful hours stuck in a trailer, I was working.

This year.

Well.

This year, this lady is not working.

No “Working Man” for me.

I mean.

It’s always a lot of work, no matter how you slice it, I spend a lot of time getting prepared, but I won’t be tied to any job this year, I won’t be nannying, I won’t be doing a thing but enjoying the event.

I even pulled a few shifts last year, though they felt pretty negligible, I helped where I could and I’m not the person who shirks from work, I’ll help out where I can when I go this year too, but I won’t be working scheduled shifts.

I’m going to Burning Man.

Pinch me.

I need supplies!

I need a new bike.

Sigh.

Although resigned to the loss of my playa bike, I am still sad to be without her and I will be sourcing a new bicycle.

Fuck.

I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.

So.

That’s a nice thing, I can exchange that or give that to anyone who can give me a ride.

The ride will come together.

My gear will come together.

I really have the majority of it anyway.

I have my own tent, I have an air mattress, a cooler, clothes, boots, bandanas, hats, camp chair, flowers for my hair.

I will need to get a bicycle.

A new air pump for my air mattress.

And possibly a second cooler.

I did well with one cooler last year, but I was just up there four days, I may need a second one, nothing to be super concerned about.

The bicycle will be the first acquired thing, the rest will follow.

I already have a coffee date with a lovely Siren from Siren’s Cove, the camp that flew me home last year, that was one hell of a gift let me tell you, when I posted up on social media that I had scored a low-income ticket she immediately requested girl time coffee date at Center Camp Cafe.

I was like.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Oh my God.

This is going to be some kind of crazy new experience for me.

Not having to be tied to anything, being able to hang out, not having responsibilities, I mean, other than keeping myself alive and hydrated.

Heh.

I am going to have all the adventures.

ALL.

Of them.

Yes.

A friend of mine laughed when I posted the announcement as well, gently giving me shit about how I am always surprised that I am going.

But.

I always am!

It seems like such a big deal, how will I make it work, how will it happen when I’m in Paris, when I’m between jobs, when I don’t have money, or it’s conflicting with school.

Or.

All the crazy stuff that my brain manufactures.

And I don’t have that so much this go around, once I found out that school didn’t conflict and that I got the balls to ask off from work, well it only seemed to follow that I was going to have to go.

It would just be a matter of getting the ticket and the ride.

I always say, if you want to go, you’ll go, and once you have the ticket, it’s pretty much guaranteed.

At least for me.

And granted, like I’ve said, I’ve gone and I’ve gotten rides and tickets and I have worked my ass off out there.

Some years more so than others.

But, really, every year, even my first year, when I was “just” going to take my best friend’s ashes to the Temple, I ended up working.

That was 2007 and the Man was vandalized and burnt early and the organization rebuilt it for the burn night.

I ended up being in the cafe when a worker for the Man Crew came in and told the cafe manager I had just spoken to about signing up to volunteer and they didn’t have any shifts, I was literally walking away, and she grabbed me, “you’ve got shifts now!”

Boy did I ever.

I ended up pulling three or four ten-hour cafe shifts.

And that started something for me, being a part of, being involved, and though I am a little scared, let me be honest, to be untethered, I am also excited, I am so excited to get to go and just be a participant.

No.

I won’t roll in the fucking dust when the Greeters greet me, there’s enough dust in my bins in the garage to carry me through that experience, I will be seeing the event with a new set of eyes.

Fuck.

I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Kindness

March 10, 2017

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

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

That’s Women’s Day for you.

But you know what I mean.

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

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

I found myself sharing as though she were my friend.

Cautiously.

Yes.

I mean I needn’t go into gory details.

But.

I did tell her a bit more about my family.

Specifically my dad.

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

They will be gone for three weeks.

And.

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

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

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

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

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

Granted.

I have had some amazing.

AMAZING.

Parents that I have gotten to work with.

Let me repeat that.

Amazing.

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

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

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

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

Which is not ego, but humility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now.

Well.

It may really be the best nanny gig I have.

Health insurance.

Paid vacation.

Sick leave.

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

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

I get to be out and about with my charges.

I have a credit card in my name.

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

I have the dream nanny job.

And.

I LOVE my boss.

I feel appreciated, understood, and we talk.

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

I mean.

I have shared a lot.

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

She got me.

In fact.

I felt like I was in the field with her.

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

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

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

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

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

Regardless

It happened.

We connected.

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

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

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

“Yes,” I do, F__________.”

“Ok.”

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

“I love you too.”

And I do.

Very.

Very.

Very much.

I am such a lucky girl.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And.

I’m also a school girl.

Tomorrow is my first day back to school.

So.

Off to bed I go.

See you on the flip.

Sweet dreams my loves.

Sweet dreams.


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