Posts Tagged ‘luckiest girl in the world’

More Done

December 9, 2017

I just got some more done.

I finally had a dream to write about for my Jungian DreamWork class.

Of course, it was a nightmare.

Not a bad nightmare, more just vaguely ominous and disturbing.

And since it was really the only dream I could remember, write about it I did.

I also asked the professor if we could work the dream in class tomorrow.

The format of the class is the first half is about course material, readings, and the second half of the class is about applying that to dream interpretation and doing dream work.

It’s been fascinating watching the dreams get worked out in class and I have seen some really powerful work done.

I am a little shy about doing this work but I also have an enormous amount of curiosity about the dream, in fact, if I don’t work it out in class I may bring it into my therapist next week.

Suffice to say.

I have finished the assignment and I just turned in my two page reflection paper assignment on it and that’s one more thing checked off my list of what needs to be done to finish up the semester.

Day one of classes done, completed my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class, as well as my Elder, Child, and Spousal Abuse class and my Cognitive Behavioral class.

All done.

Now I need to do my final group project presentation for Transpersonal Psychology tomorrow and then that class is basically finished.

Granted I still need to attend class on Sunday to fulfill the class requirements, but it will be a very chill class having done all the work I can just show up and kick back.

I also just did a little refining of the work that I need to present tomorrow and I feel quite good about how the group is going to present.

I met with my group project classmates after class and ironed out how the group wants to proceed and though it was a bit rocky getting all the pieces together, they did come together.

Very thankful for my group members.

And super thankful that one more piece is falling into place.

Tomorrow is also my last day of class for my Alcohol and Chemical Dependency class.

All I have to do is show up and turn in my paper.

I am so ready to off load another paper, get it out-of-the-way, wrap it up and not have to worry about it any longer.

Which leaves one last paper to write for the semester, my final paper for Jungian DreamWork.

I have had no ideas until today what I wanted to write about.

And I think I have an idea now that I will flesh out after attending class tomorrow.

It feels substantive enough that I will be able to cover the number of pages required for the paper without having to kill myself to do so.

I do feel that I will be able to kick it out on Sunday.

And.

Then.

Oh.

Yes.

Go get my Christmas tree.

I am super excited.

I was gifted a Christmas ornament today.

I just love it.

It’s an old-fashioned filigree horse and carriage.

I love vintage style ornaments and this fits the bill so nicely.

I was super touched to receive it, it shall be the first ornament I hang on my tree.

Every year I get myself an ornament as I have been slowly replacing all the old one that I had back in Madison over twenty years ago now, childhood ornaments that were lost.

Long story short my ex boyfriend threw away all my Christmas ornaments one year, thinking that they had been ruined in a flood that had happened over the summer and destroyed all the things in the basement storage.

I did not know that he had thrown them out.

I did not know that he had moved the box to the basement, my Christmas ornaments were sacred to me, and I had them in a closet that was cleaned out and all the items moved to the basement, one of the few things that I had managed to keep as I moved from place to place to place in my childhood–my God the number of places I lived as a little kid–and I was devastated when I found out they had been thrown away.

I do have to acknowledge that my boyfriend felt pretty damn bad and he took me to Sparby’s Christmas Barn in Waunakee and told me to pick out whatever I wanted.

And every year since I have added one or two ornaments to my collection.

I now have a fair decent amount, but I was still so touched by the gift.

When someone pays attention to the things that have meaning to me it makes the gift even more special.

I felt very special when I was gifted it.

Little things mean a lot.

I have been given so much and I realize how grateful I am for this life, my life, with all its growth and learning and experiences and how big my life is.

I really am the luckiest girl in the world.

I have so much.

So very much.

 

All the things.

All the love.

All.

The.

Love.

And

I’m almost done with the semester.

So close.

I can fucking taste it.

So close.

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Taking Bribes

November 27, 2017

I’m serious.

I dangled a manicure in front of my face to get myself to sit the fuck down and write my Transpersonal Psychology final paper.

It took a minute.

Granted I started the day off wonky.

Fuck my life.

I was supposed to wake up to my best friends call this morning for breakfast and I remember as I rolled over thinking, “why haven’t I got a call yet?” as I went to check my phone, thinking maybe I had a few more minutes of…

Oof.

Fuck.

I had been called, and texted.

Shit.

Shit.

Shit.

I had the volume off.

I don’t know how that happened and I was so mad at myself, miserable with it, and I sent off a quick text hoping my friend was still in the neighborhood.

And.

Yes.

Though breakfast was off the table, only time for a quick coffee, but thank God.

I would have been devastated if I had missed seeing my person.

Dear God it would have been a much different day.

Suffice to say I got some sweetness, not enough, I’m going to miss my friend who is traveling now, but thankful, so much so, that I was able to get a little face time.

It meant the world.

And once I was up I got going.

Striped my bed, washed laundry, did some writing, drank more coffee, ate breakfast, tried not to think about the work I had to do today, but didn’t really succeed at that.

I get anxious before I have to write an academic piece.

My blog?

Pshaw.

I can’t hardly wait to write this, or my Morning Pages, but an academic paper where I have to cite sources and have an idea about what the fuck I’m going to write about.

Um.

Anxiety.

So cleaning, and cooking, did food prep for the week, although, really, there wasn’t much cleaning after yesterday.

And a cursory look over my calendar for the week.

My hopes for next weekend being a time that I will devote to my other three papers vanished as I looked it over.

Fuck my mother.

I have to do the dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture, for four hours on Sunday and I have my last Webinar for CBT.

Ugh.

I might be able to get one paper written that day in between the dress rehearsal and the webinar, I’ll try.

I think I can do my Drug and Alcohol paper that day, it’s pretty straight forward, compare a 12 step recovery meeting with a Harm Reduction therapy model.

Which means attending a meeting and participating in the harm reduction group that we had in class last weekend.

No problems there.

I basically have it all written out in my head anyway.

I still have to do citations, but I won’t have to do that many, and it’s a smallish paper, five to seven pages.

I’ll knock it out in an hour and a half, two hours tops.

Today, when I finally settled down to write my paper, it took less than two hours.

I had to do everything else that had to be done in the house before I could start, like I said, sparkling clean house?

Must have a paper to write.

Heh.

I had done some cursory work, looking over notes, then I got serious, after I had met with my ladybug and did some other reading and get right with God stuff, and she’d gone back out into the rain, I dove in.

Not true.

I ate lunch.

Then I dove in.

Meh.

I lie.

I washed the lunch dishes.

Seriously, I was like an anxious bitty dashing around my house looking for anything to distract me.

Then I sat down and wrote my paper.

WAIT.

No.

I didn’t.

I wrapped my charge’s birthday present, she turned five today, I got some super sweet photos of her at the carousel with her family, for taking into work tomorrow.

A pink glitter notebook and a big packet of stickers.

Unicorn stickers.

Bunny Stickers.

Funny animals in hats.

Flowers.

All the fun stuff.

Then.

Aha.

I wrote my paper.

Wait, um, no, I hemmed and hawed and then suddenly.

Oh!

I had a sudden surprise idea.

I pulled out a deck of Tarot cards.

I know what that sounds like, shut up.

But.

I really decided that that’s what I was going to do.

Active Imagination.

It’s a form of Jungian Dream Work that helps the person to engage with the unconscious.

Jung developed it for people who couldn’t remember their dreams.

We had done it a few times in class and I thought, well, heck, this might be a way to launch into the paper.

So.

I sat with the deck.

I asked it a question about love.

And.

Wow.

Did I get an answer.

About strength and fire and love.

Sensuality, star shine, holding on.

About perseverance, about not giving up, about staying strong and in the light.

It was a beautiful moment and suddenly I was in, I was in the paper, I was finding all the citations, I was following this beautiful serendipitous thread through my notes, finding poetry that I had written in class, seeing connections, making leaps, and voila!

I did it!

Fucking wrote the paper in about an hour?

Maybe it took total an hour and a half with the citations, and the editing.

But once I got moving, I was in.

It was amazing.

It really always amazes me that I can kick out a paper that fast.

Grateful does not even begin to express how I felt.

And yes.

I did have time to get out and go to the nail salon and get my nails done.

I even popped into my spot on 7th and Irving and got right with God.

That was fabulous.

I drove home listening to my current favorite playlist, “Music for Slow Dancing,” and talked to my best friend until I found a spot to park my car.

Yes.

I found parking in my neighborhood, block away, not bad, considering everyone’s back from the holiday.

And it was a small spot, it wouldn’t have fit a bigger car, so happy I have a little gal and not something bigger, it’s really so much better in this city.

I double, triple checked that I wasn’t parking on a street cleaning side and then I walked home in the warm, dark night, thinking sweet thoughts to myself.

My life is pretty good.

Oh.

Sure.

There’s still more work to do.

But.

I will get to it.

For now.

I can take the rest of the night off and have some tea and watch a video and get ready for the week.

I’m back in it tomorrow, full-time work, clients, and getting ready for the lecture.

But it’s all good.

It really is.

I’m happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Wow!

November 15, 2017

What a gift.

My boss totally surprised me today with a gift certificate to go to the spa while they are on vacation.

I was so touched.

I mean.

They’re going to be gone for ten days and I will be getting paid while they are away.

I am basically on vacation too.

Although, sure, not really, I have a lot of obligations at my internship, but, ah, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday of Thanksgiving week, I have, wait for it.

NOTHING.

No clients.

No supervision.

Nada.

l have plans for Thanksgiving, but that’s it.

So even though, yes, I will be seeing clients, I will still have a nice swath of completely free time.

I will, of course, be doing homework, that was my big plan for the time off, and I do have plenty to do there as well.

But.

Well.

Now I have something else to do which will actually feel like having nothing to do, I get to go to the spa.

And not just any spa.

This aint’ the Imperial Day Spa on Geary where I can get into the spa for $25 and hang out all day, oh no, this lovely space is in Pac Heights.

The spa is voted one of the best in the city.

And my boss gave me a $200 gift certificate!

I mean.

Holy shit.

I was not expecting that.

Like I said, just that I get the time off from work and will still get a paycheck is such a gift that to have even entertained the thought that I should get more is ridiculous.

She expressed that she wanted me to have a chance to relax too, to take some time and I just am so freaking touched by the gesture.

And yeah.

I’m so looking forward to a spa day, it sounds fucking awesome.

I just checked out the website and starting drooling.

It’s called International Orange, it’s on Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, above the, wait for it, haha, Ralph Lauren Store.

So if I’m exhausted from trying on Ralph’s winter collection I can just take myself upstairs to the spa and escape the urban environment.

Ha.

And.

Relax in the Finnish Spa.

Yes please!

And.

Get a deep tissue massage.

Oh yes, that too, please.

Or relax on the rooftop deck.

Although I doubt that it will be warm enough for sunbathing.

So maybe.

I’ll just hang out in the lounge.

In a big fluffy robe in front of the fireplace.

FIREPLACE!

Jesus.

They may not be able to get me out of the spa at that rate.

I can’t decide if I want a facial or a massage.

The place is freaking pricey, I can’t do both.

One or the other, but who cares, they’re both lovely things.

I don’t have to figure it out right now, I’m just thrilled though, that I’m going to get to have the experience and really, it’s sort of funny, I have been thinking about it, going to the spa and getting a massage, I just figured I’d got to Kabuki or the little Thai place in the SOMA I’ve been to twice.

Not some super posh spa in Pac Heights.

I should make a day of it.

Go to some bougie place and have lunch, treat myself to a fancy pants coffee, maybe get a mani/pedi somewhere, although that neighborhood is hella pricey for that, go window shopping.

Buy a Christmas ornament.

There are two stores on Fillmore I actually like to grab Christmas ornaments from.

I usually get myself one every year.

I discovered the shops last year when I was going to Hair Fairies when I got lice from the kids I used to nanny.

God.

That was a shit show.

And the parents paid for the lice to get removed, it cost hundreds of dollars.

Hundreds, I mean I had three sessions to get it all, I have a lot of hair, the first session cost $325.

This will be a much more pleasant way of spending Thanksgiving weekend then the isolation I did last year.

So much better.

Good grief.

I can’t think of a bigger difference a year can make.

I have some really lovely things in my life, last year I was so lonely, crawling with lice, sorry, had to go there, and miserable.

This year I’m loving my boss, have a great deal of love in my life, don’t feel lonely, get to do a lecture and be a part of a community, and I’m going to buy a new car next week.

Who’s life is this?

Oh.

Yeah.

Haha.

Mine.

And tomorrow is my last day at the job for ten days.

I also don’t have clients tomorrow.

I’ll get done with work, come home, cook dinner, see and be seen, love and be loved, hang out with my fellowship, feel the love and go to a god damn yoga class the next morning.

It will be glorious.

One more day on the job.

I’ll be busy, but light-hearted as a feather.

With merry thoughts of a soon to be happening spa date.

Yippee!

Luckiest girl in the world.

So lucky.

 

 

What Are You Doing

November 5, 2017

For self-care?

My group supervisor asked me after I checked in around a client that I have to do a lot of outside resourcing for.

I blurted out, “baking!”

And it’s true.

Last night I made cookies for a dearest ones anniversary.

It was the first time that I have made cookies in my little home here by the sea.

You could say this person is extraordinarily important to me.

So.

Important.

And I knew that I wanted to make cookies for them.

Peanut butter chocolate chip.

Oversized.

Soft and warm.

Full of love.

I was fluffing the butter and creaming the sugar and adding all the super extraordinary rich smelling ingredients together in the bowl and reflecting upon how much I love this person.

I was thinking of Isabella Allende’s book “Like Water For Chocolate,” and how the main character cooks her emotions into her meals.

How the other characters in the book respond to the emotions in the book, bursting into flames with love and passion and feeling.

Cooking and baking for me are a kind of meditation and they are soothing and full of self-care.

Granted.

I didn’t eat any of the cookies.

I didn’t taste them.

I don’t eat sugar or flour so to make them was sort of a big deal.

It was the first time I had sugar in my pantry in four years.

I found it was fine.

I wasn’t tempted, I wasn’t at all.

Not even to lick my fingers.

And I sense that was the lynch pin for me, that I didn’t have a motive for the cookies except to show this person how much I love them.

Not.

Ooh.

“I’m being secret and baking cookies in my house and all the goodies are going to get eaten.”

There was purpose there and in the purpose, such pleasure.

In fact.

I forgot how much I enjoy baking.

I have been baking a lot at work too, a pear tart, an apple tart, banana bread, plus I make a ton of food, pastas mainly, for the family that I would never touch.

“You’re the best cooker ever!” And, “these are better than granny’s,” are compliments I have gotten from my charges.

I have to take their word for it.

I almost never taste the food I make for them.

But.

I can smell it and sense what works with what and I think about the woman who owns and runs Tartine Manufacturing and how she is known to make the most extraordinary bread.

And.

Oh, the Universe is sly and funny.

She doesn’t ever eat any of it.

She’s gluten intolerant.

But like, me, I presume, there is a great satisfaction in the baking.

I know I felt super happy baking my cookies last night.

Really good and sweet and loving and I planned it so the cookies would be warm when I handed them over.

I love little details like that.

I like giving.

I am remembering when I used to make sugar cookies at Christmas time and bring them into work.

Or candy.

I made a lot of Christmas candy, back in Wisconsin mainly, after I moved to San Francisco I still did a bit of baking but not the candy making and after a few years, 2009, I stopped baking, when I began to get abstinent around my food.

I occasionally made something for someone.

A pie here or there.

But it’s really been years since I have had all the ingredients in my home to bake.

Heck.

I had to buy a cookie sheet last week.

I didn’t mind though.

I had such a good time doing the baking.

And.

I also did a lot of cooking over the last two days.

I roasted a chicken too, yesterday.

I figured I would be using the oven and if I could get some food prep out-of-the-way it would be super helpful as next weekend I’m in classes and I like to have my meals made up before the weekend of class.

I just grab something out of the freeze and a piece of fruit and I’m set.

And today.

Well.

I was up late last night and decided I was going to let myself just sleep today.

Skip yoga, coddle myself, be sweet to myself and just sleep.

Of course.

I forgot I had set an alarm to go off so that I could go to yoga.

Haha.

Can’t sleep in even if I wanted to.

And it was good, I needed to connect with the outside world right away.

Although, I didn’t get out of bed to do so, just lay in bed talking on the phone for an hour.

Slight aside.

Talking on the phone is magic.

I am happy that I have people in my life that still like to talk.

There was luxuriating in the being in bed and not making myself go to yoga, don’t worry, I’ll be going tomorrow, there’s only so much “laziness” I can condone in myself, and being gentle and soft and slow and letting the morning have its way with me.

And it was extraordinary, I didn’t feel rushed and yet I did get all sorts of things done.

I wrote a lot this morning, always helps.

I got a hold of the dealership where I am interested in getting a car from and started some preliminary work, submitted an application and talked to the manager of the sales department and got some good insight.

I wrote my mom’s birthday card and got that in the post.

And.

I made chicken soup with spicy Andouille sausage.

Yup.

All before I left for my internship.

So when my group supervisor asked what I was doing for self-care, baking popped right out of my mouth and was followed up by, “making soup.”

Comfort.

And.

Love.

The best kind of self-care.

Showing up for myself.

And showing others how much they mean to me.

So much gratitude for my life.

So much love.

So, so, so much.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

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.

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!


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