Posts Tagged ‘lucky girl’

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.

 

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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.

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.

The Last Family

March 4, 2017

My friend said this to me tonight.

And he’s right.

My current family is probably going to be my last family.

It is with some disbelief that I said it, but really, I knew it when I started, that they could very well be the last family I nanny for.

They want me for four years.

That will get me all the way through grad school.

Masters and Doctorate.

Doctor Carmen.

I like how that sounds.

Actually.

I fucking love how that sounds.

And I love that this is my last family.

I also love this family.

I really do.

They are fierce, funny, smart, good-hearted and generous, and that’s just the kids.

I got my first baby smile today from the new-born, who, I suppose is not quite so new, being three months today, but still, such a smile.

Made my heart melt.

Plus.

I had just a total scrumptuous day with the little lady.

We went down town, which I might have nixed had I known that there was a conference happening at the Moscone Center, and had a day at the Children’s Creativity Museum that is just behind Yerba Buena Gardens.

We took the J-Church train downtown and got to stroll around and enjoy the weather.

Sunny today.

Rain tomorrow.

Focused on the sun.

So nice to be out in the day and have a fun time at the museum.

And the carousel.

The LeRoy King carousel.

Such a treat.

In fact.

We rode it five times.

The joy on that child’s face was and is indescribable.

I took so many pictures.

None of which I will post here, no pictures of my charges, but safe to say, it was joy, unadulterated sunshiny joy.

We had so much fun.

We ran around the museum.

We went to the Play Circle Park, where the giant slides are.

If you have not been to the Play Circle Park you definitely need to check it out, giant slides, need I say more?

We actually left the museum and park for lunch, normally we would have just eaten at the museum cafe, but because of the conference, it was packed.

Thankfully I know the downtown a little bit and steered us just a tiny bit off the beaten path of the Moscone Center and we hit a nice little cafe for a big grilled cheese for her and a chopped salad for me.

Then.

Yes.

My charge convinced me, and hey, it is Friday, so, fuck it, one more spin on the carousel.

We negotiated one more trip through the museum, mostly to use the bathrooms and she wanted more entry/exit stamps, but skipped the giant slides at the park to take the carousel one last time before heading back.

It was the best time to catch the carousel too.

There was a group of people from the conference on the carousel and they had bought so many rides that we got to take a double long ride.

She was over the moon.

“This is so much fun!” She exclaimed.

She rode three different horses.

A camel.

A giraffe.

And was just a tiny bit disappointed that there were no unicorns.

I mean.

I can understand that.

Or dogs.

“Why no dogs, Carmen?” She asked me, searching through the ranks of animals on the poles ready to have a leg swung over and hopped onto.

“Good question love, I don’t know, but there’s a lion, want to try that?”

And she did.

And it was good.

God.

It was good.

It was good to ride the train back to her house, to push the stroller up the hill, exercise, yah, and to punch in the code to the garage, to fold down the stroller (now that I finally know the trick to collapsing it) and put on a kettle to boil for tea.

I took in the view from the back, it’s an entire wall of glass with a view of the downtown and to smile at my happiness at my job.

I really feel pretty fucking lucky.

I do.

So when my friend mentioned that tonight, “the last family,” it really hit me how far I have come and all the work I have done to be where I am.

Ten years or so ago a friend reached to me and said, “hey you need some extra cash?  I need help at the Burning Man offices on Wednesday nights, there’s a board meeting and I have class, can you come down and take care of J_________ for an hour and a half, two hours tops?”

I said yes.

And though I did not realize it then.

I never looked back.

I relieved my friend her nanny shift every Wednesday for months, occasionally helping the mom and dad she worked for too with a date night.

Then.

I nannied the regional event at the office and then the Christmas party.

And that’s where I met her.

My first love.

She was just six weeks old and I remember how my heart was smote and the thought came where there certainly had not been thought before, “I want to be her nanny.”

As luck would have it.

Fate.

God.

What have you.

I was asked to be that little baby girl’s temporary nanny.

Then.

Eventually I got to nanny for her and another family.

I had a key to the office and would often be there first before any one else got there.

I would lock up my bike in the bottom of the building, climb the stairs, turn on the lights in the kitchen and make a pot of coffee.

I would wander around and look at the art on the walls and the sculptures.

I would tidy up.

I would receive my charges and my day would start.

I could not fathom then the ten years that would follow.

I could not express to myself how amazing the job, and hard, so horrendously hard (when I made it so), but so fulfilling too, yes, to get paid for loving a child is such a gift.

Oh.

Sure.

Teething, tantrums, poopy diapers, potty training, running out of milk, late parents with car trouble, not getting paid enough, being treated like the help (most of my families did not do this, but I had a few that did, grateful I learned how to leave jobs that weren’t a good fit for ones that were), long ass hours.

And then.

The hugs.

The snuggles.

The dance parties.

Oh.

My.

The dance parties.

So many.

The warm soft, sweet bread baked smell of sleeping children.

I remember being in the nursery at the Burning Man offices and I was sitting in the dark with the door open.

I had two babies sleeping on me, one on my right shoulder, one in the lap against my right side, and the office dog, a little three-legged guy, Ralph, that would occasionally herd the toddlers around the office zocalo, nestled next to me, all curled up and asleep.

One of the office managers walked by and did a double take.

“Do you just ooze maternal?” He asked incredulous.

Maybe.

I don’t know what it is, but I am grateful for it and all the tender, sweet moments that I have had.

They are not done yet, but I see a change coming and it is with much gratitude that I reflected on my career, the unexpected career, never ever said to myself I want to be a nanny when I grow up, and all the joy it has brought me.

I am a very, very lucky girl.

I mean.

Really.

Who gets paid to ride carousels?

I do.

That’s who.

I do.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Done And Done

February 27, 2017

Well.

Not quite done.

But done enough.

I mean.

I have done enough.

I am enough.

I am ahead of the schedule.

I finished all my reading for the next weekend of classes today and I wrote my Trauma paper.

A little 5 page ditty rounding out around 1,500 words.

Thank you and done with that.

I still have a Couples Therapy mid-term to write, but I have the next weekend to do it.

I really just wanted to attend to the reading and to getting my Trauma paper written today.

Of course.

I was a little thrown of course by the dental work that happened yesterday, but I have found myself more and more recovered from it as the day has gone one.

My jaw is still a bit achy from being held open for so long, but even that is fading and I don’t really notice it like I did this morning when I woke up.

I got up.

Went to yoga.

Did the shower, the breakfast, the getting dressed and made up and the communicating with my friend whom I had to cancel on last night.

We had made plans to meet today and watch a movie that we need to write on for our Couples Therapy class.

However.

She was concerned about me and I wasn’t certain how I was going to navigate through the day, so when she cancelled for me, I have to say I did feel some relief.

It just opened up my day to being able to take care of some self-care things and to do the reading and the paper writing that I wanted to address today.

I did not, however, cancel my lunch plans to go see my friend in North Beach and have lunch with him and his wife.

I thought about it for a minute, but after I made it through yoga and a hot shower, I felt good enough to commit to going and I really did not want to cancel on plans that had been made over a month ago.

It was so good to see him and it was great to have lunch at, for me, a new spot in North Beach.

Cafe Puccini.

Up on Columbus Avenue.

I got to park my scooter and I had brought my camera with me and happy to have done so.

I got some nice shots of the neighborhood and the Coppola building, which is one of my favorites in San Francisco and one of the first cafes I had an espresso in, an espresso Romano with a twist of lemon peel, after an aged port on a visit to the city back in 2000.

We had a nice reunion and chatted, art, architecture, life, Venice, The Biennale, where he has shown significant work, and of course, Burning Man.

He will be making his third pilgrimage, I my 11th.

He already has tickets.

I await the nod from the box office in regards to getting a low-income ticket.

I sure as fuck hope that happens after spending $1375 on my teeth yesterday.

And thank God, just an aside, that I had the money, that I had done my taxes early and gotten a refund, that I had gotten dental insurance, that I took care of it, I’m super grateful, despite how uncomfortable I was, I am, hella grateful.

We had a great lunch, capped by espresso drinks and an invitation to take a tour to their home!

I was so excited.

It was totally unexpected and since my plans with my friend from school had been cancelled I was able to walk back, and up, up, up, the hill, to their amazing abode.

All the art.

Oh.

It was so good.

God.

How I do love me some art.

And the views.

Extraordinary.

I’d post some photographs, but I already did that on my other blog.

You can check them out here.

I got the grand tour.

I was so grateful and happy, happy, especially that I had remembered to bring my camera.

I can take a damn good photo on my Iphone, but nothing quite beats having my camera.

It felt good to post the blog too, my little photography side project, http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com I don’t take out my camera as often as I would like, you know, full-time grad school, full time recovery, full time work, but I am grateful whenever I can get it together to take a few shots and edit them and pop them up on the blog.

Feels good.

It felt good too, to cruise back through the city and take the scenic route, getting home and locking up my scooter literally as a rain shower started.

Glad for that, getting off the road before the rain.

And.

For having some extra time at the house.

I did some food prep.

Made homemade chicken soup with brown rice and vegetables.

And.

Homemade jambalaya.

I have food for the week and a little extra stocked in the freezer.

I like to make a tiny bit more than I need for the week so when my school weekend rolls around I don’t have to stress about food prep, I can just pull something from the freezer and go.

After a fat and sassy bowl of chicken, rice, Andouille sausage, tomatoes, spices, and shrimp, I got down to it.

I washed the dishes.

Made some tea.

And then I wrote.

I knocked out the Trauma paper, proofed it, edited it, tightened it up a bit and printed it off.

Then.

I finished all my reading for Couples Therapy.

And like that.

I am done with my homework for the week.

It feels so good.

I had a super productive day and I got to see art and have good food and talk about Burning Man, one of my favortie topics every to talk about, dontcha know, and get to take photographs of one of the most beautiful places in the world, San Francisco.

Who’s a lucky girl?

I am, that’s who.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Slip Into Something More Comfortable

February 13, 2017

Like my bunny slippers.

Yes.

Baby.

Ooh.

That feels so good.

I wore my new Fluevogs today, my interview shoes, all day at school.

Loads of compliments, but they are not quite broke in yet and I realized when I got home, yeah, time to take them off, and slide into my slippers.

Happy feet.

Happy heart.

I got to see my cohort out in style today.

I gave everyone a Valentines Day card.

Felt really good and sweet and I love to spread the love.

I do.

It’s just who I am and I am glad to know it, to have it in my heart, to show it, to accept it when it comes back too.

I also got to have lunch with my friends in cohort, catch up, share stories, be together, be seen and after I got out I ran a quick errand then caught a late afternoon coffee, decaf thank you, with a lady and do some work showing up for each other in honesty and good faith.

Then.

Go speak.

And.

Do the deal.

Then have dinner with another friend who unexpectedly came to the spot and that was a gift, I am so grateful for my friends.

So grateful.

It was really good to catch up with my friend at dinner and we could have hung out for hours more, but ah yes, the work week calls, it’s not quite so siren song.

I mean, I suppose it is a siren song, I can’t ignore it, but I can lament, a tiny bit the end of the weekend the coming of the work.

Though.

I am grateful too for that.

I am.

I really like my new job and it feels good to look forward to work and to look forward to seeing the family, to look forward to helping them and seeing how big the baby has gotten over the weekend and to cook for them.

Such gifts.

So much life.

I am just in a super happy, serene place.

I am also well fed, hydrated, showered and have had sweet, smart company today.

Life.

You could say.

Is good.

Very good.

All life is good I am grateful to be alive.

Period.

If life were fair.

I have said many, many times.

I would be dead.

But.

I am still here, still making a go at it, still learning, and loving and changing.

I have plenty to get ready for this next week, school stuff mostly, I have to get my paper work in order for the next steps in my practicum process, but I talked to my advisor today and was very excited by his excitement for me and for getting placed.

I’m a little a head of the curve in regards to the rest of the cohort, and there is no judgment there, I just knew I needed to be in position to get what I needed to take care of myself.

But I must continue to be proactive and take the next small steps.

I will give myself a day or two to breathe and come down from the weekend of classes before I leap back into the work, at least tomorrow, at least one day of down time, not taking my books to work, just easing into the work week.

Which may not feel easy in my brain since I am going to ask off for Burning Man dates, but that too is just asking a question, I just have expectations.

When I can let go of the expectation though, and just know that I am going to be wherever God wants me to be, usually in a pace of maximum service then I know I am going to be ok.

I ask.

I let go of the results.

Of course.

I want to go so it feels loaded, when ever my wants are on the table it can bring up fear.

I’m not going to get what I want or I’m going to lose something I already have.

I’d rather ask in faith, knowing that whatever the outcome, I’m taken care of.

I’m going to Paris in May for fucks sake, I get to go on vacation, I’ll be starting my internship, I have a job, I have a home to live in, I have nice shoes and clothes, I have my scooter.

I am taken care of.

Heck.

I have a tax return returning.

It’s pretty good, this life of mine, really, superb.

I feel that my little blog is a bit rambling tonight, but I have to give myself some credit, I have gotten up early every day for the last three days, shown up prepared and did the work in my classes.

I did a lot of work.

Lots of emotional work.

Lots of staying in the moment work.

Lots of dyad work.

I may allow myself to be a little all over the place, I just feel so content and blissed out on having gotten to see my friends, both in school and out of school, to have had some social engagement, to feel like life is not just all work and recovery and school, there are these wonderful beings called friends that want to see me and spend time with me and how lucky am I?

Hella lucky.

Hella grateful.

And yes.

Hella tired.

My bed beckons.

I bid you adieu.

Bon nuit.

Bon soir.

Trop gros bisous pour toi.

A demain mes amies!

J’aime toi beaucoup.

xo

On Top Of It

February 10, 2017

I mean.

Almost two years into the program, I might have a system in place.

I realized today that not only was I caught up with all my reading and all my papers, there was just one due for this upcoming weekend, but also having my practicum placement procured, I’m ahead of the game.

It feels really good.

In fact.

This morning I thought, hmm, maybe I should start reading for the next weekend of classes.

Then.

I was like.

Stop.

Just enjoy the moment.

Enjoy the fact that lunch is packed and coffee is ready and clothes are clean, laundry all done, food in the freezer for the rest of the weekend and going into next week for work so I don’t have to cook at all or think about grocery shopping.

Enjoy the fact that your books are all in your book bag and that you are ready.

I might even get to bed at a decent time.

Might.

I make no promises, its always hard to fall asleep before the first day of a new weekend of classes.

I am excited to see my cohort, I’m excited to get in there in do the work.

Of course.

My first class of the day is trauma, so I may change my mind by mid-morning.

But I am looking forward to seeing my classmates and cohort and getting caught up.

I have missed them.

I am also happy that the weather seems to be lifting and that I should be able to take my scooter to class in the morning.

I have not been able to ride it for at least a week.

Oh.

I suppose I could have, but the rains have been pretty heavy and I have to say it’s really damn nice to be dry when I get to work.

Work was good, has been good, I really do so like the new family and I have been enjoying the fuck out of the cooking.

My last family I cooked for too, but it was different.

My current family is really food forward, organic meats and veggies and fruits, high-end butters, full fat milk, whipping cream, heavy cream, butter, butter, butter, and of course they’re all quite thin.

Ha.

But my god, it’s glorious using their kitchen.

Tonight I made spaghetti carbonara for the parents with Neiman Ranch thick cut bacon, organic chicken thighs, onions, garlic, shallots, tarragon, white pepper, snow pea pods, and the sauce was made from three eggs, 3/4 c heavy whipping cream and 1/2 c finely shredded parmesan cheese, mixed that all up with the gluten-free pasta for the dad and then a durum wheat pasta shell for the kids (whose portions didn’t have peas as they, as all children their age seem to, have an abhorrence of anything green).  I served it with green olives and sliced baguette with butter from Tartine.

Wow did it smell good and it was fun to make.

Last night I made ginger shrimp fried rice for the kids with scrambled eggs and for the parents I made ramen–organic Japanese ramen noodles from BiRite–in a beef bone broth with ginger, thinly sliced watermelon radish, snow pea pods, crimini mushrooms, a slice of thick cut bacon, 2 wild hen soft-boiled eggs and sliced green scallions.

Who’s your nanny?

Fuck.

I love to cook.

“You have no idea how happy __________ is (the dad).  You’re really our first nanny that knows how to cook and you are really an amazing cook, we are all so lucky to have you.”

Aw.

That feels so good to hear.

I feel lucky to have them too.

I mean.

I cannot even believe this happened but I got an off premise break as I had finished everything up at the house and was able to not only go drop off some personal mail at the post office, but I had time to get a freaking manicure on my break before I went to pick up my charge at school.

Is that for real?

I mean.

An actual god damn break away from work, outside of work.

I won’t always have that, but once in a while it seems that I will.

And.

I have sat down to eat my meals, I’m not standing up trying to cram food in my mouth and also get everything else done.

I seem able to get more work done and yet the work is not as hard, the ease with which I have been welcomed in and embraced and also that they are so vocally appreciative of me, it’s nice.

I am loving it.

I know there will be challenges, every job has them, but I feel very good with them and it I feel like though I’m going above and beyond, because I am treated so well and my schedule for school has been so easily met, it doesn’t feel like a challenge, it feels really happy and joyful to be at work.

When I was sitting by myself at the house this afternoon having lunch and listening to music on my phone I got to contemplate the rain falling through the grey skies, the outline of the San Francisco skyline, the lights of the cars on the Bay Bridge, the soft, smudge purple/pink of the flowering plum trees in the back yard and just eat my meal.

No interruptions.

No having to do a bunch of other things while I was eating.

Just me and the view and my homemade food.

So happy and content.

Plus, break time away.

Good gravy.

I feel blessed.

And ready for the school weekend, ready to get my paperwork out-of-the-way for my practicum site and also to begin the hunt for my supervisor and my own therapist.

I have to be in therapy while I am in practicum, I will need the supervision and I will also need to work out my own stuff.

Yes.

I have been working on my own stuff for a long while now, but there is still room for growth, change, and learning.

It’s all so exciting.

Happiness makes for usefulness.

I am beyond grateful for all the gifts in my life.

I am.

I am.

All the gifts.

All the things.

So lucky I am.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 


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