Posts Tagged ‘Masters in Psychology’

Little Gold Star

January 20, 2019

Today I got my 14th star tattoo.

14 stars.

14 years of being sober.

I decided I need to give myself a gold star.

It’s been that kind of year.

When I reflected on all the things that I went through and all the places I’ve been, I think that I definitely earned it.

This past year I traveled to DC, New York, Paris, and Marseilles.

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology.

I went through a buy out and moved.

That was some serious stress let me tell you.

I also started a private practice therapy business.

And.

A PhD program.

I also got my grades back from said program.

All “A”s.

ALL.

I was a little surprised to tell you the truth, I had an issue with a final paper I turned in for one of my classes and I didn’t think it was going to fly, the paper, that is–I digressed from the specific instructions the professor gave and did rather what I wanted to do.  It was the only paper for the class, although there were so many discussion posts that I feel like I actually wrote seven papers for the class, and I ran a huge risk doing it.

The risk paid off.

So, yeah, a gold star felt really appropriate.

2019-01-19 20.54.20-2

Yes.

It did hurt.

And it felt really right and I was, obviously, very happy with it.

Not only was I pleased with it, but it filled out the space perfect.  I am very satisfied with the way all my tattoos look and really have little desire to put anything else in that area.

Not sure where I’ll put the 15th, but let’s just let me focus on the 14th star.

It really was quite a year.

I walked through some really challenging things and came out the other side.

I reflected on a lot of that today as I went about my day.

I saw clients at my office, did lots of writing, read for one of my upcoming classes for this next semester (school starts next Thursday!), went to Let it Bleed on Polk Street, got an iced coffee for a treat, walked around the Tenderloin and took graffiti photographs, caught up with my friend DannyBoy at the shop, took myself out to lunch in Hayes Valley, had a coffee with a friend in the Mission at Maxfield’s House of Caffeine, went to Divisadero and got my nails done, and then hit my Saturday night commitment and did the deal.

It was a day.

I’m really happy with my life right now.

Oh, sure, romantically it’s strange, but you know, that will work itself out.

Or not.

I have ceased (fighting anyone or anything) trying to figure it out.

I’m just showing up every day and taking care of myself and I feel really good about what I did today for myself and my own care.

I also thought a lot about what I want to bring forward for this next year.

Get through the next semester of classes, add clients into my private practice, travel.

I also want to get through the Below Market Housing Homeowners workshop.

I really am going to go after buying a house in San Francisco.

My friend whom I met for coffee happens to be a realtor and we spent an hour going over what I need to do to get myself in line to actually do that.

She gave me a good idea of how much money I will need to have saved up, which will take some time (or not, who knows, money may fall out of the sky) to save, but I can do it.

Plus that I should get a credit card.

Which I’m not super stoked on the idea.

I had one that I’d gotten last year and then never used as it made me uncomfortable.

But.

My friend insisted I was really going to need a credit history that showed me paying off a card.

She said get one, pay it off every month and always pay more than the minimum payment.

If I do get another card, and that’s an if, I will definitely not let a balance roll over.

I just do not like the idea of having any credit card debt.

I do, however, like the idea of having a good credit score and something that shows I am a good risk for a home loan.

I shall take it under advisement.

I actually tried to re-open the credit card I had closed but I could not figure out how to do it and just sort of set it aside tonight when I got home.

I feel like I did a lot today just by sitting down and talking about it.

I will manifest a house in San Francisco.

See if I don’t.

In the mean time there is plenty of other things for me to do.

I do want to keep a soft focus on it though, always have it in my mind and see where I can expand my awareness of abundance.

I am continuing to practice that opening up to the universe, to the flow, to God, to abundance, I have continued to give away a little more than I typically do.

More tip in the tip jar, more money in the basket, continuing to pay my bills within 24 hours of getting them.

And!

Oh my gosh, this is definitely part of the gold star, I got approved to become an employee at my internship.

Which means that I will start bringing in more money.

I am so psyched about that.

I’m excited for this year.

I feel like all sorts of incredible things are going to happen.

I really do.

Faith.

I like that.

Faith, abundance, joy, honesty, integrity, serenity.

Words to live by.

Principles to underpin my gold star.

And!

Love.

Let me not forget that one.

Never forget that.

Seriously.

 

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How The Hell

January 19, 2018

Did that happen?

I’m back in school tomorrow.

I just printed off my syllabus for a class.

I haven’t read a thing, not that there was a thing to read, not that I’m aware of, there probably is a thing or fifteen that I’m supposed to read, but the syllabus that was up for the class I printed off doesn’t technically have text books that I have to buy.

I’ll be using materials from previous classes.

It’s called Integrative Seminar and it’s like a master’s thesis class in which I will expound upon all the learning I have done in the past years of work.

I have learned a lot.

A lot.

“Carmen, sometimes that’s the hardest thing,” my therapist said recently, “you have done the emotional work and you are aware and you are educated and it can be really hard to see things that other people haven’t seen for themselves.”

Ayup.

I mean.

Then again, it’s always easier to see someone else’s problems, they’re not yours, so you’re not invested, it’s a different perspective.

My “problems” are mine and special.

I mean, hello, they’re mine, of course they’re special.

But.

The learning, it has been a lot and I have become very self-aware.

What works for me, what doesn’t, how my emotions are not something to be afraid of but signs to point me in the way I need to be going.

I don’t always care for emotions.

Oh.

That’s not true.

I like some of them a lot.

A LOT.

Happiness.

Love.

Although love has a wicked back-handed sting of pain to it at times that will throttle the breath right out of my body and make me feel like my heart is on fire.

But, um, yeah, love.

It’s so good, it’s so delicious, I want more and more and more.

I usually have to really cultivate it in myself though, how I take care of myself, how I am gentle with myself (not always so good at that, work in progress, you know), how I feed myself, or let myself rest or be kind, like say nice things about myself and acknowledge the work I do.

I mean.

The work.

A lot of that.

Other emotions I like.

Joy.

Excitement.

Affection.

Awe.

Love me some awe.

Hope is a good one too.

Elation.

I like to be elated.

Euphoria.

That one’s super fun.

Wonder.

Ecstasy.

Ooh, yeah, I like that.

I mean.

Those are fantastic emotions, I’m all over those.

But some others.

Meh.

Not so much.

Jealousy.

Anger.

Fear.

Worry.

Sadness.

Oh woe is me, I do not like the sads.

Melancholia, which is just sadness with a fancy name.

Frustration.

Envy.

Lust.

Well, heh, maybe I do like some lust.

It’s well.

Lusty.

Ahem.

Humiliation.

Pity.

Fear.

I do not like the fear thing not a bit, not at all.

Yet.

I have all of those emotions too.

The nice thing is knowing that I am allowed to hold more than one emotion at a time, in fact I can hold many and do at any given minute or moment of the day.

Sadness and love and fear and lust and anxiety today.

As well as happiness and contentment and sorrow and grief.

A great big mixing bowl of feelings.

Hey there, look at that, I’m in psychology, the “science” of soul suffering.

What is it about the soul and the suffering and the journey of it all?

I suspect it’s about love and whether or not I let myself have it, let it in, allow myself to be loved, to accept I’m lovable, enough, that I deserve all the best and most wonderful things and to act in those interests.

Not something I have always been able to do so well.

The neat thing, yes, I said neat, about all this learning to become a therapist is that I get to work on myself, so this Integrative Seminar class should be a good way for me to look back over the last few years and measure, really see, how much I have grown.

The other class.

Well.

The syllabus was not up so I am not worried about having to have read anything for the class.

I have gotten one of the books the professor e-mailed the class about and I’ll bring that with.

I’ve got class from 9a.m. to 4p.m. then I’ll be heading off to my internship at seeing a consultation for therapy and a doing a phone session with a client.

Then.

It’s officially Friday.

Dinner with my best friend and connection, conversation, life, goals, love, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.

All the things.

It’s a full and busy weekend for me.

I also have to go into the dentist on Saturday and get my permanent crown put in.

I’ll be leaving school a little early on Saturday to get to my dentist appointment by 4p.m.

And I just realized.

Sigh.

That I won’t really have a day off until next Saturday, which isn’t necessarily true either, I’ll have group supervision that day, but it will feel like a day off.

It’s always a long run of days when I’m in a weekend of school.

But this is it.

The last semester to my Masters program.

The final push!

I will be meeting with my advisor tomorrow at lunch to talk about graduation and also to get my letter of recommendation for the PhD program in Transformative Psychology.

That is still definitely on the burner for me.

Whew.

Glad I’ve got my books and folders and notebooks and syllabi all set.

Lunch is packed too.

I just need to figure out what to wear.

First day of school fashion crisis.

I suspect, though, that as long as I show up, it will all be fine.

That’s half the battle, isn’t it?

Just showing up.

Super grateful to be walking into this last semester with a full and thankful heart for the process that has brought me here to where I am today.

I’ve come a long way.

Baby.

I really fucking have.

You Look Much

December 31, 2017

“Better than when you came in!”

And.

“I remember you from 19th and Dolores, I mean it, you look amazing.”

He said to me with a big grin.

It’s nice to run into folks who remember me from when I first got sober.

I have changed quite a bit.

I mean.

So much.

It’s extraordinary.

Hell, I feel like I’ve changed a bunch in these last four years and certainly since I’ve been in my graduate program with school.

My life really blows my mind at times.

My great job.

My relationships.

My new car.

Um, hello.

I got her washed today.

First of all, fuck, it’s pricey in the city, but oh, man, she looks so pretty when she’s clean and I just know it will keep the life of the car up to take care of it.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to go check out the place on Bayshore that you can get a membership to and get unlimited car washes for $29.99 a month.

I paid $33 today at the one on Divisadero.

I got a wash a few weeks back, my last weekend of classes, at the place on Van Ness and that was $30.

The one on Divisadero did a much better job.

However, $33 is a bunch of money.

If I can get unlimited washes at the place on Bayshore for $29.99 a month, I go once and it’s pretty much paid for itself.

It’s a place called Shine-N-Seal.

It’s a bit out of my way, but I was thinking today when I left my group supervision that it’s worth checking out on a day when I’m getting out of group since I’m in the Mission and the Bayshore is not so far away, maybe a ten minute drive.

And after dropping the $33 at the place on Divisadero I’m ready for something a little more economical, especially since I’m realizing how much I really like having my car and I like having her clean.

Like.

A lot.

It’s super nice.

Plus.

Grocery shopping today, being warm, being able to bring more back than when I’m on my scooter, listening to music in the car, I really dig on that.

Anyway.

I have reflected a lot today how good I have it and I’m super grateful for that perspective.

I also got hella sleep today.

I was up for a little while this morning but then decided screw it, back to bed.

I didn’t go to yoga, I have a hard time committing to the instructor for the class I could have gone today, I just do not like his classes and when the option to crawl back into bed was happening, well, I just rolled with it.

I mean.

Fuck.

I felt like a million bucks today.

Super rested.

I got lots of laundry done, all fresh linens on the bed, all my towels done, and a run to the grocery store before I left for supervision.

Which was so chill.

There were only two of us so I got to go over a load of my clients and also check in about some school stuff, intern stuff, applying for my intern number, which will happen after I graduate in May.

Some talk about the PhD program I’m considering going into.

Yeah.

I said that.

I am getting pretty serious about it.

My supervisor at my practicum site told me he would support me through the process, he did the same thing I’m considering, like almost to a “t.”

“Carmen I worked full-time, I ran this place, and I got my PhD at the same time, you can totally do it and I’ll write you a letter of recommendation for the program.”

He went to the same graduate school program that I am in.

He also remembers me from 19th and Dolores.

And basically I got, “baby you’ve come a long way,” in no uncertain terms.

I have done a hell of a lot since getting sober, it is incredible when I think about.

Super grateful.

Over the moon grateful.

Blessed.

Crazy graced.

Lucky as fuck.

I don’t know how else to express it, but that I want to keep doing the deal and staying in the boat and doing the work, man I want to live this life and keep getting to do all sorts of amazing things.

Like get my doctorate in psychology.

Because.

Why the fuck not?

I’m only going to get older.

Plus, I can put off my student loans for a while yet, I have a place to accrue my internship hours, I will go for my MFT license and I will be a licensed MFT with a PhD.

Yes, please.

Today I had a few moments before showing up for group supervision, I went to Gus’s Market and got a salad from the salad bar and some stupid expensive blackberries, but gosh they tasted so nice, and a bottle of bubbly water, because I roll like that, and when I was walking down the hall on the fifth floor to supervision there it was.

“Take a Peek!”

A sign on one of the offices.

Oh yes, yes please.

Let me take a peek.

Look at that.

It was a big office, bigger by far than most of the offices I work in out the building.

I totally took a moment today dream my private office.

The space smelled of fresh paint and had a big window, double the size of most of the offices I am in, and it got sunshine.

I envisioned book shelves and file cabinets and a couch and a therapist chair and a place to have a tea-pot and a little mini fridge and oh, I could put down a nice cozy rug and hang art on the walls.

I just got into it.

It’s years away yet, but it’s not that far down the road.

My own private office, my own private practice.

I’ll be Dr. Martines licensed MFT and psychotherapist.

I’ll set my own hours, so that I can go to yoga in the morning and do the deal whenever I fucking want, I’ll make good money, I will have great health insurance and I will take nice vacations, I’ll have parking in the private garage in the building and live in a home that’s not next to the garage and below a barky dog, oh, man, I can see it.

It’s really not that far off.

It was super sweet to just have that moment in the office and I know that I might not be in that office space, but I will be in one, and I’ll be taken care of as long as I keep doing the things that I need to do to stay in recovery.

My life is fucking amazing.

REALLY.

Luckiest girl in the world.

All The Books

August 4, 2017

I got rid of almost all of my books today.

Parting was sweet and not too sorrowful.

Although I am always astounded by how little I get back, get back something I did.

I got back enough for lunch.

And.

A mani/pedi.

Plus.

I made room for more books.

I received my first textbook for school in the mail today.

Which is great.

Since I want to have as much read for school as soon as I can.

Because.

Well.

Fuck.

I roll like that.

I like to be prepared I like to take the time to do my readings and though I have been told by quite a few people who have done the grad school grind before, nobody reads everything, I do try to read it all.

I don’t always succeed.

Especially in my first year and my first semester.

I was caught off guard by having to have so much reading done before the first weekend of classes.

Now.

Well.

I get it.

The classes are so condensed, we cover so much information, we only have so much time and the weekend cohort has to do in one weekend what the regular cohort covers in one month.

That’s a lot.

So.

I have to do the readings sooner.

And.

It helps me.

It helps me because I have a way of writing and doing my papers that depends on me having done the reading.

I get it all done and I live a full life, I have my recovery, my personal life, my work life, my internship, and soon.

I will have this next semester of school.

Three of my syllabi are now up.

I found out that I have a conflict with one of my days at the internship and an evening class on Fridays.

I either will only be able to do consults on Fridays during the fall semester or once a month my clients won’t get to see me.

I can offer them three meetings a month.

And of course that will change as each semester unfolds.

I am officially a third year student.

I will graduate with my Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology in May of 2018.

I will have a Master’s degree!

It is not the Master’s degree I had always thought I would get.

That one is an MFA.

A Master of Fine Art.

I always thought I would get a Masters for Creative Writing.

Nope.

As it turns out.

I am supposed to be a therapist and that means a Masters in Psychology.

Which is great and by no means negates my undergraduate degree in English Literature.

I used to think that it would, but language is so important in therapy.

What is said.

What is not said.

The psychology of words of body language, or what and how things are said and being able to articulate and name things and be aware of what is happening for a client.

This is huge.

I have a tremendous vocabulary and a way with words.

And yes.

Sometimes I am.

Well.

Ha.

Wayward.

There is a difference though, and also that is beneficial too.

I mean.

I have lived a full life with many, many experiences.

Good and bad and all varieties of the spectrum.

I have a wealth of life experiences to draw on and that makes me a better therapist too.

It is a gift.

I never knew how much my experiences would play out into what I am doing now and it is extraordinary when I let myself see it.

Language.

Narrative.

Story.

Words.

Writing.

Poetry.

All of it plays into the therapeutic field.

I mean.

Before I was in school I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as narrative therapy.

Fuck.

I can do that.

I probably do that every damn time I sit down to write this blog.

I am telling a story.

It may only be the story of my day.

It may only be about me selling books to Dog Eared Books on Valencia Street.

But.

It may also be something else.

There are layers here.

Dog Eared Books was the first bookstore in San Francisco that I went into.

It was the first place I bought a book.

It was also the first place I sold books to.

It was and is a store that I can spend a lot of time wandering around and just smelling the books and looking at the tables resplendent with words, the magazine rack can enthrall me for great gobs of time, I can get lost in the stacks.

Dog Ear also has a great free box.

I mean.

After hauling the books clear across town, the nearest book store to me Green Apple on the Park, doesn’t buy back at that location, I didn’t much feel like hauling away the books that Dog Eared didn’t buy.

However.

I had an inkling that I could still sell a few.

I left nothing in the free box.

I took the $45 I got for the books they accepted and was happy to know that I had earned a lunch out and would be able to pay for my mani/pedi.

A total treat and a splurge.

I like being girly you know.

I scootered over to Aardvark at Church and Market and they took nothing!

But.

I also was by Jade Chinese, so I treated myself to yummy Chinese food and then took my scooter to the Castro and sold up there to the new Dog Eared on Castro Street.

They didn’t buy anything.

But.

When I said, well, I’ll just put them in the free box, the buyer looked at me and said, “how about I give you some store credit and throw these in the sale bin, I bet we will sell a few.”

It was such a sweet gesture.

I took him up on it and now I have a little credit at the store.

Good for when I buy postcards for sending to my friends and loved ones when I go to Burning Man.

That is one thing I always do, send a postcard with a Black Rock City postmark on it.

A girlfriend whose birthday always falls the weekend of the event, my mom, me, I know, I like sending myself postcards, hush, it’s my joy.

I got to let go of the books.

I got to come home to a clean, tidy house, with fewer stacks of livres and!

I got a new book in the mail.

See.

I just needed to make space for what was being sent to me.

I am a very happy girl.

And.

Although I’m not quite ready for all the school reading.

I am a head of the game.

For that I am hella grateful.

Seriously.

Yes.

I used “hella.”

Shut up.

Tired

March 23, 2017

But.

In a good way.

I got up at 6:30 a.m.

I didn’t get my full night’s sleep, but I got close, I had been up later than I wanted to the night previous, so I was ready for bed when it came last night, but my thoughts were busy being annoying, it took a little while to drop of.

But when I did.

Holy shit

I did.

Slept like a rock.

Grateful for that and that I don’t hesitate to getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, I don’t hit the snooze, I just get the fuck up.

I  read somewhere once that snooze actually back fires on you and it’s better to just get up and go, of course I could just be making that up, but that’s what I do.

I get the fuck up.

I got dressed.

I put on my interview shoes.

I peeped the weather.

Fuck yes!

The rain cleared and I was able to take the cover off my scooter and ride it down to my interview today with my new supervisor.

Yes.

That’s correct, my new supervisor.

I have another.

Score!

Very, very, very happy about that.

It’s a small piece, but I piece I needed to address and I’m so grateful to have it taken care of

And actually.

Scratch that.

It is a big deal and it was more than just a small piece, I put in some work to find this person, co-ordinate my schedule with him, ask questions, collaborate with the practicum placement office and do my homework.

And I showed up.

On time.

Early.

I found motorcycle parking by the Ritual Coffee house in Hayes Valley and I had a full punch card from when I was nannying by the Ritual in the Mission, so I scored a free latte and happily traipsed over to the office on the corner of Fell and Gough.

I let myself in using the code and went up the stairs.

I paced around the waiting room, paid the bathroom an unnecessary visit, just in case, and practiced breathing.

Then.

I met him.

My new supervisor.

We went into his office and talked for an hour.

I told him a little bit about me, how I came into the program, what I was planning on doing with the degree, first my MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist) license, then eventually my PhD in Psychology.

I told him about having taken one class as an undergraduate and then what happened when I was at Burning Man, yes that is where I decided to go to grad school, and how that experience unfolded and led to me applying to CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies), how I balance my recovery with my work, and where I will be doing my practicum hours at.

We had talked for about a half hour when, and I’m not sure exactly when the shift happened, but it happened, and there I was saying, “well I hope that I will be working with you,” and then.

Then.

Then he looked at me, almost surprised, “oh absolutely, the slot is yours.”

Thank you God.

I opened up my binder and handed over my paperwork that I needed him to sign and yes.

He signed them.

Thank God.

And handed them back to me, I felt like I was handling precious metals and jewels so carefully and reverentially I put back those papers, 3/4s filled out, I just need my school advisor and the head of the department to sign off.

He’s one and the same for me, so that should be pretty easy.

Actually.

I should e-mail him too, set up a time to make sure that I had them to him, he signs, then I walk over to the practicum office and hand them off.

God damn it will feel so good to have this all sorted.

It basically is.

And I like my new supervisor quite a bit.

He happened to intern with my favorite professor, which was a serendipitous conversation, he’s psychodynamically inclined, also a hot modality for me, and he went through the same program that I am going through, so he has experience with the school.

Although he admitted he’d not worked with any interns that were getting their hours through the site I’m at.

And we talked about that.

And we talked about my schedule and we set our first date to do the work.

I will begin with him on Monday, April 24th.

I will meet with him once a week for three semesters while I am in school.

Every Monday morning at 9 a.m. for one summer semester, one fall semester, and one spring semester.

Three total semesters of practicum must be compete for me to graduate.

I will graduate from the program in May 20018.

And I’ll get to walk with that graduating class complete in my practicum.

A lot of folks don’t start their practicum until next fall semester, the majority of my cohort, from what I can tell will be starting then,  and they’ll be able to walk, but not graduate officially until after finishing the summer of 2018 practicum.

I will circumnavigate that and be free to walk as a graduate.

I am so down with that I can barely breathe.

I mean.

It’s a hell of a lot of work.

But.

As it was suggested to me today.

“Take a minute and appreciate what you accomplished today,” she admonished me over the phone, “don’t just jump into the next thing to be anxious about.”

Gah.

I know, right?

Because I was so ready to go there, but there is no there there.

I am allowed to enjoy this moment, this work has been, well, work, and I deserve to acknowledge to myself that I have been showing up to it and meeting it and matching it.

And I have a phone interview in the morning before work to secure a therapist.

Fingers crossed that will be taken care of tomorrow and then.

Shit.

I can go back to just “worrying” about my homework.

Bwhaahahaha.

Sigh.

I did that too, today, I did homework on my lunch break.

Maybe I take myself out to do something sweet this weekend, really take a moment to let myself enjoy what I have done over the last week and a half.

It’s been a lot and it is an accomplishment.

Yes.

There is more work to do.

But.

For right now.

Let me just.

Take.

A fucking.

Moment.

You did good today kid, you really did.

Seriously.

Miss Popularity

November 19, 2016

Is how I felt today.

I got asked out to lunch by a couple of different people today, plus I got to confirm my travel plans for Thanksgiving and chat with my French girl friend about our travel plans in May to Paris.

Wow.

I am liked.

I know.

I sound kind of like I need to be in therapy, and granted, there will be that part to my program, I have to do a year of therapy in the modality that I want to specialize in, but it was nice, sweet, loving, to feel so embraced and sought out.

I have lunch plans for tomorrow and made lunch plans for the next time I meet with my cohort.

It’s kind of crazy to think that we are almost 3/4s of the way through the semester.

I turned in my two big papers, confirmed that I will be presenting my final project for Child Therapy the first day of class next weekend, and felt really prepared.

It felt good.

Albeit.

I was definitely tired by the end of the day and my last class, dragging a bit, but I got through and had a good day in classes.

We did teacher evaluations for two of my classes and that took up a good deal of time and I also got to see where I want to focus my next bit of energy on–practicum, which is basically training and beginning the process of becoming an intern.

There is so much to do all the time.

I got home and cued up an episode of This American Life to review for my Psychopathology class and started listening to it while I was cleaning out my e-mails and putting together may materials for tomorrow.

Then I realized.

Oh.

It’s going to rain tomorrow.

No scooter riding into school.

Either I catch the MUNI or I catch a car into class.

And either way that means I’ll be in transit and I can listen to the homework assignment on the way to class.

Much more efficient use of my time.

I will write my blog, unwind a little, have a snack, a cup of tea, a little snippet of a video and go to bed.

I will attempt to get more sleep then I did last night.

I will also not be carrying as many books into class.

I simplified down what I am going to bring and will just really be showing up with my DSM V desk reference and my notebooks for class.

I have to say I have engaged with the material and I’m finding some interest and insight, but two out of my three classes are falling a little bit flat and I’m not too excited to be in them.

I have been participating and listening, but I’m not on fire for them.

Which is ok, but makes the day feel a little long.

Fortunately.

I really do have some good friends in my cohort and it felt really sweet and nice to be sought out for lunch dates and travel plans.

Plus.

I got to talk with my girl friend who I will be going to Nevada with and make our travel plans, so excited to get to have a road trip with my friend and be included in her family and home.

She’s coming back into town Tuesday evening, she’ll spend the night and we will leave Wednesday morning to head to Nevada, it’ll be about a three and a half to four-hour trip.

Perfect little road trip.

I am excited.

I do love a drive in a car, I do, I do.

I am very American that way.

I am a passionate observer and I will be taking my camera and I will figure out how to get my photographs to download.

I will.

I’ll be spending Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night there, then we will drive back and she’ll spend Saturday night here in town with me and leave for San Diego in the morning where she’ll be heading to work.

Five nights of girl time!

Very excited.

And though I joked about doing some pleasure reading I may well take the time to catch up on my reading and also start getting my praticum applications ready and working on my resume.

I’m not really sure what the sites will be looking for in regards to a resume, but I’ll be talking with the practicum advisor tomorrow.

So.

I will have some vacation time and lots of girl time I do have a few things I need to attend to.

As well as registering for my next semester of classes on November 27th.

There is much to do.

I don’t want to fall into living in the future though, not too much, there is only so much I can do at any given moment and man, I do attend to a lot.

My biggest focus for the rest of the weekend will be doing my self-care, writing in the morning before class, eating well, getting as much sleep as I can, and showing up.

I have a big speaking engagement on Sunday after class and then right back into a full day of work on Monday.

Right now.

A little jazz on the stereo.

A little easiness in my body.

I little grace to know that all the work is slowly adding up.

And my friendships with the people in my cohort, how important it is to cultivate those too.

There’s a get together tomorrow night after class and I’m not sure I can commit to that, but I may try.

It’s not now.

It’s not right here.

And as I look around my clean, yes clean, got to have a clean house before a weekend of classes, with the candles lit and the lights warm and the music and I am just simply here and can rest, well that’s a really nice feeling, really nice.

Made it through day one of the weekend.

Yes.

Good night y’all.

See you on the flip.

Take It Easy

October 8, 2016

My mom said to me on the phone today, “relax this weekend.”

Bwahahahahahahaha.

What?

I mean I don’t plan on doing anything this weekend.

No socializing.

No dates, I haven’t been asked out by a soul.

No going to Decompression.

I had plans to go with a friend, but she’s under the weather and I’m anxious.

AH, grad school anxiety how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

Psychopathology reading.

Family Therapy reading.

Child Therapy reading.

Gestalt paper.

Family Therapy paper and polishing up my genogram–although I think I’m pretty done with it.

Child Therapy paper.

Now.

Within each of those subsets there is more than one book I have to read.

I have eleven different books I need to do reading from.

Two papers.

And a partridge in a pear tree.

Oops.

Ha.

Oh fuck my life.

What life?

This weekend the life is all about the basics, sticking close to the homestead and powering through as much as I possibly can.

I would love to be fancy free this weekend, foot lose in the Dogpatch enjoying some Indian Summer and catching up with my Burning Man community, but I don’t even know if I’m going to take the time to go get a manicure and pedicure.

Well.

Hmm.

Actually I may go do that, I could use an eyebrow waxing too.

And then I can go grocery shopping.

And then do the cooking and the laundry and the cleaning and the reading.

Oh.

All the reading.

I have had such a full week this past week, I barely cracked in books before heading into work.

Most weeks I do get anywhere from a twenty-minute stint to an hour, sometimes longer.

I find that if I can break it up it becomes a bit more manageable.

Not that I can manage for shit, but I try.

I also need to go pick up my newly framed Mike Doughty signed Living Room Tour poster from Cheap Petes, I haven’t gotten a call that it’s ready, but I realized it’s been a week past the time when it was supposed to be ready and I wondered if perhaps they actually did call, but my phone was in the loo at the time.

So I do want to make a quick outing on my scooter to grab that.

I do figure that I will need to take care of my self-care stuff and cooking and grocery shopping and what have you, I just don’t figure I have any other time to do social stuff.

I need to make a big inroads in my reading and just knuckle down.

I can do it.

I met with my advisor for the first time today and it was great.

I had my concerns about practicum assuaged, I really don’t need to worry about it being the main message, at least not quite yet, that the process of doing it is already built into the curriculum and I’m well on my way.

I also was pretty much told that I was ready.

That my advisor, who happens to be the head of the department told me that felt affirming.

Not that I’m ready at all to apply.

I’m not.

Just that I’m on the right track and the school doesn’t have any concerns about my abilities to be a therapist.

“You’re a bit out there, but you are so empathetic in the field, it’s great,” he said.

“Me?” I laughed, “I’m a bit out there?”

Hahahaha.

Duh.

But.

I think that’s a good thing.

I think that I’m going to be really accessible to a lot of people.

I keep joking to myself that with all my tattoos and pink hair that I should be a rock star’s therapist.

There probably is a market for it.

Heh.

That being said, hearing that I was really empathetic was the big score for me, that is the most important piece, I feel, having empathy for the person who is in the room with me and what is happening and showing up for it.

We talked about my experiences in the school and also how I really do throw myself into the mix, in group therapy, T-Group, I really got in there and tried and got messy and made an ass of myself.

Oh.

And I learned.

I learned so much.

I also relayed that I have learned to see myself in a different way, that I am important to the cohort, that my fellows see me as intelligent and capable and good.

It was a good check in and I felt positive leaving and taken care of.

I was able to squeak out a few extra minutes before work and zoom over to Mission Flores and pick up a bouquet of flowers and drop them off to a friend in the neighborhood celebrating a big anniversary.

It was super fun to surprise her.

I just dashed in and out and gave her a hug.

Made my day.

Then work.

Which was long.

And good and challenging and I suspect that it will continue to be a bit of navigating as the family and I proceed toward our final weeks together.

We haven’t set an end day.

I’m giving them the weekend to contemplate what works best for them and also what would work best for me.

That I want to give myself a week off between gigs.

A little vacation.

It will also be the end of my fall semester and I’m sure there’s going to be a great deal of work that needs to be done before the semester draws to a close.

Hopefully I will get a day nailed down.

I am wavering between a couple of dates.

But I’m thinking Friday December 23rd will be the last day for me.

That gives me nine days off before starting the new gig.

I’ve been pretty much thinking it will be a Monday, January 2nd start to the new job.

The mom is due on December 30th.

Anyway.

Not that I have to get to involved with thinking about that, although I am curious to see how my days shift, I’m assuming I’ll be doing a much earlier start with this family, especially as the mom was talking about me dropping off the kids at school.

That means morning starts.

It will be a change in timing for me, and I think it will be good.

Aside from that.

All I need to do for the rest of tonight is relax.

Tomorrow.

All the reading.

All the things.

All the time.

Get it girl.

Grad school life.

It’s for real.

Seriously.

You Are Really

September 28, 2016

In demand.

My boss told me this afternoon when she arrived to the house.

I was busy cooking broccoli soup when she came in.

“How did it go?” She asked, in reference, I’m assuming to the gig yesterday, which she had alluded to when asking me to make a batch of the soup via text when I got into work.

“Good,” I replied and smiled.

As though the two families weren’t in communication, they would have seen each other at school today.

And it did go well.

“Well, you are really in demand,” she continued.  “They loved you and wanted to know if they could get another day with you?”

Oh really?

Nice to hear, but I do wish I was being involved with the conversations.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

“Would that work for you?” I asked, calculating that it could work for me, depending on what day of the week they wanted me.

“Oh, absolutely, in fact, I was asked by another parent if you’re available in January,” she finished.

Oh really?

I mean, how very interesting, timely, and rather amazing.

I was asked for my resume yesterday for a friend who has a friend who just had a new baby.

I worked on it today before work, updated it, added my graduate school program (what person wouldn’t want someone who is getting a master’s degree?  Especially in psychology, didn’t I tell ya, I’m in Child Therapy class right now?) to my education and updated my current job position.

It looks pretty damn good.

So it was sort of funny, is it odd or is it God?  When I had the conversation with the mom.

It went really well.

We talked about references and referrals and she told me point-blank that she wanted what was best for me, that yes, they would love to have me two days a week, but that was their needs and not mine.

Um.

Yup.

I explained that I was concerned about continuity and with benefits and that it’s a challenge to try to get health insurance and days off for holidays and vacation when I’m piece meal with my jobs.

I don’t want three gigs.

I want one.

To that end we also talked about a soft end date for me, being most likely the end of December, possibly before.

The second family that I started working for this week want me until December 12th.

It might be good timing for me to finish up with both families around the same time.

I’ll also be in my last weekend of school that weekend–the 9, 10th, and 11th.

I was a bit bummed today to realize that was the last weekend of school, having just received a wedding invitation for a dear friend for Saturday December 10th.

I thought for a moment about not going, then I was like, fuck that, I’m going.

I’ll do my morning class and leave at the break for my second class.  I’ll miss the evening class, but whatever, I can’t not go to my friend’s wedding.

I sent in my RSVP yes earlier.

I also talked with my French friend about Paris in May.

Oh, the sound of that.

I do so adore it.

I’ll probably buy a ticket here pretty soon.

Although I may wait until I suss out employment.

But.

Fuck.

The tickets are a good price right now.

I found one for $741 round trip direct.

That’s sort of insane for Paris.

I wanted to buy the ticket right now.

I’m just going to pause one more night and wait on my friend’s confirmation of the times that she will be in Paris.

She’ll be studying for her exams and I’ll be mostly on my own to do my own thing.

No problems with that.

The only thing I will want to do prior is get a new camera.

Mine did hit the dust, literally and figuratively after Burning Man.

I was able to retrieve the photographs off of it that I had taken, but there was no getting the camera to work anymore.

I had to say good-bye and trashed it.

I will definitely get another one before I travel.

Heck.

I may want one for November travel as well.

I’ll be headed to Nevada for Thanksgiving.

I was invited to a friend’s house and she’s willing to make the trip to pick me up and to bring me back.

Road trip!

I’m excited for a little side trip to Nevada.

I’m sure it will be pretty, it will be great to have some time with my friend, and it’s nice to be wanted.

That’s what today felt like.

Lots of being wanted.

I felt really good today.

Very alive.

Of course, it may just be that I got caught up on all the sleep I missed over the weekend with classes and the new gig yesterday.

I decided to skip yoga and sleep in.

I am so glad I did.

I needed to work on the resume and I paid rent and put some money in my savings account and did some writing.

I felt all adult and accomplished and proud of myself for taking the time to deal with the stuff that’s been nagging at me to do since the whole work thing sort of dropped on me last Monday.

Grateful beyond words that I have a job while I look for my next one, that I have great references, that my family is willing to refer me out and that they already have people asking for me.

Again.

It’s really nice to be wanted.

It’s something that I need to know.

I haven’t always wanted to see it or acknowledge it, but it’s important to see it.

I sent a thank you text to a friend of mine today for giving me some really insightful words regarding my job and moving forward and she replied, “just reminding you of your superhero powers.”

God, it’s good to be seen.

And.

Loved.

That’s what I feel like today.

Thanks friends.

Y’all rock.

Seriously.

Almost There!

September 25, 2016

I have successfully made it through two full days of school.

You know.

Oh.

Only.

About 22 hours so far.

And.

Seven hours left to go.

Yes.

Sunday is always the easiest and the hardest.

I’m generally ready to wrap it all up and move on.

Yet.

I feel the loss to the “real world” of my cohort and my two best friends in program.

I am such a lucky girl.

I really am.

I have gotten to have this terrific experience and make some amazing friends.

There are people in my life that I so appreciate and love that it makes me almost faint with the feeling.

I had a really nice lunch today with one of my friends and we talked love and life and school, crushes, relationships, sex, travel, Paris, grace, talent, gifts, the things we appreciate about each other and how we just got to be in the right place at the right time to make the connection.

She is amongst a few of my friends whom are incredulous that I am not in a serious dating relationship.

At this point.

I have no real issue with it.

I’m who I am and I am exactly where I’m supposed to be and there’s no changing me or making me better, I’m just perfect.

Imperfectly so.

I don’t have to embark on some self-improvement plan.

Granted there is still so many areas where I can and do get to grow.

Great.

Glad to hear it.

I’m down for some more fun though.

That’s generally where I am at this point in the school weekend too, I want to play, but I still have one more day of getting through and tonight is not the time to play.

Despite having just done a big session of play therapy in my Child Therapy class.

Not quite the same kind of playing that I am alluding to.

Ahem.

Anyway.

I’m just glad to have the energy to be writing my blog and doing the little things here at home to get me ready for my last day of the class.

Then.

I’ll have almost a month off.

Well.

Not really off.

I have papers that will need to be written.

Two so far on the plate.

And of course, loads and loads of reading.

I think I may also have another paper to write, but I don’t feel like looking at the syllabus right at the moment.

I am just happy to be getting through the weekend.

I also made an appointment to see my advisor next Friday and well, get some advising.

Sometimes the experience feels overwhelming and I don’t think I’m going to make it.

Then.

Days like today, when everything flows and I have connection to the material, not always to the way it is taught, I don’t feel quite as connected to the classes and teachers as I have in the previous semesters, but there is some excitement in learning new tools and having new experiences.

I still feel like I need a little play.

I have some dance music on ye olde Spotify.

The Kungs.

I am quite digging on them.

My dear, darling, amazing, sweet, kind, French friend made me a play list and I fell in love with so much of it, and a few of the artists I have ended up adding to my list of albums and I have been listening to The Rooftop Sessions from the Kungs and it just makes me happy and joyful and full of dancing energy.

I could just jam out on this for a little while before making another cup of tea and winding down for the night.

I really don’t want to wind down for the night.

But.

Ah.

Balance.

And I suppose this is good for me, a weekend of school before starting the new gig on Monday.

I’m not terribly happy about that, I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it today, I figure no use in getting resentful.

I don’t care for how I felt manipulated into taking the job, but despite the way it happened I do believe it will lead me other places.

I remind myself.

There are no mistakes in God’s world.

I’ll be heading over to the new family after school tomorrow to see the house and get a lay of the land.

I’m going to make it brief and see if I can hit up some of my fellows after that.

I miss my people.

I also do, after a long weekend of school, I don’t get the interactions and connections that are so vital to me over the weekend, especially getting grounded before starting out another week of work.

That being said.

I have had strong connections to my school friends and I feel really held and supported within the cohort.

I feel like I have a place and I have a talent for doing the work.

Grateful.

So grateful.

For these things.

People who see me and allow me to be myself.

I am more and more my authentic self and easier in myself with embracing it all.

There is a great feeling of seeing myself and being transparent.

I feel like there are times when I am pigeon holed or seen in a certain light or manner or style and there’s good reasons for that.

Some of it is a defended stance, I have had a lot of grief at the hands of some and I am tender around how I interact with the world.

But.

Sometimes.

Some people.

Wow.

I just let them right the hell in.

Two of my friends in school remind of that.

How lucky I am that we connected and that I get to be with these bright, beautiful creatures.

It is an amazing gift.

God damn, this music is so good.

I’m crushed out on my life.

My music.

The warm feel in my heart for my friends.

The blessing of getting to be in grad school.

The growth.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

All.

The.

Love.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

To Dance

September 15, 2016

Or.

To not dance.

I got a very sweet e-mail message from a friend today regarding all things Burning Man and when the hell were we going to go out dancing?  And we need to wrangle our third mutual friend and do that damn deal.

Don’t I know it.

September is a tough month for me in regards to that.

It’s the only month in the semester that I have two full weekends of classes.

Next weekend.

Which means this weekend is going to be writing papers, doing as much reading as I can cram into my head and burrowing into a hole.

Unless I get asked on a date.

Heh.

Fuck me.

I’m pretty transparent as it goes.

I’m all about the books, unless there’s make out on the table, then I’m like, um, I can get up early next week and do that paper.

Ha.

Oh.

I do so love how my brain works.

I did, however, give myself an hour of reading today before work and I cranked out a lot of one of my classes.

I am however, loathe, seriously so, to even crack the syllabus for my Psychopathology class.

I got my DSM 5 in the mail yesterday.

Nothing says sexy like a $158 text-book.

This thing is a serious piece of work, I don’t know how much it weighs, but I’m going to say the 5 in the title refers to pounds.

Even though I know it means fifth edition.

This sucker is heavy.

I have the desk reference for taking to class and the gigantic one for working out of.

I have two whopper papers that are going to be a part of the class and the professor said we’ll basically be reading the entire DSM 5 by the end of the semester.

Yeah.

Right.

The full title in case you were wondering: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

Say that ten times fast.

The book is 947 pages long.

Now.

I have read books longer than this.

For pleasure, with eagerness and joy.

Not with dread and trepidation.

Also, said longer books were fiction, I wasn’t writing any papers on them and I won’t be going back to them for referencing the rest of my career.

Though to be up front I am hoping that I won’t be using the book all that much.

There is a substantial amount of controversy over the use of the book and how the medical model for psycho therapy has gotten its’ panties in a twist with insurance billings.

You have to have a diagnosis to get your health insurance to reimburse you.

Nobody wants a permanent diagnosis on their record.

I mean.

I joke about mine.

Acute clinical depression.

Acute clinical anxiety.

Severe PTSD.

Classic Adult Child of an Alcoholic.

So.

Let’s see, I’m a drug addict (in recovery, thank you very much), an alcoholic, and yes, I also have an eating disorder.

Anything else here to stare at?

Ha.

The thing is that I don’t really give a fuck what diagnosis I have, either on record or off.

The only thing that I don’t have is a criminal record, although not for lack of trying.

Ahem.

I sought professional help for the anxiety and depression and for three years I was on antidepressants.

I didn’t like being medicated and I was on the lowest dose possible.

I will also add that it saved my life.

I hadn’t had suicidal ideation until I got into recovery.

Which freaked me out.

I discovered later that I was self-medicating, first through food than alcohol and drugs.

And cigarettes.

God, did I love me some smokes.

I’m absurdly grateful for the help I got, help I didn’t even know existed and I didn’t know how to address all the things that were going on.

I couldn’t make sense of the trauma and abuse.

I didn’t know that the neglect and the upbringing I had were not not normal.

It was what it was and I was always surprised when I was told that what I experienced was not healthy, in fact, the very counter-indication of health and normalcy.

Yeah.

What’s normal though?

I suppose a body can get used to anything and my mind and body did what they did to get me through and I had no clue that those things which had helped me deal would eventually stop working.

And when they did.

Well.

It wasn’t very pretty.

But.

Thank God for the help I received.

I am beyond grateful.

I am graced.

Loved.

Taken care of.

“You are going to be of such service to so many people,” he said to me as we were driving back into the city from Sausalito.  “I mean, I just know it, you are going to help so many people.”

I hope so.

Actually.

I pretty much know so.

That sounds like ego, I know that, but I am in a special and unique position.

First that I have gone through the wringer, that I have gone through that puppy more than once, I have a great deal of experience with getting through.

And.

Not only getting through.

But.

Getting better.

Stronger.

More flexible.

More kind.

More loving.

To myself and to others.

But mostly to myself so that I could be more loving to others.

Second, I am extraordinarily resilient, which is just an offshoot of the first.

How I have not drown in all the muck and morass and the sadness and grief, I do not know.

I have hope.

Nay.

I have faith.

Faith like the sunrise rising no matter what, the disco ball spinning in the club, the music beating in my heart, the waves rocking the boat in the night, a cradle of love, God’s hand holding me a loft and strong.

I am taken care of.

So that I can take care of others.

I don’t take antidepressants any longer.

I manage my stress.

I haven’t had a panic attack in years.

Yes.

I get anxious, but I know what to do.

I have a meditation practice, a prayer practice, I am of service, I help out in my community.

Fuck.

People.

I go to yoga.

Spiritual giant, yo.

Mostly though.

I just do the work.

Take the suggestions.

Put one foot in front of the other.

And love.

Lots of love.

Lots of joy.

Lots of happy.

And free.

Yes.

To question the abundance and prosperity I have in my left would be to spit on the hand of God that has helped me through this all, made me stronger, more gracious, more bent with love.

A burden, no.

A gift, yes.

A perspective I am graced to have.

A life beyond anything I could have imagined.

One day at a fucking time.

It’s pretty awesome.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.


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