Posts Tagged ‘Noe Valley’

We Were Talking

August 10, 2017

About you tonight.

Oh you were?

“Yeah, we were saying that you’re doing too much,” my friend said and gave me a hug.

Well.

Of course I’m doing too fucking much.

And I’m ok with it.

I am a busy woman.

But pockets of time present themselves to me and I get stuff done.

I managed to sneak in making a pot of soup in between a phone call, work, and covering my Wednesday night commitment.

I am good like that.

I also, wait for it, dropped off my paperwork to the school practicum office!

Killed two birds with one stone.

I had the mom ask me to take the oldest boy out on a solo adventure with me.

We went to the Exploratorium today down on the Embarcadero at Pier 15.

On the way, we swung into my school campus, rode, “the slowest elevator in the world,” according to my 7-year-old companion, and dropped off my evaluation to the woman who runs the practicum office.

We chatted a bit and it was nice to down load a little about my experiences and how it feels to be running with clients.

I have seven now.

My charge was as patient as a 7-year-old could be and after three minutes of chat I corralled him and we made our merry way to the FMarket trolley.

We also stopped in at the Peets Coffee across the street from my campus and I got a large nonfat latte and he got a steamed milk with whipped cream.

He was so cute.

It was adorable hanging out with him all afternoon.

When it’s just he and we have the best times.

We played all over the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception and had marvelous experiments and adventure and looked at all the things and played with all sorts of miraculous contraptions.

It really was great.

We ate lunch there and he ate most of my lunch because it was tastier and I happily shared and he cuddled with me hard and fell into a bit of a food coma and collapsed on my lap and hugged me and said, “scratch my back,” and I did and it was fabulous.

There’s nothing like a seven-year old boy snuggling on my lap to make me happy, he just loves me so much and it makes my heart super full.

He can be a total handful when he’s around his siblings, but one on one, oh my god, melt my heart.

He literally sat in my lap the entire way back.

We took the FMarket all the way into the Castro then hopped on the 24 bus and rode it to Church and 30th.

He’s a big fan of the Beatles and walking up the hill we sang Beatles songs and held hands.

Mostly “I Say Hello and You Say Goodbye,” over and over again.

I’m not much of a vocalist, I mean, I can sing, everyone can sing, but my little guy can really sing.

I was happy to hold my own and actually harmonize a bit with him.

And when I couldn’t hit the high notes, well, he did.

I feel pretty in love with the little guy and it was so nice to have the day with him.

We got back to the house a tiny bit before mom and his siblings and I got dinner going while he played Legos.

Dinner was pretty simple, I made his favorite dish, organic ground beef pan sautéed in good olive oil with garlic and onion, sea salt, rosemary, black pepper, and a bechamel sauce that I make right as the beef has browned up and then I put it over brown rice fusilli or whatever non-gluten pasta I wrangle up out of the pantry.

The boy loves it.

It’s amazing to watch him inhale it.

I love cooking.

It’s a nice perk to my job.

I know some nannies who would be horrified to have to cook, but I do really like it.

I love my family and I love making them dinner.

In fact, the mom told me that they, the kids, were excited to come back from their big trip and eat my food.

That was nice to hear.

The mom let me go a few minutes early and since I had dropped off the paperwork to my school I was able to slip home, do some practical stuff, eat a quick dinner, make a pot of soup and take a phone call before heading back out the door to my next gig.

I know I am busy and it was sweet to hear my friend and I looked at him and said, I get it, I do, I am busy and it’s a lot and yeah, I’m probably doing too much, but I don’t feel like I have much of a choice.

Although, that’s not necessarily true.

I could quit school and have oodles of free time.

But.

I would just be a nanny.

And I want more.

I am too smart and too driven to just stop here.

I want this.

I have been groomed for it, or so it feels.

And yeah.

This last year of school is probably going to be full tilt boogie.

But.

I know.

I know without any doubt.

That I will get through it.

I haven’t felt anxious at all about my schedule and the things I need to do.

It feels like it’s all falling right into place.

I can’t fuck it up.

I can’t manipulate it into happening.

If it’s supposed to happen it will.

I just get to show up today in the best way I know how and do whatever work is in front of me.

And yes.

When I can.

Well, yes, a girl will like to play.

And I shall.

No worries.

It’s all happening.

All the things.

All the.

Wonderful.

Amazing.

Awesome.

Things.

Oh, yes, they are.

Thank God.

 

Turn It Around

August 9, 2017

It took almost all day.

But.

My day was completely and totally turned around.

I didn’t have a bad day per se, just a tender and emotional one.

It started off with a phone call that I took this morning, one I almost let ring through to voicemail, but a soft little voice said pick up the phone and check in, get accountable.

Get recovery.

Do it.

So.

Of course, I picked up.

And I hashed out somethings that have been on my mind and in my heart and I got some really good suggestions about those things.

I also was read a mild riot act about not taking on more in my schedule.

Last Friday I said yes to working with a woman who deeply touched me with what she was going through and it resonated so much with me that I said I could work with her.

And.

Of course.

That is in direct opposition to what I had been told to do, no more working with others.

I have two women I work with and I have two people who work me and I have two commitments twice a week that get me involved and maintained in my recovery.

The rest is work and internship and so very soon.

School.

It was foolhardy to take her on, so after a mild dressing down I agreed completely and immediately felt some relief.

The rest of the check in had to do with setting boundaries, and dealing with my anxiety around school.

Which.

Oh therapeutic irony, as soon as I had decided to set that boundary I started to feel less anxious around school.

I got off the phone having already had a good cry and it wasn’t even 9 a.m.

I washed my breakfast dishes, brushed my teeth, put on some makeup and hopped on my scooter, heading over to Noe Valley in a thick, cold fog.

A fog that never lifted, not all day, not in the Mission, not in Glen Park, nowhere, it was cold, foggy, dreary, all day long.

I got to Noe, my helmet awash in moisture, I might as well have been riding in rain, and made the phone call to the woman I said I would work with.

I explained why I couldn’t, I apologized, and I wished her the very best and if she needed support she could reach out.

Then.

Phew.

I felt a lot better.

One more little bit of time for me.

One less thing to schedule.

Ha.

In fact, I just toggled over to my calendar and took her off.

That felt good as well.

And.

Therapy was great, I missed my therapist last week, she was out-of-town on vacation and it felt really good to see her and get into the work.

Of course.

It takes a minute to get there, but I leapt in with the anxiety, the recognition of how it relates to school.

And how it relates to my relationship with my mother and my desire to be above and beyond, to be perfect, to excel, and the level of pressure and stress I put on myself to be the good school girl and what will happen if I don’t and the annihilation of all things good should I not perform.

There are reasons for this, and I’ll let you read between the lines.

I have written about them before, I don’t need to rehash it all right now.

Suffice to say.

I got a lot of crying in today.

It was a relief too, let me be clear, to finally connect a few dots and to see where things were messy and still needed untangling.

And where I needed to set boundaries in my life and what those looked like and how to walk through the school anxiety, and it was just really good to hash it all out.

I had a fantastic session.

Granted I had to go to work right thereafter, so there was a bit of tenderness and sensitivity in my body all day long.

But no.

Wait for it.

No.

Anxiety.

Hallelujah.

Well.

Almost none.

I got tossed a client at the last-minute, a consult add-on and I teared up, I had thought I was going to get away with only seeing one client tonight and then zipping over to school, dropping off my paperwork and getting home “early.”

Nope.

I didn’t burst into tears.

I just sort of melted into them.

Then.

I had a little chat with myself, you normally see two clients on Tuesday, this is just how it is, you’re going to be ok.

I also called the practicum office and found out that I can drop my paperwork after hours to the head of the office and she gave me a very specific spot to put the paperwork and I can go do that tomorrow.

I’m fine.

Everything is fine.

And.

Holy Toledo!

My sessions!

My clients!

Wow.

Two whole fucking hours of actively listening to someone else, not a thought in my head of my own crap, just showing up in the room, in the field, being there, being empathetic, being of service.

Mind blowing.

I left my internship walking on air.

Or fog as the case may be.

But really.

Lifted, elevated, and completely turned around.

Ah.

Therapy you devilish thing.

So good to know you.

Grateful that my day ended on such a high note.

Relieved really.

And having some nice clarity around what I need for myself and how to get it.

That helps too.

Getting through the week.

And grateful so grateful that I am on the path I am on.

I feel graced with so many gifts, its astounding when I stop and enumerated them.

My life is full of this grace and joy and beauty.

Strength and resilience.

Hope.

And.

The most amazing.

Bountiful.

Infinite.

And

Ever expanding.

Love.

Push Button Baby

August 1, 2017

I saw a couple on the side of the road as I zoomed down Lincoln Way frantically trying to kick over the starter on a vintage Vespa.

I chuckled to myself.

The old Vespas look so fucking cool.

I know.

I used to have one.

It was such a pretty girl.

But.

Man.

It was such a hassle to get it started or it would conk out on me out of the blue.

Like coming down Laguna Honda in the fog going 40 miles an hour.

I got tired of that really fast.

That.

And the freaking horrifying sprained ankle that I got when the kick starter jammed and I folded my ankle in half.

That was no fun.

Months, years really, of healing.

The doctor was shocked it wasn’t broken and then told me it was too bad it wasn’t since the sprain is slower to heal and how badly I had injured it I would be lucky if it was healed fully in a year and a half.

He was right.

It took that much time to heal.

Actually closer to two years, if I’m honest, I had to be really careful and there were times when I could feel it was still injured.

It put a bad taste in my mouth for every having something vintage like that again.

Truth too.

I wasn’t prepared for the amount of maintenance and well, it turned out it was a knock off Vespa, despite the registration issued from the DMV, it was a knock off Vietnam Vespa and no body in town would touch it to repair it.

So.

I got rid of it.

I had it recycled.

I got it off the road.

I wasn’t going to be responsible for someone else getting injured on it and when the mechanics at the shop told me all the issues with it I was shocked that I hadn’t hurt myself more on it, I could have easily crashed it out.

Granted.

There were some gleeful moments on it when someone would pull up to me on it at a light and chat with me about it, the scooter really was well done, no one had a clue it was fake.

Certainly not I.

I was a tiny bit bamboozled you could say.

Any way, that’s an old story and not the point.

The point is.

Thank fucking god for my scooter.

I live in the Outer Sunset.

I work in Glen Park.

My internship is in the Mission.

My school is in the SOMA.

I have supervision in Hayes Valley.

And.

Therapy in Noe Valley.

I have to get all over the city.

And the scooter is quick.

Of course, I do have some anxiety about what will happen when the fall comes and the rains that generally come with the fall.

I will either have to get used to wet weather riding or figure something else out.

I can ride in the rain.

I have done it.

I do not like it, but it’s doable.

I was talking to my friend yesterday as she was getting the last of her household packed up for travels back to France and she looked at me and said, “drive safe poulette (her term of endearment for me–sexy girl, although literal translation is chicken, I like to think of it as “chick” or chickadee), maybe it’s time you got a car.”

Yeah.

There’s that.

Aside from the fact that it would be handy to go to Burning Man.

Heh.

Still haven’t gotten a ride yet, still hedging my bets with a rental, but that too is beside the point.

I don’t know what exactly the point is.

I haven’t had a car for over a decade.

I got rid of mine two weeks after moving here in 2002.

Fuck.

Nearly fifteen years with no car.

Lots of bicycles.

And two scooters.

I do like my scooter and I do so appreciate getting around on it.

I just have time concerns now that I didn’t have before.

I mean.

My schedule has always been full, but then I added in graduate school and graduate school added in an internship and um, ha, since, I’m a therapist in training, I have to be on time for my clients.

I get done with work at 6p.m. and I have clients at 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and I have been assigned a new client to see on Fridays now at 6:30p.m.

My first child client!

Bring on the child and family hours!

Ahem.

I digress.

This whole blog is a digression.

Sometimes when I don’t want to write about what I want to write about, I can go off on tangents.

Shadrach.

Scooter accident.

Dead.

Today.

10 years.

I had a little contact with his mom today after she posted a photo of visiting his grave.

Add onto that saying goodbye yesterday to my darling French friend.

Great recipe for sadness.

I felt heavy with it this morning when I left my house to go meet with my supervisor.

I got to Hayes Valley early and had a fifteen minute window so I called my person and shared about it and he said, “you sound sad,” and there it was, the sad, the heaviness in me, it was sadness.

Tears welled up and spilled down my face.

Yup.

Sad.

So we made a plan to meet at a church in the Inner Sunset after I got out of supervision.

It was so good.

I got right with God.

Then we went for tea at Tart to Tart and had a good session.

We sent my friend from Paris a good-bye photo of the two of us having tea, my face a little wet with tears, and my person smiling to beat the band, ugh, not all selfies are sexy.

Ha.

Oh.

Sadness.

I had my cry though and things began to shift.

I came home, made a nice lunch and then did some school work.

Because.

It’s that time.

I have two syllabi posted up and I checked them out and ordered books for class.

I sighed and realized I was pretty burnt out with the emotions.

And I decided.

You know what?

Nap.

I need a nap.

And that’s what I did.

It was perfect.

I had a little rest then got up, prepped some food for dinner and I could feel the sad had moved out of my body.

I got my things together and hopped back on my scooter, went to my internship, dealt with progress notes and paperwork and then saw a client.

By the time my session ended I was feeling great.

So nice that.

Go.

Be of service.

Feel better.

I scooted home.

Zipped by the park, rode the curves of Lincoln Way, smelled the bonfires at Ocean Beach and though it was cold and a bit foggy, I felt lifted, carried, loved.

I miss you Shadrach.

But.

You would be pretty proud of me.

Ten years.

You think the grief would have gone out of my body, but sometimes it is still there and needs expressing.

I’m grateful I didn’t squash it.

I just had it.

And I’m grateful for the emotions.

I get to have them.

Feelings.

It means I am alive.

And after all the death I have been witness to.

Well.

That’s a fucking miracle.

So glad I still get to be around.

Happy.

Joyous.

Alive.

And.

Free.

Sunshine

July 19, 2017

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

It just seemed appropriate.

I feel sunny.

I had a super yummy day.

Literally.

I cooked some good food today.

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

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

However.

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

We saw the Edward Munch show.

It was good.

Dark as fuck.

But.

Um, that’s Munch.

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

I was impressed and it was a good show.

My favorite artist?

Nope.

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

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

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

I was, however, able to restrain myself.

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

It was so well done.

I was stunned and moved and completely captivated by it.

I got the chills and was dreamy and in reverence.

I love art.

I love it when I am surprised by beauty.

I love music.

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

It was like literally being inside the song.

I get a little shiver thinking about it.

Of course.

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

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

I have enough on my plate.

But I do dream on it once in a while.

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

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

How many people can say that?

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

Exquisite.

So much music.

So much joy.

That’s what I felt like today.

Suffused with joy.

Sometimes soft.

Sometimes furious with passion.

I am so alive.

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

I also felt full.

I ate well today.

And my tummy seems back to normal.

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

It was their Salmon Egg Bowl.

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

I took a few liberties and made one mistake.

I over poached the eggs.

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

They ended up being soft/medium boiled.

Not horrid.

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

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

It was not great.

But.

It was good.

It will be better the next time I make it.

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

Mmmm.

Bacon.

That was breakfast.

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

Once and a while I get to shake it up.

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

Nice and simple.

And that’s what I had for dinner.

With, ha, um, some more asparagus.

Heh.

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

That will “kill” the asparagus.

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

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

I connected with fellows.

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

And I had a really good therapy session.

Also up in Noe Valley.

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

Such an unexpected gift.

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

A damn fine day.

I really, really am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Kidnapped

July 5, 2017

In the best possible way.

My friend met me for yoga, it being a holiday we both had the day off from work.

It was fabulous to see him and I was very much looking forward to having a coffee with him afterward and catching up with him at Trouble Coffee, which is just down the block from my house.

“Let’s get out of the fog,” my friend said as we left the yoga studio, “let’s get coffee somewhere other than Trouble.”

I balked.

Wait.

What?

NO.

I have plans and schemes and designs and I’m in my yoga clothes, I need a shower and um, like, I have no fucking makeup on and am I going to be one of those people who goes and hangs out somewhere in their yoga gear?

NO!

Except, well, my friend had this twinkle in his eye.

“What do you mean?” I asked, skeptical, “it’s foggy everywhere in the city.”

“We leave the city,” he said simply, “my car’s right here.”

“I have to do some writing,” I said feebly, “I don’t have my wallet, I um, shit.”

He looked at me, “you can’t write in the sun?”

Well, fuck.

He had me there.

“Oh screw it, fine, let’s go get some sun,” I resigned, surrendered, went over to the winning side.

My friend didn’t clap with glee, but it was damn close.

I got a great big smile, the door unlocked, I threw my yoga mat in the car and climbed in.

“I don’t have a wallet with me, I don’t have makeup on,” I continued to protest, weakly, as I buckled my seat belt.

“Do you need to go put makeup on,” my friend said with a complete straight face.

“Oh fuck you,” I said, “let’s go, drive.”

“I got you covered, hello, that’s what credit cards are for,” he hopped in and we cruised out of the city and down the Great Highway and onto the 1.

“We’re going to Woodside,” he said and programmed the route.

I have no idea where Woodside is but having been kidnapped that made good sense, you’re not supposed to know where you’re being taken.

And it didn’t matter, I was in a car, the music was playing, my friend was grinning ear to ear and I was happy to see, that yes, indeed, the fog was lifting.

And then.

There was sun.

And it was good.

I mean.

REALLY fucking good.

So happy to get out of the fog for a little while.

We caught up and chatted and talked about his experience doing the Aids LifeCycle.

This past ride was his 9th ride.

He’s going to do one more and then probably move onto something else.

He’s doing a big ride in Toronto this year as well and that may be the next thing for him.

We reminisced about when I did the ride and how ill prepared I was.

First, I was on a borrowed bicycle, one that was way, way, way too big for me.

“Do you remember your first ride,” he laughed loudly, “you show up in cut off jeans and tights, with a huge messenger bag slung over your shoulder, I just shook my head.”

I joined him laughing, “and Converse, don’t forget, I was in Converse.”

God.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to do the ride.

I do remember very distinctly, however, crying at the end of that first training ride, I had barely made it the five-mile ride and I was overwhelmed with it.

How the fuck was I going to ever ride 545 miles?

“You will,” he said, “you will, just one step at a time, one pedal at a time, you’ll do fine, you need better gear though,” and he steered me around the Sports Basement racks showing me what I was going to need.

I had no money.

But.

I had a fuck load of heart.

I scraped up money everywhere, I wore old shoes, SiDi clipless bicycle shoes that someone gave me, I got donated a kit from a friend, I bought goofy looking outfits because they were on sale.

I had sponsors from all over the city and the country.

I do not know how the hell I raised the money to ride, but I did.

I don’t know how the hell I did it, but one pedal revolution at a time I did it.

My friend was my mentor.

He got me out, he helped me, he cheered me on, he made up silly songs to get me up hills.

One day, not too soon after I had started doing the training rides he pointed up to this gigantic hill and said, “one day, and not too far from now, you’re going to ride up that hill.”

“What fucking hill?” I asked perplexed, I didn’t see any hills, I mean, I saw a mountain, but not a hill.

“That one there,” he said pointing at the big peak in the distance.

“What the fuck is that,” I asked, followed closely by, “no fucking way.”

“Mount Tam,” he said, “and yes you fucking will.”

He was right.

A few weeks later, maybe a month and a half, I was riding up that fucking hill.

It was a long ride, but I tell you what, my God, the view.

Great.

Out.

Doors.

So much of it, so much beauty, so much joy, so much fucking swearing.

Damn I swore a lot.

I did it though and I laughed with my friend as we talked about all my adventures and misadventures.

And I could feel it, I could feel it fucking stirring, in fact, the thoughts had been stirring for a while.

“I want to do it one more time,” I said over an amazing omelet at Buck’s of Woodside.

My friend just smiled and nodded.

And as soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew I was going to.

“Fuck!  I’m going to do it again!” I laughed and pushed aside my omelet and hugged my friend.

We both laughed like hyenas.

And I am sure as fuck that there is going to be a moment or fifteen when I wonder, what the fuck was I thinking.

But then.

I’ll remember all the beautiful people in my life who I ride for, those alive and those who have passed from Aids and HIV complicated illness.

Later today, after my friend had dropped me back at home, after stuffing me full of joy and omelet and sunshine and promises to help me get a good road bike, I met with my person up in Noe Valley at the Martha Brothers Coffee house on Church Street and Duncan.

I sat on a bench with this man whom I love so much, who I hold with such deep respect and without whom I would not be the woman I am today.

He told me about taking a recent tour through the Aids Grove in Golden Gate Park and how it was to be there and the people in his life and the memories and I took a big deep breath.

“Give me your hand,” I said, “I want to hold it while I tell you something, you’re probably going to be mad at me, but I think that after that passes, you’ll be pretty proud of me.”

He turned and looked at me and took my hand.

“I’m not going to be able to go to Barcelona with you in May because after I graduate from my Master’s program in Psychology I’ll be riding to LA, I’m going to do the AidsLifeCycle ride again,” I squeezed his hand.

I could tell he wanted to give me a lecture, and that did happen a little and we agreed I’d have to let something else go from my life, probably not going to Burning Man next year, but I’ll get to that later, I’m still going this year, but I could tell by the way he held my hand it was going to be ok.

“You are a miracle,” he said.

And I am.

I am also someone who wears my heart on my sleeve, who does things to experience things as much as possible, who dreams big, who goes for it, who loves so, so, so hard.

Because why else live if I’m not going to live it passionately?

Fuck life without passion.

I get to live.

My best friend died this month ten years ago and he’s much on my mind, I did the ride originally for him.

And this time.

Well.

I will do it for him and my person and all the people who I know in my community who still struggle.

But.

I will also be doing it for me.

Because I can.

Because I want to ride my bicycle.

I miss it.

And.

Um.

Ha.

My bicycle bum.

I miss that a lot too.

Heh.

Oh yeah.

It’s official too.

While I was typing this blog I also took a minute, pulled out my credit card and registered to ride.

That’s right bitches.

I am now officially registered for the Aids LifeCycle ride 2018.

Shit.

I better go buy a bike.

What the fuck have I done?

Ha.

The Last Piece

March 24, 2017

Falls into place.

And like that.

I have secured all the things that I need to have to start my internship in May.

Yes.

Today I had a phone interview with a potential therapist.  We have been in contact for a little over a week via e-mail, she was referred to me by a woman in my cohort at school and I had contacted her about getting into therapy with her.

As part of my program I must have 50 consecutive weeks of therapy while I am in supervision and taking on clients as a new therapist.

It makes complete and total sense, although I’m not real thrilled about the additional cost of school, now I get to pay for a therapist out-of-pocket, but I am happy to have the final piece settled out.

Her first response was a no, she couldn’t work with my time frame, but a few more back and forth emails and a spot became available.

We had made a time to talk today on the phone and I wasn’t going to get myself too psyched up about it, I figured I might have to interview a few therapist.

But.

She was lovely.

And.

She happened to have gone through the same program that I did five years ago and so can really support me as I move forward through the same process.

I am also, oddly I want to add, but in a moment of reality check, maybe not so oddly, excited about getting to be back in therapy, I have known for a while now, ever since getting back into school, that I need to go back and do some more work.

There are issues to address, traumas to heal, wounds that need opening to air out and to re-heal properly.

And I am ready to do that work.

Especially since it is work that will support me becoming a better therapist for my clients.

I start on Tuesday.

I will meet with her Tuesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. for an hour and then head in to work at 11 a.m.

Super grateful that she is convenient to work as well, I work up in Glen Park and she is in Noe Valley, maybe a five-minute, ten minute tops, scooter ride from her office to my job.

Now if I can just relocate to the Eastern side of the city I will be set.

I love my little studio by the sea, don’t get me wrong.

But.

Check it out.

I work in Glen Park just on the border of Noe Valley.

I have an internship starting in May at 18th and Treat–I’ll be there five days a week.

I have a supervisor I have to see once a week at Fell and Gough.

School is at Mission and 10th.

My new therapist is in Noe Valley at 24th and Church.

And where do I live?

44th Ave and Judah.

Get me back to the Mission please.

Not that I want to move, necessarily, I am cozy here and moving sucks, but fuck, look at the logistics of it, it would make such better sense for me to be closer to work and school endeavors.

I’m keeping it on the back burner.

I’m not actively engaged in looking, but if the right thing happens, I’ll bounce.

I am grateful that all the school and work stuff is located relatively close together, that will make it a bit easier for me.

And there is time to get used to all of it.

I have time.

Things definitely feel like they are gaining momentum though.

I still need some signatures on my paperwork, but all that will happen at school.

In fact.

I am just going to take a moment here and hop over to my Gmail account and e-mail my advisor in regards to making sure I can get that paperwork dealt with.

There.

That feels better.

I am super happy to have it all come together.

I am still going to need to do plenty for the rest of the semester.

I have two weekends of classes yet to go before the semester ends, one in April and one in May.

I have to write one paper for the April weekend and I have three papers due for the May weekend.

Plus, of course, the mountains of reading.

I have been taking my Couples Therapy with me to work all this week and knocking out what I can when I can.

I am so in love with my job and the fact that I have had a solid hour for my lunch, with no interruptions, to sit, eat, have some tea, and then read for a half hour every day (well, except Monday, I had both the older kids at the house) this week.

It is such a huge gift and as I was expressing to my person tonight as we had dinner at Firewood Cafe in the Castro, how lucky I am to be in this job.

Shit.

I sat and listened to jazz and looked out over the bowl of San Francisco as it spilled toward the bay and ate organic fruit from BiRite and sipped my favorite tea at work.

I also have to juggle crazy monkeys on the MUNI, so it is good that I have that down time to regroup and get quiet.

It has been a big year for me already, and it’s just March.

The new job, the new experiences with school, the interviews for internships and supervisors and therapists, all the showing up, all the walking through, it’s been big.

I am super grateful that I have the support and love I do.

And that I have done a lot of my own personal work to move forward.

Some of which I have written about here.

And.

Quite a bit that I have not.

I find that the closer I come to having real world clients, the more and more I have to focus on my self, who I am, and not about who I am engaged with or hanging out with.

Sure.

I’d love to blog some about dating and wild adventures.

But that’s not been on the menu at the moment.

School, life priorities, work, re-connecting with friends.

The rest will follow and the time will go by quick and I will find myself looking back on the other side with complete wonderment.

As that’s how I’m currently looking at it all right now.

In complete awe.

Look at how far I’ve come.

A long, fucking way, baby.

Such.

A.

Long.

Way.

Unexpected Free Time

February 25, 2017

Not a lot.

But.

Oh my God.

More than enough.

I got a text this morning from the mom saying, hey you worked such a long day yesterday, come in an hour late and we’ll probably let you go an hour early.

Grandma visit.

At first I was annoyed.

I had plans!

Then I was flustered.

Shit.

I could have made plans.

I could have snuck in a yoga class this morning.

Then.

I got over myself.

Get grateful you boob!

You just got two hours knocked off your work day, be happy.

I did some extra writing.

I made a cafe au lait and read another two articles in my Couples Therapy reader–in fact, I’m only two articles away from being completely done with all my reading for the next weekend of classes.

I am super psyched for that.

I took it leisurely getting ready for work and I had a nice shower and really, my hair was on point today, I had a hella good hair day.

And when I got into work I found out that since the grandma was going to be leaving on Monday she wanted to spend extra time with the kiddos and take them on a special trip to the toy store.

Grandma, toy store, extra time with the kiddos=getting off not one hour early, but two!

“Happy Friday,” the mom said, “if you can just fold up the rest of the laundry and take these things up to the dry cleaners, you can go early, I don’t think we’ll be back from the toy store before you would be leaving anyhow, you don’t need to futz around here and twiddle your thumbs.”

“Really?” I asked.

I mean.

Yes, please and thank you, but also really, I haven’t had this much leeway in my job in some time and I realize that although I loved the family I was working for a lot, those boys, oh those sweet boys, I was under a great deal more stress to constantly be doing something.

I had to put up a lot of boundaries around taking breaks and having down time, or time to eat my food.

Not so at this job.

They are just the bees knees.

And the mom and I had a very sweet talk today about the whole process and how happy they are to have me.

I mean.

Really happy.

And I am really happy to have them.

It feels like such a good fit.

Granted I know the honey moon period will pass, issues arise, conflicts happen, but over all, wow, wow, wow, just such a great job for me.

The gaggle of baby, mama, brother, sister, and grandma headed off to pillage the toy store and I happily futzed about the house making sure everything was in order and tidy and putting away the laundry.  I did a double, triple check on things, then headed out to Noe Valley to drop off some dry cleaning for them, and killing two birds with one stone, I also dropped off some mending I needed done on my two favorite cardigans.

Then I asked for direction.

Where to next?

I had a thought about running downtown to go shop at Gap, but realized that wasn’t necessary, I didn’t have to put myself through going downtown to use the coupon that I had.

In fact, right before starting to write this blog, I just went online and applied it at the online store, basically saving $70 on my order.

I got the same dress I am currently wearing, one of the causal interview dressed I bought, in a different color (mom made a really outstanding point to me today as the baby had a huge whoopsie down the back of her shirt, pants, and yes, all over the floor, that I should have a back up set of clothes for having at the house in case such a thing happens, hence another dress like the one I’ve got on) and a racer back maxi that I was thinking, oh, yes, Paris in Spring, with a pair of sandals.

So.

Instead of going downtown into the madness, I just took the roads up and over Twin Peaks and headed to the Inner Sunset.

A quick run to the bank.

Then.

A manicure.

It was really nice to do that.

Just sit back, read a trashy magazine and get my nails done.

Such a little pleasure.

Then I took myself out for some carnitas, because, carnitas, hello.

Afterward a nice cafe au lait, decaf thank you, and I made sure it was decaf, and some fellowship with a friend from the neighborhood before doing the deal.

It was good to catch up and it’s nice to know people in my neighborhood.

I am officially a Sunset person I think, it’s been three and a half years of living out here now, I think I can call myself a part of the Sunset for sure.

After getting right with God I hopped on the scooter and made the executive decision to do my grocery shopping for the weekend.

It may rain tomorrow, already put the cover on my scooter, and I just figured, get it out-of-the-way.

And like that.

I did.

I also paid rent today for March and signed up for two yoga classes this weekend.

Fuck.

It feels good to be on top of things.

Plus.

I touched base with my supervisor at my internship and we set up a time for me to come in and fill out all the paperwork and talk about next steps.

I’ll be doing that in March, after my next weekend of classes.

So, although, yes, I do have a full weekend, it’s not so full since I got some errands done unexpectedly and let myself skip out on needlessly going downtown to make myself crazy in the shopping district.

No thanks.

I’ll take a nice mellow night in and yoga in the morning instead.

I’ve got a meet up with a lady to do some reading and then my dentist appointment at 4p.m.

Fingers crossed.

It’s been awhile, but happy to be addressing it.

Then a small dinner party in Noe Valley with some ladies in my cohort and a T.A. from the summer session of classes at the beginning of the school year.

Feels like a nice way to start the weekend.

I’m ready.

Happy Friday!

A Sweet Day

February 15, 2017

Despite it being Valentines Day.

Otherwise known as, achingly-painful-reminder-that-you-are-single day.

But really.

It was a sweet day and I did not find myself maudlin about the holiday, I haven’t really felt maudlin about Valentines Day in some time.

I have accepted where I am, who I am, and my relationship status is not a reflection of who I am or what I am.

It’s just a characteristic amongst many, many, many characteristics.

And.

I have been told by a fair number of people over time that I have something that they want.

They’re own space.

They’re own room.

They’re own bed to roll around in.

No one hogging the blankets or snoring into their ear.

Or wet sweaty body lying clammy against them.

I just had a flash of an ex-boyfriend who was a profuse night sweater and how it grossed me out how wet the sheets got, I mean, soaked.

I was like what the fuck is detoxing out of your body?

And the man was sober.

Night terrors=night sweats.

I think he was still working out some stuff.

The relationship did not last long and I welcomed back my bed with wide open arms when he was no longer sleeping in it.

I also welcomed not changing my sheets every other day.

I actually find Valentines Day rather sweet.

I like sending cards and I loved seeing all the guys out there carrying bundles of flowers.

I liked imagining the faces of the women or men they were giving those flowers to.

It was like little pieces of tangible love adrift in the world and I did not need a piece of it, nor did I find myself lacking for it, rather I just felt in my soul, a comfortable witnessing and great appreciation for all those folks out there doing for one another.

There really is nothing like getting flowers from someone.

It is special.

And as per usual.

I eschew buying them for myself on this day.

They prices get rather jacked up and I’ll buy some tomorrow.

I did some nice self-care today, took a hot shower, did some writing before work, drank a nice hot cafe au lait, got out into the sunshine and did a big grocery shopping run after work, doing the deal and meeting with a lady this evening to do some work and reflection.

I feel like it was a pretty successful day.

It did not hurt that I was not much on social media.

Sometimes I need a break from that.

What was wonderful today too was running into people unexpectedly from school and my previous nanny gig.

I ran into a TA from my Gestalt class last summer and we had a great catch up and a warm sweet hug.

“You smell good as always!” She exclaimed.

We chit chatted for a few minutes then I ran to catch the train to do some errands for the family in Noe Valley.

Super grateful for that.

Running errands outside when the day was a nice as it was today.

67 degrees.

Crazy.

I actually put on sunblock today before leaving the house.

The utter sublimest luxury of sitting in the sun while waiting for the train with my eyes closed at the cafe on Church and 30th was so good.

I felt so lucky and blessed.

I was getting paid to wait for the train at a cafe in the sunshine.

That’s pretty damn good.

Then up in Noe Valley after I had dropped off dry cleaning and picked up dry cleaning, I ducked in Whole Foods and picked up a few things for the house and ran into a woman who I knew from the corner market at 21st and Valencia–the market that I frequented when I was nannying in the Mission.

She works there as the check out lady and she was all smiles when she saw me and she gave me a great big hug.

It was super sweet to see her and it made me realize how just small kindnesses can go so far.

I don’t think I did much besides always say hello and smile and ask after her, just basic humanness, and her response to seeing me was so nice, it just was a great reminder to take that extra moment, smile, be kind, be sweet, be generous.

I don’t need heart-shaped boxes of candy to remind me to do that, but it’s a pleasant thing to see people with them tucked underneath their arms.

I loved seeing the kids let out from Mission High School.

The balloon bouquets were pretty impressive.

Granted when I was in high school, Valentines Day was hell on wheels for me emotionally, but it’s not now, and I can look back with a great deal of love and humor for the girl I was hoping for the same acknowledgement, love, and passion as I saw happening for other girls and guys at school.

There can be a show-off-ness about Valentines Day.

But today.

I chose not to see it for that.

Rather I just let it be another day.

A day I got to show up and work and cherish my charge.

A day in the sunshine with the flowers fragrant and lush where ever I went.

Who doesn’t want to see bouquets of flowers all day long?

So much beauty.

And the warmth of the little girl hand in my hand as I walked from the train and up the hill to her house was all the Valentines Day love I needed.

I am lucky.

I have so much love in my life.

I need not pine for more.

Why would anyone want more if they are not happy with what they have?

Today.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Exactly as it should be.

Seriously.

And It Was A

January 31, 2017

Good day.

It was.

Yes.

There was sunshine.

Oh sunshine.

How I adore you.

It won’t be sunny much more this week, one more day, tomorrow, then, yes, fuck, six days in a row of the wet stuff.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least I had today.

And really.

What more could I ask for.

Just for today.

Just for today I will be happy.

And I was.

I got a few things done before I headed out to work, some organizing, some work on my school stuff, some writing.

I gassed up the scooter.

$1.16 to top her off.

hahahaha.

Ah.

I love that.

I love going into the 76 station on Lincoln and LaPlaya and handing the cashier a bunch of change with a great big smile.

Feels pretty freaking good that.

Zoom zipped to work.

I got there early enough that I was able to check in with a few people on the phone and just make sure my head was on nice and straight and ready for all things Monday.

I hit work and was ready to go.

Today was my first day feeling how it will be for the majority of my time, or at least how I envision it to be.

The dad has gone back to work full-time and it was me, the mom, the baby.

I checked in with mom, got the low down, got organized and then hopped in the car with her to Noe Valley, where I got dropped off to do errands and get my way back to the house on my own time.

Mom was heading to her office with the baby and I was on my own.

I cannot express how much joy that brings me.

To have some autonomy, to get to run errands in the sunshine, to go grocery shopping and help with the dry cleaning.

I topped off the Clipper Card (the MUNI pass for the buses and trains) at the Walgreens and got to pick up a few things that I was needing for the house.

I was able to also swing into another little store on my way back to the house and pick up a sweatshirt.

My Bicycle Coalition sweatshirt has been pretty battered and the zipper the past few weeks has just gotten worse and worse.

I suppose I could have replaced it, but it was pretty beat, I’ve had it for over five years and worn it pretty non-stop, when I went to zip into it this morning on my way to work, the zipper split again and I was like, fuck it, time to replace it.

So I got a cool black hoodie with white draw strings and a white outline of Sutro Tower by the company Cotton Basics, a local clothing company out of Oakland.

I like to buy local stuff whenever I can.

Then.

A quick pop into Whole Foods.

The mom had asked me to make dinner and had pulled out some chicken breasts from the freezer.

“Make whatever you want,” she said, “here’s some cash, get whatever you need at the market.”

Dude.

Carte blanche is so nice.

Seriously.

Not that I went nuts.

I didn’t need to.

The family has a really nice stocked pantry and they buy the good stuff, organic, local, upscale stuff.

I picked up some crimini mushrooms, some tarragon, and a few others odds and ends.

This evening I made the family tarragon chicken with crimini mushrooms in a cream sauce with rice and pan seared brown buttered brussels sprouts.

“Carmen!  You are the best cooker ever!” My four-year old little lady charge told me, jumping up from the dinner table as I was getting ready to leave and rushing over to throw herself in my arms.

“I love your food, so good!”

That made me so happy to hear.

I know.

Silly, right?

But not so.

I put my heart into my cooking and to be able to actually cook the way I used to, even though I don’t eat it, is super gratifying.

I’m sure there will be times I will eat what I make for the family, but I was having a good time making what I made and I wanted them to know how much I appreciate them by making them good food.

I love that they all sit down to eat dinner together.

It’s simple and basic and so sweet to see a family still do that, sit and enjoy a meal together.

I felt needed and appreciated today.

I also have really been enjoying my time with the mom, I feel like she has become not just an employer, but a friend.

And I love, love, love.

LOVE.

That she’s talking about having me for the long-term.

Like.

Four years.

Like.

Having job security all the way through my school program, what a gift.

Such a gift.

Granted, it’s only been a month, but in that month I have felt taken care of, appreciated, excited, and acknowledged.

I like, no, I love, that I am getting outside more and being more active is a help too.

I ran up and down the big hill to their house twice today, ran races with my charges when I picked them up from school, was in the fresh air and the sunshine.

Yeah, like I said yesterday, I have put on a size since I stopped riding my bike five days a week.

But.

That’s ok.

My body is changing.

Today it is just perfect.

Maybe it’s not what I want it to be, but it serves me, takes care of me, carries around my brain with all its sickness and idiocy, does all that I ask it to do.

I’m in grad school, I work full-time, I need the extra time that having the scooter gives me, one day I won’t.

And when that happens I can go to yoga more or I can ride my bike more or I can swim.

Just because I’m not the “ideal size” doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me.

I have the exact body I am supposed to have and I am grateful for it.

Grateful, happy, content, cozy.

And.

When I got home from school I had a package in the mail from my dear friend in New York.

He’s been working on a movie now for a little while and it’s almost ready to be released and he’s selling t-shirts to raise money for the film.

It’s called: This Too, Shall Go Up In Flames.

I stripped out of my shirt and put on the t-shirt.

It’s a little big, I ordered it when I was feeling “fat” and got a bigger size than I should have, but fuck it, I love it and it can be a night-shirt or maybe I’ll have it taken in.

Do they take in t-shirts?

Who cares.

It’s an awesome shirt and I am excited to support a friend’s endeavor.

It’s pretty fucking cool.

It’s been a pretty fucking good day.

Not bad for a Monday.

Not bad at all.

 

Train Time

January 4, 2017

I took a lot of trains today.

Five to be exact.

I don’t mind the trains, but man, the extra time to be in commute.

Ugh.

However.

The weather was not conducive in any way, shape, or form, for me to be on my scooter, no way.

If I’m having a hard time walking in the wind and rain, I cannot imagine what being on my scooter would have been like today.

When I got up this morning I basically threw the cover on my bike and settled into the idea of calling for a car.

Except.

My new employer texted and said, hey we won’t need you for another hour, don’t come in until 11 a.m.

So.

I had plenty of time to take the train.

And it was not as long as I thought it would be.

I had guessed an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes.

It was an hour ten minutes.

But still.

Considering that on my scooter it would be about 20-25 minutes, it felt like eternity.

I also brought the kids home from school on the train and then rode the train back from work to doing the deal and after that, finally, home.

I feel a little blown out from all the trains.

Granted.

I got a good idea of what one of my duties was going to be picking up the kids from school and I’m grateful for that experience as I will be out in the world and able to have some time away from the house and were it not raining, a trip to the park, to the library, to Glen Canyon, to all sorts of places.

I may have spent a few moments in the bathroom at work crying today.

I won’t say I didn’t.

But.

I know that once I get used to the job and the commute and the newness of it starts to fade, I am really going to like my job.

I am going to have a lot more autonomy, a lot more freedom and a lot more space than I did in my previous job.

I am super grateful for that.

And I also feel so very welcomed in the family.

The mom gave me a big hug tonight when I left, “I really feel like I want to hug you,” she said with her big, spacious, sincere blue eyes.

We hugged.

It was nice.

It is nice.

It’s still hard.

It’s just day two.

It might be hard for a little while.

It might be weird for a little while.

It might be awkward for a little while.

Might.

Ha.

It will be.

And that is ok.

I can see that it will also become easier, when I get a routine, when the family has a routine, hell, the baby is four days old, there is no routine yet, dad’s home from work, friend from out-of-town is there helping with baby, new nanny, first day back to school today, I’m surprised there wasn’t more crazy than there was.

The crazy was mostly in my head.

The family is super warm and very inviting and caring and lovely.

I mean it.

Really lovely.

We haven’t set up the payroll stuff yet and the mom and I talked about that a little bit today when I first came in.

She wanted me to know that should it fall through the cracks this week that I would just get a check and that it would get set up and that I would be taken care of.

She also said that I would get the hours I needed, that they would pay me for the set amount that we had agreed on, even if I didn’t end up working the full set of hours this week, I would be compensated for them.

I felt really good hearing that.

The dad joked that really it was the family that was on the two-week trial and not me.

“What?! You’re going, but we’re having pizza!” The oldest boy told me.

“Will you be back tomorrow,” he asked me, eyes, big, serious, searching.

“Yes,” I said, “would that be alright with you?”

I got the nod.

We had spent easily an hour sitting at the table over looking an astonishing view of down town San Francisco, playing play doh and rockets and building things and smashing things and telling stories.

“Sometimes I forget to eat my lunch, because, um, I’m chatty,” he told me.

He is and it’s adorable.

He’s got a huge imagination, a great memory, and an amazing vocabulary for a six-year-old.

We talked a lot.

Just back and forth and back and forth and read from a book about rocket ships and yeah, that was the last hour of my day, while the parents dealt with a visiting baby nurse and the house guest played stuffies with the little girl and when I checked in with the dad, “I’m just playing play doh, let me know what I can do to help.”

He looked at me and shook his head, “that is the best help you can give us right now.”

Which is nice.

And I feel trusted and that is really nice.

“You’re going to get lots or down time too,” he told me, “when we all go back to our normal lives and the kids are in school and the baby is napping, we hope you will read and study for school.”

Oh my god.

Such a nice thing to hear.

I mean.

Really so nice.

So despite the discomfort of change, even when change is good for me, it can be so disquieting, I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be for this next phase of my development.

I am excited too when I give myself the space to feel it.

It’s just mostly buried under the newness of it all and finding my feet as I get situated in a new home, with new closets and corners and nooks and crannies and things to learn and re-organize in my mind.

All the stuff.

All the things.

And tomorrow.

More rain.

So I think I’ll splurge on a car.

I had enough of the trains today.

Besides.

I’ll be picking up the kids from school on the MUNI and riding that back and forth all week-long.

It’s a quick commute and a little walk and I’m grateful for that as well, I spent a lot of time indoors at my previous job, very grateful for the opportunity to be back out in the world.

I rather missed it.

So.

Embracing the change.

Even when giving into the change makes me feel out of my comfort zone.

I know I’ll be in the sweet spot soon.

I can already see it coming down the line.

Just like the J-Church turning the corner on Church and 30th.

Or the N-Judah coming out of the tunnel at Cole and Duboce.

It may seem far away.

But it’s really just around the bend.

Thank God.


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